19 Peaceful Dog Breeds That Require Minimal Effort

Written By Jill Taylor

Some homes aren’t the right fit for energetic dogs. Many families want a calmer pet that can thrive while living life at a slower pace. We’ll go through 19 dog breeds that love cozying up to you and napping more than going on runs and playing boisterously.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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The American Kennel Club suggests that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is “a well-mannered companion that does well in a variety of social situations.” Due to their adaptable nature, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are suitable for many different types of households. They need regular but not excessive amounts of exercise to keep fit.

Basset Hound

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Basset Hounds are well-known for having laid-back personalities, which makes them an excellent choice for more peaceful households. They don’t need much exercise and their grooming is quite low maintenance too. Just watch out for their drooling and shedding!

Shih Tzu

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With their small size, Shih Tzus are often chosen as pets by people who live in apartments. They don’t need too much exercise and their friendly attitudes mean that they’re great companions for older owners. However, you’ll have to make sure to regularly groom their long fur.


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A Bulldog might look fearsome, but these sturdy guys are best known for their gentleness, loyalty, and laziness. As long as your house is cool enough for them and has lots of shade, they’ll thrive in a slower-paced household. Without enough shade, Bulldogs are prone to heat exhaustion, which can be dangerous.


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No, this is not a mistake – Greyhounds are actually surprisingly lazy and love taking long naps, despite their popularity in dog racing. They need to be able to sprint around occasionally, but when they’re in your home they’ll generally be quite low-energy.


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Although Chihuahuas might not be the best choice for households with younger children, they’re extremely loyal to their owners and don’t need much exercise. PDSA recommends “a minimum of half an hour of exercise every day.” Compared to other breeds, that’s really not a lot, and their grooming is very simple too.


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These beautiful, distinctive, and dignified dogs from China prefer calm environments and gentle owners. Their absolutely stunning fur needs a lot of upkeep, but they’re low maintenance in every other way. Short daily walks are the only exercise requirement for these little beauties.


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Pugs are sociable and playful and also love to laze around and enjoy their downtime. However, like Bulldogs, Pugs are not made for the heat. They need to be in moderate climates and are also quite prone to obesity if you’re not careful with managing their diet.

French Bulldog

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Looking for a dog that’s suitable for urban life, doesn’t need much exercise, and is calm and affectionate? The French Bulldog might be the perfect choice for you and makes an excellent lap dog. However, their breathing issues mean that you’ll need to keep a close eye on them in hot weather.

Bernese Mountain Dog

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You might expect such a large dog as the Bernese Mountain Dog to be boisterous and energetic. However, despite their size, they’re actually quite calm and gentle. They do need regular exercise and they can shed a lot, but they’re a very peaceful dog breed overall.

Irish Wolfhound

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The Irish Wolfhound is another large dog that doesn’t need as much exercise as you might think. The Spruce Pets states that they’re “usually quite docile in the house,” and “some owners find that they have to coax their dog to exercise each day.” They’re patient, kind, and fairly easy to groom too.

Clumber Spaniel

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One of the lesser-known spaniel dogs, Clumber Spaniels are lovely pets for a peaceful home. You’ll have to deal with their snoring and shedding, and they’ll need regular walks to stop them from gaining weight, but they’re perfectly happy to live life in the slow lane.


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Newfoundlands are gentle giants who fit in well with families who have children. They’re patient and affectionate and love to swim. While they do have thick coats that need to be brushed regularly, they’re also perfectly happy being rather oversized lap dogs.


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As long as your backyard has enough space for a Borzoi to run about in, then they’ll be happy to join your peaceful household. They’re often calm and reserved dogs who only need a moderate amount of daily exercise. Their beautiful, silky fur can take some work to maintain though.

Tibetan Spaniel

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These assertive little dogs were originally used as guards for Tibetan monasteries, so it’s no wonder that they’re still independent and can be somewhat aloof. However, their minimal exercise requirements make them excellent for apartment living and they can get quite attached to small families.


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Similar to Greyhounds, you might wonder why Whippets are on this list. However, Pet Health Network claims that they’re often “compared to a cat by many owners: quiet, well behaved indoors, and likes to curl up on the couch for a belly rub.” Their grooming is low maintenance due to their smooth fur.

Cocker Spaniel

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Friendly and easygoing dogs, Cocker Spaniels are nearly always eager to please their owners and don’t need much exercise. They’re happy to walk leisurely and play gently with their families. They also get along well with children and other pets too.


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The Maltese dog breed is gentle and has a very trusting nature. They’re small, so they like being involved with indoor activities with their owners and only need minimal amounts of exercise. You will need to groom your Maltese daily to keep its fur unmatted, but other than this, they’re pretty easy to look after.


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Our last dog on the list is energetic, but because of the Papillon’s small size, it only needs light exercise. They’re intelligent and can be trained fairly easily, so some complex playtime with tricks and agility can quickly take care of their needs. They’re beautiful little dogs that need regular but simple grooming.

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