Best Large Dog Breeds for FirstTime Owners

Though many new dog owners seek out small breeds for their first pups, not everyone wants to go that route. Some folks are just big dog people — a little dog simply won’t do.

We looked at our survey of 218 veterinary professionals (including veterinarians, veterinary technicians and office managers) to get their takes on the best large breed dogs for the inexperienced. For the purposes of this list, we considered dogs with an average weight of 50 pounds or more. You may not think that 50 pounds is particularly large if you’re accustomed to, say, a Great Dane, but compared to many of the small dogs veterinary professionals suggested for new owners, it’s enormous!

5 Large Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Large breeds in general can present a few noteworthy challenges. For one, though training and socializing any dog as early, consistently and positively as possible is important, it could be argued that it’s especially so for large dogs, who can grow big enough to knock a grown man over by the time a complacent (or clueless) owner realizes that his cute little puppy isn’t so little anymore.

Additionally, a large dog who hasn’t received training and socialization has the potential to cause even more serious damage than his smaller counterparts. And, of course, with a larger dog comes the potential for more flying fur, slobber and, well, you know what other kinds of messes big dogs can make!

Do you have a beloved large breed that didn’t make the list? Don’t be offended — that doesn’t mean he’s a bad breed or a poor choice. Each individual dog is different, as is every owner and training experience. The breeds listed here were chosen by veterinary professionals because, generally speaking, they exemplify qualities that make them among the easier breeds for people who don’t have a lot of experience with dogs.