By: Orvis Staff
If you’re daydreaming about getting a dog, what do you envision? A bouncy best pal brimming with excitement and energy? Or do you imagine an unflappable, four-legged throw pillow who keeps you good company on the couch as you catch up on your binge watching? If you fall in the latter camp, opting for a calm dog breed is the way to go.
Calm dogs are low-key canine companions. They make excellent dogs for people who prefer leisurely strolls with their dogs followed up by long snoozes. And dog breeds known for their calm demeanors often make top-notch service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals.
Though they may sometimes seem self-sufficient, calm dogs can’t take care of themselves. These breeds require the same abundance of love and attention as their zippier counterparts. Exercise and dog training are also important to keep them fit and prevent the development of challenging habits. Below are the top 10 dog breeds with the calmest personalities.
Bernese Mountain Dog – Even-tempered and affectionate, Bernese Mountain Dogs bring a measure of peace into the lives of their families. Powerful working dogs, they require a good deal of exercise daily. They’re easygoing participants in most activities, whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood or a cart pulling contest. Berners are calm around children and other animals, but protective of their territory, and will bark when people approach your home.
Clumber Spaniel – Sporting dogs are known for their high energy, but Clumber Spaniels are the exception to that rule. Clumbers set a slow and steady pace in the field. They can stay on the hunt all day and push easily through brush with their powerful frame. This is not the breed for families who want an excitable playmate. Though devoted to their humans, the dignified Clumber Spaniel isn’t overly demonstrative in their affections. They are tenacious when it comes to reaching food left out on the counter, so be diligent about securing consumables and keeping them out of reach.
Bullmastiff – Stout and powerful Bullmastiffs are deeply loyal to their people, and will guard them courageously and ferociously. Strange people and dogs are wise to keep their distance. With those they know and love, however, Bullmastiffs are big softies. They have a calm and gentle demeanor, and are always willing to please—as long as they are consistently trained and socialized from a young age. Bullmastiffs need an experienced, assertive owner who won’t give the breed’s pushy side any wiggle room to grow.
Great Dane – Perfectly nicknamed ‘Gentle Giants,’ colossal Great Danes are peaceful, loving canines. They have the spirit of a lap dog, which is where they’ll settle down for a rest if you allow them. Low-key Great Danes require attentive and consistent training so they maintain their composure when guests arrive or you come home from work—any amount of jumping is a problem with such a massive dog. The breed has moderate exercise needs and shouldn’t be over exercised—especially as puppies—because of possible bone and joint problems. Several walks a day give them the workout they need, after which they’ll be ready to rest on an outsized dog bed.
Newfoundland – Another of the ‘Gentle Giant’ breeds, Newfies are sweet tempered, friendly, and quiet. They are well known for their gentleness and patience with children, and they extend their open-heartedness to other dogs and cats. The perfect family dog, Newfoundlands have a calming presence with their wise expressions and steadfast personalities. Rambunctious children may even learn how to settle down in the company of this self-composed breed.
The Serene Shelter Dog – There are always a few of these peaceful pups at the rescue. These are the sweet-faced mixed breeds and mutts who don’t jump around frantically trying to draw attention to themselves. They simply wag their tails and wait for you come to them. When you do, they accept all petting and ear-scratching with a quiet grace. And when they crawl into your lap or sit beside you, they’ll leave an indelible pawprint on your heart.
Inviting a calm dog into your family is like welcoming an old friend back home. They’ll happily join you on any adventures, but they’re just as glad—if not more so—to spend quiet time together on the couch. There’s a comfort and welcome camaraderie in their simple presence that simply can’t be beat.