Low maintenance dogs are perfect for new dog parents and for people with busy lifestyles. Dogs can often be a lot of work, so many families want to avoid dogs that are extra needy and energetic. Luckily, even if you have a lot going on in your life, you can still have a furry friend by your side with one of the many low maintenance dog breeds.
What Makes a Dog Low Maintenance?
Any dog can be low maintenance regardless of their breed, but there are certain traits that low maintenance dogs share. They usually have low to moderate basic needs, such as:
- Minimal shedding
- Low exercise needs
- Easy to train
- Moderate grooming needs
- Few health problems
If you can find a dog with all the above requirements, you should have no problem caring for them even if you don’t have much dog experience. Of course, you will still need to provide them with all the necessities, including love and attention, but they don’t need as much monitoring as a high maintenance dog would. These dogs are usually more relaxed and able to adapt to new situations easier.
However, your dog’s temperament has a lot to do with how you treat your dog. If you neglect training and proper socialization, your dog might end up needier as a result. You need to give your dog a chance to be independent and make sure you don’t overwhelm them with too much attention. You need to find a healthy balance between time together and time alone to help your dog be as independent, happy, and low maintenance as possible.
Best Small Low Maintenance Dogs
Oftentimes, smaller dogs are best for new dog parents. They generally need less exercise and they don’t need as much space. However, many small breeds are very needy and require constant attention. So, the following 7 breeds are low maintenance dogs that are the least likely to seek excessive attention and care.
#1 – Dachshund
Due to their small size and stubby legs, Dachshunds love to spend their time napping and relaxing. They enjoy some occasional playtime, but they do not have any high exercise requirements or advanced grooming needs. They love to just sit by your side as much as possible since they’re easily entertained.
The only problem is that Dachshunds often have a stubborn side too. Therefore, you still need to work on training with them just like you would with any other dog. Otherwise, they might not listen and they could become too attached to you.
#2 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are extremely gentle and calm. They are great family dogs that can easily befriend anyone they meet. Even though they have hair that needs to be trimmed now and then, that also means that they don’t shed. These dogs are very smart and great with training, as long as you use positive reinforcements and never scold them.
However, since these dogs are so friendly and loving, they can often get too attached to their loved ones. They need to be given some alone time regularly to prevent them from getting separation anxiety. After all, they are an extremely sensitive breed.
#3 – French Bulldog
French Bulldogs, also commonly referred to as “Frenchies”, are the perfect companions if you like lounging around. They have very low exercise requirements, minimal grooming needs, and they barely even bark. Since they are so small and affectionate, they are always willing to adjust to new living situations to please their humans.
The only French Bulldog trait that could be considered high maintenance is their common health concerns. Since they are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a flat face, they are prone to breathing problems. The folds in their skin also makes them more likely to get skin conditions too.
#4 – Italian Greyhound
Even though Italian Greyhounds are small and skinny, they can be very athletic. However, they are low maintenance because they’re only active for short time periods throughout the day, and then, they prefer to nap for the remainder of their time. They are very adaptable, so they’re always willing to adjust to their human’s needs.
Like all dogs, Italian Greyhounds need proper training in order to be low maintenance. Sometimes, they will choose not to listen to you, so repetition and consistency is the key to training them. They also need to have regular alone time to prevent them from getting too clingy.
#5 – Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are great companion dogs if they’re trained properly. They often have lots of energy, but since they’re so small, they don’t need much exercise. They also have minimal grooming needs and they have very few common health concerns, which makes them one of the longest living dog breeds.
If they don’t get enough training and enough time alone, they can get bored very easily when you leave the house. They are generally very clingy dogs, so it’s difficult for them to be without you. Therefore, you need to refrain from smothering them with too much love and attention because that could lead to bad habits and destructive behaviors.
#6 – Pug
Pugs share a lot of common characteristics with French Bulldogs. They have friendly, silly personalities, and they need very little exercise and grooming. They’re very smart, so training should come easy if you keep it interesting for them. They are usually very curious, so if they don’t feel like training, they might wander off and do their own thing instead.
Like French Bulldogs, Pugs are also prone to breathing problems and skin problems. Their snouts are extra flat, so they can’t be out in the heat for too long or they might start wheezing and struggling to breathe. They also shed more than the other dogs on this list, but if you brush them at least weekly, you should be able to keep it under control.
#7 – Beagle
The Beagle is slightly larger than the breeds listed above, weighing 20 to 25 pounds. They’re very loyal dogs, so they always want to please their humans. They are very smart, which means training should come easy to them. However, you have to start training early to prevent bad habits from appearing. Beagles can be adventurous, which often causes them to get into trouble without meaning to.
These dogs have big hearts, and they’re great at adapting to new situations. They love exploring new places, but they’re also perfectly content napping throughout the day. The only problem is that they can easily get separation anxiety. Therefore, you should try to give your Beagle regular alone time to prevent clingy behaviors.
Best Large Low Maintenance Dogs
In general, large breeds require more advanced care. This is because they often need more exercise, more food, and more brushing. Having a large breed can be expensive and difficult to handle, but not all large dogs are that way. The following 5 large breeds are all considered lower maintenance than most.
#1 – Greyhound
While Greyhounds are typically known for being fast, they are actually a very low maintenance breed. They like to be active for short amounts of time, but then they’re fine just napping for the rest of the day. They are very laid-back, so lazy days are their favorite kind of days. They’re also very quiet and gentle, which often causes them to be shy around people they’re unfamiliar with.
These large dogs are also very smart, so training them is usually a fairly easy task. However, since they are often hesitant around other dogs and new people, you should work on socialization with them from an early age. Also, just because they’re often lazy doesn’t mean they always are. So, be aware that they can run fast if they feel the need to, so try not to let them loose outside.
#2 – Bullmastiff
Bullmastiffs often get a bad reputation of being aggressive, but they’re actually just giant sweethearts. Since they are so big though, they need plenty of training from an early age so that it’s easier to keep them under control. They need regular exercise, but they also enjoy being lazy. Also, they get along with just about everyone they meet, especially kids.
This breed typically weighs between 100 and 130 pounds. So, while they’re very laidback, feeding them can be expensive and brushing them might take some extra time. However, they are perfectly content with just going for walks throughout the day instead of a rigorous exercise session.
#3 – Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are a bit on the smaller side for a large breed, weighing 40 to 60 pounds. However, their short stature makes them look even smaller than that. Since they are heavy dogs with short legs, they prefer to spend their days napping and relaxing, even when they’re young. They are very patient, and they are generally just fine if left alone.
Since they’re so laid-back, they might need an extra push when it comes to training. They’d much rather nap than learn new things, so you need to make sure to motivate them with some tasty treats. At least their laziness means that they won’t tire you out too much though.
#4 – Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are low maintenance because they are extremely intelligent and friendly. Because of this, they can easily learn new skills and commands in order to be more obedient. They are very adaptable due to their need to please their humans. It’s no wonder they’re one of the most popular breeds.
While many people assume Labs are the easiest to care for due to their popularity, they actually do have some special requirements. Like many large breeds are, these dogs are active and love to get regular exercise. They also shed a lot, so you will need to always have a brush on hand. Luckily, both those problems are worth it since they are such a calm, happy breed to be around.
#5 – Newfoundland
The Newfoundland is another large breed with a very laidback nature. Even though they weigh 100 to 150 pounds, they are extremely lazy. They love lounging around the house, which often makes them look like a giant bear rug! However, they are also very brave and adventurous when they want to be, so they are great at protecting their loved ones. They are especially great at protecting children.
If you have a Newfoundland, you have to be prepared for lots of brushing though. Their coat is extremely thick and it sheds often. So, daily brushing is needed to best control their shedding. Other than that, they have the perfect personality and temperament for new dog parents.
Low maintenance dogs are best for people with busy schedules. These dogs provide excellent companionship without being too much work. However, every dog is different, so there is never a guarantee that a dog will be easygoing. Before you bring a new dog into your home, always make sure you get to know them first before making that big decision. Also, don’t forget that training is the key to getting any new dog to behave.