5 Great Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds
Dogs are social animals and do like to interact with people, but not all of us are around as much as we would like to be. A low-maintenance dog is the kind of pet that you can keep outside and care for quite simply. They need food, they need fresh water, and they do not some social interaction, but they do not require much grooming, do not have many health problems, and know how to be alone or spend their time with other animals.
What Are the Five Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds?
- Great Pyrenees
- Fila Brasileiro
- Bluetick Coonhound
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Welsh Corgi
This dog was bred to hang around outside and take care of himself. For hundreds of years, he has been living with sheep and only interacting with his human “flock” when he had to. They are big shaggy white dogs, so they fit right in when guarding their flock of sheep.
The Great Pyrenees was also selected to have a thick coat to protect it from mountain cold. They drool a lot, and when taking a drink manage to get water all over themselves. None of that should matter much if you are thinking of these dogs as a low-maintenance breed.
If you are looking for a big independent dog that can roam around your land and stay busy guarding your sheep and family, and do not mind their short life span nor their unwillingness to accept obedience commands, this is a great breed of dog.
This is a breed that was developed to work and guard cattle. He is not nearly as independent as a Great Pyrenees, (he will want to be with his family at times) but in the right environment does not require much maintenance.
The Fila Brasileiro, also known as a Brazilian Mastiff, was not bred to withstand the types of weather extremes that are normal for the Great Pyrenees, so choose a dog that will do well in your area. He is square and muscular but has a short coat best suited for work in the tropics.
This dog breed is also well known as a guardian and as a personal protection dog. When out walking the fence and searching for strangers, they have a fierce look and will scare off most trespassers. The Fila Brasileiro is not going to be happy lying around and serving guard duty, and if he does not get out will probably become aggressive. If that temperament suits your needs, though, and your environment allows the Fila to thrive, they are a low-maintenance dog.
No dog should be abused, but this dog breed actually puts up with quite a bit of benign neglect.
Unlike the others on this list, he is a hunting dog, bred to work at treeing raccoons; the breed was selected for a coarse coat, rough personality, and good health. He is a big dog, up to about 80 pounds, and although he does not have the heavy coat of the Great Pyrenees he can do okay outside.
One of the few health problems consistently seen in the Bluetick Coonhound is recurrent ear infections. If an owner is willing to do a little maintenance, though, such as cleaning out the ears once a week with vinegar, even this problem will probably be avoided. A few of them have a disease called “coonhound paralysis,” but this neurological disease is rare and may have nothing to do to exposure to raccoons.
Do you want a dog that can hunt all night and come back home and sleep it off alone? As long as you do not expect this dog to just sit around all the time, he is a great athlete, an interesting pet to have around, and definitely a low-maintenance breed of dog.
Australian Cattle Dog
This active breed of dog was developed with genes from the Australian dingo and still preserves many of that wild dog's qualities of low-maintenance. He likes to stay busy herding, and even when off duty will serve as a great guard dog.
The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Blue or Red Heeler, is smaller than some others on this list, only about 30–35 pounds, but was bred to be hardy and make use of every pound. Blue Heelers make great farm dogs and will drive cattle in the outback, all day, every day, without complaint. Some strains are prone to hip dysplasia, and some have a retinal disease, but most of them are amazingly healthy and do not require a lot of medical maintenance. Most of the behavioral problems found in this breed are prevented just by keeping the dog busy.
If you are willing to provide your Australian cattle dog with a job and keep him busy in his spare time, he is an excellent choice as a low-maintenance dog.
The Welsh Corgi is the smallest of the low-maintenance breeds. Most of them are kept as pets now but they have not lost the hardiness of their cattle-herding ancestors. There are actually two breeds available but both of them are of the same low-maintenance type. The Cardigan is larger, about 30 pounds, but he is not much different than the Pembroke, about 28 pounds. They are both short, able to avoid the kicks of the cattle they herd.
Both types of Welsh Corgi are healthy and will live around 12–15 years. They need bathing about as often as any low-maintenance dog and brushing only occasionally. Corgis are tough little dogs, without a lot of health problems if they are kept from becoming overweight. They can compete in agility, flyball, tracking, and of course in herding competitions.
If you are looking for a smaller version of one of the low-maintenance breeds that will still work as a watchdog, and are willing to spend some time enjoying your pet, the Welsh Corgi is a great dog.
The Arctic breeds (like Siberian Huskies) could have easily made this list if most of us lived above the arctic circle, but anywhere warm they require maintenance of their thick coats—they are prone to hot spots and ticks.
Low-maintenance does not mean NO maintenance. All of these dog breeds need to be fed, taken to the veterinarian in case of any medical needs, and walked regularly. If you feel your lifestyle does not allow you to meet these basic needs, or if you are too lazy to spend a little time with your dog, you should consider another type of lower maintenance animal. I really hate to make this recommendation as there are so many deserving dogs out there in shelters and rescues. They all need a home. It would not be a good idea to get a dog and just expect it to be okay left alone, tied to a stake or locked away in a kennel.
If you can meet their needs, though, maybe you can handle a low-maintenance breed of dog.
What Is Your Favorite Low-Maintenace Dog Breed?
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