Are you itching to get a dog, but worried that a pet will take over your life? Have no fear! There is a variety of low-maintenance dogs that are easy to train and require little grooming and exercise. When deciding whether or not to take the plunge and bring a new dog into your home, it’s important to think about which breeds are a good fit for your particular lifestyle.
You should take time to really research the right dog breed for your family, especially if you are looking for low-maintenance dogs, says Dr. Marc Abraham, an award-winning veterinarian and the author of Vet on Call: My First Year as an Out-of-Hours Vet. “Choosing a dog is one of the biggest decisions you and your family can make, not just for you, but for the dog in question. With so many dogs available to us, it’s important to go down the right channels to find the right dog to suit your family and your lifestyle.”
By taking the extra time to research whether or not a particular type of dog is a good fit for you, you can lower the chances that you will second-guess your decision to introduce this pet into your home. “Because of poor pet selection…six million dogs and cats are relinquished to shelters every year,” says Dr. Marty Becker, a veterinarian and the author of Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual. According to Becker, that number would drop if people spent more time picking out the right pet.
Here are 10 breeds of low-maintenance dogs for you to consider:
This spunky little fellow can weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. Although pugs shed a little bit, they require very minimal grooming, and their keen intellect makes them easy to train.
- Miniature Pinscher
If you love the look of a Doberman, but don’t have the energy to keep up with a large dog, then a miniature pinscher might be right for you! Weighing between 8 and 11 pounds, the spritely “MinPin” can be trained very easily. If you work with her, she can even learn how to do a few tricks!
It’s no wonder why the Chihuahua has become a top companion dog. At just four to six pounds, he’s tiny enough to live comfortably in a small apartment or condo. These dogs are sharp as a tack, and their short hair needs very little grooming.
- Boston Terrier
If you want a medium-sized dog that does not require extensive exercise or grooming, you should consider the Boston terrier. These dogs, which can weigh between 10 and 25 pounds, have sleek, short hair and have a friendly, lively temperament that makes them the perfect addition for families with children.
The Bolognese is a great pet for people who have allergies. All of that fluff is actually hair, not fur, which means that you won’t have to worry about shedding. These cuties weigh in somewhere between five to eight pounds.
- Italian Greyhound
An Italian greyhound looks just like a miniature version of his full-sized brother, the greyhound. But, at only 8 to 18 pounds, these dogs can live comfortably in a small house or apartment, especially because they require surprisingly little exercise. With his sweet and obliging temperament, the Italian greyhound can make the perfect companion dog for someone who lives alone.
- Rat Terrier
Are you looking for a reasonably-sized watchdog? If so, the Rat Terrier could be the perfect pet for you! These easily-trained, medium-sized dogs are extremely alert and intelligent. And, because Rat Terriers sport a short coat of fur, these 10-to-25 pound dogs do not require a lot of grooming maintenance.
- Yorkshire Terrier
Nothing quite compares to the human-like awareness of a Yorkshire terrier. If you’re looking for a smart little dog that wants nothing more than to snuggle and play with you, this breed might be “the one!” The Yorkie, which weighs in between three to seven pounds, has hair instead of fur, which makes it a great pet for someone who suffers from dog allergies. Just an occasional trim can keep your Yorkie’s hair looking neat and tidy.
- Basset Hound
The basset hound is super easy to train and needs minimal daily exercise. Weighing between 40 and 60 pounds, these dogs have a gentle demeanor and just love to lay at your feet.
- Shih Tzu
The clever and playful shih tzu can make the perfect playmate for a family with children. These dogs have an easy-going temperament, which means that you won’t need to constantly correct their negative behaviors. Though these 8-to-16 pound dogs do not shed, their hair does need regular trimming.
For more information on picking out a child-friendly dog, check out these 10 Great Dog Breeds for Children!
Kelly Sundstrom is an award-winning journalist, author, artist and national special needs spokesperson. As the caretaker of two dogs, five cats and a bearded dragon, Sundstrom knows the importance of finding the right pet breed for your family.