August 18, 2015 | Posted in Doctor Sigmund Furry Series

Firdt-Timers4Dear Dr. Furry,

 We’ve never had a dog but would like to know your suggestions for first-time owners.

Petra, Tallahassee, FL


Dear Petra,

Good for you! A lot depends on where you live (city or country; hot or cold climate), how many people share the home, your lifestyle, etc.

Some good choices for first time dog owners include the Yorkshire Terrier, a small, compact purebred who is loving, fun and easy to train. The Labrador Retriever is smart and fun-loving; calm and easygoing. This is a larger dog, but not too large to control. He’s like a one-stop dog!

The Shih Tzu is the ideal canine companion. Originally bred for royalty in China, these little sweethearts love to be loved. They are playful and a bit mischievous, so hide your shoes. Pomeranians are tiny, fluffy, curious and clever and adaptable to staying at home or engaging in outdoor activity.

The Shetland Sheepdog is a family favorite. They are loyal, smart and pleasantly quirky. He loves to show off for people and quickly learns tricks. The downside is that Shelties are barkers. Havanese dogs are lively, but crave attention. His coat needs daily brushing and professional grooming.

The Pug is a charmer, even with his adorable wrinkly face. He’s loved by all — other dogs, cats, adults and kids. He’s not an athlete and is happiest when he’s included in family activities.

A Boston Terrier will befriend everyone and is happy to be with his human family. Depending on the family’s lifestyle, he can be as active or couch-potato-cuddly as his humans. Bison Frises were bred specifically to become companion dogs. They are affectionate, sociable and sweet to be around.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Golden Retriever, the number one choice of vets for new dog owners. This good looking breed is kind, gentle, people-pleasing and intelligent. They enjoy play and outwardly display loyalty and affection.  Their beautiful coats need regular brushing and bathing.

~ Dr. Sigmund Furry