Ranking the 20 laziest dog breeds

Posted at 3:27 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 15:27:44-05

ShutterstockCalling something your “spirit animal” has become a popular, somewhat overused phrase in recent years. But for those of us who relish sleeping in on weekends and spending hours at a time on the couch watching Netflix, the following dog breeds truly fit that description.

By researching data from the American Kennel Club, various videos and some anecdotes from dog owners, in addition to cross-referencing other “lazy dog” posts around the web, PetBreeds compiled a list of dogs that can be deemed the laziest of all.

Pegging the laziest breeds came down to those that require minimal exercise, have low endurance and/or are stereotypically associated with lounging around instead of playing fetch. Because it’s difficult to quantify one breed as lazier than another, the dogs are listed by their 2014 popularity from low to high.

#20. Chow Chow

As a personal anecdote, my 3rd-grade teacher owned a Chow Chow mix named Gus who happily napped under various kid’s desks throughout the day.

Echoing Gus’s exact temperament, the AKC describes Chow Chows as “serene and adaptable” with low exercise needs and the ability to thrive in apartment living (an interesting trait for a larger breed).

#19. Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested breed loves meeting new people, and will usually show an energetic attitude toward strangers. Still, it doesn’t require much exercise outside of walks and is well-suited for apartment living: two qualities that usually connote more laid-back breeds.

#18. Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin)

Ideal for small homes and apartment living, the one Miniature Pinscher I know loves to meet new people and promptly sit in their laps.

Let’s just say this breed certainly isn’t high maintenance.

#17. Bullmastiff

Bred as guard dogs, Bullmastiffs certainly have the intimidation factor. Despite their daunting size, though, Bullmastiffs are typically gentle giants that thrive as docile family pets.

#16. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is great with kids and will show occasional bursts of energy, but for the most part this breed remains a lap dog at heart.

Their thick white coats are perfect for petting when the Bichon Frise is lounging around, but note that it requires a lot of grooming and upkeep.

#15. Basset Hound

Though Basset Hounds were bred to hunt rabbits and require walks to stay in shape, it’s far from unusual to see Bassets lounging around on the floor or couch with their droopy eyes and ears. As pets, they’re happy to take a load off and simply veg out.

#14. Pug

The flat face of Pugs is something that many dog lovers find truly adorable, but it has its drawbacks. Their incredibly short noses can contribute to breathing problems, which can get exacerbated in hot climates.

Pugs fall in the category of lazy dogs because, quite frankly, they’re not capable of being overly active.

#13. Bernese Mountain Dog

Admittedly, including the Bernese Mountain Dog on a list of “laziest” breeds should be hotly contested. This hulking dog loves the outdoors and activities like hiking, but like the Greyhound, it typically doesn’t have great endurance and tires out easily.

Coupled with a calm personality, the Bernese is often content having a calm night indoors lounging around with its family.

#12. Maltese

Though social and playful, the Maltese is a classic lap dog. They were bred to be cuddly companions, and they play that role quite well.

#11. Mastiff

Rounding out the trio including the Neapolitan Mastiff and Bullmastiff, the Mastiff (or English Mastiff) checks in at No. 11 due to its high popularity with the public.

Though it’s recommended to provide the Mastiff with regular walks (as with most if not all breeds), these dogs tend to err on the side of laziness.

#10. Havanese

Bred to be companion lap dogs for the well-to-do of society, the Havanese is often playful, but requires no special exercise requirements.

Havanese also love to be pampered via grooming and brushing.

#9. Chihuahua

Though they’re known to scamper around the house or apartment (generally in terror of strangers, from my encounters), the Chihuahua requires minimal exercise.

As with most of the toy breeds, this dog is content plopping down into its owners lap for a relaxing evening.

#8. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have remained one of America’s most popular breeds in part because they’re low-maintenance. Easily trained, suitable for urban or apartment living and friendly toward people, what’s not to like?

This breed doesn’t require a lot of exercise, and, as is the case for other such breeds that are brachycephalic (having a short skull with a “pressed in” face), it can be prone to overheating.

#7. Pomeranian

Because of their small stature, Pomeranians need minimal exercise.

The Pomeranian actually started out as a much larger breed, but was aggressively bred down in order to satisfy typical lap dog requirements.

#6. Shih Tzu

Another small breed with short, stubby legs, the Shih Tzu will quickly tire out playing around indoors.

Don’t overlook its size, though, as Shih Tzus can be yappy and snappy—traits that actually make it a good guard dog in terms of alerting people to intruders (or just going nuts when the doorbell rings).

#5. Great Dane

It seems counterintuitive, but the absolutely massive Great Dane breed doesn’t require a lot of exercise.

Quite the contrary, in fact, as many would rather lie around in bed all day than go for a jog. We sympathize.

A friend of mine who owns two Great Danes told me, “Yes, they are pretty lazy,” and one is “so lazy he doesn’t even get up to bark at anything.”

#4. Dachshund

With minimal exercise requirements, likely as a result of those stubby legs attached to the hot dog-esque body, Dachshunds get a bit of a pass for their laziness.

This Dachshund for instance couldn’t even be bothered to hop off the couch to fetch its toy. Kind of like when you get comfortable and leave the TV remote across the room.

#3. French Bulldog

There are quite a few athletes in the dog world, but the French Bulldog isn’t among them.

In fact, the AKC pegs Frenchies as one of the most inactive breeds, saying, “Besides snoozing the day away, the Frenchie’s favorite hobby is being his owner’s personal lap warmer.” Rough life.

#2. Yorkshire Terrier

One of the most popular breeds in America, the Yorkshire Terrier (or “Yorkie”) can be playful and enthusiastic, but laziness is a trait that certainly isn’t lost on it.

Actually, searching the query “lazy Yorkie” on YouTube yields an alarming amount of results.

#1. Bulldog

The No. 4 most popular dog in America for the 2014 calendar year is also one of the laziest breeds of all.

Sure, it still requires walks, but the Bulldog isn’t exactly going to beg its owner for exercise. As with many other “lazy” dogs, its short snout can lead to difficulties breathing, so you definitely don’t want to push this breed too hard with play or exercise. This Bulldog just opted to sit (and then lie) down mid-walk. It might be fair to say many of us have had the same thought at the gym.

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