Low-Maintenance Small Dog Breeds

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Are you looking for a canine companion with fewer requirements to fit your busy lifestyle? Narrow your search to healthy dogs with little grooming and exercise needs.

City dwellers living in apartments need to look for a low-maintenance small dog breed to make their pet parenting journey easy and fun.

Don’t get it wrong, there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free dog! All dogs need grooming, trips to the vet, and general care from a loving pet parent, but some are less dependent.

The following 13 small dog breeds have good qualities that make them ideal companions for people with hectic schedules.

13 Low-Maintenance Small Dog Breeds

1.    Beagle

Low-Maintenance Small Dog Breeds
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The sweet big eyes and extra-large floppy ears make the Beagles one of the most lovable dog breeds in the lot.

These dogs have an outgoing nature and friendly attitude that gives novice pet owners an easy time.

What we know as Beagles today were first bred from several breeds in England around the 1820s for the sole purpose of hunting hares.

They therefore have strong tracking capability and a superior sense of smell, making them a favorable working breed for detecting prohibited items.

In addition to being fun-loving, smart, and people-oriented, Beagles have a short coat which requires lesser grooming needs compared to the long-coated breeds.

2.    Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
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Initially bred for hunting rats, the Boston Terrier (Sometimes called the Boston Bull) is a small yet powerfully built dog with easy care requirements.

The Boston Terriers have a calm and gentle temperament, earning them the nickname ‘American Gentleman’.

Many people love these dog breeds for their knack for forming bonds with their caregivers and their natural protective instincts, particularly toward children.

Busy owners will appreciate the short and smooth Boston Terrier coat because it comes with effortless grooming requirements.

In contrast to other Terriers, the Boston Terriers have reduced tendencies to bark, a trait inherited from their lineage. Low vocalization makes them a good pup for people residing in apartments.

3.    Brussels Griffon

Low-Maintenance Small Dog Breeds
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The Brussels Griffon’s goofiness, compact size, big black eyes, and black muzzle can easily appeal to any soul.

This cute little dog can be energetic but they generally do not require too much physical exercise such as running and jumping.

Brussels have a playful spirit but they are not inherently rough when engaging with smaller children. Basic training becomes essential to offset their peppy side and provide structure.

The Brussels Griffon tends to stay lonely sometimes. This can be a good trait for busy owners, but make sure to provide mental stimulation and reduce boredom.

Routine basic brushing is needed to keep the wiry coat in great condition, but extensive grooming is not necessary.

Besides being highly social and affectionate, the Brussels Griffon typically maintains good health and well-mannered behavior.

4.    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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If you’re looking for a dog who can adjust to your temperament on the go, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed you may want to consider.

It’s prudent to brush the long coat every week to ensure they don’t tangle, but besides that, these puppy-faced dogs can flow within your family structure with ease.

Cavaliers are low-shedding dogs, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with lots of hair on your couch and furniture.

These lovely canines are predisposed to certain health problems, including neurological issues, heart diseases, and ear infections.

With this in mind, it’s always recommended to keep up with regular vet visits and watch your dog’s diet to keep them in top condition.

Busy apartment dwellers will love this regal toy breed as they don’t need rigorous exercises. Moderate walks and runs within your neighborhood block are sufficient to keep them fit.

5.    Chihuahua

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Parenting a Chihuahua, especially the short-coated ones, is fairly easy. A quick brush a few times a month and taking your compact-sized canine out for walks will keep them in shape.

Long-haired Chihuahuas will require additional effort in grooming to keep their coat from tangling, but they also don’t need expensive spa dates.

Chihuahuas can have an independent streak, so set your boundaries early enough through basic training.

This sassy pooch may try to boss everyone around, so avoid carrying them anywhere you go or excessively babying them.

6.    Miniature Dachshund

Miniature Dachshund
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The miniaturized version of the standard Dachshund can be a great addition to the life of a busy potential owner.

The Dachshunds were originally bred to burrow and track small game. We recommend picking up a Doxie if you have a yard where they can vent off their inherent needs for digging.

The shorthaired Doxies have fewer grooming demands than the long-haired and wire-coated ones. This breed can do well with moderate exercise to keep them in shape.

You can tone down the stubborn streak in Dachshunds by providing them with basic structure through consistent training.

The long body structure and short little legs make it necessary to limit their exposure to elevated platforms. Failed jumps and excessive runs can spring this Wiener dog to spinal conditions.

7.    French Bulldog

French Bulldog
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There’s a reason why the French Bulldog was America’s most popular dog in 2022. The gleeful Frenchies are among the cheeriest dog breeds to consider.

This breed is low-maintenance thanks to their short coat, little legs, and a penchant for snuggling on the couch over long walks.

Although they are fairly energetic, the Frenchies tend to lack endurance for heavy physical exertion. Moderate physical activity is enough to keep this breed fit.

We advise you to limit outdoor activities during the summer because extreme hot weather can cause heat stress and heat stroke.

8.    Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier
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Reverend John “Jack” Russell is credited for breeding these small working terrier dogs during the 18th century in England.

Smooth-coated Jack Russel Terriers are easy-to-maintain than those with rough, or broken-coated. A quick brush once in a while is sufficient to keep their outward appearance in pristine condition.

Jacks have a considerable amount of energy, which makes it necessary for potential owners to slot in enough time for physical exertion and mental stimulation.

Jack Russel Terriers are often confused with Parson Russel Terriers due to their striking resemblance, but they are different dog breeds.

9.    Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher
Image Credit: Brigitte Pellerin from Pexels

This small and lovely breed nicknamed, Min Pin, is relatively easy to maintain, thanks to their short and hard coat which requires less grooming.

The King of Toys is suitable for inexperienced dog owners, but they need early socialization and basic training to become well-adjusted.

10. Pomeranian

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The Pomeranian might be a small dog, but they have a big personality to cheer up busy owners. Poms are packed with high energy, but they lack the endurance to persist in extended physical activity.

Poms are smart dogs. They typically need a few repetitions to grasp your commands during training. Their attentive and affectionate nature makes them attuned to their owner’s emotions.

This lively toy breed dog is a good pick for novice owners who live in the city and need an easy-to-maintain companion.

11. Poodle

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Standard, miniature, and toy poodles are similar in temperament and characteristics but differ in body size.

Poodles are intelligent dogs, so you can be sure to train them on obedience and command just with a few repetitions.

These regal dogs have hair instead of fur, making it necessary to maintain consistent grooming. But the best part is that they don’t shed too much compared to other breeds.

12. Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
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The Teddy Roosevelt Terriers were originally used for hunting vermin from farmsteads and homesteads in the 1800s.

The Teddy is a versatile dog and devoted family companion which makes them a relatively easy-to-maintain breed.

Occasional brushing using a soft brush or rubber grooming mitt for dogs is enough to keep the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier’s coat glossy and healthy.

13. Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier
Image Credit: Marvin Samuel from iStock

The Toy Fox Terrier is the scaled-down version of the larger Fox Terrier. The intelligence and versatility of Toy Fox Terriers make them a great dog for novice and busy pet parents.

Toy Fox Terriers have short coats, so they can be contended with a quick weekly brush and occasional baths to keep their skin healthy.


Even with a busy lifestyle, providing sufficient care to low-maintenance small dog breeds is always easy and fun.

Certain Apps will allow you to track your dog’s activity while you’re away. Get an automatic feeder to ensure your dog is fed at the right time.

When you return home from a bustling day, don’t forget to have a snuggly session with your dog – A small but significant gesture that strengthens your bond.

Related Read

25 Small Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed Hair 

20 Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartments

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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