We all need the love of a good dog in our lives, but not everyone has tons of room for them to roam or the time to deal with constant grooming. But that doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on all the fun of owning a dog.
The good news is that there are plenty of low maintenance dog breeds that are perfect for those of us who are living in apartments or living a busy lifestyle. Find the best laid back dog breeds on our list (in no particular order) below!
What Makes the Best Low Maintenance Dogs?
Here are some factors that affect how much maintenance a dog needs.
Grooming. It is no surprise here that most of the low maintenance dog breeds will be short-haired dogs. They don’t need to be groomed as often, just a quick wash and brush every week or so.
Good health. Some dog breeds are known for having good health and are not prone to certain diseases like others are. You will need to ensure your dog stays healthy with a good diet and some regular exercise.
Low energy. You might think size is more important when looking for a dog for small spaces like an apartment. Many small dogs, however, are full of energy and often a little manic. What you really need is a low-energy dog breed that tends towards a calm, mellow demeanor. While some dogs may be from one of the low exercise dog breeds, remember that all dogs will need some exercise daily.
Easy to train. Certain dog breeds are highly intelligent and this makes them eager to please and easy to train. Dogs that are low maintenance will pick up any training with ease and as a result will be well behaved.
The Best Low Maintenance Dog Breeds
Now that you know what makes a dog low maintenance, here are some of the best low maintenance dog breeds.
1. Yorkshire Terrier
The small size of Yorkies makes them perfect for those in apartments, with adults only reaching about 6 pounds. They are the most popular toy dog breed in the U.S. They have a long lifespan (up to 15 years) and don’t require much exercise. A quick walk or indoor play session is all they need. If you enjoy having visitors, Yorkies are great as they’re very friendly and also hypoallergenic. Keep their hair short to keep grooming to a minimum.
2. Miniature Pinscher
Despite their small size, Miniature Pinschers show no fear. They have a happy demeanor and are typically pretty healthy with the average lifespan being around 12 years. Maintenance is a breeze with only an occasional brushing being necessary. They are smart and easy to train, but are not ideal for homes with smaller children, and can tend towards aggressiveness with strangers. They were bred as a hunting dog, so they have a little more energy than some of the other breeds here. They love to get into trouble so make sure you keep them mentally stimulated.
3. Labrador Retriever
One of the most popular breeds in America, Labs are easy to train, love kids, and are very friendly (to the point that they’re not great options if you’re looking for a guard dog). But if you’re looking for an always happy, easy-going dog for your family that loves to play, you can’t go wrong with a Lab. They are a great companion dog, which is one of the reasons they are used as therapy and assistance dogs. They have a short coat that is easy to take care of. They are one of the best low maintenance family dog breeds.
This is a breed that loves to cuddle! The Havanese dog is known for its gentleness, making them a great companion for anyone. For this reason, they don’t do well when left alone and can be prone to separation anxiety. They are definitely an indoor dog breed and ideal for apartment living. They can be scared (but not typically aggressive) of strangers so proper socialization is important. These are dogs that have a fair amount of energy so keep them amused with a long walk or some indoor games to play.
5. Basset Hounds
These adorable floppy-eared pups are great for laid back owners as they’re perfectly happy and content to lay around the house letting everyone bask in their cuteness. Their smooth, short coats are fairly easy to take care of. Despite being bred for hunting, the Basset Hound is fairly laid back, and a leisurely walk is usually enough for a Basset Hound. Be careful though, as they can easily put on weight, so get them out for that walk daily. They can be stubborn and difficult to train, so start early and have patience.
Looking for a low maintenance dog to add to your family? Look no further than Pugs! Pugs were bred in China to sit on the laps of royalty. As a lap dog, they have to be a pretty laid back dog breed. They are well known for getting along with children in addition to other small dogs and cats. They can tend to be a little stubborn, so get your training in early while they are young. While still being short-haired, they do tend to shed a bit, so you may need to brush them more often. They are a very low exercise dog breed, and due to their short noses, can have breathing problems if over-exercised. They are affectionate, happy, and love to be the center of attention, so give them lots of love. They are devoted and love to be around their humans, so you’ll just have to learn to love the sound of their snort!
7. Chinese Shar Pei
The Shar Pei’s loose, wrinkly skin makes them practically irresistible to pet! They’re definitely on the lazier side, but a daily walk is plenty of exercise for them so if you lack a backyard this could be the perfect breed for you. They are a devoted and protective breed, preferring to be close to their owner, and as a result, make a good guard dog. They can be a little independent and strong willed so get in early with training and socializing.
Wait, what? How can this massive breed be considered low maintenance? Well, despite their large size, Mastiffs are calm and low-energy. They still need exercise and plenty of food, but their large size and sweet, loyal personality make them great companions for single people. They may require a little extra training when it comes to walking without pulling, but once you have that down, walking will be a slow calm outing for you both. Their short coat is easy to groom and doesn’t shed a lot. Their mellow personality makes them ideal for apartment living.
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world, so no surprise they made our list. Hey, they can even fit in your purse. This was a breed made for apartment dwellers who love spending time with their pup on the couch! These guys love to cuddle and have a long life expectancy (14-16 years). And if you’re looking for more than one pup for your home, they love hanging out with other Chihuahuas. They do tend to be a one-person dog though, being extremely protective of their owner. Look for the short-haired Chihuahua as they require a little less grooming, although both are considered low maintenance.
10. Bichon Frise
If you’re an apartment dweller looking for a cute companion that’s just the right size for your abode, look no further than the Bichon Frise. On top of their cuteness, these pups require little exercise, love cuddling on your lap, and are always there to cheer you up with their happy demeanor. They like to play and make a great family dog. They have a bit of energy, so give them lots of games and toys to play with. They don’t shed, so are easy to care for, but they don’t like to be left alone.
This gentle, short-haired breed has a laid back temperament that makes them quick learners when it comes to training. Beagles are friendly and loving towards strangers and children, so perhaps not great for a guard dog. A daily walk is a must for this breed and as a hunting dog, they like games that involve scent trails. Their short coat requires only a little brushing. But one caution is that they do love to howl.
12. Jack Russell Terrier
This fun-filled, playful breed has a long lifespan (13-16 years) and is known for responding well to training. They love to learn tricks or train in agility, but become bored easily and will get themselves into trouble. If you’ve got young children in your home, they make great companions as they love kids and will match their high energy. They do need a good amount of vigorous activity daily. Due to their higher energy and tendency to barking, they are not ideal for apartments.
This may seem like a strange addition to our list considering they are bred as a racing dog. Despite being known for their tremendous speed, Greyhounds are incredibly happy just laying around the house sleeping. They are affectionate and loyal companions and are usually friendly and non-aggressive to strangers. For a large dog, they don’t need a lot of space, and they are low energy, quiet and gentle. They’ll need a daily walk (or jog) or a trip to the dog park to tire them out, but once home they’ll mostly spend it fast asleep.
14. Rhodesian Ridgeback
While they are a large breed that requires some time spent training in the beginning, Ridgebacks make the list for their good health, loyalty, and low grooming requirements. They are a quiet and gentle dog breed so are good if you have close neighbors. They’ll need a moderate amount of exercise, making this a great breed for anyone looking for a walking or running partner. They are an intelligent breed, so need some mental stimulation to help prevent their potential destructive behavior. The Ridgeback is one of the best low maintenance outdoor dog breeds due to their easy care short coat.
A breed that responds well to training due to their intelligence. Boxers are loyal dogs that love spending time with their family. They are friendly and patient with children. Their short-haired coat requires no more than an occasional brushing, but they will require some daily playtime due to their higher energy levels. Keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
16. American Staffordshire Terrier
This short-haired breed is easy to groom with only a minimal amount of shedding. A quick wash and brush once a week is all they need. Staffies are people dogs, outgoing and very loyal. This, combined with their large and tough appearance, makes them terrific guard dogs. Their intelligence makes them easy to train. They should be kept indoors and will need daily exercise, both physical and mental.
The Puggle is a newer crossbreed dog that is a mix of a Pug and a Beagle. As a smaller ‘designer dog’, the Puggle is a great low maintenance breed. They don’t need much space and have lower energy levels. They do like a play, but due to their size, they tire easily. They do best with short walks or indoor play. They don’t take a lot of grooming but can tend to shed a bit. They are a pretty laid back dog and get along with kids and other pets in the house.
Check out this great infographic from Dogmal:
Remember that all dogs, even the most laid back dogs, need love, care, and attention. So, if you can’t take care of one don’t get one. Also, please keep in mind that all dogs need some exercise. Even the most easy going dog breed will need some physical and mental stimulation in their day.
Good luck on finding the perfect low maintenance dog for you! If allergies are an issue, be sure to check out our article on hypoallergenic dogs also!
P.S. Help a friend find a laid back dog by pinning this! 🙂