13 Wonderful Calm Dog Breeds (With Pictures)
We all want different things from our canine companions. Some want athletic dogs to go running with, others want workers to help them out on the farm. Many of us, however, are after a more relaxed pup who won’t mind curling up on the couch and handing out cuddles whenever we need.
For those after a chilled-out pup, we’ve put together a list of 13 calm dog breeds for you to choose from. Some are surprisingly big breeds and others are much smaller – so there’s something for every prospective dog owner.
What Is A Calm Dog Breed?
Calm dogs tend not to react to external stimuli. These can include fireworks, redecorating, different smells, or other pups and people. They’re not big barkers and are unlikely to have one of those (fairly adorable) doggy moments of running madly around the house. Not much will disturb a calm dog breed and they’ll be happy to walk by your side, play a little, and sit for strokes. Let’s be honest, they’re the opposite of an excitable Spaniel.
Will Calm Dog Breeds Stay Calm?
Just because the breed standard describes a dog breed as calm, doesn’t mean that your unique pup will be. Past traumas or a lack of training and socialization can affect a dog and make them more active, skittish, or nervous. These emotions can display themselves as behavior such as barking, jumping, and running – which isn’t very calm.
As with any doggo, it’s important you get your puppy from a reputable breeder that is breeding for the welfare of the dogs and according to the breed standard. Early training and socialization will help to ensure they’re happy and healthy and don’t become too boisterous or responsive to stimuli.
13 Beautiful Calm Dog Breeds
These are just 13 purebred pups that are relaxed and happy to chill out. Of course, there are many other mixed breeds that could be just as calm and more likely to be in your local shelter looking for a new home.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a loved breed for those with children or other pets, seniors, and any pup parent looking for a low-maintenance doggo. This very cute, English dog breed was first developed by King Charles I, who wanted the perfect regal dog that was calm, intelligent, and very sweet.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are lap dogs at heart and make great companions for almost anyone. They are, however, descendants of sporting dogs so do enjoy some time outdoors playing and running around. This can be chasing after a very cute dog toy or going for a quick walk in your park.
The adorable Basset Hound. These funny-looking pups are exceptionally charming and sure to catch everyone’s attention. For being a hound, they’re not actually that energetic and are certainly built more for long distances rather than short sprints. They have an unbelievable nose and it’s thought that only a Bloodhound is more accurate.
Basset Hounds are very calm dogs but still need daily exercise. A good walk should be enough to keep them healthy and stimulated. These hunting dogs can be prone to weight gain and they can be a little stubborn, so exercise is really important – whether they’re up for it or not! You might want to think about feeding them fresh dog food which can help with portion size depending on activity levels. They love to be in a pack and get on well with other dogs too.
Frenchies are a great option for people living in city apartments and first-time pup parents. They’re amenable, sweet, intelligent, relaxed, and – not to mention – extremely cute. These miniature Bulldogs have sturdy bodies, smooth coats, big eyes, and very short noses. They also have their trademark ‘bat ears’. French Bulldogs require very little grooming and exercise. They’ll be happy chasing a ball around in a flat although it’s still good to take them outdoors for stimulation.
The very popular French Bulldog gets on well with other pups and humans alike. They tend to make friends with everyone they come across! They’re playful and affectionate and will be happy snoozing on the couch whilst you watch TV.
You might not think that a dog once bred to hunt wolves could be a calm dog breed but you’d be wrong! The giant Irish Wolfhound is a serene hound that is incredibly fast, elegant, and strong. They’re also patient, sweet-natured, and calm. These gentle giants have a strong prey drive and will happily chase after something exciting, so it’s important they’re kept on a leash when out on a walk.
They don’t need huge amounts of exercise but a good walk or play in a fenced-in yard will keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Although calm and very easy-going, Irish Wolfhounds aren’t a good choice for everyone. They’re very big dogs and that alone can cause problems for owners that don’t know how to handle them.
Bernese Mountain Dog
These rugged mountain dogs are beloved pets in many homes across the country. Bernese Mountain Dogs were first bred in Bern as farm dogs and are happy to herd, pull, and look after children. They’re extremely affectionate and fit right into family life. Despite being large and strong, Bernese Mountain dogs are actually very calm and don’t mind hanging around the house for much of the day.
They’ll need about half an hour of exercise every day to keep healthy and will love accompanying you on a hike or to the park. It’s also important to keep their brains engaged with puzzle toys and time spent with other dogs.
The Bichon Frise is a stunning, playful, and very even-natured dog that loves to be the center of any family. They’re the epitome of companion dogs and enjoy trotting alongside you or cuddling up on your lap. Those big black eyes and button nose add to the undeniable cuteness of these bright white pups.
Apart from being one of the calmest dog breeds there is, these pups are also hypoallergenic dogs which makes them even more popular. They do, however, need to be clipped and bathed once a month to keep them looking like their normal, adorable selves.
Whippets are amongst the calmest dogs you could adopt. These very fast, sweet, and skinny dogs were originally bred as race dogs. Coal miners in the North of England couldn’t afford to house or feed the much larger Greyhound (you can find out the similarities and differences between Greyhounds and Whippets here) so they bred the smaller Whippet. These very calm dogs prefer to sprint for short periods of time rather than do anything that includes endurance.
These relaxed dogs are definite couch potatoes and love to spend hours relaxing at home. They get on well with other dogs and people and love children (as long as they give them their space when needed). They should be well socialized from puppyhood as they can get anxious if they’re not familiar with their surroundings.
This is another large, calm dog breed that we just love! Even though they’re very big (a male Newfoundland can be 150 pounds) they’re mellow and sweet-natured. These black and white dogs can be many other colors, including brown, beige, and gray, and are stunning in any of them.
Newfoundlands are known for being very patient dogs, especially around children. They even have the nickname ‘nanny dog’ and are a trusted lifeguard around water. They’re very loyal and intelligent and love to be part of an active, preferably water-loving, family. Adopting such a large dog obviously comes with some difficulties and you need to think carefully about whether you have space for such a beautiful and powerful canine.
Just like their smaller cousin the Whippet, Greyhounds are very calm dogs that have an even temperament and a very sweet nature. These wonderful dogs are great companions for young and old and don’t need as much exercise as you might think. Because they’re racers, they prefer a quick sprint around a fenced-in area rather than any kind of long run or walk. These amazing sighthounds have a high prey drive, so keep them on a leash when not in an enclosed space.
These loveable dogs are very cute, gentle, and make great family pets. Adopting one is a great way to save a life and give a hard-working pup a new and loving home.
You won’t forget the first time you see a Great Pyrenees. These absolutely stunning, pure white dogs were first bred to be powerful workers that could protect sheep and other livestock from predators such as wolves. They’re perfect guardians and will happily roam around a large yard protecting and guarding it against anyone approaching.
Despite their protective origins, Great Pyrenees are surprisingly very calm and even-tempered. They don’t need a lot of exercise and prefer to conserve their energy just in case there’s a possible threat approaching and they need to leap into action. They get along with children but wouldn’t be considered nanny dogs. They like their own company as well as being with humans.
There are many large, calm dog breeds and the Great Dane is another. These massive, imposing pups are often referred to as gentle giants. They’re very calm, composed, and watchful, and barely ever do anything you’d consider to be ‘overly excitable’. They’re relaxed and are happy to go for a short walk with you or stay at home lounging on the couch. There are so many amazing Great Dane colors to choose from too, including the unique harlequin pattern.
As with any dog, it’s really important you socialize and train a Great Dane well. An untrained dog of that size could be a big problem. With adequate training and lots of socialization, these stunning dogs can make great pets for the right owners. A downside of adopting a Great Dane is its lifespan. Most pups live to be between 7 and 10 years, which is much shorter than many other breeds.
English Bulldogs are muscular, powerful dogs that are completely unique. Everyone can recognize a Bulldog! These pups were first bred for blood sports, but breeding efforts over the last couple of decades have proven them to be well-rounded, gentle, and very relaxed doggos. Even so, it’s very important to research an ethical breeder.
English Bulldogs may come across as lazy, but these courageous dogs need a good amount of daily exercise. They may not always want to go out, but weight gain can be an issue for this calm dog breed, so a short walk or play session in the park is a must. As is the case with other breeds such as the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog, it’s important to keep these dogs cool in summer and not over-exercise them. Breathing can be difficult in hot weather and they prefer to be somewhere cool.
The Clumber Spaniel is a gentleman-like dog with a calm demeanor and a very dignified expression. They were once the chosen hunting companion of kings and are exceptionally loyal dogs. These canines are accepted with a white coat and lemon or orange markings. They also have very big heads and long bodies – so it’s easy to recognize a Clumber Spaniel.
They’re versatile dogs that can adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough time outdoors. It may not look like it, but these dogs can be active and need a good amount of exercise a day. That doesn’t mean they’re not calm dogs though. These pups are happy to go on long walks or retrieve their favorite squeaky toy. They rarely bark and will love relaxing with you too.
Conclusion – Is a Calm Dog Breed for You?
All of these dogs are incredible and could make the perfect pet for the right family. Even though they’re all calm dog breeds, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re easier to care for. Many of these doggos are very large, and that can make them a handful. Of course, there are lots of mixed-breed dogs that can also be very calm and that make wonderful pets. Check out the BarkingTalk breeds page for more information on lots more beautiful dog breeds!