Low-Maintenance Dogs for Busy People
Dog Breeds That Are Easier to Care For
Do you want a dog but do not want to put in very much effort? You may crave canine companionship but do not want the hassle of focusing long on a dog's needs, like exercise, grooming, training, and health care. The truth is that there is no such thing as a maintenance-free dog. All dogs require some time and attention unless you pay someone else to do it all.
Take a look nine examples of low-maintenance dog breeds with qualities that make them ideal housemates for busy pet owners. These dog breeds tend to have moderate to lower energy levels, average intelligence, and overall good health. They only need a moderate amount of exercise, grooming, training, and health care.
The dachshund is a lovable and affectionate dog breed that makes a great couch buddy. This dog comes in two sizes: miniature and medium-sized. Long-haired dachshunds require a bit more grooming than the short-haired or wire-haired variety. All can make excellent companions.
Dachshunds have a stubborn side, so they need a good basic foundation of training to give them structure. Dachshunds only need a moderate amount of exercise. In fact, with their short little legs and long bodies, too much running and jumping can actually exacerbate any inherited spinal issues.
Contrary to popular belief, this racing dog is not a high-energy dog. Most greyhounds are couch potatoes that enjoy loafing around with their owners. They do enjoy daily walks and the occasional chance to run, but they do not need a large amount of exercise. Most greyhounds have overall good health.
In general, greyhounds tend to be easy to handle and very responsive to training. This dog is large, but not giant. If you appreciate the personality and looks of a greyhound but would prefer a smaller dog, consider a whippet.
The gleeful Frenchie makes the perfect loafing companion. French bulldogs are among the most cheerful of all dog breeds. Although they have a good deal of energy, they tend to lack endurance. Therefore, moderate daily exercise is usually just right for this breed. Most Frenchies respond well to a basic foundation of training and are generally well-behaved if provided with structure. The Frenchie has minimal grooming needs, but be aware of potential health concerns like brachycephalic syndrome and various skin issues.
Leaning towards a tiny dog? Weighing in at just 2 to 6 pounds, the itty bitty Chihuahua can be your pocket-sized lap dog. Although these dogs do get bursts of energy, they generally do not need a lot of exercise. Most Chihuahuas are relatively healthy. Grooming needs are minimal, but long-haired Chihuahuas will need a bit more brushing to avoid tangles.
One thing to watch out for is a Chihuahua attitude. Choose a dog with a mild-mannered temperament and provide excellent basic training. Avoid carrying these dogs everywhere and babying them too much. Set boundaries for your Chihuahua, or else it will try to boss everyone around.
Want a dog that will look like a puppy forever? The Cavalier is a mild-mannered, gentle, affectionate, and adaptable dog. This is a small- to medium-sized dog that is often happiest when snuggled up beside a human or another dog.
Cavaliers generally weigh about 11 to 18 pounds and are easy to handle and train. They are typically healthy pets, though some may inherit or develop heart issues. The Cavalier has some grooming needs, such as regular hair brushing, ear cleaning, and the occasional trip to a groomer.
Considering a small- to medium-sized dog for your new easygoing companion? Westies make excellent pets. Most Westies are moderately energetic, easy to train, and relatively healthy. This breed requires some grooming but does not need to be trimmed regularly. Many people choose to hand-strip the coat of this dog (pluck the dead hairs) while others just brush regularly to keep the coat healthy.
Small, cute, and goofy, the Brussels griffon is a delightful dog to know. Though they can be a bit energetic, they do not need a lot of exercise. Basic training is important to offset their feisty side and provide structure. At 6 to 12 pounds, the Brussels is another small breed that has no more than moderate grooming needs. The wiry coat of these dogs may require some brushing, but extensive grooming is not necessary. In addition, the breed is fairly healthy and well-mannered.
Got your heart set on a giant couch potato dog? Mastiffs are immense dogs that tend to have a fairly low energy level and not much endurance. Younger mastiffs tend to be a bit goofy and playful, but usually very docile. As they age, they become lazier and more aloof but still affectionate towards their families.
Like most giant dog breeds, a downside to the mastiff is that it tends to have a shorter lifespan than the average dog. Most are considered seniors by age 6 and not many will live past the age of 11 to 12 years. However, aside from the orthopedic problems that affect some mastiffs, these dogs tend to be fairly healthy.
9. Bull Mastiff
If you want a really large dog that is not quite as giant and lazy as the mastiff, then the bull mastiff might be right for you. Weighing 100 pounds to 130 pounds, this is still a quite large dog. Health is similar to the mastiff (or better) and the lifespan might be a bit longer. The breed has a little bit more energy than the mastiff but still not much endurance. Daily walks should be enough to keep your bull mastiff happy and healthy. The rest of the time, this dog will be all about the couch.