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You want a dog, but you’re concerned about the amount of work involved to keep him happy, healthy and looking good. Fear not! Although dogs need and deserve time for exercise, purposeful play and training, you can select from an array of breeds with a low-maintenance grooming reputation.
From brushing to odor control to water-resistant coats, various dog breeds sport certain characteristics that make them easy to care for in different ways, even if they don’t always appear to be at first glance. Take a gander at the following breeds who rank high in these five low-maintenance grooming categories:
Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography
All dogs shed to some degree, but some strew fewer hairs than others. The Lhasa Apso has a long and beautiful coat, but the humanlike hair doesn’t constantly drop all over the house or cling to your clothes. Lhasas do require regular shampooing and combing to keep their lovely locks tangle-free, but you can minimize grooming requirements by asking a professional groomer to style them in a cute, short puppy clip. Other breeds with low-shed reputations include the Poodle, Italian Greyhound, Miniature Schnauzer, Saluki, Cockapoo and Portuguese Water Dog.
Sounds too good to be true, but yes, some breeds have coats that shed dirt the way some dogs shed hair. A good example is the Siberian Husky, which has a thick double coat, meaning it has an insulating under layer and a protective top coat. The undercoat produces oils that help to repel dirt. In addition, Huskies preen themselves in much the same way as cats, so bathing is rarely needed. Brushing is a different story. Huskies must be brushed at least twice a week to remove loose hair so it doesn’t litter the furniture and floor. Mark your calendar – Huskies shed heavily twice a year, in spring and fall, and must be brushed more frequently during those times. Other breeds with dirt-repelling coats include the Dalmatian, Weimaraner, West Highland White Terrier and Basset Hound.
Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography
Some breeds, especially those with oily coats, emit a not-so-pleasant odor, but fortunately for people with sensitive noses, there are breeds renowned for having little to no “doggy odor.” One such popular pup is the Pomeranian, a toy breed with a thick double coat that comes in many colors and patterns. Brush the Pom coat at least twice a week to remove dead hair. Other breeds that don’t smell doggy include the Vizsla, the Canaan Dog and the Shetland Sheepdog.
Nick Ridley, Animal Photography
Born to be wet, some breeds have thick, oily coats that insulate their wearers from temperature fluctuations and repel water so that the dog dries quickly after a dunking. The Golden Retriever is a classic example. The skin oils that coat the fur not only repel dirt, they also cause the coat to dry quickly with a good shake. Other water-loving dogs with water-repellent, quick-drying coats include the Otterhound, Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel and Airedale. Unless they’ve rolled in something stinky that can’t be brushed out, most water dogs need a bath only rarely, from once a month to once or twice a year.
Eva-Maria Kramer, Animal Photography
The easiest dogs to groom are those with short coats, but occasionally one comes along with a furry coat that rarely if ever mats. The Icelandic Sheepdog has a harsh, thick double coat that can be medium-length or long. Choose one with the shorter coat for easiest care, and avoid an Icelandic whose coat is soft rather than coarse. The soft coat is much more likely to tangle. Other breeds that are easy to groom — although they definitely shed — are the Beagle, Pug, Boston Terrier, Doberman Pinscher and Greyhound.
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