While some types of dogs can be energetic or highly active, other dog breeds are calm, with laid-back temperaments that make them well suited for families with children, therapy work, senior owners, first-time owners, and more. Each breed of dog has its own temperament, which is their general attitude and behavior towards people and other animals. Learn about the eight best dog breeds with calm temperaments.
Choosing the right dog breed takes time and research. We’ve compiled a list of the best calm dog breeds ranked by size so you can find one that’s right for you.
Calm Large Dog Breeds
Though the thought of owning a large dog seems like a lot to handle, many of the dogs topping our list are some of the biggest breeds you can find. These gentle giants may be large in stature but are relaxed and easygoing in temperament.
- Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for being good-natured, calm, and strong. In the working dog group, these dogs are muscular and powerful but have an affectionate and even-tempered personality. They love their owners and are gentle but playful. Bernese Mountain Dogs are great with kids but may knock over small children due to their large size.
- Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest of any dog breed, and typically have a height of 30-32 inches minimum once they reach adulthood. This dignified dog breed was once used to hunt the wolf population in Ireland, but these days the breed is more likely to lounge on the rug and nap. Irish Wolfhounds are some of the most docile and calm of all dog breeds and are known to be exceptionally gentle and caring with children. Though they may look more suited to be guard dogs, Irish Wolfhounds are incredibly laid-back and serene, making them an excellent calm pet.
- Saint Bernard
The massive Saint Bernard is one of the heaviest dog breeds, weighing up to 140-180 pounds. This breed, originally from the Swiss Alps, were used as mountain rescue dogs, as their strong muscles and thick coats keep them warm in the cold. Saint Bernards are playful, charming, and intelligent, making them watchful and caring with children. Like other large breeds, they may knock over small children but are overall gentle and hardy with kids.
- Great Dane
Another gentle giant breed, the Great Dane, is a friendly, relaxed dog that is popular with many owners. Though imposing in size, Great Danes are sweet and affectionate, making them good with kids as they love to play. They don’t bark often and have a very peaceful disposition as a calm dog breed
Calm Small and Medium Dog Breeds
There are many medium-sized and small calm dogs that would make a great addition to the right home. In general, smaller dogs are great for people who live in apartments or who have small children.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, gentle, and graceful dogs with beautiful coats and a small stature. Though playful and alert, these dogs are even-tempered and loving to their owners and strangers. Weighing between 13 – 18 pounds as adults, these dogs are great for families and owners looking for small calm dogs.
- Border Terrier
Border Terriers are small, plucky dogs with a low-maintenance wiry coat and a happy disposition. This upbeat breed is affectionate and alert but remains gentle with their owners, strangers, and other animals. Weighing between 12 and 15 pounds, Border Terriers are a great addition to any household
- French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds for apartment living. These medium-small dogs are playful and smart and get along in a variety of settings with ease – from cities to families with kids and more. Frenchies are alert and curious but remain calm and collected by nature.
- Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a small, fluffy white dog breed with lots of pep and personality. Charming and intelligent, the Bichon Frise’s nonaggressive and clownish temperament makes them great gentle dogs for almost every type of owner. They are easy to train and hypoallergenic, meaning they are great with kids, especially those with allergies.
Choosing a calm dog
You can find calm dog breeds in nearly every shape and size, from the tiny Bichon Frise to the commanding Irish Wolfhound. Of course, every dog is different, so make sure your potential new pet is the right fit for your lifestyle before adoption.