A huge number of us decided to welcome new puppies into our homes over the last few years – Kennel Club figures show dog ownership has soared to record levels.
There are a whopping 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, alongside numerous crossbreeds, so there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest addition.
One thing to take into consideration is whether you are an experienced or new dog owner, with certain breeds far more challenging than others for newcomers to the canine club.
Of course, depending on your lifestyle and circumstances there’s no one size fits all approach – but first time owners should consider breeds that tend to be easy to train, eager to please, and friendly.
Here are the 10 best breeds for first-time dog owners, according to the American Kennel Club.
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The Collie is a larger dog that needs quite a lot of exercise, but as long as you live an active lifestyle they make great first dogs. They are a breeze to train and are a loyal, affectionate and devoted breed. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Poodles are incredibly intelligent dogs and have hypoallergenic coats - explaining their huge popularity around the world. They even come in three sizes - Standard, Miniature and Toy - so there's guaranteed to be one to suit your home and lifestyle. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Whippets are a slightly strange mix - a dog that loves to run but who also adore napping much of the day away. They have a natural attachment to people and are very friendly, particularly with children and visitors to their home. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Shih Tzu
A perfect first pet for somebody looking for a house dog, the Shih Tzu is a friendly breed that needs little in the way of space or exercise. They are also highly intelligent and easy to train. Photo: Canva/Getty Images