9 Calmest Dog Breeds

We talked about which breeds are overall the most low maintenance dogs. But this list is for dogs that would rather have a nap than go for a run.

I get it, not everyone wants to go for a run when you get home from a long day of work.

But we have to recognize that some people have physical limitations that prevent them from covering long distances. So you need a dog that is content with being chill or going for short adventures.

We’ll cover the 9 calmest small, medium, and large dog breeds, along with some of the challenges you may encounter.

Every Dog Is Different

While these are generally calm breeds, it also very much depends on the individual dog themselves. This becomes very apparent with smaller breeds, such as the Yorkie or Pug.

When adopting, have a meet-and-greet with your potential pup first and gauge their energy level.

1. Basset Hound

Four Basset Hounds laying in the grass

The Basset Hound has no shortage of personality. They’re silly, curious, alert, but love a good nap. Some may describe them as a bit foolish, however I would argue that they’re actually quite clever, only to be countered by their stubbornness.

Bassets will never say no to a walk, but they don’t need to go very far. They’re more inclined to follow their nose than a set path. When they pick up a good scent their entire world shuts off around them.

They certainly need a little convincing when it comes to training, which may test your patience. However, they are known to be very sensitive souls and do not respond to scolding or negative training.

Basset Hounds are generally quite calm, except when a dog or cat crosses in front of your home. They tend to alert their owners with an exceptionally loud howl.

Despite their obstinacy towards training, they’re still very much a low maintenance dog, and great for families.

Great Dane

Great Dane looking at a chick

Danes are the epitome of easy-going. Their size and stature can certainly be imposing, but spend a few moments together and you’ll discover a gentle giant.

The Great Dane is a kind and sweet soul who prefers cuddles over exercise – but who doesn’t?

Dane’s are also naturally protective of children and other pets, making them an excellent addition to your family. But only if you can accommodate their size.

Sometimes your Dane is unaware of the space they take up. They may try and become a lapdog, or knock items off your coffee table with their powerful tail. It’s all well-meaning, but you may need to train proper house manners.

Unfortunately, they’re known as a “heartbreak” breed due to their short lifespan. Like most giant breeds, they typically do not live past 8 years.

The Great Dane is a good-natured and calm breed that will absolutely steal your heart along with most of your bed.

Grey Hound

Pie bald Grey Hound in a field

Grey Hounds are described as the world’s fastest couch potato.

Despite what you’ve seen online or TV, these dogs would much rather lay in the sun all day than go for extended runs. Other favorite pastimes are cuddling with family, napping, and more napping.

Greyhounds rarely bark or even make any noise, unless left alone for extended periods of time.

Not to mention, Greyhounds are incredibly bright and easy to train. However, they can be quite sensitive and timid and will require some gentle training to build their confidence.

We should also mention their prey drive. Greyhounds were originally a hunting breed and they’ll take an extreme interest in a rabbit or squirrel that runs by. Be aware they will bark and attempt to chase or even climb your fence. And if you haven’t heard; Greyhounds can run pretty fast.

Bullmastiff

bullmastiff puppy portrait close-up. looks into the camera

Here’s another couch-potato dog on this list, meet the Bullmastiff.

You can almost always find a Mastiff chilling on their favourite couch or soaking up a little sun. They still enjoy a nice stroll, but you won’t have to go far.

Bullmastiffs are quite large, averaging 115 pounds and standing 25 inches tall, but they’re so relaxed that you’ll hardly notice.

What you will notice is the massive amounts of drool. Their face and jowl structure makes them especially ‘leaky’, and you will want to keep a towel or bib with you at all times.

Despite their chill personality training a Mastiff can be challenging. This is a stubborn breed that will test your patience. They may try and take the leadership roll for themselves, so early training and socialization are a must.

Pug

Cute pug on couch

Pugs the standout comedians of the dog world. They love being the centre of attention, and will put on a show to make you laugh or smile. Pugs are affectionate, playful, and always on the lookout for their favorite human.

Pugs were originally bred to be companion dogs, and they take that duty seriously. Because of their undying love for their owners they hate being left alone and will make a fuss when you leave. Usually resulting in using the bathroom on your floor, or barking all day.

Due to their facial structure and sensitivity to heat/cold it’s best to take pugs on short walks. They are known to have health complications, so be aware that you may be visiting the vet on occasion.

Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a very large breed but known for their incredibly calm nature. They’re often described as serene and gentle giants.

Giant is not an exaggeration; Irish Wolfhounds are the worlds tallest breed. It’s not uncommon to reach 32-inches at their shoulder and stretch 7-feet in length.

Despite their intimidating size the Wolfhound is not a very good watchdog. They’re more likely to calmly observe the on goings of life than react to it.

They love a good walk but they also enjoy an extended nap. You will need to give them some daily exercise and provide them with a large fenced yard.

If you can accommodate their size I would argue this is the most calm and gentle of all the dog breeds. However, due to their size these dogs have a short life span, and only live to be about 7 years.

Newfoundland

Female Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is widely known for their calm demeanor, but they will not hesitate to jump into action when they detect danger. There are many amazing stories of these dogs rescuing children, people, or other pets from dangerous situations. 

Think of the Newfoundland as a very large and fluffy family member. They are natural protectors of your family and children, incredibly intelligent, and are endlessly loyal.

So why aren’t Newfies more popular? Mostly because they are simply too large for most homes. They typically average 120 pounds, although males can reach up to 150.

While they’re sweet and calm by nature, they can be difficult to manage due to their sheer size.

Yorkshire Terrier

A Yorkshire Terrier on the beach

“Yorkies” love being the centre of attention and showing off for all to see.

They quickly become attached to their owner and want nothing more than to spend every second with them.

However, Yorkies can sometimes become possessive of their owners, and they may not like children or loved ones coming near. Early training in necessary to curb bad behaviors.

Yorkies vary in energy levels. Many tend to be calm and gentle, but you may find one that is much more excitable. If your goal is to introduce a calm Yorkie into your home then I recommend spending some time with them before adoption.

St Bernard

mom with a St. Bernard puppy sleeping on the grass in the summer

The St Bernard are built for human companionship. You may have seen or heard tales of their bravery, saving people from freezing environments and other dangerous situations. They’re ready to care for you and your family.

These are not overly active dogs. While they enjoy a good stroll they will move at a slow pace and just enjoy the scenery. Despite their massive size they are surprisingly good indoor dogs.

Size is one thing, but drool is one of the biggest challenges of owning a St Bernard. They will open the flood gates at every opportunity.

As I mentioned with the Irish Wolfhound, the St Bernard are condemned to a similar fate. Extra large breeds sadly have a short life span, and typically only make it to 8 years.

Photo of author

Shayla McConnell

Shayla​ has been working closely with animals for over 10 years. Initially trained​ as a Vet Tech Assistant in a local emergency clinic, she ​later changed career paths and became a ​professional Dog Groomer, and is now running her own successful pet grooming business.

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