Lazy dog breeds may be the ultimate solution for those folks wanting to reap the benefits of canine companionship without investing a whole lot in daily exercise. While it’s true that virtually all dogs require a minimum amount of maintenance and daily exercise, it’s also true that there are some dog breeds that are happy with a brief stroll around the neighborhood or some one-on-one playtime in the yard.
What makes these dogs suitable for people not eager in investing hours of vigorous exercise each day? For a good part, selective breeding has blessed these breeds with lower than average energy levels. While many dog breeds were bred for high endurance and stamina so they could work for a good part of the day, others were bred to help out with smaller tasks such as sounding the alarm, keeping intruders at bay or simply providing all-day companionship.
Who benefits the most from lazy dog breeds? The low energy levels of these dog breeds make them suitable for those who aren’t physically able to walk a dog every day and the elderly. Of course, they are also suitable for those who would rather have a dog snuggling on the couch for most of the day than hiking through the mountains.
The Top 10 Lazy Dog Breeds
While these dogs breeds have a reputation for being on the lower range of energy, it’s important to understand that there can always be genetic variances. Even among a batch of puppies of the same breed, occasionally one or two puppies may turn out being a tad bit different. It’s best to find a reputable code of ethics breeder who is willing to suggest a puppy that most closely matches the owner’s energy and needs. Having raised the puppies from birth, breeders know their pup best and can make the most appropriate recommendations.
With a history of being selectively bred to entertain the royal courts of the 16th century, this fluffy lap warmer loves attention and enjoys entertaining people with his antics. While the bichon frise’ is a very playful dog, his short activity bursts are often mixed with episodes of lap lounging and napping. This makes this breed a good apartment dweller who will be content with short daily walks and play. This breed is also easily trainable and may entertain family and friends with his tricks. As much as this breed is known for having a solar, cheerful disposition, it tends to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long. Dog owners with busy lifestyles may want to find a pet sitter or keep their bichon in daycare while they are away.
Despite being originally bred to drive cattle to the market and hold bulls for their butchers in the 1600’s, the modern bulldog of today is a totally different dog when compared to its ancestors. When bull baiting was outlawed, breeders selectively bred for a smaller dog with a much sweeter, loving temperament. The exercise needs of this dog are quite low; all they crave is a brief walk and unlimited snuggling time on the couch. Owners should be careful though: this breed’s lazy lifestyle along with its greedy eating may cause a predisposition to gaining weight quickly. Daily walks help keep bulldogs fit, but extreme caution should be taken in warm and humid weather as they tend to overheat.
It may seem odd to see a racing dog on the top lazy dog breed list, but for a very good reason Greyhounds are often affectionately nicknamed the “Forty-five mile per hour couch potatoes.” Yes, with a history of chasing jackrabbits over wide open plains, these dogs are very fast sprinters, but they have very little endurance and their favorite past time is sleeping. Because of their fairly low energy levels, greyhounds generally thrive with a 20 to 30 minute daily walk. Off-leash walks are a big no-no because of their strong, hard-wired desire to chase prey. Their short coat and Middle Eastern origin, can get them a bit chilly in the winter, so they’ll do best wearing a coat.
These curly-tailed pooches with a comical expression were much cherished by the Emperors of China and were often assigned luxurious accommodations. With a history of being bred as companions, pugs crave attention and love to warm up laps. When it comes to activity levels, these low-maintenance companions are more on the sedentary side and will be happy with a brief walk and some play time. If their exercise meets are not met, they’ll likely put up a show by entertaining their audience with some silly antics. Just like bulldogs, this breed’s low activity levels and love for food can cause them to gain weight and fast. And just like bulldogs, their short muzzles predispose them to overheating in hot and humid days.
Who said that only small dogs are low energy? Dog owners who want low activity levels in big packages will rejoice in learning that the majestic bullmastiff is a calm, low-energy dog. These gentle giants were originally developed by gamekeepers to stand guard and knock down poachers threatening England’s’ great estates. Despite their size, Bullmastiffs make good apartment dwellers that tend to not be overly concerned about being left alone as long as, at the very least, they get to spend some quality times with their owners when they’re home. They’ll generally be satisfied with a couple of short walks a day and a few minutes of jolly play time.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the world’s smallest dog with a history of living in ancient temples: the Chihuahua. Because these Mexican dogs are so small, simply romping around is already a work- out for them. All they need is about 20 to 30 minutes of activity a day. Walks, retrieving games and supervised romps in the yard will often suffix. It’s important though to make sure they don’t tire themselves out too much when they are puppies or when temperatures rise. However, failure to provide sufficient exercise and mental stimulation may lead to a bored and unhappy Chihuahua.
Pekingese dogs were bred as companions to the imperial royalty of China. With a history as such, these pampered dogs make dignified apartment companions. Even though they love a daily walk or a romp in the yard, their ultimate favorite activity will always remain snoozing on the couch, preferably on their favorite pillow. Indeed, these dogs can sleep for hours at a time. When they’re not sleeping or playing in the home, they may be seen chasing the occasional squirrel. As with any other dog, a securely fenced yard is a must to prevent them from casually wandering off.
Affectionately nicknamed the “Comforter,” the Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a noble history of being selectively bred as a companion for royal families. These dogs are easily adaptable, and as such, can virtually live in any environment as long as they are given some attention and care. When they’re not snoozing on your lap or receiving a belly rub, these royal companions are likely flushing birds out of a bush-- an innate behavior deriving from their ancient spaniel ancestors. While these dogs are moderately quiet indoors, they will be extra happy to have access to an outdoor yard. A daily walk or a happy play session in the yard will often do. This breed is always willing to match his activity levels to those of his owners.
Despite its past history as a herder, guardian, hunter and fighter, today the Chinese shar pei is just happy to be a loyal companion. This is a breed that is calm enough to live happily in an apartment. Chinese shar pei though need though loads of early training and socialization so they can learn from an early age to accept people and other dogs as normal members of society. A short daily walk will often suffix for this dignified breed. The rest of the day he’ll be happy to spend some quality time besides his owner.
If you’re enamored with Nordic breeds, but are intimidated by their high activity levels, you may like the Keeshond. Selectively bred to provide companionship on the many boats traveling through Holland’s canals in the 17th and 18th centuries, this breed is happy as long as it’s able to be part of all the family’s activities. The keeshond is glad to be anywhere the owners are and can even live happily in an apartment. A yard is fine as long as he won’t be left there alone too long. A daily vigorous walk will suffix for this breed that doesn’t require a great deal of exercise.
As seen, there are several low-energy dog breeds out there, but this doesn’t necessarily mean dog owners have to give up a breed if it didn’t make it on the list. Many of the more active dog breeds tend to significantly slow down as they age making them much more manageable from an activity standpoint. This is something dog owners should keep in mind in the event they’re considering adopting or rescuing a dog in need of a forever home.