November 30, 2022

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I’m a dog trainer – here are the best and worst breeds for first-time puppy owners


PICKING the right puppy as a first-time owner can be a tricky task, from working out whether they’ll fit with your lifestyle to how often you have to walk them.

But luckily one dog trainer has revealed the best and worst breeds for dog lovers facing their first rodeo – and the list may surprise you.


It’s important for first-time puppy owners to pick the right breed, says one expert[/caption]

Will Atherton, from Derbyshire, regularly advises owners how to improve their pup’s behaviour on his popular TikTok channel.

And the animal behaviourist believes the biggest mistake many first-time owners make is choosing the wrong breed.

He told The Mirror: “I would like people to understand breeds better – who should get certain breeds and more importantly, who shouldn’t.

“Too many people get breeds they’re not well-equipped for so fall at the first hurdle.

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“I have seen first-hand the number of dogs that are unnecessarily euthanised or taken to shelters as owners didn’t feel they have the tools and knowledge to be able to fix these problems.

“And the main factor to consider would be working breeds who have high drive, high motivation and high energy levels.”

Will emphasised that certain dogs who end up in the wrong hands can develop bad habits.  

These include Belgian Malinos, Caucasian shepherds, Turkish Kangals and border collies.

He explained: “Without the correct level of training, you’ll be left with dogs who display destructive behaviours such as chewing

“Failng to manage protection instincts of these breeds could lead to bites and reactive behaviours.”

Instead, Will said he would recommend finding breeds that are naturally friendly, with lower drives and energy levels.

And he knows exactly where to start.

“My top pick would be show line Labradors and golden retrievers,” he told the outlet.

“There’s a reason these breeds are the most popular worldwide and that’s because they’re keen to learn, love their owners and aren’t as demanding exercise-wise as their working line relations.

“I’d also recommend the cavalier King Charles spaniel as they are friendly and trainable.”

Will added that although it’s incredibly exciting to adding a new member to your family, owners should remember to consider the amount of time to they commit to their new dogs.

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After all, you have to dedicate by exercising, training, socialising and grooming your new puppy, as well as your experience level.

“Just don’t let your heart overrule your head and make sure you’re starting your journey as a dog owner on the right foot,” he concluded.

Best and worst dog breeds for first time owners

Best breeds for first time owners:

  • Labradors
  • Golden Retrievers
  • King Charles Spaniels

Worst breeds for first time owners:

  • Belgian Malinos
  • Caucasian Shepherds
  • Turkish Kangals
  • Border Collies