English cocker spanielYou might not think that an English cocker spaniel that is bred to flush and retrieve game birds would be content being inside and curled up next to the family, but it is. That’s not to say it won’t be excited to go for an inquisitive walk or retrieve stuffed toy ducks in the yard, but this sporting breed has the “work hard, play hard” mantra nailed. “English cocker spaniels have a happy, wagging tail that rarely stops. They love to love,” says Colleen Demling-Riley, dog behaviorist for Dogtopia. English cocker spaniels are a calm dog breed that’s eager to please and easy to train. When you’re snuggled up close and petting it, don’t be surprised if they nuzzle you or lick your face as a gentle reminder to keep going. These are the other
Cavalier King Charles spanielIf there’s one thing your family will agree on, it’s the irresistibly cute face and sweet demeanor of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Just one look into those big dreamy eyes, and you’re cooked. “Most dogs of this breed are
Calm Small Dog Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
One look into her soulful eyes and you know right away this small, gentle dog is a sweetie pie! A Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a loving cuddler with a friendly disposition. While she enjoys daily walks and games of fetch as much as the next pooch, she was bred to be a lap dog, and prefers to be with you much of the time.
Look at those folds and droops in action! Basset hounds are known for their signature sag—not only is it cute, but it actually helps them follow scents. | Credit: dageldog / Getty
The Top 10 CALMEST DOG BREEDS
High-energy pets aren’t right for every household, but there are plenty of well-behaved, calm dog breeds that strike a happy medium between couch potato and bouncing off the walls.
“A calm breed does not necessarily mean an inactive breed,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club.
These playful pups are up for anything, but they know how to behave when they’re out with you on walks, at dog-friendly bars, even tagging along on your travels. Klein explains that breed genetics in all come into play when looking for a calm breed to add to your busy lifestyle.
“These descriptions are not whimsical,” he says, “but are based on what a particular breed was originally and purposefully bred to do—whether herding, sledding, hunting, or being an emperor’s companion.”
If you’re looking to add a new pet to your home, consider one from this list of calmest dog breeds.
These gentle giants from the working group were originally farm laborers in Switzerland, and still bring that same energy to domestic life. Although their size can seem intimidating (full-grown males average 80-115 pounds), these highly trainable dogs are friendly and make for great family pets. Make sure to give these playful pups plenty of outdoor exercise!
It’s easy to write these hefty pups off as lazy, but English Bulldogs welcome the frequent exercise they need in order to stay trim. Don’t believe their characteristic grimace either—this is one of the sweetest, most loving breeds out there. “After baiting sports were outlawed in the early 1800s, their primary purpose was as companions,” notes Klein, who highlights the English Bulldog’s temperament as kind, pacific, resolute, and courageous.
Despite their size––100 pounds and up for full-grown males––these majestic mountain dogs are known for their zen-like calm. Once used to protect sheep on snowy mountain tops, this breed still retains its protective instincts, showing fierce loyalty to their families. This breed does require some training, but when well socialized they make for great companions in the car, while exercising, or around children.
Originally bred down from smaller Bulldog breeds, “Frenchies” (as they’re lovingly referred to) are tailor-made to suit just about any lifestyle. As one of the calmest dog breeds, they’re happy to nap all day at home, or come along for an afternoon in the park. “French Bulldogs are affectionate, alert, and playful but not overly boisterous,” says Klein. Plus, at less than 28 pounds they’re easy to transport and take on outings.
Once in fashion among European royalty, the Bichon Frise is known for its tiny stature, and big personality. These dogs get along with just about everyone they meet, and “thrive on human companionship,” notes Klein. Their positive temperament and compact size make them the perfect urban companion, sure to draw lots of attention from passersby.
Despite being known for their speed and agility, you’re more likely to find a Greyhound sitting on the couch than out running at top speeds of 40 mph. Klein describes them as “fast, strong, and courageous outdoors on the field, but well mannered, patient, and loyal companions in the home.”
This sweet and affectionate breed makes a great city dog and requires less space than one might think, judging from their lanky build. Their calm disposition makes them the perfect companion for dog-friendly establishments.
Like Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds “were bred to be coursing dogs and then return to the manor to lie by the fireplace,” Klein. (Coursing is the sport of hunting game animals by sight rather than scent.) Known as The Royal Dog of Scotland, this majestic breed is praised for being polite and well-mannered. They’re equally happy to join you for a jog in the park or cozy up with you on the sofa at home. This breed requires plenty of space to run around outside, and they are not recommended for apartment life.
There’s a reason why Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. They have earned their spot as one of the top calmest dogs for “their intelligent, playful personalities that bond well with children and other animals,” says Klein.
Goldens have a long-fuse and calm demeanor that makes them ideal companions for young kids. Klein points out that “Goldens are an active breed and thrive on some form of exercise or activity” which makes them best suited to active homes with fenced-in outdoor space. They’ll enjoy coming along with you on jogs and hikes.