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What is the best low maintenance family dog?

6 popular small dog breeds that are fairly low-maintenance

Whether you live in an apartment, have small children or would just rather not have a giant Great Dane taking over your lounge every night, some of us believe that, when it comes to dogs, good things come in small packages.

Life is busy, and some (read: most) of us just don’t have the time it takes to look after bigger dogs. And there is plenty to love about small dog breeds. They fit on your lap, don’t eat nearly as much, and are way quicker to walk!

If the low-maintenance dog lifestyle sounds like you, check out the list below, for some of the most popular small dog breeds; whose pint-sized bodies can curl up in tiny apartments and whose gentle temperaments can complement their owners’ packed schedules.

1. Dachshund

This small dog breed is known first for bravery, and second for stubbornness. Their sausage-shaped builds fit well in small spaces and require only a 30-minute walk each day, though housetraining dachshunds can demand persistence and patience.

Dachshund Mortimer loves his Art Deco cottage in Newcastle, NSW. Photography: Maree Homer / Story: Australian House & Garden

2. Boston Terrier

Because of the tuxedo colouring of a Boston Terrier’s coat, these low maintenance dogs are sometimes called «Little American Gentlemen». But their gentlemanly charm extends beyond their short-hair coat.

The Boston Terrier is both lively and loyal, suited to families with young or elderly members, city apartments and suburban homes.

While sturdier and more boisterous than the typical lapdog, the Boston Terrier also exhibits a distinct sensitivity to human emotions. He’s your tough guy with a softer side, and if he were a human, he’d totally be played by Gerard Butler.

3. French Bulldog

Under its often sober muzzle, the French Bulldog hides a mischievous personality — cheeky, but not too unsettled for apartment living.

Noted for being a «lap-warmer», this dog’s small, muscular frame requires minimal exercise and barely any bathing (though their abundant wrinkles should be wiped down regularly).

Frenchie’s adaptable attitude makes it a steadfast companion for travelling, so if you know you’ll be on the road a lot, they may be the best small dog breed for you.

«You know this house really is lived in when the dog can chew your chair and it’s okay!» says Kylie Gillies of an armchair her French Bulldog Tilly has taken an unfortunate liking to. Photography: Chris Warnes / Story: Home Beautiful

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Silky coats and lazy tendencies — King Charles Cavaliers, they’re just like us! Your Cavalier King Charles loves afternoon naps on the couch with homebody families or senior owners. This dog’s delicate frame enjoys low-impact activity, while her sweet disposition warms to strangers easily.

Dickie and Douglas, two cavalier King Charles spaniels, make themselves comfortable in their compact Paddington terrace. Photography: Maree Homer / Story: Australian House & Garden

5. Maltese

These scruffy cuties were once coveted by the royal women of Malta, who used to smuggle them into their sleeves and snuggle up with them in bed. Maltese terriers make spirited lapdogs and are known for being fiercely loyal to their owners.

A single-coat breed, the Maltese does not shed but its grooming schedule includes weekly baths and cleaning of the «tear» stains known to gather on its muzzle.

6. Short-coat chihuahua

The chihuahua is the perfect dog to accommodate a working professional’s lifestyle. Its humble appetite, low-maintenance coat and toy size suit apartment life, away from children who may be too heavy-handed. The breed can be fiercely loyal to one master, making it a dedicated companion to older owners who live alone.

spoil your dog with.

Royal Navy & Brass rope dog leash by Animals in Charge, $50, Aura Home.
Walking your dog is an essential part of good ownership, so why not equip your beloved pooch with the best? This dog leash features a timeless design in a rich navy colourway paired with brass hardware that adds a little glam to your outdoor adventures. Available in Royal Navy, Midnight Black and Rose Pink, this handmade and durable leash will keep your pet safe and stylish on every walk. SHOP NOW.

Kong rubber dog treat dispenser toy, $17.96, Petstock.
Even small dog breeds need hardy toys to play with. Dogs love to chew, so picking out toys that will withstand the serious wear and tear is important. Toys that also make your dog work for treats is an easy and low maintenance way to exercise your pet’s mind and can assist in tiring them out faster. SHOP NOW.

Calming cuddler in Natural, $119.90, Snooza
We spend a large portion of our lives asleep and your small dog will do the same, so choosing the right bed for your furry friend is important. After all, we all love a dog that sleeps through the night without waking you! This cosy mock lambswool bed cuddles your pet while you can’t, and comes in a range of colours including a leopard print! And easy removable and washable covers mean it’ll be as low maintenance as the pup sleeping in it. SHOP NOW.


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Top 10 ‘Low Maintenance’ Dog Breeds

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Having a pet dog in your family is nothing short of a blessing as it brings liveliness to the house.

At the same time, things can become quite tricky if you are having a breed which requires a considerable amount of maintenance.

You don’t want to spend all your leisure time cleaning up the dog’s hair all around your house or in grooming them on a daily basis.

A number of dog breeds also exhibit a low trainability trait which can make you toil hard while teaching them any tricks and commands.

In this blog, you will see what exactly defines a ‘Low Maintenance’ in dogs and you will also get to know some top easy to maintain dog breeds that would suit best for first-time owners as well as people who are working full time.

What Does ‘Low Maintenance’ In Dogs Actually Mean?

Those dog breeds who do not demand much effort of their owners in their grooming, cleaning and training aspects come in the bracket of Low Maintenance Dogs. Yet there is a wide range of parameters that make a dog absolutely easy to maintain. Let us look at some significant points which contribute to the ‘Low Maintainability Factor’:

1) Low Shedding

Dogs having a minimal amount of hair fall save a lot of time of their owners. Low shedders are also a boon to people having allergies.

2) Easy Trainability

Dogs having a high trainability show less aggressive behavior and function well within the family. It becomes much easier to build a strong bond with them.

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3) Less Exercise Requirements

Dog breeds requiring a minimal amount of exercise are appropriate for senior people. These dogs are comfortable lying around a corner of the house.

4) Great with Kids

Those dog breeds which gel well with children work best with first-time owners and is a huge factor when it comes to low maintainability,

5) Can Be Left Alone

Dogs left alone for a considerable period of time are apt for full-time working people. They are also known as ‘Home Alone’ dogs that tend to enjoy their own company.

There are certain breeds in the dog’s kingdom owing to their ‘low maintainability’ are known to be excellent apartment dogs and also a great friend of the people owning a dog for the very first time.

Which of the Dog Breeds are of ‘Low Maintenance’?

We shall now look at the top 10 such dog breeds that rank higher in the chart of Low Maintenance.

1) Beagle

A big-time favorite among dog owners, Beagles are gentle, loving and a happy-go-lucky dog breed.

A well-known fact about Beagles is that they are not choosy about their food. They are fully content with whatever they are being fed.

They don’t need brushing more than once a week due to their thin coat. A little daily walk in the neighborhood is enough to keep them fit and fine.

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2) Chihuahua

The miniature size and a minimal grooming need of a Chihuahua make it one of the best apartment dogs one can have.

The breed does not need much exercise and would be happy with 15-20 minutes of daily walking.

As they generally weigh between 1 to 3 Kg, they are hot favorites among travelers since they can easily be carried alongside.

3) Pug

Pugs are great family dogs since they get along well with children.

They are also low shedders which make the grooming a cakewalk. Moving from one sofa to another is their daily dose of exercise, though a daily walking of 15 minutes is fairly suggested.

They are quick learners that would help you to make him a well-behaved dog.

4) Labrador Retriever

Considered a global favorite, Labradors Retrievers are cute, friendly, intelligent and loyal.

They are also one of the easiest breeds to train, thanks to their quick learning skills. Labradors do not need much grooming owing to their short coat.

Weekly brushing with a fine bristle brush is enough to keep their skin and coat healthy.

They are a fairly healthy breed which makes you less bothered about the veterinary visit.

5) Boxer

A fun-loving dog breed, Boxer has a great affection for children making them good family pets.

They respond well to obedience training and are known for being highly patient.

Brushing them on a weekly basis keeps the shedding to a minimum. Playing games like Fetch is enough to burn their extra calories.

6) Dachshund

Dachshunds are curious dog breed who are known for their high spirits. They are easy to maintain for several reasons.

Firstly, they are moderate eaters and won’t trouble you much with their appetite.

Secondly, they are happy with the exercise they get inside the house on account of their small size.

Thirdly, Dachshunds are one of the easiest breeds to house-train.

Dachshunds are an entertaining breed and their funny and comical nature keeps their owners in splits.

7) Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus have a loyal temperament and are happy living in an apartment.

They socialize well with people and other pets and are a highly adaptable dog breed.

A daily walking of 5 to 10 minutes keeps them in good physical shape.

Unlike other toy dog breeds, Shih Tzus are not noisy and would only bark if necessary.

8) Grey Hound

This might come as a surprise to many, as Grey Hounds are considered as the fastest runners in the Dogs Kingdom.

However, these breeds, in reality, are couch potatoes that hate to exercise. They are more than happy to curl up with their owners on the sofa.

Their short coat makes them low shedders and an occasional brushing is enough to keep their skin healthy.

9) Russell Terrier

Russell Terriers are fast learners who adapt themselves well to a small family.

Minimal bathing and brushing needs coupled with routine vet checkup make Russell Terriers a pretty easy breed to maintain.

10) Dalmatian

Most first-time dog owners like to have a large breed, at the same time they may feel quite apprehensive about their maintenance.

Dalmatian is one exceptional dog breed that stands out for their low maintenance despite being a large and active breed.

They have a thin coat which requires the least grooming and are also very obedient to their owners.

They love jogging with their owners and are less prone to health issues.

Unlike other dogs, they have a very little doggy odor which makes them need only minimal bathing.

Dogs just like us desire ample amount of love and affection. The term ‘Low Maintenance’ here in any way doesn’t mean that you can neglect your dog altogether. They are beautiful creatures who consider their families and territory as everything. After all, there is hardly a point in owning a dog in the first place when one can’t even give a little bit of attention to him.

About Akhil Krishnan

An avid nature and animal lover, Akhil likes to read and watch anything related to wildlife. He also has a great interest in athletics, mainly track and field events and is a big Masala Dosa fan.

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