5 Slowest Dog Breeds in the World

Slowest dog breeds
Photo by Melissa Keizer on Unsplash

Dogs are known for their playful personalities, adventurous spirits, and high energy levels, and because of this they bring so much enjoyment to our lives, and some are known to be incredibly fast and sporty.

But what if you are looking for a more laid-back pup? One that’s OK to lounge around and take things at a slower pace than other breeds. No running, no chasing, just leisurely strolls and plenty of cuddles.

We’ve rounded up the slowest dog breeds from around the world – perfect for those who want their furry best friend to take things slow. Or maybe you are slow too and want a pup that will match your pace.

5 Slowest Dog Breeds in the World

Here are some of the slowest dog breeds in the world and why they make perfect companions for those who prefer to take things slow.

Shih Tzu

First up is the Shih Tzu, known as the “lion dog” in Chinese culture, this breed is one of the oldest breeds originating from Tibet, and at first glance, you can see why.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Shih Tzu’s average running speed is 15.3 mph.

This may seem fast, but compared to other breeds, like the Dachshund, Poodle and Rat Terrier, it’s quite slow. The Shih Tzu is known for its relaxed and gentle nature, making it the ideal companion for those who prefer to take things slow. Not only is it OK with spending most of its time lounging around, but this breed also loves going on leisurely walks – a perfect combination!

Shih Tzu being lazy
Photo by Jorge Rosal on Unsplash

They don’t need much exercise and energy boost – just a daily walk with some playtime will do the trick.


The Pomeranian is another one of the slowest dog breeds and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. They are very small, which makes it hard for them to keep up with bigger breeds.

Pomeranians enjoy cuddles and playing, but they don’t need much exercise to stay happy. Usually, a 15-minute walk around the block is enough for this breed to get its daily energy fix.

Picture of a Pomeranian
Photo by FLOUFFY on Unsplash

The Pomeranian has an average running speed of 10 mph, which is slower than other small dogs like the Chihuahuas and Miniatures Schnauzers. They can be quite comfortable spending time laying under blankets or snuggling up in laps, then running.

Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are one of the slowest dog breeds around, their appearance doesn’t give us the most confidence in a running race and it’s true – this breed wasn’t made to run. The Basset Hound has an average running speed of 14 mph.

Basset Hounds are laid-back and relaxed, so they don’t need too much exercise or stimulation. A short walk around the block is enough for this breed and then they can spend the rest of their time lounging around.

Lazy Basset Hound
Photo by Will Thomas on Unsplash

Their long backs, droopy eyes and floppy ears make them the perfect companion for those who prefer to take things slow, and they are known for being loving and loyal.


Pugs are cute, cuddly and small little creatures, but they can be lazy. They love to cuddle and don’t need too much exercise to stay fit and healthy – but they can bounce around in excitement when playtime is on, and this is also seen when out and about.

You may notice Pugs running up to your dog or chasing after a ball, as they are super confident and playful. A Pug’s average running speed is only 8 mph, making them one of the slowest dog breeds in the world. This breed wasn’t made for running given their short legs and vulnerability to brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, meaning they can’t breathe as well as other breeds.

Picture of a Pug sleeping on the sofa

Pugs are great family-friendly companions for those who prefer to take things slow, as they don’t need too much exercise and love just hanging out with their owners – or even better, on top of them!


It’s no surprise that the Chihuahua makes the list of one of the slowest dog breeds, even despite their small size advantage that can help propel them to faster speeds.

The Chihuahua has an average running speed between 8 and 21 miles per hour – and this may even be an overestimation, as these cute little dogs usually prefer to walk or trot, then run at their full potential.

Picture of a Chihuahua
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

They can be quite energetic, especially when playing with a toy, but don’t need too much exercise to stay happy – just a daily walk around the block will do.

What traits do all of the slowest dog breeds have in common?

The slowest dog breeds tend to be small in size, laid-back and relaxed, not needing too much exercise or energy output. They prefer a leisurely walk around the block with some playtime here and there – with no need for intense running sessions. They also love cuddles and snuggles – perfect companions for those who want to take things slow!

The smaller dog breeds like the Pug, Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Shih Tzu are all of small size and petite stature, making it harder for them to reach top running speeds, given their small legs and bodies. The Basset Hound, well, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that their long backs and floppy ears don’t make for a great running session!

What is the least energetic dog?

As you may have guessed, the Basset Hound most certainly meets the criteria for being the least energetic dog. If you leave for work in the morning and your Basset is fast asleep on the sofa, chances are they’ll still be there when you get back.

This breed may come alive if they hear the sound of food, but other than that, they’re quite OK with sitting around and snoozing all day. Moving around, playing with toys and running doesn’t really interest them too much. They are a snoozing machine!

What breed of dog is the sleepiest?

The Pug and Basset Hound take top spots for being the sleepiest dogs from this slowest dog breed list, they both like a good snooze (but are great for cuddles!).

The Pug’s nostrils are quite small, which makes it hard for them to breathe and regulate their energy levels, and unfortunately, suffer from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. This means that if they do exercise, they tire easily and prefer to take it slow – which basically translates to sleep! This is why the Pug is one of the sleepiest and slowest dog breeds around.

The Basset Hound also takes the top spot when it comes to being sleepy – they don’t have much interest in running, preferring instead to take a nice nap before doing anything else. Just like with the Pug, food may give them some energy, but generally speaking, they are more content just napping around.

Conclusion: The slowest dog breeds in the world

That’s it – the slowest dog breeds in the world and it’s likely that the list didn’t take you by surprise either, as some of these breeds are well known for their relaxed and lazy tendencies.

The Pug, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu and Basset Hound all make the list of the slowest dog breeds as they are small in size, energetic but not too overly active and love a good snooze here and there – perfect companions for those who want to take things slow.

If you’re looking for an energetic breed that can run with you, hike or even do agility sports, then these are not the breeds for you! I’d suggest looking at a Greyhound or Saluki – two excellent runners. But if it’s a companion to share your sofa and cuddle with that you’re looking for, then these sleepyheads will happily oblige.

Happy searching!

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