Best low-maintenance dog breeds

Woman with chihuahua

Pets provide unconditional love and companionship. And though they need love and care, they don't have to be a big hassle. Look for dog breeds that need minimal exercise, grooming and training.

Top dogs for
lazy owners

We have put together a list of dog breeds that are suitable for those living in apartments, busy families or just people who want to love a dog without all the fuss.

If you are looking to adopt a new pet, consider one of these low-maintenance dog breeds.


If you want a small dog, consider the Chihuahua -- the smallest breed in the world. Usually weighing less than 5 pounds, this dog is so small you can tuck it in your purse. Chihuahuas need minimal exercise and grooming. However, they aren't a good dog if you have kids or other animals. They are loyal to a fault and often high-strung.


A cross between a beagle and a pug, these low-maintenance dogs are absolutely adorable. With a laid-back yet cheerful personality, they get along with everyone -- adults, kids and other pets. They are small (15-30 pounds) and can work well for houses and apartments. They shed in the spring and may need some wrinkle cleaning if the pug side is dominant. However, they don't need much grooming or much exercise other than an occasional walk.

Japanese chinJapanese chin

This little lap dog reaches a weight of around 10 pounds. The Japanese chin is quiet and smart. He gets along with children and other pets. He needs regular brushing to keep his coat looking great, but doesn't need much exercise or training.

Chinese crestedChinese crested

So you don't want any shedding? This little dog is perfect. The Chinese crested is hairless except for a little bit on its head, tail and feet. If someone in your family is allergic to dogs, this one is considered the most hypoallergenic. The Chinese crested is playful but not hyper, and good with kids. Other than a tendency to get sunburn and some skin allergies, this dog is very low-maintenance.

Bichon friseBichon frise

If you want a small, smart dog, you can't beat the bichon frise. He loves to learn new tricks and, unlike many small-dog breeds, loves children. He's very friendly, but quiet too. It might take him a while to get housebroken, but once that's done, maintenance for the bichon frise is a breeze.

Welsh corgiWelsh corgi

This small, athletic dog looks a little like a fox in build. He's smart, loyal and so easy to train. This dog will work well in an apartment or small house. He has a very dense coat but doesn't need it clipped. You will have to take him out for exercise, however, because he tends to gain weight.

More about dogs

Top 10 small breed dogs
Top 10 dog breeds for kids
Top 10 large breed dogs



Comments on "Best low-maintenance dog breeds"

Debbie February 10, 2014 | 4:15 PM

We have a 4 year old dog who IS low maintenance!! His mother was a Basset Hound and father (although we aren't sure) was a Benji type of dog / hound mix. People thinks he is a beagle, but was the ONLY one in the litter with colors. He sheds short hairs, does not need to be brushed or bathed. He grooms himself. It is wonderful. We do use flea / tick treatments and nails stay short from walks.

Luna November 30, 2012 | 6:56 PM

I have a 5 month old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. She is great. I have been able to leave her home alone while at work with no issues. (we got her a potty patch for sanitary reasons) we didn't have to train her to use it at all!! she took right too it. She has been super easy to train, everything she has learned in about 20 minutes of dedicated training. However, she is needy when we get home. She is a lovebug and just wants to cuttle with mom and dad when we are home (i can't blame her). All in all, she is definitely a low-maintenance dog. oh.. and about the weight gain issue, it is too you do need to monitor food intake and make sure they get plenty of exercise. (they LOVE to eat, she will eat herself sick if we let her) I don't have to take her on walks though, she gets plenty of exercise in the backyard, but she is only a pup.

Anne October 18, 2012 | 11:37 AM

We have a dog door so her small bladder is not a problem :)

Anne October 18, 2012 | 11:34 AM

We have a Japanese Chin and she does not require a lot of grooming AT ALL. I have a Collie and have had a German Shepherd ("German Shedder" and compared to them the Chin is nothing. I brush her with a bristle brush a couple times a week (she loves it) and give her a bath about once every six months. The hair behind her ears can mat if you don't brush it well but otherwise the coat does not tangle and does not need professional grooming. It's a single layer coat so she doesn't blow undercoat every spring like a lot of other dogs do. She also has a great personality and is the least trouble of any dog I've ever had.

Jenifer July 09, 2012 | 10:20 AM

Now that I have moved into a new house I am looking for a fury friend to keep me company, but sometimes I don't have a lot of time to spend at home. I think Welsh Corgis are the cutest dogs ever! Knowing that they are also low-maintenance is awesome!

mayra May 29, 2012 | 11:37 AM

I just wanted to say that as a vet tech there is truly no such thing as a "low maintenance dog". The Bichon frise and Japanese chin both need grooming so if a lazy owner was to get one they have to keep up with regular brushing/grooming. Yes puppies are very cute but like everything else in the world they need a lot of attention among other things.

Courtney May 23, 2012 | 10:15 AM

I have a chihuahua and she is the best! She never barks and is compliant with us being gone during the day.

Caitlin May 23, 2012 | 10:12 AM

Puggles are the cutest, and to know they are low-maintenance makes them even more appealing!

+ Add Comment

(required - not published)