Today, approximately 44% of US households include a dog. That’s an estimated 78 million dogs in the US alone! If you want to become part of the dog-loving elite, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the huge number of breeds available to you. If you live in an apartment or travel often a small dog breed might be the best choice for you. So, which 7 small dogs are on our list of best dogs for first time owners? Stick around and let’s find out.
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7. Havanese – Best Dogs for First Time Owners
Bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, the Havanese has a small but sturdy body, an adaptable nature, and social skills that make him an ideal city companion. But he can be content to live anywhere as long as he can command your attention.
The Havanese is a smart and trainable extrovert with the comic instincts of a clown. He’s also a natural trick dog.
Don’t write him off as just a lap dog. The Havanese makes an excellent watchdog as well and takes the job seriously, but he’ll usually keep the barking to a minimum.
He doesn’t shed much, but daily brushing is required to keep his long, soft coat free of tangles or you can choose to have it clipped to a puppy cut for an easy-care companion.
Originating in China, during the Han dynasty, the Pug is a lot of dog, just in a small package. He has a big personality and a great sense of humor and like most of the dogs on this list, he was bred to be a companion.
He’s a very playful dog and loves to play games, but he’s also down to cuddle with his favorite humans.
He’s intelligent, but new owners should know that he can be a bit stubborn and that training can be a challenge, but it is very doable with patience, praise, and snacks.
He has a short, smooth, easy-care coat, but he does shed, especially in the summer.
5. Papillon – Best Dogs for First Time Owners
The Papillion, whose name comes from the French word for butterfly, descends from toy spaniels. As such, he’s highly active and highly intelligent.
If you’re looking for a dog to sit on your lap while you watch Animal Facts, he might not be the best breed for you. But if an outgoing and energetic companion is more your style, look no further.
He loves to be with people and to him, a stranger is just a friend he hasn’t met.
He’s not all bubbly. He has a level of alertness that makes him an excellent watchdog. He’ll let you know if there is an intruder, but he lacks the size to actually do anything about it.
The Papillion is quite intelligent and known for being highly trainable. Combined with his sometimes intense energy levels, he’s a great choice if you’d like to get into dog sports such as agility and rally. Or you may be happy with intense games of fetch in your living room.
In the late 1800s, a new breed was created in Boston Massachusetts. He was named the Boston Terrier and given the nickname “The American Gentleman”. This beautiful tuxedo coated dog has been popular ever since.
He’s intelligent, affectionate, lively, even-tempered and extremely lovable.
He can be a bit stubborn, so patience will be a virtue when training him. His exercise needs are minimal and while his coat does shed, that can be easily managed with weekly brushing.
Oh, and did we mention he loves children and makes an excellent playmate for them?
3. Bichon Frise – Best Dogs for First Time Owners
The Bichon Frise is the most mentioned dog breed on this channel. It seems like he shows up on every video we do. There’s not a whole lot more for us to say about him.
Once a favorite of the 16th-century French royal court, in modern times, the Bichon has become one of the most popular dog breeds across the globe.
The Bichon Frise is a playful white powder puff of a dog and a merry marriage of athleticism and intelligence, with plenty of cheer thrown in for good measure.
He’s easy to train. In fact, he’s quite gifted at learning tricks. He’s also easy to care for and with a daily combing to keep his hair untangled he sheds no more hair than a human.
Have you seen our Animal Facts Merch? Of course, we’ve got Bichon Frise t-shirts and more.
The Cavie is an affectionate, gentle, and graceful companion and carries his connection to British Royalty in his name.
His regal grace and even temper mark him as one of dogdom’s noblemen, but he’ll gladly descend from his throne for a good romp in the garden or for an old-fashioned squirrel chase.
The Cavalier does equally well with an active owner or a homebody—he can be an upbeat athlete or shameless couch potato, depending on your lifestyle.
Your Cavie will want to meet everyone. He truly loves people and a lap is his favorite throne.
Before we get to number one, what breed was your first dog? Let’s us know about your first K9 companion in the comments.
1. Miniature or Toy Poodle – Best Dogs for First Time Owners
Few lists of dogs are complete without the Poodle. In this case, the Miniature or Toy Poodle fit the bill quite well.
The Poodle, no matter his size, is ranked as one of the most intelligent dogs on the planet. And he’s not at all a froo froo dog Beneath the curly, hypoallergenic coat is an elegant athlete and companion for all seasons.
Let’s go over the pluses the Poodle has to his advantage:
He’s intelligent, easy to train, non-shedding, hypoallergenic, athletic, versatile, playful, and a happy people-pleaser.
The only real drawback of the Poodle is that he requires a decent amount of grooming. His hair mats easily and require regular brushing to keep it looking its best and he’ll need a haircut every six to eight weeks. The upside of that is the cool hairdos that your poodle can sport.
This is only a short list and there are hundreds of breeds to choose from. But one type of dog that we’d most like to add to most of our “best lists” is the humble shelter dog. These videos are merely for entertainment, but in reality, your new best friend may be waiting for you at your local animal shelter. You owe it to yourself to go have a look. Both of our dogs are rescues and I wouldn’t trade either of them for the world.
If you like this video, check out some of our other videos here. Don’t forget to subscribe and hit that notification bell for more cute doggies. And as always, catch ya next time.
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