Some owners are looking for a marathon-running pal. Some want to invest serious time with a show dog. But others of us just want a couch potato cuddle buddy!
Whether you’re looking to avoid hours of exercise time at the dog park, or just don’t want to spend a small fortune on monthly visits to the groomer, there are plenty of reasons why owners may seek out low-maintenance dog breeds.
Whatever the reason, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a low-maintenance dog breed. And thankfully, there are plenty to choose from!
Low-maintenance dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes, from cuddly lap dogs and lazy floor zombies to clean & quiet pooches.
With this list, you’ll be able to find your perfect laid-back buddy!
What’s Considered a Low Maintenance Dog?
Some things that we considered when classifying “low-maintenance” dogs:
- Low/moderate exercise needs
- Minimal grooming
- Minimal shedding
- Can be left alone for significant periods of time
The dogs on our low-maintenance list meet at least one of these criteria, sometimes multiple.
There is no breed that will allow you the luxury of total laziness (all dogs require a fair amount of attention and care) but there are combinations of characteristics that may fit better with your lifestyle.
We always suggest really thinking about your own values and what you are looking for in a canine companion before considering bringing a furry buddy home. Part one of our dog adoption guide – where we show you how to make a dream dog scorecard – is a great place to start!
This list takes into consideration everything from the amount of exercise and training a breed needs to the amount of grooming and health care typically expected.
If a breed has low energy, is good with kids, and can be left alone for longer periods, then it’s on the list.
However, keep in mind all dogs do require work. They all need to move every day, even if it’s just a quick stroll around the block. Similarly, their hair coats, ears, and nails need to be properly maintained.
It’s also worth noting that dogs are individuals – even if a dog breed is known for being independent and doing well alone, you could easily end up with a clingy velcro dog. There’s a lot that goes into a dog’s disposition from genetics to environment. However, this list can at least give you a place to start from!
So here we go; let’s jump in and find the perfect furry friend for your busy life:
1. Boston Terrier
Who needs TV when you own a friendly, amusing Boston?
Boston terriers are small, sturdy, and people-oriented. These guys seem to be naturally gifted at performing for humans and don’t require much from us in return. They are quite portable and their sleek coat only sheds a bit. Occasional baths will keep your Boston good to go.
Be mindful when letting them outside for exercise! Bostons want to play and usually require a ball or toy – they won’t simply run around on their own.
Despite requiring a play partner, these are perfect city dogs. They love checking out street cafes and are very quiet considering the amount of hustle and bustle going on around them.
- Sleek, short, low-shed coat
2. Miniature Pinscher
This fun-loving pooch weighs under 10 pounds (4 kilograms) and is very easy to maintain. Their short coats only need minimal brushing and the breed is generally very healthy.
The miniature pinscher is a fearless ball of energy outside. During your couple of walks a day you will watch your dog sprinting back and forth chasing toys and playing with other animals. But this means when you’re back at home there will be plenty of lazy time for the two of you to chill.
- Short, easy coat
3. Brussels Griffon
Named after a city like the Boston Terrier, this dog is also well-suited for apartments. Somewhat of a goofball, this small and adorable breed is a wonderful friend.
Another small breed that only requires moderate grooming needs, the Brussels Griffon is usually quite healthy and very well-mannered. Just remember to brush their wiry coats about once a week.
Brussels Griffons can be quite energetic and require a lot of exercise, so they may not be low maintenance enough for owners who aren’t big into physical activity. Basic training is also highly encouraged to taper off their feistiness and give them some good structure.
These silly dogs will do just fine in an urban apartment setting as long as they get a few chances to go run outside.
- Generally healthy
- Fun in an apartment setting
4. Basset Hound
This historically low energy breed is a sweetie pie. Our list’s first medium size doesn’t mean it won’t cuddle up in your lap, even at 40 to 65 pounds (18 to 29 kilograms).
Bassets are known for their affection. Another great breed for apartments, their short legs make them look built for city life. Their famously droopy ears do, in fact, hang low and can get into all sorts of things so make sure you check them often to keep them free from infection.
Bassets are calm, generally quiet, and one of the most good-natured breeds around. You’ll need to brush them a couple times a week and give occasional baths, but no kind of extraordinary grooming is required.
They really enjoy the company of other dogs, so when you are out together try to find a dog park or another canine friend to walk with. Just be careful not to overfeed them human food – they can be prone to becoming obese.
- Gentle and good-natured
Many people think of Chihuahuas as hyper little pets. Although they do get spurts of energy, they are mostly very relaxed and peaceful little lap dogs.
This tiny breed doesn’t need much exercise at all and most apartments have plenty of room for them to get up to a full sprint.
Chihuahuas’ grooming requirements are very minimal and even the long haired variety will only you to brush for tangles occasionally.
These little guys are usually pretty healthy as well. Just don’t fall into the habit of babying them too much. Chihuahuas can develop anxieties and insecurities from being carried everywhere, so be sure to let them build their confidence, and get the help of a reliable dog trainer if your Chihuahua begins to act out.
- Low-maintenance grooming
- Minimal exercise needed
Beagles are lovable dogs that really enjoy spending time with humans.
These dogs are great with kids because – despite their small size – they can have high bursts of energy. They’re also sturdy enough to not be injured by some of the younger, clumsier kids.
The beagle’s friendliness extends beyond kids, of course.
Many people choose beagles to be their therapy dogs because they love greeting everyone and will add a lot of excitement to wherever they go. Their coats don’t get tangled, so they don’t need to be sent off to the groomer.
Beagles are fairly easy to take care of. Just be mindful of properly house training them as their hunting and territorial instincts may lead them to mark parts of your home. They also bark a bit more than the other dogs in our list.
While beagles meet most of the requirement for a low-maintenance dog breed, as a breed with a hunting background, they do require a fair amount of exercise, so make sure to get your beagle out and about often to avoid behavioral issues.
Develop a good relationship with your beagle and you’ll be able to keep your house clean and relatively quiet!
- Great with guests and kids
- Very little shedding
The national dog of Cuba is best known for its long-haired variety. But the short-haired Havanese makes our list as a very low maintenance dog.
These natural lap dogs are great friends. At around 10 pounds (4 kilograms) they are small and sturdy and love attention from anyone be it young children or the elderly.
Havanese (and most Havanese mixes) are little extroverts with comedic instincts that make them very entertaining to have around. They can be left at home and their adaptable nature will suit pretty much whatever living environment you give them. Their funny attitude and almost human-like social skills make them an ideal dog for a setting with many people.
- Can be left at home
Be sure to pick up a good dog food for Havanese if you add one of these waggers to your family!
8. French Bulldog
The charming Frenchie can be your lazy companion. These cheerful little guys aren’t opposed to exercise, it’s just that they lack the endurance that many other dogs have. But don’t tell them this as it may spoil their natural cheery attitude towards almost everything!
These stocky and muscular dogs don’t require much in the form of grooming. They are, however, susceptible to various health issues, such as skin problems.
Let your family enjoy the gleeful nature of this low maintenance pooch. They don’t bark much but they are very expressive and almost always smiling.
- Great with families
9. Shar Pei
The Shar Pei can be a very versatile dog depending on what you’re looking for.
At 45 to 60 pounds (18 to 29 kilograms) they are definitely not small but they can still be great with kids who love their excess skin and big face.
These low energy animals are quite independent and don’t need you to entertain them all the time. They can fill the role of the loyal family dog or a guard dog as they are very adaptive. They would serve as a great fit for an active owner but are also quite content to stay at home all day with only minimal walking time.
Requiring minimal grooming, a bath once a month is a good idea. They do tend to shed especially if you can’t resist rubbing their folds of fur every time you walk by.
If they are trained at a young age there shouldn’t be any behavioral issues. But be aware of health problems as they were inbred for many years.
The dachshund is your couch potato in a hot dog body. Whether you are into Netflix, DVDs or just the evening news, you can count on your dachshund to be there next to you or on your lap.
These very affectionate dogs love to be around you!
These guys come in several sizes to choose from – the miniature dachshund weighs around 10 pounds (4 kilograms) while the standard dachshund can grow up to 32 pounds (14 kilograms). Of course, long-haired dachshunds require more grooming than their short-haired cousins.
Dachshunds don’t require much exercise. With their long bodies and short little legs, too much jumping or running could actually cause spinal problems. So don’t overdo it. Just enjoy these stubborn little natural companions in your small home or apartment.
- Lap companion
- Minimal exercise needs
How are the fastest dogs one of the easiest to maintain? They are extremely lazy, that’s how. They are very low energy dogs and enjoy loafing around and taking long naps.
These calm dogs do enjoy daily walks and the chance to run outside a bit, but large amounts of exercise with room for them to sprint is not necessary.
Greyhounds are great low maintenance dogs for those who want a large but not giant breed that is gentle and quiet. They are quite striking dogs which is a big reason they are so popular. They also don’t tend to have health issues which is an added bonus.
- Quiet and lazy
- Lowest maintenance big dog
Which Is Your Favorite Low Maintenence Dog Breed?
Did we miss your favorite low energy canine? This list wasn’t ranking the sleepiest or most independent dogs but rather was a mix of low maintenance pets for owners with different needs.
When looking for a low maintenance dog avoid high energy breeds, smart dogs (they will get too bored) and, of course, puppies. Here’s a video of some owners dealing with their lazy dogs… Let us know what you think below in our comments section!