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Cats and kittens can be cuddly and cute, but there’s a reason people call dogs “man’s best friend.” Dogs are so comforting and intuitive when it comes to their owners, and tame, low-energy dogs can make the best companions. They’re fiercely loyal, and some would say, the perfect furry friend. It’s all about the kind of dog you choose and how well their temperament matches your own. Consider this: If you’re an easy-Sunday-morning type, you probably wouldn’t want a Siberian Husky. Huskies are beautiful and exotic-looking, but they’re high-energy and high-maintenance. They also require a lot of physical exercise and structured daily activities to keep them from getting into things around the house -- like your new shoes. All dogs require work, but you want a dog that can match your energy and activity level. Check out our list of low-energy dog breeds that ONLY require the basic needs of any dog (shelter, love, food, and some kind of exercise).
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Great Danes are considered to be some of the tallest dogs in the world reaching at least 2 feet. They usually weigh around 100-200 pounds. Their bold stance can be very intimidating, but Danes are known to be very lovable and reserved gentle giants. They are very protective of their owner and their families. They don’t require lots of exercise, but they do need enough space to run around a little, so a small apartment won’t cut it. A Dane needs a nice lawn to play in or a good daily jog, and nice walks on the beach are always a good thing.
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Greyhounds are great running dogs known for their fierce running speed (40-45 miles an hour). Their long legs and slender build make them champions in dog competitions and especially dog races. Since greyhound racing has pretty much become a thing of the past, retired greyhounds have become popular as good family dogs. Who knew, but these dogs are very gentle and laid-back. They love to cuddle and don’t require much exercise to keep them healthy and satisfied. They tend to weigh 60-80 pounds, and on average live up to 15 years old.
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If you’ve ever seen the movie Beethoven, the dog, a Saint Bernard, is a great family dog. Saint Bernards usually have a loving personality and protective nature that make them one of the best breeds to watch over your home and family. Saint Bernards are massive -- sometimes weighing up to 265 pounds! They also drool and shed a lot -- so be forewarned. However, if you train your dog early on and give him lots of socialization (time to meet different people and be in various settings), he can be very calm and collected. When Bernard is younger, they are full of energy and need to be active almost all the time to prevent becoming restless and irritable. Best to get this dog just before adulthood -- when they have calmed down and are most likely trained. If you make sure your adult dog has lots of space and room to run around, you will be a happy camper. Adult Bernards require daily exercise -- doesn't have to be intense. Even a neighborhood stroll can make a world of difference in their temperament.
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If you’re looking for a great guard dog, look no further. This dog is fierce-looking and large, but usually very quiet and loving. Bullmastiffs were originally bred in the 19th century and referred to as the 'Gamekeeper’s Nightwatch Dog.' Gamekeepers in England were trying to create the perfect dog (not too aggressive and not too passive) to hunt and capture poachers without killing them. Bullmastiffs love being with their owners and want to play and cuddle often. If you have space for them to play, jump, and be free – they are the happiest. They can be very territorial and protective of the family and their home, but still personable to visitors that stop by. Bullmastiffs are a fine option if you're looking for a low-maintenance, low-energy family pet.
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The Dogue de Bordeaux is referred to as the French Mastiff. It is a very muscular dog with a solid build, and it saunters like a lion. They make great guards and protectors of the family. Back in the day, Dog Bordeaux used to guard the Queen’s palace. These dogs are friendly with family and friends, but not to under-estimated with strangers. They are large dogs like most mastiffs, and weigh around 125-150 pounds and stand over 2ft tall. Surprisingly, they don’t require much exercise but DO need to room to move around as well as kick back. A nice sized yard would do them a world of good -- so would weekly trips to the park.
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Bergamasco Shepherd dogs are 71-84 pounds and covered in large matted shaggy coats. People often describe the Bergamasco as the “shaggiest dog in the world.” The best thing is they are super-patient, attentive, and determined. Back in the day, they were originally used as herd dogs to help farmers keep track of their livestock, but now they are perceived as great family pets. They are also very gentle and friendly with people they know. They don’t require much upkeep, except their thick coats need to be separated into mats (when they are 1 year old. This makes their hair more manageable to wear. After their hair is separated, you don't need to brush it again. You don't have to bathe them but 1-3 times a year. These dogs are super self-sufficient!
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These short, stocky dogs are so easy-going you may need to check for a pulse. Weighing in at 40-50 pounds, English Bulldogs are some of the most mellow companions you’ll ever meet. Short walks will work well for them. These pets are also comfortable in apartments and don’t mind if you don’t have a yard. English Bulldogs don’t like hot weather and may have breathing difficulties running or jogging during warmer months – so be mindful of excessive exercise in the summer. English Bulldogs are lovable and friendly with people, and kids love how calm and chill they are. Though English Bulldogs can be hesitant around other dogs, once they get the proper socialization skills, they’re fine making new doggy friends.
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Bassett Hounds are known for their floppy ears, droopy eyes, and long backs. Their long backs can make them prone to injury, so you need to be careful when picking them up or having them participate in intense physical activities. Bassett Hounds are considered a docile breed and require little grooming or exercise. Quick strolls and time in the yard are good opportunities for these dogs to enjoy some movement breaks and fresh air. Bassett Hounds are known as a scent hound – hunting by scent than sight – and hunters used to have them track their prey. So these hounds have super-sensitive senses of smell. That being said, if you prepare dinner or something tasty, expect them to be lurking nearby.
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Who doesn’t love a pug? Their overly cute faces are so endearing that you can’t help but love ‘em; which explains why pugs are rated as one of the most popular dogs in America. History has it that pugs were bred to be lap dogs for the rich in China and later in England as well. Their favorite hobbies include sleeping, playing with family members, and eating. Pugs are usually stocky, short but still pretty fast. They have adorable curly tales. They’re fun and energetic and always love to play or hang out on the couch with their master. It's important to encourage their physical activity; they can be a little sluggish at times. Keep them active with daily walks, but if you take your pup out on a hot day, make sure they don't get dehydrated or exhausted.
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This adorable toy breed originated in China many years ago. Though they are super-tiny, the Pekingese are referred to as Lion Dogs because they resemble Chinese guardian lions. Their name was inspired by the city, Peking in Beijing. Pekingese dogs usually weigh 7-14 pounds and live for 12-15 years. They're very affectionate and fun friends for children. They love going outside and being active. You may find them prancing or playing in the grass. They don’t need a lot of exercise, so they're a good choice for an owner with minimal space. Once in a while, you may catch a glimpse of their obstinate trait, but if you train them at a young age, your Pekingese will be a friend for life.
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These beautiful, hairy breeds are also referred to as Lion Dogs, but they originated in Tibet. They're named after Lhasa, a city in Tibet. 'Lhasa Apso' means "long-haired/bearded Lhasa dog." Some people say this ancient breed is very lazy, so don’t expect them to tolerate long walks or exuberant exercise. Definitely a true couch potato, but require moderate exercise and regular grooming to stay healthy and happy. They weigh 12-15 pounds. Lhasa Apso can be very spirited and have a personality of their own. Train them early, so they don’t develop Small Dog Syndrome. It’s important to train your dog early to set rules and have them comply so that they are obedient and not temperamental. Once this is in place, Lhasa Apsos are very amicable, and even protective of the family.
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These low-energy pets may be one of the best dogs to get if you're looking for a dog that's extremely calm and even-keeled. It's a terrier breed, so it makes for a great watchdog. It has a beautiful silky coat of several shades of gray and also platinum. Cesky Terriers also sport wavy facial hair giving it a sophisticated look. Cesky Terriers are surprisingly much more easy-going than most terriers, and their demeanor makes them a reliable pet for children, families, and the elderly. They can get by with minimal exercise and make good apartment dogs. Just take care to have them on a leash when they're outside. They have a strong prey drive which makes them want to chase nearby prey if they smell or sense them.
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The Bernese Mountain Dog is another gentle giant known for its lethargic demeanor. They usually weigh about 86-106 pounds and stand at 25-28 inches. Though they don't require a lot of exercise, they're definitely not apartment dogs. They need a lot of space, and a yard is the perfect setting for training and providing light activity. Bernese Mountain Dogs can be big couch potatoes, so they need you to motivate them and get them out and going. They're the perfect chill-and-put-your-feet-up type of dog -- just don't let them get too lazy. It's been a long while, but they were actually known for helping their owners round up cattle and livestock. It's only recently that they've become so domesticated.
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is often referred to as a toy dog. They are usually very friendly and quiet and make great therapy pets. They crave attention and are very loyal, dependable pets. Spaniels do not like to be left alone for too long, so make sure to get a sitter if you're working late. The breed is said to have originated in the England – hence the 'King Charles’ name. They only need light exercise – like a walk or time at the park – and their silk coats require moderate grooming. They usually weigh 12-18 pounds and live about 9-14 years.
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Shih Tzus are another toy breed that is small in stature but big on personality. They are super cute and cuddly especially when they’re young, and they’re super-light – in case you decide (like most owners do) to carry them around in a doggy purse. They only weigh 8-16 pounds! The breed originated in China and served as palace pets to the Royals. They were also considered “Lion dogs” for the long flowing mane, and need lots of grooming to keep their hair looking flawless. Shih Tzus enjoy nothing more than spending time with their owners watching TV or going for a short stroll. Very-low-energy!
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This breed is often referred to by their owners as ‘the cleanest of all dogs’ because they are easy to train and have little dog odor. The Chow-Chow has a very refined demeanor and is very composed and rarely disagreeable. They come from northern China where they are known as “puffy-lion dogs.” They love to spend most of their time inside with the family; it’s best to provide daily exercise to keep them active. Moderate grooming is needed for their lush, thick hair. Chow Chows can be wary of strangers and other dogs, and very protective of their owners and their family. They usually live for 8-12 years and weigh 45-70 pounds.