Keeping and raising a dog can be a difficult task, depending on the dog breed you pick. Many owners often struggle with the upkeep of grooming, exercising, training, and all the attention that’ll need to go into keeping your furry dog companion happy.
However, not all dog breeds need to be a handful. While living basics still need to be met, there are some dogs that require less time and energy to care for. Some breeds are more independent than others, thus requiring less attention.
If you’re a busy person, we’ve come up with a list of the 30 most low-maintenance dog breeds. They’re also perfect for first-time dog owners, the elderly or for your older kids to take care of (with some parent supervision).
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What Makes a Dog “Low Maintenance?”
A “low maintenance” dog breed can be subjective. Depending on the owner, everyone will have different ideas of what basic dog care is. However, there are a few factors that contribute to what most would agree as low maintenance.
I want to say that it’s very rare for any dog breed to hit every single criteria. For example, small lap dogs tend to be hypoallergenic and need less exercise, but they can’t stand being alone. You’ll need to pick and choose what you want to manage.
1. Low Shedding Dog
One of the most time-consuming aspects of dog upkeep is the grooming. Specifically, dogs that shed more tend to require more time to care for. As such, dog breeds that rarely shed, such as hypoallergenic breeds, are top consideration.
That said, low-maintenance dogs tend to have single coats as opposed to double coats. Having a single coat reduces the opportunity for shedding in the dog. Plus, you won’t see typical coat-blowing during shedding season.
2. Low Exercise Needs
All dogs were bred for different jobs and roles in society. Whether it be tracking, herding, retrieving or companionship, dogs are built with the physical traits and temperament to perform at those jobs. As a result, some breeds will be more energetic.
On one hand, you’ll have dogs that require 1 to 2 hours of physical activity each day. These may be your Huskies, Border Collies, Labradors and others. On the other side, there are some dogs that need minimal exercise, such as lap dogs.
Of course, exercise requirement is a huge factor in determining whether a dog is low maintenance. Not only is it time-costly to provide active dogs with exercise, but without their exercise, active breeds may show destructive behaviors.
3. Easy to Train
All dogs should be trained, whether it be housetraining, basic obedience or proper behaviors. But not all breeds will be as eager with training. There are dogs that can be exceptionally stubborn or strong-willed, but also dogs that are people-pleasing.
With that said, we’ve prioritized dog breeds that don’t mind training. These dogs have a high obedience & working intelligence, thus they’re very responsive to training. Plus, they’ll be less dominant and more willing to accept the owner as the alpha.
4. Calm Temperament
Most dog owners will agree that a calmer, more docile dog tends to be more low maintenance. Not only do they usually need less exercise, but they’re likely not going to be always pestering their owners to play with them.
Calm dog breeds are typically lap dogs or breeds developed for companionship. In a world with all types of working dogs, companion dogs are among the most laid back dogs. Still, there will be exceptions among individual dogs.
Small Low Maintenance Dogs
We start off the list with small or toy low-maintenance dog breeds. Because these dogs tend to be lap dogs, they’re more suited to a slower, easy going life. In addition, many of these small dogs shed a lot less than others.
Highlights: Comical, Fun-loving, Playful
The often-overlooked Affenpinscher is a fun-sized toy dog that doubles as a spirited companion and lap dog. They can be a little mischievous due to their fun-loving nature, but when needed, an Affenpinscher will always be there for you.
Affenpinschers are great low maintenance dogs for three reasons. First, they’re hypoallergenic, so shedding isn’t a huge problem. Though, occasional brushing is still needed. In addition, the Affenpinscher needs just 30 minutes of daily exercise.
Plus, they’re above average intelligent dogs, at least for working & obedience intelligence. In other words, they’re quick learners that respond well to training. And while they are lively dogs, an Affenpinscher enjoys cuddling just as much.
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Highlights: Docile, Gentle, Easy-going
You’ll never have a hard time keeping a Maltese Terrier. These low maintenance, laid back dogs are perfect for nearly all first time owner due to their responsive temperaments. Plus, they’re all relatively calm and docile sitting in your lap.
Originally bred for rat-hunting, the Maltese is primarily a companion dog today. They’ve done a good job adjusting to a more mellow and relaxing lifestyle, and it’s easy to see how. This dog is the happiest when lounging with its owners.
In addition, the Maltese doesn’t need much exercise at all. We recommend a short 20 minute stroll through the neighborhood will suffice. And like many other small dog breeds, the Maltese is a low-shedding dog!
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3. Boston Terrier
Highlights: Friendly, Lively, Affectionate
Boston Terriers are one of the best breeds for kids, so it makes sense they’re low maintenance dogs. They’re often called “America’s Gentleman” of dogs because they’re polite, calm, sweet and gentle. However, they do have a lively side.
Believe it or not, the Boston Terrier was once a fighting dog. But through several generations of breeding, the goal was to turn them into gentle and calm dogs. As a result, the modern Boston is a happy-go-lucky companion in the home.
Requiring just 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, Boston Terriers are among the least active of dogs. Though they aren’t technically hypoallergenic, this terrier sports a single coat that won’t shed as much as their double-coated counterparts.
4. Shih Tzu
Highlights: Sociable, Loyal, Gentle
It’s hard to argue that the Shih Tzu is a difficult dog breed to keep. In fact, they were originally (and still are) bred to keep your laps warm. From the laps of Chinese elitists to our very own, Shih Tzus have been low maintenance for centuries.
In terms of canine companionship, the Shih Tzu is one of the best in the business. After all, the Shih Tzu has been doing it since ancient China. This means that these lap dogs tend to prefer cuddling in your laps than going for a game of catch.
To top things off, the Shih Tzu is yet another hypoallergenic dog breed. Even so, the long locks of hair means they need regular brushing to remove any debris stuck on the coat. However, it won’t require much work at all.
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Highlights: Alert, Courageous, Lively
I’ll admit, the Chihuahua doesn’t check all the boxes for a low maintenance dog breed. Not only do they shed quite a bit, but they’re not the most trainable dogs. In fact, they have one of the lowest scores for obedience and work intelligence.
But despite all the Chihuahua’s “flaws,” they’re some of the most independent toy dogs you’ll be able to find. In other words, they’re excellent dogs if you’re a busy person. With enough food and water, Chihuahuas can be left alone for 9 to 10 hours.
That’s not to say you should leave your Chi alone all day. They’re loyal companion dogs that love the company of their owners. And if dealing with shedding is your biggest concern, how much fur can this tiny dog produce anyway?
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6. Japanese Chin
Highlights: Intelligent, Independent, Loving
Otherwise known as the Japanese Spaniel, the Japanese Chin is a popular dog for those that have less time to care for their pets. It’s true that the Chin is an independent breed and can be left alone for a few hours at a time.
Some owners describe them as “cat-like” dogs for this very reason. Even so, the Chins will still love and appreciate all human interactions. Always cheerful and bright, they’re the type of lap dogs that’ll be up for anything you want to do!
They’re not hypoallergenic dogs, though they do have an easy-to-care-for single coat that they will often groom themselves. And when it comes to training, the Japanese Chin will happily do your bidding due to their people-pleasing nature.
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7. Cavalier King Charles
Highlights: Outgoing, Adaptable, Affectionate
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is arguably the most famous spaniel breed, and by far, the most popular spaniel (in America). The best part is they’re low-maintenance dogs perfect for all kinds of owners. No wonder they’re a hit!
It’s worth noting that this spaniel has a double coat, meaning they tend to shed heavily during the spring and fall. However, they’re not big dogs and cleaning up after them shouldn’t be much of a problem. Despite this, they have a lot of good aspects.
For example, the Cavalier King Charles are famously called “comforter dogs” because they love to sit in their owners’ laps. Because they were bred for companionship, they know when to relax and calm down. However, they can play hard too.
8. Bichon Frise
Highlights: Sensitive, Gentle, Playful
The Bichon Frise is undeniably a low maintenance breed, though they’re not ideal for owners with a busy schedule. All these dogs need is love and attention. Aside from that, there’s very little involved with caring for a Bichon.
Like many small dogs on this list, the Bichon Frise is a hypoallergenic dog that rarely sheds. In the past, these dogs were actually sailing dogs (used sometimes for herding). But when the French got them, they bred Bichons into gentle lap dogs.
Bichons will appreciate exercise and fun-play, but only 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise will be needed to keep them happy. In addition, they respond well to training. As long as you go in with positive reinforcement, they’re fairly trainable dogs.
Highlights: Charming, Quiet, Docile
This list wouldn’t be complete without the fan-favorite Pug. Though, the biggest concern with a Pug is the shedding. While they do have double coats, many owners with black Pugs will tell you that they tend to shed a lot less.
Like many other small Chinese dog breeds, Pugs were developed to be lap dogs. Specifically, lap dogs of Chinese royalty. As such, you can count on them being low maintenance dogs for those that just want to cuddle with their dog.
Most Pugs may prefer not to exercise. It’s because they were born with a small nasal passage and unable to tolerate much physical activity. Still, that doesn’t mean they don’t need to go for a walk every day. After all, they’re prone to obesity.
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10. Border Terrier
Highlights: Obedient, Loving, Even-tempered
The Border Terrier is one of the very few low maintenance terrier breeds. While terriers tend to be spirited, bold and energetic, the Border Terrier is certainly calmer than most. It’s why we think they’re perfect dogs for children!
The best part of these dogs is the temperament. Border Terriers are mild-tempered dogs with a loving side that meshes well into any household. Overall, they’re quite obedient and respond well to training and commands.
The Border Terrier is also hypoallergenic with a relatively short coat, so grooming won’t be too much of a problem. They don’t need an exuberant amount of energy, like with other terriers, but a daily walk and some human interaction will suffice.
Highlights: Intelligent, Friendly, Cheerful
The Papillon is one of the 10 smartest dog breeds in the world! When it comes to learning tricks and commands, few dogs can learn quicker than the Papillon. First time owners should have no problems blowing through basic obedience training.
But what truly makes the Papillon a low maintenance dog is how clean they are. These dogs do not have a strong dog odor. Plus, they tend to do their own grooming. However, you’ll want to regularly check their ears, as they can get infected.
Papillons can be lively and energetic, but that doesn’t mean they need a lot of exercise. They’ll need roughly 30 minutes each day to remain healthy and happy. Most of the time, they prefer to hang out in the comfort of your lap.
Highlights: Clever, Playful, Courageous
The Dachshund was originally bred as an active hunting dog. But in recent years, they’ve been widely touted as a lovable companion. So while they still retain their enthusiasm and liveliness from the past, Doxies are also be low maintenance lap dogs.
It’s worth noting that these little dogs tend to be stubborn. As a result, they score poorly in both obedience and working intelligence. Nevertheless, Dachshunds are clever dogs with a loyalty seen in few breeds. For this reason, obedience training will vary.
Dachshunds need about 30 minutes of exercise a day. But because of their iconic short legs and elongated bodies, a Dachshund can’t actually exercise too much. Otherwise, it may lead to potential spinal injuries that can become serious with old age.
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13. Tibetan Spaniel
Highlights: Independent, Happy, Playful
The Tibetan Spaniel is one of the easiest dog breeds to live with. These spaniels are very much cat-like, that is, energetic and playful, though calm and relaxed. Tibetan Spaniels are great for home-body dog owners, as they tend to crave attention.
But when it comes to physical exercise, the Tibetan Spaniel doesn’t need much at all. With just a daily walk or playtime in a fenced enclosure, they’ll be quite happy. For these reasons, they can make great playmates for kids.
When it comes to shedding, the Tibetan will shed moderately year-round despite sporting a silky double coat. As such, make sure to brush them weekly to remove dead hair and debris stuck on the coat. Otherwise, grooming is basic.
Highlights: Affectionate, Proud, Good-natured
The Pekingese was bred to be a companion, and they’ve been performing this role for several centuries. Because they were once lap dogs of China’s imperial family, Pekingese dogs tend to have an air of confidence and dignity.
But they’re not as stuck-up as one may think. Rather, the Pekingese is always cheerful with a positive vibe. Though they’re low maintenance dogs that are great for beginners, they do need to have plenty of human interaction.
A Pekingese may develop separation anxiety if frequently left alone for long periods. But on the bright side, they’re fairly chill and calm dogs that require minimal exercise. And while they do shed, these small dogs don’t have much fur to begin with.
15. English Toy Spaniel
Highlights: Gentle, Reserved, Affectionate
Similar to their Cavalier King Charles cousin, the English Toy Spaniel is a toy companion that’s happiest in the laps of their loving owners. However, they’re even more low maintenance than the Cavaliers (in most cases).
Overall, the English Toy is a much more reserved and quiet spaniel. That’s not to say they are not playful and mischievous – they’re just more easy-going in the home. English Toys do tend to develop strong bonds with a single person, though.
That said, I recommend these dogs for seniors looking for a companion, or first-time owners. In terms of physical activity, a English Toy Spaniel will often exercise himself. These dogs really don’t need much, so a simple stroll would suffice.
16. French Bulldog
Highlights: Patient, Bright, Easy-going
The French Bulldog is a type of bulldog bred specifically for companionship. Not only were they bred down in size, but their personalities were also tailored for those wanting low maintenance dogs. As such, the Frenchie is one of the easiest to care for!
French Bulldogs check all the boxes. They have a docile and calm temperament, which means they can be easy to train. But at the same time, they don’t need as much exercise as many of the other breeds. About 30 to 60 minutes a day will be fine.
Frenchies don’t shed much, either. They sport a single coat that’ll see low to moderate shedding year-round. And with their short fur, cleaning up after them won’t take too much time. They just want to hang out and have fun with their owners.
17. Brussels Griffon
Highlights: Companionable, Sensitive, Curious
The Brussels Griffon is without question, a spirited and active companion. And among all the low maintenance dogs, they require the most attention. However, with the right owner and the right environment, they can make fairly easy dogs.
These dogs come in two coat variations. The smooth-coated Griffon will be low shedders and only require weekly brushing. On the other hand, the rough-coated Griffon will likely not shed at all. Either way, grooming will be minimal work.
The best part is their patience, despite being a fun-loving dog. They’ll adapt to the owners, so if you’re a first timer or novice trainer, they won’t be too difficult for you. It’s worth noting that they can be a little stubborn from time to time.
Highlights: Responsive, Gentle, Playful
There’s a lot to love about the Havanese as a low maintenance dog breed option. It’s rare for a Havanese to be overly energetic and active. For the most part, they much rather prefer to curl up with their owners on the couch, than to exercise.
However, they’re best for those that have the time to spend with their dog. We don’t mean you’ll need to put in work to care for them. Rather, they just need human companionship. They’re not ideal for busy owners, unless you work from home.
Shedding is not a huge concern with the Havanese. In fact, the Havanese is a hypoallergenic dog with minimal shedding. Plus, they’re smart enough to take on obedience training with full enthusiasm. Just make sure positive reinforcement is used.
19. Lhasa Apso
Highlights: Spirited, Friendly, Dependable
It doesn’t get easier than keeping a Lhasa Apso. These true low maintenance dogs do require a lot of exercise, as they’re quite active dogs. However, Lhasa Apsos are so small that they tend to burn off the energy at home, and often by themselves.
Lhasas are one of the few companion lap dogs that are perfectly fine with being home alone for an extended period of time. They are independent, which can pose problems with training, but also makes it easy for them to entertain themselves.
Another huge plus for the Lhasa is their low-shedding coat. They’re hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed fur like most dogs. With exercise, they need less than 30 minutes a day. As such, they make amazing dogs for busy people.
Medium-Sized Low Maintenance Dogs
Because many medium-sized dogs were bred for work, there are few low maintenance options. Even so, it’s not impossible to find a calm and laid back medium dog that’s easy to care for. We narrowed it down to these dog breeds:
20. Basset Hound
Highlights: Friendly, Loyal, Sweet
Basset Hounds were first bred as a hunting companion, capable of tracking down the slightest of scents. Yes, it’s true that they can be active on the field, but when in the home, they seem like a whole new dog breed.
These dogs are typically calm and docile, even when strangers are around. They don’t pose a risk to people and make terrible guard dogs. But on the bright side, Basset Hounds don’t need as much socializing and training as other dogs.
Thanks to their mellow temperaments, these hounds only need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Plus, Basset Hounds shed moderately due to their short double coats. Regardless, you won’t have a hard time with a Basset.
Highlights: Gentle, Quiet, Even-tempered
Greyhounds are known as the “fastest dog breed” in the world. With speeds up to 45 mph, the Greyhound may seem like a hyperactive and energetic dog. But despite their amazing speeds, these dogs are fairly gentle and calm at home.
Still, you’ll want to get them at least an hour of exercise each day – which really isn’t that bad if compared to other medium-sized dogs. Though, they can be more low maintenance if you have a large backyard for them to run in. That’s perfectly acceptable.
The Greyhound can be left alone for hours at a time, making them great for busy owners. But we don’t recommend doing this too often. All dogs, including Greyhounds, much rather enjoy the company of their owners.
22. Standard Poodle
Highlights: Intelligent, Devoted, Trainable
Standard Poodles may be the best low maintenance option among medium-sized dogs. They really hit all the recommended requirements for kids, beginners, seniors and busy owners. Plus, the standard size tends to be calmer than the toy and miniature.
To kick things off, the Poodle is the second smartest dog breed. They’re sharp learners, which can make life easy for many owners. In addition, Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs. They don’t shed fur, but rather lose strands of hair like humans.
And finally, Poodles are okay being left alone for long durations. As long as they have enough food and water, they’ll be fine. To top things off, Poodles need just 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day. It doesn’t get more easy than this.
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23. Cocker Spaniel
Highlights: Quiet, Obedient, Affectioante
The faithful and lively Cocker Spaniel is the perfect addition for owners needing an easy dog to take care of. What makes them ideal dogs is their eagerness to learn. They’re very smart dogs that respond well to training.
However, the only concern is they don’t enjoy being home alone. After all, these dogs were bred to hunt in packs, so they’re always with others. But providing another canine buddy will help them if they get lonely and develop anxiety.
On the other hand, Cocker Spaniels don’t need too much exercise – relative to their size. Giving them 30 to 60 minutes per day should be enough. And while they do shed moderately, it won’t be as much as say, a Siberian Husky.
Highlights: Quiet, Independent, Inquisitive
We picked the Basenji as a low maintenance dogs for a few reasons. The main reason being that they’re truly independent dogs who don’t mind spending some time alone. In a way, you can think of them an “introverted” dogs.
Nevertheless, the Basenji is still affectionate and loves its humans. One concern is that they’re fairly energetic dogs and require an hour of daily exercise. A long walk through the park will be fine, but expect them to wander off following scents.
The best part of the Basenji is how quiet they are. In fact, these dogs don’t even bark. Thanks to their flat larynxes, they’re just not capable of barking. Instead, they’ll make a yodel sound that’s more fascinating than annoying.
Large Low Maintenance Dogs
Despite popular belief, not all large dog breeds are active and full of energy. While many are, a few select breeds have the temperament ideal for busy families, seniors and first timers. Some are called nanny dogs because they can actually “help out” around the home.
25. Bernese Mountain Dog
Highlights: Affectionate, Faithful, Loyal
Compared to other large dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog is relatively easy to keep. But that’s not to say they don’t have any shortcomings when it comes to easy dog care. The good news: a Bernese needs just 30 to 60 minutes of daily work.
Most Bernese Mountain dogs can manage staying home alone for a few hours at a time. Even so, they prefer human companionship, so don’t do it too often. The downside is their shedding, as they tend to shed heavily during the spring.
But despite all this, they have a calm and gentle temperament that’s easy to handle. A Bernese doesn’t have a dominant personality, unlike most big dog breeds. Plus, they’re some of the most intelligent large dogs, so training will be a breeze.
26. Golden Retriever
Highlights: Friendly, Dependable, Intelligent
The Golden Retriever is, without question, one of America’s most favorite dog breeds partly due to their easiness to care for. Although not every Golden will be low maintenance, a well-bred and trained Golden will cause little headache.
These people-oriented dogs are always eager to please and learn. Combine this with the high intelligence, and you have yourself an obedient and trainable dog. They’re always friendly with both strangers and family, so socializing won’t take long.
It’s recommended they get 1-2 hours of exercise each day. Though, having a big backyard with a fence can help a lot. Golden Retrievers can be heavy shedders and will need grooming. But even so, their easy-going nature makes up for this.
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Highlights: Obedient, Gentle, Even-tempered
Newfoundlands are typical nanny dogs: big, fluffy, calm and sweet-natured. They’re easy-going dogs with a mild temperament. For these reasons, they can be considered low maintenance for some people.
Although Newfoundlands are relaxed in the home, they still need their exercise. They’re not all that excited about physical activity, but they can easily turn into overweight lounge dogs without it. We recommend 30 to 60 minutes daily!
One thing to keep in mind is that they’re big dogs with a double coat. In other words, they will shed a lot and regular grooming is essential. These dogs are intelligent, but training them will require patience, as they can be strong-willed dogs.
28. Saint Bernard
Highlights: Docile, Watchful, Calm
There’s plenty of debate over whether the St Bernard should be considered a low maintenance dog breed. It’s true that they shed and drool a lot. But unless you’re a neat freak, the calm and docile demeanor makes them overall easy dogs.
Saint Bernards don’t need a lot of exercise, at least compared to other dogs of the same size. In most cases, 30 to 60 minutes a day is enough. In fact, it’s recommended they don’t get too much exercise as a puppy to prevent future bone issues.
Training them to fit into the family will be a piece of cake. Sure, they’re intelligent, but it’s their loving and affectionate personalities make them ideal for most families, especially for those with kids. Plus, they tend to do well alone for a few hours a day.
29. Great Dane
Highlights: Loyal, Confident, Gentle
Few big dog breeds are as patient and mild-mannered as the Great Dane. They’re known as some of the top dogs for kids, and for good reason too! Gentle and loving, the Dane is going to not only be a companion, but also a guardian.
Great Danes do an excellent job looking over the family without the aggressive behaviors seen in other large dogs. But at the same time, a Dane will require human interaction, as they tend to be social dogs that thrive in a loving environment.
Depending on your individual Dane, they may require 30 to 90 minutes of exercise each day. It isn’t a lot, considering they’re the largest purebred in the world. And while they may not be quick learners, their adaptive intelligence is off the charts.
30. Shar Pei
Highlights: Independent, Loving, Reserved
The Chinese Shar Pei a dog breed you can’t mistaken. With their wrinkled skin and large facial features, the Shar Pei is truly a one-of-a-kind. However, this breed has all the qualities to make them true low maintenance dogs.
Shar Peis are both independent and composed. Plus, they’re reserved dogs that don’t mind spending some alone time while you’re at work. While they can be aloof, know that they’re an excellent guard and watchdog for your home.
What we love about these dogs is that they’re not heavy shedders year-round. Instead, they’ll shed their coats only during shedding season. Though fairly large dogs, they don’t require a lot of exercise. Just a 30 minute session each day will work.
High Maintenance Dogs to Avoid
One of the biggest problems in dog ownership is picking a dog breed based on their looks or without much research into the true time and cost investment. This is a huge reason why our shelters are filled with so many “unwanted” dogs.
If you’re a busy person, or just someone that can’t spend enough time with your dog, it’s crucial you avoid high maintenance dogs. Otherwise, your new dog may very well end up in one of our overcrowded shelters in a few months.
High maintenance dog breeds, on the contrary, are dogs that require an substantial amount of exercise. Some breeds, like the Border Collie, may need up to two hours per day! These dogs are naturally hyper, and without exercise, can be destructive.
These will also be dog breeds that require regular grooming – sometimes brushing every day! In some cases, high maintenance dogs may also need frequent baths, as they primarily live outside and often get into dirt (much like my Aussie!).
Patience and consistency is needed with high maintenance dogs. They tend to be stubborn or strong-willed, making obedience training difficult. Larger dogs may also have a dominant personality and will require a firm hand.
High Maintenance Dog Breeds
If you’re looking for a low maintenance dog, we recommend skipping these breeds. No matter how adorable or “cool” they may seem, they won’t be ideal if you can’t commit the time or have the experience to raise them.
- Siberian Husky
- Border Collie
- Australian Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Chow Chow
- Irish Setter
- Springer Spaniel
- Belgian Malinois
- Akita Inu
- German Shorthaired Pointer
Of course, there will be exceptions to breeds. Not all recommended low maintenance dogs will be easy to care for. Likewise, not all high maintenance dogs will be difficult. Always do your own research when picking a dog breed for your lifestyle.
Which low maintenance dog breed was your favorite? And do you own any dog on this list? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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Thursday 17th of March 2022
I've had to relocate due to personal circumstances, and now live alone in an apartment. I'm also a senior, for what that's worth. I walk about three miles a day in MOST weather conditions, so exercising a dog isn't an issue. Considering a standard poodle. I saw some people on a local walking trail recently with two of them. (Helper dogs that visit children in the hospital!)