If you are considering buying a dog or puppy as a pet, it is important to choose a dog that fits in with your lifestyle and that you know from the get-go you will be able to take care of adequately. A large part of this involves ensuring that you can take care of your dog’s exercise needs and match their requirements in terms of giving them enough opportunities to stretch their legs, and not providing your dog with enough exercise is both unfair to the dog in question and will potentially affect their long term health and wellness.
If you enjoy a fairly quiet lifestyle and are not a fan of vigorous exercise or long, energetic walks in all weathers, it is important that you choose a dog that will fit in with the way that you live your life. Incredibly active, high-energy dogs that require hours of outdoor play and walking every day to be happy, such as the Collie or the Husky, would be a poor choice. Fortunately, not all dogs are the same, and the exercise requirements of different dogs varies from case to case, and some breeds are certainly more laid back and less energetic than others. Finding a dog breed whose walking and exercise needs matches your own if you like relaxed walks and a quiet life doesn’t have to be hard!
It is really important to remember that even the quietest, most sedentary dogs still require exercise, walks and play, and you must be willing and able to provide this on a daily basis. In terms of budgeting your time, plan for two half-hour walks or periods of free outdoor play per day as a bare minimum for any dog, regardless of their breed or energy levels. If you feel that you would be unwilling or unable to provide this, then a dog is not an appropriate choice of pet for you!
With this caveat in mind, here are our suggestions of some of the quieter, more laid back and less energetic breeds of dog.
The Pug is an entertaining, comical and highly intelligent dog, with an instantly recognisable appearance! The Pug, like any dog, enjoys play and may on occasion undergo a ”mad ten minutes” of zooming about, but generally speaking, the Pug is a fairly quiet dog that doesn’t require hours of long and energetic walking.
The fact that the Greyhound makes the list may come as a surprise to many, when you consider the Greyhound’s long legs and high-speed running gait! Despite their ability to keep up with the average car when going flat out for short periods of time, the Greyhound is actually something of a couch potato, and is perfectly happy with shorter, relaxed walks on the lead.
The stocky, heavily built Bulldog is one of the most sedentary dogs around. Built for strength rather than speed, the Bulldog is more of an ambler than a sprinter and is perfectly well suited to people who like to walk for short periods of time and at a sedate pace.
The Chihuahua has a fast trotting pace when walking to heel, which is necessary in order to allow them to keep up with the stride of their owners! Due to this, the Chihuahua tires out rather quickly, and is not well suited to long energetic walks, where they simply cannot keep up!
The tall, elegant and noble Great Dane has a quiet, laid-back temperament that belies their large size. While the Great Dane needs to be walked sufficiently and allowed to stretch their long legs freely in outdoor play, they are not a particularly highly strung breed, and are generally happy with a couple of fairly laid back walks each day.
The cute, petite and personable French Bulldog is a small dog with a big personality. They are alert, intelligent dogs who often enjoy puzzle games and one to one play and interaction, and will enjoy opportunities to run around for shore periods of time. The French Bulldog is perfectly happy with a couple of short walks per day, and plenty of mental stimulation.
The large Bull Mastiff is one of the more popular breeds of guard dog, and these dogs are incredibly loyal to their families and owners. The Bull Mastiff is a quiet, laid back but watchful dog that generally moves slowly and is happy to keep to a relaxed walking pace.
The unusually wrinkled Shar Pei dog is renowned for the strong bonds they make with their owners, and their aloof attitude to their first meetings with newcomers! The Shar Pei enjoys a fairly sedentary lifestyle, and will happily walk by your side taking in the sights and sounds rather than galloping about for protracted periods of time!
The Pekingese dog is “the ultimate lapdog,” and is at its happiest curled up in front of a warm fire with their favourite people. While the Pekingese requires daily exercise and sufficient walking opportunities in the same way as any other dog, short, regular walks or longer but gentle walks are the order of the day.
The St. Bernard dog is a large, handsome and friendly giant breed, associated with mountain rescue and considerable endurance. The St. Bernard is built for stamina rather than speed, and will happily walk by your side quietly while you take in the scenery.
Don’t forget, even the quietest of dogs still require regular daily exercise without fail, even when it is cold or raining! For the more unusual dogs that are not enthusiastic about walks at all, you may even have to push your dog to make sure that they keep active enough, and help to encourage them to get moving!
As with all dog breeds, dogs activity levels tend to drop off slightly as they age, and so an older dog might be a better pick than a puppy for people who live a quiet lifestyle.