The 8 Laziest Dog Breeds, Because Couch Potatoes Are the Cutest
Some dog breeds are born runners (Australian cattle dogs) or thinkers (Doberman pinschers) and get destructive or aggressive without regular exercise. On the other hand, some breeds are content snoozing or simply trotting behind their owners down the hall a few times a day. These so-called lazy dog breeds require very little physical and mental activity on a daily basis to stay happy and healthy.
As Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of the Michelson Found Animals Foundation puts it, “Lazy dogs don’t necessarily need a bunch of space to run and play. As long as they have a comfy bed, some food and toys, they’re typically happy campers.”
Obviously, all dogs need walks and some exercise to stay fit. But choosing a breed with historically less energy is perhaps a better move for people who aren’t home during the day for playtime, have limited living space or seek out mellow activities themselves. After all, if you know hiking or frisbee throwing isn’t in your immediate future, don’t adopt a dog who needs that kind of intensity all day, every day.
Before we leisurely launch into our list, Gilbreath has a few additional words of wisdom: “While many people focus on breed, the reality is that not all dogs are the same—some golden retrievers are couch potatoes, and some are extremely active; you can’t be certain. Pet parents looking to adopt should focus…more on the individual pet’s personality.”
She also adds it’s important to take dogs in for vet checkups regularly. Lethargy could be a sign of illness, especially in athletic dogs who usually prefer being active.
However, if you’re looking for a place to start on your lackadaisical quest for a lazy dog, begin with this list.
1. Basset Hound
If the low-hanging ears and droopy eyes don’t give away a basset hound’s temperament, her affinity for plopping down onto her bed and refusing to move will do the trick. Endlessly loyal and always ready to chill, basset hounds are big-time lazy dogs, which most owners swear makes them incredibly charming. If it’s a jogging partner you seek, the basset hound will be the first to say, “Thank you, next.”
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is adaptable and will more often than not take on her owner’s personality. That means if you’re a self-proclaimed couch potato with a penchant for afternoons full of sunny naps, this breed will follow suit happily. Though these pups tend to be on the calm side, since they were bred to be hunters, they will take any chance they can get to chase a squirrel, so keep ’em on a leash during walks.
3. French Bulldog
Similarly, French bulldogs like to veer in whatever direction their owners take them. Not only are they even-keeled, but they also don’t bark a ton, which makes them great apartment and city pets—especially for folks who work away from home during the week. Even if you and your Frenchie prefer the chaise lounge to the Great Outdoors, be sure to get out for regular walks, because these pups can gain weight easily, which puts their small frames at risk.
A big dog with lap dog dreams, the Broholmer wants nothing more than to sit on your lap and bask in your love—whether he can fit on the couch or not. Relatively new to the United States, these pups acted as watchdogs around Europe for centuries. They are friendly with both kids and other animals, which makes them ideal family pets.
5. Tibetan Spaniel
These tiny little lions are typically serene and agreeable dogs who are ready to become your new inseparable BFF. They’ll watch 20 reruns of Cheers in a row with you, no questions asked, and then get up between each episode for a short jaunt around the block. They aim to please and don’t care about traveling anywhere to see or be seen.
While Tosas may look ferocious (and they do make good guard dogs), they are as patient and calm as can be. Also known as the Japanese mastiff, the Tosa is large and super affectionate with his family (though he can get aggressive with new dogs). Lots of quality time is in order with this breed, just watch out for the slobber.
Greyhounds are unique in that they are super fast and need a good sprint every once in a while, but for the most part are content lounging or weaseling their way into bed with you. Often, adopting a retired racing greyhound is your best bet; these dogs have been bred to have steady demeanors and tend to embrace their new lazy lifestyles.
8. Senior Rescue
Remember, as Gilbreath puts it, it’s hard to determine based on breed alone if a dog will be low energy or not. If you’re dead set on a pup who prefers a TV marathon to a game of fetch, it may be best to rescue or adopt an older dog. “If you’re looking for a mellow pet who loves snuggling, consider adopting a senior or low-energy dog who may prefer your relaxed lifestyle and generally seek quiet time to share with you,” says Gilbreath. “Quite often they are content with a snuggly place to sleep and prefer limited exercise.”