Written by Ella White
Even the most passionate dog lovers have certain preferences when it comes to picking the perfect breed to fit into their lifestyle. From grooming to energy levels to size, there are many different reasons we choose the dogs we do. If you’re looking for your first dog or a pet that’s going to adapt to your family life as easily as possible, you’ve probably got ‘low maintenance’ on your list of desired qualities.
So, whatever your priorities are, we’ve picked out 12 of the easiest dog breeds to look after. Which will make it easier for both new and experienced owners to understand the different needs of some of the most popular breeds.
Non-shedding, calm in temperament, and lacking that ‘dog’ smell, the Basenji might be the most low maintenance dog breed there is. They’re even said to be barkless, but don’t let that rumor fool you: Basenjis can be as noisy as any other breed if they’re distressed or over excited. They just tend to favor a howl or low moan over a high pitched bark.
Traditionally an African hound breed, Basenjis do need a moderate amount of exercise, but they’re independent and even groom themselves – giving them the reputation of being cat-like in their demeanor. But don’t worry: they’ll still give you plenty of puppy cuddles.
Patient, calm, and low-energy, the Basset Hound is one easy pet to take care of. They love to nap and could happily lie on the sofa all day – in fact, all they really need is one walk each day. So you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re a little lazy!
That said, Basset Hounds do need a fair amount of attention as their short fur still requires plenty of brushing to avoid excessive shedding, and they can become anxious when left alone for too long. But so long as you can make time to play and groom your Basset Hound, you’ll live a loving and laid-back life together.
The miniature Boston Terrier might not be the easiest to train, but once they’re house-broken and out of the boisterous puppy stage, a well-trained Boston is happy to do whatever their owner is doing, making them one of the most low-maintenance dogs to own.
As well as being small enough to live in almost any sized home, Boston Terriers are very light shedders and as long as they’re brushed fairly regularly they tend not to have that doggy smell. They’re good with children, only need a moderate amount of daily exercise and are mostly well behaved making them great family pets and city dogs.
The gentle and friendly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a wonderful family pet. Easy to get on with and adaptable to most environments, they can get on well in pretty much any family setting from larger country homes to small city apartments. They’re easy to train, don’t need much exercise, and a regular brush is all it takes to keep their coat sleek.
However, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do need a lot of attention and can’t be left alone for too long without becoming anxious and upset. So whilst they’re low maintenance in terms of exercise, grooming, and looking after, they’re not ideal for families that spend most of the day away from home.
Small in size and big in character, the mini Chihuahua is one of the easiest dog breeds to own if you don’t have much space at home. They can adapt easily to small city flats, and don’t need much space to get the right amount of exercise to keep them healthy.
Grooming requirements will depend on the kind of Chihuahua you have, with longer coated dogs needing more brushing and bathing than their smooth-coated counterparts.
Due to their tiny size, Chihuahuas can be very sensitive to temperature. So you might need to kit them out in sweaters during winter and make sure they don’t spend too much time in the sun during summer.
The much-loved wiener dog is known for its friendly and curious nature. They’re sociable pets that love to spend time with their family and get on well with other animals. Their independent streak can make them a little challenging to train, but once you’re past that stage they make easy companions.
Though small, Dachshunds do need a moderate amount of exercise and longer haired breeds will require a little more grooming. But overall, their adaptable nature means your pet Dachshund will pretty much be happy to get on with whatever it is you’re doing, whether that’s playing in the garden, going for a walk, or lounging in front of the TV.
For lovers of large dog breeds, the Labrador is one of the easiest there is. In fact, it’s been the favorite dog in the USA since 1991 according to the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dogs. Loyal, affectionate, and playful, Labradors have earned their reputation as a brilliant family pet. They’re easy to train and love to please their owners, so if you’re looking for a dog with in-built obedience then a Labrador might be the pet for you.
That’s not to say they can’t be cheeky, though. Labradors have a lot of energy so patience is a necessity when you’re bringing one into the fold. Labradors need a lot of exercise and a lot of grooming to keep that shedding coat in place. So they’re not the best pet for house-proud families that aren’t into being active and getting outdoors everyday.
The short-haired Manchester Terrier is one of those breeds that you’ll hardly know is there. But that’s not to say they should be ignored. With love and attention, they’ll be the perfect, easy-going companion. But like all dogs, they can grow anxious and destructive without enough exercise, company, and stimulation.
Though their sleek fur makes them easy to groom and means they won’t shed all over your furniture, it does make them prone to sunburn. So keep them out of the heat in summer and consider covering them up if you have to go outside.
The hardy Pointer was bred for hunting. So they’re intelligent, receptive to training, and devoted to their owners. Their sleek fur makes them perfect for owners that want a true ‘dog’ dog but without the hassle of cleaning up after a shedding breed.
However, due to their hunting background, Pointers do need a lot of exercise and time outside. So they’re best suited to families that can match their active nature.
The Vizsla is traditionally a hunting dog, which might make you think they’re high maintenance. But in reality, this noble breed is easy to take care of. However, they will need a lot of exercise and stimulation so they fit best into active families with plenty of space in the home and garden.
Their coat rarely sheds and is practically odorless – although to keep this up they will need regular washing and grooming. They have a calm, sweet nature and they’re known to not drool so they’re great pets for owners that are averse to some of the less pleasant sides of dog ownership.
The short-haired Weimaraner rarely sheds and has a cool, calm nature that makes them fairly low maintenance to take care of. Hunting breeds were bred to be easy pets that require less grooming and overall care than other breeds.
However, this working background also means they’re used to having a lot of exercise and stimulation. So, like most hunting and hound dogs, they need a family that can keep up with their high energy levels and exercise needs. If you don’t have a garden or easy access to outdoor space, this isn't the dog for you.
Quiet and gentle, the Whippet’s short coat means they rarely shed, don’t need much grooming, and are practically odorless. A smaller dog than the similar Greyhound, they share the breed’s sleek shape that makes them quick and agile. And whilst they do need plenty of physical stimulation, they also love to lay down and relax with their owners.
Whippets can be anxious, so they’re not well suited to families that spend a lot of time away from home and can’t commit to offering them the attention they need. Their thin stature and short fur also make them susceptible to cold temperatures so they’re not well suited to much colder climates and will need a coat in winter. Otherwise, they’re an easy, friendly, and playful pet to have in the home.
Remember that all dogs are different and even breed traits won’t apply to every dog of that breed. As a species, they’ve evolved to live with humans and with careful introductions and consistent training, there’s no reason why any of the dogs on this list wouldn’t make the perfect family addition.