Many people prefer short haired dogs because they are easier to groom and bathe. But, when it comes to the best short hair dog breeds, they are not all alike, and some may have more cons than pros. Personality traits, shedding habits, and health issues can differ from breed to breed.
Generally, dogs with long coats are much more grooming intensive. Their hair gets matted and tangled, they may need regular haircuts. Bathing and brushing long haired dogs is also more complicated and time-consuming when compared to best short hair dog breeds.
If you're looking to adopt a dog that's easier to groom and sheds less, the below top picks for the best short hair dog breeds will have several options for you to choose from. There is a dog for every type of situation on this list, but remember to consider other traits of a dog and not make your pick based on his coat length alone.
20 Best Short Hair Dog Breeds
top picks of dogs that are easiest to groom
The first on the list of any best short hair dogs is always Beagle, a famous and popular breed known for many other positive traits. The baying of the Beagle is unmistakable. This traditional hunting dog has found its way into the hearts of many pet owners today.
Pros – This breed is usually friendly with kids and other dogs. In fact, they love playing, which makes them a great choice for families with kids. They have a strong prey drive, so they will probably not be a cat’s best friend. An intelligent breed, the Beagle adapts well to apartment living.
Cons – These stubborn dogs are hard to house train. Crate training for a full year is recommended. Beagles will need training to curb their howls and barks as well. These are energetic hounds, so they will need frequent walks and playtimes. As with other scent hounds, if they catch a scent they will do almost anything to follow it. Always make sure your Beagle has a secure fence and leash.
2 Black and Tan Coonhound
This All-American dog is one of the few breeds that were bred and made in America. They are one of the rare dog breeds that are related to other Coonhounds who are known as some of the best hunting dogs on the planet among other positive traits.
Pros – This is one of the friendliest dogs out there. The Black and Tan Coonhound loves everyone and everything – cats, dogs, kids, company, and even strangers. This is an extremely healthy breed that can tolerate any type of weather. They are very brave dogs and will be ready to follow their active owner into any situation.
Cons – Although this is one of the best short hair dog breeds, they do shed quite a bit. This Coonhound follows its nose, so it needs a sturdy fence and a strong leash. The Black and Tan has a lot of energy and needs help to expend that energy with plenty of walks and playtime. Their high-level of friendliness means they are not very good watch dogs. If you get one of these dogs, he will need bark control training.
The Bloodhound dogs have made a name for themselves by first becoming the number one hunting dog, and then advancing into other working dog “career” paths. These intelligent dogs are often part of in police work and search-and-rescue organizations.
Pros – Bloodhounds have easy to care for coats. They are rugged and tough and can do well in all sorts of climates. This is another family friendly dog that will love your other dogs, cats, and kids. Bloodhounds have terrific noses; therefore, they are great with owners who hunt or have other animals that sometime need to be found.
Cons – Bloodhounds shed and drool. They are a very active breed that needs room to run and a lot of exercise. Like the Coonhound, they do not do well in apartments, and they don’t like a lot of alone time. Bloodhounds follow their nose, so they need a sturdy fence and leash. While they are intelligent, they are also a little stubborn and need a firm trainer.
4 English Foxhound
English Foxhound is yet another dog breed that has a long history of being loyal and effective hunters, and they're very easy to groom. If you loved the cartoon movie The Fox and the Hound, then you are familiar with the animated version of this breed.
Pros – These little dynamites love to play and are great with other dogs and kids. They have a lot of energy for the active outdoorsy type. While most owners report that they are fine cats, you may want to monitor that relationship closely at first as Foxhounds were originally bred as hunting dogs. If no one is home on a frequent basis, this is a dog that tolerates being alone well.
Cons – Foxhounds are prey driven animals. They need a secure fence to keep from following their nose, or the neighbor’s cat. These pooches have high energy and need a large yard or daily walks. Although this breed tolerates being alone pretty well, they are destructive when bored.
You've probably noticed a trend here that many of the best short hair dog breeds are related to hunting. Unlike the scent hounds, the Whippet is a sight hound. Similar to greyhounds, they follow their eyes – not their noses.
Pros – Whippets are an intelligent, obedient breed making them easy to train. Although they are a common racing dog, they love lounging around. This breed is great with kids, but not so great with other animals. Dogs of this breed are usually playful outdoors and calm indoors.
Cons – While this breed does like to lay around, they do need daily exercise in a yard. They usually have short bursts of energy. Whippets jump and run very fast, so they need a secure fence and harness. Because they are sight hounds, their tendency is to chase everything that runs.
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6 French Bulldog
CBS rates the Bulldog #6 on its top ten list of dogs in the USA. Their popularity has really exploded in the last 15 years, and over the years they've slowly grown to be one of America's favorite dog breed for many reasons.
Pros – These dogs are curious and lively. Owners say they are really entertaining. Frenchies are not just one of the best short hair dog breeds, they aim to please as well, making them easy to train. This breed is very friendly and does well in homes with kids and other pets. They have an average energy level and a low bark desire.
Cons – French Bulldogs, or Frenchies as they are also known, do not like being left alone. They do better in a home where someone is usually home. They do not tolerate temperature extremes very well, so use caution in outdoor activities. The French Bulldog is known for shedding, drooling, and flatulence.
7 Rhodesian Ridgeback
The very beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the easy to groom dogs. This breed is also great for people looking for a large, good-looking dog with many positive traits. They were bred to hunt lions and other predatory animals for farmers and ranchers in Africa.
Pros –These powerful dogs are great if you are looking for a dog that lives primarily outdoors. These dogs are friendly and intelligent. This easy to maintain species is highly energetic, making them perfect for the outdoorsy family.
Cons – They are rambunctious as puppies and may run over toddlers and babies. The Ridgeback is a large, powerful, and independent breed; so, they need effective, experienced training. Dogs in this breed that are not trained and socialized properly can become aggressive. They retain the prey drive and love to wander and roam. For this reason, they need a strong fence and a strong handler. If bored, they can become destructive.
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8 Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Pinscher is one of the best short hair dog breeds and easy to groom dogs for several reasons, and they make a great dog for people who love the look of the Doberman but not the size or the aggressiveness level of a standard Doberman Pinscher.
Pros – The “Min-Pin” sheds very little and has a short, easy-to-groom coat. They don’t like strangers which makes them a good watch dog. The size and low bark tendency of this breed makes it great for apartment living. These intelligent dogs are easy to train as long as you let it know from the beginning that you are the boss.
Cons – This breed is active and has lots of energy. It will need playtime and walks a couple times a day to avoid adverse behaviors. The “Min-Pin” does not tolerate cold weather well, so if going outdoors in the cold, it will need a sweater. These dogs do not always do well with children and other dogs, although they usually do ok if they are raised around them.
9 Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier is one of the favorites of small dog breeds as well as the best short hair dogs that are easy to groom. These little dogs do better with alone time than most other small dogs. They are known for their “tuxedo” appearance and sophisticated look.
Pros – These small, friendly dogs adapt well to apartment living as long as they get regular walks. They are a friend to all and do well with kids and other pets. Boston Terriers are sensitive to their owners and are easy to train. They are a healthy, hardy breed that tolerates temperature changes fairly well.
Cons – They are quite energetic and need lots of play time and walks. Boston Terriers love to follow their nose, so make sure they are on a secure leash before leaving your home or opening the car door.
Shar-Pei is one of the more unique looking dogs but they aren't rare due to their growing popularity in the U.S. over the last few decades. If the breed name isn’t recognized, they are immediately recognized by their massive, numerous wrinkles.
Pros – These dogs tolerate alone time extremely well, making them great for the busy single. These dogs do not have a lot of energy and do not need a lot of exercise. If you are looking for a couch potato dog, this is it.
Cons – This breed is a little aloof, and they don’t do well with kids or other pets. The Shar-Pei will need training to curb their desire to bark and chew things. If you want a dog that loves to play and take walks, this may not be the dog for you.
11 German Pinscher
German Pinscher is a medium size dog falling between the size of the Miniature Pinscher and the Doberman Pinscher. There is no doubt that they are one of the best short hair dog breeds and are fairly easy to groom, but there are a few drawbacks to them as well.
Pros – This dog was bred to be a working dog and is highly intelligent and easy to train. The “Standard” Pinscher is brave and self-possessed, so it does well with alone time. This tough breed can live in moderately hot and moderately cold weather. They are a healthy breed that is easy to care for.
Cons – These dogs have high energy and intelligence, which means they need lots of exercise and challenging play. Although they make excellent guard dogs, they need firm, experienced training to avoid becoming overly aggressive. The German Pinscher generally does not do well in families with children and other pets.
12 Great Dane
Great Danes are famous for their size, and many like to say that if you love horses, then this is the breed for you. They actually do grow to the size of a small horse. They may be one of the best short hair dog breeds, but they aren't suitable for every owner.
Pros – Great Danes are loving, loyal dogs. They get along well in houses with other pets and kids. They are of average intelligence, but very easy to train. These giants are very active and playful, so they fit right in with the active family that loves to play.
Cons – Almost every con with the Great Dane has to do with size. They can very easily knock over kids and everything else around the house, although they are great with children in general. They need an experienced trainer to effectively train them in manners while they are still small enough to handle. This breed grows a large amount over a short time, so when training, playing, or exercising, never push them past their limits.
Basenji is one of those rare, unique dogs who're becoming popular. They're an ancient breed that is said to have been bred by nature. People either love them, or hate them. While they are one of the best short hair dog breeds, they are a high maintenance breed.
Pros – These little dogs tolerate being alone very well. Known as the “barkless” dog, they are also great for apartment life. They have short hair that rarely sheds and is easy to maintain. These little guys do great in the warmest of the warm climates. They are very affectionate and are good in homes with other kids – both human and furry.
Cons – When alone, you should leave toys and even puzzles, as the Basenji can become destructive if bored. This dog is a runner and needs to have an escape-proof fence. The dogs in this breed are also high-energy; they need lots of walks and playtime.
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14 Australian Kelpie
Australian Kelpie is a rare dog breed and you'll seldom find owners in the U.S. who own one. This is another working breed, and this dog does great on farms and ranches.
Pros – These dogs have excellent stamina and make great companions for joggers and long distance runners. These dogs are a popular “seeing-eye” breed. They are easy to train and can learn vocal commands as well as hand signals easily. They are attentive to their owner; always watching them for the next command. Kelpies do well with kids and other animals, but they will need to be taught manners.
Cons – These dogs are athletic dogs and they do not do well in apartments or homes with small yards. If they cannot get enough exercise and stimulation, they will become destructive. Kelpies are hearding animals and may chase other dogs, joggers, kids, and cars. They need a firm, experienced trainer.
Another hunting breed, the Vizsla is one of the best short hair dog breeds that doesn't shed very much and may be easy to care for, depending on your goals and needs.
Pros – The Vizsla is very friendly and does well with other pets, kids, and strangers. In fact, they are one of the friendliest dogs out there. They are intelligent and sensitive to the needs of their owners making them extremely easy to train. This playful breed is great for the family with active kids.
Cons – This breed does not like to be alone. If left alone for too long, they could have destructive behaviors and problem barking. In fact, the Vizsla loves to bark and will need training to curb the noise. These are incredibly active dogs and do not do well in apartments or houses with small yards. The need room to run free.
Many owners confuse this dog breed with the famous Beagule, because the Harrier looks exactly like a large version of a Beagle and is one of the rarest dogs in the AKC register.
Pros – The dogs in this breed are extremely tolerant of weather extremes. They are ancient hunting dogs well suited for most climates. The Harrier is very friendly with kids, other pets, and people. They are a hardy breed that is easy to maintain and may be one of the best dog breeds for first time owners (provided you can find one).
Cons – These dogs have short hair, but they do shed quite a bit. They will need training to curb their bark and prey instincts. This playful, energetic breed needs room to run and exercise. If this dog gets out of its fence, you may find it in the next town over. They love to run and follow their nose.
Despite the fact that movies made them famous, Dalmatians is another ancient breed whose origins are spotty. They are believed to be ancient dogs of war and today they are very popular working dogs, often adopted by fire departments and police.
Pros – Independent and intelligent describe the dogs in this breed. This makes them a good breed for families that will have to leave them alone for longer periods of time. Dalmatians are reserved around strangers and make good watch dogs. These easy to train dogs are great for an active family.
Cons – Not good for apartment living, Dalmatians are active and need regular walks and room to run. This breed is known to have some possible medical issues such as deafness. These dogs can be aggressive if not trained properly. They do not always get along well with kids and other pets.
Weimaraner is best known as a great gun dog with skills to show for it. These active dogs are one of the worst breeds for apartment living, even though they are one of the best short hair dog breeds you can adopt. They need lots of exercise – physical and mental.
Pros – This breed is highly intelligent and loyal making them easy to train. They love to play and exercise making them great for active people. The “Weim” does well in hot and cold climates, but they can tolerate hot climates better. Another good watchdog, this breed is apprehensive toward strangers.
Cons – These high-strung dogs can bark and get destructive if left alone. Socializing them from a young age is a must to keep them from becoming fearful and aggressive. The Weimaraner doesn’t naturally like kids or other pets, they need a “pack leader” owner who is an experienced trainer.
Everybody knows Boxers and they're one of the most popular dogs in America. This breed has an imposing stature that doesn’t match its personality. While they are one of the best short hair dog breeds, they may kill furry little animals if they are not trained.
Pros – This affectionate dog is very friendly with family, including kids and other dogs. Boxers are intelligent and easy to train. They are average in their desire to bark and roam. This energetic dog will adapt to apartment living as long as they get plenty of exercise.
Cons – The may make strangers feel timid with their muscular body, but they don’t really make good watchdogs because of their friendliness. Boxers like mild climates, so care must be taken when going outside in cold or hot weather. These pups really do not do well when left alone for long periods of time.
The English Mastiff is large and dangerous looking dog. But these gentle giants are one of the best short hair dog breeds, and they are far removed from their war-loving ancestors. Another dog of war, the English Mastiff has come a long way to be the loving dog today.
Pros – The English Mastiff is a great dog for families with kids and other pets. These are territorial dogs that make great guard dogs. While affectionate to family and friends, they do not like strange people and animals coming around. Dogs in this breed have short hair and shed an average amount. They have lower energy which makes them need less exercise.
Cons – The dogs in this breed tolerate cold weather well, but aren’t built for hot weather. Mastiffs have a low intelligence and are a little stubborn. They need an experienced trainer. A dog in this breed will weigh well over 100 pounds, so training needs to start in puppy-hood before they are too big to handle. This breed is known to drool.
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