The 10 Calmest Dog Breeds for Laid-Back Owners

Posted by Christy Caplan
Basset Hound

You may be looking to adopt one of calmest dog breeds, a dog who will snuggle on the couch with you after their daily walk. Yet how do you define a "calm dog?" What are the exact criteria?

Experts may explain it differently but the American Kennel Club (AKC) Breed Temperament Guide defines calmness in dogs as "the standard for each breed, determined by dogs' natural predispositions to react a certain way to stimuli such as smells, sounds, or objects."

"Calm dog breeds are expected to maintain composure in certain situations. They're able to react to stimuli in a measured way, often without growling, lunging, or showing signs of stress."

These ten breeds thrive in a wide range of environments. Whether you're looking for a calm breed for your children or for therapy work these are breeds to research and talk to your veterinarian about as you narrow your list.

10. Greyhound


If you're looking for a canine pal with a unique personality, a quirky sense of humor, and a lot of affection to give - on his or her terms - you might have found your next best friend. For someone willing to approach training with good humor, prepared for the ongoing vigilance required to supervise and exercise a dog with a very high prey drive, and who's charmed by a dog with a distinctly cat-like personality, the sweet, spirited Greyhound can make a wonderful companion animal and family pet.

9. Newfoundland

Black Newfoundland Dog

Newfoundlands are known for heroic actions whilst serving as water rescue dogs. They are masters at long-distance swimming, and their heavy double coats allow them to safely enter icy waters. When not working, the Newfoundland is a large dog with an obviously sweet disposition.

Despite their giant size, they behave well around children and make great family pets.

8. Great Dane 

Great Dane Breed Profile

While the English Mastiff holds the record for weight, the Great Dane takes home the trophy for height. When a full-grown Great Dane stands on his back legs, he's taller than most full-grown men. These noble dogs are immensely strong but manage to maintain a graceful, well-balanced stride.

They enjoy daily exercise as well as frequent socialization with both dogs and humans.

7. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

Though the breed is incredibly large in stature, they are genial in disposition. Saints have been known to carry a friendly smile as a result of their wrinkled brow. Saint Bernards benefit tremendously from training classes as these dogs can knock people over, especially children. Kind, with big hearts, Saints will learn quickly to respond to commands and obey their humans.

6. Pekingese 

Outgoing and friendly, 'Pekes' are extremely loving and have the personality to show it. They build strong bonds with their owners, but can also be very independent. Pekingese are calm and affectionate, making them one of the favorite canine companions.

5. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

What breed is cuter than a Frenchie?

These little dogs are eager to please and like to act larger than their size. That is why they make great alert dogs and are extremely protective of their people. The most noticeable characteristic of the Frenchie is their bat-like ears that seem much too big for their tiny heads.

Frenchies are super cute and do well with other pets and children, and they have an average lifespan of 12 years!

4. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

My brother-in-law lived with an Irish Wolfhound. His name was Milo and he was the calmest dog I've ever met.

Experts at the AKC say that due to their high level intelligence, Irish Wolfhounds learn very quickly. Because they're able to read human emotions easily, these fuzzy friends make fantastic therapy dogs.

3. Tibetan Spaniel

According to the AKC, Tibetan Spaniels (a.k.a. Tibbies) were actually companions of Buddhist monks:

"The breed was a watchdog and worked atop Tibetan monasteries. Tibbies also provided warmth during frigid nights in the Himalayan Mountains. From its origin, this calm dog breed was expected to portray a gentle demeanor."

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel enjoys walks or sharing space on your couch. They are typically quiet, and are good around other dogs and strangers, plus they do well around young children despite their size.

Plan to spend some time outdoors so they can explore, chase or just smell the roses. They do require daily exercise either in the form of a romp in the yard or a moderate walk on the leash.

1. Basset Hound

Basset Hound

I'm lucky to live with a Basset Hound mix. (Shermie is my shadow.) He's a senior now, but all he's wanted from life is a few daily walks with lots of sniffing followed by snuggle on the couch.

Purina experts confirm that Basset Hounds are the number one breed on the list for good reason.

"They're known for their gentle natures while inside the house, but are also always up for an adventure out on a walk, and love nothing more than to engage their natural instincts and sniff out a trail."

Perhaps the best breed for your lifestyle is a Basset Hound!

Other breeds to consider are the Pug, Bullmastiff, Scottish Deerhound, Clumber Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Maltese, Japanese Chin, and Bichon Frise. Some of these are gentle giants and others are small dogs but all are some of the calmest dog breeds!

Do you agree with this list?  Please let us know what you think in the comments.

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The 10 Calmest Dog Breeds for Laid-Back Owners