Mellow Dog Breeds for ‘Couch Potato’ Types

February 29, 2012

By Linda Cole

We know how important it is to pick the right dog for your lifestyle. An energetic person will love the lively energy of a Border Collie or a Terrier breed, but some people would rather chill out on the couch and cuddle with a laid back dog. If you’re looking for a mellow canine companion, here are a few breeds to consider.

The Mastiff is a large, muscular dog. In fact, it’s one of the largest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and known affectionately as “the gentle giant.” However, don’t underestimate this dog. Although they are friendly and gentle, they were bred to be guardians and will protect their family and home. A Mastiff is a quiet dog who is happy lounging on the couch (of course, then there’s no room for you!) or going for a walk. He may be a couch potato, but daily exercise is still needed to keep him healthy.

The Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, reaching speeds over 40 mph. Their natural prey is rabbit and hare, but they were also used to hunt deer, stag, fox and wild boar. When they aren’t working, this dog breed is the ultimate couch potato and as mellow as you can get. I know from experience how happy these dogs are. My great aunt and uncle raised Greyhounds and Whippets. As a kid, I loved visiting them because I got to play with the dogs. Greyhounds are loving, but can be a bit aloof when it comes to strangers. Just like any dog, they need exercise and excel at lure coursing, racing and agility. However, if you’re as mellow as the dog, he will be happy with daily walks. If you’re interested in adopting a Greyhound, please check with the National Greyhound Adoption Program. They are always looking for suitable homes for retired racing dogs.

The Great Dane is another one of the giant breeds that is about as mellow as they can get. Like the Mastiff, this dog is also referred to as a gentle giant. They are great around children and like to play. It’s important to teach this dog not to jump up on people because they can easily knock someone down if they try to look someone straight in the eye to say “Hi.” Great Danes make wonderful watchdogs, they are brave, loyal and can be aggressive if they feel it’s necessary to protect their family. This dog may be mellow, but he still needs regular exercise to keep him healthy.

The Basset Hound is a well behaved, sweet dog and is a direct descendant of the Bloodhound. As you might guess, the Basset Hound is likely to follow his nose if he catches a scent that interests him. It’s not a good idea to let him wander around off leash, unless he’s in an enclosed area. This dog is highly motivated by food and will do almost anything for his favorite CANIDAE treat. Daily walks and lots of playtime in an enclosed area outside will satisfy his exercise needs.

The Chihuahua is a big dog in a little body, so don’t be fooled by his size. He’s brave, proud, affectionate, and can be an adventurous dog when given a chance. Because of his size, it’s tempting to carry him around instead of letting him walk on his own four feet. However, he is not an accessory and should never be treated as such. He requires little exercise, but still needs daily walks and some time outside in a safe area where he can stretch his legs. Small dog syndrome can be a problem, but as long as he understands he is not the leader, this breed makes a great pet for families with children who are taught how to properly handle him.

The Bichon Frise is a powder puff little dog that loves everyone, including kids and other pets. He’s intelligent, gentle, confident, quiet and affectionate, an independent dog who wants to be with his family as much as possible. This dog responds well to training and, like the Chihuahua, needs his owner to be his leader to keep him from developing small dog syndrome. He makes a good watchdog and if you want a dog you can teach tricks to, this is the dog for you. Daily walks with some time to run around in an enclosed area will take care of his exercise needs.

These are just a few of the great mellow dog breeds that can fit into a more laid back, couch potato type of lifestyle. Your best bet is to carefully research the breed before bringing a dog into your home. If you like to stay home and chill out on the weekends, you don’t want a dog that tugs at your pant leg to go for a jog. You will be happier with a mellow dog who appreciates a good couch, just like you.

Top photo by Andy Chase
Bottom photo by Nicole Sikora Heschong

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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  1. I’m a first time owner of an Afghan Hound. Tomorrow makes week one!
    I love my sensitive, curious, 3 month old silver-brindle pup. Patience is a requirement when it comes to training but rewards are abundant.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Greyhounds every time for me. I have 2 retired racers who are the biggest couch potatoes ever x

  3. DANI HARPER says:

    I’ve had pugs for many years and find them to be the most mellow and even-tempered of dogs. This is an old breed, designed specifically to be companion animals and that’s what they do. They are comical couch potatoes, and want nothing more than to be with their people. Whatever you’re doing, they’re involved, yet they aren’t demanding.

  4. redboat says:

    Greyhounds, whippets, mastiffs, and basset hounds are all mellow dogs, but the chihuahua is NOT, its a high-energy, yappy breed…

  5. Your blog post is very beneficial. Thanks so much and more power!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tho I appreciate your article it is somewhat misleading. You really only have ONE dog that is an actual companion breed listed… that being the bichon frise. If people are reading this and taking you up on your suggestions of say a chihuaha which is actually a high energy toy breed that tends to be over protective and snappy that could be disaster. When adding any dog to your family remember to research what that dog was actually bred to do if it was bred to work or hunt then it will need a lot of physical & mental stimulation in order to avoid acting out like barking, digging or chewing out of boredom. The laziest dogs you can get would be the english and french bulldog who were bred to be companions and require very little in means of exercise tho keeping them at a healthy weight is important. If you want a dog that will literally lay w you for hr n hrs then those are two of your best bets. Ps. I breed frenchies I have 7 of them and they all lay in bed w me as long as I am in bed they will stay there too lol 😉

  7. Carolyn says:

    I’ve always wanted a Bichon Frise. Maybe one day. Greyhounds are certainly lovely dogs. Good companions. Interesting post, thanks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Want a mellow dog? Get a Pit Bull from the shelter.Forget about Chihuahuas and Bichon Frise. They are not mellow. Bichon Frise are high strung and get easily bored if they are not challenged. Chihuahuas are just like terrepruitt describes it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Danes are fantastic! It is most likely the only breed I will ever own. Mine is curled up in the chair right now. But one thing to remember is to make sure you do your research on breeders if you want to go that route. Make sure you do not buy from a BYB (backyard breeder). That is how I got my first dane and he passed at 5 and had many many issues his entire life. You want to get a dog of any breed from a reputable source whether it be a breeder or a rescue. Please please please do your research and never ever ever buy a puppy from pet store.

  10. Anonymous says:

    My vote for a gentle giant is a Newfoundland. Talk about a mellow dog and is very good with children of all ages.

  11. terrepruitt says:

    Huh, I have NEVER met a mellow Chihuahua. The ones I have met always seem very high strung and unable to contain their energy. They seem like they are very high maintenance dogs but I guess that could be as you state, “beacuse of its size” people might TREAT them as if they are high maintenance. This is truly an educational post because I would have NEVER thought Chihuahuas could be anything but hyper and extremely nervous and jittery. I knew the big dogs were mellow because we’ve only had big dogs.

  12. Marg says:

    I have always wanted to have a Basset but never did do it. I just think they look like great dogs. Great info.

  13. Good to know when planning for that retirement age. 🙂