Lazy Dog Breeds Who Live for Naptime and Cuddles
Are you looking for a couch potato dog who prefers snuggles in front of the TV over long walks? Every dog (and owner!) needs exercise, but there are plenty of lazy dog breeds that are happy to settle for a daily walk around the neighbourhood instead of a mountain hike every week and high-energy games every afternoon.
If you want to bring a dog into your home but don’t have an overly active lifestyle, the good news is that your perfect match is out there! We’ve listed the cuddliest lazy dog breeds for owners who value afternoon naps and sleeping in over breakfast at dawn and a brisk jog around town.
13 Lazy Dog Breeds
There are as many types of dog personalities as there are human personalities, so stay inside your comfort zone when choosing a canine companion. Find a furry friend whose favorite hobbies are complimentary to yours. That way, you can lounge on the couch or stay indoors together for hours.
Low-Energy Toy Dog Breeds
If you have any experience with toy dogs, or small dog breeds in general, you probably already know that they are usually energetic. Overly energetic, even. Some small dogs, like Chihuahuas, seem capable of running at top-speed for hours without getting tired. That said, there are a couple of small breeds that are more laid-back and chill.
Lazy Small Dog Breeds
The following toy and small couch potato dog breeds will be happy to accompany you on your easy-going journey through life. Every dog needs some fresh air and playtime, of course, but these breeds can have a great time indoors with their families, too.
The Maltese is one of the only toy dog breeds that doesn’t zip around like an actual wind-up toy. Though the Maltese enjoys playtime and can even compete in agility events, its main goal is to be in the company of its family. Keep your Maltese entertained with plenty of toys and attention, and he will adapt very well to apartment living or a “lazy” lifestyle.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The pretty little floppy-eared Lady from Lady and the Tramp was a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The breed is not only a favorite of 17th-century royalty, but of many family households around the world. Exceptionally calm and refined, dogs of this breed are technically classified as toy dogs, standing under 13 inches in height. Loving and cuddly, these spaniels are an ideal fit for seniors and children.
See those adorably short little legs on the so-called wiener dog? Those little legs are why the dachshund needs less time and space to run around than its long-limbed cousins. When you take this guy out for a leisurely walk, you won’t need to rush to keep up with him. Dachshunds are loyal to their families and very serious about their instinctive roles as household protectors.
Bred in ancient China as the ultimate royal lap dog, the shih tzu is a cute little pet that loves people. Playful and friendly, shih tzus enjoy spending time with family indoors and outdoors, as long as they get time to play. That classic squished face and soft, curly fur makes for some great cuddle time afterwards. For housebound owners, or owners with less time to take their dogs in and out frequently, this breed is a good choice.
Easy for the inexperienced to confuse with a miniature poodle (or a teddy bear!), the bichon frise boasts the same type of poofy white curls all over its little body. At first glance, these little dogs might seem to have a little too much energy to be on this list—however, their ability to contain that energy to toys and games inside a small living space is impressive. Gentle, cheerful and affectionate, the bichon frise is a wonderful cuddler and family dog.
Lazy Medium Dog Breeds
Medium-sized dog breeds are bigger than their small cousins, but not too much—they normally stand under 27 inches high at the shoulder and weigh no more than 60 pounds. Medium-sized dogs may be just a little larger than a small dog, or nearly as big as a large dog.
Depending on who you ask, the pug is either a small dog or a medium-sized dog. Either way, it’s not very big! It does, however, have a very big personality. Pugs are fun-loving, silly and very family oriented. Their short muzzles aren’t really optimized for strenuous breathing, which means these dogs are supposed to take regular breaks from exercise to avoid issues. Truly, this is one of the best couch potato breeds!
No doubt, you already know that greyhounds are the fastest dogs at the racetrack. But do they like running around at top speed all day? No! They actually prefer to stay in and sleep—for as many as 20 hours a day. Naturally inclined to conserve energy for a few brief hours of hunting per day, the Italian greyhound is surely one of the most unexpected of the lazy dog breeds. One refreshing walk and play session per day ought to satisfy this sleepy doggy.
The typical cartoon basset hound might be something of an exaggeration—always asleep or woofing lethargically at a rogue scent—but it’s not too far off. The basset hound was bred as a pack hunting dog, which means it is happy to be around other dogs as well as humans. Definitely lazy, this loyal and loving breed also likes to save its energy for the hunt (AKA outdoor walkies).
Cuba’s favourite dog, the Havanese, is an instinctive lapdog. Covered in a soft double coat that makes them extra fuzzy, these dogs are smart and easy to train. Loyal to their families, Havanese dogs are good with kids and a lot of fun to have around the house. On the small side, this is a medium-sized dog that doesn’t need anything much more from its owners than food, walks and some space on the couch.
Large Couch Potato Dog Breeds
If you’re worried that big dogs can’t fit into a couch-potato lifestyle, chin up! Plenty of big breeds (generally over 24 inches high and weighing more than 60 pounds) like to laze around just as much as their smaller relatives. Some are even totally adaptable to apartment life.
The stocky Saint Bernard breed is famous as a rescue dog capable of finding lost hikers and skiers lost in the depths of wintery mountain ranges. It was for this dog’s intelligence, love of people, and willingness to work hard that it earned such a reputation. Non-working Saint Bernards love to hang out with the family at home and just go with the flow. They are a great breed for households who aren’t particularly active, but who want to take their dog out a couple of times a year for an adventure.
Great Danes, despite their common name, are actually descended from German ancestry. The Great Dane is a huge and strong dog, originally trained to hunt wild boar. Still classified as a working dog, the breed is also known as a good companion dog. Gentle and protective with children, this dog is usually comfortable around other dogs and likely to give itself the job of home security.
The Newfoundland is such an absolute couch potato dog that if he gets too comfortable, he’ll straight up refuse to move. These giant black dogs are at times so against exercise that their history as a working animal seems just bizarre. Go ahead and be lazy with your Newfie, but don’t let him get away with becoming a lump on the floor, either! Newfoundland dogs do need to get up and stretch their legs once in a while, even when they don’t want to. Make sure yours goes for a daily walk and gets some interactive playtime.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The immense Bernese Mountain dog comes from some of the same ancestors as the Great Dane. Both are big, sturdy breeds, but the Bernese Mountain dog can be a little more patient and people-friendly than the Great Dane. Characterized by its soft, shaggy, tri-color coat, the BMD is another ex-working dog looking for a chance to have the cushy life of a house pet. Incredibly people-friendly and with a calm, controlled demeanour, this breed is great with kids and whole families.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lazy Dog Breeds
It’s important to remember that no pet should be indoors 24 hours a day without good reason—for example, when it’s the deep of winter and his puppy pad can handle a few rounds. Otherwise, daily walks are a must for most dogs—even lazy ones.
What is the most laid-back dog breed?
It’s tough to quantify a type of personality, but there are several breeds that come to most experts’ minds when asked this question. Usually, those breeds include the Newfoundland, the basset hound and the Italian greyhound. Saint Bernards and pugs are also pretty high up on that list. These dogs are low-energy when compared with most other kinds of dogs.
If you’re thinking of “laid-back” dogs less in terms of energy levels, and more in terms of social personality, then the answer becomes slightly different. Calm, gentle dog breeds include the Bernese Mountain dog, bulldog, Saint Bernard, and Cavalier King Charles spaniel. These are friendly, sociable, and usually make beloved family pets. Calmness and intelligence also makes for easy training, and helps dogs become socialized more easily with kids and other kinds of animals.
What breed of dog is the lowest maintenance?
Maintaining a dog includes a lot of tasks. As an owner, you’ll be in charge of feeding, walking, scooping poo, exercising, grooming, socializing, entertaining, loving, and getting medical care for your dog. None of these activities can be ignored, so a lower-maintenance dog must be one who needs less exercise, less food, and less personal attention than others.
Breeds that meet these criteria include the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the dachshund, the basset hound, and the Chihuahua. These dogs don’t need your constant attention, nor do they require a lot of outdoor time and exercise. Their relatively small size also means you won’t be going through multiple oversized bags of food every week.
Which dog breeds are best for less active people?
There are many reasons why people might be less active than their friends and neighbours. They might be less mobile due to physical constraints like a wheelchair or walker, or inside more often due to anxiety issues. Some people are just plain introverted and unlikely to think about going out of the house as often as most others. For these and many more situations, low-energy dog breeds are a great idea for would-be dog owners.
Dog breeds who need the least amount of exercise per day include English bulldog, pug, greyhound, basset hound, miniature pinscher, and the Newfoundland. Each dog is different, but somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes of walking or playing per day should be sufficient.
Which dog breeds make the best couch potatoes who love to snuggle?
Everyone loves a good couch potato dog—someone snuggly and sweet and loving. Snuggling with a dog is one of life’s great pleasures, especially after a hard day of work and dealing with everyday errands. Cuddly canines come in all shapes and sizes, and include the shih tzu, bichon frise, pug, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Affenpinscher.
Finding the right dog to match your own personality and lifestyle is essential to the happiness of you and your future pet. The best owner-pet relationships are built on mutual activities, be those snacking, snuggling, playing with toys, swimming, camping, etc.
If you are ready to find your new best friend, check out our Puppy Match Quiz! Answer a few questions and in a minute or two you’ll be matched with multiple dog breeds that work with your expectations.
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