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The decision to get a family dog is a big one. Ask any experienced dog owner, and they will tell you how big of an investment it is; it takes a good chunk of your time and money.
Caring for a pup is just like caring for a child. You not only have to take care of their food and hygiene but also train them to understand and follow your orders. You also have to take care of their other physical needs, such as taking them out for walks as well as making sure their emotional needs are met.
However, not all dogs are equally demanding. Some dog breeds tend to have innate, higher physical and emotional needs, whereas some are naturally low-maintenance.
So, if you have a busy lifestyle and can’t take out a lot of time for a dog, you should consider getting one from our list of low-maintenance dog breeds.
The 25 Best Low-Maintenance Dogs for People with Busy Lifestyles
To help you find the perfect canine companion for your busy lifestyle, we have gathered a list of dogs that make great pets but don’t need a ton of your time.
To make the selection process even easier for you, we have divided the low maintenance dog breeds according to their size.
Low Maintenance Small Dogs
Here are our top picks for low maintenance small dog breeds:
Chihuahuas are widely known as highly energetic and hyperactive dogs. But, they can be trained to be calm and lounge around the house all day long.
For raising your Chihuahua this way, initial training is highly important. Make sure not to baby them, and set boundaries from the beginning.
Chihuahuas may get a little destructive when bored. However, they don’t need much exercise to utilize their energy. Take them out for a short walk – a maximum of half an hour’s walk is enough for these tiny dogs.
Since Chihuahuas are very small, grooming them isn’t a difficult or time-consuming task. To make it even easier, opt for a short-haired version as they hardly ever need grooming.
The small size of the Chihuahua makes it an ideal choice for people looking for a low-maintenance small dog.
However, it may take some time to train them to remain calm and not follow you around everywhere whenever you are in the house. Take this into consideration before bringing a Chihuahua into your home.
2. Miniature Dachshund (Smooth Coat)
Small, smart, vigilant, and friendly Dachshund is an ideal family dog. These dogs are also known as Doxie.
While all of the Dachshund varieties make great pets and are low-shedders, get a miniature smooth coat Dachshund if you are looking for a small, low-maintenance dog.
While Dachshunds were initially bred to be independent hunters, they easily adapt to a different type of living conditions. They will play and exercise whenever and how you want them to.
While they love being outdoors and explore things, they also enjoy indoor games. Apart from the play times, Doxies remain relaxed and often seen napping, which is one of their favorite past times.
3. Boston Terrier
With a tuxedo-style coat that rarely needs grooming and little exercise, a Boston terrier is also a great choice for people with busy lifestyles.
A Boston terrier is also smart and obedient, which makes the training process a lot easier. It loves cuddles as much as it enjoys playing, making it an ideal choice for both families and single dwellers.
4. French Bulldog
While French bulldogs are energetic, they are even-tempered and respond well to training. Also, they lack stamina, which reduces their daily exercise needs.
When trained properly and from the beginning, French bulldogs generally remain well-behaved and do not bark too much. They also easily adapt to their owners’ lifestyles and do not mind being left alone. However, they tend to get overweight due to overeating.
You will need to be careful about how much your dog is eating and take it out frequently for walks or exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
The grooming needs of a French bulldog are also minimal.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need frequent grooming to keep their long coats clean and healthy, they are gentle, mild-mannered, and easy to train.
Their ability to sense and adjust to the temperament of their owners and their friendly nature makes them ideal pets. They not only easily adjust to their owners’ lifestyles but also work well with other pets.
These cute, gentle souls are happiest when cuddled or snuggled up beside their owners.
6. Rat Terrier
Although rat terriers are inherently social beings and love to be around people, they can also easily be trained to be on their own.
They are quick to learn but can be sensitive to drastic changes. Therefore, it is recommended to train your rat terrier according to your lifestyle from early on.
7. Tibetan Spaniel
If you are looking for a dog that doesn’t require much of your attention and can keep itself occupied, a Tibetan spaniel is your best bet.
The dog either keeps itself occupied with its toys or lounge around the house. This gentle and well-behaved dog also doesn’t need much grooming.
However, its fur tends to get tangled from behind the ears. For preventing this, it is recommended to give your Tibetan spaniel a quick brush, about once a week.
8. Italian Greyhound
Italian greyhounds make great family dogs, but prefer a one-on-one relationship with their owners. They can be a bit clingy at times as they love to sit on your lap and may also follow you around when you are home.
However, they are not very demanding and can be trained to be on their own easily – just give them a place to snuggle up.
Italian greyhounds tend to be a bit shy with strangers, both pets and humans, due to which they often do not feel comfortable outside. This makes them perfect for people who cannot take their pets for regular walks.
Since Italian greyhounds have short and fine fur, they also do not require much grooming. What else do you want?
One characteristic of Italian greyhounds that can be troublesome for people living in houses is their high drive to prey. It can be hard to restrain an Italian greyhound once it spots a potential prey.
To prevent this, you should either keep your dog indoors with the backyard door closed or keep it on a leash.
Do you want a dog that is low-maintenance, intelligent, easy to train, adaptable, and looks adorable? You should get a Maltese.
Maltese love to snuggle up in your lap but will also accompany you on a walk happily. They equally enjoy playtimes. Maltese also make great therapy dogs, watchdogs, and sports dogs.
In addition to all these fantastic attributes, Maltese do not shed much either despite having long coats. However, they need regular brushing to maintain healthy and silky hair.
If you don’t mind taking out some time to brush your dog’s hair every day, a Maltese will be a great choice.
Low Maintenance Medium Dogs
If you are someone who likes big dogs but cannot accommodate giant breeds in your house or apartment, get a medium-sized dog.
Here are your best options for low-maintenance medium-sized dogs:
10. Basset Hound
If your criteria of a low-maintenance dog involve laziness, then there could be no better choice than a basset hound.
Featuring droopy faces and floppy ears, basset hounds are just as low-energy and lazy as they look. They love to lounge around and do not mind being left alone, even for longer periods.
They are also highly accommodating and can be trained to adjust with other pets too easily. However, you have to be very gentle with them.
Basset hounds are highly sensitive souls and do not respond well to negative training or scolding. The best way to train these dogs is by offering plenty of treats.
The only demanding aspect of having a basset hound is that you will need to brush their fur about two to three times a week to maintain a healthy coat. If you can manage to do this, there cannot be any better (read undemanding and low-maintenance) dog breed than a basset hound.
While the resilient coat of drever makes it a low-maintenance dog, it may not be a good choice for people with very hectic schedules, especially if they also live alone.
However, if you have other family members, the drever will adjust to the routine easily and go with the flow.
While it does not need too much exercise, a drever appreciates a balanced routine. So, it’s better to have someone from the family, or a dog walker, take your drever out for a short brisk walk every day.
12. Border Terrier
Bloody terriers are not only low-maintenance and easy to train, but they are also very friendly with children, making them ideal for keeping as family dogs.
While they do love to have an area for running around, such as a yard, they easily adjust to apartment life as well, provided you sometimes take them out for a walk. Border terriers are playful but can be trained to follow routines easily.
They do, however, need a quick brush about once a week or so.
A dog that happily lays on its bed and patiently waits for you to return from work and get ready to take it out for a walk. This may sound too good to be true, but a whippet is just this kind of dog.
In addition to being prized for their mild, well-behaved nature, whippets are also a popular choice for pets because of their minimal to no grooming needs.
14. Australian Cattle Dog
While Australian cattle dogs are used as herding dogs mostly, they are also kept as pets due to their undemanding nature and low-maintenance requirements. They feature a short coat that rarely needs cleaning and brushing.
When kept as pets, Australian cattle dogs love to be involved in family activities. They also easily get along with children when raised with them from the beginning.
Australian cattle dogs generally remain healthy, with only occasional needs for vet visits.
15. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever is one of the most popular choices for family dogs. This medium to large-sized dog is known for its intelligence, friendliness, highly adaptable nature, loyalty, cute, and innocent face.
Labrador retriever is also a quick learner, making it one of the easiest dog breeds to train, and easy to care for, both in terms of health and grooming. Their skin and short coat generally do not need much care than once-a-week brushing with a fine hairbrush.
However, Labrador retrievers need plenty of mental stimulation and regular exercise to be at the best of their health and mood. Most dog parents do not mind taking out some time for their Labrador retrievers because of their adorable nature.
Vizsla is a great choice for a family dog, especially for families with children. The dog is not only friendly but also loves to talk in its own way, making it a good companion for children. It is also highly intelligent, easy to train, and requires little grooming.
However, a vizsla may not be a good choice for single dwellers because the dog loves to be around people and may even suffer from separation anxiety if it’s left alone for extended periods.
17. American Staffordshire Terrier
Another medium to large-sized dog, this terrier breed is truly a blessing to have as a pet as it loves to please its owner and is also great with kids.
However, American Staffordshire terriers are highly intelligent, which makes it important to train them; otherwise, they can pick up annoying or problematic habits.
Their coat is also easy to care for – all that’s needed to maintain its health and appearance is once-a-week brushing.
Low Maintenance Large Dogs
For those with an eternal love for giant dog breeds and enough space to accommodate them, here are some of the best low maintenance large dogs:
If you are one of those people who love to spend the after-work hours in front of the television, watching your favorite shows, and want a pet dog to give you company, get a mastiff.
If there’s any dog that deserves the title of the couch potato, it’s a mastiff.
While mastiff pups are a bit playful and goofy, they are very docile and continue to become lazier as they grow up.
Adult mastiffs have low energy and endurance levels and, hence, they love to snuggle on the couch or bed, both with their owners and on their own.
A cross between English Mastiff and English Bulldog (a breed which has now become extinct), bullmastiff is a large and muscular dog with wild and ferocious appearance.
However, when kept as a pet, it generally exhibits a compliant, docile, and friendly attitude. To raise it like an obedient pet, train your bullmastiff pup from early on.
Their short-haired coat is also easy to care for – all they need is brushing every other week.
20. Tosa Inu
Tosa is an excellent choice to be kept as a family pet. On the one hand, its intimidating appearance and wariness towards strangers make it a great guard dog.
But, on the other hand, its obedient nature, soft personality, relaxed behavior, and patience make them adorable.
With its multifaceted personality, Tosa perfectly fits the definition of a gentle giant.
Contrary to the common perception, greyhounds are not highly energetic dogs. While they do enjoy daily walks and occasional chances to run around, they generally love to loaf around and snuggle up with their owners.
They also do not need regular or heavy exercise to stay healthy and are also highly responsive to training and easy to handle.
In addition to all these qualities, greyhounds also do not need regular grooming, making them an ideal choice for people looking for large but low-maintenance dogs.
With a short coat and obedient nature, a Dalmatian is another great choice for a pet. Despite being large and active, a Dalmatian is a low-maintenance dog.
But, what makes this large dog breed stand out from all the others is that it has very little dog odor, which means you don’t need to bathe them too often.
Friendly, gentle, laid-back, loyal, and somewhat lumbering – this is how you define a bloodhound. The dog breed is both affectionate and independent.
While a bloodhound is easy to care for, you need to train it from the beginning because it is very intelligent and can pick up troublesome habits when left on its own.
The short-hair coat of a bloodhound also doesn’t need a lot of care or grooming – a thorough brushing once a week is enough.
24. Bernese Mountain Dog
If you are looking for a dog that is naughty and funny, choose a Bernese Mountain Dog, also called a Berner. In addition to having a goofy personality, Berner also loves to participate in family activities.
While they are easy to care for, train, and handle, Berners do not like to be left alone, so they are not a good choice for single dwellers. However, they make great family dogs.
Widely known as nanny dogs, Newfoundland dogs are known for their love for children, their watchful nature, and patience. Remember the dog Nana from Peter Pan? The depiction of a Newfoundland couldn’t be any better.
Newfoundland dogs are intelligent, easy to train, loyal, and affectionate. However, their long-haired, thick coat requires weekly brushing.
Getting a dog is a huge decision. Many people don’t realize the magnitude of this decision until they are faced with all the responsibilities and then struggle to take time out of their busy schedules.
To avoid all this frustration, you must take into account all the work that goes into raising a dog before bringing one home.
When you are looking to get a family dog, it’s important that you get a pup that can fit into your lifestyle.
Take your time to look through all the options discussed above to choose a dog that won’t require a lot of maintenance and can be trained to remain on its own.
However, an important thing to remember is that there is nothing like a zero maintenance dog. All dogs will need time, love, and care from your side, so only commit if you can fulfill these essential needs.