Folks in the market for a calm dog breed need not look further than this comprehensive list. But first, let’s define “calm.” The American Kennel Club classifies a calm breed as one that doesn’t have big, distressed reactions to stimuli. Meaning things like thunder, strangers, weird scents and new furniture won’t send them into a frenzy or stress them out. Basically, these breeds know how to play it cool in almost any situation. Calm dog breeds make ideal companions for families with kids and senior citizens. They’re also ideal emotional support animals.
Keep in mind, any dog, no matter the breed, can deviate from its breed standard. Trauma as a puppy (and even later in life!) can also change a dog’s disposition. It’s also worth noting that dogs who are not purebred may exhibit some of their purebred ancestor’s traits. Fostering a dog before officially adopting is a great way to get to know an animal’s disposition and compatibility with your household.
Without further ado, here are 21 calm dog breeds!
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
2. Irish Wolfhound
They may look large and in charge, but these canines are sweet and serene to their very core. Still big, though. Just not aggressive or territorial.
3. St. Bernard
Fitting nicknames for the St. Bernard include Gentle Giant, Patient Pup and Cuddly Canine.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
Don’t let the Bernese Mountain Dog’s strength fool you. They may be strong, but they’re big softies with an even temper and cheerful nature.
5. Irish Setter
Looking for a terrific family dog? Go for an Irish setter. They love to play with kids and know when it’s time to settle down for the evening.
These pups prefer the calm, quiet life of homebodies and introverts to the hustle and bustle of family life. Think: silent sophistication.
7. Scottish Deerhound
Similar to Irish wolfhounds, Scottish deerhounds are enormous sweethearts. As long as they’re raised with enough space to run and expel puppy energy, they’ll develop a genial disposition.
The same can be said for greyhounds. Adopting a retired racing greyhound is a terrific way to give a hard-working dog some much needed love and relaxation.
9. Bergamasco Sheepdog
These stunning creatures enjoy peacefully watching over their family and learning commands. Though their coats may look high maintenance, the AKC says, “A Bergamasco doesn’t shed, doesn’t need to be brushed, and doesn’t need to be bathed more than two or three times a year.”
10. Tibetan Terrier
Affectionate and devoted to its favorite human, the Tibetan terrier may only demonstrate stress when meeting new people.
11. Tibetan Spaniel
Aside from daily walks, Tibetan Spaniels are known to thoroughly enjoy lounging on the couch with their favorite human(s).
12. Great Pyrenees
Pensive, strong, patient and relaxed? Yes, we’re describing the beautiful, regal Great Pyrenees.
13. Great Dane
Great Danes are imposing figures, though they’ll only get aggressive if they feel their home and family is threatened. Otherwise, they’re sweet and calm.
14. French Bulldog
If you combine adaptability, playfulness and an even-temperament into a compact frame with delightfully pointy ears, you get the adorable French bulldog.
15. English Bulldog
A similar disposition to the Frenchie, in a larger, goofier model.
Though calm and confident as an adult, Boerboel puppies must be trained early to know their limits. After that, it’s smooth sailing.
17. Golden Retriever
There are many reasons the golden retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds, not the least of which are its emotional intelligence, obedience and laid-back demeanor.
18. Basset Hound
As with all hounds, there’s a risk the basset hound will sniff an irresistible scent when out on a walk and want to chase it. However, most of the time, these low-maintenance pups are not easily excitable.
19. Clumber Spaniel
Described as a “mellow… gentlemanly” breed by the AKC, the Clumber Spaniel enjoys playing fetch and only resorts to barking as a last-ditch effort to express themselves.
20. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are great with kids (they love to play) and with adults (they love to please).
An absolute sweetheart, the Newfoundland is another gentle giant ideal for families with kids who need a patient pup.