Doing the proper research before getting a dog is important, as every breed is different, and some tend to require more of their owners than others, both in terms of daily walks, exercise and breed grooming requirements.
There are many benefits that come with choosing low maintenance dog breeds, especially for those who are first-time dog owners, or for someone with limited time.
Low-maintenance dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes – you can get a small to medium dog breed, a large family dog or anything else, as calm dog breeds are more common than you might think. Read on to find out some of the best low maintenance dog breeds for those who want a dog with minimal grooming needs and/or a low energy level.
Characteristics of a Low Maintenance Dog Breed
The idea of a low maintenance dog is appealing to many, and it can be for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for a low maintenance dog with a low energy level because not everyone has the energy to keep up with a Siberian Husky or a Belgian Malinois, and others want lower maintenance dog breeds to have a short coat and only a small need for grooming (like short-coated dogs such as the basset hound and the French Bulldog).
Whatever reasons you have for wanting a dog with a low energy level, a dog that is easy to train or generally one of several low maintenance dog breeds – there is a perfect pooch out there for you.
Dogs That Don’t Need Much Exercise
1. French Bulldog
Who doesn’t love a Frenchie? These pups have some similarities compared to the English Bulldog, but it is smaller and generally healthier than said breed. French Bulldogs are anything but lazy, but they don’t need to go for long runs or play canine sports to be happy and fulfilled.
By walking your Frenchie regularly in your neighborhood, providing toys and appropriate chews – a Frenchie will have no issue spending a day on the couch while you watch your favorite movie, TV show or that night’s game.
Minimum maintenance dog breeds are often thought to be small, and it is a common misconception that only small dogs can be low maintenance dog breeds, but this is not necessarily correct. The Mastiff is a friendly giant that might surprise you; they enjoy exercise but tend to get less and less energetic with time, which makes it an ideal companion for someone looking for low maintenance dog breeds.
Keep in mind that these dogs eat a lot, due to their size, and that they might not live nearly as long as a smaller breed. Dogs like the mastiff look very impressive and even somewhat intimidating, but they are actually very friendly and sweet dogs when raised right.
3. Brussels Griffon
These incredibly adorable fur friends have a face you won’t forget, and their personality is going to make even your worst days a little bit better! They are fun to be around, easy-going, can learn to do well when left home alone and they are cheap to maintain; due to being considered a healthy breed – especially compared to other flat-faced small breed dogs, and they don’t need too much food as a result of their small size.
Brussels Griffon dogs are small but they are not fragile, and they make great friends for kids. Please keep in mind that these types of dogs do need daily exercise, so don’t be fooled by their size, but they are happy to both go for long walks and to play in the backyard.
These low-maintenance dogs need minimal grooming thanks to there short and smooth coat, they are surprisingly calm dogs that love their daily exercise, but that can still enjoy hours curled up with you on the couch. The short coat is easy to care for with only minimal grooming needed, and it is one o the low maintenance dog breeds that take up the least space.
They can be a little unpredictable when kept off-leash, and this is because of their high prey drive, and the risk of them taking off to chase after a bird or a small animal. Other than that, the Whippet is known for being a very gentle and loving dog, it is easy to train when it comes to the basics, and it is an excellent family dog for both small and large families.
Best Dogs for People Who Work
1. Tibetan Spaniel
Sometimes you might just want a dog that is thrilled to play with you whenever you are up for it, but that does not require hour-long walks several times a day, and if that sounds like you – the Tibetian Spaniel is the way to go! It is more mellow and low-maintenance than many other dog breeds, and all these dogs tend to want is lots of love and a few fun toys to run around the house with.
It takes time and effort to train all dogs, but this dog breed is considered easy to train or beginners, and a minimum maintenance dog breed for the beginner or for someone who is something of a homebody.
The Dachshund may be small, and while easy to train, but it can be surprisingly brave and stubborn! Their intelligence is evident already from a young age, but they will sometimes pick and choose when they feel like listening and doing what you want, and when they don’t. What is so great about them though, is that they adapt easily to all kinds of lifestyles and living routines, so if you are someone who likes to sleep in on the weekends or who likes to spend a day in bed from time to time – your Dachshund is likely to be up for it too! They are great family dogs thanks to their playful nature, but just make sure your Doxie gets his or her daily walks and exercise.
It can be a little frustrating to train a Beagle in the beginning, as it is a breed that can be both stubborn and hard-headed, and they have a need for structure and guidance. Once you work your way through it, though, the Beagle becomes a model family member and a great dog for a moderately active household.
Beagles are fun and goofy dogs; they play enthusiastically and they rarely get tired, yet they also love to snuggle, sleep in and just be around their favorite humans for hours at a time. There are no real grooming needs other than the occasional bath and brushing to prevent excessive shedding, and that is one of the reasons why dogs like these are considered low-maintenance, despite the potentially rocky start you might be up for with training.
4. Border Terrier
Border Terriers love to run and play; they are energetic and a joy to be around, and there is never a dull moment when you share your home with one of these dogs. Their need to run is quite easily managed, and while a yard is preferable, they also do well when living in apartments, provided you find other outlets for their like for a good run-around (such as a dog park).
You don’t need to be an expert to successfully raise and train a Border Terrier, as they are very intelligent and eager to please their humans, but they do not respond well to punishments and harsh methods, which is why a positive reinforcement training approach is essential.
Small Dog Breeds That Are Calm
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you are looking for low and medium maintenance dogs, you will inevitably have to have a look at these adorable dogs – the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This is one of the breeds that like to hang around the house and cuddle on the couch, as long as you are there with them, and while they require some brushing and light grooming – it is not something you can’t manage at home if you want.
A dog like this is cuddly, has a somewhat low energy level (even though they will love tagging along for fun day trips and outings with you) and they have a low maintenance personality where all you really have to do is to make sure you are giving your pooch enough love and attention.
2. Italian Greyhound
These small dogs have qualities that are similar to the Whippet and the Greyhound – both in regards to physical appearance and traits – but the main difference is how much smaller they are. Their size makes them perfect for apartment living, and they will likely enjoy a nap or a snuggle just as much as you do, as these dogs seem to need to feel loved and appreciated in order to thrive.
An Italian Greyhound is a great runner with a high prey drive, which will sometimes cause trouble when trying to have it off-leash, but it is also a highly affectionate and attentive dog with a great need for being there for their owner at all times (possibly even when you go to the bathroom).
3. West Highland White Terrier
Some grooming requirements come with this mellow and easy-going terrier breed, but hand-stripping of the coat (where dead or loose hairs are removed) is commonly used instead of trimming, and it is something you can learn to do yourself to save a few bucks per month.
There are few dogs like these right here, and the white coat and friendly face is likely to serve as a stepping stone for you making new friends wherever you go. The Westie is simply adorable – both as puppies and adults, and they will always be there to stand up for you when you need it the most.
4. Basset Hound
Almost everyone knows this dog, as it frequently appears in movies and pop culture, and there is something so irresistible about this little pooch with its long back, short and stubby legs and long ears!
Their short coat needs to be brushed and properly cared for, to prevent dog hair from taking over your home, but the benefit is that these are not dogs that need to walk many miles a day, and they are usually fine with moderate walks around the neighborhood and plenty of love, cuddles, and playtime.
Dog Breeds That Don’t Mind Being Left Alone
1. American Eskimo
It is hard not to fall in love with a dog like the American Eskimo, with its snow-white fur and adorable fluff, and with a playful personality and those alert eyes. These dogs do need to be entertained physically and mentally, as they are very intelligent and curious by nature, but they are also very easy-going and adjust quickly to new circumstances and people.
The American Eskimo gets along well with both children and adults, as well as a stranger and it makes it a great breed if you have people and family over frequently, or if you enjoy taking your dog out with you to take part in your daily adventures.
2. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is a dog that needs to be provided with daily physical exercise and mental stimulation, so it is not a breed for someone who is not passionate about being outdoors, but what makes it low maintenance is its loving personality and need and will to please.
It will work tirelessly to prove to you what a good dog he or she is – always there to put a smile on your face and to make you laugh, and they are wonderful child-friendly dogs with selfless hearts that are larger than life. You are unlikely to have a hard time with training or socialization, as long as you are willing to put in the effort, as these canines were bred to serve.
Greyhounds are large and athletic dogs, and while they can run like few other dogs you may have met in your life, they can also be funny, goofy and the most adorable couch potatoes! Surprised? They love to be taken out on adventures, get along well with other dogs and people, they are rarely aggressive if socialized properly, and they also adore a good nap next to you – preferably as close as possible.
Their long legs and thin bodies will have them resembling a delicate deer sleeping there on the couch, and they can sometimes be so quiet and calm indoors that you almost forget they are there.
4. Bedlington Terrier
If you want a unique looking dog that almost resembles an adorable and fluffy lamb, fear not, because your search is over. You will want to have a reliable brush or grooming device at hand for these pets, possibly brushing them twice a week or so, depending on what you see fit, as this will help make sure you don’t end up with a tangled Bedlington Terrier coat full of knots.
They are not too big nor are they too small, and their friendly and easy-going personalities make it pretty likely that you will end up falling in love with the first Bedlington Terrier.
Small Dogs That Can Be Left Alone
1. Miniature Pinscher
While it doesn’t look like it – the Miniature Pinschers shed, but their coat can easily be managed with occasional baths, brushings, and a good and healthy diet and lifestyle, and they are small in size which makes them highly transportable and suitable for apartment living. A pup like this asks for very little in life, and their main focus often seems to lie on eating, playing and giving- and receiving love.
2. Manchester Terrier
Small breeds are desirable by many as they are great for apartment living and small spaces, and the Manchester Terrier is one of those underestimated dogs that can make a great companion for someone who wants low maintenance dog breeds. It has a short coat that requires very little grooming, and that you can easily manage at home even if they decide to roll in a puddle of mud somewhere, and they are alert and intelligent dogs that are up for any challenge as long as they get to spend time with you.
3. Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel may not have a short coat, but their beautiful wavy fur is not too hard to care for if you make sure to brush it regularly, and the personality of these canines makes it perhaps the best dog to breed if you want a dog that has the full package – brains and intelligence, playfulness and a gorgeous exterior, and these are dogs that mostly just need someone to want to spend time with them, and love them.
Get a Cocker Spaniel if you are willing to exercise your dog moderately, but also want a fur friend that is okay with having a lazy day from time to time. The Cocker Spaniel is the ultimate dog if you want a little bit of everything packed into one dog.
Small, stubborn and brave – the Chihuahua is so much more than just a tiny teacup dog, and it can make the best possible canine companion when you want a low-maintenance fur friend. Take it with you wherever you go without having to worry about how you will transport it, and get a pooch with a coat that only requires baths and brushings (depending on whether your dog is a short-haired or a long-haired Chihuahua).
A Chihuahua puppy is tiny in size, and many never grow much at all, something that ends up giving you a miniature canine family member that is always up for a challenge. They do not know their own size, and that is part of their charm.
Important to Know
Some dog breeds are considered low maintenance due to having lower physical and mental exercise requirements compared to some other breeds, but keep in mind that every dog is an individual and that a breed is not a guarantee for the dog being a certain way.
Knowing the breed makes it easier to determine if you are the right person for the type of coat care and general grooming related maintenance the dog may require, but personalitywise – your dog could end up being high-energy despite being of a breed that is normally considered low-energy. Also, remember that all dogs, regardless of breed, need daily exercise, a good grooming routine, and regular vet visits. That, and lots of love.