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Home > Dogs > 17 Calm Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

17 Calm Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

Cocker Spaniel Puppies

If you’re looking to welcome a canine family member to your household, you probably have a short list of personality traits that you’d like your new pet to have. If “calm” is one of the adjectives, you’ve come to the right place.

Many dogs tend to be easy to care for due to their easygoing personalities and highly intelligent nature, but not all breeds are calm. Some are known for their excitability and vocalness, which can make them difficult to own, especially for first-time dog owners.

Read on to learn more about some of the calmest dog breeds, so you can make an informed adoption decision before welcoming home your new addition.


How Are Calm Dog Breeds Classified?

Calm dog breeds come in various shapes, appearances, sizes, and origins. “Calm” isn’t necessarily synonymous with “inactive” or “lazy.” Some of the most hardworking and energetic breeds are also extremely calm and laidback. Other dogs are high energy, but they can still control their behavior and settle themselves down when they are done exercising.

The following dog breeds are easygoing, well-behaved, adaptable, and highly trainable. They don’t have big, distressed reactions to stimuli like thunder and strangers, and new things in the home, such as furniture, won’t send them into a frenzy.

The 17 Calm Dog Breeds

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog close up puppy
Image Credit: Roman Milavin, Shutterstock
Origin: Britain
Lifespan: 9–14 years
Height: 12–13 inches

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a regal, sophisticated, and adorable breed. They are the best of both worlds, as they combine the gentle demeanor of a toy breed with the athleticism of sporting spaniels. They get along swimmingly with children and other pets and are polite with every new person they meet.

2. Golden Retriever

a golden retriever dog licking its paw inside the house
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 5–24 inches

Golden Retrievers can be hyper dogs, especially during their puppy years, but they’ll calm down when they’re around 2 or 3 years old. Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please dogs designed for family life. They have a joyous and playful outlook on life and are well-suited to work in the service sector (e.g., police or service work) due to their trainability and high intelligence.

3. Basset Hound

Female Basset Hound
Image Credit: Ewa Studio, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 11–15 inches

Basset Hounds are mild and agreeable at home, though they can be stubborn and unafraid to use their voices at the dog park or on the trails. They’re friendly and easygoing dogs with infinite patience around children. Basset Hounds are even-tempered, affectionate, and reliably good-natured with strangers and other pets.

4. Greyhound

greyhound standing on grass
Image Credit: nonmisvegliate, Pixabay
Origin: Western Europe
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Height: 27–30 inches

Greyhounds are gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered companions. They can sometimes be couch potatoes and are content to spend their days sleeping. However, they have great athletic abilities and have been used in dog races for decades. Greyhounds get along great with children because they’re tolerant and non-aggressive. Due to their sociable demeanor, most will get along great with other dogs, though their high prey drive may make them unsuitable for households with small furry pets.

5. Saint Bernard

saint bernard dog standing on the lawn
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
Origin: Switzerland
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 28–30 inches

Saint Bernards are loving, gentle, and tolerant dogs despite their large and imposing size. They have a reliable benevolent temperament and are kind and careful around children. Saint Bernards are low-energy dogs that learn quickly and respond in a slow, relaxed, and methodical manner. They can do well around other dogs and cats, provided that they’re socialized at an early age.

6. Bernese Mountain Dog

human hand holding bernese mountain dogs paw
Image Credit: Vad-Len, Shutterstock
Origin: Switzerland
Lifespan: 6–8 years
Height: 23–28 inches

Bernese Mountain Dogs are beautiful, sweet, and affectionate dogs with powerful and large bodies. They’re highly intelligent and alert but gentle, calm, and good-natured. Their working background makes them enjoy learning new things and are highly trainable. Bernese Mountain Dogs make brilliant companions for young children, and they get along well with other dogs and cats. However, some Bernese males may be aggressive toward other male dogs.

7. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound is standing on a green meadow
Image Credit: Tikhomirov Sergey, Shutterstock
Origin: Ireland
Lifespan: 6–10 years
Height: 32–34 inches

Don’t let the size of the Irish Wolfhound fool you; this sweet-tempered, loyal, and patient dog is incredibly gentle and easygoing. Although they are the tallest dogs in the world, standing as high as 7 feet on their hind legs, Irish Wolfhounds are friendly and calm dogs. They are patient around children but should always be supervised around them due to their huge size. Irish Wolfhounds are typically good with other pets, though some can be dominant around other dogs of the same sex, and their strong chasing instincts may make them unsuitable for households with cats.

8. Whippet

black mask whippet
Image Credit: Vera Mandrikova, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 18–22 inches

Whippets are gentle, non-aggressive dogs that enjoy human companionship. They are playful, affectionate, and highly intelligent, though they can be capable of great intensity if engaging in sporting pursuits. They enjoy relaxing at home but also need 1 hour of exercise daily to keep happy and healthy. The Whippet’s gentle and calm temperament makes them one of the best breeds for children. They can live harmoniously with other pups if socialized with other furry family members from the start.

9. Newfoundland

newfoundland dog standing in the grass
Image Credit: Oleg Mirabo, Shutterstock
Origin: Newfoundland
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 26–29 inches

The Newfoundland is an outgoing, intelligent, and curious pup that’s never timid or aggressive. They require daily human contact to stay happy and healthy. Newfoundlands are calm, easygoing, and affectionate. They are playful with nearly everyone they meet, including strangers and other household pets. The breed is known as a “nanny dog,” due to their patient and gentle demeanor around children.

10. Boerboel

boerboel dog lying on the grass
Image Credit: Anke van Wyk, Shutterstock
Origin: South Africa
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 22–28 inches

The Boerboel is a protective and territorial dog breed best suited for experienced dog owners. They are brilliant, loyal, obedient, and calm, with strong watch and guard dog instincts. Boerboels are self-assured and independent but can be pig-headed at times. Consistent training is key to ensuring a well-behaved and well-rounded companion. This breed can be protective of children living in their home and can get along well with other family pets, especially if they’re raised together.

11. Irish Setter

irish setter lying on grass
Image Credit: Mr_Incognito, Pixabay
Origin: Ireland
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 25–27 inches

The Irish Setter is a high-spirited gundog breed known for their gorgeous red coat, grace, and sweet temperament. These outgoing and friendly dogs are great with people and other dogs, though they may not be well suited for homes with small house pets. Irish Setters are fun loving, playful, and affectionate, though they can sometimes be impulsive and flighty. They are calm enough to get along great with kids but do love a good game of fetch with their tiny humans.

12. English Bulldog

English bulldog
Image Credit: AndreiTobosaru, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 14–16 inches

English Bulldogs are kind, courageous, friendly, and sweet dogs with a predictable and dependable temperament. Despite their somewhat imposing, thick, and well-muscled build, they are excellent with children and can get along well with other family pets. Although they have a historical association with aggression due to bull baiting, the modern Bulldog is goofy and laidback.

13. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees sleeping outdoors
Image Credit: Webb Photography, Shutterstock
Origin: Central Asia or Siberia
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 25–32 inches

The Great Pyrenees is a trustworthy, affectionate, and gentle breed known for their calm and docile demeanor. However, they won’t hesitate to protect their family and territory if needed. Their history of watching over livestock for extended periods gives the Great Pyrenees a patient, calm, and composed temperament that fits perfectly with families with children. They can be compatible with other dogs and household pets, though they may be dominant or aggressive toward new dogs.

14. Pekingese

pekingese with long fur
Image Credit: Andrea Sebastiano Floriani, Pixabay
Origin: China
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 6–9 inches

The pint-sized Pekingese is a friendly, outgoing, and loving dog known for their affectionate and intelligent personality. While they can be high maintenance and prone to stubbornness, these pups are calm and quiet indoors and can make perfect family companions. They bond strongly with their family members but can be wary around strangers. These naturally observant dogs may be small but can be fierce and make great guard dogs.

15. Bergamasco Sheepdog

Bergamasco Sheepdog_Shutterstock_volofin
Image Credit: volofin, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Height: 22–24 inches

The Bergamasco Sheepdog is a patient, loyal, and outgoing breed known for their unique matted coat. These robust pups can be skeptical around new people and are known to be protective of their loved ones. Their gentle, attentive personality is not aggressive, though they can sometimes have a smidge of mountain-dog independence. Bergamasco Sheepdogs are typically great with kids and animals.

16. Cocker Spaniel

sad english cocker spaniel dog lying on the floor looking sad
Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock
Origin: Spain
Lifespan: 11–12 years
Height: 18–22 inches

The Cocker Spaniel is a playful, affectionate, and friendly breed known for their gentle and easygoing nature. They are happiest when around other people and thrive in busy family environments. Cocker Spaniels are generally considered good with children and are mostly non-aggressive toward other animals as long as they’ve been socialized from a young age. Active and energetic, these dogs are always eager to participate in all the goings on around the house.

17. Leonberger

leonberger dog standing at the park
Image Credit: AnetaZabranska, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 7–9 years
Height: 25–32 inches

The Leonberger is a gorgeous, lush-coated dog with a gentle nature and serene patience. They are calm and quiet and love spending as much time as they can with their human family members. Leonbergers are bolder and more athletic than many other giant dog breeds, enjoying sports like swimming, agility, and tracking. Although they are great with kids, they shouldn’t be left alone with small children because of their great size. These large pups can tip the scales at as much as 170 pounds, so they must be supervised around children and other family pets.

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There are plenty of laidback dog breeds that make fantastic calm, quiet, and gentle pets. However, it’s important to note that just because a specific breed is known for their calm demeanor, that doesn’t mean every dog carries themselves that way. A dog’s upbringing can greatly influence their personality just as much as their genetics.

Featured Image Credit: Alkhaine, Pixabay

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