Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Pretty Miss Emma

Which Breed Is Right For The First Time Dog Owner?

41 posts in this topic

Without a doubt, some breeds and (individual dogs for that matter) are "easier" than others.

However, in my opinion a person's prior dog ownership experience is not always a good indication of their suitability for some of the more challenging breeds.

I've seen owners with years of experience and they are still useless owners, making the same obvious mistakes time and time again... and never learning.

On the other hand I've also seen complete newbies that are dedicated to researching their breeds' temperament and characteristics. They have realistic expectations, are good at knowing their own strengths and weaknesses and are willing and able to learn and adapt to what needs to be done and to make their relationship with their dog flourish in a healthy fashion. They happily accept the time and effort that is involved in developing a well rounded family member. They are committed to following through with what's required to gain the skill and mind set to becoming a wonderful owner of even some of the most difficult breeds.

I think ideal first time match ups are way more about the owner and less about selecting from a list of first time suggested breeds. I believe people must be able to realistically and honestly assess their strength of character, patience and general personality. Some people are simply not cut out to own some breeds, no matter how much they try. And if they can't see this, here's hoping the breeder will spot it. A good breeder should fairly easily be able to assess if a prospective puppy person has got what it takes to successfully raise one of their puppies.

Edited by Starkehre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Temperament is more important than breed. Circumstances can also be important . . . barking dogs don't fit in some environments, some people have a use for guarding, others not, etc.

For most new owners, though, a pup with a lot of drive is not a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I think it depends on the person/family that the pup/dog will be going to and their lifestyle.

No point suggesting an active dog if they will never take it out of the yard or a dog that needs regular grooming, if they have no idea how to do it and they don't want to spend the money on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
indigirl   

I have a golden who is almost 9 yrs old that has been hard work from the day she arrived, and I suspect she will be hard work for the rest of her days. She would have been hell for a first time dog owner. Only yesterday she was accidentally left unsupervised outside for a short time and she dug up metres of lawn. She is sweet but incredibly determined and very destructive. She is a force to be reckoned with.

It really comes down to individual dogs a lot of the time. Although clearly some breeds are not a good fit with novice owners,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes that's all I was getting at SG, that if the person doesn't suit the dog and doesn't understand the particular temperament characteristics of the breed/individual then they aren't going to have a good experience with that dog.

Most basset breeders would say bassets aren't for a novice owner, they are stubborn and many people aren't prepared for the challenge of training a stubborn dog that will literally just do it's own thing unless you can offer it something better. But personally I find them an easy breed to work with whereas I think I'd go insane training a lab or a terrier. That said puddleduck as you suggested it's pretty unusual to find a basset with aggression issues, being a pack hound they are usually a very friendly breed who loves to be around people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the owner and breeder.

I wouldn't rule out any breeds for a novice owner. I've seen success stories with new owners and a wide range of breeds including livestock guardians, sighthounds, working bred dogs etc.

On the flip side I've also seen failures in lots of breeds where the dog is surrendered, unhappy or rehomed.

In the end it comes down to the owner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree with the whole first time owner thing. I've got friends that have had multiple dogs and I still wouldn't sell them a border collie puppy. Or any dog to be honest.

Agree. Some people can't even raise a pet rock well enough.

My first breed [buying my first puppy as an adult] was a Belgian Shepherd. But in no way would I suggest them for someone not willing to learn about the breed first.

Ivy at six years still tests me big time, she did the other day. But thankfully our tight bond allows her testing moments to quickly end. But my doG I could have killed her for doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely agree that it all depends on the owner and the individual dog. Yet so often people are quick to comment that "x" breed isn't good for first time owners. So far it seems everyone is of my thinking of owner and dog dynamic, it would be great to hear from those that say a certain breed isn't for first timers!!

I remember at a class I used to go to there was someone who I was told was an experienced owner and excellent with dogs and their breed in particular (their dog was causing problems for my dog, well the owner was oblivious to their dogs behavior). To be honest I think they probably would have done best with a pet rock, certainly a high drive dog was not suitable for them even though they had that breed forever (and until they learnt something about dogs I don't know that breed was or is suitable).

I wonder why so frequently there is the quick judgement on breeds being appropriate or not without us knowing the whole story!! Well apart from the fact most of us are protective of our breeds and just want them in the best home possible!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect there are some breeds that are less likely to suit a first time owners, but that's not the same as never suiting a first time owner, just that any first time owner would need to be especially dedicated to learning about that breed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree its all about research and having someone prepared to put the time in. I think if someone is spending a couple of years researching and have their heart really set on one breed, why should being a 'novice' stop them? I know people that have been in dogs for 20 or 30 years that I wouldn't want getting certain breeds because they don't suit that kind of dog, and some people that have never owned dogs that would suit those breeds.

Totally agree, especially the bolded bit :)

My first dog was a Stafford, when I was high-school-aged. He was MY dog, MY responsibility.

How many times do we have to say it's not the breed it's the owner?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start by checking what the owner wants from size and coat. I've come across many people who thought that a short coat wouldn't shed much and many people who didn't want a shedding coat and got a Poodle or Malt and then discovered that they weren't up for the daily/weekly coat maintenance at home plus professional grooming every few weeks.

Once I've got the size and coat requirements sorted, then I look at the behaviours an owner wants.

This is how I match rescue dogs to people or recommend that they don't get a particular kind of dog that they are thinking of because from what they've told me, I know it would be a disaster for them and the dog.

Only this week I saw a very elderly gentleman struggling down the road with what was obviously a very young Border Collie, I'm sure that they weren't going to be taking a very long walk judging by the elderly person's gait etc, he was probably early 80s - I was worried he'd fall and seriously injure himself and/or the dog would get loose (it was a very busy major road). The dog was obviously the wrong size and energy levels and even if he'd been trained to walk well on a lead, there is a real possibility the dog won't have it's needs met from an exercise point of view. This can be true of many homes, not just with very elderly people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ranga   

I don't agree with the whole first time owner thing. I've got friends that have had multiple dogs and I still wouldn't sell them a border collie puppy. Or any dog to be honest.

Well said :)

We all have to be first timers at some stage. True dog lovers work with the chosen dog and overcome the problems. Those who just want a cute puppy and then forget about it are never going to be true dog people.

Humans are able to have children without much preparation or thought too. That raises some awful issues as well :mad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WeimMe   

I don't think there's any specific breed that is necessarily right or wrong for first timers in general, it all comes down to what they are like as people, how much of a part of the family the dog will be and what they are prepared to do in order to accommodate the needs of the dog. Some people can't tolerate shedding, or barking, won't put up with any dog related destruction/damage of furniture or garden or allow the dog in the house and can't or won't commit to the training and exercise required by certain breeds and that to me is more of a red flag rather than how many dogs they've owned before.

I think most dogs require certain allowances to be made and if you are not the kind of person who is willing to do what is necessary for the love of your pet, then you need to choose from breeds that fit with your lifestyle, rather than loving the breed and the dog and adapting your life to fit well with theirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diva   

Everything depends on the owner.

I agree with this.

Me too. My first ever dog was a male, never desexed, grew to be well over 40kg, Borzoi.

Many would suggest that sighthounds, entire males, heavily coated dogs and giant breeds are bad choices for a new owner, but no dog could have suited me better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RuralPug   

Potential owners come in all shapes, sizes, lifestyles and levels of capability. Before recommending any breed (or any species, come to that) it is best to try to determine what their expectations are.

Too many people consider themselves dog experts because their family had a dog when they were growing up. They think that every baby puppy will automatically end up like this half-remembered paragon, with zero effort on their part. And when it doesn't (surprise), they often think that it is the dog's fault and pass it on or otherwise dispose of it, and procure another, which will suffer the same fate. We see it a lot in rescue.frown.gif

I am always happy when I read a thread from someone trying to decide what breed would be a good fit for their lifestyle, someone who listens to all the suggestions, because I know that any dog they acquire will have a very good chance of spending the rest of its life as a part of that family. These are people who are not afraid to ask, and who will commit to the necessary effort.

So I think breed/type/age selection suggestions depend about 90% on the owner and 10% on the breed/type/age characteristics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think any dog suits a first time owner.

Reality is that unless you've grown up in a dog family (and therefore are not really a first time dog owner) it's a bit like your first child. You go into it with your eyes wide shut and muddle through. Some of us just do a better job than others and are ready to make the compromises that being a 'good' owner demands.

It's easy to say 'do your research', but seriously....how many people on here went into dog ownership fully informed?

In the end whether a person is a first time or 15th time dog owner their personal circumstances and motivation levels are going to dictate how successful they are. Of my 3, agility aside, my first was the most challenging as a dog owner and we made it through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one should have to settle for a "practice dog" just because the breed they've got their heart set on is supposedly not suitable for a first time owner. Not necessarily fair on the dog either if it's not just what the new owner wanted. But like has been said plenty of times already, some people shouldn't get a dog at all regardless of breed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×