Whether you live in an apartment, you can’t spend a lot of time exercising due to disability, or you simply have a very busy lifestyle that doesn’t leave much time, there are many reasons for wanting a dog that doesn’t require a ton of exercise. While all dogs do need some exercise to stay healthy, just like people, certain dogs are way more high energy than others. We’ve talked before about placid smaller breeds, but today I want to focus more generally on dogs that are, well…lazy.
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The English Bulldog is the quintessential frat boy dog, for good reason. This dog is excellent at lounging around doing nothing. They love to sleep, and they revel in being a little bit “gross”. If you don’t mind farting, snoring, and goofy antics to go with your lazy dog, this is a great choice for you. Be aware that English Bulldogs can be prone to breathing problems and skin issues, and typically need regular veterinary attention.
Chow Chows are basically big walking pillows. With their fluffy bodies and their chill attitudes, Chow Chows are perfect for someone who wants a cuddly companion for a quiet night in. These dogs tend to be more independent than most, which translates into you not needing to do much to keep them happy. That’s good news for someone who wants a dog but doesn’t have a ton of time for training.
If you want a dog that you can spoil and play with, but don’t want to do a lot of exercise, a Chinese Crested is perfect. These dogs do need a lot of attention because of their hairlessness – their skin is prone to issues – and they also just like having lots of attention. But they don’t need a ton of movement to stay healthy, and they tend to live very long lives. These dogs are ideal for elderly owners who can’t get around as good as they used to, but want something to take care of to stay involved.
Like the Chow Chow, this dog has a very independent, laid-back spirit. While these dogs make good guard dogs, they can also be incredibly lazy when they know all is well. They’ll sleep frequently and just “hang out” whenever you want them to. Just a small amount of regular exercise keeps them healthy, and they don’t tend to have any desire to wander. Plus, their wrinkly faces are adorable.
If you want a dog that is sweet tempered, patient, kind, and gentle, then the Irish Wolfhound is for you. It’s funny because these dogs were originally bred to fight wars – but these days, this dog is known for being one of the sweetest breeds around. They are great with very young children because they are so calm and patient. They don’t need a ton of exercise compared to other large breeds, and are generally just happy to do whatever you want.
This fluffy cloud-like breed is a popular companion for elderly and disabled owners, specifically because they are generally content to be lap dogs and nothing more. They are sweet and cuddly, and they lack the snappishness that a lot of small toy breeds can develop. These dogs need a quick walk every day and nothing more, although you will spend quite a lot of time on grooming their unruly curls. They were bred to be companions, and they excel at that task.
Here’s an interesting one that I don’t think many people would guess as a low-energy dog. If you love the protective-yet-goofy nature of a Pit Bull, but you don’t want a dog that needs a lot of exercise, a Bullmastiff is a great choice. They are just as alert and loving as a Pit, but they have very calm, even docile natures. These dogs are definitely big and powerful, but they tend to be rather lazy in demeanor. You can easily incorporate a Bullmastiff into your calm, laid back lifestyle.
These dogs look something like a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Setter, with maybe a little bit of wiener dog thrown in for good measure. These dogs are a bit of a mystery to me, so watch out for a new Breed of the Week featuring them coming up soon; but somehow, they are frequently both a bit silly and fun-loving, but also very slow-paced. It’s kind of like they want to move, but are just too slow to do much of it. Whatever the reason behind this interesting mix, a Sussex Spaniel is a great dog for a family that likes to be more energetic on the weekends, but can’t get out for much exercise during the week.
Basset Hounds are the classic dog you picture when you think of a lazy, napping, lumbering goof ball. These dogs love to hang out on the porch, napping the day away in a sunbeam. And then coming inside at night to sleep the night away with you! If you want a dog that won’t need much exercise, this is it. Be aware that Basset Hounds do have a pretty piercing howl when they want to vocalize, so they may not be the best dog for an apartment.
Surprisingly, these big dogs don’t actually require a ton of intense exercise. They do need plenty of space to move around, for sure – but just some time spent playing together, or a quick walk, will be plenty of exercise for them each day. These dogs are sweet hearted and silly, with very goofy personalities that make them easy to love. Be aware that they tend to be short lived, which may be hard on young children.
Finally, the Old English Sheepdog is another dog that you may not have guessed was low energy. These dogs are gentle, protective, and very companionable. While they will be happy to go outside with you and amble around, they don’t tend to necessarily need consistent exercise. They want to be around you more than anything, and are generally just fine with hanging out around the house.
So now that you know about quite a few breeds that don’t require a lot of exercise, what do you do with them? You got the dog because you wanted to have a loving companion that fit your lifestyle, but just because they are low energy doesn’t mean they don’t need some stimulation. Bored dogs are destructive dogs. Here are some ways to spend time with your dog, no matter how much exercise they do or don’t need.
These ideas can help you spend time with your dog, even if neither of you is interested in taking a walk or playing an energetic game of fetch.
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At the end of the day, please remember that all dogs need at least some exercise daily to stay healthy. But “some” exercise varies greatly depending on the breed and the dog’s temperament. It’s also important to remember that dogs are unique individuals with their own personalities. It’s just as common to see a highly energetic English bulldog as it would be to see an extremely lazy Dalmatian – two dogs that typically exemplify the opposite trait. Treat your dog as an individual with their own quirks, and you’ll be much closer to making them happy and healthy.
That being said, these 11 breeds are the most likely to earn you a dog that is perfectly content with your relaxed lifestyle. You can get yourself a couch potato buddy who wants to snuggle or just hang out, without having to give up on your dream of being a dog owner. You’ll be able to find plenty of ways to form a close bond with your dog, even if you don’t get out for hours and hours of play every day. With all this variety in temperament and personality, dogs truly are man’s best friend – no matter what kind of person you may be!