They say that sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie, and with the low energy dogs you’re about to meet in this guide, that’s certainly true.
Indeed, while welcoming a high-energy dog into your home can be a lot of fun, the pooches featured here today are far more likely to be content chilling out in a chair than chasing a ball or joining you on an epic hike.
While such a penchant for taking it easy may make these cool, calm, and collected canines some of the laziest dog breeds in the world, that in itself isn’t always such a bad thing.
After all, an athletic dog breed can make a wonderful dog breed if you have the outdoor space on your property for them to run around in and the physical capability to keep up with them. Yet if you’re living in an apartment with limited space, or if your own health and mobility issues mean you may struggle to give a buoyant border collie the care and attention their boundless enthusiasm warrants, then a low energy dog will be much better suited to you.
Without further ado then, here’s our guide to some of the laziest, most sedentary dog breeds you could ever hope to meet.
Top 10 Low Energy Dog Breeds
|Ranking||Name||Height||Weight||Life span||Breed size||Temperament||Origin|
|1||English Bulldog||12-15 inches||50-55 lbs||8-10 years||medium||Sweet, gentle disposition, gentle||United Kingdom, England|
|2||Bullmastiff||25-27 inches||110-130 lbs||8-10 years||large||Powerful, Docile, Devoted, Reliable||United Kingdom|
|3||Basset Hound||11-15 inches||55-74 lbs||10-12 years||medium||Sweet-Tempered, Tenacious, Friendly||France, Great Britain|
|4||Pug||11-14 inches||14-18 lbs||12-15 years||medium||Charming, Clever, Docile, Mischievous||China|
|5||Boston Terrier||9-15 inches||9-24 lbs||13-15 years||medium||Friendly, Intelligent, Lively||United States|
|6||Chow Chow||19-22 inches||55-70 lbs||9-15 years||medium||Aloof, Independent, Loyal, Quiet||China|
|7||Great Dane||28-32 inches||110-190 lbs||8-10 years||giant||Friendly, Devoted, Reserved, Confident||Germany|
|8||Newfoundland||26-28 inches||130-150 lbs||8-10 years||large||Sweet-Tempered, Gentle, Trainable||Newfoundland and Labrador|
|9||Shar-Pei||18-20 inches||45-60 lbs||9-11 years||medium||Suspicious, Devoted, Affectionate, Independent||China|
|10||Greyhounds||28-30 inches||61-100 lbs||10-14 years||giant||gentle, outgoing, anxious||England|
1. English Bulldog
Even if you didn’t know much at all about dogs, the stocky -some might even say podgy- the appearance of the adorable English Bulldog would certainly give you a hint that this is a breed not exactly known for their athletic prowess.
The bulldog tends to get easily exhausted and overheated if they do too much exercise, meaning they’d much prefer lounging around and having a good snooze rather than getting stuck into a good game of catch.
That said, though Churchill might be a bit of a lazy bones, his appearance can border on just the right side of intimidating to serve as a deterrent against intruders.
The best part is that their short coat means they require very little grooming, making them a great low maintenance pup as well as low energy one. So, if you don’t have the time or the energy for cleaning up dog hair, the English Bulldog may make the perfect pet.
If your idea of the perfect day is curling up on the sofa watching Netflix and expending as little energy as possible, the burly yet cuddly bullmastiff may be your perfect companion.
Though they do have a reputation for being a little confrontational towards strangers, they’re really big sweethearts who can be very affectionate around their family. Oh, and did we mention they’re one of the laziest dog breeds you’re ever likely to come across.
Give them a soft blanket and a suitable spot on the sofa and they’ll gladly doze the day away with you.
Though all that does make them a great choice for an indoor dog, keep in mind that bullmastiffs can grow to up to 27″ and 130 lbs, so they may not be suitable if you don’t have the space for -or the ability to cope with- a really big dog.
Finally, we should also point out that, as with most dogs, bullmastiffs will benefit from at least occasional exercise as it can be really beneficial for their long-term health.
3. Basset Hound
Much like the English Bulldog, the beloved Basset Hound is one of those pets that lets you know just how lazy it is from its very appearance.
Those big, droopy ears, sleepy eyes and short, stout stature all make this incredibly cute creature look as though they’d love nothing more than to spend their days doing as little as possible, and to that end, they certainly don’t disappoint.
Originally bred for hunting, the languorous basset will still perk up if it gets wind of a scent and makes for an excellent tracker dog. However, they’re far more likely to be found taking it easy on the sofa.
Their calm, gentle, and friendly demeanor not only makes them really laid back, it also means they make for a wonderful family pet who will get on well with young children and even other pets.
Be mindful, however, that as docile as they may be, Basset Hounds are also notoriously stubborn and not always easy to train, so you may find that you need to be firm and assertive with them when it comes to things like grooming or getting them to cooperate when you’re taking care of their health.
There may be more adorable dogs than the squishy Pug out there, but certainly not very many.
Sweet, friendly, and ever-so-affectionate, the playful pug is a popular indoor dog not only because their small stature (growing to between 10″ – 13″ and 14 lbs – 18 lbs) means they don’t take up a lot of room, but also because they cope better with the relatively mild, even temperature of an indoor environment.
Take them outdoors, and extreme cold or heat can play havoc with their health, even causing respiratory issues.
That’s not to say they can’t go outdoors, but if you want to take them out in colder weather, you might be wise to first wrap them up in a winter jacket and, if it’s too chilly, simply keep them indoors and save your adventure for another day.
5. Boston Terrier
The paunchy Boston Terrier is an affable, easy-going pooch who responds well to training.
Like the bulldog, has an appearance that is likely to put off any potential burglars, even though they’ll never know that beneath that formidable exterior lies a loving companion with a heart of gold and a sense of contentment that comes from doing the bare minimum.
Unlike some of the lazy dog breeds in this guide, your Boston Terrier will be much happier and healthier if they can get outside once a day, even if it’s only for a short 30-minute walk that will keep their weight under control and promote a positive mood.
You don’t need to go all out though. Take them around the block a couple of times and they’ll be perfectly satisfied to lounge around with you for the rest of the day.
6. Chow Chow
A firm favorite when we put together our list of ten dogs that look like lions, the gorgeously fluffy Chow chow originates from China where it was first bred as a working dog.
Today, however, the modern Chow Chow prefers to do as little work as possible and would much rather hang out on the couch with you.
Their unique appearance and large frame (weighing up to 75 lbs and up to 20″ in height) makes them a much sought-after hours pet, though choosing to own one isn’t a decision that should be made lightly.
That beautiful soft fur tends to shed an awful lot and the Chow Chow can be fiercely stubborn and independent, meaning they’re not only a challenge to train but also that they’re rarely in the mood for cuddles.
7. Great Dane
Unlike other low energy dogs, the gigantic Great Dane does prefer some level of exercise.
Investing in a good quality no-pull dog harness and taking them on a decent walk once a day should be more than enough though.
After that, they’ll be quite happy to hang out around the house, lazing around on their favorite dog couch or cuddling up with you on the sofa.
That’s probably a good thing too, as these enormous pets can grow to as much as 32″ in height and 175 lbs, so you probably wouldn’t want a dog of that size bouncing around your living room all day.
Due to their size, these big, friendly giants may not be ideal for small apartments, but if you have room for them they can make wonderfully calm and loving companions.
Often known as “the gentle giant,” the Newfoundland (or ‘Newfie’ as they’re affectionately known) can reach up to 150 lbs and stand as tall as 28″, making one of the biggest pets this guide. Still, Newfies aren’t just one of the largest breeds, they’re also one of the laziest, and might need a serious amount of encouragement to do any exercise at all.
OF course, a little bit of physical activity is going to be good for their health, but if they’re not in the mood for it, be prepared to spend ample time figuring out the best way to make them move.
While that might make Newfoundlands sound like quite stubborn creatures, the truth is they’re absolute softies with a heart of gold and a love of taking it easy.
Though their hefty size may not make them suitable for everyone, the fact that they love doing as little as possible can make them a good choice for anyone looking to adopt a low-energy pooch.
Much like the Chow Chow, the big, beautiful Shar-Pei was originally bred in China as a working dog before mellowing out over the years to become a low-energy dog breed with a perfectly calm temperament.
That’s not all they have in common with the Chow Chow. Both breeds can be tricky to train and be a little standoffish around strangers and other pets, but otherwise, they’re a very relaxed breed who make ideal indoor companions.
It often comes as a surprise to people when we tell them that the lightning-quick greyhound is a low energy dog breed.
Let’s not forget that these dogs can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, so how could they ever be considered lazy?
Although they’re capable of huge bursts of energy, such bursts tend to be quite short. Your average greyhound race typically lasts no longer than half a minute. The rest of the time, they’re generally calm and laid back.
Like the Great Dane, they will need exercise at least once a day, though this can be simply taking them to a local dog park to run around for a while. After that, they’ll be more than glad to spend the rest of the day curled up in your lap.
The Final Word on Low Energy Dog Breeds
There’s no denying that low energy dog breeds can make wonderful companions for some people. If you’re living in an apartment or simply don’t have space outside for your four-legged friend to run around in, then it’s always good to know that your laid-back pooch is content to stay inside and curl up on the sofa instead.
What’s more, if you don’t have the energy, strength, or physical capability to keep up with those boundless high-energy breeds, a chilled-out canine will help ensure you enjoy all the benefits of being a pet parent without having to over-exert yourself.
Even still, it would be neglectful of us not to mention that while there may be advantages to owning a bullmastiff, chow chow, or English Bulldog, and while it might be cute to refer to them as “lazy dog breeds,” that doesn’t mean they should be completely sedentary 24/7.
Dogs, like humans, require at least some form of physical activity on a regular basis to keep them physically healthy, to help them manage their weight, and even to promote positive well-being. So, while the dogs you’ve met above may not require an epic hike or endless hours running around the dog park, it’s still a good idea to ensure that they do get out and move about even a little.
After all, they can always go right back to chilling on the couch and watching Netflix with you after their walk.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.