The 5 Best Small Dog Breeds For Busy Families

dog with family

If you and your family are constantly busy, it can be hard to imagine owning a dog. From the outside, dogs seem like so much work! They require bathing, grooming, feeding, walking, and so much more. But we have good news: some small dogs are easier to care for than others. In this article, we’ll recommend the absolute best small dog breeds for busy families.


Maybe you’ve already decided that fussy dogs are too much work for your busy schedule. But how can you know which dog will be easy enough for your family to handle? Let’s discuss a few key features of low-maintenance dogs.


If you have a schedule packed with work and errands, your dog may be spending many hours each day unsupervised at home. For this reason, you should choose a small breed that does not need constant companionship and attention. Some dogs are a little more independent than others and can entertain themselves while their human family is away.

If your busy schedule includes many outdoor activities such as walking and team sports at the local park, you may be happy to bring your pup with you. In this scenario, you should choose a dog with higher energy levels that is not easily fatigued after exercise.


After a long, exhausting day, the last thing your family wants to do is vacuum fur off of the furniture. This means that you should consider how much your dog sheds. On the other hands, dogs such as poodles are low-shedding but will need occasional trimming and brushing to avoid matting and tangling of their fur.

There are some grooming concerns that apply to all breeds, such as nail trimming and bathing. However, dogs with long floppy ears require a little extra care than those with straight ears. They may develop infection if moisture and dirt accumulates in their ear folds.


We all hope our dogs remain healthy and happy, but unfortunately, all breeds are susceptible to health conditions that can complicate a busy family’s schedule. Some breeds are naturally healthier than others, though. Dogs with short noses can develop problems with breathing and overheating, while others are prone to conditions such as skin allergies and hip dysplasia.

Prevention is always better than treatment, so be sure to find a reputable veterinarian early in your dog’s life. If you own a female dog and don’t want the time-consuming hassle of puppies, consider having your pup spayed. This is a simple procedure with many medical benefits.

Top 5 Small Dog Breeds That Are Great For Busy Families

We now understand why some dogs require less work than others. Let’s now discuss which small breeds are best for families that are always short on time.

Mini Bernedoodle

mini bernedoodle

They may not be purebred, but Bernedoodles are a fantastic choice for any family that is constantly on the move. A mix of the poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog, the Bernedoodle is loyal, low-shedding, and relatively quiet.

If you prefer small dogs, you can ask your preferred breeder for a Mini Bernedoodle. This variety is genetically similar to the standard type, but its father is usually a toy poodle. Mini Bernedoodles can be substantially smaller than their full-size counterparts.

Toy Poodle

toy poodle

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance small breed that sheds very little, consider the toy poodle. There are many grooming options for poodles, and some owners spend a lot of time and effort styling their poodle’s fur. Whatever your preference, you won’t be doing much cleaning or sneezing.

Do you sometimes work late at the office and wonder whether your dog will miss you? Of course your poodle will love you, but these pups are fairly independent and won’t demand your constant attention.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel

The little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most moderate, easy-going dogs available. They’ll come to your rescue and bark when they sense a threat, but they won’t yap incessantly at your neighbors. They are highly adaptable to new environments and are pretty easy to train.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are especially gentle with young children, so if your busy schedule include babies or little kids, you can rest assured that this dog will be friendly with them. However, you should still supervise playtime with infants and toddlers and teach your child to avoid hitting or pulling with any animal.



After a long, busy day with your spouse and kids, dachshunds are happy to become whatever you need most: loyal companions, playmates, or lap warmers. This small breed drools and sheds very little, so if they are housebroken and well-behaved, you won’t have to spend much time cleaning up after them.

Some dachshunds can become loud when they feel excited or threatened. If your family plans to live with a dachshund in an environment where noise is an issue, such as an apartment, ask your breeder for help with adopting a puppy that does not have a history of constant barking.



Pugs are guaranteed to provide countless hours of entertainment for your busy family. These pudgy little clowns have a silly, good-natured personality that is well-suited for kids of all ages. They’ll be happy to snuggle with you, but they won’t always need your undivided attention.

Keep in mind that pugs have a dense coat and tend to shed a lot. Brush them frequently so that the excess hair does not end up all over the furniture. And keep in mind that pugs sometimes develop breathing issues due to the shape of their head and snout. If this is a concern for you, consider the puggle, a small poodle-pug hybrid that is less susceptible to these health conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which small dogs are easiest to housebreak?

Intelligent small breeds such as the Papillon, Poodle, Corgi, and Miniature Schnauzer are easy to housebreak. Many training experts recommend that you avoid negative feedback such as yelling and hitting. Instead, reward your dog’s good behavior with treats and love. And you should start the training process as early as possible, ideally when your dog is still a puppy. Bad habits become harder to break as your dog ages.

How long can a small dog be left in its crate?

You can leave a small adult dog in its crate for 5 to 8 hours at most. If your dog is still a puppy, try to limit crate time to a maximum of 5 hours. Your dog needs to eat, go outside, and play. If you can afford it, consider hiring a dog sitter if you need to leave your dog home for long periods of time.

Which dogs are best for lazy people?

Lazy people have one thing in common with busy people: they don’t want to own high-maintenance dogs! If you’re looking for all the love and snuggles without the constant grooming and outdoor playtime, consider the breeds we have recommended in this article: Pug, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mini Bernedoodle, Toy Poodle, and Dachshund. Unless you have a large backyard, steer clear of high-energy breeds such as German Shepherds that will expect you to take them on frequent walks.

dog with family


It’s true: dogs can be a lot of work! But every good puppy parent knows that they’re worth it. Every small dog needs care and attention, but some breeds really do require less maintenance than others. We hope this article has helped you understand which small dog breeds would be best for you and your busy family.