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.”