The easiest breeds to own

Twenty-one breeds no less!

The following article was seen a couple of months ago over on the Cheatsheet site.

I thought it would so easily spread itself out over a couple of days. Ergo, Part One today and Part Two tomorrow.

Enjoy!

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The 21 Easiest Dog Breeds to Own

Hoping to bring a dog into your home? Some people are happy to adopt any dog who’s at the shelter. And some opt to follow the pack and choose one of the most popular breeds in America. But others want to do their research and make sure they choose the right dog. Some dog breeds are easier to own than others, especially for novice dog parents. To find the easiest dog breeds to own, we took a look at a variety of important characteristics. And you might be surprised by the traits that matter most.

You might think you want a smart dog. But highly intelligent dogs aren’t always the easiest to train because trainability is more about a dog’s willingness to follow instructions than his ability to understand them. And you might assume an active dog will be the simplest to keep healthy. But a dog with a lower energy level and no genetic predisposition to disease will actually be easier to handle. Plus, choosing a dog with an easygoing temperament — and minimal grooming needs — will go a long way toward keeping you sane.

Ready to find the perfect dog? Check out 21 of the easiest dog breeds to own.

1. Basset hound

Basset puppy | iStock.com/imants

Want a low-key dog? You might just love the basset hound, a dog breed the American Kennel Club characterizes as “easygoing, laid-back, and even a bit lazy.” These medium-sized dogs aren’t very active. (They do still need regular walks to stay healthy though.) Most dog owners won’t put the basset hound’s hunting prowess to the test. But they will appreciate the breed’s extreme patience with children. Plus, the AKC reports these dogs are “easy to train, and despite their plodding pace, they do well at various dog sports.”

Because the basset hound is prone to obesity, you’ll want to make a point of taking your dog on daily walks. A basset hound is an extreme people-pleaser, and he’ll love to bond with you in obedience classes. These dogs have a short coat, which does shed. But they need minimal grooming. And generally, basset hounds are a healthy breed.

2. Beagle

Small dog sitting on the wooden floor. Beagle puppy

Some of the easiest dog breeds to own are the ones that are friendly and outgoing, rather than hyper-intelligent. The beagle is a great example. The breed’s AKC profile characterizes these dogs as “merry,” “friendly,” and “curious.” The organization promises, “Beagles are loving and lovable, happy, easygoing, and companionable.” They are very active little dogs who need plenty of exercise. But they love to play, and a beagle will likely have you laughing constantly with his antics.

VetStreet reports the beagle is one of the most outgoing, approachable, and people-pleasing breeds. “The beagle is among the top 10 most popular breeds for good reason: He has a bigger-than-life personality and a merry nature that make him a warm and cheerful companion.”

Plus, the beagle is generally a very healthy dog breed. And somewhat controversially, the beagle’s easygoing personality — and the breed’s freedom from genetic diseases — explains why researchers choose beagles for animal testing.

3. Bichon frisé

Another dog breed to consider if you want a friendly and easygoing pup? The bichon frisé. This small dog is a great companion both for adults and older children. He’s happy and curious. And he’s both “playful” and “peppy,” according to the AKC. The organization reports that bichons are “bundles of energy, so they’ll need daily play sessions and walks.” They make great family pets. And they are easy to train because they love not only to perform, but also to please their people.

PetWave describes bichon frisés as “little puffs of personality.” This dog breed loves people. And a bichon wouldn’t mind going everywhere with you, whether you’re walking, running, or driving around town.

The AKC adds that “owners might even delight in watching their dog suddenly experience a burst of energy, known as the ‘Bichon Blitz,’ during which they’ll comically sprint around their space. That period is usually followed by some serious cuddle time to satisfy their lovable side.”

4. Border terrier

Border terriers | iStock.com/shellhawker

Not everybody knows about the border terrier. But you might want to get familiar with this dog breed, which the AKC characterizes as “plucky,” “happy,” and “affectionate.” The border terrier has a moderate energy level but a more laid-back personality than many other terriers. And the AKC explains that even though this dog breed loves exploring outdoors and was bred to be a country dog, “border terriers adapt well to city life — as long as they get plenty of exercise.”

Border terriers get along well with other dogs. But the AKC warns that “their hunting instincts can be aroused when cats or squirrels cross their path.” Nonetheless, the organization notes the border terrier “is good tempered, affectionate, obedient, and easily trained.”

PetWave explains though personalities vary, every border terrier is “curious by nature and will want to be included in all family activities.” The publication recommends a mix of “consistency, confident leadership, and lots of positive reinforcement” when training a border terrier.

5. Bulldog

English bulldog puppies | iStock.com/onetouchspark

If you want a patient and mellow dog, you can’t go wrong with the bulldog. The AKC explains this dog breed is “calm, courageous, and friendly,” plus “dignified but amusing.” What a winning combination. This medium-sized dog has a moderate energy level. And the AKC notes, “Bulldogs won’t beg to be exercised, but they require regular walks and the occasional romp.” Because the bulldog is very intelligent, he does his own thinking. (Hence the breed’s reputation for stubbornness.)

Nonetheless, you can successfully train your bulldog. The AKC advises, “Training is most successful when begun at an early age with elaborate praise and rewards given for good behavior. It also helps if the owner/trainer has a sense of humor and appreciation of the bulldog’s ability to ‘do it my way’ in very innovative ways!”

Rover characterizes the bulldog’s personality as “sleepy.” All jokes aside, bulldogs have an easygoing temperament and won’t bark nearly as much as other breeds (though they make up for it with adorable snorting, grunting, and snoring).

6. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Cavalier King Charles spaniel | iStock.com/Banepx

Want a dog who really, really loves people? Then, consider the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. According to the AKC, these friendly little dogs “do equally well with active types and homebodies — they can be loyal hiking partners or shameless couch potatoes, depending on the owner’s personality — as long as they get a satisfying walk each day.” They have a moderate energy level so need some exercise. But they are friendly and easy to train. You can trust them with children, and they make a great addition to a family.

According to VetStreet, “The little spaniels are attracted to people the way strawberry jam is to peanut butter. If a Cavalier sees an empty lap, he is likely to jump into it, whether he knows the person or not. And a Cavalier who sees a stranger on the street may just veer in that person’s direction, anxious to make a new friend.”

And though PetWave reports this dog breed loves running around outside as much as curling up inside, this spaniel is a true companion dog. That means you shouldn’t leave him alone for too long.

7. Chihuahua

When you think Chihuahua, you might envision a yappy little dog. But it’s poorly trained dogs who have earned the breed that reputation. According to the AKC, “Inside each little Chihuahua is a miniature king or queen ready to rule their realms, so they need to be taught what is acceptable in human kingdoms.” Nonetheless, this dog breed is intelligent, enthusiastic, trainable, and generally low-maintenance despite their regal attitude.

Chihuahuas can do well in families, particularly if the children in the household are gentle and patient with their dog. Because they’re so small, they require little exercise. That means they adapt well to life in cities, but the breed is hardy enough to enjoy life in rural setting, as well. (Just watch out for cold temperatures to which the Chihuahua can be sensitive.) Plus, many Chihuahuas get along with other pets, especially companions of their own breed.

8. Collie

Collie | iStock.com/Eudyptula

Want a dog who’s both smart and eager to please his owners? You won’t be disappointed by the collie. The AKC explains that collies have “legendary” herding and protecting abilities. But this dog breed isn’t too intelligent — or too proud — to crave your attention and approval. The AKC notes, “Collies can do well in the country or the city but need companionship.” The organization adds that the collie is “great at understanding human’s moods” and gets along well with children. They learn quickly and easily.

According to the Collie Club of America, this dog breed “falls in the mid-range of responsibility when it comes to the practical concerns that influence the choice of a breed as a family dog.” Collies show a gentle, laid-back personality. They are also clean and quiet around the house, and they housebreak easily. They do need to be brushed every week or two. But they are generally odor-free — a plus for any would-be pet owner worried about a smelly dog.

9. Corgi

The corgi will definitely steal your heart if you want an easygoing dog with a lot of personality. The AKC describes this dog breed as “smart and alert, affectionate but not pushy, bold but kindly.” These little dogs are active, but they can adapt to just about any living situation as long as they get regular exercise. The corgi responds well to training.

As the AKC reports, “The time you spend in training, especially during the first year of your pet’s life, will be repaid many times over by giving you a well-behaved companion, one that is bonded to you and your family for the rest of his life.” The organization also notes that a corgi “without a job will often assign himself work, like herding children or his fellow dogs.” This dog breed craves activity and togetherness and will prove incredibly loyal to a family who can provide both. Corgis have a medium-length coat that requires regular weekly grooming, plus an occasional bath.

10. French bulldog

The French bulldog might just be the perfect dog breed for someone who wants an outgoing and people-pleasing companion. These lively little dogs always want attention, and they show a knack for entertaining the people around them. According to the AKC, this friendly dog breed is playful, but smart. They aren’t very active nor particularly athletic. That means brisk walks will be enough to keep them trim and healthy.

Plus, the Frenchie has a well-documented sense of humor. According to the AKC, “You won’t have to worry about a yappy dog bothering your neighbors because Frenchies rarely bark. That said, you can count on them to alert their owners to danger (Look! The UPS guy is coming!).”

French bulldogs, and other dogs with short faces, breathe less efficiently than longer-nosed dog breeds. So you’ll need to keep your dog cool in warm weather and avoid overly strenuous exercise. But they are intelligent dogs, and training is easy as long as you make it a game.

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Come back tomorrow for the final set!

16 thoughts on “The easiest breeds to own

  1. I know I am bragging but Boston’s are easy to maintain. Mags is a perfect size for an apartment or house. She can be laid back or she can go hiking. She was the result of us deciding not to get a Frenchie. Great article, Paul.

  2. My goodness, they’re all cute, but I think a Beagle might just steal my heart.💕

    I hope people give it a great deal of thought before buying a pup… Christmas time always seems like the worst time to get a new dog. They need so much attention to settle and there is so much going on at Christmas that I think it is too stressful for new additions to the family unfamiliar with the surroundings and noise. Much better time is after New Year when all is quiet again. Plus, that little bundle of fur (whether a puppy or a rescue dog) will lighten up your dreary post Christmas season.😊

  3. While I appreciate the idea behind this post, these type of generalizations can hurt other dog breeds and, even more importantly, rescue dogs who are likely a blend. It’s about the individual dog in many ways.
    For instance, I have two Cavaliers, one behaves almost exactly as you describe, but the other, is a bit more independent and many are. She doesn’t want to be ON my lap. Next to me often, for sure, but being in someone’s lap is not a comfortable thing for her. However, she’s even more excited than our other pup to meet new people.
    Cavalier’s also aren’t easy to own because the majority of them end up with expensive and severe illnesses due to long-term poor breeding practices (I’m talking about them just because I have them.)

    And for a dog lover, as you are – as adorable and sweet as French Bulldogs are – THEY CAN’T BREED or WHELP NATURALLY! What does that tell you? The majority of the time, breeding requires both artificial insemination and a cesarean section, the second of which is incredibly dangerous for the mother.

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