11 Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds

11 Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds

If we’re all being honest, complete low-maintenance dogs are a myth. All dogs require feeding, daily exercise, grooming, training, regular vet check-ups, and all the love in the world. So no matter what dog breed you opt for you will always have to dedicate time to make sure they are happy and healthy.

Having said that, there are breeds that are more independent, less energetic, and generally less of a handful than other dogs so it’s always worth doing some research before you make a decision. Luckily, we’ve done a lot of the leg work for you and composed a list of the most popular low-maintenance dog breeds.

What is a Low-Maintenance Dog?

Low maintenance can involve a number of things so when looking for a specific dog breed, contemplate what features they might bring into your home that would be considered high or low maintenance. Would you prefer an adaptable dog, a dog with minimal social and training needs that can be left alone, or a dog that is less likely to shed?

It’s highly unlikely to find a breed that ticks every box, however, you should figure out what attributes you want to prioritize in a low-maintenance breed to suit your lifestyle. Below, we have listed the aspects that contribute to the overall maintenance of a dog.

Exercise Needs and Energy Levels

There are certain dog breeds that are trained to work and partake in vigorous exercise and activity so it’s in their nature to have boats of energy. These dog breeds tend to need more exercise to help burn their excess liveliness and to prevent obesity. Although, not every dog is a born and bred athlete, in fact, some are notorious couch potatoes such as the Basset Hound and Greyhound.

Regardless of whether or not your dog is a couch potato, it should always be exercised. Taking them for a daily walk will prevent various health problems such as obesity, joint issues, and cardiovascular complications. Walking your dog will also help to socialize them with other dogs and people and will significantly decrease stress for both of you.

Training Needs

All dogs should be trained to prevent the development of bad behavior, habits, and aggression. Also, dogs who go through obedience training will be less likely to assert dominance over others within their home. However, throughout this list, you will find that a lot of the dog breeds we have chosen are intelligent and will therefore be considerably easy to train. First-time dog owners will find that breeds with higher intelligence will be less stubborn and eager to learn as they are more responsive and receptive to lessons.

Shedding and Grooming

One of the things you may be looking for is a low shedding dog with minimal grooming needs. Fortunately, within this list are numerous dog breeds with a short coat that will require less grooming. They may still need occasional brushing, and even a bath after taking a dip in a mud puddle, however, they are significantly less hassle when it comes to keeping their hygiene in good condition compared to other breeds.

Temperament

There are breeds that have surprisingly high energy levels and will require constant attention, as well as those who perk up at the slightest noise outside or knock on the door. Some of the best low-maintenance dogs are those who are calm or docile in nature. Breeds who are more placid are great family dogs as they tend to be a little more patient with children and other pets. They also demand less exercise and activity than other dogs.

Social Needs

As mentioned above, dogs who are high in maintenance will demand more attention and exercise than other breeds. In addition to this, they will be more social and thrive on the constant company of others to keep them entertained. Included in our breakdown are breeds that are a little more independent as these dogs tend to enjoy the peace and quiet when the family isn’t around. Dogs that are more independent and have been through obedience training are also less likely to develop destructive tendencies when left alone.

Healthcare

Unfortunately, our furry companions are not immune to disease or health conditions. When looking for a new best friend you may want to know if they are generally a healthy breed or whether they are vulnerable to specific conditions due to their lineage. Within our breakdowns, we have included the general life expectancy of the breed although, should you settle on a particular dog, you should always research any conditions or concerns that they may be prone to.

Low-Maintenance Small Dogs

To kickstart our list we’ll begin with our small low-maintenance dogs. Smaller breeds are perfect if you’re a fan of lap dogs and want a breed that will shed less and crave less activity or exercise.

Dog French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Non-sporting11-13 inch20-28 lbs10-12 years

French Bulldogs are possibly one of the easiest dogs to own and are ranked one of the most popular dog breeds in general by the American Kennel Club. They are docile, clean, and intelligent low-maintenance dogs with a strong love of people. If you want a breed that checks as many boxes as possible, this pooch is a great one to consider especially for first-time dog owners.

Exercise

French Bulldogs have been entered into canine sports throughout the years although they are not dogs that require too much exercise to live healthily. A lengthy playtime or short work is enough to keep this dog breed in good health.

To add, due to their heavy build, a Frenchie must never be allowed to swim in a deep body of water as they are not good swimmers. Their short muzzles also mean that they must tilt their heads up in the water which can make breathing more difficult, so even any shallow water-based activities must be monitored.

Training

Frenchies can be stubborn, but given training early in life, they will become highly affectionate and social dogs. Using rewards and a great attitude can encourage them to learn quickly when training as they are an intelligent and adaptable dog breed.

Shedding and Grooming

A Frenchie’s face and fur should be kept clean at all times with weekly brushing, but otherwise, they are dogs that have minimal grooming needs. Like most dogs, they still shed but the volume of which is significantly less.

Temperament and Sociability

Calm and docile, this dog breed is not known for causing trouble, being disobedient, or being aggressive. Its high intelligence and love of people mean that they make great family pets and companions which is why they have earned the title of low-maintenance.

Frenchies thrive from contact with people so the more the merrier. These dogs can be playful and love spending time with children who like to play as much as them. Having said this, due to their adaptability they are also content with living in smaller homes comprised of couples or singles and even warm up to strangers quickly.

Cute cavalier king charles spaniel joyfully running along the path against the backdrop of a summer sunset forest

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Toy12-13 inch13-18 lbs12-15 years

These popular Spaniels are famous for their role as companion dogs as they are affectionate, gentle, and adaptable.

Exercise

Whereas the Cavalier King Charles is an energetic dog, its size means that you won’t need to run laps of your block to deplete its energy levels. This balance means that moderate exercise will be enough to keep them fit and healthy.

Training

This dog breed is not known to be stubborn or particularly self-willed so training will not need to be intense as they are eager to learn and please their owners. However, with any dog breed, you may encounter some issues during training but this dog responds better to positive reinforcement as opposed to a harsh or fierce approach.

Shedding and Grooming

A Cavalier’s coat is considered medium length so you will experience some shedding and may have to subject them to weekly brushing, although this is nothing compared to some small breeds. By doing this you will keep their coat healthy and tangle-free.

Temperament and Sociability

The nature and attitude of these dogs are what appeals to most dog owners as they are known to be gentle and loving toward their families. Their adaptable personalities mean that they are suited to any type of home regardless of size which also means that they are less prone to anxiety and stress.

Cavaliers are calm dogs making them a good fit for families with children, and other dogs and pets. Their gentle traits also make them friendly toward strangers yet, like other dogs, they will need to be taught manners and how to socialize to ensure they are comfortable around dogs of other energy levels.

Italian greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Toy13-15 inch7-14 lbs14-15 years

Italian greyhounds are another calm and loveable breed of dog much like their Greyhound relatives. If you’re the type of person who loves getting cozied up in the evening then an Italian Greyhound might be for you as they adore getting comfortable under a warm blanket next to their owner.

Exercise

Many owners describe this slender breed as alert and active and will therefore need regular exercise or frequent playtimes. An Italian Greyhounds impish behavior will mean that playing by itself or with other animals will help to burn energy.

Training

Training an Italian Greyhound can prove to be difficult as they are sensitive pups. So if you find yourself raising one, you will need to avoid scolding, be firm, and shower them with praise if they successfully learn something new, or simply exhibit good behavior. This encouragement and the reward-based system will allow them to mature into affectionate, well-mannered dogs.

As an extra note, it is important that Italian Greyhounds are rarely let off the lead as they have a tendency to pursue smaller animals due to their high prey drive. You must also ensure that your garden is well secured to avoid a jailbreak.

Shedding and Grooming

What makes the Italian Greyhound a low-maintenance dog breed is that they require minimal grooming. Their short, smooth coat rarely sheds and will only need bathing or brushing if they find themselves covered in filth or dirt.

Temperament and Sociability

Despite being active dogs, Italian Greyhounds are extremely loving and like nothing more than to get close with their owners. Settling down in the evening and cuddling up to their family is in their nature but they are also very playful which means it may be worth buying them some toys to keep them entertained.

If not socialized during adolescence they can be skittish towards strangers although they are generally a friendly breed. Their playfulness will also mean that they will get along well with children and other pets however you may want to keep a watch on this activity as Italian Greyhounds can be a little fragile physically.

Boston terrier puppy in autumn.

Boston Terrier

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Non-sporting15-17 inch12-25 lbs11-13 years

Also known as ‘The American Gentleman’, the Boston Terrier earned this title by becoming one of the friendliest and well-mannered dogs. This low-maintenance dog breed is perfect for city or country-based homes and is very easy to train.

Exercise

This is another breed that needs minimal exercise although they will still love a trip to the dog park or a daily walk to keep fit and active. By taking them for regular walks and letting them run and play, they will burn energy and fight off obesity

Training

Boston Terriers are clever and eager to learn so training won’t be a difficult journey. Pups will, of course, be slow to learn initially however their willingness will eventually prevail allowing lessons to stick and good manners to emerge.

Shedding and Grooming

This breed has a smooth, short coat that is relatively easy to look after. Occasional brushing will help you remove loose and dead hair from their coat which will allow natural oils to distribute and maintain shiny fur.

Temperament and Sociability

Boston Terriers have bright, lively, and loving personalities and are quite active dogs in general. For families and singles, bonding with them doesn’t take a long time as they are a friendly breed. Their energy levels may mean that they need adequate toys to keep them occupied however they are not known to be aggressive or destructive.

Their combination of lively and loving means that they can be perfect family companions. If socialized with people and children whilst young they will love playing with the youngsters and will quickly make friends out of strangers.

Shih Tzu dog with long groomed hair, outdoor portrait in grass

Shih Tzu

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Toy 9-11 inch9-16 lbs10-18 years

If you’ve done a fair amount of research at this point you will have noticed that Shih Tzus are commonly perceived to be low-maintenance and for good reason. This dog breed has been regarded as a lap dog for decades and has various features that make it the perfect companion for people of all types.

Exercise

Shih Tzus were bred to be dogs with limited exercise needs. A short daily walk can be all this dog needs to remain fit however a lengthy playtime session in the garden or park can also work wonders for their health.

Training

This area is one of the few drawbacks when raising a Shih Tzu. Training can be frustrating and it can be difficult not to lose patience after a while however it is important that a level of calm is maintained as they will not respond well to rebuke. When training a Shih Tzu, a firm approach should be applied although you must remember to use the reward system and praise their successes.

Shedding and Grooming

Shih Tzus have a long double coat that will require daily brushing to help detangle hair and prevent their fur from matting. The hair on their heads can also grow to a long length so it’s important that it is either tied up or trimmed so that their vision isn’t obstructed.

Temperament and Sociability

These tiny dogs hold enormous loyalty toward their owners and tend to enjoy a cuddle. They make great family dogs as they are good-natured, wanting to follow and even play with children and other pets in the household. These lap dogs don’t approach strangers as quickly as other dog breeds but given time and affection they will soon accept them as new playmates.

Low-Maintenance Medium-Sized Dogs

If small-sized dogs are not what you’re looking for, we’ve done a considerable amount of research into medium and even large low-maintenance breeds to help you with your search. Throughout this section, you will find everything you need to know about the most popular medium-sized dog breeds.

Greyhound

Greyhound

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
HoundMale: 28-30 inch
Female: 27-28 inch
Male: 65-70 lbs
Female: 60-65 lbs
10-13 years

During your research, you may find that this breed appears a lot. This racecourse breed is surprisingly low-maintenance and has a lot to offer busy pet parents.

Exercise

Greyhounds are famous for their speed and can run-up to an incredible 45mph although it may shock you to learn that they can be avid couch potatoes. This breed still requires moderate exercise so taking them on long walks will keep them fit and healthy.

Training

Like other dog breeds mentioned in this list, this breed will learn better with positive reinforcement due to its sensitive personality. It is also important that a Greyhound is trained and socialized early with other animals as its innate hunting nature will potentially cause it to pursue them if spotted on a walk or in the garden.

Shedding and Grooming

Like its Italian Greyhound relatives, this breed has a smooth, short coat that demands little attention. Greyhounds don’t often shed and it’s rare that you will have to brush their coat although you may have to trim their nails as they can grow quickly. This can cause discomfort should they get too long.

Temperament and Sociability

Greyhounds are a fun-loving dog breed that enjoys the company of others and adores family life but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be left alone. This breed of dog is considered an independent breed so they do like their alone time and will probably spend it lounging around or taking naps.

Beautiful Basset Hound purebred dog

Basset Hound

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
HoundUp to 15 inch40-65 lbs10-13 years

What makes Basset Hounds a low-maintenance dog is their easy-going and gentle personality. This breed of dog was originally bred for hunting purposes although in recent years they love nothing more than to find a comfy spot to settle down and take a snooze on.

Exercise

Basset Hounds are a mellow breed and not considered to be active or lively however they still benefit from a daily walk. Taking them outside for a moderate walk can allow them to fend off obesity and meet other people and dogs.

Training

Training a Basset may come as a challenge but the results are worth it. Like other breeds within this list, it’s best if you train a Basset with treats and be persistent in their lessons. This is another dog that will not respond well to rebukes, so it’s important to remain patient if you want to see fast results.

Shedding and Grooming

Basset Hounds have a short coat that may not seem like it needs much attention but will shed a fair amount. This can be kept to a minimum if you go over their coat with a brush at least once a week to dispose of loose hair.

Temperament and Sociability

Bassets are a social dog breed and thrive on the company of people and other pets. They have numerous adoring qualities however their loyalty and patience are among the top two. These Hounds are known to love playing with children and spending time with their owners but can be vocal if left alone for too long.

Apricot Standard Poodle dog portrait at beach with railroad tracks

Standard Poodle

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
Non-SportingStandard is over 15 inchesMale: 60-70 lbs
Female: 40-50 lbs
10-18 years

Standard Poodles take a cozy spot on this list for numerous reasons, not including their long coats, as they have a reputation for being a highly intelligent breed. Other reasons include their social nature, adaptability, loyalty, and willingness to learn.

Exercise

Poodles may look delicate but they are an athletic breed that requires a moderate amount of exercise a day. A decent playtime in the garden can help burn energy as well as swimming, as these dogs love to take a dip.

Training

A Poodles incredible intelligence and eagerness to learn will make training run smoothly. Most training approaches will be well-received although they will quickly learn through fun routines as they love spending time with people, especially their owners.

Shedding and Grooming

Surprisingly a Poodles’ coat doesn’t shed as excessively as you may believe. However, the tricky part is grooming them. Many owners will keep their Poodles’ coats short to avoid complicated, daily brushing.

Temperament and Sociability

The Standard Poodle is a low-maintenance dog for a lot of reasons but their people-orientated character is what stands out. This breed is suitable for almost any home due to its ability to adapt and keenness to learn. They are especially good with children due to their patience and are very loyal companion dogs. Despite their love of humans, they are not at risk of developing anxiety in their absence. Poodles are known to be independent dogs and can be left alone without concern.

portrait black white dog a American Staffordshire Terrier sitting in the evening park between the trees in the spring at sunset

American Staffordshire Terrier

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
TerrierMale: 18-19 inch
Female: 17-18 inch
Male: 55-70 lbs
Female: 40-55 lbs
12-16 years

The American Staffie is another smart breed. They are low-maintenance in a lot of ways although there are things to deliberate if you’re intent on this dog. These Terriers are loyal dogs but may take more time and patience in their early years to prevent possible bad behavior during maturity however, they are rewarding and loving dogs to own if trained with care.

Exercise

These dogs tend to need daily exercise to keep them fit and to help burn excess energy as Staffie’s are an active breed. Like other Terrier dog breeds, they love to run and play so a trip to the park, where they can interact with dogs and people, is a great way to ensure they are exercised.

Training

An American Staffie must be trained with confidence as they can be prone to troublemaking if left alone. However, these intelligent dogs will learn quickly and still have an eagerness to please their owners. Training will also prevent them from developing bad behavior such as chewing and scratching.

Shedding and Grooming

A Staffie’s coat is particularly low-maintenance and will rarely shed. A weekly brush will remove a few loose hairs but will also detach any dirt or filth that they may have been exposed to.

Temperament and Sociability

Early socialization is vital in their upbringing as this breed can be known to become aggressive. The more time you dedicate to socializing them when they’re young the better they will be with children and other animals. An American Staffies’ commitment to their owner means that they are wonderful companion dogs and will keep a watchful eye over the family.

Large Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds

Admittedly, this is where the list becomes scarce. If you’re looking for large dog breeds which require less care you may need to sacrifice some qualities over others. Some large dogs will require less exercise but will shed a lot whereas others may have a short coat and loyal personality but will require a decent amount of exercise. Our research has highlighted the below large breeds as being the best low-maintenance options

Bernese Mountain Dog in evening sun

Bernese Mountain Dog

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
WorkingMale: 25-28 inch
Female: 23-26 inch
Male: 80-115 lbs
Female: 70-95 lbs
7-10 years

This large dog has won the affection of many owners for its loving and gentle personality. They are known to have big hearts with enough space for the whole family and will shower you will love and devotion. They certainly deserve a space in this listing for these reasons.

Exercise

Despite being a large breed, Bernese dogs don’t need copious amounts of exercise. A daily walk will be enough to keep them healthy and in shape, although if you’re a fan of hikes or long walks they will be quite happy to come along and keep you company.

Training

Berners are people pleasers and clever dogs so they are relatively easy to train. Obedience training must be given when they are young to avoid misbehavior, although they best respond to lighter training methods rather than strict and firm avenues.

Shedding and Grooming

These dogs can shed a great deal due to their double coat, especially during shedding seasons, so you may find yourself having to brush their fur to remove loose hair and tangles frequently. To do so, you may have to purchase a strong bristled or metal brush to effectively comb through their coats to leave them tangle-free and healthy.

Temperament and Sociability

As mentioned previously, Berners have big hearts and adore spending time with people, children, and other animals. They are incredibly friendly dogs, who will not only love to play but love to settle down with their family to enjoy some quiet time. This breed can be left alone for some time but it is recommended that you don’t leave them for too long as they can begin to severely miss their human companions.

Amazing newfoundland dogs in autumn

Newfoundlands

Breed GroupHeightWeightLife Expectancy
WorkingMale: 28 inch
Female: 26 inch
Male: 130-150 lbs
Female: 100-120 lbs
9-10 years

This breed is particularly well-loved for its calm and patient personality. They are well suited to all types of homes but are especially great family dogs. They are watchful, loyal, and brave dogs and can also be the perfect companions for smaller households.

Exercise

Newfoundlands are not known for being the liveliest of breeds and are easy-going when it comes to physical activity. Although, regardless of their relaxed tendencies they will still need daily exercise to prevent becoming overweight.

Training

This breed of dog is another that’s easy to train due to their high intelligence and eagerness to please their owners. They are not prone to aggression or fear so whatever method you choose should suit them well and they will learn quickly.

Shedding and Grooming

Unfortunately, these large loveable fluffballs will shed a lot and will require frequent grooming to maintain their coat. You will need to brush them once a week to remove loose fur and tangles that may occur in their thick coats.

Temperament and Sociability

Newfoundlands are often called ‘Nanny dogs’ because of their excellent rapport with children. This is also because they can display a level of protection between strangers and their families. Their relationship and immense affection toward their family make them the nanny of the dog world. Not only are they loyal and nurturing but they are also brave and protective of their home.

Other Large Low Maintenance Dog Breeds To Consider:

High-Maintenance Breeds to Avoid:

To Sum Up

No breed can be deemed ‘the easiest dog to take care of’ as all dogs are a huge responsibility that will require discipline, patience, love, and time. Plenty of resources will claim to list the most popular low-maintenance dogs but hopefully, our research and breakdowns will effectively narrow your search to find the right dog.

In Our Humble Opinion

After taking the time to thoroughly research each breed, Frenchies and Greyhounds are quite possibly regarded as the most popular amongst the low-maintenance dogs. They are considered easy to train with minimal grooming needs and are immensely loveable. They are definitely among our top picks!

Destin Benoit

A former Special Forces Canine Handler, Destin Benoit has extensive knowledge and experience with military canine training. He has worked with multiple military dogs in the most stressful places and situations in the world. Currently, Destin is a SOC Canine Handler, aiding in the protection of US diplomats abroad.

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