10 Calm Dog Breeds For Laid Back Owners

If you’re interested in becoming a dog parent but are not interested in all the energy that often accompanies a variety of breeds and mixes, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re an introvert, you’re retired, or you’re just not very active, you’re going to love our list of 10 calm dog breeds.

But what exactly is a calm dog breed and how will one of our below calm dog breeds fit into your home and lifestyle?

Let’s find out.


What Do Experts Consider To Be A Calm Dog Breed?

1 a cavalier king charles asleep on a couch
Calm breeds are breeds that are known to be relatively laid back. That said, all breeds do have some energy.

Calm dog breeds come in different shapes and sizes, and many on our below list may surprise you.

So, how did we compile our lineup of calm dogs? We did some research and took a look at what most experts consider “calm” when it comes to a dog.

Here’s what we came up with when it comes to calm dog breeds and their needs:

Less Daily Exercise Requirements

The first thing experts recommend you consider when considering calm dog breeds is a dog’s overall exercise requirements. Keep in mind some dogs require more exercise than others and you can’t always gauge a dog’s exercise needs by his size.

Moderate Mental Stimulation Needs

Experts caution laid back people about going for the smartest dog in the canine kingdom. While intelligent dogs can make wonderful companions for the right owner, they are usually best suited for experienced dog owners with a lot of time on their hands.

Highly intelligent dogs tend to be working dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds can be prone to serious anxiety, destructive and even neurotic behaviors, especially if they are not kept mentally active.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that calm dog breeds are dumb. On the contrary, it just means that while working dogs are more work-oriented, calm dog breeds are more content than to lay back and lounge.

Highly Trainable / Eager To Please

Dogs who are stubborn and difficult to train may not be ideal for owners in need of a calm, more laid back dog.

All dogs require exercise, routine mental stimulation, socialization and training, even if they are considered calm dog breeds. That said, dogs who are independent thinkers often tend to be a bit more energetic, athletic and intelligent.

As we mentioned above, this combination is not an ideal one for those interested in calm dog breeds.

Instead, look for dogs that are eager to please and easy to train. These dogs are more likely to be calm, content and happy without a ton of effort on your part. Plus, they will be more apt to stay intune with what you want and be better able to go with the flow of your laid back lifestyle.

Bred For Companionship

Last, calm dog breeds are often dogs who were bred for companionship. Avoid dogs bred for working purposes, as these dogs are going to be more happy in active homes with lots going on.

Calm dog breeds that are bred for companionship are going to be better off in a laid back home where they are content snuggling with you or following you calmly from room to room.

Of course, while calm dog breeds are more content just hanging out, they still require maintenance. Furthermore, not all calm dog breeds are considered low maintenance, which is something you should also consider as a potential dog owner.

keep reading to learn more.

The Difference Between Calm Dog Breeds and Low Maintenance Dog Breeds

2 a woman holding a frenchie puppy
Just because a dog is calm in temperament does not mean he is not high maintenance in other areas.

Many people consider calm dog breeds and low maintenance dog breeds to be one in the same. We get it – when you think of calm dog breeds, you think of dogs who aren’t too needy, energetic or active.

While it is true that lower energy can mean lower maintenance when it comes to dogs and their exercise needs, there are other ways your dog requires care and commitment from you outside of activity.

With that noted, let’s talk about the differences between calm dog breeds and low maintenance dog breeds.

Low Maintenance Dog Breeds

Low maintenance dog breeds are, in most expert opinions, dogs that are not only lower energy, but also dogs that require less on the whole spectrum. When you consider a low maintenance breed, you’ll likely be considering a dog that doesn’t require too much exercise, doesn’t have extensive grooming needs, has a short list of health issues, a dog that is highly social and friendly, and a dog that is easy to train.

Low maintenance dog breeds are often great for first time dog owners as they are easy to work with. Calm dog breeds, on the other hand, can still be complicated or high-maintenance in other areas.

Calm Dog Breeds

Calm dog breeds will be dog breeds that are known for their lower energy levels above all else. They are also less neurotic, which means they may not be as intelligent in a conventional sense as other dogs.

These types of dogs are generally bred for companionship, do not require extensive daily exercise, and are content with lounging around, as we mentioned above.

Just because you have a clam dog does not mean that dog will be low maintenance. In fact, many of the dog breeds below are actually high maintenance in other ways, whether they require specific grooming care, dietary needs, or have specific health issues.

So, are you ready for a calm dog breed or would you really prefer a low maintenance breed? Let’s find out.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Commit To A Dog

3 a man thinking
Before you decide if a dog is right for you, it’s important to consider your lifestyle.

Investing in a dog is a long-term commitment. This is true whether you get a calm dog, a low maintenance dog, or a dog that is best suited for experienced owners.

Before you decide to bring a dog into your home, it’s important you ask yourself a few questions.

Is My Lifestyle Conducive To Owning A Dog?

There is nothing wrong with wanting a calm dog breed. But if you’re looking at calm dog breeds because you’re hoping you can get a dog that only needs to be fed and watered, then maybe a dog isn’t for you.

Dogs require time, commitment, attention, training, exercise, and lots of love regardless of their temperament or energy level. If you get one of our below calm dog breeds and neglect to meet their specific needs, you’ll be in for a terrible surprise when that dog develops serious behavioral issues that are certainly not conducive to your serene lifestyle.

Is My Home Type Ideal For The Kind Of Calm Dog Breeds I’m Interested In?

Some of the calm dog breeds on our below list are huge. Others are quite small. Before you decide which of the calm dog breeds below is right for you, it’s important to consider your home type. Larger dogs are going to need more space and often do well with a securely fenced backyard.

Many smaller dogs may not be safe left outside in a backyard, even just for a few hours. You should also consider your family.

Is everyone in the home on board with getting a dog? Do you have small children in the home that will be spending a lot of time with this dog?

If so, you’ll want to consider a dog that has the right personality for family life. Avoid getting smaller dogs that could potentially be injured and stay away from dogs who are not as patient with young children.

What Am I Hoping To Get Out Of Investing In A Dog?

Imagine your dream dog. Now erase that image and know that a real dog is probably not going to live up to these expectations. Dogs are complex, emotional creatures and do best with owners who understand and respect that.

Before you get a dog, it’s a good idea to think about what your dream dog’s personality will be.

Many owners pick dogs based on their look and are often overwhelmed when the dog becomes too much for them to handle.

For this reason, experts advise that you should try and pick a dog based on his temperamental traits and maintenance level over his physical appearance.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to learn about 10 calm dog breeds that might just make the perfect match for you?

Then let’s get started!

1. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

4 a cavalier king charles on a bed
Bred as a mild-mannered family dog, the Cavalier King Charles is the epitome of relaxed.

Temperament: Adoring, Sweet-Natured, Calm, Gentle

Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years

Ideal For: Families, Singles, Seniors, Couples, Homes With Other Pets

Cavalier King Charles Overview:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a family favorite. This purebred dog is small enough to make a wonderful travel companion but large enough to withstand gentle play from younger children. This is a dog that is also bred for companionship. He is eager to please and easy to train, and enjoys nothing more than simply being at your side.

That said, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs do become quite bonded with their people. They can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for too long without the proper training. Luckily, they are great once a schedule is established and they will do well with other canine companions in the home to keep them company.

2. The Chihuahua

5 a chihuahua
Chihuahuas are small and independent, though they do best in single-dog households.

Temperament: Sassy, Clever, Affectionate, Independent

Lifespan: 14 to 16 Years

Ideal For: Seniors, Singles, Couples, Families With Older Children

Chihuahua Overview:

The Chihuahua is a canine superstar and the national dog of Mexico. Though he’s the smallest dog in the canine kingdom, he’s one of the most popular amongst dog owners looking for calm dog breeds.

Chihuahua dogs come in two types including the Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua. Both are relatively the same size and have the same temperament, though their skull shape is a bit different.

Apple Head Chihuahua dogs are the only dog eligible for show. However, they are also prone to a few more health issues than their Deer Head Chihuahua counterpart.

Otherwise, Chihuahua dogs are pretty low maintenance all the way around. They are independent, laid back, and great for singles or retirees. However, they usually prefer to be raised in a single-dog household and they can be prone to jealousy and aggressive tendencies with other dogs and even children.

Chihuahuas will often choose a favorite person in the family, though a well socialized Chihuahua can learn to get on with most anyone so long as he is treated kindly.

These are excellent apartment dogs due to their small size and they require very little exercise or grooming.

3. The English Bulldog

6 an english bulldog
An English Bulldog has two favorite activities – eating and sleeping!

Temperament: Friendly, Fearless, Mild-Mannered

Lifespan: 8 to 10 Years

Ideal For: Families, Singles, Seniors, Couples

English Bulldog Overview:

The English Bulldog is the epitome of a clam dog breed. This dog requires very little exercise and in fact prefers to eat and sleep instead. For this reason, it’ll be up to you to keep this lazy lump in action.

It could be easy to forget to move and let your English Bulldog relax all day, but this wouldn’t be wise. These dogs can be prone to digestive issues, joint issues, and obesity, so exercise and a healthy diet are key.

Speaking of this, we should also note that while the English Bulldog is one of our most calm dog breeds, he is also one of our more high maintenance breeds.

These dogs are prone to a long list of health issues and complications that require routine care and lots of money. They can be costly for unprepared owners and will need to maintain routine vet visits and grooming appointments.

Special care will also need to be taken to ensure they don’t develop skin fold dermatitis, eye issues and Bloat.

Medical issues aside, the English Bulldog makes a great companion for laid back families with children. They are friendly, patient and easy going. They also get along well with other pets and are social with strangers.

4. The Pug

7 a Pug
Pugs don’t enjoy too much exercise, nor do they need it. They’d rather lounge around and watch you do your thing.

Temperament: Playful, Curious, Mischievous, Affectionate

Lifespan: 13 to 15 Years

Ideal For: Families, Singles, Couples, Retirees, Apartment Living

Pug Overview:

The Pug is a fast rising star in the Canine Kingdom, quickly making his way up the ranks of America’s most popular dogs.

Bred for companionship, Pugs are a unique combination of personality and relaxation. They are full of spunk and life but they enjoy giving you all that sass from a comfortable space on the couch.

That said, the Pug makes a great companion for families with kids. He’s relaxed enough to be on our list of calm dog breeds but playful enough to enjoy shinnanginages with youngsters. He will also get along with other pets in the home and is social and friendly with company.

However, due to his unique skull shape, Pugs come with a long list of health issues. This means that a Pug is a more high maintenance breed than some when it comes to medical problems and financial commitment.

Like the English Bulldog, Pugs can be prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome, skin fold dermatitis and allergies. A good diet will help combat certain issues as will routine grooming and keeping up with scheduled vet visits.

5. The Greyhound

8 a grayhound
Many people are surprised to learn that the Italian Greyhound is relatively laid back.

Temperament: Independent, Gentle, Sweet, Proud

Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years

Ideal For: Older Families, Singles, Seniors, Couples, Retirees, Homes With Backyards

Greyhound Overview:

People are often surprised to find the Greyhound on our list of calm dog breeds, but the truth is these dogs are actually pretty relaxed. Bred as hunting and racing dogs, Greyhounds are famous for erupting into quick bursts of speed. But after that run is over, they’re ready for a good nap.

Greyhound dogs will enjoy running from time to time though, and they shouldn’t be walked outside of their home without the proper leash and harness. They have a very high prey drive and may not be ideal dogs for homes with cats or small animals, though some do just fine.

Greyhounds also do best with a securely fenced backyard where they can run when they want to.

Otherwise, these guys will be your nap buddy through and through. They become very bonded with their family, can do well with gentle children, and even make great apartment dogs.

6. The Great Dane

9 a great dane
Great Danes are gentle giants who don’t have as much energy as you may think.

Temperament: Patient, Calm, Friendly, Devoted

Lifespan: 7 to 10 Years

Ideal For: Families, Singles, Couples, Homes Without A Lot Of Stairs

Great Dane Overview:

The Great Dane is another surprise dog on our list of calm dog breeds. This dog’s sheer size is often enough to turn potential owners away, but for those seeking a relaxed, low-energy dog, the Great Dane is it.

He is a slow moving, gentle giant who does well with children of all ages. He also gets along with a variety of pets including both cats and dogs. Great Danes require only low amounts of exercise, and in fact require owners who will move slowly and carefully with them on walks to prevent them from developing joint injuries.

Sadly, Great Danes are also a bit high maintenance for this very reason. Their large size means they have a short lifespan and can be susceptible to a variety of serious health issues.

Not only can these health issues be costly for owners, they can be devastating for their dog. Owners of Great Danes are encouraged to invest in pet insurance.

7. The Shih Tzu

10 a Shih TzuShih Tzu dogs are great companions for laid back adults and singles.

Temperament: Social, Playful, Friendly

Lifespan: 10 to 18 Years

Ideal For: Older Families, Singles, Seniors, Retirees, Apartment Living, Those With Allergies

Shih Tzu Overview:

We love the Shih Tzu not only for his adorable look, but also for his sweet disposition. This is a breed that is an excellent addition to older families, singles, seniors, retirees, or those who suffer from allergies.

The Shih Tzu is a hypoallergenic dog who found himself on our list of calm dog breeds thanks to his laid back demeanor. He is a bred companion who hails from royalty, with his lineage going all the way back to the Han Dynasty.

This flat-faced breed is sweet and sassy, and most of his exercise needs can be met indoors. Playing a game of fetch or tug of war for about 30 minutes inside will suffice, as will allowing your Shih Tzu to follow you from room to room.

You can also get out with your Shih Tzu for quick walks around the neighborhood if you’re feeling adventurous. Otherwise, this is a recluse’s dream dog.

Shih Tzu dogs are eager to please and easy to train, though they can be difficult to housebreak. They also do best with older, more respectful children and will not tolerate being handled roughly.

8. The Bernese Mountain Dog

11 a bernese mountain dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are famous for their sweet and mild-mannered nature.

Temperament: Calm, Happy, Friendly, Affectionate

Lifespan: 7 to 10 Years

Ideal For: Families Or Owners With A Flexible Schedule, A Home With A Yard

Bernese Mountain Dog Overview:

Bred as versatile working dogs, the Bernese Mountain dog is as calm as he is beautiful. While he was once known to be a herding dog and guard dog, this is a breed that is considered one of the most calm dog breeds on our list.

Large, stunning, and sweet-natured, the Bernese Mountain Dog does great with children and other pets. However, this is also a dog that becomes very bonded with his family and can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

For this reason, Bernese Mountain Dogs are best suited for laid back dog owners with flexible schedules.

And while this is a breed who is calm and mild-mannered, he can also enjoy getting out for walks or easy hikes. He is best suited for homes with a securely fenced backyard and may not be ideal for allergy sufferers. The Bernese Mountain Dog sheds A LOT.

9. The Maltese

12 a maltese and a woman
The friendly and affectionate Maltese does great in families with gentle children.

Temperament: Friendly, Sweet, Gentle, People-Oriented

Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years

Ideal For: Older Families, Singles, Seniors, Retirees, Couples, Apartment Living, Those With Allergies

Maltese Overview:

The tiny Maltese is a sweet natured, family-oriented breed that is considered hypoallergenic and mild-mannered. One of our tinier calm dog breeds, Maltese dogs do best in homes with older children who understand how to be gentle. While the Maltese is not prone to snapping or aggressive behaviors, he can be easily injured if handled too roughly.

This is a breed that is bred for companionship. As such, the Maltese becomes very bonded with his family. At home with his people, he is a quiet, calm, and affectionate lap dog who will enjoy doing whatever you are doing wherever you are doing it.

However, if left alone for too long, the Maltese can become anxious, depressed and even destructive. For this reason, this is a breed that does wonderfully in homes with families that have a flexible schedule or in situations where their owner works from home.

10. The French Bulldog

13 a French Bulldog on a purple couch
Frenchie’s aren’t just cute, they are also calm!

Temperament: Playful, Adaptable, Clever, Affectionate

Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years

Ideal For: Families, Singles, Couples, Apartment Living

French Bulldog Overview:

The Frenchie is famous for his cute look and stubby tail. But did you know he’s also famous for being one of our super calm dog breeds? While this dog is playful and friendly, he’s also pretty laid back.

This is an ideal dog for relaxed families as he enjoys children and other dogs, though he isn’t built for exertion and activities like hiking, running or swimming.

That said, French Bulldogs, like many of the other flat-faced breeds on this list of calm dog breeds, can be prone to a number of health issues. These issues can make the dog more high maintenance than some and will also require a certain level of financial commitment.

When it comes to obtaining a French Bulldog, it’s very important to go through reputable sources and ensure your Frenchie is health screened at an early age.

How To Find The Best Calm Dog Breed For You

14 a sleeping puppy
Picking the right dog for you will take time, research, and commitment.

Regardless of which of the above calm dog breeds is tugging at your heartstrings, it’s important to take your time and be prepared before investing.

Before you get your puppy or rescue dog, make sure you do plenty of research to ensure you are picking the dog that best suits your home, family and lifestyle. If you opt to go through a breeder, avoid backyard breeders or unqualified online sellers and instead go with licensed breeders who can provide you with paperwork and health certificates.

On average, going through a reputable breeder costs around $400 to $2,000. This price can and will vary depending on the breed of dog you are after and the quality of your puppy’s parent breeds.

You also have the option of going through a rescue for any of the above calm dog breeds. While going through a rescue may take more time and patience, there are plenty of breed-specific rescues that specialize in the above calm dog breeds and that can help connect you with the dog of your dreams.

Going through a rescue is often much less expensive than going through a breeder, with prices ranging from $250 to $750. Rescuing also has a number of other benefits as well, especially if you rescue a dog that is over two years of age.

Why does this matter? Because if you’re looking for calm dog breeds, then investing in a puppy means you’re in for a good year or two of wild puppyhood.

Puppies are puppies no matter the breed, but skipping the puppy phase puts you right where you want to be with a dog, especially if you’re already looking for calm dog breeds at the end of the day.

So, what do you think about the above list of calm dog breeds? Did any of them surprise you? Tell us what you think about these ten dogs in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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