10 Calmest Dog Breeds to Share Your Home With

In the bustling chaos of everyday life, having a calm companion can make all the difference. While all dogs have the potential to bring joy and comfort, some breeds are particularly known for their serene demeanor, making them perfect for families, singles, and seniors alike.

If you’re looking for a furry friend who embodies tranquility, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the ten calmest dog breeds known for their gentle and easygoing nature.

1. Bulldog: Gentle Couch Potato

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The Bulldog, with its distinctive rolling gait and comical expressions, is the epitome of a laid-back companion. Often seen lounging around the house, Bulldogs are perfect for those who prefer a slower-paced lifestyle.

Despite their somewhat gruff appearance, Bulldogs are incredibly affectionate and form strong bonds with their families. Their calm temperament means they’re less likely to bark and more likely to snooze by your feet during your favorite TV shows.

However, it’s important to note that Bulldogs do require regular exercise to prevent obesity, a common issue in the breed. They also thrive in cooler environments due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature, which can make breathing difficult in hot weather. (ref) Overall, if you’re looking for a low-energy breed that’s big on love and short on maintenance, the Bulldog might just be your match.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Royal Companion

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is as regal in demeanor as it is in name. These dogs are renowned for their ability to adapt to various living situations, making them ideal for city dwellers and country residents alike. With a tail that wags frequently and eyes that melt the hardest of hearts, Cavaliers thrive on human companionship and are rarely seen without a smile.

Their calm nature doesn’t mean they lack energy; they enjoy playful outings just as much as any dog but are equally content curled up on a lap, making them versatile companions.

Health-wise, it’s important to be mindful of their predisposition to certain genetic conditions, such as heart issues, which proper breeding practices are aiming to minimize. (ref) Gentle, affectionate, and always eager to please, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a true companion dog in every sense of the word.

3. Shih Tzu: Aristocratic Lap Dog

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Originally bred to be a palace pet during the Ming Dynasty, the Shih Tzu is a small dog with a grand reputation for calmness. These little “lion dogs” have a friendly and outgoing personality that belies their aristocratic bearing. Shih Tzus are particularly great for apartment living due to their small size and minimal exercise needs.

They are affectionate with all members of the family and are known for their friendly disposition towards strangers, making them poor watchdogs but excellent companions. Their long, luxurious coat requires regular grooming to keep it in tip-top shape, but many owners find this a pleasurable bonding activity. Shih Tzus are the perfect example of a lap dog, offering copious amounts of love and requiring minimal yard space.

4. Basset Hound: Lovable Lounger

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The Basset Hound, with its droopy eyes and long ears, looks like it was born tired. These dogs are famously laid-back, rarely showing signs of aggression or hyperactivity. Basset Hounds are content to trail slowly behind their owners, and their stellar sense of smell can sometimes lead them on interesting olfactory adventures, although they never rush about it.

They excel in patience, making them excellent companions for children who need a tolerant playmate. While their low-energy demeanor is a big plus, potential owners should be aware of their tendency to gain weight easily.

Regular, gentle walks are necessary to keep them fit and healthy. Basset Hounds might be slow movers, but they quickly find their way into the hearts of their families.

5. Newfoundland: Gentle Giant

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Newfoundlands are gentle giants known for their impressive size and equally massive hearts. These dogs are famous for their sweet nature and are often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of their protective instincts towards children. Despite their size, Newfoundlands are remarkably calm and are known to be one of the best breeds for families. (ref)

Their thick coat and powerful build make them excellent swimmers, and they have a history of being used as rescue dogs. However, they are just as happy to spend a quiet day at home, lying by your side.

Due to their size, Newfoundlands require adequate space to move around, but they are not particularly high-energy, needing only moderate exercise. If you have room in your home and your heart, a Newfoundland can be a wonderful addition.

6. Bernese Mountain Dog: Alpine Calm

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Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their serene nature and striking tri-color coats. They originated in the Swiss Alps and were used as farm dogs, tasked with pulling carts and guarding livestock.

Today, their calm and dependable nature makes them excellent family pets. Bernese Mountain Dogs form strong bonds with their owners and are particularly gentle with children.

While they do require regular exercise to manage their large frames, they are not overly energetic and are more than happy to relax at home after a walk. It’s important to note that they are prone to some genetic health issues, so proper care and regular vet visits are essential.

If you’re looking for a loyal and affectionate companion with a calm demeanor, the Bernese Mountain Dog might be the breed for you.

7. Irish Wolfhound: Quiet Sentinel

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Irish Wolfhounds, known as gentle giants, are one of the tallest dog breeds but are also among the most easygoing. They carry a noble and calm demeanor, often appearing as wise old souls in a dog’s body. Irish Wolfhounds are incredibly patient and are known for their loyalty and affection towards their families.

Despite their large size, they require only moderate exercise and enjoy being part of the family activities. Due to their size, they do well in larger living spaces but are surprisingly adaptable, provided they get their daily walk.

Socialization is key for this breed, as they can be reserved with strangers. Their calm nature and presence can make them excellent companions, particularly for those with the space to accommodate them.

8. Great Dane: Towering Tranquility

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The Great Dane is often referred to as a “gentle giant” due to its large size and gentle disposition. These dogs may stand tall, but they’re known for their loving, calm, and friendly nature.

Great Danes are often patient with children and are typically friendly towards other dogs and pets. Due to their balanced temperament, they make excellent family members.

While their size might require a bit more space, Great Danes are relatively low-energy and often content with a good daily walk and some playtime. Potential owners should consider their health and space requirements, as this breed can be prone to cardiac and orthopedic issues due to its stature. Nonetheless, for those who have the room, a Great Dane can be a loving and imposing companion.

9. Labrador Retriever: Endearing Enthusiast

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Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in numerous countries for good reason. Known for their friendly and outgoing nature, Labs are also incredibly calm and stable.

They are highly adaptable and can thrive in various living environments, from apartments to houses with large yards. Labs are particularly great with children and make excellent family pets.

Their even temper and intelligence make them ideal for roles in search and rescue, therapy, and assistance. Labradors need regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness but are just as happy to spend a quiet evening with their family.

Whether you’re looking for a companion for outdoor adventures or a cuddly friend for movie nights, the Labrador Retriever is a versatile medium size breed that fits into many types of homes.

10. Whippet: Silent Sprinter

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Whippets are the essence of grace and tranquility wrapped in a sleek, medium-sized body. Known for their calm and affectionate nature, they make excellent pets for those with smaller living spaces and for families with older children.

While Whippets are capable of incredible speed over short distances, they are surprisingly low-energy indoors and are often found curled up in a sunny spot.

Whippets are sensitive and gentle, forming strong bonds with their families and being known for their quiet demeanor. They require minimal grooming and are relatively easy to care for, although they do need a safe space to run occasionally.

Activities & Exercise

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Even lazy dog breeds need regular physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Below are general activities and exercise ideas suitable for the calmer canine companions:

  • Daily Walks: A gentle walk once or twice a day is crucial for maintaining good health and mental well-being, providing sensory stimulation and physical exercise.
  • Interactive Toys: Use puzzle toys that challenge their minds and dispense treats as a reward, which keeps them engaged and helps to prevent boredom.
  • Tug-of-War: A controlled game of tug-of-war can be a great way for your dog to expend energy and strengthen the bond between you two without the need for extensive space or high energy.
  • Training Sessions: Regular, short training sessions help keep your dog mentally sharp and attentive. Focus on basic obedience or fun tricks to keep them interested and eager.
  • Gentle Fetch: For dogs that are not overly energetic, a gentle game of fetch inside the house or in a small yard can be enough to satisfy their play needs.
  • Swimming: For breeds like the Newfoundland or Labrador Retriever, swimming is an excellent form of exercise that is easy on the joints and great fun.
  • Sniff Walks: Allow your dog to take the lead on walks sometimes, letting them sniff and explore at their own pace. This can be mentally stimulating and enriching for them.
  • Meet-ups with Other Dogs: Arrange playdates with other dogs of similar size and temperament. This social interaction is important for their emotional health.
  • Relaxation Exercises: Teach your dog relaxation exercises that can help them calm down on cue, which is particularly useful for dogs living in busy households.
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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.