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Looking for an easygoing pet? Consider these 6 calm dog breeds

These calm dog breeds are perfect for chill pet parents

golden retriever puppies in green field
Chevanon Photography / Pexels

Few quests are more fun and gratifying than finding a new best furry friend. The adorable meet-and-greets, the excitement of bringing your new family member home, and the promise of spending forever together can leave you jumping for joy.

However, you may prefer a dog that doesn’t jump (for excitement reasons, at least). While some prospective pet parents want a high-energy pup or new running buddy, others may want a more laid-back dog. The good news? Both future pet parents have options. However, calm dog breeds have their benefits. For instance, they may be less likely to jump all over strangers and house guests and adapt better to new environments, making it easy for them to take on road trips and park adventures. A calmer dog may do better in homes with small children.

That doesn’t mean active dogs aren’t great travel partners or siblings to tiny humans. However, temperament is undoubtedly a factor in these traits. Researching dog breeds is a great place to start your search. To help, we’ve compiled a list of some of the calmest dog breeds.

What dog breed is the calmest?

A close-up of a basset hound
Michael Morse / Pexels

There is no data on the “calmest dog breed.” However, we scoured expert resources like the American Kennel Club’s breed pages to find calm dog breeds ideal for people looking for a lovable, laid-back pet.

Basset hound

While some hounds (we see you, beagles) have energy for days, the basset hound is content to loaf around on the couch. The low-energy, low-maintenance dogs with soulful eyes and long, floor-grazing ears might look sad, but they’re happy charmers. Basset hounds are known for their patience and friendliness toward children and other pets. Just don’t mistake their low-key ‘tude for “lazy.” All animals need exercise, and basset hounds’ – with their highly sensitive nose for hunting — will likely adore a hike through a wooded area.

Golden retriever

The golden retriever epitomizes an “all-American” breed (though the breed originated in Scotland). The dogs are some of the friendliest you’ll find, including with little humans and other animals. Goldens are playful but generally not energetic, giving pet parents the best of both worlds. Their even-keeled demeanor makes them top dogs for employment. You can find goldens serving as guide dogs and in law enforcement.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Cavalier King Charles spaniels are regal-looking dogs with refined personalities to match. The breed is generally gentle, kind, and loving, making the pups a good fits for numerous kinds of families. The luxuriously silky coat is the cherry on top.

Irish wolfhound

The tallest AKC-recognized breed (males can reach up to 32 inches in height), the Irish wolfhound is known for making delightful company. Calm, agreeable, and devoted, these dogs are steady friends. Irish wolfhounds are also some of the quietest dogs, so don’t expect a self-proclaimed doorbell.


Leonbergers are enormous, with full-grown males weighing up to 170 pounds. However, these dogs are gentle giants. The Leonberger defaults to patient and affectionate with small children and strangers, though they are hit or miss with other dogs.

French bulldog

These pups ended the Labrador retrievers’ run atop the AKC’s best dog breed list. Part of the reason? We can’t say for sure, but the French bulldogs’ good-natured, even-tempered personalities likely played a role. Frenchies are generally quiet and don’t require much mental stimulation, but they are game to play and constantly love on family members. Their silly, bat-eared appearance only further endears them to the masses.

What dog has the best temperament?

a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lying on white bedding
Radovan Zierik / Pexels

The answer isn’t black and white because “best temperament” is subjective. The better question is: What type of temperament meets your preferences, home, and lifestyle? For instance, some people may want a high-energy breed like a Chihuahua, while others prefer a calm basset hound or golden retriever. Some pet parents may wish to have a devoted guard dog. There isn’t a wrong answer, but rather, what’s “best” for you (which will also be “best” for the dog).

Closing thoughts

An Irish wolfhound on a harness in the snow
Andreas Schnabl / Pexels

Temperament is an important consideration when choosing a pet, and some people may prefer to stick to calm dog breeds like golden retrievers and basset hounds. Understanding your preferences before welcoming a dog to your family is best for you and the dog. To be clear, breed traits are generalizations. You’ll want to meet any dog in person before deciding on one.

Also, you might consider an older or senior dog whose rambunctious puppy years are behind them (make no mistake, though, senior dogs can also have energy and a playful streak). A reputable breeder or shelter can help you find your new best friend.

BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
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