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20 Lazy Dog Breeds to Relax With: Small & Large (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

chihuahua dog sleeping under the blue blanket

20 Lazy Dog Breeds to Relax With: Small & Large (With Pictures)

The diverse range of modern dog breeds came about through selective breeding for specific purposes, such as herding, hunting, service work, and more. Some dogs have more energy than others, such as the tireless Border Collie or the diligent German Shepherd.

Other dogs were bred more to be lazy and affectionate, such as companion dogs and livestock guardian dogs. Independence and patience are built into many of these breeds, as well as a touch of clinginess in some, so they’re happy to spend their time doing nothing but lounging in your lap.

If you prefer a homebody dog to the “always on” Belgian Malinois or Chesapeake Bay Retriever, here’s a list of 20 lazy dogs that you can relax with.

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How Are Lazy Dogs Classified?

The American Kennel Club doesn’t have a “Lazy Dog Group,” but many of the dogs on this list belong to the Toy Group. Natural companions, these dogs were bred to be little lap dogs. Several breeds belong to the Working Group and fall under guardian dogs due to their infinite patience while lying in the field with their herds.

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The 20 Lazy Dog Breeds

1. Basset Hounds

Basset Hound Laying on the Grass outdoors
Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 11–15 inches

The Basset Hound is a short-legged scent hound that was bred to hunt hares using ground scenting. These hard working dogs are diligent in their pursuit, but once the work is done, they love nothing more than to snuggle up with their owners and receive love and attention.

2. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain dog stands on a sunny day wearing shoes
Image Credit: kremmedia, Shutterstock
Origin: Switzerland
Lifespan: 6–8 years
Height: 23–27 inches

Bernese Mountain Dogs were built for work, guarding and working the pastures of Switzerland for centuries. However, when the work is done, Bernese Mountain Dogs are placid dogs with a strong desire to please their owners. One of the most distinctive traits of these dogs is their sweet, affectionate nature, particularly with children.

3. Bichon Frise

bichon frise dog in a studio
Image Credit: Vojce, Shutterstock
Origin: Canary Islands
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 9.5–11.5 inches

The Bichon Frise is an ancient breed that originated in the Canary Islands. These breeds became popular with island sailors and nobility and later as companion animals. While good watchdogs, they are lovers, not fighters. As long as they’re with you, a Bichon will enjoy relaxing, lounging on the couch, or sleeping in on a weekend.

4. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier posing in garden
Image Credit: Ruben PH_Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Height: 10–12 inches

Boston Terriers are lively little dogs that were bred for ratting. While they need a lot of exercise on a regular basis, they basically have two activity levels: hyper and lazy. If you spend time exercising and playing with your Boston Terrier, they’ll enjoy some downtime with you.

5. Chihuahua

Beautiful Chihuahua puppy on the bed
Image Credit:, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Lifespan: 12–20 years
Height: 3–9 inches

The Chihuahua is a small dog with a big personality. As companion dogs, they’re clingy and affectionate dogs that make ideal lap pets. And with their reputation as a purse dog, it’s no surprise that Chihuahuas are fine to sit around and watch the activity around them.

6. Chow Chow

Image Credit: AliakseiZAN, Shutterstock
Origin: Northern China
Lifespan: 9–15 years
Height: 18–22 inches

Despite an intimidating look and wild mane, Chow Chows are devoted dogs that bond strongly to their owners. They are reserved with strangers, but their guard tends to come down when they’re alone with family. Chow Chows need some regular exercise and enrichment, but you can have a large lap dog in between.

7. Dachshund

dachshund using dog ramp at home
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 5–6 inches (miniature) 8–9 inches (standard)

The Dachshund was once a fierce burrowing dog bred to flush out badgers, but they’re mostly watchdogs and companions in the modern day. They can be a bit stubborn and impulsive, which is offset by their fierce loyalty to their owner. They’ll want to be by your side, whether that’s out in the woods or relaxing in the evening.

8. French Bulldog

Brindle french bulldog standing outdoors
Image Credit: Oksana Muzykantova, Shutterstock
Origin: Paris
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 11–13 inches

The French Bulldog is America’s favorite dog for their signature look and playful demeanor. These charming dogs are great watchdogs and adapt to virtually every home environment without the need for much exercise, so they’re happy to take a nap while you go about your day.

9. Great Dane

Great dane dog in beautiful landscape
Image Credit: Al_Er, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 7–10 years
Height: 28–32 inches

The Great Dane is a massive dog, but they’re big softies. Though bred to hunt deer and bears in the Middle Ages, Great Danes are easygoing, soft, and patient dogs that love being affectionate with owners and spend a lot of time sleeping.

10. Greyhound

Brindle Greyhound standing on a flower field outdoors
Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Height: 27–30 inches

Greyhounds were bred for coursing, racing, and hunting, so it may be surprising to learn they can be quite lazy. These dogs only require a short walk each day to meet their exercise needs, though you can condition them for longer exercise sessions. Because of this, they make great apartment dogs and snuggle companions.

11. Havanese

Happy Cream Havanese dog
Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock
Origin: Havana, Cuba
Lifespan: 14–18 years
Height: 8.5–11.5 inches

The Havanese is the only dog breed native to Cuba. Though vivacious and cheerful, Havanese are popular with city dwellers because of their laid-back nature. They enjoy playing watchdog and performing tricks, but as long as you avoid boredom, they can be relaxed dogs that will snuggle all day.

12.  Maltese

Maltese dog sits on a blanket and looks at the camera on a picnic in a park with sunlight
Image Credit: Tanya Dol, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches

The Maltese has been a companion dog since biblical times. Famous for their floor-length coats, Maltese are charming and adaptable toy dogs that have enjoyed the lap of luxury for centuries. They’re alert watchdogs and can make strong athletes, but they’re just as willing to spend their time lazy and comfortable.

13. Newfoundland

black Newfoundland dog
Image Credit: Madeeva_11, Shutterstock
Origin: Newfoundland, Canada
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 25–28 inches

The Newfoundland is a powerful working dog with a sweet temperament. With a reputation as a soft companion and their affection for children, Newfoundlands have been favored as watchful “nanny” dogs for families. As long as they have outlets for exercise and mental stimulation, the Newfoundland is a low-energy and relaxed pet.

14. Pekingese

Cute and funny red light pekingese dog in autumn park playing with leaves
Image Credit: T.Den_Team, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 6–9 inches

The Pekingese is a compact and regal toy dog bred for the ruling class of ancient China. These charming little dogs develop tight bonds with their owners despite an independent streak. Although they were bred to live in palaces, they will happily enjoy time at home with you. However, they are only tolerant of kids at best.

15. Pomeranian

person using treats to train pomeranian
Image Credit: ElenaYakimova, Shutterstock
Origin: Northeastern Europe
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 6–7 inches

Pomeranians are derived from the Arctic spitz breeds, but they were developed to be companion dogs. Alert and intelligent, Pomeranians are perky pets but happy to burn off energy with indoor play sessions and brisk walks. Otherwise, you can count on them to curl into a ball on your lap.

16. Pug

pug dog standing in the forest
Image Credit: marketalangova, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 10–13 inches

The Pug is a popular companion dog that adapts to virtually any environment. They don’t enjoy nor tolerate heavy exercise, so short walks and some play sessions are enough to keep them happy and tired. The rest of the time, you can expect a pug to be curled up next to you.

17. Saint Bernard

saint bernard dog lying on the lawn
Image Credit: Kev Gregory, Shutterstock
Origin: Italian and Swiss Alps
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 28–31 inches

The Saint Bernard is a famous and beloved breed. These gentle giants were developed in the Alps to assist with rescue missions, but they’re now mostly pets. They’re famously patient with children and surprisingly relaxed despite their history as tireless rescue dogs.

18. Shar Pei

shar pei dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Lifespan: 9–11 years
Height: 18–20 inches

The Shar Pei is an ancient Chinese breed bred to guard. These serene dogs are relaxed with their owners, but they can be suspicious of strangers and other dogs. They’re also adaptable. If you’re the type to walk every day, they will be your walking partner. If you prefer to stay home, they’re content to enjoy quiet time in the house.

19. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu puppy playing in the grass
Image Credit: sanjagrujic, Shutterstock
Origin: Tibet
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Height: 9–10.5 inches

The Shih Tzu is a lively little “Lion Dog” that’s been a companion in Tibet for a thousand years. Though mischievous, these dogs are especially affectionate and used to a life of luxury in royal palaces, so they’re happy to spend their time curled up next to you while you work or watch TV.

20. Tibetan Mastiff

Red Tibetan mastiff for a walk in the forest
Image Credit: Kat_marinina, Shutterstock
Origin: Himalayas
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 26–30 inches

Tibetan Mastiffs are guardian dogs from the Himalayas. Though they are active and quick to defend when needed, these gentle giants are accustomed to waiting patiently while overlooking a herd. If you want a massive snuggle buddy, these guys will do it.

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There you have it—the laziest dogs in the AKC registry. While some of these dogs are only happy to relax after their work (or play) is done, there are plenty of dog breeds that are content to be in the company of their loving owner.

Featured Image Credit: Didgeman, Pixabay

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