Big Lazy Dog Breeds: Gentle Giants for Relaxation

Big Lazy Dog Breeds

Big Lazy Dog Breeds: The Ultimate Companions for a Relaxed Lifestyle

Not all dog lovers enjoy the outdoor life of hiking or running through the countryside at weekends. Fortunately, there are big lazy dog breeds who will also enjoy curling up on the couch with you.

Calling a dog lazy isn’t bad. Some are just larger dogs with lower energy levels, whereas others may have a more chilled-out nature — preferring to be indoors with loved family members than chasing after other silly little pups.

Whatever your reason for wanting a lazy dog, we’ve put together some of the most gentle giants of the canine world to share your relaxed lifestyle.

Do Lazy Large Dog Breeds Need Exercise?

Lazy Large Dog Breeds Need Exercise

Yes. All dogs require exercise, and both physical and mental stimulation to lead a healthy life. Even the most devoted couch potato canines will need a daily walk or play session in addition to a balanced diet.

The main difference between breeds that are considered “lazy” and more active canines is they tend to lead a more sedentary lifestyle. While a Labrador may want to play for the majority of the day, other breeds, such as a Saint Bernard or Greyhound, may only need a short walk or run each day and are perfectly content being a layabout for the remainder.

If you’re looking for a low-commitment dog that you can leave at home while you work — who will be happy sleeping instead of causing mischief. These relaxed Rovers could make the perfect companion to match your laid-back way of life. But even the laziest of dogs will require walking and daily playtime — fortunately, they will normally tell you when!

Our Ten Favorite Big Lazy Dog Breeds

If you would rather kick back on the couch with your canine than play for hours in the yard — check out our top 10 contenders. Just be warned — with these dogs, there may not be much space left for you.

1. Great Dane

Big Lazy Dog Great Dane

Standing up to 32 inches tall and often weighing over 170 pounds, the Great Dane is the classic example of a gentle giant. Not only do Danes tower over most other dogs, but when they stand on their hind legs, they’re taller than most owners.

Don’t worry though, you’re unlikely to find your Dane standing up when you come home — they’re more likely to be sleeping. Despite their size, Great Danes are relatively low-energy dogs. Once they’re past their “teenage” years, a couple of short walks a day is enough to keep them happy.

And, as they don’t require a large yard to run in, Great Danes adapt quickly to apartment living. Calm and affectionate, especially with kids, there are hours of fun to be had watching them trying to squeeze their huge bodies beside you on the couch.

2. Newfoundland

Big Lazy Dog Newfoundland

Not quite as tall as the Great Dane — up to 28 inches — the Newfoundland can be just as “lazy” or relaxed if you prefer! Originally from Newfoundland in Canada, Newfies are famous for their strength and lifesaving abilities in the water.

While they aren’t highly active, this breed is still up for walkies — both long and short distances — and naturally, they love swimming. But, they’re happiest when spending time with their family, and their gentle, sweet nature with children makes them an awesome large family dog.

Although they can be happy curled up on a chair or their bed, the Newfie does appreciate a yard for the occasional wander. Be warned, however, the Newfoundland has a thick double coat that sheds a lot — not the best “indoor” dog for people who may suffer from dog allergies.

3. Saint Bernard

Big Lazy Dog Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a huge dog, reaching up to 30 inches tall, who would be a welcome sight for any mountaineers stranded in the Swiss Alps. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find this breed rescuing popcorn from down the side of the couch. 

Given their history, it’s surprising that St. Bernards aren’t very fond of exercise — often pretending to be snoozing when their owners try to take them out for a walk. They prefer to spend their days napping, snoring loudly, and drooling over the cushions. 

A very clever canine, Saints will use their adorable faces and fluffy fur to get out of any trouble they may be in. This breed is a great companion for anyone who loves a cuddly, relaxed dog, but if you want them to play fetch the frisbee, become your running buddy, or jump through hoops — forget it.

4. Bullmastiff

Big Lazy Dog Bullmastiff

As large as a bull — well, a small one, at up to 27 inches — and as lazy as a sloth, the Bullmastiff is another one of the lazy large dog breeds you’ll have trouble tempting away from their bed. Thinking of going out for a jog? Your Bull is probably too busy dreaming about their next meal. 

With their intimidating stature, this breed makes a dependable guardian. When trained correctly, they can be alert — but mainly from a near horizontal position. However, this is one guard dog who won’t be standing to attention for too long.

They may be stuck with an unfair ferocious reputation, yet Bullmastiffs get on amazingly with children and make loyal companions — just don’t expect them to play too much. And, not craving too much attention, Bulls are ‘home alone’ hounds, aka dogs that can be left alone for lengthy periods because they don’t suffer separation anxiety. Hence, the perfect large, lazy dog if you work full-time.

5. Bernese Mountain Dog

Big Lazy Dog Bernese

Another massive mountain dog you’re more likely to see in the suburbs these days is the Bernese — who clocks in at up to 27.5 inches tall. These dogs are large and strong, yet they’re devoted, placid, and loving companions.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to weight gain and will need moderate exercise to keep trim and healthy. But if you try to take your best buddy to the local dog park, they’re more likely to sit by your side than stretch their legs.

Easy-going, the Bernese is known to be very lazy, with the personality of a Golden Retriever but the energy levels of a panda. Most owners would argue they’re one of the laziest large dog breeds in the world.

6. Bergamasco Sheepdog

Big Lazy Dog Bergamasco

With their unique coat, a Bergamasco Sheepdog lazes around so much that people may think you have a new rug in the house. On the rare occasions they use their legs, the Bergamasco Sheep Dog isn’t a small pooch, with a height of approximately 24 inches at the shoulder.

Even with their rug or mop-like appearance, the Bergamasco is one of the lazy big dog breeds that don’t shed — and is basically maintenance-free. Once you’ve helped rip the cords, no brushing is needed, and bathing is only necessary a couple of times per year. However, don’t be tempted to shave that coat, it regulates temperature. 

Although a herding dog, when at home, the Bergamasco doesn't move much and prefers to lounge around inside or in the shade. They’re loyal and gentle, but also stubborn and independent.

7. Greyhound

Big Lazy Dog Greyhound

You’re probably quite surprised to find one of the world’s fastest dogs on a list of laziest big dog breeds. However, when they aren’t sprinting, adult Greyhounds are known couch potatoes who can often sleep up to 18 hours a day.

You see, while they can reach speeds of up to 45 mph, a Greyhound’s bursts of energy are very short-lived — they don’t have the endurance for longer runs or hikes. With only moderate exercise needs a Greyhound is quite happy to flop down for the rest of the day.

With a smooth, short coat, Greyhounds are low-fuss as far as grooming goes — requiring little more than a weekly brushing down with a mitt. This breed is also easy to handle, gets on great with the kids, and is receptive to training. Happy to be left alone too, they will probably sleep the entire time, Greyhounds are a good low maintenance breed for first time owners.

8. Great Pyrenees

Big Lazy Dog Great Pyrenees

A majestic mountain dog, the Great Pyrenees can often grow as tall as 32 inches at the withers and weigh in excess of 100 pounds. While they were originally bred as guardian dogs, the Great Pyrenees is generally quiet-natured, but can burst into life if they perceive a threat.

With a lush and beautiful fluffy white coat, occasionally with a sprinkle of gray, tan, or brown, the Pyrenees makes a great pillow when lazing about — and they’ll happily oblige. They can be the perfect dog to chill with, most of the time they barely move around, the perfect pooch for that latest box set binge-watch session.

However, the Great Pyrenees does shed a lot and drools even more. If you decide on this big white fluffy dog, be prepared to vacuum your house every day and wash your clothes/furniture more often.

9. Irish Wolfhound

Big Lazy Dog Irish Wolfhound

When talking about the size of a dog, the Irish Wolfhound certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. With a minimum height of 32 inches for an adult male, the Irish Wolfhound is the tallest dog breed around.

As such a big dog, the Irish Wolfhound does need quite a bit of daily exercise to maintain that trim athletic shape. They aren’t a breed that looks like a wolf, they’re sighthounds and used to hunt them. And, when they want to run, they can run. The Wolfhound retains that strong prey drive — so on-leash walkies are best. 

Yet, most adult Wolfhounds are quiet dogs at heart, and will quite happily turn into a couch potato if allowed. You’re more likely to find an Irish Wolfhound chilling with the family than chasing prey.

10. Leonberger

Big Lazy Dog Leonberger

Deriving their heritage from three of the other big lazy dogs we've looked at, the Saint Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Great Pyrenees, the Leonberger is a lazy, big fluffy dog that looks like a bear

With their long and thick water-resistant coat in various shades of brown, yellow, or red, and the black mask on their face, it’s like having a super-sized stuffed toy in the room with you — except your kid’s toys may move more! Leonbergers can stand up 31 inches tall and weigh over 170 pounds — their size and strength made them superb for cart pulling. 

Leos are exceptionally calm and subdued when at rest. But, being a working dog, they aren’t a large dog breed with low energy, they need some vigorous exercise at least once a day. A decent-sized yard with a fence is an ideal place for your Leo to drain their batteries, well, some of it — so they can get back to their favorite pastime being with their family. Just beware, again, they do drool a LOT!

Final Thoughts

Although they can be super cute and uber-friendly, large dog breeds with low energy levels, or “lazy” dogs, are not for everybody. Typically, they require a lot of space, patience, and love. And, given their size, proper training and socialization is essential. 

Yet, big lazy dog breeds also offer comfort, companionship on a king-size scale, and plenty of humor. Don’t forget though, just because these canines aren’t constantly on-the-go, they still need exercise to remain healthy. Nobody wants a big FAT lazy dog — do they?

Big Lazy Dog Breeds FAQs

What Is the Laziest Large Dog Breed?

Although there are many gentle giants, the Great Dane and the St. Bernard must rank as two of the laziest large dog breeds. Mountain dogs in general seem to be quite slow-paced when kept as pets rather than guardians of weary travelers.

What Is the Laziest Breed of Hunting Dog?

A hunting dog that’s notorious for their shocking levels of laid-backness is the Greyhound. Despite an athletic, lean, long-legged build, the Greyhound loves nothing more than sleeping once they’ve had their short run.

Are Lazy Dog Breeds Low Maintenance?

Just because a dog doesn’t want to go out hiking through the countryside all day and would rather be at home lounging about the house doesn’t make them low maintenance.

For a dog to be truly low maintenance you need to take into consideration the following needs:

  • Grooming — are they going to need hours of attention?

  • Emotions — can they be left alone for longer periods?

  • Exercise — even lazy dogs need to stretch their legs on a daily basis.

Which Is the Calmest Big Lazy Dog Breed?

The calmest of the large lazy dog breeds we have looked at must be the Irish Wolfhound, followed by the Bernese Mountain Dog and the St. Bernard. Often the calmness of a pooch can come across as lazy but other people can find it aloof.

Are Big Lazy Dogs Born Lazy?

No. When did you last see a relaxed or lazy pup? 

These slow-paced dogs generally develop that ‘lazy’ streak after they mature. It may be down to their breed or issues such as thick coats when living a domesticated life. This means they overheat easily in hot weather or during strenuous exercise. Other reasons may be low stamina levels, like the Greyhound, who can run very fast, but only for short periods.