20 Short-Haired Dog Breeds for Lower Maintenance Care

Weimaraner puppy lying in the grass

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If you love dogs but dislike the idea of hours of brushing, combing, or setting up regular grooming appointments, then a short-haired canine might be a better fit for you. Short-haired dogs need less grooming than long-haired breeds, but all dogs will require some upkeep. Just because a dog has short hair does not mean it does not shed. Some short-haired dogs may shed more than their longhaired counterparts. Even short-haired dogs will benefit from brushing its coat once or twice a week to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.

Breed Characteristics

Generally, short-haired dogs require less grooming maintenance, which is a huge plus for busy families or those who are constantly on the go. Some short-haired dogs are hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for people sensitive to dog allergies. Most short-haired dogs can tolerate warmer temperatures since they don't have long, heavy coats. The exception is brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds like pugs, boxers, and bulldogs. Dogs with shorter coats that live in a place that gets frigid, wintery weather will likely need some outerwear, especially if that breed requires a lot of outdoor exercise.

Grooming needs are only one of the considerations you should ponder when trying to narrow dog the best dog for you and your family. Other key considerations include finding an energy level match, the dog's size relative to your home, and who also lives in your household—other pets, fragile seniors, or rambunctious children.

Here are the top 20 short-haired dogs; they span the size spectrum from Chihuahuas to Great Danes.

  • 01 of 20

    Basenji

    Basenji

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    The Basenji, which hails from Africa, has a naturally clean, smooth coat that is odor-free and requires infrequent bathing. Basenjis may even groom their coats the way cats do. Often called the “barkless dog,” they are typically quiet and don't make true barking sounds like most dogs. However, they're not silent. Basenjis can whimper, whine, and make unique yodeling sounds. This breed bonds closely with their human family but may be standoffish with strangers. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder 

    Weight: 20 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, short coat comes in chestnut red, black, brindle, or tri-color (black and red)

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 02 of 20

    Boxer

    Boxer

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    The medium-sized boxer emerged in Germany in the late 1800s. The smooth, sleek coat needs weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush or soft bristle brush. The breed is clean and needs only occasional bathing when dirty. Full of energy, boxers are athletic, playful, and fun-loving. They require a lot of exercise to keep them happy and ward off behavior issues. This brachycephalic breed (short-nosed, pushed-in face) should avoid strenuous exercise when it’s hot out as it can overheat quickly.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 21.5 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 50 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat comes in fawn and brindle 

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 03 of 20

    Bull Terrier

    Bull Terrier

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    With its long, horse-like face, the bull terrier’s unique look is unmistakable. Its 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. This breed tends to get along well with respectful kids. Though muscular and athletic, it needs moderate daily exercise like long walks or fetch games in the yard.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 50 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat comes in almost any color including white, red, fawn, black, blue, or brindle (or a combination of these)

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

  • 04 of 20

    Dalmatian

    Dalmatian

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    The Dalmatian comes from central Europe in an area that was once called Dalmatia in current-day Croatia. The Dalmatian’s short coat is dense, fine, and glossy. This dog needs weekly brushing, although you might wish to brush more frequently to cut down on hair in the house. These canines were coach dogs that ran alongside horse-drawn carriages to calm and guard the horses. They did the same for horse-drawn fire engines. Muscular and athletic, the Dalmatian has stamina and a lot of energy, requiring a lot of daily exercise. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 19 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 45 to 65 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat is white with black or liver spots

    Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years


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  • 05 of 20

    Doberman Pinscher

    Doberman Pinscher

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    The Doberman Pinscher or Dobie was bred in Germany by a tax collector named Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman. The dog's 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. These loyal dogs are known for their guarding abilities. They can look intimidating to intruders, but with family, the Doberman is very loving, including respectful to children.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 65 to 100 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat comes in black, red, blue, or fawn with rust (tan) markings

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 06 of 20

    German Shorthaired Pointer

    German Shorthaired Pointer

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    The German shorthaired pointer is a versatile gundog bred to point and retrieve waterfowl. Its coat is a breeze to take care of with weekly brushing and the occasional bath. This breed is an excellent companion and family dog when it gets to expend its high-energy. This breed can hunt in the field all day, and owners must do their best to provide abundant outlets for exercise and mental stimulation, or these dogs may become anxious and destructive at home.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, thin coat comes in solid liver or liver and white

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 07 of 20

    Great Dane

    Great Dane

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    The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds, particularly in height. Weekly brushing with a rubber curry or bristle brush will keep its coat glossy. A true gentle giant, this breed is sweet, affectionate, and a wonderful house dog. Despite their size, Great Danes are generally calm indoors and don’t need a massive amount of exercise (a few daily walks is sufficient). Giant dog breeds like Great Danes have a much shorter life span than most other breeds.  

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 28 to 34 inches at the shoulder

    Weight: 100 to 200 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat comes in brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (white with black patches), or mantle (black and white)

    Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years

  • 08 of 20

    Greyhound

    Greyhound

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    Capable of running 45 miles per hour or more, the greyhound is known for being the world’s fastest breed. Naturally, greyhounds are very clean house dogs. The smooth coat sheds much less than some other short-haired breeds. It’s so fine and close to the body you might not even need to brush it—give this breed a good rubdown with a soft, damp towel.

    Don’t let all that speed fool you, though. 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. Italian greyhounds are a miniature version of greyhounds with the same kind of coat and qualities as their larger counterparts.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 27 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder 

    Weight: 60 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: 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

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years

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  • 09 of 20

    Ibizan Hound

    Ibizan Hound

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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. The short coat may be smooth or wiry. Both coat types are easy to care for—just brush once a week. Ibizan hounds are rabbit hunters, using their keen sense of sight to chase them down, leaping and pouncing for the kill.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hounds (AKC)

    Height: 22 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 45 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, coarse coat, which can be smooth or wiry, comes in solid red, solid white, or white and red patterns

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 10 of 20

    Miniature Pinscher

    Miniature Pinscher

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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 the older of the two breeds. This breed's smooth coat lies close to its body. Its coat needs brushing once a week with a soft bristle brush to bring out its luster.

    A member of the American Kennel Club's Toy Group, this “King of Toys” is known for its brave animation, self-assuredness, and proud spirit. Min pins have a unique hackney gait movement (they lift their feet high when they trot). Min pins are friendly but very small and best-suited for families with older, gentle children who can be careful with them.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 10 to 12.5 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth coat comes in solid red, stag red (red with some black hairs), black with rust markings, and chocolate with rust markings

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 11 of 20

    Pug

    Pug

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    The charming, sweet pug originated from China as far back as 400 B.C., where it was the treasured pet of Chinese emperors. The pug's short coat sheds a good deal. The more you brush them, the less hair will end up on your clothes or furniture. 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. A pug's most important job is to be your loyal friend and constant companion. They don't do well when left alone for long periods, but it's easy to bring them along on your adventures as they are small and portable.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 10 to 13 inches

    Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, short double coat comes in fawn (light yellow-tan with black ears and a black mask on the face) or solid black

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

  • 12 of 20

    Rat Terrier

    Rat Terrier

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    Farmers created the rat terrier in the United States, a very popular farm dog in the early 1900s. It comes in two sizes, miniature and standard. As the breed name suggests, these dogs were used for hunting and dispatching vermin—namely rats. The coat is short but sheds quite a bit. Brush more frequently to limit shedding hair in the house. Rat terriers are full of spirit, energy, and tenacity and won’t back down from a challenge. Because of their working background, rat terriers need more exercise than you might expect from a small dog.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 10 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder (miniature); 13 to 18 inches (standard)

    Weight: 10 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, shiny, short coat comes in pied patterns (one or more colors with large patches of white)

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 18 years

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  • 13 of 20

    Rhodesian Ridgeback

    Rhodesian Ridgeback

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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 caused by a strip of hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat. The ridgeback's short, smooth hair coat requires little care and only sheds a small to a moderate amount. Little more than basic routine grooming is necessary for healthy ridgebacks.

    The Rhodesian ridgeback is not a dog for first-time dog owners. They are large, powerful, independent-minded, and have a high prey drive. They need lots of mental stimulation, training, and exercise. 

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 70 to 85 pounds

    Coat and Color: short, smooth coat is light wheaten to red wheaten

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 14 of 20

    Weimaraner

    Weimaraner

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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” due to its ethereal silver-gray color and speed and endurance in the field. Grooming a Weimaraner is relatively maintenance-free. The sleek short coat will benefit from an occasional brushing with a rubbery dog brush to remove loose hair and a dog bath if it gets dirty.

    Weimaraners are exceptionally active and athletic, requiring a lot of exercise (running is ideal), training, and attention. Weimaraners are excellent family dogs and get along great with children when they get sufficient exercise.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 55 to 90 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, stiff coat comes in various shades of gray.

    Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

  • 15 of 20

    Mastiff

    Close-up portrait of purebred french mastiff,Barcelona,Spain
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    Mastiffs are a giant breed and gentle companions and family protectors that lack aggression, making them lovely family pets. The mastiff has a short coat that typically needs little more than routine grooming (regular brushing, bathing, and nail trimming). This breed is a moderately high shedder and big-time drooler. Although it's got short hair, the high shedding rate and drool combo make this breed not a good choice for people with dog allergies.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 27.5 to 30 inches

    Weight: 120 to 220 pounds

    Coat and Color: Coat is short and sleek. Colors are fawn, apricot, or brindle, all with a dark mask on the muzzle, ears, and nose

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 16 of 20

    Boston Terrier

    Smiling Boston Terrier
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    The Boston terrier's tuxedo-looking coat has gained this breed the "American Gentleman" nickname. This breed is known for being full of energy, fun-loving, clownish, and affectionate. The Boston terrier's smooth, short coat requires minimal attention; a brush once a week to lift out the dead hair is usually sufficient. They shed, but it is minimal in comparison to many other shedding dogs.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 15 to 17 inches

    Weight: 15 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, short coat with a white muzzle and chest; the rest of their body will be either black, seal, or brindle

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

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  • 17 of 20

    Vizsla

    Hungarian hound pointer vizsla dog in autumn time in the field
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    This Hungarian breed is known for its pointing and retrieving skills and is popular as loving, beautiful, active companions. Vizsla coats are not high maintenance. Their short coat only needs brushing weekly to lift out dead hair and keep the coat in good condition. They are not excessive shedders.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 21 to 24 inches

    Weight: 44 to 60 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, short, and dense coat; varying shades of golden rust in color

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 18 of 20

    Chihuahua

    Cute chihuahua puppy
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    The Chihuahua is a tiny but confident dog that loves to give and receive attention. This breed has two coat types: short and long. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas need little more than basic routine grooming due to their short hair whereas the long-coated variety requires more frequent grooming and hair brushing. Despite its diminutive appearance, ​the breed is bold with a big dog attitude in its mini body.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 6 to 9 inches

    Weight: 2 to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth coats or long-coated; colors include either solid or a combination of two colors; common colors are black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 20 years

  • 19 of 20

    Beagle

    the beagle stands in the grass with his tongue sticking out. Breed dog portrait. Dog on the walk in the park
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    The beagle is one of the most popular and recognizable dog breeds; it's Snoopy's breed. Beagles have short, water-resistant coats with a moderate to high rate of shedding. This breed requires basic routine grooming to keep beagles looking their best. Their coat doesn't pick up much debris, so it shouldn't need frequent baths. Beagles are energetic, carefree, and optimistic dogs, but they can have a stubborn streak. Beagles are a great match for active households.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 13 to 15 inches

    Weight: 20 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coats in all hound colors, including but not limited to tri-color (tan, black, and white), red and white, and lemon and white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

  • 20 of 20

    Daschund

    Dachshund running with ball
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    The dachshund is an energetic, lovable dog breed with an endearing personality. This breed has three different coat types: smooth, short-hair, long-haired, and wire-haired. Grooming needs vary based on the coat type. The long-haired variety requires daily brushing but does not typically need professional grooming. Smooth dachshunds have a higher shedding rate than other varieties. All dachshunds should have baths as needed. Doxies often have skin problems and may require baths more often. Despite its small size, the dachshund tends to be quite protective and alert and makes an excellent watchdog.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 8 to 9 inches

    Weight: 16 to 32 pounds

    Coat and Color: Coat varieties include smooth (shorthaired), longhaired, and wire-haired; colors are black, tan, fawn, beige, blue, chocolate, and red with various markings such as dapple, piebald, brindle, and sable

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Breeds to Avoid

If you're interested in short-haired breeds, then you likely want to avoid lots of hair accumulating around the house or frequent grooming appointments. The hairiest breeds tend to be spitzes, mountain dogs, or Scandinavian breeds. Spitzes like huskies and Finnish spitz are double-coated breeds that are built for frigid, Arctic temperatures. Mountain dogs like Bernese mountain dogs or Great Pyrenees likewise have long, thick coats to protect them from the elements. Other working dogs like herding dogs had long days, enduring through all types of weather, needing coats to stand up to the rugged terrain.