Home » Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners (and Travel Enthusiasts)

Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners (and Travel Enthusiasts)

Are you hoping to welcome a new companion, or an addition to your growing family? Having a four-legged best friend by your side can be one of life’s greatest joys but it’s also a very big decision. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and finding the right breed for you and your lifestyle is very important. There is a plethora of information online about dog breeds, but in this article we want to focus on the best dog breeds for first time owners and travel enthusiasts, what to consider, and what type of breeds you may want to avoid.


Best dog breeds for first-time owners

How you train your dog can make a huge impact on their behavior. Some breeds are predisposed to be more shy, active, etc. while some breeds are more prone to certain health issues than others. We recommend you do research on your favorite breeds before making your decision. Here is our list of some of the best dog breeds for first-time owners based on trainability, energy levels, natural behavior, and maintenance.


1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Breed Overview

best dog breeds for first time owners

The cheerful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a great option for first-time dog owners, especially those who live in apartments or smaller spaces. The small breed only grows up to 18 lbs. They are known to be cuddly, making great lap dogs, who also love to get some exercise in as long as they can do it with you. They are described to have moderate energy levels and are adaptable, doing well in a lot of types of households. They are affectionate and fairly easy to train. You’ll have to be consistent with repeating commands. To maintain their long coat, you will need to brush it regularly to get out tangles.


2. Bernese Mountain Dog

Breed Overview

bernese mountain dog

The lovable Bernese Mountain Dog always looks like they have a smile on their face! This breed, although very large, is considered to be easy to raise and train thanks to its calm demeanor and intelligence. The Bernese is eager to please their owners and can pick up on training very quickly. They naturally have a willingness to adventure (great for active owners) but will enjoy lounging around and cuddling up with their beloved humans too. Be aware that they do shed a lot, but frequent professional grooming is not always necessary as long as you brush their coats regularly.


3. Bichon Frise

Breed Overview

best dog breeds for first time owners

You’ll find the Bichon Frise to be a “common dog” among many types of dog owners and that’s because of its goofy, easy-going nature. Their energy levels are typically low to medium, making them a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. They may have bursts of energy and want to get a good run in but they also love a good cuddle. Additionally, they are easy to train and maintain due to their small size (just schedule in regular brushings or trimmings).


4. Whippet

Breed Overview

best dog breeds for first time owners

The whippet is a family favorite breed because of its manageability and compatibility with children. They were bred to sprint and chase little creatures, so be sure to let them exercise their natural inclinations once in awhile with a frisbee or ball at the dog park. However, they are known to be couch potatoes. They are a medium-sized breed, growing up to 40 lbs., with short hair making it fairly low maintenance and easy to groom. They are very playful and quite intelligent. Be aware of potential dental issues due to their longer snouts. 


5. Goldendoodle

Breed Overview

best dog breeds for first time owners

One of the most popular crossbreeds as of recent years is none other than the large and fluffy Goldendoodle. Poodle breeds are a great choice for first time owners, and you get the best of both worlds with the Golden Retriever and Poodle hybrid. They come in a variety of colors (although red or “golden” is the most common). They are also bred to be full-sized (up to 100 lbs.) or miniature (up to 35 lbs.). An appealing trait of the Goldendoodle is their low-allergen coat. They don’t shed too much, although their long double coat will require regular brushing and grooming. Goldendoodles tend to be very gentle and are great with children. They are also known to be very affectionate and easy to train due to their intelligence. They require exercise everyday and absolutely love doing everything by their human’s side.


For more on the best dog breeds for first time owners:

14 Best Dogs for First-Time Owners

The 12 Best and Worst Dog Breeds For First Time Owners

What to consider before choosing the right breed for you

There are so many wonderful dog breeds out there so you will be sure to find the perfect dog for you and your lifestyle! There are many articles available that will be a great guide for you in choosing the right breed. You will have to consider health issues that certain breeds are prone to, for example. Beyond that, here are some of our top tips for the first time dog parent:

1. Don’t rush the process

Welcoming a new family member is a huge deal, and it’s a life decision for the dog. Consider if you’ll make a suitable parent for your dog of choice. For example, if you travel a lot and don’t plan on bringing your dog with you, or if you live a more laid back lifestyle, we advise against getting a breed with really high energy levels. Take time to do your research and visit different breeders or adoption centers before making a decision. Ask yourself if you are truly ready for the responsibility of loving and nurturing a new furry friend.

2. Each dog is unique

A dog’s breed can give you insight into general behaviors of different types of dogs but it won’t define a dog because every dog has its own unique personality! Just because a breed may be known to be good with children doesn’t mean your specific dog will be very fond of them without proper training or socialization. It’s important to find out as much as you can about the specific dog you are interested in. Speak to its breeder or staff and collect records on his/her parents and background.

3. Look beyond popular breeds

Popular breeds (like the Golden Retriever or Corgi) are popular for good reason, but “less popular” breeds may actually be more suitable for you than you think.

Best dog breeds for travel enthusiasts

Believe it or not, there are certain types of dog breeds that make better travel companions than others. That’s because pet-friendly travel often times comes with certain restrictions making the jet-setting lifestyle less accessible for some breeds than others.

Romingo makes pet-friendly travel hassle-free and more accessible by bringing you hotels that will welcome you and your dog with open arms. If you book through Romingo, your dog will get to stay with you for free! You’ll pay $0 in pet fees, always.


Types of breeds to avoid:

  • Dogs with short snouts (e.g. Shih Tzus, Pugs, French Bulldog, etc.) are restricted on a lot of airlines due to health risks. Their short snouts make it difficult to breathe at high altitudes, making it potentially fatal especially if they are traveling via cargo.
  • Large dogs weighing from 55-100 lbs. (e.g. Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Boxer, German Shepherd) will most likely be restricted on public transportation and many hotels. Buses and trains usually cap pets at 20 lbs. and airlines will require your dog travel via cargo if they are large, which is less ideal than traveling via cabin with you. Luckily, Romingo partners with hotels allowing dogs ranging from 50 to 75 lbs. to stay for free!

best dog breeds for first time owners

Recommended breeds:

  • Small or medium-sized breeds (10-40 lbs.) that you can carry in your arms or can fit into a carrier. These breeds include Shiba Inu, Dachshund, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog, Havanese, etc. They will be easier to take with you in a car, on a plane, or on buses, trains, and boats.
  • Breeds with regular or longer snouts (e.g. Pomeranian, Terrier, Beagle, Border Collie) generally have less breathing issues.

best dog breeds for first time owners

This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid certain breeds just because you plan on traveling a lot. There are ways to still make the most of your travels, no matter what breed your dog is! We have a collection of the best dog-friendly travel tips to help you out:

Flying With Your Pup For The First Time? Here’s The 411

Why Positive Reinforcement For Dogs Is Important When Traveling

Attention! 6 Doggy Travel Mistakes To Avoid

Here’s How To Look For The Best Dog-Friendly Hotels In 7 Steps

Plan A Perfect Road Trip With Your Dog With This Guide

The Importance of Socializing Your Dog for Traveling (A How-To)

Will you be welcoming a new furry friend into your life this year? What do you think are the best dog breeds for first time owners and travel enthusiasts? Share with us in the comments below!

Romingo is helping you travel better with your dog. All hotel bookings on the Romingo platform offer you flexible cancellations and you’ll pay $0 in pet fees every time. Browse hotels and reserve a room today!

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