So you want a canine companion but need more time or energy for a high-maintenance breed? No worries, plenty of dogs make excellent pets without requiring constant activity or attention. As a busy person yourself, a low-energy dog that’s happy to chill at home and snuggle up while you’re working or relaxing is ideal. You’ll enjoy dog ownership’s rewards, like unwavering affection and loyalty, without feeling overwhelmed or drained. In this article, we’ll introduce you to 13 of the calmest, gentlest, and most easygoing dog breeds that could perfectly match your lifestyle. With options ranging from lap dogs to larger species, you’ll find a furry friend on this list that fits what you’re looking for in a faithful four-legged companion.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a perfect pup for less active owners. These playful yet gentle dogs were bred as companions to royalty, and they still love lavishing affection on their families today.
Standing just 13–18 inches tall, the Cavalier has a silky coat, a sweet expression, and a friendly temperament. While they enjoy short walks and playtime, they are equally content curling up in your lap for an afternoon snooze.
Suppose you’re looking for a faithful and easygoing furry friend to share quiet moments with at home. In that case, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent choice. With minimal grooming needs and polite, adaptable nature, this breed fits smoothly into almost any living situation and lifestyle.
The lovable English Bulldog is a perfect low-energy companion. These gentle giants are content lounging around and cuddling up with their owners.
· Their squat build and pushed-in nose give them a charming appearance but make exercise difficult, so they are happy with short walks.
· They don’t require much space and are well suited for apartment living.
· Despite their wrinkly appearance, they only need occasional bathing and grooming.
· They tend to drool and snore, but their affectionate and friendly temperament makes up for it.
· While not overly bright, they are very trainable and eager to please, especially when treats are involved!
Suppose you are looking for a calm, easygoing friend who’s more interested in snacking and snoozing than high-energy activities. In that case, the English Bulldog might steal your heart.
The French Bulldog, with its bat-like ears and wrinkled face, is a charming and playful breed.
These affectionate Frog Dogs don’t require much exercise and are content to lounge around with their owners.
Their compact size makes them suitable for apartment living.
The French Bulldogs’ easygoing and gentle temperament makes them great companions for families with children or other pets.
Chow Chows: The Fluffy Teddy Bears
Chow Chows are independent yet loyal companions. Their plush coats and mane-like ruffs make them look like fluffy teddy bears. While Chow Chows can be aloof with strangers, they are devoted to their families and love being with the people they know.
· They tend to be calm and not overly active, so they adapt well to apartments and smaller living spaces.
· Chows are intelligent but sometimes stubborn, so early positive training and socialization are essential.
· Grooming needs can be high, especially when they are blowing their coat a couple of times a year. Daily brushing and bathing monthly will keep their skin clean and tangle-free.
· Chows can live 12–15 years, a long-term commitment. But a Chow Chow can make a wonderful lifelong friend for those wanting a fluffy companion to call their own.
The Greyhound: A Laid-Back Breed
The sweet greyhound is one of the laziest dog breeds. These gentle giants are bred for speed, but they are total couch potatoes off the racetrack. Their favorite activities are sleeping the day away and spending quality time with their owners.
If you are looking for a walking or jogging companion, look elsewhere. The greyhound prefers strolls and short bursts of play. They need minimal exercise and grooming. Their short, slick coat only requires occasional brushing to keep shedding under control.
Overall, the greyhound has a calm, easygoing temperament. They do well in apartments and homes of any size. However, they can always be on leash in secured areas due to their strong prey drive. With proper introduction, greyhounds can live peacefully with cats and other dogs.
For a laid-back life of luxury with a sweet and gentle companion by your side, you can’t go wrong with a greyhound. Their quiet, low-key nature makes them an ideal pet for households of any energy level.
Great Dane: The Gentle Giant
The Great Dane is truly a gentle giant. As one of the largest dog breeds, the Great Dane is a very low-energy, easygoing canine companion.
- Despite their massive size, Great Danes make excellent apartment dogs. They require little activity and exercise. A couple of short daily walks will suit them just fine.
- Great Danes have a sweet, affectionate nature and a close bond with their people. They do not fare well if left alone for long periods, so they need patient, devoted owners willing to spend lots of time at home.
- Due to their large size, Great Danes require significant space. They also need a high-quality diet suited for giant breeds to prevent bone and joint issues.
- The average Great Dane’s lifespan is 6–8 years with proper care and nutrition. Some Danes live well into their teens.
The Great Dane’s low-key temperament and gentle spirit make them an excellent choice for a laid-back canine companion. Their massive yet mellow presence will bring lots of love and laughter.
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Basset Hound: The Basset Hound
The basset hound is one of the most easygoing and gentle dog breeds. Their short legs and heavy build give them a somewhat comical appearance, and they are very playful. However, they are not very energetic or active dogs. Bassets prefer lounging around and napping to long walks or strenuous exercise. They require moderate exercise and are content with a short daily walk or play session. Their calm and gentle temperament makes them great companions for owners looking for a low-maintenance lap dog. The basset hound could be your perfect pup if you want a cuddly, mellow, and humorous new family member.
The Bolognese breed is a perfect companion for those seeking a low-energy pup. This small, fluffy white dog was bred to be a lap dog and the pampered pet of European nobility. Today, the Bolognese makes an ideal apartment dog.
- only requires moderate exercise like short walks, playtime, and fetching.
- Minimal grooming is needed. Brush its long, silky coat a few times a week to prevent tangles, and bathe only when necessary.
- a quiet, gentle, and easygoing temperament. He rarely barks and is friendly toward people and other dogs.
- adapts well to many living situations. Does fine with singles, families, elderly owners, and even apartment living.
With its charming personality, cotton ball appearance, and lower activity needs, the Bolognese checks all the boxes for an easy-to-care-for furry friend.
The gentle Saint Bernard is perfect for those seeking a calmer canine companion. Originally bred in the Swiss Alps as avalanche rescue dogs, Saint Bernards are naturally attentive, patient, and eager to please. Their large size and thick fur coat mean they prefer cooler climates and shorter walks. Once exercised, they are happiest lounging around the house—preferably in the same room as their owners!
Saint Bernards make ideal family dogs and are naturally protective of little ones. However, due to their immense size, young children should be adequately supervised during playtime. Saint Bernards can become well-mannered, devoted family members with patience, positive reinforcement training, and early socialization. The Saint Bernard is a perfect choice for those looking for a faithful, easygoing, and affectionate breed.
The Newfoundland, or “Newfie,” is a large working dog from Canada. These gentle giants are bred as companion and rescue dogs. They are sweet, patient, and devoted, with a lifespan of 8–10 years.
· Newfoundlands require daily exercise but are relatively low-energy, needing only moderate activity. Their thick double coat needs frequent brushing and bathing.
· Newfies are very friendly towards children and other animals. They make great family dogs but may accidentally knock over small children due to their immense size.
· Newfoundlands drool and shed a lot. They can weigh up to 150 lbs., so they need space and can be expensive to care for. But for the right owner, a Newfoundland’s companionship and loyalty are unparalleled.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a low-energy breed perfect for less active owners. This gentle giant only requires moderate daily exercise, like a few leisurely walks. Otherwise, they are content lounging around the house and tend to sleep for long periods throughout the day. The Dogue de Bordeaux has a calm, patient temperament and thrives simply in the company of its owners. Their easygoing nature and minimal grooming requirements make them ideal companions for those wanting a laid-back canine friend around the house.
The Pekingese is a charming little companion dog with a bold personality. These pups were bred as lap dogs for Chinese royalty, so they tended to be soft, cuddly couch potatoes. Pekingese generally weigh under 14 pounds and have a long, flowing coat and a distinctive flat face. While they don’t need much exercise, regular walks, playtime, and grooming are musts for the Pekingese. Their long fur requires frequent brushing to avoid matting and tangles. Pekingese can live 12–15 years, so they’re a long commitment, but they make a delightful lifelong friend for the right owner.
The pug is a charming little companion known for its playful and mischievous personality. This breed tends to be very social and enjoys being around people and other dogs. Pugs usually weigh no more than 20 pounds, so they don’t require much space and can adapt well to apartment living. They need daily exercise and attention, but overall, pugs have a lower energy level and are content lounging around with their owners.
Pugs can live 12–15 years, which is a long-term commitment. They require a consistent and patient owner who understands their stubborn streak. Housetraining a pug takes time and positive reinforcement. Their grooming needs are moderate, as their short coat requires weekly brushing and bathing. Pugs can be prone to health issues like breathing problems, eye infections, and joint issues, so vet care and insurance are must-haves.
While pugs aren’t the most active or outdoorsy dogs, they make up for it with their charming and amusing personalities. Their expressive faces and comedic antics will make you laugh and brighten your day. Pugs tend to bond very closely with their owners and love spending one-on-one time with the people in their pack. The pug could be your perfect match if you are looking for a faithful and fun-loving companion.
Shih Tzu: Sweet and Snuggly
The Shih Tzu is a sweet little companion dog bred for cuddling and lounging. At only 9–16 pounds, the Shih Tzu is perfectly sized to sit in your lap for long belly rubs and behind-the-ear scratches. Their long, silky coat gives them an adorable look that only adds to their cuddle appeal. The Shih Tzu temperament is playful yet gentle, and they tend to bond very closely with their owners. They require daily exercise and interaction to stay happy and healthy. Still, a short walk around the block and some playtime will satisfy their needs. After some activity, they are content to nap the day away on the couch next to you.
Also Read: Are Shih Tzus Smart?
Low-energy dog training
Keep training sessions short.
Keep training sessions brief with low-energy dogs, around 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Their attention span and energy levels are limited, so short bursts of training will be most effective. Always end on a high note before your pup gets bored or distracted.
Feeding low-energy dogs
For low-energy dogs, keep portions on the smaller side. Only give 3/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food twice daily for the average small to medium breed. Measure out parts instead of just filling the bowl to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in less active dogs.
Other considerations for low-energy dogs
In addition to less activity, low-energy dogs usually require a specific diet to meet their needs. Look for high-quality dog food formulated for less active or senior dogs. These foods have fewer calories but still, provide complete nutrition. Consider a weight-management formula.
For some low-energy breeds, especially toys and miniature breeds, feeding several small meals throughout the day instead of one big meal can help prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Always have fresh, clean water available as well.
Finding a low-energy dog that matches your lifestyle is critical to a happy relationship. Do some soul-searching to determine how much time and effort you can devote to a furry friend. Be realistic about your daily routine and activity level. Once you honestly assess what you can handle, explore the breeds and specific dogs that fit the bill. With the perfect companion, you’ll have a faithful, low-key friend with whom to share quiet moments and strolls for years.
What are the best low-energy dogs?
For people or families that prefer a more laid-back lifestyle, low-energy dog breeds, including Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chow Chows, English Mastiffs, Great Danes, Greyhounds, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, and Saint Bernards, are perfect. These dogs are good companions for low-energy homes since they require less activity and are typically quiet.
What are some low-energy, low-shedding small dog breeds?
The Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Havanese, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Toy Poodle, and Yorkshire Terrier are a few tiny dog breeds that are low-energy and low-shedding. These breeds are suitable for people or families searching for small, low-maintenance companions since their coats shed very little.
How much exercise does my low-energy dog need?
Comparatively speaking, low-energy dog breeds often need less exercise than high-energy ones. Although the precise amount of activity required might vary based on the breed and individual dog, a general recommendation for low-energy dogs is to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. This may be broken up into a number of quick walks or play sessions spread out throughout the day. It’s crucial to observe your dog’s indications and modify the training schedule as necessary. Shorter walks or indoor play may be sufficient for some low-energy dogs, while others may prefer more leisurely pursuits like sniffing and exploring. Keep in mind to speak with your vet for specialized guidance depending on the age, health, and needs of your dog.