Low-maintenance dogs require occasional bathing and brushing.
I get it; you’re craving some companionship but don’t have time to brush, bathe, or visit the groomer every week. Or even worse, cleaning up the house after a shedding dog has been let loose. That’s why you want to consider low-maintenance dogs.
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 dog 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 to the time and effort spent keeping your dog happy and healthy.
Consider dogs that are easy to train, require daily walks, and have moderate energy levels.
From my experience as a professional groomer, I have seen which low-maintenance dogs are easy to groom.
I’ve selected eight breeds that meet that criterion while highlighting some challenges you may face.
1. Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is known for its “tuxedo” coat and likes to show off its sleek black and white masking and chest.
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 shed, but it’s minimal due to their short hair (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 and gentle dogs who love being the center of attention. They spend their days just trying to make you smile.
However, they get so attached to their owners that they sometimes experience separation anxiety when they leave.
And with their gentle demeanors, the dogs don’t respond well to negative training or scolding.
Cavaliers are nonshedding, hypoallergenic, and only require a bath and trim a few times yearly. That makes them about as low maintenance as it gets for grooming a longer-haired breed.
To prevent painful mats and tangles, brush their coats out at least once weekly.
Another option to reduce your grooming requirements is to consider getting a Cavapoo — a Cavalier and poodle mix.
Chihuahuas sometimes get a bad reputation, but they’re sweet and affectionate. Be warned; they tend to be noisy and bark at everything. And they are perhaps a little possessive with their owners.
Like other breeds, these dogs don’t like being left alone and are content to follow you all day.
Brushing a few times a week will keep excessive 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 bodies were designed for running, they preferred to cuddle up in a blanket and nap.
Socialization and training can be frustrating, as they tend to be stubborn. But these dogs are susceptible, 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 thin coats that rarely require cleaning. They don’t produce a “doggie odor” either, so even bathing is rare.
They shed, but their hair is 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.
Min Pins have a short, sleek coat that requires minimal grooming. They shed, but a quick brush frees up loose hair and minimizes shedding every few days.
Acting as a true Mini-Doberman, the Min Pin is a proud, 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 assertive leader in your home.
Min Pins have a short, sleek coat that requires minimal grooming. They shed, but a quick brush frees up loose hair and minimizes shedding every few days. Bathing is only required once every few months or when they begin to get stinky.
There is a variety of coat densities 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 are always looking 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.
Like 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.
The Whippet resembles a small greyhound. The Whippet is affectionate, intelligent, sweet-natured, and loyal.
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 fantastic family companions.
Regarding grooming – 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 yearly.
Similar to the Whippet, these dogs were designed for racing. BuWhippette being incredibly athletic, they are absolute couch potatoes. Greyhounds would much rather spend their day lounging in the sun. They can be timid and take 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 the odor that most dogs do, so bathing only needs to happen a few times yearly. The full extent of Greyhound grooming is usually caring for their nails, teeth, and ears.
Choosing low-maintenance dogs
If you’re worried about dog hair, avoid selecting a breed with a double coat that sheds seasonally. Instead, opt for a dog with short hair that sheds occasionally or rarely.
After all, you can play with your dog instead of grooming. 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, became a professional dog groomer, and now runs a successful grooming business.