15x Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds: House & Apartment (Small, Medium-Size, Large)
POSTED ON April 14, 2022
One of the biggest concerns that aspiring Australian pet owners have is whether or not one will manage to keep a clean home, be it an apartment or a house, once the new dog joins family life.
It’s a common misconception for busy owners that large or medium-sized dogs will make an absolute mess of a property. At Paul's Cleaning (Melbourne) we met prospective dog owners totally turned off by the idea of daily brushing, crate training, potty training, obedience courses, bad odour, mental stimulation, food rewards, and generally, active family pets.
The entire point of getting a new dog is that it should excite you to spend time with your pup for daily exercise, daily walks, and give it the best life possible, not for you to dread the mess a canine could make.
So, today we give you our picks for low maintenance dog breeds in Australia to make your life easier and minimise clean-up chores.
Most of what you’ll have to deal with as a dog owner is going to be fur or slobber. We aren’t including urine or faeces because you can specifically train your dog to poop in a designated area. It’s much more unlikely that you’ll be able to stop a Saint Bernard from drooling or stop a Golden Retriever from shedding.
Knowing that we’re going to choose the breeds that both shed little and drool very little, keep in mind that there will still be some shedding and some drooling – dogs are dogs! But at least with these breeds, you won’t have to keep a mop handy for massive drool puddles.
Which low maintenance dogs are your favourite?
The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular family dogs for apartment living in the world, and for a good reason. These puppies are small but mighty, fiercely loyal companions and will follow you around everywhere you go.
While Yorkshire Terriers require a bit more grooming than most breeds, their long and silky coat is part of what makes them so special.
And if you can’t stand the thought of dog hair on your furniture, don’t worry – Yorkies don't shed their hair. Apartment friendly or what? You can rest easy knowing your furniture will stay fur-free. But you might need to invest in a dog grooming table as hair never stops growing!
The Bedlington Terrier has a couple of advantages for our needs.
- Striking, lamb-like coat. Most dogs have either soft or hard fur – the Bedlington Terrier has both, resulting in a coat that can feel almost like wool when cropped around an inch to the skin.
- The Bedlington Terrier rarely sheds, unlike other breeds that shed all throughout the year. This, combined with its short and almost wiry hair, means that you’ll be picking up a minimal amount of dog fur.
- Bedlington Terriers rarely drool, resulting in a dog that’s easy to clean up after.
If you look for Cavoodles for sale, you’ll see that this hybrid dog is one of the most popular breeds on the market in Australia today. This is because they inherit all the excellent traits of both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle.
- Cavoodles are a Poodle mix that is typically gentle and friendly, with above average intelligence and a fierce loyalty to their owners.
- Cavoodle coats are silky like the Spaniel side of the breed, or curly like the Poodle side.
- Either way, they have hair, not fur, so they rarely shed, making the breed superb apartment goers.
- Cavoodles aren’t prone to drooling.
However, they need regular grooming to keep their hair length in check, and brushing multiple times a week is also recommended to keep hair from tangling or matting.
Portuguese Water Dog
If you’re a fan of water sports or sailing but also want to keep a clean home, the Portuguese Water Dog may be a wonderful companion for you. These active, high-energy dogs love being around the water and are incredibly easy to train.
- Porties, as they are known, have a dense, hypoallergenic coat that keeps them warm in cold water.
- They have hair that is more similar to a human’s, arranged in tight curls – this, in combination with their lack of an undercoat, results in a dog that rarely sheds.
- They are not prone to drooling.
The Maltese could be called the world’s most ideal companion lapdog and center of attention.
- Easy to train,
- Rarely sheds
Their small size makes them ideal for small apartment living, but they’re also more than happy living in a big home with a big family.
Like the Portuguese Water Dog, the Maltese have no undercoat, but their hair comes in long, flowing locks instead, making them a popular first dog.
Despite their single coat, the Maltese are incredibly popular among more fastidious dog owners as the breed does not shed much.
They do, however, require weekly grooming (at best) and brushing because of their fast-growing hair.
This toy breed is one of our favourites – they have a beautiful double coat, but they have hair similar to that of humans, meaning they have a hypoallergenic coat.
The Shih Tzu will typically only shed when brushed, and even then, most of the hair should end up on the brush instead of on your floor. There’s some additional effort involved in keeping their hair neat and tidy, but their sweet disposition and friendly independent nature mean they’re usually more than willing to sit still for a grooming session and veterinary care.
Shih Tzus isn’t prone to drooling, either. The only caveat is that their long hair can be very absorbent and they’re messy drinkers. It’s best to keep Shih Tzu hair cut short unless you want them dragging their soaked beard around your house.
A cheerful little dog breed known for its soft and fluffy coat. Like the Shih Tzu, the Bichon has a double coat and great deal of energy. However, instead of wavy hair, Bichon has a naturally curly, coarse topcoat. These tight curls mean that dog fur and dander are mostly contained aside from when the dog is brushed or bathed.
The Bichon Frise is also not a big drooler, making it one of our best picks for dog owners intent on keeping a clean home and having a loyal couch buddy. They do, however, require a significant amount of maintenance to keep their white coats clean.
Whippets have either two modes:
- either racing full speed ahead, or
- curled up next to you on the couch.
These speedy dogs have a streamlined, inverted s-shaped frame similar to the Italian Greyhound, and their coat matches these aerodynamic lines. Whippet fur is short and velvety to the touch, making it easy to groom. Regular brushing is a must to achieve minimal shedding, but there won’t be huge clumps of fur lying around the house.
Advantages of the Whippet breed
- Distinct lack of doggy odour.
- Not prone to digging in dirt or rolling in mud.
- Bursts of energy.
They’d much rather run around those types of obstacles faster than any human can.
All these traits combined, along with a lack of drooling potential, make the Whippet pup an easy, low-maintenance dog for any canine owner.
American Hairless Terrier
One of the newest breeds on this list, the American Hairless Terrier is true to its name – there is no hair on most of its body, so there’s nothing to shed.
There’s a coated version American Hairless Terrier which has a short, shiny coat. Sometimes you’ll see one with eyebrows or whiskers, but still only a minimal amount of fur. If you want a truly hypoallergenic dog, this breed is the one. Their skin, however, can be sensitive, as it is completely exposed to the elements, which doesn't stop them to love spending time in the park with you.
This African breed is also known as the “barkless dog,” but that doesn’t mean they’re mute. Instead of barking, they yodel.
The Basenji are typically small in stature, with a short, glossy coat of fur. They rarely shed and need minimal grooming.
As a bonus, this breed will take care of its own grooming needs – like cats, most Basenji are fastidious in nature and want to keep themselves clean.
Their high energy level means they’ll want regular walks, but once those needs are met, they can be magnificent dogs for even first-time dog owners. This breed does well in almost any living space, and won’t make a mess even in smaller apartments.
This intelligent breed is known for being quick learners, excess energy, calm nature, devoted companion, beautiful coat. It was brought to popularity by a movie, but its origins go back several hundred years.
- Dalmatians are a bit of a departure from the rest of the dogs on this list because they can, and do, shed quite a bit and need weekly brushing. Where they differ is in the properties of their coat.
- Dalmatians have a short, shiny coat that can feel almost like satin to the touch.
- What’s really amazing is that the coat repels dirt and water. You’ll hear of Dalmatians rolling around in mud and simply shaking it all off, none the worse for wear.
- This, along with the breed’s lack of dog odour, means that they’ll stay clean and require minimal maintenance aside from regular brushing.
- Dalmatian needs lots of physical activity.
We think that’s worth it for a bit of shedding.
This athletic breed may have an unconventional appearance, but is even-tempered and very affectionate.
The “Xolo”, as it’s known, is a lot like the American Hairless Terrier. This hairless pup also comes in two varieties:
Even the coated version only has short, smooth hair, so shedding potential is still minimised. Like the Basenji, this is a fastidious breed that is known for grooming itself like a cat.
However, the Xoloitzcuintli breed does sweat through its skin, so regular bathing is a must. There’s little risk of an unpleasant dog smell, but their skin can be sensitive like the American Hairless Terrier.
The Chihuahua is a lot of dog in a tiny package.
The playful, loving, family- and kid-friendly breed excels at apartment living and is a splendid choice even for first-time dog owners.
There are two types of coats for Chihuahuas:
Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have a short, smooth coat that rarely sheds. Long-coated Chihuahuas have mostly the same coat as smooth Chihuahuas, but with extra longer hairs around the ears, neck, feet, and rear legs.
Their small size means there’s very little fur to clean up, and it’s easy to give them a complete brush. It’s also rare for Chihuahuas to drool, and even when they do, there’s rarely more than can be wiped up with a single paper towel.
- These small Japanese dogs are known for their independence and intelligence, but they still love to play and romp with their chosen humans.
- Shibas have an appearance similar to a fox, with a double coat of fur that is thick and dense.
- This breed sheds twice a year, but only sheds moderately the rest of the time. Otherwise, their grooming needs are minimal, and Shibas are almost cat-like in their need to keep themselves clean.
- They don’t drool, and are remarkably clean-smelling dogs, as well. With some preparation, the seasonal shedding isn’t a problem for most owners.
- One bonus of this breed is that most Shibas are easy to housetrain – they like a clean house just as much as humans do.
This 5000-year-old breed is known for being a companion to royalty, but it isn’t a stuck-up dog at all.
Pharaoh Hounds are friendly, intelligent, independent, and eager to please. They share a lot of similarities to the large Greyhound and Whippet, but aren’t so quick in exchange for greater stamina.
Their wiry coat is short and fine, with a somewhat rough texture. Keeping their coat clean is easy, but some additional maintenance is required for their skin.
They are also resistant to the typical dog smells and only need baths a couple of times a year. This is a low-maintenance dog with a regal bearing and a stalwart companion for any dog owner.
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Low Maintenance Dogs & Australia, Last words
A dog is always a ball of love, but hygiene is a factor people should not neglect. According to property experts My Home, the consequences of neglecting hygiene responsibilities could literally hurt real estate value causing more cost on cleaning. Imagine the extent of what fur and odours settling in can cause to your home.