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Top Dogs for Working Owners

By: Alex Lieber

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Studies show that people are working more and relaxing less. And that's before we add on daily chores and family duties. For working people who want to own a dog, the time and effort can seem daunting.

In fact, a dog is time consuming – requiring daily care, exercise and affection. But some dogs can be considered "high maintenance" due to their personalities, grooming needs, energy level, possible medical conditions... and this only scratches the surface.

Other breeds are less likely to require as much time. Below is a list of 10 that are most likely suited to hard-working owners. We say "most likely" because every dog is unique and has his or her own needs.

If taking care of a living being is just too much work for your hectic lifestyle, you can get an artificial dog, such as Tekno, the robotic puppy. He walks, barks, yelps, cries and even does a few tricks. All you have to do is clean up spent batteries.

For the rest of us working stiffs, here's a list of real dogs that may fit your life:

Cairn terriers are small, sturdy dogs that are ideal either on a farm or in an apartment. They stand 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 14 pounds. Although they require daily grooming, there really isn't much dog there to groom. They are active, however, and will require a good, stress-relieving play session when you get home from work.

Dachshunds are a great first pet, if you don't mind their strong-willed personalities. Like the terrier, they do well with daily brushing, but are small enough so that it doesn't take more than a few minutes each day (dachshunds range from five inches to 10 inches from the ground to the top of the shoulder). However, you do have to inspect their floppy ears frequently to prevent infection.

Basset hounds were made popular by the "Hush Puppy" shoe advertisements, and their seemingly sad, droopy faces are one of the most widely recognized in the United States. Grooming care is minimal, but these consummate hunters require energetic play to avoid behavior problems.

Boston terriers are excellent companion pets, happy playing or just spending the day next to their owner on the couch after a hard day in the coal mines. The Boston terrier stands 14 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 15 to 25 pounds.

Greyhounds are sleek dogs mostly associated with the controversial sport of greyhound racing. But they also make great, all-around pets. They are grateful, affectionate and, contrary to what you might expect, don't necessarily want to run all the time – though some exercise is vital to their (or anyone's) health. Greyhounds are happy to sit next to you quietly as you collect your thoughts.

Shar-peis have a "wrinkled" appearance that is instantly recognizable. The shar-pei is easily housetrained. In a way, the breed's fastidiousness and attitude is a little like a cat's; they can be a little standoffish and will act like king or queen of the household if the owner lets them. Though they require less grooming than other breeds, they are quite active and need daily exercise.

Shih tzus are the opposite of the shar-peis. They require thorough grooming every day but their exercise needs are a lot less. To reduce the need for daily brushing, some people have the coats trimmed in a short terrier-like trim.

Manchester terriers require only a weekly brushing for a good grooming, but, like all dogs, require a brisk, daily walk or romps. They have a lot of energy indoors or out, so be prepared for some play after work.

For many hard-working people, the best pet to have is the all-American mutt, one that doesn't require any special treatment or grooming, just a daily dose of tender loving care and a good Monday Night football game.

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