Looking for a dog that's easy to care for? We totally get that.
We've selected 30 breeds that are easy to own (in one way or another). We then ranked each one based on our "low maintenance" criteria.
So if you're a first time owner, or busy with life - our ratings can find a dog that suits your lifestyle.
What is Low Maintenance?
Before we get started we have to ask: "What is low maintenance?" Do you want a dog that's easy to train? That doesn't shed? Great with kids and good for seniors? A dog that is lazy and prefers to lounge all day? Or maybe it's all of the above?
We realize low maintenance can mean different things to different people. We've rated each breed on all these traits so you can decide easier.
There's Always Exceptions!
These aren't hard rules, our ratings are more like guidelines. There is always exceptions and it varies with each individual dog.
For example: it's possible that you might end up with a very energetic dog that is supposed to be quite lazy.
Training Is Required
Don't expect a low maintenance dog from the very first day you adopt. You'll have to spend some time and effort to get your dog to a comfortable level of training.
But once you and your dog have a routine - rest assured they'll calm down and enjoy the easy life.
The Rating System
Here's a quick run-down on how we rated each of these breeds...
Friendliness is a broad rating based on how these breeds react to people and other dogs.
Easy to Train is simply based on their receptiveness to learning. While some breeds are very keen to learning, others may be more stubborn.
Good With Kids asks the question of how well they respond to children being in the home. A low rating means these dogs will dislike young ones.
Energy Level is based on how lazy or energetic your dog is. A 5-star rating means this dog is always ready to play. A 1-Star rating means this is a lazy dog breed. Keep in mind most puppies are energetic until they mature.
Can Be Left Alone. Dogs are social animals, and in nearly all cases dogs simply do not like being left alone. If you're often away for long hours then it's recommended you do not get a dog. Or, have someone take care of them while you're away.
Low Maintenance Dogs
1. Bedlington Terrier
Like it's Terrier cousins, this Bedlington Terrier was originally bred for hunting.
Although they wear Lamb's clothing, these dogs are bold and make excellent watch dogs. Being part of the Terrier family also means they have a very high prey drive.
Therefore, a little daily exercise goes a long way with the Bedlington. The last thing you want is a bored Terrier, or else they'll resort to chewing, barking, and digging. T
Bedlingtons are incredibly intelligent dogs, but may show signs of stubbornness. Don't lose your cool, the best method here is positive training as they're very sensitive to scolding.
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier is a gentle soul who wants to share their love with everyone around them. Their friendly attitude is immediately contagious and it's difficult not to smile in their presence.
These dogs are intelligent and are willing to learn - so long as you have a treat for them in return. But, their gentle demeanor means yelling or scolding will cause this dog to run and hide from you.
Cavaliers are "Velcro" dogs, meaning they do not like being left alone. Consider this dog as a travel companion, or have someone at home who can keep them company.
The Chihuahua is actually an amazing companion, and ready to spend the day with whatever you have planned. Chihuahua's are just content to be at your side, and can be described as "Velcro" dogs.
Leaving them alone can lead to boredom, chewing, and barking It's recommended you have someone keep this dog company at nearly all times.
Even with those little legs Chihuahuas have a surprising amount of energy to burn, and a 30 minute walk can help curb bad behavior. Do keep in mind they're quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Dachshunds are small bundles of joy that spend their days playing and napping. They adapt well to just about any family routine, as long as it's with the ones they love.
Despite their small size, these dogs still love to rough and tumble and can have a personality bigger than themselves. Dachshunds are also described as alert and curious, and may want to bark at anything that peaks their interest.
These little dogs are incredibly bright and are receptive to training. Problem arise with their stubbornness, and this becomes very apparent with potty training.
There's a huge variety of dachshund colors, patterns, and coat types to choose from.
5. French Bulldog
There is no dog quite like a Frenchie. Their unique bat-like ears, their large square head, and not to mention their silly personality.
French Bulldogs are friendly, curious, and wrinkly little comedians. They’re good at making friends and fit perfectly into family life. They typically don’t bark much, but they do tend to grunt when excited or annoyed.
Due to being flat-faced they tend to have trouble breathing. Too much exercise, or too much heat exposure should be avoided. Also, Frenchies tend to have health issues that require numerous vet visits (which could be costly).
The biggest heart of all the dogs, the Havanese has only one thing on it's mind, and that's you. But with all that attachment the Havanese do not like being left alone..
Early socialization is important to avoid your dog from being overly timid. And while training these dogs may be a slow process, it is necessary to curb excessive barking and other bad habits.
Although the Havanese is considered a non shedding dog, frequent brushing and grooming are required to keep your pup free from painful mats.
7. Italian Greyhound
Similar to their larger Greyhound cousins, the Italian Greyhound is known as an athletic breed. But what you might not expect is these dogs to have a very calm and lovable demeanor.
While they love a good run, they especially love nap time and warming up with their owners.
They can still be shy with strangers, and a little timid outside the comfort of their home. But with a little early socialization they can build confidence and overcome their nervous behavior.
Training can sometimes be challenging, especially with potty training. However, these dogs are incredibly sensitive to scolding or negative training.
Energetic and elegant - the perfect way to describe the Maltese. A princess (or prince) that prefers the finer things in life, and often that also includes running, playing, and spending time with loved ones.
The Maltese become very attached to their owners, and they don't like being left alone. They also become protective of their owners, which makes them suspicious of strangers, children, or other dogs.
Maltese are incredibly intelligent, easy to train, and have minimal shedding. They're perfectly happy to lounge with their owners, and go for long walks in the summer.
Their white elegant hair requires daily upkeep and maintenance.
9. Miniature Schnauzer
Unlimited energy and the world's biggest heart, that's what you get with a Schnauzer. Their enthusiasm and affection knows no bounds, and you can expect this guy to be bouncing off the wall with them.
Schnauzers love to be the center of attention, they'll put on a show for you and your friends and are amazing comedians.
Daily exercise is crucial for the Schnauzer, or they may take their boredom out by being destructive.
They are at the top of their class, and in a calm environment can learn very quickly. Mental stimulation is just as important at physical for the Schnauzer, and they crave learning and exploring.
Alert, energetic, and always searching for their next big adventure - the Papillon is always on the lookout for fun. These are tiny dogs that have a big spirit, and are not concerned with their lack of size.
The Papillons favorite pass time is putting on a show for it's owners, as they demand your attention at all times. Whether it's playing, running, jumping, or licking your face - this little dog is always on the go. But it's all in good fun.
Despite all that energy and distractions they are very keen learners, which make them excel at training and agility courses.
A sometimes overly confident trouble-maker (but it's all in good fun), the Pomeranian is a fluffy dog that is the star of their own show. They can be described as confident, curious, and enjoy being treated like a prince (or princess).
Because of their larger-than-life personality, you'll need to establish some house rules so they don't assume they run the place. And they can be most stubborn with potty training and excessive barking.
Pugs are the comedians of the dog world, and they inject some of their unique personality into every situation. While not searching for more trouble to get into - they're known to be affectionate, playful, and adventurous.
They're not the most energetic bunch, but they certainly enjoy some daily walks and playtime.
Despite their short coat you may be surprised how much this little dog can shed.
Their unique face structure poses a few problems. Firstly, it causes them to breathe loudly, so prepare your ears for a lot of snorting and wheezing. Second, it doesn't allow them to regulate their temperature properly, so leaving these dogs in too hot or too cold conditions can lead to serious problems.
13. Shih Tzu
Always the center of attention, the Shih Tzu is playful, lovable, and wants nothing more than to be part of the family.
Friendliness is in their genetics, that's because Shih Tzu's were bred for companionship, so you won't find any hunting or herding traits here.
Their good-natured attitude makes them very compatible for just about anything: kids, families, and other dogs are not a problem - the more the merrier.
Shih Tzus excel in pairs, and they will keep each other occupied which (surprisingly) requires less effort as an owner.
14. Toy Poodle
Poodles are at the top of their class, being ranked as one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
Poodles live for learning and training, so they need daily exercise or they might result to bad behavior.
At a young age they are full of energy with plenty of "talking" to do, and sometimes they go look for trouble by digging and running. They need a assertive leader to set the rules, or they may take the roll upon themselves, which can lead to aggressive behavior. They tend to grow calmer as they mature, but still need ways to stimulate their body and mind.
We recommend getting the right kind of brush for your poodle to save you some headaches.
Similar to Greyhounds, these dogs are a popular racing breed, and were once used for hunting rabbits. Because of their athleticism and intelligence, Whippet's excel in agility and obedience courses.
But even with all that energy these dogs are surprisingly very relaxed and enjoy a good nap. They're very affectionate and can adapt to nearly any type of home. Also, they rarely bark, and the only time they tend to make noise is when they're left alone.
Also, their short coat means minimal grooming and shedding.
16. Yorkshire Terrier
"Yorkies" are the star of their own show, and they want to make sure everyone is watching.
They have a lot of personality to show off, and it certainly comes with some sass.
These dogs were originally bred to hunt rodents, and these traits are still very apparent as their prey drive is off the charts.
Yorkies live for companionship, and show endless love and trust for their owner. But their owner is the only love in their life, and sometimes no one else is welcome into that relationship.
These dogs can have an unkind manner with strangers, dogs, and sometimes other family members. Yorkies are ideal for familes without children.
Medium Sized Low Maintenance Breeds
17. American Eskimo
Intelligent, affectionate, and excited for life - the American Eskimo is a perfect family dog.
These are energetic and curious dogs that are seeking new daily challenges, so they need you will need to give them a physical and mental outlet.
These are not dogs you can leave alone for any long period of time, or they'll resort to digging and barking.
Eskies are very bright and friendly dogs, who excel at training and adapting to family life. They're great with children, dogs, cats, and strangers.
18. Basset Hound
How could you resist those eyes and adorable ears? The Basset Hound is a wonderful family companion, but comes with a little stubbornness and a LOT of hilarious personality traits.
They certainly need a little convincing when it comes to training. However, they are known to be very sensitive souls who do not respond to scolding.
What makes the Basset Hound a great low maintenance dog is they'd just rather sleep in, lounge during the day, and maybe stop for a few short playtime sessions.
Daily walks are still required, but if going on long runs isn't your thing then this might be the right dog for you.
Bassets are not keen on being left alone for long periods of time, and will voice their concerns in their well known Basset Hound howl. They can also be quite vocal during playtime or even while they sleep.
Everything that makes a dog great is in this small lovable package. Beagles are loyal, kind, playful, and always looking for an adventure. However, when seeking out new adventures they can often get into some bad behavior, which is why they often need a human or dog companion to fill that constant need for attention.
There is nothing more heart broken than a lonely Beagle, so leaving this one home alone will certainly lead to annoying behavior such as chewing, digging, or barking.
On that note - Beagles require a lot of training upfront to curb those bad behaviors, or you may find yourself with some angry neighbors.
If you can get past the initial (and sometimes frustrating) training, then these are fantastic dogs with big hearts.
20. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are known for their gentle and calm temperament, but always ready for a fun adventure.
Their big hearts and big brains means they're very receptive to positive training, and always ready for a challenge.
They are sometimes known to bark excessively (especially when left alone), and be timid around strangers. Early socialization and training can work wonders to curb these behaviors.
Cocker Spaniels are also known for their beautiful, flowing coat. But, beauty comes at a cost - and you'll be brushing their coat out daily, and visiting a professional groomer at least once a month.
Large Low Maintenance Breeds
21. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs or "Berners" are quite literally giant comedians with big hearts. Their entire goal in life is to make people laugh at their daily antics.
Despite all that goofiness, they're very receptive to training. They absolutely love family activities and want nothing more than to participate in all your daily adventures.
Patience and positive training is what will help them learn and become a better family member.
A Bernese is a lot of dog. They often exceed 100 pounds, their coat needs constant brushing and grooming, and they cannot be left alone for long periods of time. In that sense they're not low maintenance.
However, their drive to be a part of your family makes them easily trainable and a wonderful companion.
Bullmastiff's are somewhat of a couch-potato. While they'll never say no to a walk, you can usually find them napping or soaking up some sun.
Their very mellow demeanor makes them surprisingly one of the best big apartment dogs.
Their short coat makes them very easy to groom. However, the mastiff's jowls pose another problem: drool. So much drool.
Training can also be challenging as they are quite stubborn. They require firm but fair leadership or they'll take up that roll for themselves.
You would think that owning the fastest dog in the world would be pretty hectic. And while Greyhounds have a lot of exercise needs, they're actually quite calm and lovable.
They enjoy spending their days napping, lounging in the sun, and hanging out with their family. They are truly low maintenance.
Greyhounds rarely bark or make noise, unless left alone for any extended period of time. They generally don't smell due to their short coat. And they're very receptive to training.
They can be a very timid breed, and may show signs of nervousness around strangers and new dogs. That's why it's recommended you socialize them at an early age to develop some confidence.
24. Newfoundland Dog
The Newfoundland is known for their calm demeanor, but bravery when an act of heroism is needed. There are many amazing stories of these dogs rescuing children, people, or other dogs from dangerous situations.
The Newfie is more of a family member than a dog, they naturally look after young ones, and show massive loyalty and affection to their owners.
These are massive dogs - averaging 140 pounds. And their thick coat takes a lot of upkeep, you'll be brushing everyday and visiting the groomer often.
These are low maintenance in the a sense that these dogs are sweet, calm, and brilliant learners. But can be difficult to manage just based on their sheer size.
25. Standard Poodle
Elegant, athletic, hardy, and clever. These are a few of the Standard Poodles best qualities. And, you've probably already heard: they are at the top of their class with incredible intelligence.
Despite looking a little "dainty", these are hardy animals that love a little rough play and going for long walks.
With their intelligence and energy combined, they can become bored and resort to finding trouble as an outlet. Daily run and training will keep them content.
26. Standard Schnauzer
Big hearts and big energy - that's just the Schnauzer motto.
Schnauzers are gentle, affectionate, and their aim is to make you smile. This makes them a wonderful companion.
They love to please their owners and are very receptive to training, which is why they are a common sight in agility and hunting.
Daily exercise is crucial for the Schnauzer, or they may take their boredom out by being destructive.
These dogs are highly intelligent, and they are fully aware of just how smart they are, so they can be a very clever and mischievous breed.
27. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador is a loyal, kind, and passionate companion that loves nothing more than to run and play with their family. Prepare for an instant best friend for life with uncompromising love and cuddles.
Labradors need some leadership and patience, as their energy and excitement can be off the charts. They require daily strenuous exercise, new challenges, and mental stimulation to really excel.
There is nothing more destructive than a bored Lab. So leaving one alone with too much energy or not enough distractions can lead to bad behavior: usually by chewing, barking, or digging.
Labradors are low maintenance in a sense that they're affectionate, fun-loving, and intelligent. But you won't be able to skip going for a run everyday, even if it's raining or snowing.
28. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are ready to be your new best friend from the instant you meet. It's easy to fall in love with these dogs. Their humor, personality, and joy for adventure are absolutely contagious.
Golden's are incredibly intelligent and gentle, so no wonder they're often used as service dogs. And while they're the ideal dog for many families, they still require a lot of training and exercise.
These dog's are bouncing off the walls with excited energy, and need at least an hour of running a day.
Family is the most important thing to a Golden, so leaving them alone will create a heart-broken and destructive dog.
And finally, that beautiful coat requires a lot of attention, you'll be brushing them out daily and visiting the groomer every so often for proper upkeep.
High Maintenance Dogs
High maintenance dogs are usually working and herding breeds - or dogs that were bred for the sole purpose of doing a job. And that desire to work may be difficult for owners who don't have the time to commit.
Of course these dogs can be wonderful addition to your home, and can be properly trained to fit into most environments. Just know they may take additional time and patience to get there.
Best Dogs For Apartments
The best dogs for apartments and condos are typically low energy, easy to potty train, and do not make a lot of noise.
That shouldn't be too difficult to find using this list, but what about large breeds?
There are a few big dogs that are perfect for apartments. From our list there are the:
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard