Lounging the day away can’t solve all of life’s problems, but it sure makes it easier having a lazy lap dog or cuddly couch potato snuggled up nearby. 

By Ashley Flaws
May 25, 2021
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If lifting the remote and surfing the TV is your idea of a workout after a draining day, don't worry—there may still be a workout buddy for you. Who better to spot you as you flip over to a true crime documentary than your very own dog detective? While some boisterous breeds practically bounce up and down with energy, lazy dog breeds are happiest lining your lap and may even have their own designated spot on the couch.

If a low energy dog breed is more your speed, consider adopting a lazy dog—these lackadaisical lovers in particular are liable to warm your heart as well as your lap. Just don't forget to scooch and make room for your new pooch!

overweight bulldog lying on grass
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Bulldog

Beneath their characteristic grouchy grimaces, bulldogs are actually very good-natured toward children and can make great family pets. Short and stout, it doesn't take much to satisfy their exercise needs—a daily stroll through the neighborhood will do, weather permitting. Strenuous exercise, especially in hot weather, can be dangerous to the burly breed.

"[A] scrunched up face—brachycephalic—makes these dogs prone to overheating, breathing issues, and low stamina, [as well as] multiple health issues," says Angelica Dimock, DVM, managing shelter veterinarian at the Animal Humane Society in Minn.

The Bulldog Club of America recommends playing inside on hot days, or else reserve outdoor activity for the early morning or late at night.

Basset Hound lying on the grass
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Basset Hound

Known for their sensitive sniffers, the basset hound has a talent for tracking scents, but their low stamina means they are prone to lounging, as well. You wouldn't have much energy left over either if you had those long ears to lug around!

A keen sense of smell often causes these dogs to have a mind of their own, so basic training may be slow-going. Stick with it and stay positive, and these lazy dogs will be happy to serve as your sidekick.

Neapolitan Mastiff standing in the snow
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Neapolitan Mastiff

Why the long face? A giant dog breed, Dimock describes the Neapolitan mastiff as an "active couch potato," enjoying playtime and an abundance of activity at times but preferring a quiet, laid-back lifestyle when indoors. Weighing in at 150 pounds, these big boys and girls may be intimidating to first time pet parents, so experienced dog owners are best.

White Chow Chow lying in the grass
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Chow Chow

Though they may not be very active in their daily life, the chow chow has had an active presence in history, reigning as one of the oldest dog breeds in the world with links to the Chinese Han Dynasty. With a fluffy fur coat and distinct blue-black tongues, the chow chow bears resemblance to, well, bears, and may have a bit of a standoffish side as well. Their long, dignified history demands respect, and the chow chow certainly feels he is worthy of such. Positive reinforcement training and early socialization as a puppy will help target desired behaviors as your big fluffy friend grows up.

Chows most likely will not be a lap lounger or cuddly couch potato like other dog breeds on the "lazy" list, but still enjoy being near their people.

Lhasa Apso dog standing on rocky hill
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Lhasa Apso

Looking for lazy dog breeds that don't shed? The Lhasa apso's long lion-like locks may be your remedy to a stuffy nose, as it doesn't shed and has little dander. However, while walks or gentle play in the yard is typically all the exercise these low energy small dogs need, Dimock says they are hardly low maintenance. These traditionally pampered pups also have heritage linking back to Chinese royalty, and their fur should be brushed daily—just like a lion, they have their mane to maintain.

tan-and-white cavalier king charles spaniel
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

According to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, "They are happy, outgoing, loving little dogs who want to love you and be loved, to run and play in a safe place, and to sleep in a soft bed—preferably your bed, but they're willing to negotiate on that point."

Adorable, affable people pleasers by nature, Cavalier King Charles spaniels are companion animals well-suited for families with children and other pets and do well in apartments or pretty much any environment, so long as you're nearby.

Tan Great Dane laying in grass
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Great Dane

Speaking of doggy detectives, did someone say Scooby Snack? Scooby Doo is a well-known Great Dane, but the two-dimensional cartoon doesn't quite do this massive breed's size justice. Standing as tall as 32 inches—nearly 3 feet—and weighing up to 175 pounds, Dimock says this breed is another "active couch potato" who will need to strike a balance between enough activity and nap time. This big pup will need to stretch his long legs frequently, but are just as keen to snooze at your feet when their walk is over.

pug sleeping tongue out
Because their squished faces make breathing a struggle, pugs wheeze, snort, and snore, so you may want to invest in some ear plugs if yours is going to be sleeping nearby.
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Pug

Similar to the bulldog, the pug is a brachycephalic dog breed whose flat face limits his breathing capacity and therefore his ability to exercise, through no fault of his own. However, these comedic canines are often playful and may put on a show for you, seeking creative ways to burn off energy before settling back into a snooze complete with their characteristic snorts.

White japanese chin sits on outdoor steps
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Japanese Chin

For the feline fanciers out there, the Japanese chin is coveted for its cat-like calm and quiet nature, the definition of a low energy dog breed. Like their kitty counterparts, the Japanese chin may frown on funny business and is best for homes with mature owners.

Great Pyrenees guard dog
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Great Pyrenees

Bred originally to protect sheep, Great Pyrenees dogs are incredibly relaxed and patient pups. Just don't mistake their low energy for lack of a work ethic, as they have a demonstrated history of standing watch over sheep in the nighttime. Hopefully some of that patience can rub off on their owners—their thick white coats well-suited for winter weather are susceptible to heavy shedding and require weekly brushing.

Bullmastiff dog lays on red wooden steps
Thanks to their bulldog lineage, bullmastiffs are a brachycephalic dog (aka, they have an adorable smooshed face).
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Mastiff

The massive mastiff's body grows at such a rapid rate, excessive exercise is not recommended at a young age to avoid developing joint issues that are common for the breed. Thankfully, mastiffs prefer the presence of their people during a snuggle session on the couch anyway, and the breed requires little maintenance overall. The downside of these larger than life lap-side companions is a low life expectancy of as few as six years on average.

pekingese lying in the grass
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Pekingese

The petite Pekingese appears to pay homage to the king of the jungle, despite weighing no more than 14 pounds. Though they can't pack the same punch as the powerful lion, they can be pretty fierce—in their love for you, that is. If you're taking a seat, you better get comfy, because they will soon join you and stick around for a while.

Portrait of Greyhound dog
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Greyhound

Long-legged and swift, greyhounds have quite the reputation as speedy racers, but they are not built for long distances or jogging. The best way to keep them stimulated is daily walks or chase sessions in the backyard. Since the greyhound is so quick, a fenced in yard is recommended to prevent dashing after whatever strikes his fancy.

"[The greyhound] needs a lot of exercise but then will nap a lot too," Dimock says. "Owner needs to be aware that if the dog escapes the yard or gets off leash, the dog will run and run."