BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

Low Energy Dogs: The Most Popular Breeds

Low energy dogs
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Low energy dog breeds are the ones that do not require much exercise since they prefer to be coach potatoes and just lay around. This is because their bodies need less energy in order to function properly. Additionally, too much exercise might prove to be bad for their health because most of these breeds get tired easily. However, this does not mean that these dogs do not need daily walks, grooming and exercises like other breeds with high levels of energy. Just like too much exercise might prove disastrous, the same can happen if they do not exercise at all.

In this article we are going to cover some of the most popular low energy dog breeds that do not demand much walking, running and hours of exercise. However, keep in mind that even though they prefer to spend more time around you, sitting on the coach and just being lazy, it does not mean that they also require less care. It is just that their bodies function in that way and the owner should adapt to it.

 The French Bulldog

The Bulldog is probably one of the most famous lazy breeds in the world. His country of origin is England and his past is very bloody in the sense that he was used for bull baiting and even attacking humans. There are a couple of varieties of this breed, some that are extinct today, which are: the American Bulldog, Leavitt Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, and the French Bulldog.

The French Bulldog

The one with the lowest energy is the French Bulldog which has been ranked as one of the most popular dogs in the UK and USA. He does require daily walks but minimal exercise and he is a very loyal companion. He is a great choice if you live in an apartment; however their bulk and short coat mean that they can get cold and hot easily, so they should be taken care of carefully.

 The Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested Dog was originally bred for being a companion for invalids; however, today he is a very popular and beautiful toy breed with low energy. This breed can participate in agility competition but there is no need for him to do daily exercises like big dogs need. There are two varieties: the Powder Puff which has long silky fur and the Hairless which belongs to the group of dogs without fur.

Chinese Crested dog breed

Both of them require daily grooming because of their coat and they can be perfect apartment companions, even though they also like being in the country. If you choose him you can stay assured that he will be devoted to you forever.

The Pekingese

The Pekingese, also called the Lion Dog or Peke, belongs to the group of ancient dog breeds or the oldest dogs in the world. His country of origin is China and this breed could be owned only by Chinese princes until the mid-19th century.

The Pekingese

The Pekingese is a very small dog breed with short legs and a flat nose. They cannot spend too much time outside because they tire easily and they can have a heatstroke if left in the hot sun for too long. Despite that they are very loyal, fierce and brave companions that are very devoted to their owner and family.

The Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a dog breed from Tibet. He is a known non-sporting and low energy breed which means that they are not very fond of long walks and tough exercises. The Lhasa Apso was bred by Buddhist monks in order to alert them of intruders, but also as lovable companions.

The Lhasa Apso

They were also described as “goat-like” because of their silky long coat that needs to be groomed regularly. The Lhasa Apso belongs to the group of ancient dog breeds and has been around for more than four thousand years. He still acts as a loyal guardian to his owner and family.

 The Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is a dog breed that is also known as the Japanese Spaniel. He belongs to the group of toy and lap dogs that have little to no energy thus do not require much exercise. It is believed that this little friend originated in China but it is still debatable.

The Japanese Chin

This breed is very cat-like when it comes to his long fluffy hair, coat and other traits. He is independent, loyal and smart. His silken coat requires weekly grooming or brushing but the dog itself does not need tough exercises. He is a great dog for apartments and smaller condos but he also needs walks from time to time.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, is the dog breed that originated in Tibet and China. The Shih Tzu is a popular toy dog breed without too much energy that has beautiful, long and silken coat. The Shih Tzu is in need of regular grooming because of his long coat and in order to maintain it beautiful and healthy.

The Shih Tzu

When it comes to his temperament, he is always affectionate and loyal. His type of coat and fur unable him to perform vigorous tasks, so he only needs regular walks, not exercise. He is a very popular lap dog because of that.

The Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier is a terrier type of a dog that originated in Czechoslovakia. This unique dog is known for being very quiet and calm, even more than other terriers. This is a great trait for older people who would like companions or even families with children.

The Cesky Terrier

He has a specific coat that should be clipped regularly and it prevents him from exercising vigorously. However, he needs his daily walks and he also loves spending time with his owner. This dog breed is pretty rare because it first arrived in the UK and USA in the 90s.

The Saint Bernard

The St. Bernard is a dog breed that originated from Swiss Alps, north Italy and Switzerland. This dog is famous for its enormous size and lovable character, depicted in various media such as Tooper and Swiss Miss. He belongs to the group of giant dogs and can weight more than 140 kg (or 310 lb). This means that St Bernard is no lap dog and he is not suitable for small apartments. However, he is also not suitable for daily tough exercises even if his size is so big.

The Saint Bernard

That is because he is naturally not energetic and he needs only as much exercise as to maintain health and discipline. That means you won’t see him jumping around recklessly unless his was trained for that. Tough training for small puppies is forbidden so their bones would not get disfigured. His temperament is also very calm, docile and affectionate.

The Stabyhoun

The Stabyhoun is, believe it or not, one of the top five rarest dog breeds in the world as of 2013. His country of origin is the Netherlands and he is considered as a Dutch national treasure. What makes him unique is the black and white coat and white tipped tail. Brown Stabyhouns are very rare while the orange and white ones are even rarer. They also have spotting on the white parts of the coat, especially legs.

The Stabyhoun

When it comes to his temperament, he is a very gentle, nice and affectionate dog. He is also intelligent, patient and always willing to please his master. This breed should never be aggressive or snappy.

The Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a dog breed that originated in France. He is one of the short-legged dog breeds and that is one of the traits that made him famous.

He is also a scent hound whose original job was to hunt small prey, e.g. hare. Basset Hounds are known for having a “sad expression” on their face, long hung ears, long tail and very short legs. The coat is short and their sense of scent is impeccable.

The Basset Hound

When it comes to their temperament, they can be great companions in apartments and they are also very tolerant of children. His short legs are the reason why he can’t jump much and he prefers being laid back and accompanied by his family.

The Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is the large dog from Switzerland, or more precisely, the canton of Bern. His original job was to accompany herders and take care of their livestock, however, today they are just lovable family companions. He is a giant dog with tri-colored coat, and it is usually black, white and orange. He appears to be very muscular but you won’t see him energetic because he doesn’t have that much energy to give.

The Bernese Mountain Dog

Originally a farm dog, nowadays the Bernese is a beloved family dog that goes well with children. He is not really suitable for apartment due to his large size and he prefers being outdoors but tough exercise is not really for him. Daily walks and socializing are a must, but they should not include extreme sports. This breed should never be aggressive or snappy but rather good-natured, docile and placid.

The Bullmastiff

The bullmastiff is a large dog breed that originated in the UK. Even though Bullmastiffs’ size can be frightening, they are actually quite docile, calm dogs that almost never bark. The short coat is usually fawn, red, or brindle and the muzzle is black. They are very strong and powerful dogs, but sensitive and good-natured. It is very important to socialize them from an early age because they can be independent.

The Bullmastiff

They are also very possessive and the natural guardians of their home. Apartment keeping is not recommended due to their big size. They need a special approach during their training and even though they look big, their level of energy is pretty low.

The Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is a lazy breed that originated in China and is sometimes called the “puffy lion dog” due to his unique appearance. The breed also belongs to the ancient group of dogs which are the oldest in the world. The Chow Chow is a sturdy dog of medium size with a recognizable mane, dense red coat and a blue black tongue.

The Chow Chow

When it comes to his temperament, the Chow Chow is not very fond of strangers and he has been known as a snappy breed. That is because he is fiercely protective of his own and family and he should be trained properly from an early age in order to avoid any aggressive behavior. He can also live in an apartment because he is not an active dog. They also tend to go after their hunting instincts and attack smaller animals.

The Pug

The Pug is a very small dog breed that originated in China as well. He is famous for short curled tail, flat black muzzle, small ears, short light coat and the wrinkled face. The breed has become very popular nowadays and it ranked among top popular dog breeds in Europe.

The Pug

Pugs are known for being very gentle and easy going companion and lap dogs. Due to their flat noses they tend to breathe faster all the time which is a common trait. They do not handle high or low temperatures very well, and they also do not handle tough exercises. They are playful but not very active. Their temperament is often described as “much in little” because they are fierce, protective, brave and loyal. They are also perfect as lap dogs and suitable for smaller apartments.

The Great Dane

The Great Dane, or “the gentle giant” is a large dog breed that originated in Germany. This huge German Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds in the world so it may come as a surprise to some people that he is also a low energy consumer. However, he is not very active dog even though he does require lots of space and attention.

The Great Dane dogs

His nature is friendly, placid and easy going. He loves both physical and emotional affection from his owner and he is not shy to ask for it. This breed should never be snappy or aggressive, not even towards other dog and smaller animals. They tend to go great with children and love being in family homes. However, before considering him as your pet, make sure that you can provide him with enough space and love.

The Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff or Mastino is a large Italian dog breed that also belongs to the ancient dog breeds group. His fierce appearance scares and puts off many people, but he is actually quite calm and not very active. However, on the other hand; he is very protective of his home so he is often used as a guardian.

The Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff has a short black coat and a specific wrinkled muzzle. When it comes to his temperament, he is fearless, brave, intelligent and loves family.

He also does not bark often and he needs obedience training from an early age. If he is trained properly he will grow into a really kind and affectionate dog that would show you his love all the time.

The Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is the dog breed from Ireland. He is a very large dog that is also the tallest dog breed in the world. The minimal height is 0.81 m while the minimal weight is 48 kg. When it comes to their temperament, each Wolfhound is specific with his own quirks, but they are always intelligent, protective and reserved. They will always create strong bonds with their owners and shower them with love.

The Irish Wolfhound

When it comes to their energy-related characteristic they are calm which makes them suitable for urban life and big apartments; however, they prefer rural life and enough place to move even though they are not very active. Their height makes them inconvenient for really small apartments where they would bump into other things, just like the Great Dane.

In conclusion

To sum up, we have covered some of the most popular lazy dog breeds that are real coach potatoes. As you can see, they are not only tiny or lap dog breeds that are physically unable to move too much. Some of them are really big but their metabolism is still slower than in other breeds.

They do require regular walks and training in order to maintain both physical and mental health; however, you won’t see them jumping around like crazy and being fond of tough exercises.

They do not need much and that means that they should be compatible with their owners.

For example, if you are active or sports person who goes on long walks or hikes all the time, you won’t match with the breeds mentioned in the article above. On the other hand, if you are someone who do not need vigorous moving all the time, then you can consider these dog breeds. You should also keep in mind that these dogs need as much grooming, brushing, loving and socializing as any other dog, no matter how energetic.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • Kathy Peters

    I’m surprised that there are big breeds that are considered low energy dogs. It’s tempting to ask you to add Golden Retrievers to the list. :o)
    Mine is a couch potato and a natural one at that!
    I read that big breeds are more prone to hip problems. Does having little exercise affect this at all?

  • Melinda Green

    To add to this: consider Greyhounds! We had one in the past who is the biggest couch potato in the household! Pretty much low energy as far a low energy can get. Definitely for those who are looking for lapdogs.

  • Margaret Aniston

    My aunt haven’t had any dogs for the past 5 years and is now sharing her home with 2 adorable Persian cats. However, I got a call from her yesterday that she would love a low maintenance, low energy, medium pooch as companion. A dog that can easily adapt to cats.
    Any suggestions please? Thanks dog lovers!

    • Bichons, Maltese, and Beagles are good choices. While these are not necessarily low maintenance, they are still manageable breeds (with Beagle acing this requirement). These dog breeds are the most tolerant when living with a family that has a cat. They are playful and loving, and will not mind feline friends.

  • Bigger breeds are more prone to hip problems because of their weight and skeletal structure. There are larger breeds that require little exercise, but this still needs to be met for the dog to be healthy.

  • Greyhounds are fantastic low-energy breeds.
    These docile, gentle giants are indeed lapdogs that are extra large.

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