Every dog needs basic good grooming, care that includes attending to his skin, coat, ears, teeth, and toenails. However, not every dog requires regular professional attention, lots of baths, and an inordinate amount of brushing to keep the hair down.
Flat-faced dogs with wrinkles require special facial care. Otherwise easy-to-groom breeds, like scenthounds, often have a distinct hound scent that some people cannot tolerate without bathing their dog once a week. In addition, some of the easiest-to-groom breeds are also major shedders. Not included in this list are heavy shedders, droolers, very large dogs, wrinkly dogs, longhaired dogs, oily-coated dogs, and dogs with a hound smell.
Here are some of our favorite “wash-and-wear” breeds.
This wonderful breed has no “doggy smell,” so combined with his short coat and small size, he goes right to the top of the list. The only thing you need to watch out for is not to get water in his ears when bathing him. He is considered a barkless dog, by the way, but he can make plenty of noise.
The gorgeous, odorless Vizsla is a true wash-and-wear hunting dog with a sweet temper. He is also a light shedder and doesn’t drool. This dog needs a lot of exercise.
Whippets are clean, odorless dogs who are also quiet around the house. They are great choices for anyone who doesn’t live in an extremely cold climate.
#4: Boston Terrier
The neatly packaged Boston has no doggy odor and is a pretty light shedder. He is well behaved and great with kids, although he’s not the easiest breed to train.
Dobies are low shedding and almost odorless. These large dogs do take a bit longer to groom than the other breeds on this list.
#6: Toy Manchester and Manchester Terrier
Intelligent, easy to train, and easy to groom, the Manchester Terrier’s only drawback is that some can sunburn easily, so you need to be careful with him. Otherwise, he’s a wash-and-wear breed.
The Pointer needs lots of exercise but not a lot of grooming. This tough breed was made to hunt all day. If he gets really dirty, you can simply hose him off. The Pointer is a lovely, solemn, devoted dog.
Although the German Shorthaired Pointer sheds a bit more than some of the other breeds on this list, he’s still not a heavy shedder. He just needs a quick going-over with a hound mitt now and then to keep him perfectly presentable and happy.
The Weimaraner has very short hair and sheds only moderately. Hunting breeds were bred to be easy keepers, and this one fits the bill.
The Xolo doesn’t have hair, so there’s no shedding, no tangling, and no brushing. However, you do need to bathe and moisturize him to keep his skin oils at a reasonable level.
Other easy-maintenance breeds: German Pinscher, Greyhound, Italian Greyhound, and Miniature Pinscher.
Diane Morgan is a pet care expert in Williamsport, Maryland, who has authored numerous books on dog care and nutrition, and has also written many dog breed and horse books.