Best Low Maintenance Dog Breeds for First Time Owners
Being a dog parent is a significant commitment. They require daily walking, grooming, food, and care. While we might want the joy of having a dog, the responsibilities or time commitment might deter us. Perhaps your job leaves you with very little energy and you simply want to return home to a dog you can cuddle with, who won’t want to be taken for a run. Or you might be a first time dog owner and might not want to bite off more than you can chew. Whatever the reason is, there are dogs which are suitable for you. Not every dog requires the same amount of attention and care.
While all dogs require certain things from their owners in order to thrive, different breeds demand varying degrees of care. Some are more demanding and want as much pampering as they can receive. Others, on the other hand, do not require as much attention and are termed low-maintenance, or independent to be more accurate, dog breeds. We’ve put together a list of the easiest dogs to care for, so that you can fulfill your dream of being a dog parent without feeling the need to neglect your other responsibilities.
Dachshunds are some of the cutest and cuddliest dogs around, but most puppies stemming from this breed tend to be quite obstinate and require basic training to give them structure. With their small little legs and long bodies, this breed normally just requires modest activity, and constant running and jumping can even aggravate or lead to spine disorders. For this reason it is suggested that you do not over-exercise this breed. A good barometer with this pup is to check whether your pup is getting adequate activity to keep fit and not destroy anything within the house.
If you have heard of a greyhound, you are most likely to view them as super high energy racing dogs. However, contrary to popular belief, this is not a high energy breed. The majority of Greyhound puppies are couch potatoes that prefer lounging about with their owners. They like regular walks and the odd run, but they do not require a lot of exercise. Medium-large in size, but slim and sleek, this dog would be comfortable living in an apartment. Consider a whippet if you like its personality and appearance but would like a smaller dog.
The cheerful Frenchie is the ideal lounging companion. French bulldogs are among the most playful of all dog breeds. They have a lot of enthusiasm but lack endurance. Moderate daily activity is normally adequate for this breed, however the time spent outside should be moderated when it is very hot or humid (French Bulldogs tend to overheat fairly easily, and do not have a good internal mechanism to help cool them down).
Most Frenchies respond well to basic training and are typically well-behaved when given a routine. This breed requires little maintenance but may develop skin problems, and it is predisposed to brachycephalic (respiratory) condition because of its short muzzle when it is overexercised, specially in harsh temperatures.
The basset hound is one of the laziest breeds out there, and make for the perfect cuddle buddies on a Sunday afternoon. So calm and quiet, you might actually have trouble locating these pups in your home. The one somewhat high-maintenance element of basset hounds is that they may require a thorough brushing three times each week to maintain their coat healthy.
The tiny Chihuahua, at about 2 to 6 pounds, is the ideal pocket-sized lap dog. Although these dogs have high octane bursts of energy, they do not require a lot of exercise. Their grooming requirements are modest, however long-haired Chihuahuas will require extra brushing to avoid tangles. It is also important to train them well, and ensure that they do not develop a superiority complex, as this may lead to aggression (even with bigger dogs, which could prove to be dangerous).
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier is a mild-mannered, loving breed of dog that will enjoys cuddling with humans and other dogs, alike. Cavaliers typically weigh 11 to 18 pounds and are simple to handle and train. With few temperamental issues, you can be ensured that these pups will not cause a raucous around the house, nor will they need to go out for a walk multiple times a day to expend any destructive energy. It is imperative to get a Cav from a reliable breeder, who has had all the necessary genetic tests carried out. This is due to the breed being prone to heart disease, ear infections, and neurological abnormalities. The Cavalier requires regular hair brushing, ear cleaning, and the occasional trip to the groomer. They are a low-shedding breed that makes excellent sofa companions.
Do you have your heart set on a massive couch potato? Mastiffs have low energy level and little stamina. Younger mastiffs have a cheerful and pleasant disposition, but they are usually quite docile. They get lazier as they mature. This breed remains devoted and loyal towards their family. As with other huge dog breeds, they have a shorter lifetime than the normal dog. Most are considered seniors by the age of six, and few live past the age of eleven or twelve. Aside from the orthopedic issues that some mastiffs suffer from, these dogs are generally healthy.
If you want a huge dog that isn't as big and lethargic as a mastiff, the bullmastiff is a good choice. It is still rather large though, weighing 100 to 130 pounds. Its health is often better than that of the mastiff, and its lifespan is longer. The bullmastiff has more energy than the mastiff but not nearly as much endurance. Daily walks should be enough to keep this breed content and healthy. You can expect this breed to be a couch potato the rest of the time.
Poodles come in different sizes, allowing you to choose from 3 sizes - standard, miniature, and toy. Though they are an energetic breed, Poodles usually settle well into their owners routine, and they adapt to their schedule. The most important thing about owning pup of this breed, is to groom them every day without fail. They have hair that grows continually and must be brushed and clipped on a regular basis to prevent matting. If you’re worried about shedding, you can lay that concern to bed - as a hypoallergenic breed they don't shed much, and do not trigger any canine-related allergies.
Breeds to Avoid if you’re short on time
Dogs who are bored can grow irritated and even unhappy. Avoid high-energy dogs like schipperkes, huskies, and pit bulls if you won't be able to offer them adequate exercise and stimulation. They may develop behavioral disorders if they do not receive adequate care. Instead, get a dog with less energy. High-energy dog breeds such as border collies, Australian shepherds, and Jack Russell terriers will get bored if not properly trained and stimulated.