The results are in, and the chow chow wins – but it’s no achievement that a dog breed or pet owner should necessarily take pride in.
Chow chows, according to data shared exclusively with Business Insider, are America’s laziest dogs.
To suss out the most active dog breeds and least active dog breeds in America, we asked for help from Whistle, a company that makes a GPS and activity-tracking dog collar. The company analyzed data it sees from the roughly 150,000 American dog owners.
After crunching the numbers on nearly 100 breeds in its databases, Whistle revealed to us that the chow chow is the least active breed on a daily basis.
The typical US chow chow gets outside and moves around an average of only 43 minutes 22 seconds per day. If you walk a dog three times per day, then that’s less than 14 minutes 27 seconds per walk.
The least active chow chow with a Whistle “smart collar” logged a paltry 5 minutes 59 seconds of activity per day, while the most active got outside roughly 138 minutes 22 seconds per day.
Like all data, however, this set has limitations.
- Dave Mosher/Tech Insider
Dogs under 10 pounds are not well represented on Whistle, since the GPS collar is usually too big for them. So toy breeds could be lazier, but Whistle’s data wouldn’t necessarily reveal that.
Further, the data includes only dogs that were active for more than 14 days in a row. While this improved reliability of the data, it probably weeded out otherwise active dogs whose owners forgot to consistently use the device, let the collar’s battery die, prematurely canceled their $9.99-a-month subscription, among other reasons.
Also, Business Insider’s testing of a Whistle GPS collar loaned to us by the company showed that it does not record indoor activity or any activity too close to a base station. It also couldn’t accurately log intensity, including the difference between walking and running.
Practically, this means that a fierce game of tug or running around in circles on the carpet like a wild beast doesn’t usually count toward active time. A gallop at full speed also doesn’t “count” more in the data than a leisurely stroll.
Most importantly, correlation isn’t necessarily causation. Owners who don’t get dogs outside very much may gravitate toward these breeds, instead of the breeds being lazy themselves.
The truth probably rests – panting and splayed out – somewhere in between.