16 Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds

10 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
September 24, 2022

A small, white puppy licks its lips with its pink tongue while a couple cook a meal in the background.

Do you have dreams of your furry couch buddy cuddled up next to you during movie marathons as your constant lap companion? An easy-to-care-for dog may be just what you’re looking for! A calm, low-key dog can be perfect for someone who doesn’t have the time or desire to expend lots of energy meeting rigorous exercise needs. These low-active dogs are also great for a laid-back household or those who prefer to move at a slower pace in life. 

Whether you are a busy individual or a retired senior looking for a low-active dog, there’s a low-maintenance puppy out there for everyone. In this guide, you’ll learn the best low-energy dogs you could consider to meet your desired activity level. But first, let’s cover the top characteristics of the most popular dog breeds that tend to be less active.


What Characteristics Do Low-Maintenance Dogs Have? 

While all dogs require some degree of maintenance, not all dogs are created equal when it comes to their various needs. Whether you are looking for the best dogs for first-time owners or are an experienced pet parent, here are some traits to look for when searching for a low-maintenance puppy. 

A Mellow, Calm Personality

When searching for a low-maintenance, consider breeds known for their calm, mellow dispositions. Some dogs are known to be hyper, demanding, and distrustful of strangers, so it’s crucial to educate yourself on the dogs known for the opposite traits! Choose a breed that is easygoing with children and people of all ages, gentle, loving, adaptable, and sociable. The best chill dogs for families make wonderful, low-key family members. 

Good Health

A low-maintenance dog breed should be known for its relatively good health with few problems specific to the breed. For example, some dogs frequently experience major health problems common for their breed, and others require ongoing care to prevent conditions like eye and ear troubles. 

While there is no surefire guarantee all dogs of the same breed experience the same health levels, researching the breed’s health needs before you have your heart set on a particular puppy can let you know exactly what to expect overall. Keeping your dog current on vaccinations, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, and regular trips to the vet will just about cover what you’ll need to do for relatively healthy breeds. 

Low & Moderate Energy Levels

“Low energy” does not equal a sluggish dog. Rather, a low-energy dog generally does not require high amounts of daily exercise. It is content chilling in the sunshine, snuggling with you while watching TV, and does not get overly excited or hyper to the point of annoyance. The best low-energy dogs, such as the Basset Hound or the English Bulldog, are a perfect choice for someone with a more sedentary lifestyle who is not very active themselves. A moderate energy level dog is fun for someone who occasionally likes to be active but not particularly on a regular, regimented basis. 

Infrequent Grooming Needs

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on constant grooming sessions, a low-maintenance dog is just what you’re looking for. While every dog will need some level of attention involving coat and nail care, choosing dogs that don’t require a lot of grooming will help save trips to the groomer, not to mention keep your wallet happy! 

Easy to Train 

Welcoming a new canine companion is exciting, but what is even better is when you don’t have to spend much time, money, or energy training your pup. An eager-to-please, smart dog lends itself well to being easy to train. Most low-maintenance dog breeds do well with just the basics and don’t need additional training to be good canine members of society. While it’s true some low-maintenance dogs may also be stubborn, you may find that quality endearing with their independent attitudes. In general, low-maintenance dogs are generally obedient and love pleasing their owners. 

Size Matters

Some people may assume only small, shorthaired dogs are low maintenance, but that can be far from the truth. Don’t let breed size fool you – some of the biggest dogs can actually be the laziest, easy-to-care-for dogs. Make sure to pick the right-sized puppy for your household constraints and family members, as many low-maintenance, small, short-haired dogs won’t cause many issues with shedding or require a lot of work with a brush.

16 Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds For First-time Dog Owners

1. Shih Tzu

Even though the name “Shih Tzu” means "lion dog" in Chinese, the only roaring these little pups will do is roar into your life with their outgoing, self-assured nature! A Shih Tzu puppy is first and foremost a devoted companion that gets along well with children and other pets. Originally bred to be companion dogs for Chinese royalty, they love nothing more than being indoors next to their family.

2. Boston Terrier

A Boston Terrier’s determination, strength, and high-spirited personality will bring a positive attitude to any household! Boston Terrier puppies are small, sturdy, obedient, and full of energy. These adorable, friendly dogs get along well with children and other animals. They are dogs that don't need grooming, or at least not much of it as far as grooming – give their shorthaired coat a weekly brushing, regular baths, and nail trimming, and they’re good to go. Don’t let their small size fool you because they’re not delicate, and they enjoy lively play sessions. 

3. Chihuahua

If you’re looking for a tiny dog with a feisty attitude, a Chihuahua puppy for sale is the perfect fit for you! This portable miniature dog is ready to go everywhere with you. Its expressive face, tiny paws, and huge ears make them one of the most sought-after breeds today. Their exceptional charm and devoted loyalty make Chihuahuas excellent emotional support dogs. Chihuahuas are dogs that don't need much exercise or expensive grooming needs. You do need to make sure you put in the time to properly train a Chihuahua because they can think they run the show! However, these adorable little dogs are quick learners and can follow directions well.


4. Basset Hound 

There is nothing cuter than a Basset Hound puppy practically tripping over their enormously long, droopy ears as they look up at you with their soulful eyes! A Basset Hound’s biggest goal in life is to see how many positions she can lounge in before falling asleep. With a hilarious, goofy, personality, a Basset Hound puppy will make an excellent, go-with-the-flow, mellow family pet.

5. Maltese

Sporting a soft, light-colored coat and adorable little faces, Maltese puppies for sale will bring great joy to any household. What makes Maltese a low-maintenance choice is due to their happy, charming personality. They’re loving little things and are content to curl up in your lap. While grooming them is not difficult, their low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat will need regular brushing to prevent matting and coat trims. 


6. French Bulldog 

Those cute bat ears and adorable snout will have you snuggling with a French Bulldog puppy in no time! They are very playful in nature and even have some hilarious moments as they thrive for human attention and long, lasting friendships. French Bulldogs should only be bathed when absolutely necessary, and their small, fine hair coat doesn’t need much attention. 

7. Dachshund

Often called a “wiener dog,” Dachshund puppies are longer than they are tall! Their short little legs love to run around the house and fetch a ball, but they don’t need a lot of exercise to be happy. A Dachshund can have a very mischievous, clownish personality that will always have its owners laughing. They don’t need much exercise and can tire easily, so they’re completely suited for a less active household. 


8. Saint Bernard

A Saint Bernard puppy for sale may grow to be one of the biggest dogs around, but you might be surprised to know that this gentle giant needs very little exercise. Rather, they’re really happy lounging around outside watching the world go by or taking a prominent position on their favorite oversized chair. A Saint Bernard puppy’s placid, calm temperament makes them a fantastic choice for families with children. 

9. English Bulldog

Despite its muscular, sturdy size, an English Bulldog puppy is convinced he is a lap dog regardless of what he may weigh. With its laid-back personality, the English Bulldog loves to lounge around indoors right next to their people; in fact, too much exercise can cause respiratory issues. They may have a little burst of energy and enjoy a short walk outside, but they’re ready to get back into the comfort of their coveted position on the couch.

10. Italian Greyhound

Believe it or not, despite its reputation as a fast, active dog, an Italian Greyhound puppy for sale is an excellent choice as an easy-to-care-for dog. They’re a relatively healthy breed, avoiding complicated issues found in other breeds. Their sleek, gorgeous coats don’t require much grooming. An Italian Greyhound’s personality is sweet, mellow, and completely devoted to her owners. Because they like to stay warm, Italian Greyhounds love to snuggle with their owners under a pile of cozy blankets.  


11. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 

Someone looking for a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy for sale will appreciate their steady, gentle personality and total devotion to their owners when looking for a calm puppy. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies enjoy a variety of family activities such as cuddling, play sessions, and walks. If you’re looking for a dog breed that does not bark often, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a wonderful choice. As their name suggests, their hypoallergenic coat results in the perfect cuddly companion. 

12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Who doesn’t love a perpetual puppy face excited to be with you every day? A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy is always happy to be with you, no matter what the activity. This friendly, agreeable dog loves to be pampered and will shower you with love in return. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, so training should be a fun experience for both puppy and owner alike. 

13. West Highland White Terrier

There’s so much more to a West Highland White Terrier puppy beyond its amazingly soft, silky white coat! This lively breed often called a “Westie” is a great guard dog without being aggressive and is alert and protective of family members. Their hypoallergenic coat will not leave piles of fur lying around. They are smart, too, so you and your family will have lots of fun teaching them cute tricks. 

14. Beagle

Known for their sweet faces and soft, velvety ears, Beagle puppies love showing their affection for their families. They are constantly on the lookout for fun interaction. Beagles love to be lively and play games with their owner. You’ll get to spend more time with them because their short coats require minimal grooming and only occasional bathing.


15. Pug

The friendly, curious Pug is a big dog trapped in a small dog’s body! A Pug puppy for sale is a toy breed perfect for smaller living spaces and adapts well to several living situations. Pugs are small enough not to hurt children but durable and sturdy enough for kids that like to play rough. They love to sleep and don’t bark a lot, so they’re quiet companions. Owners and friends alike will fall in love with a Pug puppy’s charming, funny personality.  

16. Great Dane

Last but not least, a Great Dane puppy rounds out our list of low-maintenance dog breeds. A Great Dane has certainly come by his nickname of “gentle giant” honestly. A Great Dane will be your best buddy, sprawled out across the family couch, trying to be your lap dog while you catch up on your favorite series. Great Dane puppies are loyal, love pleasing their owners, and are sweet and affectionate around children. 

Find a Chill Dog at Pawrade

At Pawrade, we understand how important it is to find the perfect dog for sale to match your low-key lifestyle. We’re here to help you every step of the way in exploring the best chill dogs for you, and can’t wait to connect you with your new friend!


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Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

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Best Low-Maintenance Puppies for Sale