A previous article looked at the fastest dogs. Today it’s time to focus on the slowest dogs in the world.
From what I can find, there is not a lot of data on which are the slowest dog breeds.
So I’ve done some research and talked to people who know a lot about dogs.
The slowest dogs in the world tend to be either breeds with very short legs or the large, massive breeds.
Here is my list of the 10 slowest dogs in the world. I’ve included some details about each breed in case you’re not familiar with them. In a few cases I’ve added estimated running speeds.
Since we don’t know much about their running speed, I’ve listed these slow breeds in alphabetical order.
Basset Bleu De Gascogne
This basset is from France. The breed is also known as the Blue Gascony Basset.
They are scent hounds that follow their nose and are vocal while hunting.
It’s name comes from its bluish appearance. It’s color is predominantly white with ticking that makes it look blue. The dogs will also have tan and black patches.
It has short, rather smooth coat.
It is a short dog (only 12 – 15 inches tall) but weighs between 35 – 40 pounds. It also features a long body.
Basset Hound – 5-10 mph
The Basset Hound is one of the most popular breeds in the US.
We had good friends who had Sherlock the Basset. He was a sweet dog that never moved any faster than he needed to.
The breed originated in France.
At one time French peasants were not allowed to hunt on horseback. That led them to develop short-legged, slow running breeds.
Bassets stand less than 15 inches tall.
They come in all of the common hound colors. The most frequent colors are black, white, and tan.
Bassets are also noted for their extra skin which is loose and elastic. They have long ears that reach past the nose when pulled forward.
Even though bassets don’t run so fast, there are organized basset races to enjoy.
In this video, in Heat 5, the announcer claims the winner set a new track record. So far I have not been able to find out how fast the dog ran or the length of the course.
I have it on good authority that the name of this breed is not C-lumber!
Historians report that the breed is named after Clumber Castle in Nottinghamshire, England.
This is a large spaniel with the males weighing 70 – 85 pounds and the females up to 70 pounds.
They have a dense coat that is mostly white with some lemon markings.
They have a reputation for being loyal and affectionate to family but reserved around strangers.
The Dachshund is one of the most popular dog breeds in the US.
The breed is from Germany where they are called Teckel. They were bred to hunt badgers, rabbits, and other small mammals. The name Dachshund literally means “badger dog.”
They come in two sizes (standard and miniature) and three coat types (smooth-coated, long-haired, and wirehaired).
Even though they are small dogs, they can be tenacious.
When I was attending UC Davis, every year we would go to the Picnic Day Dachshund Derby. I vividly recall one year when one of the pups caught the lure. It took the owner several minutes to get the dog to lessen his grip.
Here’s a short video showing part of the Dachshund Derby in 2019.
The English Bulldog, usually referred to as just the Bulldog, according to the AKC, [LINK] is the 5th most popular breed in the US.
These days we know the Bulldog as an easygoing companion dog that is playful and affectionate toward the family.
They are short dogs (only 14 – 15 inches tall) and but weigh 40 – 50 pounds.
It’s hard to believe that their name comes from the fact that starting in the 1300s they were bred to fight bulls.
The distinctive look of the Bulldog comes from its short coat, broad shoulders, and loose skin on the head.
The most obvious physical trait of the French Bulldog is his stand up “bat ears.” In some circles the breed’s nickname is Bat Ears.
The French Bulldog is descended from the English Bulldog. However, it is smaller in both height (only 11 – 13 inches tall) and weight (less than 28 pounds).
It has earned a reputation of being affectionate and good with kids and other dogs.
It has a short coat and a naturally short tail.
Due to their small size, they are popular dogs with folks who live is small apartments and houses.
This breed is another small companion dog.
They stand only 10 – 11 inches high and weigh in at 12 – 18 pounds.
They have a heavy, straight coat that can hang down to the floor. Remarkably, they do not shed, though of course they must be brushed frequently.
The Lhasa Apso is from Tibet where they were often used in monasteries as guard dogs. In Tibetan they are called “apso seng kye” or “the sentry dog with the bark of a lion.”
The first Pekingese came to England from China in 1861. There is evidence of the breed in China dating back to the 8th century.
They are well-known for looking like little lions.
They have a long double coat. The undercoat is thick while the outer coat is long and somewhat coarse. As a result they need daily grooming.
This is a small breed that is only 6 – 9 inches tall and weighs less than 14 pounds.
They are good family dogs but not if there’s too much rough play.
Pug – 5-10 mph
The Pug is also called the Carlin. In Holland they are known as “mops” from a Dutch word that means “to have an angry look.”
The Pug has some characteristics that are similar to the large mastiffs.
They are small dogs that weigh only about 14 – 18 pounds.
Their heads are large with large eyes and deep wrinkles.
They have a short tail with twist that keeps it close to the hips.
Their coat is short and smooth and comes in the colors black, apricot fawn, or silver.
Shih Tzu – 6 mph
The name Shih Tzu (also spelled Shih Tsu) means lion in Chinese. It’s also been called the Lhasa Lion dog
The Shih Tzu was first brought to the UK in 1930. Since then they have become a popular breed in Europe.
The breed is short (about 10.5 inches tall) and light (only 10 – 16 pounds). They are an active breed with a reputation for being somewhat arrogant.
They have a long dense outer coat that is not curly.
This is not a working breed but they are known to be great companion and house pet dogs.
Slow, but not Slow Enough?
Now we have to explain why we didn’t list certain breeds among the slowest dogs in the world.
Most lists of the slowest breeds include various mastiff breeds such as
- Mastiff or English Mastiff or Old English Mastiff
- Neopolitan Mastiff
- Tibetan Mastiff
It’s true that in general these dogs are not speed demons. They are large dogs weighing up to 130 pounds, or even 150 pounds for the Neopolitan Mastiff.
Mastiffs are used as guard dogs and their huge presence has been known to scare away predators. They can have explosive speed for short distances and that’s why we don’t include them in our list of the slowest dogs.
They are guard dogs and have a good reputation of loyalty to their owners and being gentle with children.
The Newfoundland is a water dog used for lifesaving that greatly resembles a Tibetan Mastiff. They have also been used to drag logs for lumberjacks and haul in fishing nets.
These large, gentle dogs stand 28 inches tall and weigh from 140 – 150 pounds.
The coat is medium long, flat, coarse, and dense. It is also oily and water-resistant.
They are best known as a black dog, but the coat may also be brown, gray, or black and white.
Their reputation is they are good with kids and other dogs and affectionate with their family.
The most famous life saving dog, the St. Bernard is descended from the Tibetan Mastiff. They were brought into Greece by Alexander the Great. Later the Romans brought them into Switzerland and the Alps.
In the Alps the monks of St. Bernard used the dogs in their work of rescuing stranded travelers.
The St. Bernard comes in both short-haired and long-haired varieties.
I would have thought that the long-haired variety would be better able to withstand the cold of the Alps. However, the monks discovered that the long hair trapped more snow and allowed icicles to form. The added ice could become so heavy that the dog could barely move.
Until a few years ago, we had neighbors with a St. Bernard named Hugo. Indeed Hugo was huge and slow. We would see him and his human lumbering down the street on their afternoon walks.
Though they often move slowly, they can put on a burst of speed when needed in their rescue efforts.