Low Energy Dogs

While the unwavering playful energy of a Jack Russel terrier or a Labrador retriever can be entertaining, there are a number of reasons why one of the more laid back dog breeds might be better suited to your needs. These low energy dogs are ideal choices for those who reside in apartments and do not have yards in which an energetic dog needs to sprint on a daily basis. They are also good companion choices for the elderly or the infirm. Perhaps you prefer to spend your evenings and weekends relaxing on the couch. Consider one of these most laid back dogs to serve as a companion that will be perfectly content to lounge in your living room after a daily walk by your side.


Pugs are compact bundles of love. They are the largest of the toy breeds, and they get along with everybody. Their exercise needs can be met with some interactive play indoors and a daily walk. Pugs are brachycephalic, meaning that they have short airways that result from their pushed in facial structures. This makes them prone to overheating, so this is a breed that comes with a built-in excuse for less exercise.


Bulldogs were once developed for baiting and fighting bulls in sporting arenas. Once this practice was outlawed, breeders focused on tempering the bulldog’s attitude. Today’s bulldogs are lovable slobs that are all too happy to wile away the hours by snoozing at their owner’s feet. Like pugs, bulldogs are brachycephalic and should be exercised briefly each day with a walk or some interactive playtime.


Originally developed and prized as a companion for Chinese nobility, the Pekingese continues to retain all rights to the nearest available lap. Happy to scamper around and play indoors, the Pekingese makes a perfect apartment resident. This is yet another brachycephalic breed that must be restricted from too much exercise during the hotter months.


This one may come as a surprise when you envision this fastest dog breed zooming around the racetracks. As many owners of these dogs have come to discover, greyhounds are among the most laid back dog breeds, and they are happy to assume the role of couch potato. They are docile and loving toward their human family members, and they get along with other dogs. Keep in mind that they possess a high prey drive that could place cats and other small mammals in danger.

Great Dane

This giant breed is happy to answer the call to sprawl. Great Danes may be large in size, but they are small in energy levels. Great Dane puppies grow rapidly, and too much exercise can have adverse effects on their bone and joint health. Great Danes must be socialized and trained early to ensure a gentle and loving disposition.

Chow Chow

With its heavy coat, the chow chow prefers to opt out of exercise romps on those hazy, hot and humid days. This ancient breed’s exercise needs can be met with short sessions of playtime or a daily walk through the neighborhood.


The bullmastiff is strong and powerful, but this gentle giant thrives best with daily walks. Bullmastiffs are quiet and mellow, and they are content to spend most of their days indoors. Few images exemplify the picture of laziness more aptly than that of a bullmastiff, snoring away and fully stretched out on a comfortable cushion.

Basset hound

Another classic couch warmer is the lovable basset hound. Originally developed as a scent hound for tracking and hunting small game, the basset hound retains that drive to follow its nose. Indoors, basset hounds are content to loll about in a patch of sun. Despite the lazy demeanor, daily walks are essential to prevent obesity. The long torso and short legs predispose the basset hound to detrimental spinal problems if there is too much extra weight to carry.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are not keen on workout routines either, and they have a low tolerance for warmer weather. These low energy dogs are loved for their gentle expressions, their calm demeanor and their devotion.


The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed. Although it can appear quite fearsome when barking at a potential intruder at the door, the Chihuahua is a loyal little dog that prefers to shadow its favorite family member. Chihuahuas are low energy dogs that will nestle alongside their chosen people at every opportunity.

Remember that even these most laid back dogs require some daily exercise to maintain a healthy weight. A few rounds of fetch down a hallway or across the room will suffice for smaller breeds, and a daily walk around the block with your larger breed will do both of your bodies good.

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