Every dog I've heard of so far has to be walked.

Yet every cat I've heard of doesn't. They can just take care of themselves outside and you don't need to worry about them.

Are there breeds of dogs that have the cat-like trait of being able to take care of themselves, in the sense that you don't have to walk them?

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    I am not sure what you are asking here. For the most part dogs being outside alone is based on legal and neighborhood issues. If you live 50 miles from the nearest neighbor, pretty much any breed of dog can be outside unsupervised, Assuming you are not concerned about them being eaten by the wildlife. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 15:24
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    In addition letting cats out unsupervised is a questionable practice. Some related reading My cat seems to dislike the idea of morning walk. Should I continue? & How to let an indoor cat have some outdoors time safely? & Will owls attack small dogs? & What does it mean to “bell the cat”? Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 15:32
  • @JamesJenkins, cats seem to instinctively hide their feces, while any dog I've ever seen does not. This is the difference I'm talking about.
    – user56834
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 15:42
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    You are going to be more clear about exactly what you want. Are you looking for a breed of dog that will go outside on it's own (somehow) and bury it's feces like a cat (assuming you have not provided an indoor litter box)? You will also need to expand on your living arrangements, do you live in an apartment (city), home in neighborhood (suburb), or a large farm in the country? Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 16:19
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    @JamesJenkins, lol, I didn't think I'd have to say it so explicitly, but yes. That is what cats do, and they burry it underground as well.
    – user56834
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 17:52

3 Answers 3


If your goal is to not have to take a walk every day to get your dog the exercise it needs, then any small breed should get enough exercise running around your house/yard.

If you are looking for a dog that behaves like a cat, may I recommend just getting a cat.

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    Not quite true. They'll get some exercise, but you would need a seriously large garden/yard for even a small dog. We have a tiny dog (papillon/terrier cross, weight around 5kg) who has no problems keeping up on 10-15 mile walks; not only that, she kept up from the very first walk. We have a fairly large garden by UK standards (roughly 20m x 20m) and if we can't walk her then she'll run around chasing birds, but really she does need a good walk every day.
    – Graham
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 10:08
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    Slightly confusing wording in the first phrase: Every dog needs the amount of exercise it needs, just like you need as much food as you need ;)
    – phresnel
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 13:42
  • Haha, the amount of food I need is strongly correlated to the mass of my body. Believe me I eat way more than my 4 year old, even though I'm dieting. big dogs in general eat more than little dogs. Big dogs in general also need more space(often requiring a walk) to get their needed exercise than little dogs do. Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 17:32

Your question is clarified in the comments as

Looking for a breed of dog that will walk himself to the park and drop his feces under the bushes.

And the answer is Kind of...

Given sufficient freedom and room to roam, almost any breed of dog will do his business out of sight, and where neither him nor you are likely to step on it.

I used to live out in the country, on several acres surrounded by forest. I had a dog most of that time. For years I never had to scoop poop unless the dog was restricted to a small area for a long time. In fact once I had some of the acres fenced. I never even saw dog poop, they went out into the woods to do their business (go poop).

Your problem is legal. The term "Leash Law" applies here, it applies mostly to dogs, there are several posts on the internet about it but in short.

  • If there is a law, you have to keep your dog leashed, fenced or under direct control at all times
  • If there is not a law, and the area is developed your dog is subject to being impounded (taken to the dog pound) if it is not under direct control.
  • In the absence of laws or risks of impoundment, you are liable for any damage to people or property your dog does.

Theoretically the same laws apply to cats, in practice cats are at less risk of having these laws applied.

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    In addition, in many municipalities, there are also laws against leaving dog poo in public places. You're responsible for picking it up and throwing it in a trash can, and can be fined (at a minimum) for failing to do so.
    – Allison C
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 16:22

If you have a fenced-in yard, you can have really and dog breed you want, but you might be on poop duty.

That's just part of having a dog. Being unable/unwilling to walk the dog is a huge part of the exercise. Generally, though, they'll be likely to do their business in corners or out of your sight. If you want a dog with few needs, just get a cat. However, if a dog is a must, small breeds that get tired easily like Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, and especially dachshunds.

You may love dogs, but may be unable to house one, especially with no fenced-in yard, and that's perfectly okay. You may be suited to house cats.

Generally, exercise is a must for a dogs health. Taking the time to walk may be too much, but at least half an hour needs to be taken out of your schedule to play with them no matter which breed. It's unfair to the dog if you can't offer that.

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    dachshunds are a breed for hunting, I am not sure, if they are tired quickly ^^ Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 18:39
  • … and notoriously stubborn and independent. Being sent to a badger’s den is no business for the feeble.
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 10:37
  • @Allerleirauh they can't run long distances with their leg structure Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 14:49
  • The original Dachshund were bred for hunting rabbits (under and above the ground), badgers (bigger than them and with nobody to help or decide for them) and also to find injured wild animals. They have persistance and love to make walks 2 or more hours (not all running of course). There are even dachshund races... So they need a lots of energy! And only running until it heavy breaths will not be enough against boredom... And a bored dachshund is a pain Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 16:52

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