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20 Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds For Busy Owners (With Pictures)

Gregory Iacono

By Gregory Iacono

italian greyhound

Dogs are amazing animals and make wonderful pets and companions. However, in today’s busy, mile-a-minute world, it’s not always possible to take care of a dog correctly because you’re too busy. This lack of spare time can make it exceedingly difficult to own a dog and give it the care and attention these intelligent animals need.

If you’re longing to own a dog but unsure you have the time to take care of one correctly, the following low-maintenance dog breeds might be a perfect fit. Below are 20 canines that can handle being left alone during the day (for various reasons) while you handle your other responsibilities. If you want a dog in your life but don’t have the time for one that’s too needy or clingy, read on!


The 20 Low-Maintenance Dogs for Busy Owners

1. Bloodhound

bloodhound on the porch
Image Credit: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock

If you enjoy lounging around when you have free time, having a Bloodhound by your side is a great choice. They are gentle, affectionate, and about as laid-back and low-maintenance as dogs come. They’re also independent and don’t need constant attention to be happy and content.

Also, Bloodhounds like going slowly when walking, so they can sniff and smell everything rather than pulling you down the street at breakneck speeds like some dogs. The only real drawback of this low-maintenance canine is that Bloodhounds tend to drool quite a bit, so keeping a towel handy is necessary.

2. Dachshund

Smooth-haired dachshund standard, color red, female
Image Credit: Popova Tetiana, Shutterstock

Dachshunds are compact dogs with tiny legs, and they were bred for hundreds of years to be independent hunters. For that reason, they’re still independent dogs today and don’t need a lot of attention. However, Doxies love to explore the outdoors and sniff just about everything, so giving them a little extra time when walking or taking a potty break is a good idea.

With a friendly and outgoing personality and low-maintenance needs, the Dachshund is perfect for those with busy lifestyles.

3. Newfoundland

newfoundland dog outdoor
Image Credit: Marsan, Shutterstock

The Newfoundland is one of the best dogs for guarding children. Another fine trait of these canines is that they don’t need a lot of high-intensity activity and are very laid back, to the point where some call them lazy. Lazy or not, a Newfoundland is a fantastic dog, especially if you love cuddling and snuggling with your pet.

Because they’re distinctly intelligent, they’re also easier to train than many other dogs. That makes training much less time-consuming for dog owners who are always on the go.

4. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound standing
Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock

Gorgeous is a fantastic word to describe the look of the Italian Greyhound, but some can also be quite clingy. However, the Italian Greyhound is a dog that can easily lounge around the entire day while you’re out and then, when you return, have a surge of energy that’s rather astounding. Watching one run around a park with complete abandon is a sight to see!

Another thing busy people love about the Italian Greyhound is that they have a remarkably short coat that’s extremely easy to care for and doesn’t shed, making them almost hypoallergenic. Italian Greyhounds need almost no brushing unless they get dirty, which is a great timesaver.

5. Maltese

happy adult maltese running outdoor
Image Credit: Kimrawicz, Shutterstock

The low-shedding Maltese is practically the perfect dog for busy owners. They’re happy to lounge around most of the day, but when you decide to take them for a walk, they’ll quickly change gears and have fun. When they do, their energy seems boundless. However, the fact is that the average Maltese needs much less exercise than most other dogs.

Daily brushing is critical because their long, silky hair tends to mat. Many people get around this by giving their Maltese short haircuts. It’s also worth noting that Maltese make excellent watchdogs and therapy dogs and are skilled in agility, tracking, and obedience tasks.

6. Spaniels

two king charles spaniels
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

Whether you have a busy lifestyle or not, there’s no denying that looking into the soulful eyes of a Spaniel will make your heart melt. There are several spaniel varieties, including the Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. All of them have been bred for hunting for hundreds of years but, despite that, love to lounge on their owner’s laps.

Because they have longer coats, all Spaniels need regular brushing to keep their coats from matting. Also, you must keep an eye on your Spaniel’s ears to prevent them from getting infections. One thing that makes these dogs great for owners with less free time is that they get along wonderfully with children, other pets, and strangers.

If you go away, finding someone to care for your Spaniel while you’re gone will be easier than with many other breeds.

7. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

pembroke welsh corgi dog sitting on the ground
Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock

One of the biggest problems that busy owners have is when they have a needy or clingy breed. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is neither of those things, although they’re still quite affectionate. Because they were bred as working dogs, a Pembroke is happiest when they have a job to perform. However, they’re just as comfortable taking a long walk around town.

A minor drawback of this breed is that they have a thick double coat that tends to shed heavily. You’ll need to brush your Corgi’s coat daily to remove loose hair and keep your home from becoming a fur-filled mess. Besides that, however, these are otherwise low-maintenance dogs that will fit neatly into your busy lifestyle.

8. Chihuahua

chihuahua sitting on wood
Image Credit: McCann Michelle, Shutterstock

With an easy-to-care-for coat and low exercise needs, the Chihuahua is an excellent dog for owners with little free time. They only require a quick stroll once a day, and your Chihuahua should be pretty content. The best thing about these tiny dogs is they have an outsized personality.

Chihuahuas are also highly independent, more confident than they should be, and adaptable to almost any living situation. A Chihuahua would be just as happy in a tiny apartment as in a large home. Most Chihuahuas love to snuggle wherever they live and will happily join you while you lounge on the couch watching your favorite TV show.

9. Poodle

A purebred standard white poodle
Image Credit: nieriss, Shutterstock

One of the best traits of the Poodle for busy dog owners is their low shedding coat. However, visits to the groomer are necessary to prevent matting and tangling. Poodles are incredibly intelligent, and you won’t need much time and energy to train them well. They’re also eager to please and love doing whatever their owner happens to be doing.

They come in three sizes, including standard, miniature, and toy, but all three are people-oriented and affectionate. Lastly, because they shed very little, Poodles are as close to hypoallergenic as most dogs get.

10. Bullmastiff

bullmastiff standing on the grass
Image Credit: Michael J Magee, Shutterstock

Although their ancestors helped guard livestock in England, Bullmastiffs are excellent companion animals. However, they require training and socialization at an early age to prevent aggression toward strangers. Because of their heritage, they make reliable guard dogs and are very protective of their family.

They don’t require more than two daily walks and play sessions to stay fit, but because of their size, excess weight gain can put stress on their joints. They have short coats that are easy to maintain and only require weekly brushing.

11. Shih Tzu

white and brown Shih tzu standing on the grass
Image Credit: Radosław Zmudziński, Pixabay

Families with children are often the busiest and have the least amount of time for owning a dog. That makes the Shih Tzu practically perfect as they don’t need much exercise, get along well with everyone, and can easily live in an apartment. They’re also a good choice for first-time owners because they’re easy to train, loyal, and fun to play with.

Shih Tzus love cuddling and keeping their owner company but also enjoy strolling around the dog park and making new canine friends. The average Shih Tzu will need to be brushed several times a week to prevent their coat from matting and getting tangled.

12. Beagle

beagle dog lying on the ground
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

If you adore Snoopy from the beloved Peanuts comic strip, you already know that Beagles are fantastic canines! They’re affectionate, gentle, and lighthearted and have stayed in the ranks of America’s best-loved dogs for many years. Beagles are also relatively small dogs and usually weigh no more than 30 pounds. They have a short, smooth coat that’s easy to care for and requires minimal brushing and grooming.

Notably, Beagles get along well with children and are among the most loyal breeds. These traits make the Beagle a fantastic choice for dog owners who don’t have multiple hours every day to spend with their canine companions.

13. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier posing in garden
Image Credit: Ruben PH, Shutterstock

Boston Terriers shed very little and require much less grooming than most dogs. Brushing once a week is usually all that’s necessary to keep their coat looking fantastic. Boston Terriers are more lively than some of the other dogs on our list. However, about an hour of activity is all they require daily.

Many city dwellers love Boston Terriers because they’re happy dogs that can easily live in small apartments. Also, they don’t suffer from separation anxiety nearly as often as some smaller breeds and don’t bark as much.

14. Papillon

Image Credit: Fayzulin Serg, Shutterstock

Being able to train your new dog quickly and easily is one of the hallmarks of a low-maintenance breed. In that respect, the Papillon is practically perfect as they’re one of the 10 most intelligent dogs on the planet! Another reason the Papillon is low-maintenance is that they often groom themselves, but checking their ears regularly is necessary to prevent ear infections.

About 30 minutes of exercise and activity a day is enough to keep the average Papillon healthy, and the rest of the time, they’ll be content to relax on your lap. One thing you should note, however, is that the Papillon has one of the strongest odors of any breed and requires regular baths.

15. Pug

fawn pug puppy
Image Credit: kikkian, Shutterstock

Pugs are friendly and easy to train, and they’re also a breeze to groom, thanks to their short coats. Pugs are surprisingly low-key for such small dogs and won’t demand hours of interaction and engagement. What they will do, though, is entertain you and your family with their wild and goofy antics and affectionate nature.

However, one drawback of the Pug is that they’re a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a flattened facial structure. This poses breathing and heat regulation issues as their faces and noses are structurally inefficient. You’ll need to be careful in the heat with a Pug and deal with their raspy breathing and snoring.

16. Basset Hound

Basset Hound sitting on dry leaves
Image Credit: Marry Kolesnik, Shutterstock

The low-energy but adorable Basset Hound is about as low-maintenance as canines come. They don’t respond well to negativity and retreat into their own world if you yell at them or scold them. They also aren’t big on training but don’t need much to be good dogs. Instead, they would rather lounge around and act goofy to gain your love and attention.

However, they can suffer from separation anxiety when younger and will howl when you leave the house. That issue aside, grooming and exercise are on the low end for this canine.

17. Whippet

a whippet on the sea shore
Image Credit: mille_photos_lea, Pixabay

The Whippet is similar to the Greyhound in many ways, especially their lithe looks and laid-back demeanor. Although they excel at agility and are incredibly fast runners, most Whippets are just as happy relaxing with you while you watch a movie. They’re also highly adaptable to almost any living situation, bark infrequently, and shed little, thanks to their short, tight coat.

Whippets are one of the easier dogs to train and groom and are great with older kids. They’re friendly and get along well with everyone as long as they’re raised in a loving environment. However, the Whippet can have issues with separation anxiety.

18. Labrador Retriever

Image Credit: Angel Luciano, Unsplash

As one of the most popular dogs in the United States (#2 in 2022), the Labrador Retriever is an all-around fantastic dog. They’re sweet, affectionate, and calm, and it’s no surprise Labrador Retrievers make excellent therapy dogs. They’re easy to train, easy to groom, and will be your best friend for life once they’ve bonded with you.

Even though they’re easy to care for, a Labrador Retriever has a high energy level, especially when young. You won’t need to spend hours a day taking care of their other needs, but you will need to ensure they get plenty of activity. Running, walking, playing fetch in the yard, and plenty of daily mental stimulation will be necessary to ensure they don’t become destructive. As long as you provide that, they are a dream to own.

19. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever dog walking outdoor
Image Credit: Lunja, Shutterstock

Like their cousins, the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever has many wonderful traits that make them low-maintenance pets. They are the definition of friendly and will love everyone that comes into their field of view. They’re a cinch to train because of their eagerness to please and make fantastic companions for kids. Golden Retrievers are also one of the most intelligent and intuitive breeds, making them excellent therapy dogs.

Two issues you’ll face with Golden Retrievers that put them slightly higher on the maintenance scale are their boundless energy and moderately long coats. You’ll spend more than a little time grooming your Goldie and ensuring they get enough activity to keep them from being sad (and becoming destructive). However, if you can handle these two issues, you’ll have a fine canine and best friend for life.

20. Mixed Breed (Mutt)

mutt dog sitting outdoor
Image Credit: 12photography, Shutterstock

If the breed of dog you adopt doesn’t make a big difference to you, you’ll be glad to know that the average mixed-breed dog is usually one of the lowest maintenance dogs there is. That’s because mixed breeds typically don’t have the drawbacks purebred dogs have, including overbreeding, which can often cause physical and psychological issues.

Mixed-breed dogs suffer far less from separation anxiety and are usually easier to train. Two other factors that make mixed-breed dogs an excellent choice are that they cost much less than purebred dogs and are much easier to find. Most cities and towns across the United States have numerous mixed-breed dogs waiting to be adopted on any given day.

Lastly, if you adopt an adult mixed-breed dog, there’s a good chance they will already be trained, which eliminates this time-consuming task.

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What Is a Low-Maintenance Dog?

Although the definition of “low maintenance” might differ from dog owner to dog owner, there are several factors that most agree fit the meaning well, which we’ll discuss below.

1. Easy to Train

No matter the breed you adopt, all dogs must be trained to become well-behaved and well-adjusted adults. However, this is easier said than done, as some dog breeds are extremely difficult to train due to several factors. Some of the most intelligent dogs are still difficult to train because they think they know better than their owners.

Golden retriever puppy getting a treat during puppy training on backyard
Image Credit: JulieK2, Shutterstock

2. Low Shedding

After training, grooming is a task that takes the most time and energy for dog owners. A low-shedding dog is your best choice if you lack time and energy for intensive grooming. Some breeds with short, dense coats barely need to be brushed or groomed besides clipping their nails and checking their ears and eyes. Dogs that shed constantly or have incredibly long hair that tangles are not the best choices for busy owners.

3. Calm and Laid-Back

While it would be complicated to find a puppy of any breed that’s calm and laid-back, many breeds grow into adults that are precisely that. Calm, docile dogs are best for busy owners because they usually need less one-on-one time and are okay with being left alone during the day.

close up of beagle dog outdoor
Image Credit: Sigma_S, Shutterstock

4. Low Exercise Needs

Like training, all dogs need exercise, but some need far less than others. Some dogs that require the most exercise are those bred to do jobs like herding and hunting. Many of these, including German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, need upwards of 3 hours of physical activity every day!

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Final Thoughts

Owning a dog requires a lot of energy, time, and patience. However, the canines we discussed are ideal for busy owners. Even the most low-maintenance dogs still need an owner who provides healthy food and exercise, maintains regular veterinary appointments, and loves them. We hope our list empowers you to choose a dog that fits your lifestyle perfectly and provides the companionship you need.

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Featured Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock

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