Which dog is easiest to pet?
10 Easy-Maintenance Dog Breeds
Every dog needs basic good grooming, care that includes attending to his skin, coat, ears, teeth, and toenails. However, not every dog requires regular professional attention, lots of baths, and an inordinate amount of brushing to keep the hair down.
Flat-faced dogs with wrinkles require special facial care. Otherwise easy-to-groom breeds, like scenthounds, often have a distinct hound scent that some people cannot tolerate without bathing their dog once a week. In addition, some of the easiest-to-groom breeds are also major shedders. Not included in this list are heavy shedders, droolers, very large dogs, wrinkly dogs, longhaired dogs, oily-coated dogs, and dogs with a hound smell.
Here are some of our favorite «wash-and-wear» breeds.
This wonderful breed has no «doggy smell,» so combined with his short coat and small size, he goes right to the top of the list. The only thing you need to watch out for is not to get water in his ears when bathing him. He is considered a barkless dog, by the way, but he can make plenty of noise.
The gorgeous, odorless Vizsla is a true wash-and-wear hunting dog with a sweet temper. He is also a light shedder and doesn’t drool. This dog needs a lot of exercise.
Whippets are clean, odorless dogs who are also quiet around the house. They are great choices for anyone who doesn’t live in an extremely cold climate.
#4: Boston Terrier
The neatly packaged Boston has no doggy odor and is a pretty light shedder. He is well behaved and great with kids, although he’s not the easiest breed to train.
#5: Doberman Pinscher
Dobies are low shedding and almost odorless. These large dogs do take a bit longer to groom than the other breeds on this list.
#6: Toy Manchester and Manchester Terrier
Intelligent, easy to train, and easy to groom, the Manchester Terrier’s only drawback is that some can sunburn easily, so you need to be careful with him. Otherwise, he’s a wash-and-wear breed.
The Pointer needs lots of exercise but not a lot of grooming. This tough breed was made to hunt all day. If he gets really dirty, you can simply hose him off. The Pointer is a lovely, solemn, devoted dog.
#8: German Shorthaired Pointer
Although the German Shorthaired Pointer sheds a bit more than some of the other breeds on this list, he’s still not a heavy shedder. He just needs a quick going-over with a hound mitt now and then to keep him perfectly presentable and happy.
The Weimaraner has very short hair and sheds only moderately. Hunting breeds were bred to be easy keepers, and this one fits the bill.
The Xolo doesn’t have hair, so there’s no shedding, no tangling, and no brushing. However, you do need to bathe and moisturize him to keep his skin oils at a reasonable level.
Other easy-maintenance breeds: German Pinscher, Greyhound, Italian Greyhound, and Miniature Pinscher.
Diane Morgan is a pet care expert in Williamsport, Maryland, who has authored numerous books on dog care and nutrition, and has also written many dog breed and horse books.
The 10 Easiest Dogs to Train
A few years ago, I went through a huge dalmatian phase. Not Cruella de Vil level, but close. I ogled Instagram accounts devoted to speckled pups and imagined having a chill dalmatian, quietly cuddled up next to me. Reality check: Dalmatians are notoriously stubborn and get bored easily, which can lead to destructive behavior. Training is possible but tough. And this is important because if you’re looking to adopt a dog, breed matters big-time, especially if you have small kids around. The breeds on this list are definitely energetic (canines with more get-up-and-go are more easily trained), but these dogs are also smart and enjoy learning commands. Here, the 10 easiest dogs to train.
There’s a reason standard, miniature and toy Poodles excel at dog shows. A healthy mix of versatility, intelligence and playfulness makes them ideal competitors who can lead a pack and follow orders. At home they’re incredibly social with both people and animals, mingling well with all ages and species. Yes, poodles have a reputation as snooty show dogs, but trim their hypoallergenic fur and utilize firm commands on the reg and you’ve got a well-trained goofball of a family dog.
Tracy Patterson/Getty Images
2. German Shepherd
At its core, the German shepherd is a protector. These are smart, devoted dogs who love having a job to do. In fact, they’ve been working in various industries for decades (think: law enforcement; guide and assistance; search and rescue), and they willingly dedicate themselves to tasks. German shepherds definitely need exercise, both mentally and physically, so training in a park or big yard is ideal.
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Pumis are energetic Hungarian herding dogs that aren’t afraid to cuddle up with their owners (and they’re known to pick favorites). On top of that, they are bright, social and very easy to train. As curious and observant animals, these fluffy canines are quick to try new things, so don’t be afraid to add on fresh commands once a Pumi has gotten the hang of the basics—sit, roll over, do the laundry! Pumis also prefer reward-based training, so stock up on some goodies.
Most small breeds aren’t super into the whole “training” thing. Enter the Papillon. Named for its luxuriously large and pointy ears (papillon means “butterfly” in French), these pups see themselves as big dogs in tiny bodies. Quick to learn and even quicker to play, Papillons need lots of exercise and are willing to try anything. This breed responds best to consistent training early in its life, with tons of positive reinforcement. They’re also just cute as hell, right?
5. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Do not confuse the Cardigan Welsh corgi with its more stubborn, petite cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Cardigans have longer tails and are generally taller. They’ve also retained their cattle-herding instincts over centuries, making them strong-willed, intelligent pups. For their shape, Cardigan Welsh corgis are incredibly agile. They’re also loyal and affectionate to their owners (of all ages) without getting too territorial. A bonus for city-dwelling dog lovers: These corgis don’t need big yards or tons of outdoors time. As long as they’ve got regular engagement and mental stimulation, they’re good.
6. Golden Retriever
This all-American, family-friendly dog picks up habits quickly, even though it’s not the brightest bulb in the box. Basically, golden retrievers are excellent dogs to train because they love you and just want to make you happy (marry me?). They’re also patient and can go with the flow, which makes training and forming positive habits a breeze. The only drawback is if you’re interested in training a guard dog because goldens enjoy making new friends, even with strangers.
Think of collies as yogis: They practically ooze enthusiasm, while maintaining a calm Zen on the inside. There’s a reason Lassie was a collie! These dogs are calm in a crisis, independent yet loyal and consider the entire family worthy of protection (yep, even Uncle Jack). Reward-based training works best, as does mixing it up a bit. Once you’ve established commands like “sit” and “stay,” try new tricks to keep the collie brain sharp and energy in control. Since they tend to bark a lot, it might be worth it to start training there first.
8. Labrador Retriever
Like the German shepherd, Labrador retrievers have dabbled in tons of work environments. Like golden retrievers, they make terrible watch dogs because they are so friendly. But, like all the breeds on this list, they are super easy to train and can learn an incredible range of skills and tricks. Their even-keeled temperament and love of the outdoors makes training fun, albeit exhausting. Get ready to run, play and laugh with a Lab. And psst: make sure “no chewing shoes” gets covered early.
9. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland sheepdog could be called the comedian of the dog world. These pups love discovering unfamiliar tricks, pleasing people and showing off once they’ve learned something new. Originally bred for herding sheep (duh), Shelties are some of the smartest dogs out there. This means excellent obedience and tracking skills, combined with a penchant for barking and territoriality, which could be a good thing for anyone looking for a canine security system.
10. Doberman Pinscher
OK, hear us out on this one. Yes, Doberman pinschers are known as aggressive guard dogs, but this is due to an undying loyalty to their owners. They are highly trainable, genuinely brilliant and almost intuitive in nature. Aggression comes out when Dobermans feel their home or family are threatened; otherwise, they are surprisingly affectionate. Training should be consistent and start early for best results (with firm commands and lots of love).
10 Easy Dog Breeds to Own
Although dogs are man’s—and woman’s—best friends, choosing the wrong breed of dog can sour your dreams of canine companionship. Don’t select a dog on a whim, or you and the dog may be miserable for a long time to come. Consider how eager the dog is to please, their friendliness, and their ability to get along with all creatures in your household.
At Dope Dog, we love them all. But no one type of dog will be ideal for everybody. Some people like playful, active companions, others prefer cuddly lapdogs, and still others want canines who will not only tolerate but welcome the embraces of toddlers.
Fortunately, there’s a dog to satisfy every taste on this list. Read on for the top 10 types of dogs to consider.
Topping the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of popular dog breeds in 2018 for the 28th year in a row, Labradors are America’s favorite dog breed for good reasons. Smart and willing to please, these versatile dogs excel at hunting and search-and-rescue, but they’re also popular service, therapy, and companion animals. These sociable canines love just about everybody, from kids to strangers, but you may want to sidestep this breed if you think a dog can be overly affectionate.
Although these dogs aren’t one particular breed, but rather a mixture of breeds, you may still seriously considering adding a mutt to your household. By adopting this type of dog, you’ll avoid some downsides of purebreds, including often-high prices and an increased risk of genetic disorders.
The AKC cautions that you can make better predictions about a dog’s traits if you know her pedigree. That said, you can usually make an educated guess as to what type of ancestors a mutt has based on looks, temperament, and input from others.
If you’re willing to consider a non-purebred pooch, you may be able to adopt a housebroken dog from a shelter rather than buying a puppy from a breeder. You can rest assured knowing that purebreds and mixed-breeds show no significant differences in terms of their trainability.
Of course, just because a dog comes from a shelter doesn’t mean it’s a mixed-breed. Some rescues restrict themselves to certain breeds, such as greyhounds, and a surprising number of purebreds wind up in shelters, too.
Like the Labrador retriever, the Golden Retriever is an excellent choice not only as a hunting dog but a family companion. Since Goldens are devoted and obedient, they are usually exceptionally trainable. Kids love on Goldens, and Goldens love them back. In fact, Goldens love everybody, so if you’re looking for a watchdog, look elsewhere.
You may think “greyhound” is synonymous with “dog racing,” but greyhounds, especially rescued ones, can be calm, relaxed family pets that mingle easily with people and other dogs. These dogs tend to be reserved with strangers and learn best with consistent, predictable training.
Although greyhounds easily adapt to apartment life, you’ll have to make provision for them to run. Also, they might chase after cats or other small creatures, so households with small creatures might want to consider other breeds.
No list of beloved dog breeds would be complete without the “Lassie dog.” Traditionally, Collies have been sheepherders, but they’re also protective of young humans. Collies are smart, sensitive, loyal, and affectionate. They need calm environments, and are easy to train.
The list so far has been skewed toward big dogs, but, especially if you live in an apartment that has a strict weight limit for dogs, you may need or want a smaller dog, like the adorable Bichon. These small, white, four-pawed powder-puffs are even recommended by some doctors as being somewhat hypoallergenic.
Bichons are gentle, cheerful family dogs. However, note that they tend to do better with older children, and that they can be a bit higher-maintenance than other dogs due to coat care.
Another iconic dog breed that’s high on the cuteness charts is the basset hound. According to the American Kennel Club, these dogs are “easygoing, laid-back, and even a bit lazy.” So if you prefer a medium-size couch-potato dog that’s especially good with kids, consider a basset hound.
You’ll still need to walk these dogs daily, since they’re prone to piling on the pounds. Otherwise they’re fairly healthy, though. Another plus about these dogs is that although their short coats shed, they don’t need much grooming, so they’re generally all-around low-maintenance dogs.
English bulldogs are popular pets, but you may want to look into the French variety as well. These medium-sized, short-coated pups look like miniature bulldogs with large bat ears. Ranked as the fourth-most-registered dog breed in the US in 2018 by the American Kennel Club, Frenchies are happy dogs that make friends easily yet are relatively quiet. They don’t require much exercise, and are well-suited for apartment life. They get along well with children who aren’t too rambunctious.
In spite of their imposing physical stature (they’re one of the largest breeds), Great Danes live up to their nickname of “gentle giants.” Loyal, calm, and loving, they make great playmates for little children who like to climb on their backs, and they get along well with other animals as long as they’re raised together. Due to their size and deep, intimidating bark when strangers approach, they also make good watchdogs.
This is by no means an exhaustive listing of dog breeds, but it will at least get you thinking about what canine characteristics are important to you. Choose wisely, and enjoy your new companion!
Dogs that Can Be Left Alone
Do you work full time and need to leave your dog home alone? Here’s a list of the best dog breeds that can be left alone, so you don’t worry about your sweet dog getting into trouble while you’re at work:
- Basset Hound
- Boston Terrier
- French Bulldog
- Shar Pei
While these dogs can be left alone for about 8 hours, we don’t recommend leaving them unattended longer than eight hours. Otherwise, your dog may get anxious or bored, which can lead to destructive behavior.
Low Maintenance Big Dogs
I don’t know if there is such a thing as a low-maintenance dog because dogs require a lot of love and care. But these big dog breeds are easy-going, low-energy, shed the least, and have the fewest health problems:
- Bull Terrier
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
These dog breeds have pretty even temperaments with varying levels of shedding and energy. Before getting a dog, you’ll want to research the breed that fits your family-style best.
Best Small Dogs for First Time Owners
Do you prefer small dogs? If this is your first time as a pet parent, you may want to consider these small dog breeds because of their trainability, temperament, health, and maintenance:
- Shih Tzu
- Bichon Frise
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- French Bulldog
Smaller dogs are much easier to manage, but you will want to research more into each breed before buying to make sure the breed personality fits your lifestyle and home.
Best Dog Breeds for Kids
If you have kids and want to add a dog to your family, choosing a dog breed that gets along with kids is crucial. Some large breed dogs may be too overpowering for your kids, and some small breed dogs might be too territorial and feisty to be with small children. Here’s our list of the best dog breeds for kids:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Irish Setter
- Bull Terrier
Easiest Dog Breeds to Train
If you are worried about training your new dog, you may want to pick a breed that trains well. By getting a dog that trains easily, you’ll be able to establish house rules fairly quickly with fewer potty accidents. While most dog breeds can be trained, these are the easiest dogs to train:
- Border Collie
- German Shepard
- Golden Retriever
- Doberman Pinscher
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Miniature Schnauzer
- English Springer Spaniel
You may have noticed that many of these breeds span many of our lists. These are great dogs to add to your family. Remember to research each breed in-depth to get a good sense of their personality, temperament, health, shedding, and energy levels. Adding a sweet dog to your family will bring a lifetime of memories for you and your family.
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