Love dogs but hate the idea of hours of brushing, combing or trimming hair? If so, one of these shorthaired dog breeds might be right up your alley. Remember, though, that length of hair is only one consideration when trying to narrow down the best breed for you and your family. Shorthaired dog breeds come in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. Do your research before bringing home a puppy or adopting an adult.
Shorthaired dogs need less grooming than longhaired breeds, but all dogs will require some upkeep. Also, short hair does not equal a non-shedding dog. In fact, some shorthaired dog’s shed more than their longhaired relatives.
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The Basenji, which hails from Africa, is often called the “barkless dog.” They are typically very quiet and don't make true barking sounds like most dogs, but they're not silent. Basenjis can whimper, whine and make unique yodeling sounds.
The smooth coat is naturally clean and odor-free and requires infrequent bathing. In fact, Basenjis may even groom their own coats the way cats do.
This breed bonds closely with their human family but may be standoffish with strangers.
HEIGHT: 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 20 to 25 pounds
Physical characteristics: Small, short backed and lightly built. The smooth, short coat comes in chestnut red, black, brindle, or tri-color (black and red).
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The medium-sized Boxer was developed in Germany in the late 1800s. Full of energy, Boxers are athletic, playful and fun-loving. The smooth, sleek coat needs just weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush or soft bristle brush. The breed is very clean and needs only occasional bathing when dirty.
They do, however, require lots of exercise to keep them happy and ward off behavior issues. Be careful to avoid strenuous exercise when it’s hot out. This brachycephalic breed (one with a pushed-in face) can overheat easily.
HEIGHT: 21.5 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 50 to 70 pounds
Physical characteristics: Squarely built with well-developed muscles. The short coat comes in fawn and brindle
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With its long, horse-like face, the Bull Terrier’s unique look is unmistakable. The short, flat coat is glossy and harsh to the touch. Weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush, curry brush or hound glove will remove loose hair.
The Bull Terrier’s sweet disposition endears it to dog lovers young and old, and the breed tends to get along well with respectful kids. Though muscular and athletic, they need just moderate daily exercise in the form of long walks or games of fetch in the yard.
HEIGHT: 21 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 50 to 70 pounds
Physical characteristics: Strongly built, muscular and symmetrical. The short coat comes in almost any color including white, red, fawn, black, blue, or brindle (or a combination of these).
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The Dalmatian comes from Central Europe in an area that was once called Dalmatia. The original purpose of the Dalmatian is very specialized. They were coach dogs, used to run alongside horse-drawn carriages to calm and guard the horses. They did the same for horse-drawn fire engines.
The Dalmatian’s short coat is dense, fine and glossy. Weekly brushing is all that’s needed, although you might wish to brush more frequently to cut down on hair in the house.
Muscular and athletic, the Dalmatian has stamina and a lot of energy and you should help to burn it off with lots of daily exercise.
HEIGHT: 19 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 45 to 65 pounds
Physical characteristics: Strong, muscular and active. The short coat is white with black or liver spots.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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The Doberman Pincher, or Dobie to his friends, was bred in Germany by a tax collector named Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman. His dogs had excellent guarding abilities.
Today, Dobermans remain protective and loyal, with a discerning intelligence that makes them excellent protection dogs. They might look intimidating to an intruder, but with family, the Doberman is very loving, including with respectful children.
The smooth coat is easy to care for—a quick brush once a week is all it needs. Dobermans are big and athletic and need a lot of exercise to be happy and content.
HEIGHT: 24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 65 to 100 pounds
Physical characteristics: Compactly built, muscular and powerful. The short, smooth coat comes in black, red, blue, or fawn with rust (tan) markings.
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The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile gundog bred to point and retrieve waterfowl. It’s an excellent companion and family dog in the right home where it’s high needs can be met.
Capable of hunting in the field all day, the German Shorthaired Pointer has almost endless energy. Owners must do their best to provide abundant outlets for exercise and mental stimulation or these dogs may become anxious and destructive at home.
The coat is a breeze to take care of with weekly brushing and the occasional bath.
HEIGHT: 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 45 to 70 pounds
Physical characteristics: Medium-sized and well balanced. The short, thin coat comes in solid liver or liver and white.
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The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds, particularly in height. A true gentle giant, this breed is sweet, affectionate and a wonderful house dog. Despite their size, Great Danes are generally calm indoors and they don’t need a huge amount of exercise (a few daily walks usually do the trick).
Weekly brushing with a rubber curry or bristle brush will keep the coat glossy. Great Danes have a much shorter life span than most other breeds (six to eight years is the average).
HEIGHT: About 28 to 34 inches at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 110 to 175 pounds
Physical characteristics: A powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. The short coat comes in brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (white with black patches), or mantle (black and white).
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Capable of running 45 miles per hour or more, the Greyhound is known for being the world’s fastest breed. Don’t let all that speed fool you, though. Greyhounds are sprinters not endurance runners. As long as Greyhounds get the chance to stretch their legs a little each day in a safely enclosed area, they are content to lounge about the house the rest of the time.
Naturally, Greyhounds are very clean house dogs. The smooth coat sheds much less than some other shorthaired breeds. It’s so fine and close to the body you might not even need to brush it—simply give your Greyhound a good rubdown with a soft, damp towel.
Height: 27 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 60 to 70 pounds
Physical characteristics: Muscular and lean. The smooth coat comes in a variety of colors including black, blue, fawn, red, white and various shades of brindle, or a combination of any of these colors.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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The Ibizan Hound hails from the island of Ibiza off the coast of Spain. The breed is descended from ancient Egyptian hounds that were brought to the island by traders approximately 3,000 years ago.
On the island, Ibizan Hound were adept rabbit hunters, using their keen sense of sight to chase them down and then leaping and pouncing for the kill. This is a skill that they retain today.
The short coat may be smooth or wiry. Both coat types are easy to care for—just brush once a week.
HEIGHT: 22 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 45 to 50 pounds
Physical characteristics: Strong, without appearing heavily muscled. The short, coarse coat, which can be smooth or wiry, comes in solid red, solid white, or white and red patterns.
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The Miniature Pinscher looks a lot like a scaled-down version of its cousin, the Doberman Pinscher, but the Min Pin is actually the older of the two breeds. Part of the American Kennel Club Toy Group, the breed is known as the “King of Toys” for their brave animation, self-assuredness, and proud spirit. Min Pins have a unique movement called a hackney gait (they lift their feet up high when they trot).
Min Pins are friendly but very small, so best suited to families with older children who can be careful and gentle with them. The smooth coat lies close to the body. Brush once a week with a soft bristle brush to bring out its luster.
HEIGHT: 10 to 12.5 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 8 to 10 pounds
Physical characteristics: Well balanced, sturdy and compact. The smooth coat comes in solid red, stag red (red with some black hairs), black with rust markings, and chocolate with rust markings.
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The charming, sweet Pug originated from China as far back as 400 B.C., where it was the treasured pets of Chinese emperors.
A Pugs most important job is to be your loyal friend and constant companion. They don't do well when left alone for long periods of time, but it's easy to bring them along on your adventures as they are small and portable.
Pugs don't need a lot of exercise, and they don't tolerate hot temperatures, so keep them inside in the air conditioning on warm days. The Pug's short coat sheds a good deal. The more you brush them, the less shedding hair will end up on your clothes or furniture.
HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches
WEIGHT: 14 to 18 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Square and cobby body. The smooth, short double coat comes in fawn (light yellow-tan with black ears and a black mask on the face) or solid black.
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The Rat Terrier was created in the United States, where it was a very popular farm dog in the early 1900s. As the breed name suggests, these dogs were used to hunt and dispatch vermin—namely rats.
Rat Terriers are full of spirit, energy and tenacity—despite their small size they won’t back down from a challenge. Because of their working background, Rat Terriers need more exercise than you might expect of such a small dog. The coat is short, but sheds quite a bit. Brush more frequently to limit shedding hair in the house.
HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder (miniature); 13 to 18 inches (standard)
WEIGHT: 10 to 25 pounds
Physical characteristics: Sturdy, compact and small to medium sized. The smooth, shiny, short coat comes in pied patterns (one or more colors with large patches of white)Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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The Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed in South Africa to hunt lions. The breed has a distinctive ridge running down the middle of its back that’s caused by a strip of hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an expert-level breed. They are large, powerful, independent-minded, and have a high prey drive (instinct to chase). In the right hands, they are loyal and devoted companions, but they need lots of mental stimulation, training, and exercise.
HEIGHT: 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 70 to 85 pounds
Physical characteristics: Strong, muscular and balanced. The short, smooth coat is light wheaten to red wheaten.
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The Weimaraner is a hunting dog that comes from the Weimar region of Germany. It’s sometimes known as the “Gray Ghost” thanks to its ethereal silver-gray color and speed and endurance in the field.
Weimaraners are exceptionally active and athletic. To own one, you should commit to providing a huge amount of exercise (running is ideal), training, and attention. When provided with enough outlets for their energy, Weimaraners are excellent family dogs and get along great with children.
HEIGHT: 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 55 to 90 pounds
Physical characteristics: Medium-sized, with fine aristocratic features. The short, stiff coat comes in various shades of gray.