Top 10 Dog Breeds Intolerant to Exercise

Listed here are the top 10 breeds that do not tolerate exercise well.  

Chow Chow

Many of the dogs on this list have one thing in common: they are members of the Brachycephalic family, meaning they have short, flat noses. The Chow Chow does not require a lot of exercise because of the difficulty this breed has in cooling itself on warm days.

English Bulldog

English Bulldogs do not tolerate exercise well due to the way they have been engineered by humans over time. Their excessively flat faces, large amounts of facial wrinkles, and oversized bodies all contribute to their exercise intolerance.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog has a more athletic build than its English counterpart, yet still is unable to exercise as much as other dogs. The breed’s adorable flat face and wrinkles are primarily to blame.


The Pekingese is a small, Brachycephalic dog that that is affectionate, loyal, and playful. However, due to its thick double-coated fur and inability to adequately cool itself, this breed has very low exercise requirements.  


The Bullmastiff is a giant breed, often weighing more than 140 lbs. Many factors make this breed unable to exercise vigorously, including its likeliness to overheat, the excessive strain that is placed on the dog’s joints due to its size, and a general lackadaisical attitude.


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The Boxer is a boisterous dog; however, it is also one that is prone to heart conditions and overheating. Like other Brachycephalic breeds on this list, short bursts of activity are best and truly all that a Boxer requires.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the definition of a companion breed. This dog prefers to be wherever its humans are, especially if that involves lounging on a pillow. However, genetic heart conditions and a Brachycephalic nature make lounging at home this breed’s safest option.

Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei is most well-known for its facial wrinkles. However, these wrinkles are primarily a product of a shortened airway, making exercise difficult for this breed.

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, in both temperament and conformation. One major difference is that the Japanese Chin has an even flatter face with a shorter nose, meaning very little exercise is tolerated by this breed.

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is best suited to indoor living and colder climates due to its long coat and flat face. While short walks are a necessity for good health, overall this breed does not tolerate vigorous exercise.

Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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