While you might think of small dogs as being the most low maintenance of the breeds, there are many big dogs who have low energy needs and a calm demeanour that makes them perfect for living with kids or in a small home. Thankfully, breeders have blessed us with many “gentle giant” type dogs so that even those of us who don’t want to do sixty-minute daily walks can enjoy K-9 company. Here are our top five best big inside dog breeds. We’ll include their general energy needs, but remember that each dog will be slightly different.

1. Bullmastiff

Energy needs: Fifteen minutes per day

Size: 100-130 pounds

Crossing Bulldogs and Mastiffs created the giant Bullmastiff. The result is a very large and mellow dog that will feel protective of the whole family. Unlike many of the large dogs on this list, the Bullmastif has a short coat that needs very minimal grooming. However, he does tend to drool as much as any of the other big dogs.

saint bernard

2. Saint Bernard

Energy needs: Twenty minutes per day

Size: 120-180 pounds

The Saint Bernard is typically an even larger dog than the Bullmastiff. These dogs don’t need much exercise per day and are typically great with kids. In fact, you can train a Saint Bernard to pull your child around n a cart. However, they do have very high grooming needs and do poorly in warm climates.

chow chow

3. Chow Chow

Energy needs: 15 minutes per day

Size: 45-70 pounds

If the giants on this list are a bit much for you, the Chow Chow might be just right. He is much smaller, but his coat is so fluffy that he hardly looks smaller. Chow Chows are also less friendly than many of the other dogs on this list, as it is in their nature to defend the family and remain aloof with strangers, which can be a benefit if you want a watch dog.

4. Tibetan Mastiff

Energy needs: 20 minutes per day

Size: 70-150 pounds

Almost any dog that has “Mastiff” in its name is a good fit for those who want a big, but a rather lazy dog. The Tibetan Mastiff is a good choice too. They are more variable in size than other big dogs and adorably fluffy. That said, the Tibetan Mastiff is a challenge to train, even more so than the other large dogs, because they are independent and don’t respond well to treats. Therefore, it’s essential that you start training early before the dog gets so large that he or she is hard to control.


5. Newfoundland

Energy needs: 15 minutes per day

Size: 100-150 pounds

If you want a big, lazy dog that is excellent with children, the Newfoundland is the perfect choice. This breed has the reputation of being a “nanny” dog that can be trusted with the children. Unlike more territorial big dogs, the Newfoundland is friendly to family members and strangers alike. Plus, if you like to swim, the Newfoundland will splash right in with you.