While we might have once relied on dogs to work for us, guarding livestock, hunting by our sides and pulling carts, you probably don’t need your dog to do any of that. If you care more about your dog’s heart and cuddling potential than their athleticism, it might even be wise to choose a dog that requires the least exercise. So, which breeds are the lowest energy? Here are some great options.

Basset Hounds

It would be a mistake to think that all small dogs are low energy, but the stereotype is true when it comes to Basset Hounds. They were bred for hunting but for the long-term pursuit of animals and not for sprinting after them. They have endurance but won’t want to run anywhere. The AKC rates dog energy levels and has classified these hounds as couch potatoes.

Saint Bernard

If you are looking for a big dog breed that is still low energy, the Saint Bernard is a fine choice. Just like Basset Hounds, they are made for endurance. In the past, Saint Bernards would help rescue stranded skiers, a task that required strength but not a lot of cardio. As such, they are happy to lounge around most of the time.


Sure, you may think of Greyhounds as fast, energetic dogs, but only the former is true. After a greyhound has made a quick sprint, they are pretty much spent for the day. It turns out that it takes a lot of energy to run around so quickly. Retired greyhounds are an especially great option for those who are looking for a dog that won’t want to be walked for very long, as they also slow down a bit in old age.


When you were bred to sit in the lap of royalty, you don’t really care to get up from it. That is the story of the Maltese; a sweet dog who wants to cuddle up much more often than they want to run around. Like many low-energy dogs, the Maltese is still an excellent watchdog, from wherever they happen to be laying down at the moment.


Most Rottweilers are highly muscular but not much interested in using those muscles for more than cuddling. If you want a giant dog that will think he or she fits into your lap long after they actually do, this is the dog for you. While they are happy to defend the property, it would be rare to find a Rottweiler pacing around it just trying to burn off energy.

English Toy Spaniel

This is yet another pampered dog who would rather sit in your lap than run around all day. The English Toy Spaniel also looks like he or she likes to relax all day, which chubby cheeks as the breed standard.

While these are some of the least energetic dogs out there, it is important to remember that each dog is an individual. You might find dogs in these breeds who need more exercise than others.