If you’re looking into low maintenance dog breeds, chances are you either have a busy schedule or you simply want a dog who doesn’t require too much in the way of exercise, grooming, training or care.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to invite a furry friend into your home without wanting the added burden or stress that can come with owning a dog.
Luckily, there are several low maintenance dog breeds out there that just might be perfect for you! But before we dive into our list of our 10 most low maintenance dog breeds, let’s first cover what low maintenance dog breeds really are when it comes to raising dogs.
Are Low Maintenance Dog Breeds Really Low Maintenance?
All dogs require a certain amount of commitment and work.
What are low maintenance dog breeds, really?
Well, the truth is that all dogs, regardless of their breed or mix, are going to require some routine maintenance. All dogs need commitment from their owners, especially when it comes to the below categories:
Regardless of size, breed, mix or age, all dogs require a certain amount of daily exercise in order to stay healthy and happy. That said, some dogs require more consistent exercise than others.
Dogs are highly intelligent and emotionally intune creatures and they can be prone to anxiety and destructive behaviors if left to become bored or lonely. Keeping your dog mentally stimulated is an important part of being a responsible dog parent.
Highly intelligent dogs will require a bit more maintenance than some other breeds, but regardless of which dog you get, it’s important to know that all dogs need to be kept mentally happy.
Socialization and Training
There are plenty of breeds out there who have developed a bad rep over the years, but the truth is that any dog can be prone to undesirable behaviors if not properly trained and socialized.
Even if you invest in one of our more low maintenance dog breeds below, it will still be important to ensure you properly train and socialize your dog at an early age.
Just as you care for yourself and keep yourself looking your best, it will also be important to care for your dog. Proper grooming plays a major role in ensuring your dog is healthy and feeling his best.
If you’re looking for low maintenance dog breeds when it comes to grooming, it might be a good idea to look into getting short coated or hypoallergenic dogs who shed less than some of their other canine counterparts.
Still, you should know that all dogs require a certain amount of grooming needs throughout their lives.
Routine Daily Care and Financial Commitments
Routine daily care should also be considered, as should the financial commitment you’ll need to partake in in order to care for a dog.
Keeping your dog on a quality diet, ensuring they have plenty of fresh, cool water daily, and making sure you provide them with toys, walking equipment, bedding, medical care, and grooming products will all take a toll on your time and wallet.
When investing in a dog, remember you’re investing in a living creature who depends solely on you to take care of him.
The good news is that dogs give back so much more than they take. In fact, studies have shown that dogs increase mental wellbeing, reduce anxiety and provide unconditional love and companionship for as long as they are in our lives.
So, how do you know for sure if you’re ready for a dog? Let’s take a look at some of the questions you should ask yourself before investing in one of our low maintenance dog breeds below.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Dog
Before getting a dog, it’s important to make sure you are ready.
Before you decide if you’re really ready to take on the responsibilities of a dog, it’s important to ask yourself some questions.
Am I Prepared For The Long-Term Financial Responsibilities of Caring For A Dog?
On average, most dogs live to be between 10 and 15 years of age. According to the American Kennel Club, even low maintenance dog breeds still cost a good amount of money to raise. In fact, the average cost of caring for a dog per year is estimated to be around $3,085, with smaller dogs being less expensive and larger dogs being more expensive.
Is My Lifestyle Conducive For Raising A Dog?
Remember, raising a dog requires a certain amount of commitment, regardless of if the dog one of our low maintenance dog breeds or not. Consider your daily schedule and overall lifestyle.
Even the most independant and low maintenance dog breeds will need to be cared for and around you often. The longest a dog should be left alone should be no longer than 6 to 8 hours, according to the American Kennel Club.
The good news is that, even if you are super busy, you can still invest in a dog. Some dogs do well at doggy daycare while others will thrive with a routine pet sitter or dog walker stopping by to check on them. So you certainly have options.
Am I Prepared To Set Aside Time For Training, Exercise, And Daily Care?
As we mentioned above, regardless of if you want low maintenance dog breeds or high maintenance dog breeds, all dogs are going to require routine care, exercise and training.
This includes grooming, socialization, exercise, playtime and affection. If you are not willing or able to commit to providing the above care to a potential dog, it would be best to wait until you’re able to do so.
On the other hand, if you are able to provide a dog with the care he needs but are just looking for an easier, less demanding pup, then keep reading.
We are about to talk about our favorite low maintenance dog breeds below.
1. The Greyhound
Greyhounds are known for being fast as lightning, but they are actually very family oriented and mild-mannered dogs.
Average Height: 27-30 Inches
Average Weight: 60-70 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Independent, Proud, Gentle
Average Lifespan: 10-13 Years
Common Health Issues: Gastric torsion, Bloat, cardiac issues and eye problems
Not to be confused with the smaller Italian Greyhound, the Greyhound has long been seen as a world-renowned racing dog. And while this may bring to mind a high maintenance, high-energy dog, the reality is that Greyhounds are relatively low maintenance dog breeds who are simply fast runners.
Developed as hunting dogs in ancient Egypt, Italian Greyhounds are capable of incredible bursts of speed. That said, they are very low-key and will enjoy being relaxed lounge dogs. They become bonded with their families and tend to have a more relaxed, mild-mannered and gentle temperament.
These dogs are also independent, and their exercise needs can be met by simply letting them off leash in a safely secured space to run to their hearts’ content for short periods of time.
That noted, it’s never a good idea to walk a Greyhound off leash. These dogs are incredibly fast with a high prey drive. As such, they can be prone to taking off after smaller animals like rabbits or squirrels and will be impossible to catch once they are running.
2. The Dachshund
Dachshunds come in two sizes, but both sizes are small. They are also easy going.
Average Height: (Miniature) 5-6 inches, (Standard) 8-9 Inches
Average Weight: (Miniature) Under 11 Pounds, (Standard) 16-32 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Spirited, Outgoing, Friendly and Curious
Average Lifespan: 12-16 Years
Common Health Issues: Obesity, back injury, ear infections, dental issues
Small and spirited, Dachshunds are bred hunting dogs originating from Germany. Their primary prey was the formidable badger, and it was the Dachshund’s job to dig fearlessly into the badger’s den.
Their long body, pointed muzzle and short legs made for the perfect badger-hunting machine, though owners soon fell in love with the Dachshunds infectious temperament and easy going nature.
This is a dog who is a joy to be around and becomes bonded to his family. He comes in two different size varieties and is a great dog for apartment living. When properly trained and socialized, Dachshund dogs can get on well with children and other pets, and their grooming and exercise needs are relatively mild.
3. The Chihuahua
Due to their very small size, Chihuahuas require very little exercise.
Average Height: 5-8 Inches
Average Weight: No more than 6 pounds
Temperamental Traits: Proud, Charming, Intelligent, Bossy
Average Lifespan: 14-16 Years
Common Health Issues: Patent ductus arteriosus, mitral valve disease, patellar luxation, eye issues, and idiopathic epilepsy
Considered the smallest dog in the canine kingdom, the Chihuahua is on our list of low maintenance dog breeds due to his minute size and independent temperament. That said, Chihuahuas do have some special needs and are best suited for particular owners.
He does well in apartments and is the ideal companion for retirees, singles, or very laid back individuals. Chihuahuas are often impatient with young children and prefer to be the only dog in the household.
Otherwise, these dogs have been described by those who love them as almost human-like. They are intelligent, affectionate, and easy-going, requiring very little in the ways of grooming and exercise.
4. The Cavalier King Charles
Cavalier King Charles dogs make excellent additions to families with children.
Average Height: 12-13 Inches
Average Weight: 14-18 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Sweet, Affectionate, Easy-Going, Friendly
Average Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, patella luxation, retinal issues, cataracts, ear infections, syringomyelia, and eye issues
If you’re looking for one of our low maintenance dog breeds who does well with children and other pets, look no further than the sweet and affectionate Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Bred for companionship, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is sweet, easy going and mild-mannered.
This is a quiet dog who enjoys cuddles and attention, and is relatively go with the flow. Cavaliers do become very bonded with their people, however, and will do best in a home with owners who have flexible schedules and can be around them often.
That said, they are incredibly eager to please and highly trainable.
5. The Great Dane
Though they are massive, Great Danes are relatively mild-mannered and gentle dogs.
Average Height: 28-32 Inches
Average Weight:110-175 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Gentle, Friendly, Obedient, Easy-Going
Average Lifespan: 7-10 Years
Common Health Issues: Bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia, heart issues, cardiac disease, autoimmune thyroiditis, and eye disease
You may be surprised to find Great Danes on our list of low maintenance dog breeds, but when it comes to personality and temperament, they truly are a breeze. These gentle giants are eager to please and easy to train, and are lazier than they are energetic.
While they take up lots of space, they are true lap dogs at heart. These massive cuddlers are excellent additions to homes with the space enough to manage them. They do not need too much extensive exercise as daily, gentle walks will suffice.
Great Danes are angels with children and friendly with other pets. Unfortunately, due to their large size they can be prone to a number of serious health concerns a potential owner should be aware of.
6. The West Highland Terrier
Also known as Westies, the West Highland Terrier is a family favorite.
Average Height: 10-11 Inches
Average Weight: 15-20 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Funny, Happy, Devoted, Playful
Average Lifespan: 13-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Patellar luxation, cardiac disease and dental issues
Westies are one of the most popular terrier breeds in the world, thanks to their adorable look and temperament. These sweet and intelligent dogs are true companions through and through.
Their hypoallergenic coat makes them low-maintenance when it comes to their grooming needs and their compact size is perfect enough for moderately active families with older, more gentle children.
West Highland White Terriers get along well with other dogs as well and will enjoy routine exercise that is brisk, light and fun.
7. The Maltipoo
Maltipoo dogs are small, family-oriented dogs who make low-maintenance companions for those who are home often.
Average Height: 8-14 Inches
Average Weight: 5-20 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Sweet, Playful, Affectionate
Average Lifespan: 10-15 Years
Common Health Issues: White Shaker Syndrome, epilepsy, Legg Calve Perthes Disease, patellar luxation, collapsed trachea and dental disease
A cross between the purebred Poodle and the purebred Maltese, the Maltipoo is a designer dog designed for companionship. This hypoallergenic dog is small, making him the ideal companion for those who live in apartments.
His exercise needs are moderate and he can often get the workout he needs simply by following you around the house all day. That said, Maltipoo dogs are highly intelligent and people-oriented, so this is one of our low maintenance dog breeds who does best in a home with owners who are around often.
Maltipoos can also get on well with children and other pets, though their small size can make them prone to serious injury if handled too roughly.
8. The Poodle
Because they are so intelligent and eager to please, Poodles make wonderful and trainable family companions.
Average Height: (Toy) 9-11 Inches, (Miniature) 11-14 Inches, (Standard) 18-24 Inches
Average Weight: (Toy) 6-9 Pounds, (Miniature)15-17 Pounds, (Standard) 40-70 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Intelligent, Friendly, Athletic
Average Lifespan: 10-18 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, idiopathic epilepsy, eye disorders, sebaceous adenitis, immune-mediated disorders, von Willebrand’s disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes, luxating patellas, and Bloat.
Considered one of the most intelligent dogs in the world, the Poodle originated in Germany as a water retrieving dog. He is famous for his curly, hypoallergenic coat and go-with-the-flow demeanor.
Poodles come in three size varieties and are highly adaptable, making them great additions to a number of homes and owners. They are friendly, highly trainable, affectionate and sweet. Poodles get along well with children and other pets, though they do require routine exercise and mental stimulation each and every day to stay happy and healthy.
9. The Whippet
Whippets are docile and family-oriented dogs love their people.
Average Height: 18-22 Inches
Average Weight: 25-40 Pounds
Temperamental Traits: Adoring, Playful, Easy-Going
Average Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Cardiac disease, skeletal issues, tracheal collapse, deafness, and eye issues.
Looking similar to the Greyhound but smaller, the Whippet is a laid-back, family-oriented dog who is relatively easy to groom, exercise and care for. Whippets are friendly with children and pets and beloved for their corky personalities and temperaments.
While they do enjoy relaxing and laid-back lounging for hours at a time, Whippets can also be prone to quick bursts of energy. They will do best in homes with securely fenced yards where they can run freely and with owners who are able to be around them often.
Like the Greyhound, it is wise to never walk a Whippet without a leash. They are incredibly fast with a high prey drive, and this combination can get them into dangerous situations.
10. The Maltese
Bred as companion dogs, Maltese are wonderful dogs for first time owners and owners looking for low maintenance dog breeds.
Average Height: 7-9 Inches
Average Weight: No more than 7 pounds
Temperamental Traits: Charming, Sweet-Natured, Playful, Affectionate
Average Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Common Health Issues: patent ductus arteriosus, luxating patella, congenital liver issues, encephalitis, microvascular dysplasia and dental disease
The family-friendly Maltese is a small and sweet dog who is the ideal companion for families with older, more respectful children, seniors, retirees, those who work from home.
Maltese dogs were bred for companionship, and as such they make the ideal little lap dog. They will enjoy nothing more than lounging at your side or on your lap while you work from home or relax on the couch. They require moderate grooming (so long as their coats are kept short) and routine, gentle exercise.
That said, Maltese dogs can be prone to separation anxiety and are not ideally suited for owners who are gone for many hours at a time during the day.
Tips On Raising Low Maintenance Dog Breeds
Keep your dog as low maintenance as possible by ensuring all his needs are met.
If you’ve decided that one of our low maintenance dog breeds is right for you, congratulations are in order. Becoming a dog parent certainly takes commitment, but it’s absolutely worth it in the long run.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can go about ensuring that your pet parenthood journey is easy and enjoyable by following the below tips.
Consider Investing In An Adult Dog Over Two Years Of Age
It’s no secret that puppies are much more high maintenance than adult dogs. If you have a busy schedule or are not too thrilled about the concept of raising a puppy, you might consider investing in an adult dog.
Any of the above low maintenance dog breeds have the potential to make an excellent addition to a busy household, and they might fit in especially well once they are over two years of age.
Dogs who are two and older are generally more calm and have grown out of their wild puppy phase. Rescuing an adult dog means you’ll be able to skip the teething phase, and oftentimes dogs of this age have generally been socialized, health screened and potty trained.
Of course, this is not a guarantee, so when looking for adult low maintenance dog breeds, be sure to ask those questions from the shelter or rescue you are considering adopting from.
Make Sure You Properly Socialize Your Dog Early On
When getting a puppy, make sure you properly socialize your puppy at an early age. Introduce your dog to as many new places, people, sounds, sights, and experiences as possible. Try and ensure these first impressions are positive for your dog, and refrain from forcing your dog into a situation that is clearly frightening for him.
Ensuring your dog is properly socialized at a young age can help him grow up to be much happier, healthier and well rounded.
Dogs who are not properly socialized, regardless of their breed, tend to be more anxious, fearful, and high maintenance for their owners.
Don’t Slack On Training
Training is essential to raising a well-mannered dog. If you want low maintenance dog breeds that are easy going and pleasant to be around, then a well-trained dog is a must. Work with your dog from the moment you get him to help him learn what you want from him.
In order to get the most out of your training sessions, try and ensure that training is kept fun and light. Refrain from punishing or scolding your dog during training sessions and instead use treats, praise, and other positive reinforcement techniques.
Keep Up With Exercise and Mental Stimulation
All dogs, even low maintenance dog breeds, are happiest and calmest when they are kept mentally stimulated and properly exercised.
To reduce problematic or destructive behaviors in your dog, it’s important to make sure they are properly exercised each and every day. Routine exercise can also help keep potential health issues at bay.
Set Up A Grooming Schedule
Grooming can be one of the most tedious things about owning a dog, but you do have options when it comes to low maintenance dog breeds. Some people schedule routine grooming through a professional while others learn to groom their dogs themselves.
To keep things simple for yourself and your dog, set up a schedule and stick to it. This will help make grooming seem less time consuming and tedious, and it will help you and your dog get into the swing of things.
Make Sure Your Dog Is On A Quality Diet
All dogs need a dog food that is specified for their age, weight and activity level. Some dog foods cost more than others, but it’s important to steer clear of dog foods that are high in byproducts, fillers, additives, corn, soy, wheat and dyes.
Instead, make sure your dog eats a dog food that is rich in real animal protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and a good source of water.
Keep Up With Routine Vet Visits
One of the best ways to ensure your dog is as low maintenance as possible is to keep up with his health. Routine wellness screenings at your vet can help ensure your dog is living his best life and also save you money in the long run.
Choosing Between the Best Low Maintenance Dog Breeds – How To Find the Healthiest Puppy Or Rescue Dog
When looking for a puppy or rescue dog, make sure you go through reputable sources.
Choosing from the above list of low maintenance dog breeds can be difficult, and while we can’t help you decide which dog breed would be right for you, we can guide you on how to find the healthiest dog possible.
Remember, choosing low maintenance dog breeds begins from the moment you get your dog from the breeder or rescue. For the healthiest dog possible, make sure you go through a reputable source.
If you are looking for a puppy, avoid going through backyard breeders or online sellers promising a puppy at a bargain price. Doing so could make you the unwitting supporter of a puppy mill and you are much more likely to wind up with a sick puppy, which can cost you more money in the long run.
Instead, stick with reputable breeders who understand the importance of responsible breeding practices. Qualified breeders should be able to provide you with certificates of health proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
If you prefer to rescue, make sure the shelter you go through is one you trust. Read reviews and ask questions, and don’t be afraid to communicate with the shelter about the type of low maintenance dog breeds you are looking for.
There are plenty of benefits of going through a shelter when looking for low maintenance dog breeds. First and foremost, rescuing a dog is often a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder.
Responsible shelters will often have had their dogs undergo behavioral testing before placing them for adoption, and many shelters will even be able to provide you with a free initial vet exam.
Whichever route you choose to take when looking for the low maintenance dog breeds that would best suit you, just be sure to do plenty of research and prepare your home and future for the long-term commitments of a dog.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on the best low maintenance dog breeds. Now we want to hear from you. Which of the above low maintenance dog breeds pulled hardest on your heartstrings?
Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.