large dog breeds for first time owners

Large Dog Breeds For First Time Owners

Are you planning to become a first-time dog parent and want a large pup?

Please remember that some dog breeds, especially larger or giant ones, are unsuitable for inexperienced or timid owners and can be dangerous if not socialized, trained, and cared for properly.

Fortunately, some large-sized dog breeds are easier to train and have more suitable demeanors and energy levels for first-time dog owners than others.

Read on for our suggestions and tips for new dog parents and large breeds to avoid if you are not experienced with pups.

The Best Large Dog Breeds For First-Time Dog Owners

Great Dane

These regal, elegant giant dogs are among the most recognizable ones in the world. In fact, these pups are the tallest of all dog breeds.

Yet, Great Danes are often referred to as “gentle giants” because of their gentle and calm demeanor, especially with small children.

Despite being so big and tall, these laid-back pups have moderate energy levels and do not require as much exercise as other dog breeds. They are easy to groom, but due to their size may cost you more for dog food, veterinary care, and accessories than a smaller pup.


This giant dog breed is loved for its loyalty, gentleness with kids and people, and strong attachment to its family.

Still, these pups can become very big and heavy, so please ensure you have enough space for your Newfie.

They are protective and brave, but with proper training and socializing, it is improbable that your furry friend will become dominant or aggressive.

These superb swimmers shed quite a lot, so you will need to brush your four-legged companion regularly to keep it looking good and your home as clean as possible.

Irish Wolfhound

These giant dogs may look scruffy and intimidating, but Irish Wolfhounds are notoriously relaxed, quiet, and friendly.

They are loyal and smart dogs which learn quickly and can be affectionate and gentle friends with you and with your children.

Once again, ensure your pup has sufficient space to keep everybody at home happy and well.

Bernese Mountain Dog

These tricolored big dogs originating from the Swiss Alps are beautiful, easy to care for, have medium to high energy requirements, and are easy to train.

The Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually very calm and relaxed and will not act crazy or be hyperactive at home.

You will need to have the time and desire to take your pup for long walks and playtime if you want it to be healthy, happy, and well-behaved at home.


They may be the best sprinters in the canine family, but Greyhounds do not require hours and hours of running and exercise to stay healthy and content.

They will chase and run when given a chance, so make sure you keep your pup on a leash or in a safely fenced area to prevent it from running off.

Greyhounds require very little grooming and are very smart pups that are affectionate to their owners and children alike.

Please note that they are uncomfortable in cold climates, so you must put on an extra layer or coat on your pup when the winter comes.


This playful and energetic dog is a perfect first dog for an active owner or family.

Boxers love children and adore playing with them. They bond strongly with all family members and are incredibly loyal dogs.

With enough interaction and exercise, their endless energy and hyperactivity can easily be controlled.

When taught and socialized properly and promptly, Boxers can be perfect dogs, even for first-time dog owners.

Plus, Boxers require minimal grooming.

Golden Retriever

This is America’s favorite family dog. The Golden Retriever is a medium to large-sized pup that is incredibly friendly, easy to please, happy, affectionate, and loyal.

The dogs from this breed are intelligent, eager to learn, and thus easy to train even by inexperienced owners.

The Goldie has moderate energy levels and exercise needs and will appreciate a long walk and some intensive playtime.

These pups are adaptable and suitable for all types of owners but are prone to separation anxiety, so do not adopt a Golden Retriever if it will spend all day alone at home every day!

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever has been recognized as the US’s most popular dog breed for 28 years in a row!

Labs are so popular because of their loyalty and close bonds with their owners and families.

They are smart, playful, happy-go-lucky, and active pups, which are perfect for active owners and for homes where there are people who would like to play and interact with them as much as possible.

Labrador Retrievers are commonly used as guides, service, therapy, and emotional support dogs.

They are also one of the best medium-sized to large-sized dog breeds for first-time dog parents.

Standard Poodle

The Poodle is the second most intelligent dog breed in the world. It is also considered a hypoallergenic dog breed because poodles shed very little.

The Standard Poodle is the largest of the three sizes (the others are miniature and toy.)

It is so intelligent and easy to train, plus it is a very athletic dog, which is why the pups from this popular breed are often winners at different agility sports.

They are also relaxed and very good and safe to be around kids.

Please remember that even though the Poodle sheds very little, its curly coat requires regular clipping, trimming, and maintenance by a professional groomer.

Clumber Spaniel

These are the largest of the spaniels and are very sweet and gentle large pups, which are suitable for inexperienced dog owners.

They are excellent hunters but without any viciousness or aggression.

They are easy to train with positive reinforcement and treats because they are food-oriented.

This means that the Clumber Spaniels are prone to obesity, so you must be careful about your pup’s diet and not overfeed it.

Clumber Spaniels are calm and will bark only as a last resort, so they are also perfect for urban apartments and homes.

A Mixed Breed Large Dog

Adopting a large mixed-breed puppy can be quite a gamble because it is harder to predict how large it will get and what its traits and looks will become once it grows up.

But in most cases, crossbreed pups from an animal shelter are an excellent choice for new dog owners, especially if they are already adults and have supposedly been pre-trained by their former owners.

A mixed dog is an excellent choice if you want something other than a particular trait or features such as hunting, guarding, agility, or other.

Some superb intentionally created hybrid dog breeds are suitable for first-time dog parents, such as the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle, the Bernedoodle, and others.

Remember that genetics can sometimes play tricks, so not all hybrid dogs will have the same desired traits and characteristics.

Other Large Dog Breeds For First-Time Dog Parents

  • Scottish deerhound
  • Broholmer
  • Rough Collie
  • Otterhound
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Leonberger

Things To Consider When Choosing A Big Dog

If you have never had a dog before, it is essential to keep the following in mind so that both you and your future pup are happy and well:

  • A dog is a long-term commitment that can last for 10-15 years and more
  • Being a dog owner is a big responsibility. Make sure you have the time, patience, commitment, and money to provide your large-sized pup with the proper training, socializing, and care, as well as pick up after it
  • Larger dogs will cost more to feed, for veterinary care, preventive treatment, grooming, dental care, buying accessories, traveling, dog care, and more
  • Larger dogs may make a bigger mess at home if they shed or drool a lot
  • You need to provide your big pup with enough space to keep it happy and you and your belongings safe
  • If you are adopting a young pup, make sure to puppy-proof your home
  • Choose the right dog food suitable for your pet’s size, age, breed, activity level, and health
  • Some large pups feel better if they have fenced outdoor spaces to spend more time
  • Research your pup’s energy levels and exercise needs before bringing it home, and be prepared to provide it with as much as it needs
  • Some large dog breeds are not suitable for homes with little children
  • There are large dogs that shed a lot and require more grooming than others
  • Relax and enjoy the happiness and love you will receive from adopting a dog

Big Breeds To Avoid If You Are A First-Time Dog Owner

Some larger-sized dog breeds are not suitable for inexperienced or timid owners. Here are some to avoid if you are a first-time dog parent:

  • Shiba Inu – hard to train, naturally shy
  • Akita – suspicious of strangers, aggressive to dogs, requires a lot of grooming
  • Beagle – very independent and loud
  • Border Collie – strong herding and nipping instincts, require a lot of time and commitment to train and stay active and entertained
  • Siberian Husky – very energetic, hard to train, requires a lot of grooming, loud
  • Dalmatian – highly energetic, barks a lot
  • Chow Chow – not easy to train, aloof to strangers
  • Belgian Malinois – extremely high energy levels, strong biting instincts, destructive when bored (Belgian Malinois Price)
  • Cane Corso – very powerful dogs with strong protective instincts, which can be dangerous without experienced training and socializing
  • Rottweilers – very strong guarding instincts, which can make them aggressive if not socialized and trained properly
  • Airedale Terrier – very large terriers, stubborn, with strong predator instincts
  • Great Pyrenees – not suitable for urban settings and apartments, independent and protective

Final Words

Owning a dog is a privilege and, according to most dog parents, is one of life’s biggest joys.

But, if you have never had to care for a pup before, there are some essential things to consider and know before choosing the best dog to add to your family.

Hopefully, we have helped you make the right choice, and you are prepared to take the next big step and go to your local shelter or get in touch with a responsible breeder to get your furbaby and bring it home!

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