While some cannot resist the allure of the world’s most glamorous dog breeds, others love a simple pup. Low-maintenance dogs are the kinds of canines that just want some treats and to hang out on the couch with the family. A little bit of exercise and plenty of love is all these easy-going doggies need to be happy. Each of the canines on our list of the top five best low-maintenance dog breeds has great potential as family pets and as options for first-time pet parents.
“Easy” and “difficult” to manage breeds are highly subjective as dogs have emotionally complex individual personalities. Still, common instinctual breed behaviors do exist, and the more pet parents strive to understand these behaviors, the more success they will find in raising their pup. Some breeds are simply laid back, friendly, and easy to groom. This combination of desirable traits is often seen as the key attribute for low-maintenance hounds.
Spending less time on grooming and on strenuous activities to burn up excessive energy makes more time for snuggles and chilling. Great low-maintenance dog breeds will be fully happy to relax while their humans read or to go for a quick walk around the block. In fact, these types of dogs might start out bursting with energy to play catch only to be ready to relax again after a few minutes.
First time pet parents can often feel overwhelmed by all of the new responsibilities that go along with dog ownership. Complicating this already tricky matter are the specifics of more demanding pedigrees. Difficult to manage coats, chronic joint pain, and even canine anxiety can be troubling issues that some dog breeds face. On the other hand, some breeds seem to have a naturally robust and hale health that lets them enjoy a longer more fulfilled life.
Advanced dog handlers might enjoy the challenge of demanding breeds like the luxurious Afghan Hound or the relentless Akita. For those seeking a dog that is a bit easier to raise, we turned to our trusted sources. They helped us sort through more than 200 American breeds to rank the best low-maintenance dogs. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
The List: Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds, According to Experts
Everybody loves wiener dogs! Dachshunds are loving and loyal to the point of being possessive when it comes to their most loved family members. “These canines are not hard to maintain. The smooth-coat breed version requires only some occasional coat care and the wire-coated version needs brushing once or twice a week. However, the long-coated version will need regular brushing and grooming. The average lifespan of the Dachshund is about 12-16 years,” raves Service Dog Training.
Parade Pets praises, “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 lovable, slightly stubborn pets that can lounge around on lazy days.”
“The dachshund is a lovable and affectionate dog breed that makes a great couch buddy. This dog comes in two sizes: miniature and medium-sized. Long-haired doxies require a bit more grooming than the short-haired or wire-haired variety. All can make excellent companions,” exclaims The Spruce Pets.
2. Basset Hound
These droopy-faced doggies have soulful eyes and a loving nature. As lazy as they are adorable, Basset Hounds are happy to while away the day napping and snuggling. Pumpkin says, “You’ll recognize a Basset Hound when you see one, those ears stand out. These charming dogs are patient, loyal, and unlike some of their hound companions, they can be fairly lazy. A daily walk will probably be enough for a Basset, otherwise, these dogs can be couch potatoes.”
Daily Paws describes, “Droopy and low to the ground, basset hounds are happy with one long daily walk followed by an even longer nap at home. They’re pretty low-energy and slow-moving pups, (as long as they don’t catch the scent of a neighborhood rabbit, that is) and their short coat is a cinch to care for.”
HGTV elaborates, “The basset hound is widely considered a low-maintenance breed, if only because this doggo loves to laze the day away on a sunny afternoon. He’s a low-energy breed, so there’s no need to take a basset hound out on long walks. A short walk around the block will suffice. Take it slow, too.”
These petite pups can be emotionally needy. They not only tend to bond strongly with their owners, but they also seem to go out of their way to appear brave in front of loved ones. Pit Pat comments, “You’ll need to have a firm handle on their training, as they can be stubborn and independent, but with plenty of enrichment toys to keep them entertained, they’ll happily while away the hours, especially if they live with another friendly dog. Short-coated Chihuahuas need very little grooming, and they are happy with a few good walks each day.”
Pure Wow adds, “Chihuahuas are like your Leo friend who’s always saying, ‘I’m up for literally anything!’ They are adaptable creatures with independent streaks (so instill commands early) who really only need to trot around behind you for a few blocks to get enough exercise. Short-coated chihuahuas require nothing but a quick brush now and again, but even long-coated versions don’t require groomers visits.”
The Dog People details, “Chihuahuas are the smallest of all purebred dogs—but with a big attitude. They are enthusiastic and tend to have a lot of energy. Due to their petite frames, Chihuahuas make great lap and apartment dogs. The short-haired varieties (sometimes referred to as a smooth coat) don’t shed much, making allergy sufferers happy.”
4. Italian Greyhounds
Not to be confused with their larger racing cousins, Italian Greyhounds are teeny tiny fellas that always look a bit cold. Web MD explains, “Italian greyhounds are very small and enjoy being lap dogs. They have a thin coat and need very minimal grooming. They are easy going companion dogs, but they are not recommended for families that have young children.”
“When it comes to grooming, the Italian Greyhound is low maintenance. A few minutes a day for brushing is usually sufficient. The frequency of bathing depends on the lifestyle- once a week or up to once every 6 weeks may be enough,” offers Service Dog Training.
“Similar in stature to whippets, Italian greyhounds are tiny dogs that hardly take up any space at all (making them great for busy city people). They do love a good, warm lap and may follow you around when you are home, but they know how to settle down, too. If dog parks are sparse in your area, this is the canine for you; they’re often too small and wary of other dogs to enjoy themselves and would rather hang out at home,” states Pure Wow.
5. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are quite popular, and they have only become even more popular in the age of social media. These photogenic pups are docile and loving, totally happy to lounge around with their family. The Spruce Pets claims, “The gleeful Frenchie makes the perfect loafing companion. French bulldogs are among the most cheerful of all dog breeds. Although they have a good deal of energy, they tend to lack endurance. Moderate daily exercise is usually suitable for this breed, though outdoor activities should be limited when it is very hot or humid.”
“French bulldogs are smooshy-faced cuties, and they happen to be incredibly easy-to-care-for dogs. They’re chill but love to play, have a funny sense of humor, and pick up training cues quickly (as long as you make it feel like a game),” relates Daily Paws.
HGTV reviews, “The French bulldog — you know, the Frenchie — is fairly low maintenance given his short hair, little legs and preference for snuggling on the couch over long walks around the neighborhood. Frenchies do love attention, but mostly they want to be with their humans. This breed has skyrocketed in popularity. According to the American Kennel Club, Frenchies are the second most popular dogs in the United States, just behind the affable Labrador retriever.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Dog Breeds for Busy Owners
- Best Dog Breeds for Country Living
- Best Dog Breeds for Kids
- Best Dogs for City Living
- Service Dog Training
- Parade Pets
- The Spruce Pets
- Daily Paws
- Pit Pat
- Pure Wow
- Web MD
- The Dog People
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