- A combination of genetics, training, and other factors affect a dog’s behavior and personality, but breeds help to predict common characteristics.
- Dog breeds such as Shih Tzus and golden retrievers make great companions for first-time pet owners, but breeds such as border collies or Rottweilers may be too challenging.
- Consider breed characteristics such as energy levels, intelligence, grooming needs, and sociability when choosing the right breed for your lifestyle.
Adopting your first dog is exciting, but deciding which breed best suits your family, lifestyle and experience can be difficult and requires a lot of careful consideration. The breed doesn’t determine everything but it can help you anticipate certain behaviors or traits. Some breeds make better companions for first-time pet owners, while others may be too challenging without enough experience.
Keep reading to learn what to consider in choosing a breed and which breeds are great for first-time owners.
How to Choose Your First Dog Breed
A combination of factors affects a dog’s personality and behavior, including its breed. Although any dog can make a good companion, certain breeds have higher tendencies toward specific behaviors. When you’re adopting a dog for the first time, consider your lifestyle needs and what kind of dog personality would best match you. Also consider adopting from a reputable rescue or your local shelter, as approximately 3.1 million dogs enter shelters in the U.S. every year, all of which need good, loving homes.
Despite their price tag, purebreds aren’t necessarily superior to mixed breeds. Although their behavioral traits may be more consistent than mixed breeds, many purebreds are at higher risk for hereditary health problems due to poor breeding practices. However, if you do decide you want a purebred, don’t disregard adoption! There are many breed-specific rescues around the country and you may just be surprised how many purebreds end up in shelters.
Mixed breed dogs may have slightly less predictable behavior but are often less expensive to adopt. Genetic diversity also means they may have fewer health issues and more balanced characteristics.