10 of the Slowest Dog Breeds: A Comprehensive Guide to Leisurely Canines

In the world of dog breeds, speed is an attribute that varies greatly, with some canines known for their agility and fast pace, while others are content to take their time.

As a dog lover, you might be curious about the slower-paced breeds, whether you prefer leisurely strolls or simply appreciate their unique characteristics. In this article, we will introduce you to 10 of the slowest dog breeds, each with their own personality and charm.

Some of the slower breeds are large and muscular with a primary focus on strength, while others are small with shorter legs that limit their ability to move quickly.

Not all slow breeds are lazy or inactive; in fact, many are energetic and playful, making great companions for those who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.

Top 10 Slowest Dog Breeds

These are ten of the slowest dog breeds, which are perfect for those who prefer laid-back companions. Their leisurely pace makes them excellent family pets, as they are more focused on spending time with their loved ones rather than chasing after squirrels.

Basset Hound

slow dog breeds

Basset Hounds are known for their distinctive appearance, with short legs, long ears, and droopy skin. They have a slow pace, typically around 8 km/h or 5 mph. Their short legs contribute to their leisurely gait, making them suitable for relaxed walks.


Bulldogs are stocky and muscular, with a low center of gravity that gives them a distinct waddle. They are known for their calm and gentle temperament, making them a great match for families with children or those seeking a more relaxed companion.

Shih Tzu

slow dogs

The Shih Tzu is a small, long-haired breed that originated from Tibet and China. They have a top speed of around 6-10 mph, making them one of the slowest dog breeds.

Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great lap dogs and family pets.


The Pekingese breed originated in China and is easily recognized by its lion-like appearance. With their short legs and dense coat (they aren’t hypoallergenic), they aren’t built for speed, but they make up for it with their loyal and affectionate personalities.

Their slow pace makes them well-suited for older individuals or families who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.

Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniels are large, muscular dogs with a sturdy build. They are known for their gentle and easygoing nature, making them excellent companions for families and individuals alike.

Despite their size, Clumber Spaniels are relatively slow-moving dogs, making them a great choice for those who prefer a more laid-back pet.

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed that is known for its long, thick coat and lively personality. Although they are energetic and playful, their top speed is relatively slow compared to other breeds.

This makes them an excellent choice for families with young children or for seniors in need of a playful and affectionate companion.

Saint Bernard

slow dogs

The Saint Bernard is a large and powerful breed, originally bred for rescue work in the Swiss Alps. Their top speed is 15 mph, which might be surprising for such a big dog. With their gentle and affectionate nature, they make excellent family pets and are particularly well-suited for those living in colder climates.

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are large, long-haired dogs known for their distinctive shaggy appearance. They have a gentle, easygoing nature, perfect for families and individuals who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.

Although they are not particularly fast, their intelligence makes them great pets and their loving personalities ensure they are a joy to be around.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog with a loving and affectionate nature. Despite their small size, their top speed is relatively slow, making them a great match for families with young children or individuals who cherish a more laid-back companion.

Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large, muscular breed with a distinctive wrinkled appearance. They have a slow, lumbering gait which adds to their overall aura of calm and strength.

Despite their imposing appearance, Neapolitan Mastiffs are gentle and loving pets, perfect for those who value loyalty and companionship above speed.

Understanding Canine Speed

When considering the speed of dog breeds, it’s essential to understand that canine speed varies significantly based on factors such as body shape, leg length, and genetics. Dogs with short legs and stocky bodies, like Basset Hounds and Bulldogs, are generally slower, while long-legged, sleek-bodied canines, such as Greyhounds and Whippets, are much speedier.

Below are 10 slow dog breeds, along with their estimated top speeds:

  1. Basset Hound – 5-10 mph
  2. Bulldog – under 15 mph
  3. Saint Bernard – 15 mph
  4. French Bulldog – under 15 mph
  5. Pug – 5-10 mph
  6. Shih Tzu – 6 mph
  7. Toy Poodle – 10 mph
  8. Brussels Griffon – high-energy but slower-paced
  9. Mastiff – not built for speed, preferring a steady pace
  10. Dachshund – short legs limit their speed

As you can see, the top speeds of these breeds vary, but they’re generally slower than other dogs. Keep in mind that a dog’s physical attributes are significant factors in determining its speed; however, don’t underestimate their adaptability and energy levels. These breeds may be slow, but they can still keep up with an active lifestyle and provide you with hours of companionship.

It’s also important to acknowledge that some slower dog breeds were bred for specific purposes. For example, the Saint Bernard was bred for mountain rescues in the Swiss Alps, where speed was never a requirement. On the other hand, the Basset Hound and Dachshund were bred for tracking and hunting purposes that took advantage of their excellent sense of smell rather than their speed.

Characteristics of Slow Dog Breeds

Physical Traits

In general, slow dog breeds often have one or more of the following physical traits:

  • Small size: As slow-moving dogs tend to be smaller in size, breeds like the Chihuahua and the Pug can be found among the slowest dogs. Small legs and bodies can limit their overall speed.
  • Heavy and muscular build: Larger dog breeds with strong muscles but a heavy build, such as the Saint Bernard, are also slower as their size and weight work against their speed.
  • Short legs: Breeds like the Dachshund or Bulldog have shorter legs in comparison to their body length, restricting their stride. This physical characteristic contributes to their slower pace.

Behavioral Traits

The behavioral traits of slow dog breeds often include:

  • Relaxed demeanor: These dogs are generally laidback and not as interested in racing around at high speeds. They prefer a slower pace and enjoy leisurely walks rather than intense games of fetch.
  • Indoor preference: Breeds like Chow Chow are known for their love of staying indoors. They may not be as energetic or quick-moving as outdoor dogs, and their preference for being within a comfortable environment can affect their overall speed.
  • Calm temperament: Many slow dog breeds are recognized for their calm and gentle disposition. They may not possess the same drive for activity or sport that faster dog breeds do, and their moderate energy levels mean they are less likely to indulge in high-speed activities.

Overall, understanding the characteristics of slow dog breeds can help you to choose the right dog for your lifestyle, especially if you prefer a calmer and more leisurely companion.

Choosing a Slow Dog Breed

When selecting the perfect slow dog breed for your lifestyle, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Exercise requirements: Slow dog breeds generally have lower energy levels and may not require as much physical activity as more athletic breeds. Consider how much time and energy you can dedicate to your dog’s exercise needs.
  • Size: Some slow dogs are small, while others are quite large. Take into account the size of your living space and whether you can comfortably accommodate a larger dog.
  • Grooming needs: Different breeds have varying grooming requirements. Determine how much time and effort you are willing to invest in your dog’s appearance and health.
  • Temperament: Slow dog breeds often have relaxed and easygoing personalities, making them great companions. However, it’s essential to ensure their temperament fits well with your lifestyle and any existing pets.

Here are some slow dog breeds to consider when making your decision:

  • Brussels Griffon
  • Saint Bernard
  • Bulldog
  • Chow Chow
  • French Bulldog

Take your time researching the characteristics of each breed to determine the best fit for your home and lifestyle. By considering these factors and the specific attributes of each slow dog breed, you can find the perfect furry friend to enjoy a slower-paced life with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which dog breeds are known for their slow pace?

Some dog breeds that are known for their slow pace include:

  • Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Chihuahuas
  • Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis

These breeds tend to have shorter legs and heavier bodies, which contribute to their slower speeds.

What are the most laid-back canine breeds?

Laid-back dog breeds are those that typically have lower energy levels and prefer relaxed environments. Some examples include:

  • Basset Hounds
  • Great Danes
  • English Mastiffs
  • Greyhounds
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs

These breeds often enjoy lounging around and are content with minimal exercise.

Are there any large dog breeds that are slow movers?

Yes, there are several large dog breeds known for their slow pace and laid-back personalities. Some of these breeds include:

  • Saint Bernard
  • English Mastiff
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Newfoundland

These giant breeds may be powerful, but they are also gentle and often enjoy a more leisurely lifestyle.

What dog breeds are best suited for leisurely walks?

Some dog breeds that are well-suited for leisurely walks include:

  • Pekingese
  • Japanese Chin
  • Dachshund
  • Maltese
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These breeds are generally smaller in size and have lower stamina levels, making them perfect companions for slow and relaxing walks.

Which dog breeds are least energetic?

Dog breeds that tend to have the lowest energy levels include:

  • Basset Hound
  • Chow Chow
  • French Bulldog
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pekingese

These breeds often prefer lounging around and require less exercise than other breeds.

What are some low-energy dog breeds suitable for relaxed lifestyles?

If you are looking for a dog breed that is well-suited for a relaxed lifestyle, consider the following breeds:

  • English Bulldog
  • Basset Hound
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chinese Crested
  • Boston Terrier

These breeds generally have lower energy levels and will be content with a more laid-back routine.