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Standard Poodle being professionally groomed.
Rich Legg/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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Owning a dog is a huge commitment, but is arguably one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have in your life. While there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to choosing the right dog for you, you might find you’ll have to make some compromises. Temperament, exercise requirements, and level of maintenance are all important factors—nobody wants to bite off more than they can chew.

When it comes to grooming, some people are a little frightened by anything more than a bath in the yard or a weekly brushing. But grooming can be an incredible bonding experience for you and your dog, and you will likely find it’s not as difficult as you once imagined. If you’re looking for the perfect companion and are willing to put effort into regular grooming, you might find that these breeds are totally worth it.

1. Poodle

Two Standard Poodles, one white and one black, standing outdoors in the yard.
ivanastar/Getty Images Plus

Poodles of all varieties are thought to be high-maintenance, pampered dogs. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however. Poodles are very intelligent, social, and active dogs. All three varieties—the standard, miniature and toy—make suitable companions for someone looking for an energetic, friendly companion.

Originally developed as hunting dogs, Poodles make great running, swimming, and walking partners. Although they may need professional grooming, Poodles make very rewarding companions.

2. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise at the National Obedience Championship.
David Woo ©American Kennel Club

Bichons are very cheerful dogs, enjoying the company of friends and family, as well as making new friends. Their playfulness and energy make them great companions for families with children of all ages. Bichons desire to be with their owners at all times and do best when taken on outings.

3. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound running after a lure in Fast CAT.
Mark Baer
Afghan Hound running after a lure in Fast CAT.

Although somewhat aloof and dignified with strangers, the Afghan is very clownish and playful with friends and family. They bond closely with their families and enjoy being near their owners at all times.

4. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog standing in profile outdoors.
©Zottelhund -

Active and intelligent, the Portuguese Water Dog makes an excellent choice for active families with children of all ages. Having hair rather than fur, their coats continually grow and, therefore, require regular brushing, bathing, and trimming. They shed very little, however, and are known to be somewhat hypoallergenic. Portuguese Water Dogs excel as running partners, swimmers, therapy dogs, and even competitive agility and obedience dogs.

5. Puli

Puli herding in a pasture.
Katinka Bakos/Shutterstock

That said, Pulik make outstanding companions. They are extremely active and intelligent dogs that enjoy spending time outdoors with their families and do well in dog sports like agility. Pulik make great companions for children of all ages.

6. Komondor


Komondors are deeply loyal and affectionate with their families and gentle and patient with children that are part of their “pack.” Due to their livestock guardian heritage, they are wary of strangers and remain protective of their families.

 At AKC Marketplace, we can help you find your dream dog. You can find AKC-registerable puppies from responsible, passionate breeders, and we provide the tools you need for every step of the process. Visit to start connecting with dog breeders in your area!

Related article: What Are the Corded Breeds and Why Are Their Coats Like That?
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