A common misconception about large breed dogs is that they are very active and need to have a lot of exercise. While this is certainly true for some large breeds – such as Retrievers, Collies and German Shepherds, many other large breeds are couch potatoes and love to just lay around.
If you’ve been hesitant to adopt a large breed dog because you’re concerned about not being able to exercise them enough, here are our nine choices for big dogs that don’t need a lot of regular physical activities to keep them happy. They’re glad to just be around you and protect you!
Newfoundlands are huge dogs that are known as “nanny dogs” because they do so well with kids. These gentle giants have shaggy coats and weigh up to 150 lbs.
Newfies as they are known are trainable and trust their owners.
Newfoundlands are not big barkers and for a dog of this size, they don’t need a whole lot of exercise.
That doesn’t mean you can leave them lounging around your house. They do benefit from daily walks, but they are lower energy level dogs.
You don’t need to get their coats professionally groomed, but you do need to brush them on a regular basis.
Newfoundlands do shed and because they are big dogs, you will get a fair amount of Newfie hair in your house. They also drool – a lot.
Overall, if you are looking for an outstanding family dog that just needs a leisurely daily walk, Newfoundlands are a great choice.
2. Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is a dog that inspires a great deal of loyalty and affection. People who have Saints as pets absolutely adore these dogs.
Saint Bernards can get even bigger than Newfies – and clock in at up to 200 pounds!
They are also excellent with children and are smart and patient animals.
The reputation that this breed has for being a drooler is accurate. Saint Bernards have extremely wet mouths and a loud bark.
Saint Bernards do shed, but they only need a brush about once a week for grooming.
This breed is not particularly high-energy, although they do benefit from a daily walk or playtime in the backyard.
3. Great Dane
The most famous Great Dane is probably the fictional character Marmaduke. These dogs look extremely intimidating, but in reality, are quite easygoing and wonderful to have as pets.
These are large dogs and can reach up to 175 pounds.
They have very short coats and only need an occasional bath to keep their coats in good shape. Like most other dogs Great Danes do shed.
Great Danes don’t drool quite as much as Newfoundlands or Saint Bernards, but that doesn’t mean they don’t drool at all. They still have wet mouths.
Danes are also relatively playful and make good watchdogs.
Danes have a higher energy level than Saint Bernards or Newfoundlands, but they don’t bounce off the walls with excitement.
They are playful, so playing with them or walking them daily is a good idea.
4. Neapolitan Mastiff
This breed weighs in at up to 150 pounds and thinks it’s a lap dog. Neapolitan Mastiffs love to cuddle, don’t need a lot of exercise, and are known for being low energy.
They do have a reputation for drooling, which is something to consider when you are looking at this breed.
Neapolitan Mastiffs have a huge and intimidating appearance. If you are looking for a dog that will scare people without being scary, this dog could fit the bill.
Neapolitan Mastiffs also like to bond with a single owner. They will tolerate family life but aren’t dogs that will bond with everyone in the family.
The coat of a Mastiff is easy to maintain with regular brushing and they shed moderately.
This breed is an excellent family dog and needs very little playtime and exercise. They also make great guard dogs and will come to the rescue if their family seems threatened.
This breed weighs in at up to 130 pounds and has a wrinkly face and short hair.
They don’t drool as much as many of the other dogs on this list, but they do drool some.
A Bullmastiff’s coat is easy to maintain with weekly brushing and they shed at a moderate level.
These are intelligent dogs and are alert and confident. They have large broad heads and intimidate people who don’t know how gentle this breed really is.
6. Dog De Bordeaux
This breed weighs up to 110 pounds and is stubborn. They don’t require tons of exercise, but they do require training as puppies so that they don’t try to become the dominant member of the pack.
With proper training, this French breed makes an excellent family dog. They are affectionate, loyal, and protective.
While these dogs are generally lower energy, they can move quickly when needed. The Dog De Bordeaux also has the largest head in proportion to its body of any of the dog breeds.
This breed benefits from a daily walk but doesn’t have high exercise requirements.
7. Scottish Deerhound
If you have a backyard to run in, that is usually enough exercise for the quiet and dignified Scottish Deerhound.
This breed weighs up to 110 pounds but is slimmer in build than the mastiffs. Instead of being wide the Scottish Deerhound is quite tall and can grow up to 32 inches at the shoulder.
It also doesn’t drool! That’s a big plus to some dog owners.
The Scottish Deerhound sheds moderately and has a wiry, double coat that is easy to maintain with weekly brushing.
Overall, this breed makes a lovely family dog if you have a backyard for them to run in.
8. Great Pyrenees
Beautiful dogs with fluffy white coats, the Great Pyrenees make astounding family pets.
These dogs are known for being extremely mellow and nurturing.
They don’t need a lot of playtime or exercise but do need regular brushing of their beautiful coat.
The Great Pyrenees doesn’t look like it would drool a lot, but it does drool fairly significantly.
This breed is protective of its family and while it doesn’t have the intimidating appearance of a mastiff, it is big enough to frighten away most people who would wish you harm.
This is a calm dog that is ready to move into action with grace and quickness if it senses a threat to its family.
9. Bergamasco Sheepdog
This breed has a very unique appearance because of its complicated-looking, but nearly maintenance-free coat.
The Bergamasco Sheepdog is a dog that is eager to please and it only needs to be bathed twice a year.
This dog can weigh up to 84 pounds and is very gentle by nature. They only show aggression if there are no other options.
These dogs shed very little and don’t drool much.
They have a lower energy level and are happy with going for a walk with their owners daily.
One of the things to note about this breed is that they don’t take to strangers unless they are introduced by their owner.