One of the essential parts of finding a pup for a life companion is to adopt a breed that matches your lifestyle.
If you are active and energetic, you want a ready dog to take on the mountains. On the other hand, you might be best friends with your couch and want a low-maintenance dog that’s ready for cuddles. However, they will still need daily physical and mental exercise in order to be fulfilled and happy.
Low-energy dogs are also a good match for those who live in apartments. Most of them tend to be happy, playful, and calmer indoors. They appreciate a good nap as much as a fun game of fetch in the park.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of dog breeds that match this description. From big to small, perfect pups are waiting out there for you. Here are the laziest dog breeds in the world.
The 12 Lazy Small Dog Breeds (2–35 pounds):
1. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is one of the smaller dog breeds known for feeling lazy. They stand at a maximum of 11–13 inches and weigh 16–28 pounds. They have a lifespan of about 10–12 years.
They are brachycephalic dogs, meaning their snouts are very short and pushed up and in toward their face. It makes it harder for them to breathe, giving them a good reason for their lack of movement. These little dogs are known for being highly adaptable, intelligent, and loving. Don’t exercise them in the hot and humid weather, as they are prone to overheating. Jumping up and down and climbing stairs should be avoided, as Frenchies are at risk of intervertebral disc disease and back injuries.
Pekingese came to us from China and are every ounce of an ancient royal breed. They weigh between 7 and 14 pounds and stand only 6–9 inches tall, sometimes smaller. They also have “squished” faces and only require about 20 minutes of activity once or twice each day.
Pekingese have a beautiful coat and a large attitude to make up for their small size. Their charm is what makes them the perfect lap dog for anyone with a lap at the ready.
Pugs are a widely popular small-breed dog. According to the AKC, in 2022 they ranked 35 out of 199 recognized breeds. They were also the companions of Chinese emperors, and their quirky attitude matches.
Pugs only stand 10–13 inches but they do it proudly. On average, they weigh 14–18 pounds and can live for 13–15 years. They are classed as a toy breed. Pugs have a Latin motto, “multum in parvo,” meaning “a lot in a little.” With a Pug, that is exactly what you get.
Havanese only need about 30 minutes of exercise twice each day. They love being part of a family and typically get along well with children and other pets. Bred to be the perfect companion dog, they only need short walks each day.
The Havanese is the national pup of Cuba. They typically weigh around 13 pounds and stand 8–12 inches. With floppy ears and a curled tail, Havanese are a perfect cuddle buddy.
5. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are another toy breed of dog. They have been a beloved pet for thousands of years, known as a little “Lion Dog” for their outgoing nature. They are playful but small enough that about 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough for them.
Shih Tzus are about 9–10.5 inches tall. They weigh between 9 and 16 pounds and can live between 10–18 years.
6. Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested gets plenty of attention and is surprisingly popular. They only weigh between 8 and 12 pounds and stand at a maximum of 13 inches tall. They have an unusually high life expectancy of 13–18 years.
Chinese Crested, although odd-looking, are a good breed for a first-time dog owner. They are lively but quickly exhausted with a few short walks. They are known to love a good cuddle. The hairless variety needs extra protection from the sun and outdoors, using sunscreen or protective clothing.
7. Japanese Chin
Their name is deceiving because Japanese Chins originate from China. They were the dogs of the sophisticated and charmed all those around them. They practically disdain exercise and at most, like to jump up into your lap.
Although they don’t have much patience with young children, they are a sociable breed. They need plenty of attention as well. Standing at only 8–11 inches tall and weighing 7–11 pounds, they are a noble life companion.
The Maltese is a playful, regal puppy with pure white fur. They are extremely small pups at 7–9 inches tall and weigh under 7 pounds. They can live for 12–15 years and are a toy breed. These Maltese are from the ancient area of Malta.
These pups were specifically bred for companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long. Although they love to play, it is only in short spurts, and then they have a high cuddle requirement.
Pomeranians are the “puffballs” of lapdogs. They have tall ears and cute-as-a-button noses. They are spunky and funny, always seeking to be the center of attention in a group. These little pups might be lazy dogs, but they are also loud when they want to be and can make a good guard dog.
Although they are friendly with adults, they don’t have much patience for children or other dogs. They are only 6–7 inches tall and weigh between 3 and 7 pounds, but you can expect a whole bunch of spunk in one little package.
10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels came from England and were once a favorite pet of King Charles. They are quite popular pets since they are so low-key. They can be quite lazy but are always gentle and even graceful.
These Spaniels only weigh between 13 and 18 pounds and are 12–13 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 12–15 years and are classed as a toy breed.
11. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are known as the gentlemen of the dog world. They are neat and tidy in their black and white “suit” coats. They are highly adaptable and are happy to live with anyone loving and in any home situation.
Boston Terriers only need a couple of short walks each day. They are amusing and seem to have a goal of keeping you happy. They are about 17 inches tall and have a wider weight range, 12–25 pounds. Avoid exercising them in hot and humid weather, as they can overheat easily, just like any brachycephalic breed.
Chihuahuas are one of the smallest breeds on the list. They only grow to be 8 inches tall and rarely exceed 6 pounds. With a longer life expectancy of 14–16 years, a Chihuahua makes a sassy but charming life companion.
These dogs have become a symbol of Mexico and are a typical “purse dog” in America. Owned by dozens of Hollywood stars, these little pups have made their claim to fame.
The 3 Medium-Sized Lazy Dogs (35–55 pounds):
13. English Bulldog
English Bulldogs are famed for their stubborn laziness. They would often prefer to be dragged somewhere before doing the walking themselves. They are one of those “so ugly, they’re cute” dogs, with their stocky bodies and wrinkled faces.
Bulldogs weigh between 40 and 50 pounds and stand around 14–15 inches tall. They are one of the most popular dogs in the U.S. Although they don’t prefer to move much, they are courageous when needed. Overall, though, they are calm, friendly dogs. Be careful not to exercise them in hot and humid weather, as they may struggle to breathe and are very prone to overheating.
Related Read: 8 Best Harnesses for English Bulldogs
14. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are easily identifiable pups, with long bodies, faces, and ears but stumpy legs. They prefer to move so little that their biggest health concern is obesity. They are scent hounds, though. If given the training and opportunity, following a scent will be the one form of exercise that they pursue for hours.
They are much longer than they are tall, as they only stand up to 15 inches tall. With stout, strong bodies, they can be deceivingly heavy, weighing 40–65 pounds. They still maintain an average life expectancy of 12–13 years.
15. Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is a fluffy pup, identified by the large wrinkles all over their face and their blue-black tongue. They originate from China and are one of the oldest dog breeds. With all their ancient genetics, they are dignified and incredibly intelligent. They prefer to be still and observe rather than actively engage.
Chow Chows stand around 17–20 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 70 pounds. They have a shorter life expectancy than average, around 8–12 years.
The 7 Big Lazy Dog Breeds (55–100+ pounds):
16. Bernese Mountain Dog
Many large-breed dogs are known for having a lazier attitude because they have so much bulk to move around when deciding to get up. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a great deal of stamina as a herding pup. However, when it comes to choosing the couch over running around the house, you can safely assume that they prefer the couch. They stand proud at 23–28 inches tall from the withers. They can weigh up to a whopping 115 pounds.
17. Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards gained a great deal of attention after starring in several iconic early 2000s films. To complement their laziness and love for a good nap is their impressive snoring. They enjoy plenty of outdoor time, but they become furry couch potatoes when they are inside.
These dogs are strong, and made for hiking with heavy loads. All that muscle means a good deal of weight. They are a giant breed dog, standing between 26 and 30 inches tall, and the males can weigh up to 180 pounds.
18. Great Dane
Nicknamed the “Apollo of Dogs,” Great Danes are proud and regal, standing tall and ready. That is to say, when they aren’t cuddled up on your lap, convinced that they are a lap dog. Keep in mind that a giant dog breed can eat you out of house and home if you aren’t prepared.
Great Danes are dependable and incredibly patient pups. They stand up to 32 inches tall and can weigh 175 pounds. The AKC classifies them as “working class” dogs, so don’t be afraid to give these dogs exercise even if they are lazing around.
Newfoundland pups, or Newfies, are devoted dogs. They were raised and bred in the area around Newfoundland, Canada, as a fisherman’s dog. They have webbed feet and water-resistant fur to protect them from the freezing temperatures.
Newfies like to be active when they are outside and rarely give up the opportunity to go for a swim. They are great family dogs that tend to get along well with children. They stand around 28 inches tall and weigh between 100 and 150 pounds.
Greyhounds are known for being lazy, and yet they are among the fastest runners in the dog world. Their reputation for laziness comes more from their self-control. In the home, they are docile and gentle, quickly adapting to the lounging lifestyle. They can sleep for around 18 hours a day!
The 28 inches of a Greyhound is focused on their legs. Great Danes are dependable and incredibly patient pups. They stand up to 30 inches tall and can weigh 175 pounds. The AKC classes them as “hound class” dogs and they need their daily off-leash, short spurts of running around, in a safe and enclosed area.
See also: Best Dog Foods for Greyhounds
Bullmastiffs can appear intimidating. However, they are just gentle giants. They are often used as guard dogs because although they stay alert, they do it from a nearly horizontal position.
Even though Bullmastiffs are large dogs, their love of a good nap and cuddle makes them appropriate for apartment dwellers with a few walks a day. These huge dogs, weighing anywhere from 100–130 pounds, like to think that they are lap dogs. Being 27 inches tall doesn’t limit them from crawling onto whatever surface they feel like resting on.
22. Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniels are not well-known dogs, but they were once the European nobility’s preferred hunting dogs. They are known not only for laziness but also for shedding and drooling.
These dogs are a little smaller than some of the other giant breeds on our list, weighing only 55–85 pounds and standing at 20 inches. They belong to the sporting group, ready for a chase when they get outside. They love to sniff, go for long walks, and retrieve their ball.
Please be aware that being considered “lazy” should be interpreted with caution in brachycephalic or “flat-faced” breeds of dogs. These dogs are not necessarily lazy but may instead be struggling to breathe properly, particularly when exercising. This means that their level of activity is limited, especially in warm humid climates and summer months.
Please choose responsibly when considering these breeds and consult with a veterinarian first. Make sure to familiarize yourself with health risks and the cost of keeping certain dog breeds so you can provide them with the best care throughout their life. Sudden laziness should also not be misinterpreted or regarded as normal, as some dogs may appear “lazy” in case of illness or due to age-related issues. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s change in activity levels.