Dogs are humans’ indisputable best friends. The love for canines is especially evident in the US, where 63.4 million households own at least one dog. It should come as no surprise since dogs shower us with devotion we can’t resist.
While their friendly temperament is charming, dogs can also be easily excitable and restless. But they’re not all the same so, if you want to have a more tranquil furry best friend, there are several calm dog breeds to consider.
These Puppers Are As Calm As They Come
Some of us are either naturally laid-back or have such intensive lifestyles that we don’t have much energy to do anything by the end of the day. We just want to curl up on the couch with snacks and a good book, game, or show and enjoy it with a peaceful companion.
If that sounds like you, you’ll appreciate the naturally calm dog breeds that don’t need extensive daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. It is important to note that even if these dogs are much more laid back, they still require some exercise throughout the day to keep them healthy.
Depending on your space and preferences, you can pick from several small, medium, and large-sized dogs that will fill your home with love.
They don’t occupy much space and are no less loveable than their bigger counterparts. Plus, the small size adds to their appeal. Without further ado, let’s explore some of the best calm small dog breeds to opt for.
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you don’t mind spending extra time grooming, you can also choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a small breed of dog that will match your calm energy. With cute floppy ears and medium-length fur, this breed is like a living stuffed toy and is more suited for indoors.
With a cute face and a calm demeanor, they can be perfect as therapy dogs. Some activity, treats, and a nice calming dog bed are enough to keep them happy. There’s nothing better than quality time with Netflix and your furry best friend.
|HEIGHT||12 to 13 inches|
|WEIGHT||13 to 18 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Wavy and silky coat of medium length, with four color types: Black and Tan, Black and White, Ruby, and Blenheim.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 to 15 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Easy to train, good for first-time pet owners, can be used as a therapy dog.|
2. Tibetan Spaniel
According to their name and the fact that they used to hang out with Buddhist monks, “Tibbies” are some of the calmest, and most gentle dog breeds. They are very small and easy to please, but can be frisky when it’s play time.
Being bred as companion dogs, they will spend most of their time on your lap or on the back of the sofa, to keep an eye on everything. Due to their size and their alertness, these dogs may get barky when confronted with strangers.
|WEIGHT||9 to 15 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Double coated fur of medium length, with many color types: Black, Black & Tan, Cream, Gold, Red, Sable, White, Silver Sable|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 to 15 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Easy to please, requires lots of grooming, somewhat barky.|
Famous for their squishy little faces and gentle behavior, pugs make adorable companions. Their small but compact size makes them perfect for keeping in an apartment. What makes one of the best laid back small dog breeds compared to other dogs their size is the fact that they don’t get very nervous or barky.
They are very goofy and love kids, and will try to play with every member of the family. They’re easy to entertain and love being around their humans, whether it’s for a round of cuddles or a lazy evening on the sofa.
|HEIGHT||10 to 13 inches|
|WEIGHT||14 to 18 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short coat, with Black and Fawn color options.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||13 to 15 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Apartment-friendly, prone to health issues, sheds a lot.|
4. French Bulldog
Sweet, calm, and a little clingy, French bulldogs add some much-needed cuddles to our lives. They’re very laid back and not keen on getting off the couch, so your concern would be adding some activity to their schedule.
French bulldogs are likely the most chill dog breed. They’re very gentle and the perfect pets for apartments because these dogs aren’t easily triggered and don’t bark too much. That said, they tend to get anxious when left alone for extended periods.
If you don’t mind making arrangements for periods where you’ll be away, keeping these dogs as pets can be ideal for you.
|HEIGHT||11 to 13 inches|
|WEIGHT||19 to 28 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short coat, with many color types and combinations of Brindle, White, Cream, and Fawn.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||10 to 12 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very loyal, slightly clingy, easy to please.|
5. Lhasa Apso
This breed is intelligent and naturally suited for indoor environments. The Lhasa Apso can make friendly little companions who will warm your heart and home with all the love they have to offer. They’re rare among the calm guard dog breeds — cute and loyal but acting as efficient watchdogs if needed.
These cute balls don’t bark, but they pick favorites and end up loving one household member and being adequately friendly with the rest.
They’re territorial and a little hostile to strangers. So, you’ll have to train them properly to avoid unnecessary attacks if you get visitors regularly.
|HEIGHT||10 to 11 inches (male), slightly smaller (female)|
|WEIGHT||12 to 18 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Silky and long hair, with many color options: Black, Black & Tan, Blue, Cream, Golden, Gray, Grizzle, Liver, Red, Red Gold, Silver, White, Charcoal|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 to 15 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very protective, hypoallergenic, very adaptable.|
They tend to be less dependent than their smaller counterparts since the size brings them confidence.
Below are some of the best medium-sized calm dog breeds for your household.
1. Basset Hound
A popular dog breed often depicted in animated and non-animated media alike, Basset Hounds are calm, loyal, and friendly companions. They’re adventurous and incredible trackers, which makes them excellent partners when you want to go for a hike.
Basset Hounds are gentle, making them great pets to have with other animals. Independence is a big part of their temperament, so they might be a bit hard to train. They love a good cuddle, but they also love food, so make sure you monitor their daily nutrition to prevent obesity.
|HEIGHT||Up to 15 inches|
|WEIGHT||40 to 65 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short coat, with many color options and combinations of Black, White, Brown, Red, Lemon, and Mahogany|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 to 13 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Great sense of smell, drools a lot, high prey drive.|
Known for being one of the fastest dog breeds, Whippets are actually considered calm dog breeds that are medium-sized. In order to fit their natural instincts, you will have to get them an enclosed area where they can run for a while before tiring themselves out, and then they can chill with you on the couch.
They are great with kids, and sometimes shy with strangers, but they are always friendly. They don’t bark much, but they will chase the neighbors’ cat or some other animal in your home or neighborhood.
|HEIGHT||19 to 22 inches (male), 18 to 21 inches (female)|
|WEIGHT||25 – 40 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short coat, with many color options and combinations of Black, Blue, Cream, Fawn, Red, Sable, White, and Seal|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 to 15 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very fast, hot weather adaptable, doesn’t require much grooming.|
3. Shetland Sheepdog
Smart, loyal, and incredibly beautiful, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the best calm dog breeds for a small home. If you’d love burying yourself in a warm, furry embrace at the end of a hectic day, the Shetland Sheepdog can be the perfect pet for you.
They tend to be happy, independent, and enjoy spending time with their humans. However, their beautiful long fur requires regular grooming. So, be prepared for long brushing sessions.
Otherwise, Shetland Sheepdogs are ideal partners for a semi-active lifestyle and an excellent choice among the calm dog breeds of medium size.
|HEIGHT||13 to 16 inches|
|WEIGHT||15 to 25 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Double coated fur of long length, with color options and combinations of Black, Tan, White, Sable, and White Blue Merle.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 to 14 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very protective, good hiking companion, cold weather adaptable.|
British Bulldogs are heftier in size but equally adorable. They share some features with their French cousins. With their cute skin folds and muscular physique, bulldogs are loyal and tenacious but extremely docile and fun to have around the house.
They love naps and curling up under a warm blanket by the fire on a chilly winter night. So, you can relax and enjoy their presence as you let the coziness wash over you. Get ready for a night of snoring though, as their cute smushed faces usually produce quite the loud sounds.
|HEIGHT||14 to 15 inches|
|WEIGHT||50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short hair, with color options and combinations of Brindle, Fawn, Red, White, and Fallow.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||8 to 10 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Apartment-friendly, snores a lot, drools.|
5. Shiba Inu
With Japanese origins and cute, fuzzy appearance, Shiba Inus symbolize loyalty and friendliness. These dogs belong to one of the most amazing calm, affectionate dog breeds because they can get enough activity indoors without an extensive need for human engagement.
Shiba Inus are loveable, adorable, and laid-back dogs that don’t mind taking a few too many naps on a lazy afternoon or sitting nearby as their human finishes their tasks for the day.
They have relatively short hair, so you’ll have little trouble grooming and maintaining it.
|HEIGHT||14.5 to 16.5 inches (male), 13.5-15.5 inches (female)|
|WEIGHT||23 pounds (male), 17 pounds (female)|
|COAT & COLOR||Double coated fur of short length, with a few colors to choose from: Black and Tan, Cream, Red, and Red Sesame.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||13 to 16 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very intelligent, very territorial, difficult to train.|
Some furry pals have so much love they can’t keep it contained in a smaller body.
If you have enough space to live comfortably with a large dog and want extra cuddles, you should consider the calm family dog breeds below.
1. Irish Wolfhound
Intelligent, loyal, and robust, the Irish Wolfhounds are remarkable hunters and exceptionally sensitive to human emotions. They have a lean physique and a bit of a shaggy appearance, which adds to their overall appeal.
Despite their hunting prowess, Irish Wolfhounds are gentle and a popular choice as therapy dogs because they can offer the emotional support humans need. These tall canines are exceptional friends to spend a lazy afternoon with, that’s why they made our best big dog breeds list.
|HEIGHT||32 inches minimum (male), 30 inches minimum (female)|
|WEIGHT||120 pounds (male), 105 pounds (female)|
|COAT & COLOR||Wiry and medium coat, with many color options: Black, Blue, Brindle, Cream, Grey, Red, Silver, and White.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||6 to 8 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very loyal, doesn’t bark much, can be used as a therapy dog.|
Gentle yet fiercely territorial, the Boerboels have a long history as guard dogs. They are dominant and confident, also bright and eager to learn. Despite their larger size, these dogs remain very calm and contained and are friendly with kids and other adults.
If you’re looking for calm dog breeds that can also keep you safe from intruders, getting a Boerboel will be the right choice. That said, these dogs are usually not recommended for newer dog owners.
|HEIGHT||24 to 27 inches (male), 22 to 25 inches (female)|
|WEIGHT||150 to 200 pounds|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short coat, with a few colors to choose from: Brindle, Brown, Cream, Red, and Tawny.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||9 to 11 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very protective, enjoys water, very strong.|
3. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is a large mountain dog known for its zen-like behavior. Mostly bred to guard sheep, this dog is a devoted and fierce guardian of the family. They will spend their days patrolling the yard and looking for intruders, so they are not the perfect dog if you have a lot of people over.
They are one of the best calm large dog breeds as they tend to be very quiet around the home and not very active when nobody is around. Also, they are really fluffy and perfect for cuddling.
|HEIGHT||27 to 32 inches (male), 25 to 29 inches (female)|
|WEIGHT||100 to 150 pounds (male), 85 to 110 pounds (female)|
|COAT & COLOR||Doable coated fur of medium length,|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||10 to 12 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Very protective, enjoys being alone, zen-like calmness.|
4. St. Bernard
You probably remember this fuzzy dog with excellent parental instincts from the Disney version of Peter Pan. That cute ball of fur is a St. Bernard. Dogs from this breed are just as warm, adorable, and responsible in real life.
St. Bernards are incredibly loving, laid-back, and gentle, making them excellent canine partners if you plan on keeping more pets around. They’re among the dog breeds with calm temperament and caring demeanor, making them an amazing choice as service pups for kids with autism. This breed will look after your emotional needs, and their ample size is perfect for cuddles.
|HEIGHT||28-30 inches (males), 26-28 inches (female)|
|WEIGHT||140-180 pounds (male), 120-140 pounds (female)|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth, rough, or double-coated fur, with color combinations that include: Brown, White, Brindle, Mahogany, Orange, Red, and Rust.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||8-10 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Easily trainable, very loving, drools a lot.,|
Bullmastiffs may look like fierce defenders of the kingdom with their muscular build, but they belong to a naturally large breed and love snuggling.
Protective of their human best friend, the Bullmastiff enjoys relaxing in front of a cozy fireplace or on a person’s lap as they spend some quality time chilling on the sofa.
If you like the idea of having a giant marshmallow to cuddle with, the Bullmastiff is the perfect dog for you.
|HEIGHT||25 to 27 inches (male), 24 to 26 inches (female)|
|WEIGHT||110 to 130 pounds (male), 100 to 120 pounds (female)|
|COAT & COLOR||Smooth and short coat, with a few colors and color combinations of Fawn, Brindle, and Red.|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||7 to 9 years|
|OTHER TRAITS||Easy to groom, risk of weight gain, doesn’t bark much.|
Care Tips for Dogs
You’ve gone through a comprehensive guide about the calmest dog breeds you can choose from. Of course, besides the abovementioned dogs, there are a few other breeds known for their calm behavior. Such breeds are the Golden Retriever, Greyhound, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, Beagle, Shih Tzu, Clumber Spaniel, and the Newfoundland. Now, let’s also go over the primary responsibilities of a dog owner.
While dogs are cuddly and loving goofballs, they also require consistent care to remain healthy and active. Whether you already have a dog or plan to get one, below are some caring tips for dogs to keep in mind.
Groom Them Regularly
Dogs need regular grooming to keep their coats shiny and healthy. If you want to spend less time grooming, choose one of the calm dog breeds that don’t shed. Dogs with frequent shedding, require more brushing to keep the hairs away from your carpet and clothes.
When it comes to hair size, breeds with shorter hair are okay with less frequent brushing (once a fortnight), and the ones with medium to long hair need it at least once a week to ensure untangled and matt-free fur.
Stay Alert for Fleas and Ticks
Dogs and cats are nesting grounds for fleas and ticks since they tend to poke their curious noses in all corners of the house. It’s true even for calm lazy dog breeds. During the regular brushing sessions, stay on the lookout for any signs of infestations and get rid of them with the right shampoo next time you’re bathing your dog.
Monitor Their Nutrition
Dogs also need to get the right food and supplements to remain healthy. Make sure it matches the following:
- Suitable for their age and size
- With the right nutrients
- Caters to their specific breed needs
- No harmful ingredients
You should always monitor what they eat and chew on as some foods may be detrimental to a dog’s health. Maybe you are looking for calm temperament dogs so you can spend your lazy afternoons on the couch with them, but you should always be careful with things that are in their reach. So watch out when using cannabis around dogs and don’t leave any chocolate, snacks, or other dangerous foods laying around without supervision.
Additionally, it’s best to give your dog a combination of a dry and fresh raw diet as that has the highest chance of providing the right nutrition. Also, schedule vet visits and give your dog the prescribed medicines or supplements in case of a deficiency.
Get Them Vaccinated
A vital responsibility of keeping a dog is getting them proper vaccines. Even the calmest dog breeds are active, curious, and vulnerable to common canine diseases. To protect your pet from illness, ensure vaccination so that you wouldn’t worry about that vet bill in the future.
Along with vaccines comes regular vet checks. If your pupper needs any procedure, they’ll usually get the dreaded cone of shame. But don’t stress, there are some awesome cone alternatives to try.
Did You Find The Right Dog For You?
There are many calm dog breeds to choose from, but there is only one choice you can make to have a best friend to relax with you every day. No matter if you prefer smaller toy dogs, or large doggos, all of the breeds we mentioned are calm and laidback.
An important thing to know is that even if they are mostly relaxed, every dog needs attention during the day, and a much needed exercise for at least an hour or two. Besides this, you should always make time for proper grooming, vet visits, and providing them with nutritional meals.
If you are aware of this, and you are ready to take care of a new pup, you should choose one of the abovementioned calm low energy dog breeds, and you will have a trusted, but laidback best friend.
- Bredford, Emma. “Number of U.S. pet owning households by species 2021/22” Statista, 15 Feb. 2022.
- Tavassoli, Mosa et al. “Survey of flea infestation in dogs in different geographical regions of Iran.” The Korean journal of parasitology vol. 48,2 (2010): 145-9. doi:10.3347/kjp.2010.48.2.145
- Day, M J et al. “WSAVA Guidelines for the vaccination of dogs and cats.” The Journal of small animal practice vol. 57,1 (2016): E1-E45. doi:10.1111/jsap.2_12431