Best Low Maintenance Dog Breeds

Search the internet and you’ll find hundreds of articles on the top ten or 20 low-maintenance dog breeds, but everyone has a different definition of what they mean by “maintenance.” If you live an athletic lifestyle, giving your dog enough exercise wouldn’t be an issue. If you have guests over all the time, then a dog that is suspicious of strangers and noise might require more training.

So, just like cat lovers finding the right cat to fit their life, here are some low maintenance dog breeds for five different types of people and lifestyles.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Buying a certain breed of dog won’t guarantee a certain type of temperament. It is important that you interact with the dog or puppy you want to adopt and evaluate its energy level and personality. For example, regardless of breed, a nervous dog will require more patience and socialization than one that’s naturally happy-go-lucky.

For Snugglers and Couch Potatoes

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Snugglers and couch potato dogs are usually born with lower energy or they tire faster. So if you’re looking for a pet to watch hours of Netflix with you, then stay away from hounds or working dogs such as Weimaraners, Pointers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.

Instead, look for non-sporting dogs and toy breeds that have been bred to sit on people’s laps or lounge in bed all day. The Bichon Frise, Bulldog, French Bulldog, and Keeshond are all breeds that do well with a walk around the block followed by lots of couch time.

Hypoallergenic or Non-Shedding

low maintenance dog breeds poodle
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Do you hate vacuuming? Are you a stickler about lint and hair on your clothes and furniture? Or maybe you have allergies and can’t be around most furry things without sneezing?

If these things are important to you, you’ll want to look to adopt hypoallergenic, non-shedding dogs. Poodles, poodle-mixes, Lhasa Apsos, Shih-Tzus, and Schnauzers are all good options. Plus, these dogs come in a variety of sizes and energy levels. So you’ll be able to find one that’s a good fit for your lifestyle.

One thing to note is that certain dogs in this category need regular grooming. This can mean daily brushing or monthly grooming appointments. You should weigh this responsibility and cost with the benefit of having a dog that doesn’t shed.

Overall Health

low maintenance dog breeds husky
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Some dog breeds have more health issues than others. This is usually due to poor breeding or decades of inbreeding. A good example is the English Bulldog. While it’s generally considered low maintenance because of its low energy, it’s prone to health problems. Not to mention, owners of bulldogs need to wipe and clean their skin folds, anus, and ears on a daily basis. And forget about spending all day out in the sun — bulldogs tend to overheat very easily because of their short nose.

If expensive trips to the vet are something you’re trying to avoid, your best bet is to adopt a mutt. However, if you want a purebred, then look into the Bichon Frise, Havanese, Siberian Husky, Border Collie, and Australian Cattle Dog.

Keep in mind that some of the dogs on this list are herding and working dogs. That means they’re full of energy and love to run a lot — no matter the weather. If you don’t have the time to devote to keeping a Border Collie entertained all day, go for the Bichon Frise or Havanese.

Good Travel Buddy

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If you want to travel with your pooch, then size matters. Any dog over 20 pounds can’t sit in the cabin of an airplane. So, the bigger the dog, the more it costs to board it. Getting a pet sitter can be expensive and your dog will need to be both human and dog-friendly if you leave it with a sitter.

If you plan on bringing your dog with you on all your adventures, try looking at terriers and toy dogs, such as the Cairn Terrier, West Highland Terrier, Chihuahua, Lhasa Apso, and Yorkshire Terrier. They all make excellent companions for the road and easily fit into a bag. It’s a good idea to start flying and traveling with your dog as early as possible so the hecticness of airports and hotel lobbies isn’t stressful to them (and you).

Even if you must leave your pup at home, a small dog costs less to board than a big dog. For sociable large pups that easily adjust to strange dogs coming and going in a kennel, look for hounds, spaniels, and hunting dogs. These include the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Brittany Spaniel, English Setter, and Pointer. Make sure that the kennel provides lots of walks and activities since these dogs love to run and retrieve.


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Some dogs are eager to learn and are easy to train. Others may require specialized training to focus their breed-related drives. And then there are those dogs that just like to do things their way and need a bit of convincing from their human handlers.

Working breeds such as the Border Collie, German Shepherd, Poodle, Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever are all high energy, willing to work, and eager to take commands. Their pint-sized counterparts include the Chihuahua, Maltese, Bichon Frise, and Yorkshire Terrier. Akitas, Shiba Inus, Lhasa Apsos, and Chow Chows are intelligent, but stubborn breeds, requiring firm and consistent training.

If you’re looking to do minimal training, pick an easy to train dog that is also low or medium energy, like one of the smaller sized ones. You can easily meet the exercise requirements of a Yorkshire Terrier, but will need to put in some miles with a German Shepherd or a Border Collie. Once your dog is no longer excited and distracted, training becomes a piece of cake.

Lowest Maintenance Dog Breeds — Sources

Reader’s Digest
American Kennel Club
Field & Stream
Cesar Millan — Balance
Cesar Millan — Most Dangerous Dogs
Best Dogs for Babies