All dogs need love, attention and training, but certain breeds are easier to manage than others. Choosing a breed that requires minimal grooming and exercise, is easy to train and cherishes its independence is the best choice for dog owners who may be short on time or space.
If daily brushing sessions and monthly trips to the groomer don’t exactly fit into your busy schedule, consider a smooth, shorthaired breed such as the small Chihuahua or dachshund, the medium-sized whippet or beagle, or a large Dalmatian or greyhound. These breeds look their best with minimal, weekly brushings with a bristle or slicker brush. A bit of extra ear care and maintenance is required for the floppy-eared Dalmatian and beagle; however, at-home bi-weekly ear checks and cleanings with a veterinarian recommended ear cleaner is all it should take to keep his ears sparkling and infection-free.
Brachycephalic breeds like pugs and Boston terriers, cavalier King Charles spaniels, English toy spaniels, Bedlington terriers, Havanese, shih tzus and even gigantic mastiffs are all excellent breeds for apartment dwellers or busy dog owners. These dogs require minimal exercise, short daily walks will suffice, and love to spend their days lounging on cushy surfaces. The cavalier King Charles spaniel in particular is a quiet cuddler, content to snuggle on the sofa while you read, craft or watch television.
Consider one of the following breeds when looking for a responsive buddy on whom you can always depend to follow the rules: German shepherds, Australian shepherds and cattle dogs, border collies, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and Shetland sheepdogs are obedient canine companions. These working and herding dogs are intelligent, loyal, hardworking and eager to please. Originally bred to herd and guard livestock and assist the hunter, these easy-to-train breeds thrive when given a job to do. They, of course, require daily physical and mental exercise in order to stave off boredom. Break out the creative tricks with these breeds; they’re eager to follow commands and often excel at obedience and agility training.
Independent breeds are one of the best choices for the busy owner who has lots of space for his pup. The large Great Pyrenees and borzoi are two fiercely independent, undemanding breeds that thrive on ample space and daily exercise. These are the breeds for you if you live on a large, fenced property. They won’t hold it against you if you’re gone at work all day; in fact, they even prefer their space. Despite their independent natures, both the Great Pyrenees and the borzoi are affectionate and tolerant with their owners and families.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.