Looking for a dog that's easy to care for? We totally get that. You're busy with life, but you want to add a new family member - so ideally you're looking for a dog that doesn't need 100% of your time. Well, the good news is we did most of the research for you. Now you can go through all the breeds we've chosen and get started finding your new best friend.
We've selected 26 breeds we feel are on the easier side of owning (in one way or another), and ranked them based on several criteria. So if you're a first time owner, or just busy with life - our ratings can find a dog that perfectly 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? Maybe a dog that is lazy and prefers to lounge all day? Or maybe it's all of the above?
We realize that low maintenance can mean different things to different people, so we've rated each dog breed on all these traits so you can make an easy decision.
There's Always Exceptions!
These aren't hard rules, there's always exceptions to each of these rankings, so please keep in mind that our ratings are more like guidelines. You might end up with a very energetic dog that is supposed to be quite lazy, or an unfriendly version of a normally calm dog. You'll have to address each individual pup a little differently based on their personality.
Training Is Required
Don't expect a low maintenance dog from the very first day you adopt! Your dog will be introduced to a new home and new owners - it's a lot to take in. You'll have to spend a fair amount of time and effort in order to get your dog to a comfortable level of training.
But once you and your dog have a good routine of exercise, training, playtime, quality food, and some lounging - 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. While most dogs will respond well to their owners, they may be suspicious of strangers (or even aggressive).
Easy to Train is simply based on their receptiveness to learning. While some breeds are very intelligent, it sometimes comes with extra stubbornness as well.
Good With Kids asks the question of how well they respond to children being in the home. A low rating means these dogs will be suspicious or potentially harmful to 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, and is absolutely bouncing off the walls with energy. a 1-Star rating means this is a lazy dog breed. Keep in mind most puppies are energetic until they mature, and as dogs get older they tend to become more calm.
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 - Small Breeds
Low Maintenance - Medium Breeds
Low Maintenance - Large Breeds
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.