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Lazy Dog Breeds - The 9 Best Options for Less Exercise

Over 300 dog breeds are recognized worldwide, and they all have something a little different to offer prospective owners.

If you're looking for a loyal guard dog, a regular running mate, or a cuddly couch potato, there is a special dog out there well-suited for any lifestyle.  

Some laid-back dog breeds don't need or want as much exercise as the typical dog. These breeds may be perfect for older people or those with a less active lifestyle. 

A mismatch between breed and owner can lead to a restless dog and frustrated owner, so it's essential to do your research and get the dog that will be just right for you. 

If you're looking for dog breeds that are calm, read our list below of the best lazy dogs you can adopt. 

Match your dog to your lifestyle

The first step to dog ownership is to take a good, hard look at your lifestyle and needs. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much walking will I be doing every day?
  • Am I mostly moving or am I couch-bound at home?
  • How often am I home to exercise the dog?
  • How big is my house/apartment?

Use your answers to these questions and compare them to the mellow dog breeds below to find your perfect fit. 

Energy levels and aging dogs

If you live a low-energy life but have your heart set on an energetic breed, you have another option. 

Adopt a senior dog. As dogs age, their energy levels fall drastically. If you want a Lab, for example, but are worried about exercise, find a Lab that is in their later years that fits your energy and mobility. 

You get to provide a pup with a beautiful end to their life, and you get the kind of companionship you're looking for, so it's a win-win!

Lazy dog breeds

If you've decided a less active dog is the right fit for your life and you want to get a puppy, you're in luck. There are low-energy dog breeds of all shapes and sizes, from a tiny toy pup to a massive Great Dane. 

Most lazy pups like to sleep on the couch beside us, or even in our laps while we’re home. They also tend to be small-sized breeds, so getting some tools like a dog ramp for couch will allow your lazy doggo to have some independence to come and go as they please without stressing their joints. 

We've listed our favorite laziest dog breeds below that would be an excellent match for a low-energy owner!

Breed #1: Basset Hound

These short, stubby little buddies have the sweetest set of massive, floppy ears you've ever seen. 

They're gentle, incredibly loyal, and love to laze around all day long, making them one of the best lazy dog breeds for apartments. They don't need much space but beware as they can have a deep, ferocious-sounding bark. 

They need up to 1 hour of gentle exercise per day and a healthy diet to prevent excessive weight gain. 

Breed #2: Saint Bernard

These sweet, gentle giants are well-known for being fantastic with children. They don't like to be left alone - these dogs suit well for an owner who is home quite often. 

A Saint Bernard is a huge dog that believes he is a lap dog. They love to cuddle up and lean into owners, so they might not be an excellent fit for an older person with less strength and a more fragile body.

Despite their massive size, these dogs are prone to bone issues and need minimal exercise, up to 1 hour of gentle walking each day. Avoid high-impact activities to protect their bones. 

Breed #3: Greyhound

One of the best dogs for lazy people are greyhounds, which might come as a surprise since they're most well-known as incredibly agile racing dogs. 

They are highly intelligent, making training a breeze. Greyhounds sleep approximately 18 hours a day and are an incredibly quiet housemate. These dogs don't do well with cat companions, who they may mistake as tempting prey. 

They need an hour of exercise each day. 

Breed #4: Great Dane

Great Danes are one of the friendliest calm dog breeds. They live well with other pet companions and are very gentle around children. 

These massive dogs require very little grooming and maintenance and will do best in a larger home with space for them to laze around. One downside is their shorter lifespan, living 6 to 9 years on average. A Great Dane is also prone to disease; their number one cause of death is cancer.

An adult Great Dane requires 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. 

Breed #5: Chihuahua

These teeny-tiny couch potato dogs do not need to go on miles-long walks every day. They are uber-protective and loyal to their owner, almost to a fault. 

Their temperament often reflects their owner's personality, so they're best-suited for friendly and outgoing people to avoid picking up an aggressive attitude. 

Their little legs only need to be exercised for 30 minutes each day. 

Breed #6: Pug

If you're looking into calm breeds of dog, look no further than the pug. These little guys are the epitome of chill, do well in apartments, and are very quiet. 

They do not need much exercise yet still have a playful personality, so buy them a few chew toys. Pugs don't like to be left alone, so skip this breed if you'll be away from your house for the majority of the day.

A pug needs about 40 minutes of exercise daily. 

Breed #7: Bulldog

Bulldogs look intimidating, but they can barely keep their eyes open - they love to sleep all day long. They're friendly and patient, making them an excellent fit for a family with babies and children. 

They don't love much exercise as they're prone to activity-related health problems in their hips, as well as heatstroke, bad eyesight, and breathing problems from their flattened snouts. 

Bulldogs do best with 20 minutes a day of walking exercise. 

Breed #8:Havanese

These fluffy, white pups are incredibly smart and very social, preferring to live in homes where they won't be left home alone for too long.

Friendly, kind, and easily trainable, these dogs are a fantastic, low-maintenance pet, perfect for a first-time or senior dog owner. 

They are on the smaller side and prefer couch cuddles to exercise. A Havanese only needs 30 minutes of exercise per day. 

Breed #9: Shih Tzu

These tiny, sweet dogs are alert and at the ready most of the day. They're social, getting along well with other dogs and children. Shih Tzus make an excellent pet for any small home, but they can get pretty loud and require training from an early age to prevent excessive yapping and barking. 

Their long hair doesn't shed but requires a bit of grooming. For those that don't want to deal with grooming, getting a puppy cut will keep their hair short and manageable. 

A Shih Tzu needs 30-40 minutes of exercise each day. 

Final notes: the laziest dogs to own

Being a less active person doesn't mean you need to let your dog ownership dreams float out the window. 

These are the top 9 best lazy dog breeds, but plenty of other dog breeds don't need a ton of walking and running exercise each day. 

Create a list of must-haves for your dream dog and refer to this list when you're choosing a furry friend to take home.

Don't forget about the option to adopt a senior dog that needs the right home. The upside to adoption is getting to visit the shelter and meet each dog one-to-one. You get a perfect feel for the pup's general temperament, personality, and energy level and whether they will be a good fit for you.

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