So… you want a dog.
However, you are not sure if the dog you want is really the dog you need. Will your dog fit your personality and your activity level? Is it a low energy dog breed, or one higher strung?
It’s always a good idea to investigate factors such as these before you get a dog, so that whatever dog you bring home slides seamlessly into your lifestyle.
This means that if you are a relative couch potato, a rambunctious dog may not be the greatest option. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that whichever dog you choose won’t still need exercise and playtime each day, but it does mean that when you choose a low energy dog breed, their needs should be much less than their hyperactive counterparts.
Another consideration to keep in mind is who the dog is for (if not for yourself). If you happen to be getting a dog for someone who is elderly, you probably won’t want to get them a puppy or a hyper breed. You’ll want to steer them towards older, trained dogs with low energy levels, or pups of docile dog breeds that are naturally not very high maintenance.
Most dogs that are considered “lazy dog breeds” behave that way not because they truly are lazy, but because they are just built differently. They need less energy for their bodies to function optimally. In fact, overdoing it with exercise can be detrimental at times to these types of dogs, and wear them out.
Keep in mind any dog that you bring home will require a certain amount of “work.” While some dogs admittedly may be a little less work than other dogs, it doesn’t mean you can just bring a dog home and then forget about him.
If you do not intend to spend time with your dog, take care of your dog, ensure that he gets regular play and exercise (even if he is a low exercise dog breed), ensure he is properly groomed, and keep his health in tiptop shape, then you probably shouldn’t be getting a dog to begin with.
Think of it like having a child, except with four legs and fur. While there are still massive differences in that analogy, nevertheless having a dog is in many ways like having a child.
Make sure that you use wisdom in choosing the dog you decide to bring home, make sure he or she fits your lifestyle, and don’t assume that you can just make your lifestyle fit the dog. Too many dogs wind up abandoned and consigned to shelters for that very reason.
Here are 20 low energy dog breeds to choose from:
Don’t be misled, though these beasts are big, they aren’t particularly active. Great Danes love to cuddle, hog the couch, and spend the day lazing around and pretending they are lap dogs.
So, while they do require some room to move around in, their exercise needs are fairly minimal by comparison. However, that doesn’t mean they are opposed to a healthy romp outdoors. So, if you want to go for a nice jog, they shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping up.
Despite being known for their speed, Greyhounds are in fact quite gentle and laid-back. They too, love a nice long cuddle on the couch, and do not require huge amounts of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They definitely fall under the “docile dog breeds” category.
The ultimate “gentle giant,” Saint Bernards are patient and great with kids. They can however, be stubborn. However, although they may be stubborn, at least they are slow! Just be forewarned, they are droolers. And the more active they are, the more they tend to drool.
This large, low exercise dog breed is quiet and makes for an excellent guard dog. And just like Saint Bernards, Bullmastiffs can be stubborn, which does nothing to detract from their laziness.
Dogue de Bordeaux
This dog makes an excellent guard dog. Dogue de Bordeauxs tend to be extremely protective of their family, and though they are large, they are still relatively laid-back and do not require as much exercise as other breeds.
This breed is from a group of herd dogs that used to help farmers keep track of their goats and livestock. They are considered gentle and playful, though not particularly aggressive dogs.
They get along great with other animals, and while they do sometimes enjoy a nice long walk, your future jogging partner, they are not!
These dogs are considered one of the most mellow of dog breeds. English Bulldogs hate hot weather and long walks, but aren’t opposed to short walks or a quick romp outside.
They usually play very well with others, though they can occasionally be wary of strange dogs. Overall, Bulldogs are one of the low exercise dog breeds that make great pets.
Long, floppy ears aren’t the only part of these dogs that like to flop. Bassett Hounds are one docile dog breed that requires minimal exercise, as well as minimal grooming, and they make easy-going pets.
This is especially true for families with children. Just be careful, as their long backs can make them injury prone. It’s important to be gentle with them.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This dog is a smaller breed than some of the other lazy dog breeds. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are considered playful, but sweet and gentle as well.
They like walks every bit as much as cuddles on the couch, so they make great couch potato buds. They also tend to play well with others, whether that’s other pets or other people.
Pugs are confident and playful pooches, with a bit of a stubborn streak, but they remain relatively even keeled, and do not require too much exercise. Most of their needs are met indoors, which is good because they hate getting hot, and they definitely don’t enjoy being put through their paces.
These dogs like to stick to your side like glue, and don’t need too much exercise outside of following you around the house and tripping you every time you turn a corner.
Shih Tzus love cold weather, and dislike hot weather, so keep that in mind. Also remember they have quite the coat, which can require a bit of maintenance and upkeep.
English Toy Spaniel
These dogs are smaller than Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and as such, make great lapdogs. Most of the time the exercise they get running around the house is plenty, although they are not opposed to a romp in the yard or a short walk on occasion.
Though calm, lovable, and loyal with their family, English Toy Spaniels can be a bit aloof with strangers. This is one of the low energy dog breeds that is relatively rare however, so it may take you some time to find one.
Another relatively rare breed, this dog is believed to be a cross between a Maltese, Bichon Frise, and Coton de Tulear.
Though they do need daily exercise, they still make great lapdogs, and are considered one of the lazier dog breeds. Another plus is that they are known to be less yappy than most their size.
This breed is another one that tends to stick to their owners like glue, so watch where you walk! Japanese Chin can be a bit haughty at times, and almost cat-like in nature.
Sometimes they can be stubborn as well. Most of their exercise needs can be obtained indoors, though they do enjoy going outside for a short walk or a romp in the yard.
French Bulldogs are notoriously lazy. Though they do still need a daily walk, their exercise needs are relatively minimal and they make for a great apartment pets. Just be aware they are sensitive to heat and cold, so take that into your lifestyle considerations.
These are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, originating in China. Pekingese don’t like spending too much time outdoors because of all their hair and the heat, and they can be prone to heat stroke very easily. Plus, they tend to tire pretty quickly. However, they are very loyal small companions, and are one of the docile dog breeds of choice.
These dogs are also an ancient breed (to the tune of 4,000 years) and are known for not being too excited at the prospect of vigorous exercise and long walks. Lhasa Apso are one of the laziest dog breeds, and about medium in size. They are very lovable, and make great companions.
These dogs are extremely calm and quiet, especially for a terrier breed. They make excellent pets for families and the elderly, and their exercise needs are minimal. A short walk a day should do the job.
Bernese Mountain Dog
This dog is quite large, and is another member of the herding family. The Bernese Mountain Dog used to be one of those dogs that helped their owners take care of their livestock, but these days you’ll mostly find them lounging around spending time with their family.
Though these dogs look quite fit, they are not particularly active or energetic. Do not try to put one of these through their paces, they are not built for tough exercise.
These are another one of the more ancient dog breeds. A Chow Chow’s temperament can be snappy and fiercely protective, but they do make good apartment dogs because they are low key and don’t require too much in the way of exercise. It’s important to train them up from a very young age, as bad habits and aggressive behaviors can form if you don’t.
As you can see, there are quite a few low energy dog breeds that you can choose from, in fact there are plenty more that could have been listed.
Just keep in mind that even if the dog is considered “low energy” and “low maintenance” that doesn’t translate into “no” maintenance.
Every dog requires care and upkeep, they all need love and attention, and they all enjoy playtime with their people. They all require regular feeding and potty breaks, and sometimes they need medical attention.
If you aren’t willing to make those kinds of commitments, it may be best to hold off on getting a dog for a while regardless of temperament. If you do choose to make one of these low-energy dog breeds your future pet, you won’t find more loyal and loving companions anywhere.
- White, Tiffany. “10 Dog Breeds That Hate Working Out Just As Much As You Do.” BarkPost, 12 July 2018, Accessed 6 July 2017. www.barkpost.com/lazy-dog-breeds-apartments/.
- “Which of These 12 Low-Energy Dog Breeds Is Right for You?” Healthy Pets, Accessed 6 July 2017. www.healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/12/05/12-low-energy-dogs.aspx.
- Picard, Caroline. “The 15 Laziest Dog Breeds That Are Total Couch Potatoes.” Good Housekeeping, 21 Mar. 2018, Accessed 6 July 2017. www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/pets/g4837/laziest-dog-breeds/.
- “The Best Dog Breeds for Lazy People.” The Spruce Pets, Accessed 6 July 2017. www.thesprucepets.com/best-dog-breeds-for-busy-people-4145311.
- Kane, Kiki. “18 Least Active Dog Breeds for Lazy Dog Lovers.” Rover, 31 May 2018, Accessed 6 July 2017. www.rover.com/blog/least-active-dog-breeds-in/.