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Top 10 Slowest Dog Breeds


An English Bulldog running towards the camera outside with its tongue out.

What are the slowest dog breeds?

While there haven’t been any scientific tests to determine the slowest dog breeds, all of the dogs on this list are known for being more than a little sluggish. These ten slow-moving dog breeds suit would-be pet owners who are homebodies or who don’t have the time to take their pets on very long walks.

1. Bulldogs

Bulldogs are plump with round bellies, which slows them down considerably. Although they can’t muster long walks, bulldogs are fiercely independent and loyal. Known for their wrinkled faces and pushed-in noses, bulldogs often get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t be judged on appearance alone. These dogs are friendly, patient, and always reliable.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Named after King Charles II, Cavaliers aren’t the fastest dogs in the world, but they have plenty of stamina, making them a great choice for people who love long walks in the park as much as they do. One of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, cavaliers are playful, loving, smart, and learn quickly. These dogs make the perfect addition to any family home.

3. Chihuahua

It’s no surprise that Chihuahuas are on this list of the ten slowest dogs. They have small bodies and even smaller legs, which means they move very slowly. What chihuahuas lack in speed, however, they make up for in personality. These dogs are outspoken, independent, and fiercely devoted to their owners. It’s not true that chihuahuas don’t get along with other pets; they just appreciate their space and boundaries.

4. Sussex Spaniels

Originating from Sussex, England, these spaniels have long, low bodies and are relatively small in size, which tends to make them slow. However, they have a unique look and lots of personality, making them a good choice for all kinds of people.

5. Basset Hounds

Basset hounds are so small because they have such short legs. Although they were bred for hunting rabbits, these dogs don’t run at great speeds, making them one of the slowest breeds in the world. However, basset hounds do excel when it comes to smell. These dogs probably have the strongest ground scent of any dog, apart from the bloodhound. Basset hounds sweep the ground with their powerful noses.

6. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus, also endearingly named “Little Lions,” can only travel for a few miles an hour and don’t have much energy. Instead, they love to laze in the sun or lie on the living room floor. Shih Tzus can be high-maintenance, though. While they need to be groomed a lot, they look so cute!

7. Pugs

Another one of the slowest dog breeds, Pugs are small, plump, and have small legs. This means they don’t need much exercise, which makes them a suitable choice for busy professionals. Like bulldogs, pugs have a bad reputation because of their unconventional appearance, but these dogs are calm and great with kids.

8. St. Bernards

Hailing from the Western Alps, St. Bernards are one of the most intelligent and sturdy dog breeds in the world, but they are not the fastest.

9. Chow Chow

Chow Chow dogs are known for their sleek, beautiful coat, but they can be stubborn, which makes them one of the slowest dog breeds. This dog breed is very protective of its family, however.

10. Dachshund

Originally bred to hunt tunneling animals like badgers, Dachshunds are very slow because of their short, stubby legs caused by the overproduction of a protein that limits growth during fetal development.

The bottom line

Even if you don’t expect your dog to be outside and active, certain dog breeds, like the ones we’ve listed above, are prone to breed-specific conditions and illnesses. It’s recommended to be prepared for accidents and illnesses with dog insurance you can rely on.

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