Low Energy Dogs: Couch Potato Canines for Relaxed Lifestyles

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Maltese Sitting on Bed

Lazy Dog Breeds for Your Lifestyle 

You can’t wait to adopt a dog, but you’re not quite as excited about the prospect of hour-long hikes and endless zoomies around the living room. If this sounds like you, you will be happy to know there are plenty of lazy dog breeds to choose from! 

Pet parents that describe themselves as more laidback than adventurous aren’t going to be happy with a dog that wakes them up at 5:00 a.m. ready to go for a long run. Instead, this type of pet owner will be much better suited for a low-energy dog like an Affenpinscher or Havanese. 

More importantly, a dog that has constant energy but has no outlet can become destructive or even depressed. That’s why lazy dogs are a more appropriate choice for “lazy” pet owners – or ones that simply like to have quiet weekends! 

Characteristics of Lazy Dog Breeds 

What makes low-energy dog breeds stand out from other ones? 

The biggest point of difference is how active they are. Dogs that are a bit lazier aren’t going to have the same drive as, say, a Border Collie. These dogs are going to be much more content to hang out on the couch or in the shade outside rather than roaming the fields and chasing rabbits. 

These furry friends will be tuckered out after a moderate walk. They’re also less likely to go stir-crazy in a small setting like an apartment or more modest home.  

Don’t mistake a dog’s relatively minor physical needs with minor mental ones. In other words, just because a dog isn’t running around constantly doesn’t mean they don’t need mental stimulation. Every dog needs human attention and the chance to learn new things about their environment. Providing them with toys and playtime will help keep them happy and healthy! 

Additionally, even the laziest of dogs need grooming every now and then. While it’s true a more active dog will get their coat dirtier and more matted, some dog breeds, such as the Old English Sheepdog, need constant grooming no matter what their daily schedule looks like. 

Examples of Lovable (and Lazy!) Dog Breeds 

Here is our list of the laziest dog breeds out there. Whether you’re looking for low maintenance dogs for apartments or you simply want a relaxed breed that’s more suited for your sedentary lifestyle, there’s a dog out there for you! 

The Smallest Lazy Dog Breeds 


The noble Chihuahua is the tiny titan of the lazy canine world. These charismatic dogs love curling up in their owner’s lap, and the fact that they weigh up to just seven pounds makes them the perfect companion! You might be more accustomed to seeing short hair Chihuahuas, but they also come with long hair if you enjoy taking your pup to the salon. 


If “lazy dog” had a picture in the dictionary, it’d surely depict a Pomeranian. These fluff balls look like they were designed for lounging around on the bed rather than hunting in the wild. That’s why these beauties are some of the best dogs for lazy people! Many people want orange Pomeranians, but their coats can also be black or even blue. 


The Maltese is another breed that practically shouts “lazy.” They have pristine white coats and floppy ears that will make anyone smile. Although they remain puppy-like well into adulthood, you won’t have to worry about them having boundless energy like some young dogs.  

Japanese Chin 

Fully grown at just under one foot tall, the Japanese Chin breed is a toy dog with an adorable flat face. Although these cuties are less active than many breeds, they’re known to be climbers, so keep a close watch on them. Their fur is long but only needs brushing about once a week. 

Chinese Crested 

Another lazy dog breed is the Chinese Crested. These dogs have a distinct look characterized by a mostly hairless body with a bit of hair on their ears and face. Be aware these pups aren’t a good choice for families with kids since they can be a little feisty. 

Brussels Griffon 

When you see a Brussels Griffon, you might want to suppress a giggle. These bearded dogs are a mixture of Pug and German Terrier, resulting in a funny-looking dog that resembles an Ewok. That’s right. George Lucas is thought to have based this Star Wars species on his own Brussels Griffons! 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 

Another member of the couch potato dog breeds is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These pups are fit for a Princess with their long, silky ears and luxurious coats. The Cavalier enjoys spending time at their owner’s side, and they’re sure to get most of their exercise from following you from room to room! 


Pekingese dogs are lap dogs that originated in China as fluffy members of the Imperial family. Today, they’re known for being some of the best low-energy dogs. These lackadaisical canines stand out from the crowd with their large eyes, flat faces, and long, flowing hair (although some have shorter hair). 


The name “Black Beauty” would have been better suited for the Affenpinscher than the famous horse. These lovely dogs are small and only require minimal exercise. Affenpinschers are recognizable thanks to their thick eyebrows and matching beard. 


The Havanese breed is a sweet dog with a silky coat. Their ancestral roots tie them to Cuba many generations ago. Although less energetic than some dogs, these pups need daily grooming. While their coats don’t shed much, these little ones tend to still bother the noses of those with allergies. 

Medium, Lazy Dog Breeds You’ll Love 

Basset Hound 

When you think of couch potato dogs, the goofy Basset Hound probably immediately comes to mind. With tiny, stubby legs and a severe case of “puppy dog eyes,” Basset Hounds are renowned for their kind temperaments and less-than-quick gait. 

Chow Chow 

Chow Chows are another breed that loves being lazy. One look at their plump, ultra-fuzzy appearance and you’ll know right away these guys aren’t going to be running any marathons. Chow Chows do have a tendency to be somewhat aggressive, so they’re best in homes without children or seniors. 

English Bulldog 

The English Bulldog looks like a big grump, but at heart, he’s a sweetie. This breed might look burly, but he rarely uses his brawn. Instead, English Bulldogs are quiet and lovable. Keep in mind that English Bulldogs are susceptible to dental problems and obesity. 

Newfoundland Laying on Kitchen Floor

The Largest, Lazy Dog Breeds 

Clumber Spaniel 

When you’re wanting to take an afternoon snooze, a Clumber Spaniel is the perfect pooch to cuddle up with on the couch – if they can fit! These Spaniels can be huge, with males weighing up to 75 pounds. Beware this breed loves to eat and is known to scrounge for leftovers wherever they can find them. 


The graceful Greyhound is best known for being a racing dog, but this breed isn’t as lively as you would imagine. Most of these gorgeous dogs no longer have any part in racing, and they’re more comfortable taking leisurely walks around the neighborhood. The older this breed gets, the less interest they have in exercise. However, it’s still important to ensure they get out for a walk or two each day.  

Bernese Mountain Dog 

Is there any more lovely breed than the Bernese Mountain Dog? This impressive dog is well-known for its tri-colored coat featuring black, white, and rust hues. One of the great family dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dog is fantastic with children. You’ll want to have a big home if you bring one of these pups home because when fully grown, they might weigh up to 120 pounds! 

Great Dane 

It’s a good thing a Great Dane is more apt to be testing out their new dog bed rather than running laps around the front lawn. With their massive frames, Great Danes could be quite ferocious, but fortunately, most of them are lovable teddy bears. Additionally, these dogs have tremendous barks, so pet owners living in multi-family housing may want to try a different breed. 


Another breed that doesn’t require much exercise is the Newfoundland. One activity this dog does love is swimming. This dog is a renowned swimmer which comes in handy as a way to cool off since they’re sensitive to heat. They also love to drool, so make sure you’re okay with cleaning up their slobber before adopting one. 

Saint Bernard 

The picturesque Saint Bernard is a sight to behold with their red, white, and brown coloring. Huge and bumbling, Saint Bernards can get up to nearly 200 pounds, yet they don’t use that astonishing weight for much. Before you welcome a Saint Bernard into your home, you should know that since they’re so large, they typically only live to ten years old at the longest. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lazy Dog Breed 

Before settling on a certain breed, research any health conditions that breed is known for. For instance, Chow Chows are at increased risk for elbow dysplasia. On the other hand, Clumber Spaniels are prone to entropion, an issue of the eyelid. 

Also keep in mind that just because a dog is less active doesn’t make it less aggressive. Always spend a good deal of time around a dog you’re planning to adopt. Investing in early training can teach appropriate behavior. This early training is especially crucial if you adopt a large breed. 

Importance of Exercise for All Dogs 

You might be chomping at the bit to rush out and bring a pup home now that you know dogs for lazy people actually exist. Yet there are a few precautions to consider. Even the laziest dog is still a dog at the end of the day. All canines need exercise, even if it’s moderate. Walking, swimming, and tug of war are all good options for helping a lazy dog get moving. 

Some dogs, especially the smaller ones, can be more prone to put on weight. Obesity in dogs can contribute to lower life expectancy. Ensuring your pet gets the exercise they need and giving treats in moderation can keep their weight at a healthy level. Adequate exercise can also keep your pet’s mind active, preventing stress and anxiety. 

Mental Stimulation for Low-Energy Dogs 

While low-energy dog breeds may not require intense physical exercise routines, they still have mental needs that need to be met. Mental stimulation is crucial for their overall well-being and helps prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing or excessive barking. Here are some fun and engaging ways to keep your lazy dog mentally stimulated: 

  • Food Puzzles & Treat Toys: Engage their problem-solving skills with food puzzles or treat-dispensing toys. 

  • Scent Games: Hide treats and let them use their amazing sense of smell to find them. 

  • Short Training Sessions: Teach new tricks or practice old ones for mental exercise and bonding. 

  • Interactive Playtime: Engage them with short bursts of fetch (using a lighter ball) or tug-of-war for a fun mental workout. 

  • Novelty Walks: Take a different route on walks or explore a new park to keep them mentally stimulated with fresh sights and smells. 

By incorporating these activities into your routine, you can ensure your lazy companion receives the mental stimulation they need to stay happy, healthy, and content. 

Insurance for Low-Energy Dog Breeds 

Even the most easygoing dog is prone to unexpected medical issues. That chewed-up sock they shouldn't have swallowed? Blocked intestines. A tumble off the couch? Potential broken bone. With pet insurance, these surprises won't derail your chill time together. Knowing a portion of the vet bill is covered lets you relax and focus on getting your dog healthy again, instead of stressing about finances. Get a dog insurance quote today for peace of mind and uninterrupted snuggle sessions. 

Lazy Dog Breeds Make Great Pets 

Just because you prefer to spend your Saturdays inside most of the day doesn’t mean you can’t be a dog parent! There are plenty of lazy dog breeds to match your more relaxed spirit. Remember, even the fluffiest, calmest dog still needs to go on short walks and have plenty of play time. With careful research, you can find your ideal pup!