Having a dynamic lifestyle and raising a dog often look like two goals impossible to achieve at the same time. Raising a paw friend requires a lot of time, effort, and constant care. That is why many people give up the idea of having a dog. It is better to not have a dog at all instead of being a bad owner, right?
This article is specially dedicated to dog lovers who really want to have a dog but are afraid to take the next step, due to a lack of time. We will list 10 dog breeds, which are considered low-maintenance and suitable for busy owners.
The Chihuahua is a cute lap dog breed, named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, and is known as one of the smallest officially recognized dog breeds. Their weight may vary between 2-7 lbs / 1-3 kg, and their height is about 6–9 inches / 5–23 cm. There are two variations of this breed- short-coated and long-coated. Their color may vary from black, black & tan, blue & tan, to chocolate & tan, chocolate, cream, fawn, fawn & white, and red.
These small doggies are known for their devotion, affection, and unconditional love for their owners. They can become great family dogs, as well as companion animals and psychiatric service animals. If you need your doggie to provide you with emotional support, you may be able to train him/her to do so. For example, you can teach your Chihuahua to jump onto your lap and calm you down thanks to the warmth and weight of his/her body.
They might not be the best option for families with small children, as due to their small size, they can easily get hurt. If you live in a multi-pet household, you might have a problem... A Chihuahua is not likely to tolerate living with other dogs. Of course, this potential issue can be addressed with proper socialization at a young age.
When it comes to maintenance- just like every other dog, they need some brushing and bathing, based on the lifestyle. Brushing may need to be done every week and bathing- about once a month. Grooming these cute small canines is quite easy. Generally, they need to get only the area between the paw pads and the private parts trimmed.
Regarding exercising, despite their tiny size, these doggies still need regular walking, at least 30 minutes a day. You can divide this time into several “walking sessions” during the day. The lifespan of these little fellows is about 12-20 years.
A “sausage dog”- this might be among the first associations we make when we hear the name of this dog breed. These cute dogs, whose short legs and long bodies are their distinctive physical feature, were bred to recognize and chase badgers using their keen sense of smell. That is why the breed representatives are also known as “badger dogs”.
The miniature version of the breed (called rabbit dachshunds) was bred to chase rabbits and other small animals. The breed comes in different colors, such as black & cream, black & tan, blue & tan, chocolate & tan, cream, red, wheaten, wild boar, blue & cream, fawn & tan, fawn & cream, chocolate & cream. Also, there are three coat varieties: smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. The weight of the larger version can reach up to 16-32 lbs / 7-15 kg while the smaller version can reach up to 11 lbs / 5 kg or less.
Dachshunds are known as affectionate dogs, who can become great family pets. They can get along with other pets in the household as well as with children, but it is essential that they are socialized well.
You should keep in mind that the dogs of the Dachshund breed can become jealous if they are not provided with enough attention. They may also have strong territorial instincts and vocalization can be among their characteristics.
The breed's representatives are known as highly trainable dogs, who are very loyal to their families and are also protective of them. Also, these cute doggies are playful and very adaptive.
These canines are not hard to maintain. The smooth-coat breed version requires only some occasional coat care and the wire-coated version needs brushing once or twice a week. However, the long-coated version will need regular brushing and grooming. The average lifespan of the Dachshund is about 12-16 years.
The representatives of this lovely U.S. breed have short muzzles, prick ears, and short tails. They belong to the non-sporting group.
These cute canines can be found in black & white, black brindle & white, brindle & white, seal & white, and seal brindle & white. They can reach up to 6-25 lbs / 3-11 kg in weight, and 23-28 inches/9-15 cm in height. Their average lifespan is 13-15 years.
These lovely doggies are known for their calm disposition, and friendly and playful temperament, which makes them perfect for homes with children. They also get along with other animals...including cats! You did not expect that, did you? Occasionally you may notice your dog chasing your cat, however, this is not likely to be provoked by prey instinct but would be rather for play.
Another positive trait of these cute canines is that they do not bark a lot. Their high energy level makes them great companions for play, but also requires their owners to spend time exercising them-about 30 minutes up to 1 hour a day. The Boston Terrier is very easy to maintain and brushing once a week is usually sufficient.
We won’t hide that we are quite into these little fluffy balls of fur. This breed is associated with an old version of a dwarf type of dog in Malta and, also with a modern dog breed of the toy group.
The modern breed version is known for its beautiful silk-like coat, cute floppy ears, and curled tail. The average weight that these lovely dogs can reach is about 7-9 lbs / 3-4 kg. The average lifespan of the breed representatives is about 12-15 years.
These lovely lap doggies, who are considered easy to maintain, are typically very affectionate, playful, trainable, and lively. They can become an invaluable part of your family! However, they can also be a bit crabby if handled roughly, i.e. by small children.
A big advantage of these cute doggies is that they are hypoallergenic, which makes them perfect for households where family members are allergic to dog fur. In order to keep your paw friend’s coat neat, you need to regularly brush it- 2-3 times a week. That way you will prevent it from getting tangled. You should slightly mist your paw friend's coat prior to brushing.
Also, regular baths (about every week or every two weeks) and grooming sessions are also recommended.
These small cute dogs are easy to recognize due to their distinctive short wrinkled muzzle and facial expression. The breed originates in China and comes with a coat in two varieties-black and fawn.
The Pug breed was imported into Europe in the 16th century. It was made popular by the House of Orange in the Netherlands and the House of Stuart in the UK. The Pug can reach up to 14-18 lbs / 6-8 kg in weight. The average lifespan of the breed is approximately 12-15 years.
These small, but robust lap dogs are playful, gentle, and adaptive. They develop a strong bond with their families and make great companions to children. They are also known as friendly canines who get along with other dog breeds as well. Their temperament is considered very balanced.
These small doggies can also become great companion animals and Psychiatric Service Dogs. You can read more about small service dog breeds in our article "Small Dog Breeds As Service Animals".
Pugs do shed moderately- a bit more during the spring and the fall. However, they are easy to maintain, and some brushing on a weekly basis is usually sufficient. Bathing once every 3 weeks is also considered sufficient. However, it depends on your paw friend’s lifestyle.
The Basset Hound, just like the Dachshund, is a representative of the hound group. The breed was originally bred to hunt hares and is known for its great sense of smell and its ability to follow a track along the ground (ground-scent). The name of the breed comes from French and means “rather low”.
These doggies have distinctive features, namely short legs, long, floppy ears, and curved tails held over their back legs. The breed representatives may reach up to 14-15 inches / 36-38 cm in height and 30-34 kg / 65-75 lbs in weight. The average lifespan of this dog breed is about 10-12 years.
When it comes to the temperament of these canines, they are considered easygoing and very friendly. They are known for their ability to get along with other pets and children. These canines are deemed rather low-energetic and regular walks would be enough for your paw friend to stay fit. Their low-mid energy levels make them suitable for apartment living.
If you are into these doggies, you should be prepared for your paw family member to be quite vocal. He/she may also occasionally drool, especially when he/she is excited or frustrated.
In regard to grooming, these dogs do not need professional grooming and regular brushing will be sufficient. Because of their oily skin, they need to be regularly bathed (but no more often than once a week).
These little fellows have become very popular among dog lovers and also people who are looking for a companion dog or a psychiatric service dog. The French Bulldog is a representative of the non-sporting group and is usually kept as a toy dog.
These cute canines were imported to France in the mid-19th century from England. Also, the origin of some breed’s representatives can be tracked down to Parisian small dogs, who were bred to catch rats. These dogs can reach up to 13-14 kg / 29-31 lbs in weight and 32-35 cm / 13-14 inches in height. The average lifespan of these canines is about 10-12 years.
When talking about their personality and temperament, we can only say that these dogs are amazing! They are affectionate and develop a strong bond with their owners. They typically get along with other pets and children. Of course, early socialization is always needed.
Frenchies are among the most popular family dogs, who are also preferred as Psychiatric Service Dogs thanks to their lovely temperament and calm disposition. Providing tactile stimulation, Deep Pressure Therapy or just being a companion animal as an Emotional Support Animal, these cute dogs won't disappoint you!
Adaptability and playfulness are other traits of these lovely canines! They are considered mid to high energetic, so you will need to take care of your dog's mental and physical stimulation. Also, you should be ready to provide your paw friend with a lot of attention.
Considering grooming, these dogs will need only occasional grooming and bathing once every week or every 4-6 weeks, depending on their lifestyle. Due to their short coat, Frenchies require much less maintenance than long-coated dog breeds.
The Italian Greyhound is the miniature version of the Greyhound- the fastest dog in the world (also known as the English Greyhound). You will find out why we have decided to include namely the Italian in today’s list and not the standard version. The Italian Greyhound can reach up to 5 kg / 11 lbs in weight and 32-38 cm / 13-15 inches in height. The English Greyhound, on the other hand, can reach up to 34-40 kg / 75-88 lbs in weight and 71-76 cm / 28-30 inches in height.
The average lifespan of the mini version is about 14 years, while the lifespan of the standard version is between 10 and 14 years. Both breeds belong to the so-called sighthound, which means that they rely on their sight and speed to hunt and not on their sense of smell.
An important physical difference between both types of breeds is that the Italian Greyhound is considered hypoallergenic, while the Greyhound is not. However, the latter is considered the fastest dog breed in the world. The Italian Greyhound is deemed more energetic and playful than the Greyhound. Although the tendency for hyperactivity is likely to decrease with the age, these dogs will still need enough time to play, exercise and walk.
In regard to their trainability, the Italian Greyhound is considered easier to train than the standard Greyhound, but it can be a bit timid and overly sensitive. That requires you to be very affectionate during the training sessions.
When it comes to grooming, the Italian Greyhound is low maintenance. A few minutes a day for brushing is usually sufficient. The frequency of bathing depends on the lifestyle- once a week or up to once every 6 weeks may be enough.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These dogs are so lovely and gentle, aren’t they? They belong to the toy group and are known for their loving personality, calm demeanor, and potential to become great family dogs. Whether in a multi-pet household or in a household with children, these little cuties will get along with all family members.
They reach up to 5.4–8 kg / 12–18 lbs in weight and 30-33 cm / 12-13 inches in height. The average lifespan of these doggies is about 9-14 years.
The cute appearance, friendly temperament, and easy-going personality of these canines make them excellent Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Animals. You may be glad to know, that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is highly trainable. If you are patient and consistent, you may be able to train your paw friend in both basic obedience and more advanced service dog tasks.
The energy level of this breed’s representatives is considered medium, as well as their need for physical and mental stimulation. These canines are also moderately playful. The breed representatives are not known as barkers, but occasional barking due to excitement might occur.
These doggies are not only lovely but also easy to maintain. Regular brushing (3-4 times a week) and trimming the area between the toes are sufficient to keep them neat. Bathing frequency depends on the lifestyle and just like the breeds listed above it can vary from once a week to once every 4-6 weeks.
You might be surprised to see this large breed listed as “low-maintenance”. These giant dogs with muscular physiques and short muzzles were originally bred as guard dogs. They belong to the working group.
The breed's representatives are known for their affection toward their family members as well as their tolerance toward other pets and small children. They are calm, loving, and loyal. However, if you are a first-time owner, this breed might not be the right fit for you, as you will need to properly train and socialize them.
The Bullmastiff is known for its great skills as a watchdog and its adaptability. These canines are not prone to barking, although this may vary from dog to dog. They are considered very trainable, but early socialization, sticking to a schedule, and persistence are crucial for training to be successful.
When it comes to maintenance- the breed is low maintenance, and it does not need much grooming. A quick brush every week and bathing no more often than once a week or once every 6-8 weeks, depending on the lifestyle, is sufficient.
When trained properly the dogs of the Bullmastiff breed can become great service animals for people with both mental and physical disabilities. Thanks to their large size and strong physique these canines can be of great help to people with balance or mobility issues.