We know which dog breeds (and mixes) are the most popular and even which ones are on the rise. But a variety of factors can contribute to a breed or mix’s popularity, and just because a dog is hot, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great choice for everyone.
We went to the veterinary community to get their take on which dogs, both breeds and designer mixes, are the best choices for first-time dog owners. The following constitutes answers from 218 veterinary professionals who were given a list of the most popular dog breeds and mixes. The list was based on information from the American Kennel Club and on data gathered by Vetstreet. [ See Also: 15 Challenging Dog Breeds for New Pet Owners ]
One note: The reasons a particular breed or crossbreed might be considered the “best” choice can vary, and while we did not ask specifically within the survey why a dog might be considered best for a new owner, we can speculate that considerations include behavior, temperament, health and intelligence.
We noticed some interesting trends within these answers. For one, the number of smaller, less work- or sport-related dogs is certainly noteworthy. Additionally, many dogs on this list require grooming rather than home brushing. It would appear that, along with the rise of takeout food, lawn care and cleaning services, our society is leaning toward more compact dogs with lower exercise and daily grooming needs. Does this mean we’re spending less time with our dogs or that we’re changing the ways in which we’re spending time together? Not necessarily; it might simply mean that we are opting to maximize the quality of the time shared while minimizing hair cleanup in the house.