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18 Low-Energy Dog Breeds Who Love Being Lazy (With Pictures)

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

french bulldog sleeping under the blanket

18 Low-Energy Dog Breeds Who Love Being Lazy (With Pictures)

Do you love the idea of having a relaxed companion around your household that you can lay about with? If so, you might have thought of getting a lackadaisical lapdog to spend the next several years with, and we can’t blame you! There are so many good choices.

If you want to get the widest variety possible on low-energy breeds, you certainly came to the right spot! Pups in this article are notorious for being the most chill of all the canines. There are a variety of appearances and sizes on the list.

How Are Low-Energy Dog Breeds Classified?

Low-energy dogs are dogs that are considered to be laidback, relaxed, quiet, and sometimes lazy. These dogs much prefer to just lay around all day rather than be out and about, and they aren’t much for long playtimes and tend to not have high exercise requirements. Low-energy dog breeds are great for the elderly, people with mobility issues, or those who don’t have a lot of extra time to spend exercising their dog or just prefer a more laid-back lifestyle.

Keep in mind though, that just because low energy dogs may not need a lot of exercise, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them exercise at all. Even low-energy breeds need walks and some playtime. If they just lay around all day and don’t exercise, they can easily become bored or, worse, overweight, which can lead to obesity and more serious health issues down the line.

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The Top 18 Low-Energy Dog Breeds

1. Bulldog

White bulldog looking at himself in the mirror
Image Credit: PokoFoto, Shutterstock
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Exercise Needs: 20–30 minutes daily

Seeing this big brute at the top of the list might not surprise you. These buffy, fun-loving, snoring wrinkle baskets are simply to die for. Bulldogs are notorious for being incredibly affectionate with their family members and terrific with children. Even though they are a bully breed, they have an incredible disposition, making them much more suited for the family couch than getting worked up about the neighbor’s dog. That isn’t to say that Bulldogs don’t have a bit of same-sex aggression or territorial issues from time to time.

It’s always best to properly socialize your Bulldog so that they are the most efficient dog around with top-notch judgment.

A major downside of this breed is the myriad of health problems that can accompany them.

Bulldogs have been heavily interbred, creating a series of serious health issues to develop in bloodlines. Sometimes, it can be challenging for certain breeders to weed out all potential defects.

So, if you plan to bring one of these pups home, buy your Bulldog from a licensed breeder with a long history of successful puppies. Request vet records, parent history, and current pup health status. These dogs are brachycephalic, meaning their muzzles are short, and they have protruding eyes. This can cause breathing issues and lead to serious health consequences. Bulldogs can also have a number of allergies and heart issues. Getting your dog regularly tested with appropriate veterinary care is crucial.

If you’re up for the challenge, you will absolutely adore having one of these happy-go-lucky pooches hanging around.

2. Basset Hound

Image Credit: Daniel Myjones, Shutterstock
Size: Medium to large
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Exercise Needs: 1 hour daily

These dopey, long, eared pups are as laid-back as they look. The Basset has a classic sad appearance. You might know it very well from famous figures like Droopy the Dog. This pup was originally bred for hunting, but they have weaseled their way into homes all over, making them very suitable, terrific companions.

These dogs love the more leisurely-paced living. So, if you’re a person who enjoys the sentiment, you will be in good company. These dogs are a little territorial with some other breeds, so it’s something to watch. As long as you socialize your pup early, most Bassets will get along pretty well with strangers and other pets.

The Basset Hound needs to use their nose daily to stay happy! You can enjoy many scavenger hunts and other scent-related tasks with your pup. They need to leave the house for daily walks, but they are otherwise low maintenance when it comes to intense exercise.

3. Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image by: Linn Currie, Shutterstock
Size: Medium to large
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Exercise Needs: 1 hour daily

Seeing a Greyhound on this list might surprise you, especially if you don’t know much about the breed. But even people who know very little about Greyhounds know one thing: they are extremely fast! A Greyhound can run up to 35 mph! This makes them extremely skilled in racing, for which they have been traditionally used for years.

There is some debate about the ethics of Greyhound racing, but that’s for another story! In the home, the Greyhound makes an amazing companion animal. This laid-back pooch needs to go outside and run off their energy. However, this dog gets energy in bursts. When they are indoors, they much prefer a more relaxed approach to life.

They enjoy sitting by a warm window or lying at their owner’s feet. These calm, relaxed dogs do decently well with children, permitting they’re raised around them. However, most prefer a quieter atmosphere, where they can enjoy their time in peace.

4. Whippet

amazing whippet portrait in the forest
Image Credit: nik174, Shutterstock
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Exercise Needs: 1.5–2 hours daily

A Whippet is very similar to the Greyhound in appearance. If you don’t know much about them, you might be unable to tell them apart! Whippets are actually much smaller than their Greyhound counterparts. However, they are just as fast. Whippets are also very skilled with sprinting, making them equally tasked for racing.

Because Whippets have a much smaller structure than Greyhounds, it makes them more compact for apartment and city living. The Whippet is a lightweight, agile dog that will love a fenced-in backyard to burn off their steam.

If you don’t live in an area where this is possible, you can also take them on short jogs to cater to their instincts. So, if you take daily jogs and want a running companion, this is a really good choice.

5. French Bulldog

French bulldog on a couch
Image by: JochenSchaft, Pixabay
Size: Small
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Exercise Needs: Up to 1 hour daily

The French Bulldog has quickly become a favorite due to their award-winning personality and adorable appearance. The Frenchie has classic bat ears, wrinkly bodies, and short, compact legs. These muscular little dogs look very similar to a Bulldog or Pug but with just a few minor changes.

These stout, small dogs work very well in just about any living situation. They can acclimate very well to small homes and homes with abundant land. This is a classic shadow dog, meaning they will follow their owners everywhere they go. Despite being low energy, they love a life of adventure and will gladly accompany you anywhere, but they aren’t very physically demanding.

They would be just as happy relaxing with you in the home as they would on a mysterious trip in the car. Frenchies are known to be pretty lazy and relaxed, loving their daily naps. These dogs are also highly affectionate and notoriously good with children and older adults.

One downside to Frenchies is their poor health. Many Frenchies, despite genetic testing, develop a myriad of potential health issues. Plus, due to their complex breeding, they are also costly. They are one of the priciest common dogs that you can find.

6. Pug

Close-up face of Cute pug puppy dog rest by chin and tongue lay down on laminate floor
Image Credit: fongleon356, Shutterstock
Size: Small
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes to 1 hour daily

The Pug is a happy-go-lucky, cheerful little dog with a family-oriented inclination. These dogs absolutely love being the center of attention and will keep you entertained for hours with their goofy antics. Pugs might not be the brainiest of all canines, but what they lack in smarts, they make up for with their super sweet personalities.

Despite their little, friendly appearance, they are very good watchdogs. Your Pug will notice any odd goings-on around the home, alerting you every time. It might not always be a threat. In fact, they get a little wound up over any old thing. But you must give them some credit—they are protecting their household.

Pugs work for most homes because they get along with virtually any other pet and fit into both small and large living spaces. These relaxed dogs will love snoring next to you while you watch your favorite TV shows. They certainly enjoy their cat naps and won’t lack on getting that beauty sleep.

7. Shih Tzu

sleeping shih tzu
Image Credit: Edyta Stawiarska, Pixabay
Size: Small
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes to 1 hour daily

The Shih Tzu is among the tiny dogs that take a lackadaisical approach to life. These pups are very loyal companions that will stick by their owner’s side at every turn. Some of them are particular, adapting to one person and never equalizing that bond with others.

However, they tend to be extremely affectionate and tolerant, making them suitable additions to homes of virtually any size. A Shih Tzu would do very well in a home with older adults. They would very much enjoy the lifestyle, as they enjoy spending most time with their families.

If you are retired, this is an extremely excellent dog to have. However, if you work long hours, your dog will get lonely without your presence.

8. Pekingese

white pekingese
Image by: RAFZILLA, Pixabay
Size: Extra small to small
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes to 1 hour daily

The classically long-haired Pekingese might be a mouthy little dog, but they sure are a lovable and calm companion. That’s not to say that a Pekingese won’t get wound up if they hear a rap at the door or see a passerby. These dogs are classically watchdogs, alerting you even when there’s no real threat.

The Pekingese might be relaxed, but they certainly have colorful personalities! These independent dogs will happily take short walks and go on brief adventures–but they are just as excited to be next to their human (or, rightfully, on their lap!).

It’s no wonder these dogs are so calm. They were literally designed to be companion animals for Chinese emperors. So not only do they have ancient roots–they’re royalty.

9. Chow Chow

chow chow on a retro vintage background
Image by: dezy, Shutterstock
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 9–15 years
Exercise Needs: 1 hour daily

The Chow Chow gets quite a bad rap, but we’re here to put it to rest. Don’t get us wrong, a Chow certainly requires an experienced owner who can deal with the challenges of having this particular breed. However, with proper socialization and training, a Chow can make an exquisite companion in various situations.

The only thing that you’ll have to worry about with this breed is their personality. There are some things that you simply can’t train out of the dog. If your dog is extremely protective by nature, you can teach them cues and commands to curb their willingness to act, but it won’t eliminate their desire or instinct.

Even though Chows are a bit hard to keep for some individuals, this dog is a highly affectionate, remarkably loyal breed that will stand by your side, no matter what. Once they imprint on their family, they will stay devoted until they pass away. In addition to their extremely loving personalities towards family members, they are also decently low energy.

You might look at their size and think that they might be a little demanding regarding exercise, but it’s just not true. Chows much prefer chilling out at home than running laps around the yard. So, if you are looking for a guard dog who knows how to take advantage of afternoon naps and TV time, you’ve found a good selection.

Important: If you live in an apartment, you might have to check with your landlord first. Often, Chows find themselves on a dangerous breed list and are excluded from approval to specific publicly owned spaces.

10. Mastiff

giant mastiff up close
Image Credit: Michelle Cavanagh, Shutterstock
Size: Extra large
Lifespan: 6–12 years
Exercise Needs: 1 hour daily

This one might not surprise you. If you’ve ever seen a Mastiff in action, you know just how big, slow, and friendly they are. These gentle giants match very well in various lifestyles, permitting you have the proper space for them. A Mastiff is known for being very protective of their families, but they also have good discernment.

With proper guidance, most Mastiffs will be excellent guard dogs but also very welcoming of strangers and other dogs. They acclimate decently well to new situations, although some can be more aloof than others. Mastiffs most certainly don’t get excited about much and have very balanced activity levels.

If you’re afraid of saliva, this is not the right pick for you, as these dogs have large, drooping jowls and will drool all over your things! Mastiff lovers know that this can be easily taken care of by proper maintenance. But if you do not want to deal with the hassle, another breed on the list may suffice.

11. Newfoundland

Newfoundland dog sleeping on grass
Image Credit: John Butcher, Shutterstock
Size: Extra large
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes to 1 hour daily

The Newfoundland is another gentle giant on the list. These large, long-haired lovers are splendid companions to have around in most cases. The Newfoundland really enjoys being outdoors. If you live in a place where they’re going to be inside most of the time, they might not be happier than they would be if you had lots of land.

So, keep this in mind when you are choosing what breed of puppy to bring home. The Newfoundland, despite its big size, is a very common companion to have. They tend to be extremely gentle with children and can also make good companions for older adults, permitting them to have proper training as a puppy.

These dogs were bred to be rescue dogs out on Canadian waters. So, if you get one, you’ll notice their adorable, webbed feet!

12. Havanese

white havanese dog relaxing in a dog bed
Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock
Size: Small
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Exercise Needs: 45 minutes to an hour daily

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba, and for a good reason! These dogs are companion animals through and through. So, if you want a shadow dog that will bond with you and follow you everywhere, the Havanese might be the best for the job. These long-haired cuties are compact, making them suitable for most living situations.

They are also extremely accepting and loving towards strangers, children, and other animals. The Havanese is a perfect pet to have if you are a social person who sees a variety of faces. The Havanese will happily stay by your side, no matter where you are, making them highly trainable and eager to please. They do have a bit more energy compared to some of the breeds on this list, but their energy and exercise needs are still fairly low and can be met with a couple of walks per day.

The Havanese has quite long hair, so you can give them all sorts of adorable haircuts. They are very obedient, good-natured, and excited to meet new faces. So, you can take them to the groomer of your choice, and they will be a favorite customer in no time.

13. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound sitting on the grassfield
Image by: Lutz Prager, Pixabay
Size: Extra large
Lifespan: 6–10 years
Exercise Needs: 2 hours daily

The Irish Wolfhound is a huge canine, but they are also one of the calmest breeds of all. These dogs have ancient roots, and it might be no surprise, as their appearance gives a mystical, old-world vibe. The Irish Wolfhound is truly a unique breed, turning heads everywhere.

While they might be slightly aloof with strangers or indifferent towards others, they make exceptional companions to those who live in the home. The Irish Wolfhound is good-natured and relaxed but also takes their guard duties very seriously. This dog is protective and alert, but they have a fine judgment which prevents aggression.

In the home, Irish Wolfhounds are incredibly sweet, faithful, and calm. They love spending time with their family and will typically form bonds with each person in the home. Depending on your breed knowledge, these dogs can be splendid for first-time or experienced owners.

Due to their size, they make the best pets for families with children aged 6 and older.

14. Bolognese

Bolognese puppy
Image Credit: Islavicek, Shutterstock
Size: Extra small to small
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes to 1 hour daily

The Bolognese is an exciting dog selection. This is a relatively rare breed with a wonderful nature. This little dog is a great companion in almost any situation because it gets along with almost anyone. Unlike other small dogs that like to run around the house, the Bolognese would prefer being close to their people.

This is certainly the type of dog that will follow you to the bathroom or if you get up to walk virtually anywhere. These dogs are highly loving companions, forming close bonds with their owners. While this dog gets along with everyone in the home, they might have a favorite they gravitate to more than others. Still, this breed will give affection to just about anyone.

15. Boston Terrier

Portrait of a Boston Terrier dog in a cozy home interior on an autumn day
Image Credit: Zakharova_Elena, Shutterstock
Size: Small
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Exercise Needs: 45 minutes to 1 hour daily

The Boston Terrier is a very relaxed companion and makes a perfect addition to certain lifestyles. The Boston Terrier will be very excited to go on their daily walks, but they are very happy to relax with you as well. These small dogs resemble French Bulldogs or Pugs, but they have a classic black-and-white color variation.

There are also other colors, but black and white is the classic and most common. The Boston Terrier is known for being quite even-tempered and agreeable. These pups might have an issue with tasks like potty training or advanced training techniques, but they will eventually catch on with enough persistence.

They can make very good dogs for first-time owners, but you must understand the challenges of the breed before bringing one of these compact cuties home.

16. Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel
Image Credit: Lenkadan, Shutterstock
Size: Large
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes daily

The Clumber Spaniel has an incredibly calm nature. These dogs make ideal family companions because nothing bothers them. Screaming kids, loud noises—you name it. They tend not to get excited about very much. They are extremely affectionate and love time spent with people and other pets in the home.

If you were looking for a guard dog that would alert you of any happening around the home, this is certainly not the breed to choose. Their amiable nature makes them want to welcome strangers with open arms rather than show suspicion.

Despite their good nature, the Clumber Spaniel is a very rare breed, with less than 200 puppies registered each year in the United States alone. Even in the United Kingdom, where they are considered native, they only have 300 puppies registered yearly.

17. Papillon

papillon dog sitting on grass
Image by: Anna Maloverjan, Shutterstock
Size: Extra small to small
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Exercise Needs: 30 minutes daily

The adorable little Papillon is the oldest spaniel breed to exist. Looking quite different from their spaniel cousins, these dogs tend to have long, straight locks with flowing hair around the ears and face. These small dogs are incredibly tiny, making them easy to keep in all living spaces.

These dogs are more energetic than others on the list. So, why did we add them to this list? Even though these dogs love to blow off steam on daily walks, they are very happy to adjust to your activity levels. They are very compatible with busy homes or older adults. The Papillon tends to be a very low-maintenance breed overall.

18. Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog lying on the floor with droopy red lower eye lid due to skin looseness
Image by: RasaBas, Shutterstock
Size: Extra large
Lifespan: 6–8 years
Exercise Needs: 1 to 1.5 hours daily

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a pretty chill dog, if we do say so ourselves. These dogs have a natural guarding instinct, making them extremely compatible with homes with acres of land. These dogs will happily roam the perimeter to ensure that all is well around the household. They are extremely good first-time dogs for growing families.

They tend to be very gentle with children, even though they might knock down toddlers due to their large size. These dogs typically have great discernment. They might be excited to see a stranger if they get good vibes from them. But if they feel suspicious in any way, they might be a little more cautious around certain houseguests.

For a large breed, this is certainly an easy-going companion animal. The only real problem with the Bernese Mountain Dog is that they have relatively short lifespans. They are also susceptible to several illnesses, which could shorten their time with you. Otherwise, this extremely relaxed dog will always sit with you in exchange for head scratches.


Now, you have a solid list of different calm, low-energy dog breeds. The wonderful thing about this is that there is no one specific look that matches the personality you’re looking for. Each of these dogs looks unique and different from the others, and they have all sorts of traits that make them different as well.

Which of these calm, cool, and collected canines were your favorite? Learn more about the breed you love!

Featured Image Credit: Graham Holtshausen, Unsplash

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