Thinking of adding a dog to your household? Don't be afraid to think big, especially if you're a laid-back family. While large breeds do come with their own set of challenges, being overly active isn't necessarily among them. In fact, some large dog breeds are rather lazy and would rather nap on the sofa next to you than spend hours running around.
Dogs' personalities and energy levels often are related to the jobs they were originally bred to do. Hunting dogs, such as retrievers and spaniels, still have the running instincts their ancestors used to chase prey; ditto for terriers, which were once used to find and dig for rats and other vermin. On the other hand, dogs such as the Saint Bernard and Bernese Mountain Dog were bred to do heavy work on the farm or in the mountains — jobs that require a calm and steady nature.
A couple of important points to remember about these pets, however. "Lazy" doesn't mean that the dog can stay on the couch from dawn to dusk.
"Even low-energy dogs need a couple of walks a day, say, 30 minutes each," says vet Jodi Holcomb Oliver, DVM, owner of the Traveling Paws, LLC, veterinary care service in Sabillasville, MD. "Depending on the weather, it could be longer or shorter, but that's a good starting point."
Then there's their size. It takes a firm hand to keep these immense dogs under control on those daily walks, which can be challenging if your pet is heavier than you are. Some of the bigger breeds may be loyal and loving with your family, but also quite protective; this can pose a risk if they're not adequately trained to behave around strangers. These dogs need early training and socialization in order to be great companions both at home and away.
These are the breeds our vet experts cited as among the laziest of the big dogs. If you have the resources and time to devote to one of these giants, you'll be rewarded with a loving pet and a nap companion.