12 best low-maintenance dog breeds for easy-going pet owners

May 24, 2024 - 8 min read
A white and tan whippet dog laying down next to a brown french bull dog on a beige background

Ah, the age-old question: How can I find a dog who's laid-back enough to join me on the couch all day?

Truth be told, no dog is totally low-maintenance. Every breed relies on their owner for food, activities, and healthcare. But some dogs are undoubtedly easier to care for than others. Opting for a manageable pup isn’t just about minimizing your responsibilities as a groomer and exercise-provider. It’s also about finding a companion who fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. (If your preferred lifestyle involves less grooming and exercise, all the better!)

So which breeds are ideal for those seeking low(er)-maintenance pups? Read on to find out.

Basset Hound

A Basset Hound with a tricolor coat of black, white, and brown, sitting against a light beige background and looking to the side with its tongue out and mouth open.

The laid-back lounger

Why they’re great: Basset Hounds are calm and easygoing, making them excellent companions for the listless and lackadaiscal. Their short coat requires minimal grooming, and they're generally content with short walks. And while their droopy ears and soulful eyes don't have much bearing on their low-maintenance status, they certainly add to their charm.

Ideal owner: Perfect for individuals and families who want a laid-back pet that enjoys affection without demanding too much activity. They're great with young children and fit well in homes without large yards.

Things to consider: Basset hounds can be prone to obesity, so it's important to monitor their diet. Their long ears need regular cleaning to prevent infections. They can be stubborn, so patience and positive reinforcement are key during training.


The small wonder

Why they’re great: Chihuahuas are small and adaptable, making them ideal for apartment living. They have a short coat that’s easy to care for and don't require much exercise. Their bold personalities make them lively companions.

Ideal owner: Ideal for individuals or families in smaller spaces who want a low-maintenance dog with a big personality. They thrive in homes where they can be the center of attention.

Things to consider: Chihuahuas often have dental problems, so it's important to maintain their dental hygiene, including regular brushing. And they can be cautious around new people; proper socialization can help them become well-adjusted and reduce excessive barking at strangers.

French Bulldog

French bulldog sitting down and looking off to the side

The sturdy sweetheart

Why they’re great: French Bulldogs are compact, affectionate, and require minimal grooming. They enjoy short play sessions and are generally low-energy, making them perfect for busy families. Their distinctive bat-like ears and wrinkled faces only add to their charm.

Ideal owner: Best for families looking for a companion that doesn’t need extensive exercise but is still playful and loving. They adapt well to apartment living and are good with children.

Things to consider: Due to their flat, brachycephalic faces, French bulldogs can have breathing issues and shouldn't be overexerted in hot weather. They also need regular cleaning of their facial folds to prevent infections.


greyhound sitting on gray background

The serene sprinter

Why they’re great: Despite their racing background, Greyhounds are gentle and enjoy lounging around the house. They require only moderate exercise and their short coat is easy to groom. Greyhounds are known for their calm and friendly nature.

Ideal owner: Suitable for families who want a large dog that’s calm and easygoing indoors. They do well in homes with space for them to stretch out and relax.

Things to consider: Greyhounds have thin skin and can be prone to cuts and scrapes. They also require a soft bed to prevent pressure sores. Regular walks are necessary to keep them healthy, but they don’t need extensive exercise.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu hero image

The foxy friend

Why they’re great: Shiba Inus are independent and clean, often likened to cats. They have self-cleaning habits and require minimal grooming. Their confident and alert nature makes them interesting and engaging pets.

Ideal owner: Ideal for families that appreciate a pet with a strong sense of independence and minimal grooming needs. They do well in homes that respect their space and allow them to exhibit their natural curiosity.

Things to consider: Shiba Inus can be aloof and may require patience with training. They're known for their strong-willed nature and can be escape artists if not properly secured. Socialization from a young age can help them be well-adjusted.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

The mini racer

Why they’re great: Italian Greyhounds are elegant and low-maintenance. They enjoy short bursts of play but are mostly content to relax indoors. Their short coat requires minimal grooming.

Ideal owner: Perfect for those who want a small, gentle dog that doesn't need much grooming or exercise. They fit well in quieter homes and are great for individuals or families who enjoy a calm environment.

Things to consider: Their thin coat makes them sensitive to cold weather, so they may need sweaters in cooler climates. They need soft bedding to avoid sores, similar to their larger greyhound counterparts. Regular but gentle exercise is important to keep them healthy.


Dachshund sitting with head tilted

The bold burrower

Why they’re great: Dachshunds are small, curious, and relatively easy to groom. Their playful nature makes them entertaining, and they don't require extensive exercise. Their unique body shape and lively personality make them stand out.

Ideal owner: Great for owners who want an energetic but low-maintenance pet. They do well in both apartments and houses, provided they get some daily playtime. (Mentally stimulating dog toys go a long way.)

Things to consider: Dachshunds can be prone to back problems due to their long spines, so it's important to prevent them from jumping off high surfaces. They require regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet to stay healthy. At some point in their lives, they may need vet treatment or physical therapy for back problems.


Portrait of an overweight Pug crossed with a Pekingese posing against a pale pink background. Colour, horizontal format with some copy space.

The jolly jester

Why they’re great: Pugs are sociable and love to be the center of attention. Their short coat is easy to care for, and they don't require a lot of exercise. Known for their playful and affectionate nature, pugs make great companions.

Ideal owner: Perfect for individuals and families who want a loving and interactive pet who doesn’t require extensive physical activity. They're great with children and adapt well to apartment living.

Things to consider: Pugs are prone to obesity, and they're also prone to breathing problems due to their flat faces. You'll need to carefully monitor their diet – and even then they may need help losing weight some day. It's also important to help them avoid excessive heat. And they need regular cleaning of their facial folds to prevent infections.



The calm guardian

Why they’re great: Bullmastiffs are gentle giants known for their calm and affectionate nature. They have short coats that require minimal grooming and need moderate exercise, making them a relatively low-maintenance large breed.

Ideal owner: Suitable for families looking for a large, protective dog who's easygoing and doesn’t demand a lot of grooming or exercise. They do well in homes with space to accommodate their size.

Things to consider: Bullmastiffs can be prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues, so regular vet check-ups are important. They also need a good amount of space due to their size and a balanced diet to prevent obesity.

Boston Terrier

Boston terrier

The tuxedo doggo

Why they’re great: Boston Terriers are known for their tuxedo-like markings and friendly demeanor. They're low-maintenance with short coats that require minimal grooming and have moderate exercise needs. Their playful and affectionate nature makes them great companions.

Ideal owner: Ideal for families living in apartments or homes with small yards, as Boston terriers are adaptable and easygoing. They're good with children and enjoy being part of the family activities.

Things to consider: Like other short-nosed breeds, Boston terriers can have breathing issues, so it's important to keep them cool in hot weather. Regular vet visits and monitoring their activity level can help maintain their health.



The gentle speedster

Why they’re great: Whippets are gentle and affectionate dogs that enjoy lounging around the house. They have short coats that require little grooming and are known for being clean and odor-free. Their calm nature makes them excellent companions.

Ideal owner: Perfect for individuals and families who want a medium-sized dog that's low-maintenance and enjoys a quiet lifestyle. They do well in homes where they can relax and have occasional playtime.

Things to consider: Whippets have thin skin and are sensitive to cold weather, so they may need a sweater or jacket during winter walks. They require regular, gentle exercise to stay healthy and happy.



The playful protector

Why they’re great: Boxers are energetic, fun-loving dogs. They're certainly not low-maintenance in every sense–they're very high-energy and need lots of exercise and engagement–but their short coats make them easy to groom. Plus, they're great with children and make excellent family pets thanks to their playful nature. Boxers are also known for their loyalty and protective instincts.

Ideal owner: Best for active individuals and families who enjoy outdoor activities like camping or hiking and want a dog who can keep up with their lifestyle. They thrive in homes where they can be part of the action and have plenty of opportunities for exercise.

Things to consider: Again, Boxers require regular exercise to burn off their energy. They can also be prone to certain health issues, such as heart conditions and hip dysplasia, so regular vet visits are important to monitor their health.

The bottom line?

Choosing a low-maintenance dog can bring immense joy to your life without the added stress of constant care. If you’re considering bringing one of these dogs into your home, make sure to provide them with love, attention, and regular veterinary care. And remember, even lower-maintenance dogs need care and commitment. Make sure to choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and can thrive in your living environment. (And a little puppy-proofing never hurts.)

If you're ready to take the next step, dog insurance can help reduce the financial burden of vet care, allowing you to seek the care your dog needs when they need it. Remember, even a low-maintenance dog can become high-maintenance quickly if you don't have the resources to care for them properly.

David Teich
Lead Editor

David oversees content strategy and development at ManyPets. As Lead Editor, he focuses on delivering accurate information related to pet care and insurance. David’s editorial background spans more than a decade, including a pivotal role at Digiday, where he wrote content and managed relationships with media and tech companies. As an Associate Editor at Cynopsis Media, David wrote the Cynopsis Digital newsletter and interviewed executives and digital marketing experts in the TV industry. His background also includes film journalism. His diverse experiences in journalism and marketing underpins his role in shaping content within the pet care industry.