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Best dogs for first time owners – Healthiest dog breeds

Best dogs for first time owners – Healthiest dog breeds

What is the best dog for you?

Best dog collars by Heinz Bitza - Dogspeaking.com

By Heinz Bitza

Are you the right type of human to have a dog?

I’d like you to think about something before you make a choice on the best breed of dog to join your family. There is no ‘best dog” for all but we can still help you find the best dogs for first time owners depending on your human home and how active a human you are!

Choose a dog that suits

A small Maltese might be ideal for an older retired couple but it is unlikely to suit someone who is younger and looking for a running companion. It’s important for you to talk about what kind of company you and your family are looking for? Is it a nice small dog to sit on your lap and watch TV? A dog full of energy that will play ball with you in your large yard all day or a dog that is easy maintenance. Maybe you would like to spend time with a dog you can groom and stroke a lot? In most cases you probably want one of the healthiest dog breeds that live a good long life.

Think about your home and the type of dog that might ‘fit”

What kind of home do you have? A large garden close to lots of dog parks or are you in an apartment close to a city center?

I’m happy to make my suggestions but choose one that suits you and your family. I’ll tell you what to expect from each type of dog to help you.

Best place to get a dog

There are hundreds of thousands of dogs and puppies locked up in prisons everywhere. They have done nothing wrong and in fact sometimes they have been the best friend to someone else for many years. What is their crime? Their human has died or maybe moved home and left them behind. Or maybe they had a human who decided they could not give back any of the love we always give you humans? We would beg you (we’re good at begging!) to check out sites like adoptapet in the USA, Adopt A Pet run by the RSPCA in Australia or Rehoming and Adoption run by the RSPCA in the UK. These are not the only excellent animal shelters but they are large organisation who do a great job of finding you the perfect buddy.

Dogs on death row

Many of these dogs and puppies in these jails are put on death row. Not because they are naughty but because nobody seems to want them.

The “warders” in dog shelters or pounds are usually very kind, loving people and they do their very best to care for us. They feed us and give us exercise but there are just too many inmates and not enough love and care to go around. The only thing they can do is make the sad decision about who lives and who dies and yet these dogs are fantastic buddies. A lot are mutts who can be one of the friendliest and healthiest of dogs.

Please think about this very carefully

Please look at the picture here and think about it very carefully. I know you love us dogs, that’s why you are reading this and you can maybe help more than you know.

What is the best dog for you? Don't breed or buy while animals in shelters die. Dogspeaking.com

 

You can save a dog’s life by choosing one of us from your local animal shelter. Please consider.

Please, look first at the animal shelters or pounds near you. We might always not be the happiest dogs or puppies you have ever seen, but that’s because most of us are used to being happy and loved and now we find ourselves in prison. We don’t know what we have done wrong? Maybe all we did was give one of you human families more love and loyalty than you could handle?

Best Dogs for first time owners – our list

# 1 – The mix-breed or mutt – Best dogs for first time owners

Low maintenance dogs – the best you can find

No matter what you want from a dog, you will find it in a mixed-breed/mongrel or mutt! A mongrel, mixed-breed dog or mutt is a dog that does not belong to one officially recognized breed and is not the result of deliberate breeding.

Cross -breed “designer dogs”

A crossbreed dog is also a mix of breeds but they are usually deliberately bred and give us the popular ‘designer dogs’. These are dogs like Cockapoos, Labradoodles and Maltese Shih Tzus.

Small dog, large dog, low maintenance dog, long hair dogs, short hair dog, child friendly dog, healthiest dog breed, intelligent dog, unique dog, lap dog or working dog, you’ll find it in a mutt.

In dog rescue shelters, most of the dogs are mutts but you can find cross breeds and even purebreds abandoned by their human owners for some reason or another.

8 Reasons why a mutt is the best dog for first time owners (or anyone!)

1 Mutts are usually house-trained before you get them

Most mutts found in shelters and have lived with humans before. We talked about why many dogs end up in these prisons through no fault of their own. Most dogs in shelters will be trained so you get to miss out on the sometimes-difficult puppy training stage and you’ll also be sure of a young dog’s size and temperament, so you know exactly what you are getting!

2 Mutts are unique

I’ve noticed a lot of humans like to be different so why not own a unique dog? Popular purebreds are made to be the same and in fact, if they are a bit different in look or behavior, then it’s not a ‘good’ purebred and you usually get the same “quality” all the time; just like everyone else.

When you go to choose your mutt, you’ll find we are all different but adorable and your choice is huge!

3 Mutts save you money   

Getting a dog from a shelter is always a lot cheaper than spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a purebred. Sometimes it only needs a donation of less than a couple of hundred dollars.

You’ll also find that most shelter mutts are likely to be spayed or neutered and their vaccinations are up to date is up-to-date. This can save you heaps on vet bills!

4 Mutts are Healthier Pets – Saving you money again! – Healthiest dog breeds

Purebred dogs are often too closely related to their fathers, mothers and grandparents. This “inbreeding” means some purebreds have a risk of developing serious health problems.

Because we have very different parents from different breeds, we mutts are likely to be a lot healthier because it’s less likely we will inherit “bad’ genes from relatives.

  Studies show mutts are in the healthiest dog breeds

Many humans claim mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds. There are now a few studies to prove that mutts are healthier and generally live longer. It’s a certainty that some purebreds are more likely to get certain problems and illnesses.

Since we mutts are generally healthier than purebreds with less chance of having “bad’ genes, it can affect our lifespan. We have a strong chance of living longer than purebreds.  

5 Mutts are more flexible – we ‘fit-in” easier

Mixed breeds are more middle-of-the-road, ‘jack of all trades, master of none”, because they are not bred for certain things like many purebreds. Mutts might fit in more easily to a human home. Purebreds are usually raised with a few special skills in mind such as shepherding or hunting.

This doesn’t mean we can’t compete. We are still very clever and can enter dog competitions and win with the best of them. Mutts also train as service or therapy dogs. People now know we are every bit as good and sometimes better than purebreds.

6 Mutts might be much better friends to have around than Purebreds

Purebred dogs are bred sometimes to act and behave in certain ways. They are often like their mom or their pop who are very like their parents but Mutts have many family ties and so are less likely to have extreme behaviors like being aggressive or very shy with humans or other dogs.

7 A Mutt is a dog to make you proud …. and you are saving a life

Who was the first dog in space? Laika, the Russian mutt!

Who is your favorite character in Lady and the tramp? Probably Tramp the mutt

Don’t you enjoy the comic strip The Mutts? What about The Marvelous Mutts? Or Old Yeller or Benji?  

8. Be proud of your mutt – here’s why

You can be proud of your mutt and more importantly, you are likely saving a life. In dog Rescue shelters usually over 75% of inmates are mutts! (note: this means that 25% are pure bred or cross breed). A mixed breed dog, no matter how well trained, friendly and loving, has a high chance of being put to sleep for good so choosing a mutt from a shelter or Rescue should make you feel proud. You are directly saving a life and guess what, your grateful new mutt will know this too and will never forget what you’ve done!

Best dog for first time owners - 2. the Labrador Retriever Dogspeaking.com # 2 Labrador/Retriever – Best dogs for first time owners Learn more about Labrador Retrievers.

Labra, the editor, demanded that this be my number 2 choice (just kidding – she’s a great buddy and Labs deserve to be here!)

Labradors and there very close relations, Retrievers are very alike in many ways so I’m putting them equal at number 2. They don’t have to be “Golden”, but the Golden Lab is my favorite color!

Loving, Loyal, clever – low maintenance dogs

Labs are the most loving and loyal dogs you will find and that’s why they are the world’s favorite breed. Labs are pretty low maintenance dogs, but they are quite big, need a bit of exercise and like a good brush and bath regularly. Labradors are: –

Why a Labrador – Best dogs to own

  • A real good looker
  • Very clever
  • loyal
  • like to please you (very affectionate)
  • easy to train,
  • great with children and
  • enjoy a play with humans and other dogs.

Friendly with every living thing

Labra, our editor, even gets on well with Jesse, the spoiled cat!

Labradors have an average life span of just over 12 years. While they are generally healthy, in older dogs, Labradors can have hip and elbow problems, and some can have problems with their knees. Also, eye problems can also affect some Labradors and like many medium and larger dog breeds, they can develop arthritis. 

Watch out for a food thief!

I should mention that Labradors love food. Most I know could eat all day and I’ve also known a few who will steal food at any chance they get! They always pretend to be hungry and a lot become over weight! Don’t let your Lab become obese. Watch their diet and don’t give them too much.

Summary

  • The most popular breed in the world
  • A great all, round family pet
  • Most popular dog In The USA, Australia, Canada, Israel,] New Zealand and the UK 
  • Most popular breed of assistance/working dog in the USA, Australia and many other countries 
  • 7 out of 13 of the Australian National Kennel Council “Outstanding Gundogs” Hall of Fame appointees are Labradors

  #3  Bichon Frise – Best dogs for first time owners Learn more about Bichon Frise

Humans who want a good companion in a smaller home should think about the Bichon Frise, if they don’t mind spending time combing and grooming for a little time most days. The Bichon Frise does need a bit of care and attention so not low maintenance although I know a lot of humans who just love combing and petting them most days.

Excellent companion dog

This is a really good companion dog friend – the name even means “curly lap dog”. They weigh just 10-20 pounds that’s just 4.5 – 9 Kg.

The Bichon Frise is: –

  • Happy and very playful and affectionate
  • Very sociable with humans
  • Gentle mannered and intelligent and have lots of energy
  • Good with children and other pets
  • Love being around humans all the time
  • A good “car dog” – love being taken out

Easy care

Bichon Frise can be very obedient if training is started early and is constant and they can also become quite protective of their own area and the human home if the human allows this to happen.

They are not as low maintenance dog as a Labrador because they need more than the average coat grooming which should be almost daily to stop matting.  Their beautiful coat needs combing to remove loose hair, mats, and tangles and to keep them looking beautiful, they should have a professional groom every four to eight weeks.

Bichon Frise Health

The Bichon Frise is a healthy breed generally and live for 12-13 years or more.

Watch out for some bleeding, most likely about the ears (called haematoma). They are more likely than average to get an ear infection and that nice white colour needs lots of baths to keep the colour.

Bichon Frise often scratch themselves especially in the hotter weather. Scratching and chewing are caused by the warm and moist summer air and if they do it too much, they can cause themselves some more serious skin problems that may need treatment from a vet.

Hypoallergenic for humans with problems

The Bichon Frise is a good dog to have around humans who pick up allergies easily because they are what they call hypoallergenic. The funny thing is that they themselves can suffer a bit more than usual from allergies to fleas, ticks, chemicals, pollen and dust.

As they get older, look out for knee joints problems and also ear infections, eye problems (cataracts), diabetes and heart disease are also problems they can have.

Summary

  • A good-looking little dog with lots of personality
  • Loves humans and human pups
  • Needs humans who have time to groom regularly
  • A fantastic companion
  • A great little lap dog
  • Can live longer than many purebred breeds but what for some common problems

Best dog for first time owner - 4. Labradoodle  # 4 The Labradoodle Find out more about Labradoodles here– Best dogs for first time owners

Now for a dog than can be bigger!

The Labradoodle hasn’t been around for a long time. It’s a cross breed between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle and was first bred in Victoria Australia about 40 years ago because it would produce a good seeing eye dog for people with dog allergies (hypoallergenic). (Hey if you are hypoallergenic you better check because not all Labradoodles are hypoallergenic)

It was a big success although Guide Dogs Victoria no longer breed Labradoodles although they are still widely used as service dogs.

Shape and size of Labradoodlees

Labradoodles now come in all shapes and sizes as sometimes they are crossed with the smaller toy poodle or even a miniature poodle. Sometimes they might look more ‘Labrador” and sometimes they might look more “Poodle” but either way, they are good looking dogs.

You’ll find Poodles recommended at #8 on this list of our best dogs for first time owners.  

Labradoodles are really smart dogs

You can read more about Poodles down below, but Poodles are even-tempered and smart and best of all, they don’t lose their hair like most of us dogs. (The Poodle is reckoned to be the second smartest dog in the world after the Border Collie – but I think I’m just as smart) The number choice in this list is the Labrador: – crossing them together gives you humans a special dog with all the best bits of a Labrador and the best bits of a Poodle!

The Labradoodle is: –

  • Very clever (he was bred as a guide dog for the blind)
  • Friendly to humans and other pets
  • Great with young human pups
  • Energetic and full of fun
  • Easy to train
  • Sizes, depending on the size of poodle used, size-names follow the names used for poodles: toy, miniature, and standard
  • Many, if not most don’t give humans allergic reactions (hypoallergenic)

Health – Low maintenance dogs

Labradoodles can often have the same common problems passed down from their Labrador and Poodle parents.

Problems can happen with the top of their legs/hip and even their elbows (joint dysplasia) even as young dogs. This is sometimes caused by their quick growth from puppy to dog., watch out for number of eye problems too which are slightly more common. (Congenital eye diseases)

There is also some chance of them not producing enough steroid hormones. Problems come on slowly but they main have some tummy pain, lose weight and be generally less active. (see Addison’s disease)

 Summary

While this summary is accurate, as a cross-breed the Labradoodle might not develop all these things on the list.

  • An excellent family dog that can be fun with the kids and a running partner for fit adults
  • Happy with an average amount of exercise
  • Clever and easy-trained
  • loyal
  • like to please you (very affectionate)
  • easy to train,
  • great with children and
  • enjoy a play with humans and other dogs.

Best dog for first time owners 5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  #5 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Learn more about the Cavalier King Charles here – Best dogs for first time owners

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel just loves all humans! You humans call them a “toy breed” because they are small. Humans love them too because they are such suck-up dogs who enjoy sitting on laps as much as going for long walks.

They are a is happy little dog and are easy-going and they make human friends easily and are very trusting. 

They can be a bit pig-headed put usually will do as they are told with kind words or treats and they are as happy sitting on grandad’s knee as they are playing around on the floor with the human pups.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make good first dogs because they: –

  • love humans
  • are very playful
  • have lots of patients and affectio
  • like to please and are eager to please their humans
  • love human pups and other dogs
  • are happy in a small apartment or a mansion

Health

The down side of having a King Charles as a buddy are the health problems they can have.

Many Cavaliers develop a problem with their heart when one of the valves stops working properly which will lead to heart failure. (mitral valve disease) They can also develop cysts on their spinal cord which can be deadly and they can develop bad hip problems.( hip dysplasia common in many dogs)

Keep their eyes clean

Eye problems like cataracts and a disease of the retina are often passed down by the parents. Cavaliers, like nearly all spaniels can also suffer from ear problems.

Only about 1 in every 100 might fall down sometimes in a small fit particularly after being excited.(episodic falling). Many also carry a problem in their blood which can cause bleeding problems but even although they carry this problem, it doesn’t usually affect their health much. Both these last problems are again passed down from the parents. It is thought that all “modern” Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are descended from just 6 dogs, maybe the reason they get a few problems passed down from their parents.

Summary

A great little dog for families or Grandparents

  • good in small homes and apartments
  • affectionate and love humans
  • playful
  • great with human pups and other dogs

If it wasn’t for the possible health problems, I’d have the Cavalier at #3

Best dog for first time owners 6 - Shetland sheep dog  #6  The Shetland Sheepdog Learn more about Shetland Sheepdogs here – Best dogs for first time owners

The Shetland sheep dog super clever, very athletic and loves to please his humans and a real show-off! He like to run around in open space and needs exercise so maybe not the best small dog choice for some humans who don’t enjoy a good run or long walks. The Shetland Sheepdog is a miniature Rough Collie (think Lassie dog). Shelties (their nick name) normally weigh around 11-24 lb. or 5–11 kilograms and can grow to about 16ins (41cm) although 14ins (36cm) is more average.  While they look very like a miniature Rough Collie they are not as closely related as some think.

Shetland Sheepdog coats and colors

They are a small, strong working dog and have a double coated. Blue merle Shelties may have blue eyes or one brown and one blue eye, but all others have dark-colored eyes. They can be other colors although the most common main color is probably sable (a silvery brown). Most have at least 2 and sometimes 3 colors in their coat but apart from sable; blue, black, white and tan coloring is quite common.

To keep them looking good, they do need a bit of regular combing on that long double coat. The longer top hairs are water repellent and soft, thick undercoat keeps out the cold in winter and the heat in summer. 

Shetland Collies are really smart

They learn very quickly, and they are always playful and obedient. Once you teach them, they don’t forget!

 As well as being clever, they are also friendly and love playing with and looking after human pups. These things make it a perfect dog for a first-time owner.

Apart from that, they can show-off a bit. They learn tricks quite easily and they are athletic and very fast!

Where Shelties come from

There is lots of talk about where they come from but to me it doesn’t matter. Just know they can still be one of the best sheepdogs that you will see at sheepdog trials and they love to be helpful to you humans working as therapy dogs. They have it all and humans just feel better having them close by.

Shelties

They often call them “Shelties” for short and as well as being show-offs, they can be a bit noisy too. They often bark a lot (even Lassie is always barking in the movies although Lassie is the larger Rough Collie), and they can be a bit bossy try to herd the humans in the family together as well as other animals or birds like chickens or ducks!

The Sheltie is: –

  • One of the cleverest dogs around 
  • Friendly to humans and other pets but a bit bossy
  • Great with young human pups
  • Energetic and full of fun
  • Very easy to train

Health – low maintenance dogs

Mostly, Shelties are very healthy and athletic dogs.

Like some other collies they may develop some eye problems disease of the eyes and like most dogs they may have some hip problems as they get older (hip dysplasia).

One unfortunate is that the Shetland Sheepdogs has four times the risk of other dogs of getting a cancer of the bladder.

Look out for a skin rash and some tiredness around 4- 6 months. While not very common, something called Dermatomyositis (which humans get too) might develop. It can be treated with drugs.

Summary

Overall a very clever, excellent dog with few problems.

  • Friendly 
  • Clever
  • Great with young human pups
  • Energetic and full of fun
  • Very easy to train 
  • Over-all a healthy dog

The Cockapoo # 7 on best dogs for first time owners   #7  The Cockapoo Learn more about the Cockapoo here – Best dogs for first time owners

The Cockapoo is the second mixed breed I have chosen. Another ‘Designer dog”.

They have nothing to do with chickens (cockerels) but are a cross breed Cocker Spaniel and Poodles, usually miniature Poodles or toy poodles so they are not too big.

More about one of the parents – poodles at #9

You can read about Poodles next at #8 on the list of best dogs for first time owners but we haven’t talked yet about Cocker spaniels. Enough to know that Cocker Spaniels are super friendly, bouncy, happy, clever and loving. As a cross-breed they have some of the best things about both breeds in them and their size depends on mum and dad but generally they grow to around 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) and weigh between 12-24lbs (5.4 – 10.9kg). Yep, quite a big difference in some but it depends on who mum, and dad were!

Like all cross-breeds, they can be a bit different but most commonly they are: –

  • Long living (14-18 years)
  • Beautifully scruffy looking with their mis of poodle and cocker spaniel hair
  • Bright eyed and alert, clever
  • Charming, trickster who is just a happy-go-lucky little dog
  • Most are good with humans who have allergies
  • Usually don’t shed much hair
  • Need regular grooming but can be done at home

Their hair does grow quickly and needs to be groomed often or it will matt. The coat is usually long and wavy and easily catches dirt and muck. Comb often and you do your own home grooming.

Health – low maintenance dogs

They live for a long time, 14-18 years. Both Poodles and Cocker Spaniels can have ear problems, and this can be passed down so keep their ears clean and dry. Also, from both mum and dad they can get sore, loose knees. ( luxating patellas). Make sure you keep their eyes clean as they can also develop some eye problems. ( PRA )

Summary

  • Quite a healthy, long living dog
  • A cute scruffy looking dog 
  • Clever
  • Fun family dog
  • Be prepared for lots of fun
  • Good for humans with allergies (hypoallergenic)
  • Need regular grooming but quite easy-care

The Maltese is number 8 on the list of best dogs for first time owner   #8  The Maltese Learn more about the Maltese here – Best dogs for first time owners

Back to a little midget lap dog, the Maltese (Sometimes called a Maltese Terrier) One of the reasons they are on this list of best dogs for a new owner is because they really like living in small areas and this weird fact means that a Maltese just loves living in smaller apartments or townhouses. He usually doesn’t mind the security of a nice comfortable bed inside a dog pen.  He likes his walk now and again, like all dogs, but they are so small humans don’t have to exhaust themselves giving lots of exercise to the dog.

A very old breed

They are actual quite an ancient breed, possibly going back to Roman times. They can shout and talk a lot, some even call them ‘yappy”. Proper early training will help here.   

The Maltese is a companion dog and they: –

  • Are very playful and full of life
  • Live long (13-1/2 years is average)
  • Love humans
  • Love to play
  • Stay playful and energetic most of their lives
  • Are very friendly to humans (but can be a bit nippy around young children so beware but it can be fixed from a young puppy age)
  • Love apartment and small house living

 Size and colour

The Maltese has a lovely white silky coat although some may have an ivory colour around the ears and often have a bit of a curl in their hair around their ears. Its hair does not fall out, so it’s a good choice for humans with dog allergies. (hypoallergenic)

If you want low maintenance, then keep their coat short. They need a professional about every 7 or 8 weeks. Humans usually give the Maltese “the puppy cut”; shaving the whole dog body to around 1 inch (2.5cm).  

Health

As their long life suggests, they are healthy. Just a few things to watch out for.

While on average. They live a long happy life, just over 1 in 5 will develop a problem with a valve in their heart. This is a lot more than most dog breeds and is the main cause of death for Maltese dogs. ( mitral valve disease )

Try and clean around their eyes every day or their hair might end up with tear stains. There are ways to clean these stains up but best not to have them in the first place. Also, just watch their teeth, even as puppies. A regular tooth brushing will not go wrong!

Fast growing coats need grooming

The fast-growing coat needs to be looked after and regularly groomed. Maltese seem to get “reverse sneezing” more than other dogs. This is like a “backward sneeze” sounding a bit like a honking or snorting. It’s no big deal, it will stop after a minute or so. 

Summary

  • A great dog for a small house or apartment
  • Playful and full of life
  • Live long, are generally healthy and stay playful (13-1/2 years is average)
  • Need to control barking
  • Good for humans with allergies (hypoallergenic)

The poodle #9 on best dogs for first time owners    #9  The Poodle Learn more about Poodles here – Best dogs for first time owners

The Poodle can suit most human families because they come in 3 different sizes – Standard, Toy and Miniature – that can’t be a bad thing for you humans trying to choose.

Hypoallergenic for most humans

Decide on get a Poodle, then discuss what size goes best with you! Like the Sheltie, they are extremely intelligent. The fact that they have fur and not hair also makes them popular with humans as they don’t make much mess around a house and don’t often cause you humans to come out in doggie allergies. (hypoallergenic). Most dogs have a double coat but Poodles have just a single layer curly thick fur that doesn’t fall out much. 

Independent thinkers and very clever

Personally, I find them a bit “snobby” with their nose in the air in the dog park – a bit “aloof” with humans and sometimes dogs they don’t know well. Others think that they are like that just because they don’t think they need humans as much as some other dogs!

Poodles are: –

  • Real Smart (they are second only to the Scottish Border Collie in smartness!)
  • Energetic and entertaining
  • Pretty sensible and elegant (or they think so with their noses in the air!)
  • Not very aggressive and not big on defending his home
  • Can be very protective of his human or human pups if danger is near
  • Very loyalty
  • Quiet and calm

Keep the basic cut for low maintenance dog

Poodles are a great breed for the beginner dog owner. They come in three sizes, Standard, Toy and Miniature but whatever size you choose, be aware that if you want his curly coat in anything but a basic cut, you’re going to spend a lot of time going to the groomer.

Health – apart from grooming, a low maintenance dog

Poodles are a healthy lot. The smaller they are, the longer they live. A Standard Poodle has an average life of around 12 years, while a Toy Poodle is more likely to live beyond 14 years.

Watch out for Standard Poodles with tiredness, runny poos and or become a bit “jumpy”. This could be the start of Addison’s Disease which can kill but can be cured if found early.

Watch out for too much gas

Poodles can also get something caused by a twist in their tummy or just having too much gas. Watch out for a Poodle that can’t stay still and lie down comfortably, walking up and down or trying to be sick but not bringing anything up. The Poodle might also have a swollen tummy. These are all the signs of G D V. Get the Poodle to the vet as quickly as possible if you want your Poodle to live!

Summary

  • Come in many sizes and colors
  • Super intelligent
  • Quiet and calm but will protect you if needed
  • Sensible good with all humans young and old
  • very loyalty
  • Good health and don’t often cause you humans doggie allergies.(hypoallergenic)

Last but not least on the 10 best dogs is the German Shepherd   #10  The German Shepherd Learn more about the German Shepherd here – Best dogs for first time owners

For a mutt, I’m a smart guy but I don’t mind being around other smart dogs. My best buddy is Odin who is one of the writing team. The German Shepherd is the 3rd smartest of all dogs after the Border Collie and The Poodle.

Super intelligent German Shepherds

If you want to read The Intelligence of Dogs, by Stanley Coren, he found that they could learn stuff after being shown just 5 times and do as they were told 95 times out of a hundred. They are also big and powerful so many of them have full time jobs with Police, Armed services and working with blind humans. These guys have really got it all.

German Shepherds come with medium coats or long coats (long-haired Shepherds) and can vary in colour but typically are black and tan although there are plenty almost pure black. German Shepherds might bark when they’re separated from the pack just because they are so faithful. It’s easy to train them to be quiet and they’ll protect you with their life.

German Shepherd are: –

  • Confident in themselves and always alert
  • Protective of their humans and all their human pack, young and old
  • Brave and protective of their home and area
  • Super clever and easy to train
  • Like to be busy and always like to please humans

Train these guys to whatever you humans want them to be

These guys are so clever and love their human family so much, I think they can be whatever the human wants them to be. It’s all about the training they get when they are young and another thing about The German Shepherd is they will copy the attitude of their human owner, so humans must be strong and confident with them and they just love to be on the go all the time.  

German shepherds grow on you

I think a lot of people don’t love German Shepherds just because they have never one in their family and even me, as another dog; was a bit unsure when Jerry The German Shepherd decided to come and live with us. Even although I’m not as big and strong as him, I’m the boss but I couldn’t live happily without him now.

Health

The biggest problem with German Shepherds is bad hips and elbows and even arthritis as they get older, particularly at their back-end. ( hip and elbow dysplasia) . This can be quite painful as arthritis is.

After about 7 years old another problem that seems at first to be a ‘back-end’ problem is a tumor on the spinal cord that makes them look a bit unsteady as it grows. (Degenerative myelopathy).

More than other breeds, German Shepherds can develop a bleeding disease which is also found in humans. ( Von Willebrand disease).

Summary

You can train German Shepherd into the dog mate you want, almost whatever that is.

While maybe not for everyone, if you have the space and time and know how to be a leader a German Shepherd could be your perfect buddy.

Whether you are living alone or with a family, this dog will make you all happy. They are: –

  • Super clever and easy to train
  • The most loyal buddy you will ever have
  • Very protective of all their human family and their home
  • Playful, friendly and brave
  • Easily trained and love to please
  • Love being active.

Thinking of a new Dog - Read this

When to take a puppy for its shots and more

Basic Dog Care – How to take care of a puppy

Here is another piece by Bull Staffy.

Bull talks about the 7 most important things you must do and must know to have a healthy happy dog.

Bull talks about the most basic things you must give a dog like love and security but also looks at the very practical things you need like food, water, collars and leashes and beds.

You should find Bull’s advice a great help if you are a first time dog owner, read it here.

Dog Health – When to take your dog to the vet

Bull Staffy, our puppy experts tells dog owners what to look out for and, importantly, when to take a dog to the vet. Its not just when a dog is sick but Bull gives a schedule for vaqccinations so important to young pups.

Do shots are about stopping or preventing diseases in dogs but Bull also goes in to prevention of other horrors like Heartworm and Lyme disease and tick paralysis. Go and read Bull here if you want to know more.