Ready to kick back for some serious end-of-day couch time with your favorite four-legged friend by your side? While many breeds love a good snuggle session with their pet parents after a long day of play, some dogs embrace the couch potato life a little more than others. Here are our picks for the best breeds to kick back with and catch up on your favorite shows.
While any one of these breeds may be perfect for your laid-back lifestyle with proper training and socialization, it’s also important to learn as much as you can about a potential pet’s behaviors, temperaments and certain medical conditions before making a commitment to one. Dogs don’t necessarily come with certain personality traits. They take plenty of training, proper exercise and the exposure to a variety of people, places and things from an early age to be well-adjusted and relaxed in the home.
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Playful and confident companions, Pugs are known for their clown-like antics and willingness to please their owners. Their exercise needs are minimal and can be met with a daily walk or a round of playtime in a fenced-in area. With a small, compact body and a short muzzle, Pugs are prone to both snoring and wheezing and are sensitive to both humidity and heat. They should be kept indoors or under plenty of shade in the summertime. Adaptable and friendly, the breed can easily live in an apartment or in a larger home.
If you know your dog is easily stimulated by a treat, phrase (like “go out”) or activity, said David Frei, the co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and expert analyst for The National Dog Show Presented by Purina, prepare for it to become much more active the moment you pull out the doggy cookie jar or make a move for the leash.
Another clownish, friendly and willing to please breed, the French Bulldog loves snoozing and cuddling with its family. Ideal companion dogs, Frenchies were bred to be lap dogs and revel in their couch time. Active without being rowdy, French Bulldogs require minimal exercise beyond a short daily walk or romp in the yard. Also short muzzled, French Bulldogs tend to snore and wheeze and are prone to overheating in warm weather.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A gentle breed that makes an excellent therapy dog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are both loving and adaptable. Happy to live in either the city or the country, the Cavalier is sweet, affectionate and friendly towards other pets, dogs and strangers. While Cavaliers will explore, chase and sniff outdoors and require regular walks, they are relaxed and calm in the home.
A courageous and determined terrier, Skye Terriers can be stubborn yet sensitive and are very loving towards their families. This breed is most comfortable living indoors and relaxing on the couch with you, but should be allowed outside to play daily and taken on short or moderate walks on the leash. An effective watchdog, Skye Terriers can be wary around strangers or unfamiliar dogs and require regular combing and bathing to maintain their straight, flat coats.
Bred to be a lively and playful companion, Shih Tzus are gentle, affectionate and love spending time at home with their families. A happy lapdog, Shih Tzus love to romp around the house, delight their people with their cheerful demeanor and relax on the couch at the end of the day. Though the breed requires some exercise, they don’t need much more than a daily walk around the neighborhood or active game of fetch in the house. Though they can be stubborn at times, Shih Tzus do well with small children if introduced to them at an early age.
The most relaxed dog of the hound group, according to Frei, the Irish Wolfhound is also one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. Used to hunt wolves, deer and boar, Irish Wolfhounds are most commonly seen today as companion dogs. An extremely large but gentle breed, Irish Wolfhounds are affectionate and gentle with children and are friendly with other dogs. If given a secure space to run in at least once a day, the Irish Wolfhound can fare well in either the city or the country. They do, however, require lots of space because of their giant size, so be sure to save them a big piece of the couch for relaxing on.
Though they’re intense on the racetrack, Greyhounds (particularly rescued Greyhounds) can be wonderful family dogs that are calm and relaxed at home, Frei said. An ancient breed that has been used as a sight hound in addition to a racing dog, Greyhounds are very gentle with people and other dogs and can easily live in an apartment setting. Referred to as “the world’s fastest couch potato,” Greyhounds are relaxed and low-key at home and eager to please. The breed does, however, have a tendency to chase after cats or other small animals and may not be the best choice for families with small pets.
Bred as a war dog and wild boar hunter, Great Danes are more commonly seen now as a loving and loyal companion pet. Though it is an extremely large breed, Great Danes have moderate energy levels and don’t require too much exercise, Frei said. Known for being a lap dog in a giant’s body, the Great Dane is affectionate with its people and does well with children and other animals when raised together. The Great Dane should be given plenty of indoor space and large, soft dog beds for relaxing in.
Known as the quintessential lap dog, the Maltese is an ancient breed that became popular among English royalty during the 1800s. A playful, self-confident breed, the Maltese is among the most popular toy breeds for its affectionate and gentle demeanor. A fearless dog that can make a good watchdog for its tendency to bark at strangers, Maltese dogs are relaxed and calm at home provided they receive proper exercise and stimulation from training or play. The exercise needs for this feisty, bold breed can be met with a short walk on the leash, romp in the yard or fast-paced indoor game. You even could set up a mini agility course with Cool Runners Weave Poles.
A dog’s training, socialization and environment will all determine how relaxed or calm it is, Frei said. A dog raised in an apartment setting compared to a dog given wide open spaces to run in every day will be very different from each other and will have different behaviors around the home.
A wonderful, happy family dog that loves being with its people, according to Frei, the Bulldog may have originated for the purpose of bull baiting in England but now enjoys its status as a popular companion dog. The definition of a couch potato, the Bulldog loves to eat and sleep and is generally relaxed at home. With a medium-sized body and strong, sturdy build, Bulldogs may not be able to fit in your lap but are content relaxing by your side any hour of the day.
Although the breed doesn’t require too much activity, it should have daily walks to keep it stimulated. In warm weather, Bulldogs should be kept indoors or in the shade because of their propensity to overheat.
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Jessica spends her days trying not to helicopter parent her beloved shelter pup, Darwin.