Every dog breed needs exercise, and some love a daily stroll around the park. As social and charismatic as they are, they shouldn’t be left alone for too long. They deserve care, affection, and, yes, a daily run in the neighborhood.
But, like humans, some dog breeds like to spend their time more on the couch than in a park, interacting and socializing with other dogs. That, too, is completely normal but can be harmful to certain dog breeds.
Before you consider adopting a dog, you must consider certain traits that will help you and your pup in the long run. It’s a fact that certain dog breeds like German Shepherds suffer from stress and anxiety if they are kept locked in for too long. While on the other hand, Bassets are forced to move into action and are as lazy as they come.
If you are busy in your personal life or you like to spend your evening binging on Netflix, the best choice between a Basset or a German Shepherd is obviously going to be the former.
Some dogs are innately lazy, while others are energetic yet easily fatigued. We have put together a list of the laziest and low-energy dog breeds to help you decide which one suits you best.
Low-Energy Dog Breeds
Pugs are among the most popular breeds in the UK, ranking fourth overall. Pugs’ popularity grew tremendously over the years, and you will often see them trolling around the parks or in your neighborhood.
Pugs are sweet, caring, and loving family pets. They are known for their great temperaments around children and strangers. Their docile character is often found to be linked to their lazy attitude. Don’t get us wrong; they do love going out, meeting, and engaging with people and dogs, alike. They just don’t like running much and will often be found loafing on the sofa.
Pugs’ low exercise attitude often leads to obesity and diabetes. And according to the AKC, keep their calorie intake in mind as they adopt a sedentary lifestyle.
The pug ranks fourth in popularity among dog breeds in the UK.
Many dog owners often take Greyhounds as energetic and athletic dogs. And the image established around them is nothing new. But, the reality is quite different. There’s no doubt they are athletic dogs and great runners, but that running spurt is short-lived. They tire easily and retire early.
There’s a reason why Greyhounds are regarded as total couch potatoes. They like occasional walks and a short run here and there, but they love their comfy recliners a bit more. And that also makes them one of the best apartment dogs.
Greyhounds are low-energy dogs and love spending time at home all day. But, they love their owners and can suffer from separation anxiety if kept locked up all day.
The Greyhound has a low energy level and is happy to spend the entire day at home.
3. Basset Hounds
Bassets are known for their stubborn and persistent personalities and can be a load full for newbie owners. Positive reinforcement training, however, works like a charm. They are not exactly the type of dogs who loaf around and can be active when necessary.
Bassets were bred as hunting dogs for small games like rabbits and other furry prey. But, now, they enjoy the comfort of a typical American household. They are great with children and will often be found nursing them.
Bassets are affectionate, caring, and loving family dogs who need moderate to low exercise. As they are lazy and often can be stubborn about running, they tend to gain weight easily. So, you must take them out on walks and runs around the neighborhood.
In the past, basset dogs were bred as hunting dogs for small furry games like rabbits.
4. Great Danes
Great Danes are also known as the “Apollo of Dogs,” and the reason is quite simple. They are one of the largest dogs and can easily tower any dog breed. On average, they reach a height of 32 inches at shoulder length and are taller than most people when standing on their hind limbs.
Danes are not as energetic as people make them out to be. They love spending their time in front of a TV beside their owners and often mark one of the couches as their own. So, if you don’t want them to rip open your favorite sofa, get them a comfy bed to loaf around on.
Danes may be huge and appear intimidating to most strangers, but they are caring and affectionate dogs. They make excellent family pets and are great with children but are not the preferred option for first-time owners.
Great Danes are affectionate and caring despite being huge and intimidating to most strangers.
5. English Bulldog
Now, this breed is one of the laziest dog breeds in the world. They tend to grow fat easily because of a lack of motion and exercise. You will often hear owners ranting about their Bulldog gaining weight and how difficult it is to drag them out from their couches.
Bulldogs are lovely pets and make great family dogs. They are stubborn and will have it done once they set their mind to something. They brim with energy, and their sprints are big but short-lived.
Bulldogs are social and friendly when need be. They will go for walks and exercise if they have a certain motive. Otherwise, get ready for a persistent attitude, as they will ensure both of you stay at home, curled up in a blanket, binging on Netflix.
There is nothing better than a bulldog for a family pet.
6. Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards are large, heavy-weight dogs, and as we know by experience, heavy-weight dogs tend to be slow and lazy compared to lean and fit dogs. Obviously, this is not a guarantee, but it is in the case of a Bernard.
Saint Bernards are quite popular in Europe and are wonderful apartment dogs. They were once used in a hospice in Switzerland, but now they enjoy the company of caring families. This gentle giant is often regarded as the “nanny dog” for small kids due to its gentle and affectionate aura.
Bernards grow fast as puppies, and the growth spurt can often lead to obesity at quite an early age. Moderate and low exercise is recommended for Saints, but a long run can be damaging for their health.
The Saint Bernard breed is quite popular in Europe and makes an excellent apartment dog.
7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavaliers are a social and friendly dog breed, always looking for some small fun activity. But, the activities are mainly limited to the inside. They are low-maintenance and low-energy lapdogs that love to spend their afternoons inside on a couch instead of running around the parks.
The trick to keeping Cavaliers happy is the human touch and fun activities, especially with their owners. They are affectionate, loving, and caring dogs that will do stupid stuff to gain attention and get easily stressed if they don’t receive much.
They are eager to train and easy to please, but don’t let them off the leash too often as they were bred as hunting dogs and will run off the second they smell something peculiar.
Human touch and fun activities are key to keeping Cavaliers happy, especially with their owners.
8. Chow Chow
As a result of President Coolidge, Chow Chow gained fame through its television appearance. Being bred as a hunting dog in China, it’s now found in various households across the US and makes a valuable addition to the family.
Chow Chows are a little low on temperaments and are often associated with cats based on their personalities. This hairy friend of ours is as lazy as they come. It will try to avoid exercises, training, and any physical activity, for that matter.
Experts don’t recommend adopting a Chow Chow as a new owner, as it can be difficult to train and manage them. They love their independence and are not the typical affectionate Fido.
The personalities of Chow Chows are often associated with cats since they have a low temperament.
Newfoundlands are classified as a large-dog breed and have a good work ethic. It may come as a surprise how many huge dog breeds are inherently lazy and slow. But, Newfoundlands choose to be lazy. When motivated, they are aggressive workers and fast runners.
Newfoundlands are wonderful family dogs and great around children. They need early socialization for them to turn out as all-rounded pets. Their temperaments are mainly based on their training as a pup and how well they are managed.
Newfoundlands gain weight aggressively and average more than 100 pounds as an adult. That makes them prone to obesity, and they are low-energy dogs, so expect them to spend their afternoons on their couches. Taking them out on occasional runs can be a hassle, so be ready for a little resistance. But these runs and moderate exercise are necessary to keep them fit and active.
As they grow, Newfoundlands gain a lot of weight, averaging 100 pounds as adults.
10. English Mastiff
The Mastiff is one of the most colonial dog breeds dating back over 5000 years. They may appear intimidating but possess a heart of gold. They are caring, affectionate, and docile dogs who are very protective of their owners. Don’t let this big muscular body confuse you, as they can be as slow and lazy as a sloth.
The Mastiffs, like any other large dog breed, are prone to adverse health effects if overly trained and exercised. Moderate to low exercise is the way with Mastiffs, and an occasional run around the park is advised. But, long runs or running up a hill can be bad for their bones and joints.
Classified as a toy dog breed averaging only 7 pounds, Maltese can easily fit inside your handbag. Don’t let their small size confuse you, as they are fearless and equally energetic. With their possessive qualities, getting close to their owners is very difficult without alerting them.
Maltese are petite and affectionate dogs. They greet and meet people and strangers alike and are welcoming of children. They make excellent apartment dogs, and with good training, their small sizes make them ideal for small children.
Maltese have low to moderate exercise requirements, and there are hardly any cases of them growing obese. They are energetic, but only with motive. Otherwise, they flourish with human touch and attention. They are quite comical characters with a knack for human attention. Expect them to keep you and your friends entertained throughout the evening.
It is customary for Maltese to greet strangers and welcome children alike.
Chihuahuas average 2-4 pounds, making them one of the smallest dog breeds. But their small sizes don’t account for their large attitudes and temperaments. Chihuahuas are known for their aggressive behaviors and hostility towards strangers. But, they are also quite famous for their possessiveness towards their owners, and their barks will let you know how they feel about you breaching that sacred bond.
Chihuahuas’ aggressiveness is mostly linked to poor socialization and training. In the right hands, they will turn out as well-rounded pets. But, there are a few qualities like possessiveness that is inherently present, and you can tame it but cannot remove it completely.
Chihuahuas love to spend their time attached to their owners, listening to a couple ranting on television. They like the pillow’s softness more than the ruggedness of the ground. And, it’s not entirely their fault, either. They are pampered dogs who enjoy things happening to them, and due to their low appetite, they rarely ever grow obese.
Poor socialization and training are the main causes of Chihuahuas’ aggressive behavior.
13. Shih Tzu
Also known as the “little lion.” But, the personality and temperament are markedly different from that of a lion. This soft and affectionate dog breed is not a hunter but a lover; if you meet one, you will understand why we say this.
Shih Tzu is a wonderful but rare family pet, and many compare it with the Maltese based on its size and appearance. It has a heart of gold, and the caring, affectionate side is quite visible around children. They are especially fond of them and enjoy playing around them.
They have low to moderate exercise requirements and are not energetic. A few minutes walk daily is enough to keep them fit and healthy.
Due to its size and appearance, many people compare the Shih Tzu to the Maltese.
The Pekingese is one of the few dog breeds bred for the imperial family of ancient China and has been considered a loyal and affectionate companion. They played two important roles for the family – one as lapdogs and the other as guardians. Yes, don’t let its small size confuse you, as it can be ferocious and aggressive when need be.
Pekingese fall under the category of companion dogs. They are suitable for owners with small apartments and the ones busy in their personal lives. They have moderate to low exercise requirements, so you won’t have to take them out on daily walks. The fact that they are great with children makes them excellent family pets. They are not only great with friends, but with strangers as well.
The fact that Pekingese is great with children makes it an excellent family pet.
15. Japanese Chin
Japanese Chins are one of the most laid-back dog breeds who like the comfort of a slow and lazy day. They are classified as a brachycephalic dog breed, which can’t withstand extreme heat, so care is required so as not to overexert them on a hot, humid day.
Chins are calm and friendly and don’t need extra grooming requirements. They are quite similar to their ancestors, i.e., Japan and China, in terms of temperaments and personalities. Like them, Chins are laid back and live a peaceful and comfortable life, away from all the world drama.
Chins don’t need extensive training and exercise regimes to keep them fit. They are low-energy dogs and can stay fit with a few minutes walk daily.
It is not necessary to groom chins more frequently since they are calm and friendly.
Papillon means “butterfly” in French and gets the name because of its long butterfly-shaped ears. They are not the average lapdog you may have perceived, but rather are content outside than being in their owner’s laps all day. They are energetic but tire easily and can be difficult to tame for first-time dog owners.
Papillons are quirky apartment dogs but can adapt to all sorts of environments. They are caring, friendly, and affectionate dogs who are easy to train with obedience training and love to be around their owners. If you are a dog owner who travels a lot on business trips, Papillon is a fine choice to have.
The Papillon is a quirky apartment dog that can adapt to any environment.
17. Lhasa Apso
This elegant and sentinel breed was originally bred in Tibet by monks to guard their monasteries and palaces in the highlands of the Himalayas. But, now, Lhasa Apso enjoys the comfort of an average household and makes a valuable family member. Being a guard dog, it’s wary of strangers and plays a great role in protecting its family.
Lhasa Apso is an independent and sturdy dog of an aristocratic bearing. They are difficult to train, and things can get out of hand if you can’t compete with their firm and sturdy attitude. They are not the dogs recommended for first-time owners. But, if you satisfy its needs, it can make a valuable addition to the team.
A Lhasa Apso makes a valuable family member and enjoys the comfort of an average household.
Whippets are smart and friendly with a high prey drive. They were hunter’s best friends and had been used for small games like rabbits and other furry prey. But, nowadays, they compete in games, runs, and agility training and are mostly loafing on the couches, enjoying the evenings.
Mainly, Whippets are easy to train, making them good guard dogs. But, they are comparatively lazier than other watchdogs with hunting prowesses. They are fast and energetic, but these bursts of pursuits are mostly short-lived, and they tire easily. A Whippet will most likely spend time at home dozing off rather than join the track as a runner.
It is easy to train whippets, so they make good guard dogs.
19. Irish Wolfhound
Another large dog breed with a high prey drive – Irish Wolfhounds are calm, friendly, and affectionate around children making them great family dogs. But, care needs to be taken if you have small pet animals like rabbits or squirrels at home, as they will most likely try to hunt them.
Wolfhounds thrive in a welcoming and friendly family. They can easily develop separation anxiety if they don’t receive enough attention from their owners. So, no matter how busy you are, do take out some time for your Fido from your busy routine.
In a friendly and welcoming environment, wolfhounds thrive.
Bolognese is known for their affectionate aura around children, family, and even strangers. They are calm and friendly and are known to get along with other dog breeds. They are not completely sedentary but don’t have an extensive workout requirement. They are calm, serene, and mostly inactive – dozing off next to their owners.
Bolognese loves their owners but can be quite stubborn during training as a pup. Instead of a harsh environment, positive reinforcement has proven to be fruitful, and hence, you should focus more on a healthier approach.
It is common for Bolognese to be affectionate with children, relatives, and even strangers.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.