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12 Dog Breeds That Are Calm

Group of shih tzus

When my husband and I got our first apartment that would allow dogs we were SO excited. But we both worked as well and knew we couldn’t handle a high energy dog breed.

We did our research and ended up with our Shih Tzu, Abernathy. He was a fantastic ball of fluff – so very cute – and he was calm.

As you decide which type of breed bast fits your family, it’s always a good idea to figure out what your needs are. For us we needed a dog breed that was calm (at least at the time).

Calm Small Dog Breeds

French Bulldog

French Bulldog sitting on couch

This is a perfect breed for those who live in apartments due to its quiet and friendly nature. French bulldogs don’t bark much unless you leave them alone for too long. Having said that, they can always be trusted to alert you in case of danger.

Although these people-pleasing dogs are quite playful, they don’t need much exercise. As far as training is concerned, French Bulldogs are known to be intelligent dogs who learn pretty quickly. All you need to do is to make sure that the training process is entertaining and they will become an ideal companion in no time. For other small dog breeds with big ears, click here.


Maltese dog siitting in grass

Regarded as a ‘Classic Lapdog’, Maltese are highly intelligent and entertaining dogs. They are always interested in learning new things, which is a massive plus when it comes to training. However, you need to be vigilant with this breed because they have a tendency of becoming spoiled. Giving them too much leverage or leaving them alone for long spells of time can lead to destructive behavior in these dogs.

Although they have a calm nature, a lot of people don’t recommend a Maltese if you have young kids. A couple of explanations are given in this regard. Firstly, they have a protective nature towards their parents which can lead to troubles with your children. Other than that, a young Maltese can get easily injured if your child drops or steps on it.


Pug on bed under blanket

In contrast to their appearance, Pugs have a chill, loving, and playful nature. These dogs are so calm and lazy (to an extent) that they will keep lying on your couch for hours. What makes this breed even more suitable for families is their compatibility with kids. Similarly, they are extremely friendly to strangers.

Training a pug can be a difficult job because it is easily distracted. Given its love for food, you can adopt a training approach where you reward your pug with some treats to improve efficiency.

Shih Tzu

2 Shih Tzus sitting on couch

In addition to its cute face, Shih Tzu is quite friendly and adaptable. Originally bred for companionship, Shih Tzu is always there to make you smile. They hardly show any hunting or herding traits which is a clear explanation of their low energy.

The calm nature of this breed is ideal for all kinds of people (adults, kids, families, old people, and strangers). However, they have a special attachment with their parent(s) and would follow them everywhere like a shadow.

Calm Dog Breeds – Medium Sized

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever laying in grass under tree

According to the American Kennel Club, this is the most popular dog breed in the United States. They are incredibly easy to own due to their affectionate and chill nature. Whether you have young kids or old parents, a Labrador Retriever will gel perfectly with any family.

The soft coat of this dog is easy-to-maintain and occasional grooming enough to keep your pet in the best shape. Similarly, the intelligence of these dogs makes training a fun process, especially if you start at an early age.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound sitting on blanket with flowers and box of chocolates

If you are looking for a low energy dog, the laid-back nature of a Basset Hound is bound to catch your attention. They love to sleep in your lounge for most parts of the day and are a great breed if you want a bigger dog that can be left alone. A daily walk in your neighborhood is enough to please these dogs. Although they are generally easy-to-train, things can go pretty wrong if you use negative training (like scolding) with this breed.

Despite the fact that they were used as hunting dogs in the past, they are incredibly patient with children. This feature makes them an ideal option for families.


Corgi standing in dirt and grass

This easygoing dog simultaneously offers a lot of personality and cuteness. Even though they were originally bred for herding purposes, they do quite well as house pets due to their affectionate and kind nature. They are amazingly loyal to a family and show a good attitude towards children and other dogs in the house.

Their smart and bold nature enables them to respond well to training. It has been observed that Corgi can become a really well-behaved companion if your train it properly at the beginning of its pet life.


Dalmatian laying on blanket

The spotted coat of Dalmatians gives them their unique look. Although they are smart and loving, this breed does face some nervousness issues. In order to ensure that your dog offers good behavior, you need to provide lots of socializing opportunities. Once you have managed to train this carriage dog correctly, it will be a great companion for you.

Calm Large Dog Breeds

Great Dane

Great Dane standing in grass

Great Dane,the tallest dog of the world, is considered a gentle giant on the basis of its calm nature. A lot of people might find it surprising but Great Danes were basically bred for hunting and guarding. It is an extremely social breed that is exceedingly comfortable with children and other animals in the house. However, they do require proper training to avoid any destructive behaviors.

In contrast to their humungous size, they don’t need much exercise and like to spend most of their day on your sofa. A daily walk is sufficient to keep this large dog in control.


Newfoundland dog standing in grass with trees in background

Basically a water rescue dog, Newfoundland has now retired to a low energy and relaxed life. These dogs show massive loyalty and affection to their parents. Being a rescue dog, they are extremely comfortable with children and other animals (including dogs).

These massive dogs are intelligent and calm which makes them really easy to train. However, their size can be an issue as they are about 26-28 inches tall. Similarly, their average weight is around 120 pounds but an adult Newfoundland can go up to 150 pounds. All in all, this is an excellent breed to have in your home.


Greyhound laying on bed looking at camera

Being one of the fastest mammals in the world, Greyhound is excellent at hunting and racing. As a complete contrast to that, they are quite lazy and like to spend most of their time resting. The calmness of their personality is clearly evident by the fact that they rarely bark. Despite their quiet nature, they can have some differences with smaller animals.

Given the complexity of their past jobs, they are amazingly bright at learning new things. This is a huge plus when it comes to training these gentle giants. You should offer your pet a lot of socializing opportunities because it can be timid at times.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard adult and puppy laying on grass in front of trees

A Saint Bernard offers immense strength of mind and body as it can weigh up to 180 pounds. Despite such a monstrous body, this breed has a calm and gentle heart. Both these characteristics were vital for this dog because it was originally used as an avalanche rescue dog. Similarly, it makes Saint Bernard an ideal dog for your family.

If you properly train a Saint Bernard from an early age, it goes without saying that it will be an obedient loyal companion for your family.    

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