I get it, you’re craving some companionship, but you don’t have time to be brushing, bathing, or visiting the groomer every week. Or even worse, cleaning up the house after a shedding dog has been let loose.
You want the best of both worlds – a dog that’s generally easy to care for, and has little need for constant grooming. Thankfully, there are a few breeds that fit the bill.
Other things to consider
Grooming is one responsibility of dog ownership, but you also need to consider training, exercise, health, and general costs. It all adds up to time and effort spent to keep your dog happy and healthy.
From my personal experience as a professional groomer, I have seen which dogs are easy to groom, and overall are low maintenance dogs. I’ve selected eight breeds that meet that criteria, while also highlighting some challenges you may face.
1. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are little hyperactive comedians. They’re joyful, intelligent, and sometimes mischievous. But their main goal in life is to make you laugh. They tend to be stubborn about training and will test your persistence.
The breed is known for its “tuxedo” coat and likes to show off its sleek black and white masking and chest. They do shed, but due to their short hair, it’s quite minimal (compared to most shedding breeds).
You may notice a few odd hairs left on the couch or rug, but it’s barely noticeable. Overall this makes their coat very easy to care for, and the occasional bath is all they require.
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavaliers are sweet, gentle, and love being the center of attention. They spend their days just trying to make you smile.
They get so attached to their owners, however, that they sometimes experience separation anxiety when you leave.
And with their gentle demeanors, the dogs don’t respond well to negative training or scolding.
To prevent painful mats and tangles, brush their coats out at least once a week.
Another option to reduce your grooming requirements, consider getting a Cavapoo – a Cavalier and poodle mix.
Chihuahuas sometimes get a bad reputation – but they’re incredibly sweet and affectionate. Be warned; they do tend to be a bit noisy and bark at everything. And they are perhaps a little possessive with their owners.
Similar to other breeds, these dogs don’t like being left alone and are quite content to follow you around for the entire day.
Chihuahuas come in short and long coat types. Both hair types shed a moderate amount, but you’ll notice it a lot more with dogs with longer hair. Brushing a few times a week will keep shedding to a minimum. And thankfully, due to their small size, it’s easy to control their shedding coat.
4. Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is quiet, compassionate, and a little bit shy. While their body was designed for running, they much prefer to cuddle up in a blanket and take a nap.
Socialization and training can be frustrating, as they tend to be a stubborn breed. But these dogs are incredibly sensitive, so scolding or negative training will only cause them to run and hide.
Perhaps the best kind of dog is one you don’t have to brush. Italian Greyhounds have incredibly thin coats that rarely require cleaning. They don’t produce a “doggie odor” either, so even bathing is a rare event.
They do shed, but their hair so short you’ll barely notice. As far as coats go, this is the easiest one to maintain. Their grooming needs are far more apparent with their teeth and nails, which need regular maintenance.
Acting as if they were a true Mini-Doberman, the Min Pin is a proud and bold little dog. They love to show off and be the center of attention. That also means they like taking charge, so you’ll need to be a patient yet an assertive leader in your home.
Min Pins have a short, sleek coat that requires minimal grooming. They do shed, but a quick brush every few days will free up loose hair and minimize shedding. Bathing is only required once every few months, or when they begin to get stinky.
There is a variety of coat density with Min Pins. Sometimes these dogs can have dense fur around their neck, which leads to a decent amount of shedding. Meanwhile, other Min Pins may have incredibly short and sleek coats.
Papillons are an outgoing and loving breed, and always on the lookout for their next adventure.
They’re incredibly energetic, playful, and eager to learn. That makes training the Papillon an absolute joy. It’s no wonder they excel in training and agility courses.
Despite some rumors, the Papillon is not hypoallergenic. They do shed, but not excessively. Thankfully it’s easy to maintain their coat with regular brushing.
Similar to the Cavalier, these dogs can get away with only having a few grooms per year. Their long hair is prone to matting, so it’s essential to keep a weekly brushing schedule to avoid painful tangles.
You may have difficulty telling a Whippet apart from an Italian Greyhound. They’re both mild-mannered and love to lounge all day. Whippets tend to be slightly more confident and affectionate, making them a fantastic family companion.
As far as grooming goes – it’s also quite similar to the Italian Greyhound. They have very thin coats and short hair, so shedding is barely noticeable.
They need the occasional bath, but since they don’t produce a typical “doggie odor,” that only needs to happen a few times per year.
Similar to the Whippet, these dogs were designed for racing. But despite being incredibly athletic, they are absolute couch potatoes. Greyhounds would much rather spend their day lounging in the sun. They can be very shy and timid, and it can take some time to improve their confidence.
This is as easy as coat care gets. While they do technically shed, it’s minimal and barely noticeable. They don’t produce an odor that most dogs do, so bathing only needs to happen a few times per year. The full extent of Greyhound grooming is usually caring for their nails, teeth, and ears.
Choosing the right dog for you
Although grooming requirements may not top the list when you’re considering what kind of dog to adopt, low maintenance dogs will make your life easier. After all, you can spend the time you would have spent on grooming playing with your dog instead. As for the money you won’t pay; instead, you can buy more toys and treats.
Shayla McConnell has been working closely with animals for more than 10 years. Initially trained as a vet tech assistant at a local emergency clinic, she later changed career paths and became a professional dog groomer, and now runs her own successful grooming business.