21 of the Most Popular Low-Energy Dog Breeds

Last Updated on April 21, 2023

Are you looking to bring home a new furry friend but don’t have the time for long walks and energetic pups running around your living room?

All dogs are individuals, and they all need some sort of exercise and activity, but some breeds would prefer to lay on the couch and cuddle with you.

Keep reading to learn more about these beloved low-energy dog breeds.

A Chow Chow lying on a rug
The fluffy Chow Chow

How Does a Dog’s Energy Level Affect You?

A dog’s energy level affects you in more ways than one. Exercising and playing with your doggo allows you and your pooch to bond and spend quality time with one another.

You’ll want to ensure that you can meet the needs of your dog, including ample exercise.

If you’re not home often to take your dog for a walk and set aside an hour of playtime, then that’s not fair for your dog. They won’t get the physical or mental stimulation they need to thrive.

In some cases, you might come home to some destroyed furniture.

Your dog’s energy should match your energy. For example, if you go for many hikes and jogs, you’ll want a high-energy pup and can handle going for long hikes with you.

Alternatively, if you prefer to be in for the night after work and settle on the couch, then you’ll want a pooch that will happily cuddle with you.

If you get a high-energy dog for a low-energy family, then your doggo will surely cause problems because they won’t know how to release their pent-up energy.

High-Energy vs. Low-Energy Dog Breeds

Believe it or not, size doesn’t matter when it comes to a dog’s energy levels.

It may seem like small dogs can’t have high energy because of their size. So you don’t want to overextend their physical needs. But there are small dog breeds that are high-energy or low-energy.

The same goes for large dogs. Not all are calm. They may not exercise for as long due to their size, but some gentle giants can be high-energy or low-energy.

Are there any dog breeds that are actually “lazy?”

A French Bulldog wrapped in a blanket
Source: @smarty_marley / IG

While some dog breeds may seem “lazy,” this trait doesn’t exist. Therefore, it’s important to research their breed and the type of care they require when you get a dog.

This involves grooming, temperament, and, of course, energy levels. However, no two dogs are alike.

Every dog is its own individual and, depending on its personality. For example, they may have higher or lower energy needs. In addition, they’ll adapt to your household.

For example, if you’re an active family that’s out and about a lot, your doggo may want to join in on the adventures.

But, on the other hand, if you’re sitting on the couch most Friday nights, you can bet your pooch will be lying right beside you.

However, all dogs need some sort of stimulation, whether it’s mental or physical. So they’ll still need to stretch their legs and stay fit with short walks or brief playtime sessions.

So, there are no lazy dog breeds. There are just some dogs that have a higher energy level than others.

What are the Most Popular Low-Energy Dog Breeds?

A Pug puppy in a woman's arms
A Pug puppy cradled by its owner

Small low-energy dog breeds

What are small dogs low-energy? First, let’s look at some of these toy and small dog breeds that won’t require much exercise.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel playing with toys
Source: @harvey.hazelthecavs / IG

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are hunting dogs first and foremost. They have a high prey drive and can fit in well with an active family.

However, they adapt well and will be just as happy with a household that isn’t out and about. This gentle pooch will be perfectly content being a couch potato with you.

2. Chinese Crested

A Chinese Crested dog with its toy

The Chinese Crested dog is a non-shedding, low-energy pooch. They are loyal, affectionate, and will fit in with just about any household.

This small dog would rather relax with you at the end of the night overexercising. They could use a brisk walk or brief play session once in a while to keep them fit, but they’ll prefer cuddles. 

3. French Bulldog

A French Bulldog sitting down
Source: @the_frenchie_called_reggie / IG

French Bulldogs have a short snout which can make it difficult for them to breathe with a lot of activity. So while they’ll need daily exercise to keep them healthy and fit, they love to sleep.

Frenchies are couch potatoes that will be just as happy to cuddle with you all day long. These small dogs love their humans and make great companion dogs.

4. Italian Greyhound

An Italian Greyhound sitting on a chair

Italian Greyhounds are the small dog breed version of Greyhounds. Similar to Frenchies, Italian Greyhounds are couch potatoes and will cuddle with their humans all day long.

However, they do have exercise needs such as regular walks. In addition, this pooch will enjoy a quick play session with their favorite humans.

5. Japanese Chin

A smiling Japanese Chin
Source: @petit.bloo.oda / IG

Japanese Chins have often been described to be like cats. Not only do they clean themselves and love to climb, but they have little exercise needs.

They won’t bark much and are easy to train since they’re smart. This doggo will enjoy plenty of affection from you and will be happy to cuddle on the couch beside you.

6. Maltese

A Maltese in bed
Source: @_janggoonie / IG

What the Maltese need in grooming makes up for the lack of exercise needs.

This toy breed will do well with short walks and quick bursts of playtime. This is especially good for you so that their long, straight fur doesn’t get too messed up.

Plus, the two of you can bond through the daily brushing of their fur.

7. Pekingese

Two Pekingese dogs
Source: @marinabeln / IG

The Pekingese is another small breed that needs minimal exercise.

These doggos are fun, loving, and affectionate with their humans. They enjoy showing off to their family members and will enjoy plenty of low-maintenance playtime with their dog owners. 

8. Pug

A leashed Pug smiling
Source: @pru_the_pug / IG

While your Pug will need a little bit of exercise, they don’t require much. They’ll enjoy daily walks that are kept short and sweet.

In addition, they’ll like a game of tug-of-war or something not as strenuous. This is because of their short muzzles, making it harder to cool down and breathe.

This companion dog is great with kids and other animals in the home. 

9. Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu sitting on a couch
Source: @louisthelittle1 / IG

Shih Tzus make wonderful companion dogs. These little dogs have been around for quite some time. They were most known in China for being house pets and lapdogs.

They’re low-key pups that are adaptable for any home. They require low exercise and are considered to be hypoallergenic.

10. Tibetan Spaniel

A Tibetan Spaniel sitting on a couch
Source: @kakanthetibetan / IG

Tibetan Spaniels are the ultimate couch potatoes. They don’t care about what anyone wants or thinks about them. They will lounge on the couch with you all day.

However, this pooch is calm and eager to please. So, if you want to watch TV all day, they’ll be fine with that. They’ll also be okay to go for a brisk walk afterward.

Medium-sized Low-energy Dog Breeds

Next, let’s take a look at some medium-sized low-energy dog breeds if you’re looking for a slightly bigger pup.

11. Basset Hound

A leashed Basset Hound taking a walk
Source: @thehounddogs_908 / IG

Basset Hounds are sometimes considered a small breed or a medium breed. This pooch is short, though. Because of that, they have low exercise needs. Their energy levels are pretty low, too.

This beloved pooch is prone to be obese, so they will need brisk walks here and there to keep them moving.

12. Chow Chow

A Chow Chow lying on the floor
Source: @ruby_chow_ / IG

Chow Chows aren’t too affectionate, but they do love their humans. They have low exercise needs and will prefer to lay about and snooze.

This dog breed absolutely loves to be brushed, which is good since you need to maintain their coat fairly regularly. So, while you won’t be going on hikes together, you can still bond in other ways.

13. English Bulldog

Two English Bulldogs at a park
Source: @dolceandlolathebulldogs / IG

The English Bulldog has a short nose, stubby legs, and a barreled chest. They are not built for exercise.

This doggo will be just as happy to be a lapdog, despite their size. English Bulldogs will enjoy some playtime, but they tire easily so that they won’t last long.

In addition, they overheat easily and will prefer a cool floor to lay on.

Large and giant low-energy dog breeds

If you prefer to have large or giant dogs at home, then here are some big dog breeds that are low-energy for you.

14. Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog lying on a couch
Source: @rossi_theberner / IG

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Bernese Mountain Dog is part of the working group.

However, they enjoy being outdoors as much as being indoors. They don’t need much exercise. Instead, they enjoy lounging about in the sun. However, you’ll need to make sure they don’t overheat in their thick coat.

15. Bullmastiff

A Bullmastiff smiling with its eyes closed
Source: @ruby_thebullmastiff / IG

Bullmastiffs are friendly, easygoing, and will make excellent guard dogs. They will do well with any family, being a gentle giant to all. This dog breed is great with kids and other animals.

They don’t require much exercise or much playtime to be content. As long as you have the room for this massive pup, they’ll be a delight to have.

16. Great Dane

A leashed Great Dane lying on its stomach
Source: @furbabiesfoco / IG

Great Danes are a giant dog breed that tires easily. Puppies may never get used to their long legs and, thanks to their low energy levels, they’ll do well in an apartment, despite their size.

This pooch will be a great companion dog for any family. They get along well with kids and other animals in the house.

17. Great Pyrenees

A Great Pyrenees lying on the grass
Source: @gusthepyrenees / IG

The Great Pyrenees is a delight to have at home. This doggo is sweet, patient, and will instinctively take care of the young. So, if you have small children at home, you can be sure this pooch will be gentle around them.

But, while they’ll enjoy some playtime, they don’t require too much activity and are low-energy.

18. Greyhound

A Greyhound in a garden
Source: @cheesy.greys / IG

The Greyhound, similar to the Italian Greyhound, also has low energy levels.

This large dog used to race a lot, and many of the retired racing dogs are in rescue groups waiting to be adopted. So although they’re fast, they’re perfectly content to go on a short walk and don’t need a lot of exercise.

19. Irish Wolfhound

Two Irish Wolfhounds on a couch
Source: @gundulaundgiselaundotto / IG

The Irish Wolfhound is affectionate, calm, and intelligent. They’ll be friends with just about anyone they meet.

This large dog can adapt to any activity level, so they will be content to be on the couch with you all day long.

However, they do need a little bit of exercise to stretch their legs, or else they might gain too much weight.

20. Newfoundland

A Newfoundland dog lying on the ground, outdoors
Source: @gigithenewfie / IG

Newfoundlands were originally bred to help fishermen in Canada. They enjoy swimming and running around outside but only for a brief time. Then, they’ll sleep the rest of the day away.

This is a gentle giant that will do well with any family. But, of course, you’ll need to maintain their long coat and deal with some drool regularly.

21. Saint Bernard

A Saint Bernard dog lying on a porch
Source: @bernice_records / IG

Also known as the nanny dog, this gentle giant is calm, patient, and excellent with kids. The Saint Bernard will fit in with any family.

If you don’t mind them shedding or drooling, you won’t need to worry much about exercising them. This pooch is a big couch potato and will sleep the day away. 

Other Low-energy Dog Breeds

A smiling Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Source: @maggiethecardigan / IG

The list of low-energy dog breeds isn’t limited to this list of 21 breeds. Many other breeds don’t require much exercise and are fairly calm, including some mixed breeds.

Here are just a few more low-energy dog breeds.

  • Bergamasco Sheepdog
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Chihuahua
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff
  • Spinone Italiano
  • Welsh Terrier
  • Whippet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A smiling Bernese Mountain Dog on a bench
Source: @jasperberner / IG

What are the calmest dog breeds?

Some of the calmest dog breeds are Saint Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Irish Wolfhound, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, to name a few.

What is the most laid-back breed of dog?

If you have kids at home and need a pooch that’s low-energy and laid-back, there are some dog breeds to consider.

For example, some of the most laid-back dog breeds are Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Chinese Crested dogs, Bullmastiffs, and Glen of Imaal Terriers.

Should you rescue a senior dog?

Adopting a senior dog is a good idea. However, due to their age, even if they’re a high-energy breed, they’ll most likely have slowed down a bit.

However, older dogs will still need some sort of exercise. This will allow them to stretch their legs and move their stiff joints.

No matter what dog breed you choose, if you get a puppy you’ll need to put in the time and work to meet all of their needs. Puppies have high energy.

In addition, even if they’re considered a low-energy breed, you might choose the puppy that’s a wild child.

Adult dogs that are about four or five years old will be your best bet. They’re not puppies anymore, and you can get a good sense of their energy levels right away.

What resources does a lazy dog need?

Just because a dog seems lazy or favors sleep over exercise doesn’t mean they require absolutely no exercise or movement.

Your doggo will still need ample exercise. Whether it’s a daily walk that’s short and sweet or a quick run around with a game of fetch in the backyard, your low-energy dog still needs to move their body.

In addition, they’ll need regular visits from their veterinarian. Dogs can get sick and need regular check-ups just like humans do.

So if your doggo seems more lazy than normal, it might be time to give your vet a quick call.

Finally, your pooch will need plenty of dog toys. If they’re home and lying on the couch for most of the day, they’ll do well with some chew toys or plushies to keep them busy.

Are there lazy dog breeds that don’t shed?

Yes, there are a few dog breeds that have low energy and are considered hypoallergenic. Some of these breeds are the Shih Tzu, Chinese Crested, and Italian Greyhound.

What is the best dog to have in an apartment?

Having a calm pup is ideal when you live in an apartment. Since the living area is typically smaller, you don’t want your pooch getting the zoomies in the middle of the day.

Of course, all dogs get the zoomies, but it might be less often with little exercise needs.

Small dog breeds will do well in apartments since they’re pocket-sized and will fit well in their surroundings, but low-energy big dogs will do just as well.

For example, some of the best dogs in an apartment are the Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Great, Japanese Chin, Boston Terrier, TibetanSpaniel, and Miniature Pinscher.

What are some medium-energy dog breeds?

If you think you want a pooch with moderate energy levels, consider the Akita, Bloodhound, or Bouvier des Flandres.

What dog breeds are high-energy?

All dogs are different, but some breeds tend to have higher energy levels than others.

For example, Airedale Terriers, Border Collies, Dalmatians, English Springer Spaniels, Siberian Huskies are high-energy, just to name a few.

Which Low-energy Dog Breed is Right for You?

A Pug and a French Bulldog sitting on a couch together

Did any low-energy dog breeds from this list jump out at you?

Remember, every dog is different. While some breeds typically have less energy than others, it also depends on how they’re raised and their personality.

You’ll want your dog’s energy to match your own. So, if you’re unable to give your dog ample exercise, activity, and playtime every day, then a low-energy dog breed might be the solution for you.

No matter their energy levels, your dog will still require some exercise to keep them fit and healthy.

Most of the time, your family dog will be affectionate, loyal, and friendly to you and everyone in your household. They will be more than happy to relax on the couch with you after a long day.

Do you have one of these dog breeds at home? Let us know in the comments below!

Further reading: Other Unique Dog Breed Ttraits to Consider

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