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Calm and Lazy Dog Breeds

7 min read

If you don't have much time to spend hours each day walking your dog, then a laid-back dog breed could be for you. Keep reading to find out which breeds are more than happy to curl up and snooze on the sofa.

There are some dogs who are constantly on the go every minute of the day and are always ready to jump into any adventure or activity with all four paws. But there are other calm dog breeds who after a daily walk, are quite happy to snuggle up and snooze on the sofa.

In general, breed is not a good indicator of what a dog's adult behaviour will be. In other words, behaviour depends on multiple factors that make a dog's adult behaviour unpredictable solely based on belonging to a specific breed (and therefore having certain genetics). However, some traits are more heritable than others. "Fear" and "activity level" are, when we talk about behavioural traits, highly heritable. In other words, an individual's activity level can be "fairly" predicted by the breed it belongs to. You probably know the answer if someone asks you whether a Saint Bernard or a Border Collie is more active!

So, if your schedule is far too busy for a high energy dog and you just want a buddy you can chill out with, then you might want to consider a quiet dog breed. Keep reading for our top ten laid back dog breeds that you're more likely to trip over snoring, than find underneath your feet looking for games!

Calm dog breeds

Calm dog breeds are ideal if you have a busy schedule or if you live in an apartment and don't have lots of space for your pooch to run around. Where our top ten calm and lazy dog breeds may not require as much exercise as high energy breeds, it's still important that they're regularly walked to stimulate their brains and to prevent any destructive behaviours forming.

In other words, requiring less physical activity doesn't mean they don't have other needs to fulfil (such as playing with you, spending quality time enjoying your company, or engaging in mental challenges). Furthermore, having a lower need for physical activity doesn't imply that they don't enjoy it when they do engage in it. Many of these dogs love going for walks in the countryside, but at their own pace and with calmness.

1. Bassett Hound

When they're not hot on a trail following a scent, this laid-back dog breed is usually found lounging on the sofa, patiently awaiting their next snack. They're known for their gentle natures while inside the house, but are also always up for an adventure out on a walk, and love nothing more than to engage their natural instincts and sniff out a trail.

Although the Basset Hound is a calm dog breed, it's important that they're regularly exercised and that their diet is monitored as they're prone to obesity.

2. Bullmastiff

Although this dog breed is large and muscly in appearance, Bullmastiffs often think they're little lapdogs! This quiet dog breed is extremely loyal but they don't like to be left alone, so it's not a good idea to consider a Bullmastiff if you spend a lot of time away from home.

3. Sighthounds

Despite being super-fast movers, Sighthounds such as DeerhoundsWhippetsGreyhounds and Irish Wolfhounds are all laid back dog breeds. They prefer their exercise to be short and sweet, followed by long bursts of sleeping to restore their energy. All sighthound owners agree that once you let one into your home they're easy to fall in love with.

4. Maltese

The Maltese is a calm dog breed that requires little exercise (although they should still be walked every day) whose favourite way to spend their time is snuggled with their owner. Despite their small size they make impressive guard dogs.

Maltese are also known to suffer from anxiety-related problems, so these are not suitable for owners who spend a lot of time away, but if you have enough time to spend with one they could be an incredibly loving and loyal dog breed.

5. St. Bernard

This dog breed looks like a giant cuddly teddy bear and it may surprise you to learn that they're also extremely laid back! If you don't have much time to spend on exercising your dog, they're low energy and a moderate daily walk is enough to satisfy their needs.

Although they are a very quiet dog breed, the St. Bernard is not suitable for apartment living due to their giant size. They make perfect family pets due to their kind temperament, but they're not ideal if you have very small children as they can accidentally knock them over.

6. Great Dane 

Known as “gentle giants”, Great Danes have a naturally laid-back and gentle temperament, making them perfect for a relaxed lifestyle. You’ll often find them just lounging around and snuggling, although they do still need 1-2 hours of exercise per day, depending on the individual dog. However, once you’ve tired them out they may well go for curling up on the sofa over a game of fetch!

7. Golden Retriever 

While Golden Retrievers are generally more energetic and active, they can adapt well to a relaxed lifestyle. Just know that your Golden Retriever will happily join you for some leisure time whenever you want.

Keep in mind that they still need a good amount of exercise so you’ll need to set aside some time for a bit of running, some relaxed walks and playing outside daily. 

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 

The sweet and docile Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is highly adaptable to various environments and lifestyles. Often described as “Velcro dogs” because of their strong desire to be near their humans, Cavaliers are perfectly content with lounging around the house or going on leisurely walks, as long as they’re spending time with you.

9. Bernese Mountain Dog    

Need a social but laid back dog? We’ve got you covered! The Bernese Mountain Dog is great for anyone who’s looking for a calm companion. Bernese Mountain Dogs generally have a placid nature but do need more exercise than some other breeds on this list, with some Bernese Mountain Dogs needing as much as 1.5-2 hours of exercise daily. However, they’re also excellent cuddling companions and chances are that they’ll never say no to some down time next to their favourite humans.

10. Shih Tzu 

A lover of cuddles and snuggles, the Shih Tzu can be great for someone who prefers a more laid-back lifestyle. Although they can be more active during their puppy years, most Shih Tzus will calm down considerably as they become adults. Remember that a little bit of training can go a long way in making sure they easily adapt to a calmer environment.

Are Brachycephalic types lazy dog breeds? 

Many breeds that people consider to be traditionally 'lazy dog breeds' are those with flat faces and squashed noses (known as brachycephalic breeds) such as Bulldogs and Pugs. These dogs have compromised airways and spend their entire lives struggling to breathe, so often if they're acting 'lazy' it's mostly due to their inability to breathe, rather than having an actually laid-back nature.

Brachycephalic breeds have been subject to poor breeding practices and with the extreme popularity of pugs and bulldogs, some breeders in the UK are still not breeding for health and welfare first.

These ten calm and lazy dog breeds are ideal if you suffer from low energy or don't have enough time to spend walking and playing with a high energy breed for hours on end. Always remember that despite being low energy, these dog breeds still requite regular walks and exercise to maintain their weight and engage their brains.

Want more information on dog breeds? Check out our dog breed library, with information on almost 200 dog breed types! 

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