Let’s face it—owning a dog is a commitment, no matter the breed. They require regular walking, grooming, feeding, and attention. We all need the love of a good dog in our lives, but not everyone has lots of time to devote to them. Maybe it’s work that keeps your schedule busy, or your ability to exercise a lot has changed over time, or you’re just overwhelmed with the idea of being a brand-new pet owner. With proper research, you don’t have to miss out on the joys of being a dog parent.
While all dogs need certain things from their owners to survive, different breeds require different levels of care. Some are more high maintenance and need all the spoiling they can get. Others, however, don’t require as much attention and can be considered low-maintenance dog breeds.
What makes a dog low-maintenance? There are two main categories that help decipher if a dog is overall easygoing: grooming and temperament. Some dogs have coats that don’t require much brushing or lower energy levels that make them the perfect couch dweller.
To make your next pup adoption a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of 30 of the best low-maintenance dogs—and they are cute as they can be, too!
While originally bred to be hunting dogs, Dachshunds have since grown to be the perfect lap dog. They’re still charismatic and prone to mischief, but really only need about 30 minutes of exercise. Additionally, these small pups have short, stumpy, legs, meaning they can’t actually exercise too much. They make a loveable, slightly stubborn pet that can lounge around on lazy days.
You can count on these curly-tailed lapdogs to be low maintenance, as most of them prefer not to exercise. Their small nasal passage restricts them from excessive playtime, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to go for a walk every day. It’s also important to note that while some pugs shed due to their double coats, many owners of black pugs will tell you that they shed a lot less.
It’s easy to assume that large dogs need plenty of exercise, but that’s not the case with BullMastiffs. They’re well suited for a big yard or smaller apartment and do not require much exercise or grooming. The only downside to these massive lovebugs is that they tend to drool…a lot! Apart from that, this quieter breed makes a great companion with a soft spot for their loved ones.
Okay, we’ll admit it—Chihuahuas aren’t the first dog that comes to mind when considering low maintenance dog breeds. They shed and can be difficult to train. But if you can look past their flaws, you’ll realize that Chihuahuas are one of the most independent toy breeds. They make a great companion for busy owners because they can be left alone for up to 9 or 10 hours. This doesn’t mean they should be on their own all day, as they thoroughly enjoy quality time with their humans.
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5. Shiba Inu
Naturally clean and odor-free, the Shiba Inu is one of Japan’s oldest and smallest dog breeds. They tend to stay busy grooming themselves and are notorious for being easy to housebreak. Be prepared for their strong personalities; Shiba Inu’s are described as the dog with “cat-like” behaviors.
Greyhounds make particularly great couch pets as they require low to medium exercise and minimal grooming. In fact, their skin produces so little oil that only a few baths a year are needed. Many owners who have rescued retired Greyhound racers speak highly of their dog’s mild temperament and gentle nature.
7. Basset Hound
On the field, Basset Hounds make great hunters and are known for their impeccable tracking skills. At home, however, they seem to be the complete opposite. Even with strangers, these dogs tend to be calm and docile. Because of their mellow personalities, they only need roughly 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day.
As long as they receive regular exercise, Whippets can thrive in almost any environment. They make great city dweller companions as they rarely bark. Patience is required during initial training, but grow to be great dogs that enjoy a nice nap with their owner.
9. French Bulldog
Besides a daily walk and the occasional dose of the zoomies, a Frenchie’s favorite thing to do is hang out right next to their owners. They don’t require much grooming with a single coat and low to moderate shedding each year. Bred for companionship, they make for a fantastic loyal fur baby.
10. Boston Terrier
Known as “America’s Gentleman”, their nickname speaks well to their personality. Boston Terriers are calm, gentle, and considered one of the best breeds for kids. Plus, they sport a single coat that sheds less than their double-coated counterparts.
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One of the largest low-maintenance dog breeds, the Newfoundland still needs daily exercise to keep from becoming obese couch potatoes. However, they’re known for their calm, easy-going demeanor that makes them particularly relaxed at home. Newfoundlands are intelligent and require training, but they make for a great fluffy and gentle family pet.
As long as you keep their ever-so-curious nose distracted, Beagles are capable of being independent and low maintenance. With a single coat and mild temperament, you’re sure to find them snuggled up with their owner without having to worry about constant grooming. With proper training, Beagles can be left alone for decent amounts of time.
13. Miniature Pinscher
Min Pins are one of the more low-maintenance dog breeds when it comes to breeding. They don’t shed much, and their size makes it easy to brush when they do. If you’re considering adopting a Min Pin, be prepared for a little bit of sass and a whole lot of affection.
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14. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are great budget dogs- you don’t have to spend much on their needs. Plus, they are quite independent and most have no issue being left alone. On the contrary, they do just fine tagging along with their owners to just about any occasion.
15. Russell Terrier
Though quite energetic, Russell Terriers make a great pet for those looking for a low-maintenance dog. They’re fast learners who adapt well to new environments. Minimal grooming and regular visits to the vet make Russell Terriers a fairly easy breed to maintain.
A boxer’s coat typically requires minimal grooming, and you can often find them grooming themselves like a cat! While their grooming is low maintenance, they are seen as a social breed and should only be left alone for up to 3 to 4 hours. They’re good with children, making them a good family dog.
Some new pet owners might find larger dogs intimidating, making the Dalmatian a surprisingly low-maintenance dog despite their size. Although active, they have a thin coat and produce minimal odor. They still desire plenty of love and affection, though, and enjoy accompanying their owners for a jog down the street or a hike in the woods.
These bulky fur babies are one of the most misunderstood dog breeds. With proper training, Rottweilers can be great family pets as they are extremely protective and loyal. Better yet, they have short coats which allow for minimal grooming and the occasional bath.
19. American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffies are pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They do shed, but have very short fur that makes it easy to clean. While they aren’t suited for homes that prefer peace and quiet, Staffies are generally lazy indoors and don’t mind going off on their own for a nap. Don’t let their independence fool you- these big babies love attention and will often make themselves a lap dog despite their bulky, large stature.
This short-haired breed is considered low maintenance in the grooming department. They’re known to self-clean and while they do require some brushing, they don’t need to be bathed very often. However, Vizslas need a decent amount of daily exercise and can become destructive when left alone without proper training.
21. Japanese Chin
Quiet and smart, the Japanese Chin is one of the smaller low-maintenance dog breeds. They may look grumpy, but these furry pups are content in almost any environment as long as their owner is nearby. Although their coats are long, they don’t require much grooming. A good brushing once or twice weekly to keep the knots away.
Papillons only need to be seriously groomed once a month. This is surprising due to their long, silky coats. Be sure to trim their claws regularly, though, as they tend to grow quicker than normal. Papillons are generally outgoing dogs that are just as comfortable being in your lap as they are napping in a sunny spot away from people.
23. Border Terrier
Scruffy and small, Border Terriers fit into just about any family dynamic. They can be left alone for extended amounts of time with proper training, and they don’t need frequent bathing. On the flipside, Border Terriers tend to be stubborn. Through their eyes, they see themselves as number one in your life which means they lack patience for children.
Pekingese make excellent apartment dogs due to their- uh- exercise adverse personalities. While they’re friendly and enjoy toddling about, they only need about 30 to 60 minutes a day of playtime. Pekingese are double-coated, but with proper grooming, their shedding can be kept to a minimum.
25. English Toy Spaniel
While similar to their Cavalier King Charles cousin, the English Toy Spaniel requires less grooming and is friendly and easy to train. They adore their owners and generally display a reserved and quiet demeanor. Sprinkle in a little bit of mischief and extra fluffy ears, and you have yourself the lapdog of spaniels.
While you don’t have to put in much work for this breed, we do recommend the Havanese for those who can spend time with them. They thrive in environments with plenty of human interaction and prefer to curl up on the couch rather than run around the yard. Plus, the Havanese breed is considered hypoallergenic and requires minimal grooming despite their fur length.
27. Bernese Mountain Dog
Don’t let their size fool you! Burmese Mountain Dogs love to lounge and only require 30 minutes of exercise a day! While they enjoy outdoor activities, these oversized lap dogs prefer to be indoors with their family. They do shed their heavy coats during the warmer season, but are adaptable and not demanding by any means.
28. Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards tend to be the topic of debate when discussing low-maintenance dog breeds. While they shed and drool more often than not, their laid-back demeanor makes them overall easy to care for. With weekly brushing and 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, you’re sure to have an easygoing family companion.
29. Shar Pei
It’s difficult to mistake a Chinese Sharpei for any other breed of dog. Their silky wrinkles don’t require much grooming; in fact, they really only shed during shedding season. Shar Peis are independent dogs that don’t mind hanging out alone while you’re at work. 30 minutes of exercise a day will keep this breed content.
30. Mixed Breed
Although mixed breed dogs aren’t as easy to predict when it comes to grooming and behavioral habits, most tend to make wonderful low-maintenance pets. Many take personality traits from both parents, giving them a mostly balanced personality. It’s best to speak with your local rescue about your needs- they’ll work hard to find the mixed-breed dog that works for you.
For more adorable dog breed types, check out…
30 Cutest Dog Breeds
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25 Best Apartment Dogs