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Five Great Low Maintenance Dog Breeds

Updated on November 5, 2016
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

If you are not into an active dog, and do not want a dog breed that will hang around the house and play with the kids, you may want a low maintenance dog breed. What is a low maintenance breed?

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?


A Great Pyrenees on the alert.
A Great Pyrenees on the alert. | Source

Great Pyrenees

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 the Great Pyrenees 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Great Pyrenees are meant to be outside.A Great Pyrenees enjoying the weather.
Great Pyrenees are meant to be outside.
Great Pyrenees are meant to be outside. | Source
A Great Pyrenees enjoying the weather.
A Great Pyrenees enjoying the weather. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A Fila brasileiro puppy.A young Fila Brasileiro.
A Fila brasileiro puppy.
A Fila brasileiro puppy. | Source
A young Fila Brasileiro.
A young Fila Brasileiro. | Source

Fila Brasileiro

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 was not bred to withstand the types of weather extremes that are normal for the Great Pyrenees, so choose a low maintenance 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.

The Brazilian mastiff at work.
The Brazilian mastiff at work. | Source
A Bluetick Coonhound taking a break.
A Bluetick Coonhound taking a break. | Source

BlueTick Coonhound

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 are 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
An Australian Cattle Dog enjoying the snow.Although ACDs are not water dogs, they enjoy it.A working ACD down on the farm.
An Australian Cattle Dog enjoying the snow.
An Australian Cattle Dog enjoying the snow. | Source
Although ACDs are not water dogs, they enjoy it.
Although ACDs are not water dogs, they enjoy it. | Source
A working ACD down on the farm.
A working ACD down on the farm. | Source

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 is smaller than some others on this list, only about 30-35 pounds, but he was bred to be hardy and make use of every pound on his body. He 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 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.

A Welsh Corgi.
A Welsh Corgi. | Source

Welsh Corgi

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 watch dog, and are willing to spend some time enjoying your pet, the Welsh Corgi is a great dog.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A Welsh Corgi.A Corgi out in the snow.
A Welsh Corgi.
A Welsh Corgi. | Source
A Corgi out in the snow.
A Corgi out in the snow. | Source

What is your favorite low maintenace dog breed?

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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.

 A Fila Brasileiro.
A Fila Brasileiro. | Source

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    • profile image

      Ayoub 3 years ago

      Beagle :D

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      dismissed.zebra 4 years ago

      I had an Australian Cattle Dog...not low maintenance at all. If fact, I wouldn't call any herding dogs low mainndtance. And ACDs do have a tendency to be aggressive to other dogs, so a responsible owner needs to learn how to manage that.

      Great low maintance dog...a Greyhound.

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      dogfond 4 years ago

      Another great hub. Thanks for sharing. I am an owner of a beagle and two german shepherds and in my opinion require more maintenance.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      When the drool is on the yard and not on the carpet, it is not much to worry about. If these dogs had to be kept inside all of the time I would agree with you, for sure!

    • ebonynivory profile image

      Amy 4 years ago from Oswego, NY

      Great information...kinda sad that some would want a dog who can be alone. But being a German Shepherd owner I have a totally different perspective. Also, do not picture a dog who drools as "low maintenance" LOL.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      And great guard dogs they seem to be. I have heard many dog experts talk about them when mentioning guard dog breeds, although I don't think they have made it to Ontario yet. I would love to meet a Fila soon some day. I was also thinking the same about Cane Corso not being there in Ontario and then I ran into one at a nearby dog park lol.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      I do not know of any published numbers. Down in Rio, there are few, but in this area there are more (neighbors on both sides have Filas) because they make great guard dogs. Fila/Pit Bull crosses are also popular here because Pits have a reputation (whether they deserve it or not).

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Just out of curiosity, how popular are Filas in Brazil? I am thinking they are popular in the rural population / rustic folks.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      I think the Great Pyrenees are wonderful dogs, but I am sure they would not like the heat here in Brazil.

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 4 years ago from Central Oregon

      They are all beautiful choices. I especially like the Corgis.

    • Peterg-hd profile image

      Peter Greenwood 4 years ago from Hong Kong

      Great, me and my girlfriend are going to look for a rescue dog this weekend

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      I appreciate your comment but the reason for listing purebred dogs is because of their known qualities. If the mutt is a Yorkie/Shih Tzu/Bichon cross, she is not going to be low maintenance.

      If the dog is a true mutt, and not a crossbred, most of them will be low maintenance, and definitely have fewer health problems. It just varies so much that it is impossible to characterize mixed breed dogs.

      Thanks for your interesting comment.

    • cbpoet profile image

      cbpoet 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks for sharing Dr. Mark however after spending many years in animal health, rescue and adoptions I would have like to see the mixed breed or 'common' mutt listed in your low maintenance breed list.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Just to add to my comments, statistically speaking, Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Komondorok, and Akbash are top 4 leading LGDs in the USA.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I think they banned Filas because the dogs are true guard dogs and the specimen first reaching there were not properly socialized. It's a breed specific legislation, which I don't agree with.

      Great Pyrenees are number 1 ranked dog is usage in the US and Canada. However, a number of them have been killed by wolves in and around northern Rockies. For that region, therefore, I would say more canine hostile LGDs like CAO, Kangals, Karakachans, etc. will be better.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Filas are supposed to be tough enough to take down a jaguar, so you can imagine how strong they are. When my dog (a Pit Bull mix) plays with a neighbor´s Fila she is easily tackled and overwhelmed. I think the UK put them on the dangerous dog list just because of their strength. (Of course I don´t think they are great with strangers. I like them but I wouldn´t want one in my front yard when I have visitors.)

      Don´t you think Great Pyrenees are an ideal LGD then? Wolves are rare now anyway. Having a Komondor to guard the flock would be overkill, in most places.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Dr. Mark,

      Thank you for reposing your trust in my knowledge, which isn't that much. However, on the basis of my still developing knowledge, I have recently published a hub on wolf predation and adequate use of LGDs, in which I have discussed a number of LG dog breeds. Unfortunately, there is no perfect LGD for all type of predators and then there is human element also. Komondorok are, for example, good breed to protect against wolf predation, but they are also human aggressive. Just imagine the potential damage if a lonely hiker or a biker ends up in a sheep herd and gets confronted by a komondor. On the other hand, Great Pyrenees are the most used dog in the USA and Canada, as they are very effective against bear, cougar and coyote predation, but they are ineffective against wolves.

      Btw, I love those filas. They look like bloodhounds, but are they real guard dogs or what!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Hi Suhail your comments are always interesting and make me think. I do not even remember that breed; I am trying to put together a "Five Best Livestock Guard Dog Breeds" but I think you would be a lot more qualified. Let me know if you do publish and I will delete mine (I saw another on HP but it was totally inadequate).

      The Pyrenees I have seen in the city have been pretty needy, so they really do need livestock, or at least a good human substitute. The Filas around here are great without livestock, but most people have at least a few so they keep each other company. Same thing with the Blue Ticks. I don´t think I ever knew a Coonhound owner with one dog.

      Thanks again for your comments!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Informative hub! I didn't know that Blue ticks Filas, and Welsh are low maintenance breeds.

      You may be aware that I have a Kuvasz boy. So I can relate to livestock guardian dogs. Yes, they are mostly loe maintenance and independent, but only when they are bonded with livestock. Otherwise, they will bond with humans and in that case they will not be independent at all. All dogs need company, whether human or non-human.

      But I agree with you that livestock guardian dogs are generally independent and low maintenance. This reminds me of another LGD - Hungarian Kommondorok are low maintenance since they can live in cold outside and do not shed also.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks for the kind words, Waleed.

    • waleed shaikh profile image

      Waleed 4 years ago from Islamabad, Pakistan

      Dogs are wonderful companions. You can share secrets with your dog and she will never tell a soul. You can be happy, sad, tired, or even cranky with your dog and she will still love you just as much. Dogs don't care what we look like!

      Do i not congratulate you for your extensive knowledge on these faithful animals? Great hub and thumbs up!

      waleed

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      I used to have a Moroccan Shepherd. They are mostly guard dogs (against jackals) but he picked up herding commands fairly quickly.

      I guess my Pit is not as bad as I think, sometimes. I taught her right paw and left; she would do more, but I need to be motivated! I guess I am too busy playing with my new geese.

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Minnesota

      A ramp sounds like a blast! Is that your "super-stupid" pitt bull that climbs it? I wish I knew more about how to teach my dog the right commands to herd the sheep properly. I know there are hand signals and verbals, and she could do it really well I'm sure. I'm the one who's ignorant about it. I should probably do her a favor and get a book or something, so that I can learn how to communicate with her properly about herding.

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      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      That is so funny! I built a ramp for my dog and she loves to climb it but does not want to tackle the ladder I use to climb my coconut trees. ACDs can be so amazing, if you are willing to work them.

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I love this hub! Especially the part about the ACD :) You're so right about just giving the dog a job. My ACD-cross has sheep to herd and chickens to chase, but not every day. On the off times, just giving her a toy to shake is enough. I taught her to climb a ladder that goes up into a loft in our house, and honestly she is just so thrilled every time I ask her to do it. For her it really seems to be about being asked to accomplish something, and then doing it. I think it's what she lives for! They are awesome dogs and half the time I think she's smarter than I am ;) Great hub DrMark!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      That is a good choice, Rodney. The Siberian Husky is another good dog that will do well with little maintenance. Maybe I should have picked more than five on this one?

    • rodney80 profile image

      rodney80 5 years ago

      Really good info. But Dr. don't you think Portuguese waterdog too can be placed in this group, though they are rare breed?

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Hi Peggy, sometimes a person needs a specially bred dog, like a Great Pyrenees to guard the sheep, but for most of us (like me and my Pit Bull mix), any companion breed is great. A shelter dog is an excellent option.

      Thank you for the comment and visit.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      It was interesting reading about these different breeds of dogs. As you mentioned there are many good dogs just waiting for good homes in animal shelters.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming by and commenting. (Did you see the Westies in the hub about dogs and kids?)

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Anothere excellent hub. You knowledge is astounding and thank you very very much for sharing.

      Keep up the good work please.