31 Calm Dog Breeds For Zen Living

Dogs can be truly calming companions, and some breeds are specifically known for being especially laid-back. If you’re looking for a dog that is typically good with kids and other animals and doesn’t require a lot of exercise or grooming, one of these calm dog breeds may be perfect for you.

Some of the most popular calm dog breeds include the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs are not only gentle and loving, but they’re also great with children and other pets.

Check out this list of some of the most mellow dog breeds around!

31. Basenji 

Image from Pawstruck

This dog is also commonly referred to as the “barkless dog from Africa,” which tells you a lot about what you have to expect, in terms of tranquility, while having one in your home. These dogs are unique in that they actually never bark.

Instead, they use other often quieter and less annoying vocalizations to express their emotions. These include yodeling, howling, and whining.

This is complemented by their calm and reserved nature for a pooch that epitomizes peace and quiet.

30. Great Dane

Image from Petmate

Great Danes are the most iconic of all the gentle giant dogs with heights of up to 31 inches and weight measurements of up to 180 lbs. They were initially bred for use as hunting dogs tackling large animals, including bears which is why they are still so strong and confident to date.

However, as the hunting game changed, so did their use with the dog breed transitioning to more of a domestic companion. Instead, the Great Dane is widely known for its even-tempered nature and the fact that it hardly ever makes noise.

29. Shar Pei

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It is a bit of a paradox to find Shar Peis on this list of calm dogs, given their sometimes aggressive predisposition. However, they have more than earned their right to be considered among the quietest dog breed options.

These large, wrinkly beauties are naturally reserved and suspicious of strangers. However, if you get them used to new faces by frequently taking them outdoors, then they are unlikely to react by barking at strangers.

28. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Image from Darwin’s Pet

This is easily one of the largest and bravest doggies on this list. It has quite the reputation for being fierce given its history as a hunting dog used to confront beasts like lions. However, they are greatly misunderstood as they are the very definition of gentle giants.

The Rhodesian Ridgebacks hardly ever bark, especially when they are kept as house pets. However, they can be trained to bark at strangers given their history as livestock guard dogs.

27. English Toy Spaniel

Image from Fuzzy

For the most part, small dogs are often associated with loud and obnoxious personalities. The English Toy Spaniel is one of the few exemptions to this rule. These little furry beauties have very calm, reserved, and gentle personalities.

They like to snuggle and just rest with their favorite humans and rarely cause a commotion. This is one of those dogs that only bark when something is seriously wrong with them or around them.

26. Bulldog

Image from Fuzzy

With their stocky build, short-form, and smooshed faces, these dogs look a lot like fierce Pitbulls. As a result, many people in and out of the dog owner community often stereotype bulldogs as problematic.

However, you will have a hard time finding a more docile and cool dog breed. They love to eat, sleep and snuggle and the only trouble you will have with them is fighting for space on the couch as they demand cuddles.

25. Coton de Tulear

Image from K9Cuisine

This dog breed has quite an interesting back story involving pirates and shipwrecks, after which they became the national dog for island states like Madagascar. Incredible origins aside, these dogs are a fantastic option when it comes to calm and quiet breeds.

Strictly speaking, Coton de Tuléars is not the quietest on our list and is known to bark or grunt when excited. However, they are super smart and easy to train, and you can have your calm in no time.

24. Wheaten Terrier

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Wheaten Terriers are the perfect compromise for dog owners who want playful but quiet dogs. They are very energetic and spirited and will allow you to enjoy some of the fun perks of owning a terrier dog, including knowing that they love you more than anything on the planet.

Despite their active lifestyles and playful nature, they are generally very quiet. Even in their bouts of excitement, they rarely get noisy, which is fantastic.

23. Bolognese Dog

Image from Instagram:@peppi_bolognesedog

This is yet another small dog breed that is not as loud and annoying as you may expect. The Bolognese dogs are the Italian relatives to the wildly popular Bichon breed and are known for their docile and reserved nature.

Despite this calm demeanor, they are very friendly and get along famously with other pets, children as well as strangers who may want to give them a petting. So if you want a quiet dog perfect for apartment settings, then this is worth considering. 

22. Australian Shepherd

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Here’s a fun fact. Instead of Australia, the Australian Shepherd is actually from the United States, where they were developed in the 1900s as herding aids.

These beautiful medium-sized dogs are known for being very energetic and for their love of attention. However, this does not mean that they are noisy or likely to throw tantrums.

Instead, they give off low-volume whines or brood silently when they feel like they are not receiving the time and affection that they want.

21. Labrador Retriever

Image from K9Cuisine

According to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breeds in America and have held that position for several years now. When it comes to temperament, they are generally very calm and collected.

Their intelligence also makes it easy to train them to be quiet and limit barking only to emergencies. All in all, it is a fantastic dog with the perfect combination of intelligence, aesthetics, and a reasonable personality.

20. Saluki

Image from Instagram:@rocketthesaluki

This is one of the rarest dogs on our list and in the world in general. The Middle Eastern natives were used as hunting aids and are unique for their combination of sight and speed over strength and scent for the job.

When it comes to temperament, Salukis have a proud and aloof personality. They tend to keep to themselves and certainly love peaceful and quiet environments, so it is unlikely they will be messing yours up with unnecessary barking.

19. Japanese Chin

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You know you are going to get a calm dog when its temperament is described as cat-like. These Japanese Spaniels have a long history of popularity in Asian royal families, where it was preferred for their calm and almost aloof nature.

Japanese Chins rarely ever bark or throw fits. They are fiercely independent but at the same time incredibly loyal, which makes them the perfect dog breed if you want a dog that will show you a lot of love without turning your home into a circus.

18. Akita

Image from Healthybud

This is another dog whose appearance here may raise eyebrows, given its association with aggressive episodes. Yes, the Akita can be sassy and challenging to handle. However, this is not in their nature and is more often than not a result of abuse or poor training by the owner or breeders.

However, with proper training, these intelligent dogs are among the most reasonable of all breeds out there and are particularly popular for their selective barking habits.

17. Glen of Imaal Terrier

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Glens are small dogs with big personalities but a surprising amount of self-control. This is not the type of dog to lose its mind and get loud when they are excited or scared.

Instead, they find ways to quietly show their emotions, whether it is jumping around, wagging their tails, or gasping.

They are generally very level-headed, which also means that these episodes of excitement will also not be uncomfortably frequent.

16. Scottish Deerhound

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At first glance, the Scottish Deerhound can be pretty intimidating with its large body and shaggy hair. However, these are among the friendliest and most loving dogs that you will ever meet.

They are ideal if you want a gentle giant in your home to cuddle and snuggle with without dealing with obnoxiously large personalities.

When it comes to barking, they are naturally very quiet and will only bark when there is a need to do so.

15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

This is one of the most popular toy breeds in America, and with their cute little faces and endearing personalities, it is not so hard to see why. Speaking of personalities, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a very social one.

They are friendly, patient, and very eager to please and get along with everyone, so you do not have to worry about them barking at your guests or lashing out at your curious kids.

14. French Bulldog

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The French Bulldog stands out on our list because it is actually a mixed breed doggy. It is a result of breeding between English Toy Bulldogs and French ratter dogs. The resulting pooch is famous for its tiny yet solid body and iconic flat face.

They are also popular for their social personalities, great patience, and generally quiet nature, making them ideal for potential owners who want a fuss-free dog in the family.

13. Collie

Image from Wolf Spring

Collies have a long history of working alongside humans, having been bred for centuries in Europe for use as herding dogs. They are known for their signature white shoulder markings and their high intelligence and obedient temperament.

These dogs are not only easy to train but also very easy-going. They hardly ever bark unless they feel genuinely threatened and are so independent that you don’t have to worry about insistent barking from separation anxiety.

12. Saint Bernard

Image from Wolfgang

This is one of the largest dog breeds on our list, both in terms of height and weight. Despite its intimidating appearance, this dog has a very calm and affectionate personalitySaint Bernards get along particularly well with children as well as smaller pets, whom they tend to be very protective of.

When a Saint Bernard is scared or angry, barking is rarely their response and will instead resort to whining, growling, or non-vocal cues like pacing.

11. Golden Retriever

Image from PetHonesty

This has consistently held a spot in the top 5 most popular dog breeds in the United States, and with its beautiful aesthetic and fantastic personality, it is not easy to argue with these rankings.

Golden Retrievers are known for their very easy-going and friendly nature. They get along with everyone and will seldom throw fits or have aggressive outbursts. However, this is granted that there is no history of abuse or trauma.

10. Chinook

Image from Canna Pet

This is New Hampshire’s official state dog and was favored for temperament traits like intelligence and loyalty. These dogs are notoriously reserved especially when it comes to new places and people.

However, they hardly ever act out in such situations, selecting instead to observe silently from a safe distance.

Chinook dogs are also known for being quiet and can be trained to only bark when it is absolutely necessary which is made easy by their high intelligence.

9. Shiba Inu

Image from Chill Paws

Shiba Inus were bred in Japan for use as hunting and companion dogs. These dogs hardly ever bark whether they are excited, suspicious, or scared. It is in their nature, and you do not even have to do a lot of training to get them to be quiet.

In addition to calm and peace in your home, Shiba Inu dogs have a lot to offer in terms of desirable personality traits. These include intelligence, independence, friendliness, and loyalty.

8. Bernese Mountain Dog

Image from Darwin’s Pet

This is one of the 4 Sennenhund dogs bred in the Swiss Alps for different farm jobs, including herding, protecting livestock, and pulling cargo. It is a very intelligent and obedient breed that is easy to train.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are typically docile, needing only an activity like walking or playing to satisfy their daily dose of the outdoors, and they are good to go. As far as loudness and aggression are concerned, it is unlike the breed to act out, but they have been known to bark at and even attack people who threaten their masters.

7. Greyhound

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Greyhounds are athletic dogs that have a long history of use in dog sports, especially racing. They are often exceptionally energetic, and keeping them as house pets will require a commitment to invest in playtime to ensure they do not end up bored or frustrated from being idle.

Their personality is described as calm, reserved, and gentle. The even-tempered furry best buddies are therefore ideal if you want a quiet yet friendly and loving companion in your home.

6. Irish Setter

Image from Holista Pet

Irish Setter dogs are popular family doggies for their affectionate personalities. They have been known to be very enthusiastic when it comes to meeting strangers and going as far as walking up to random people outdoors and asking for cuddles and petting.

While this makes them horrible as guard dogs, it makes them perfect if you want a calm pooch that gets along with everyone and does not bark at everything that exists.

5. Newfoundland Dog

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Newfies are enormous, weighing up to 170 lbs and measuring as tall as 28 inches and even higher.

What is even bigger is their hearts and their capacity to love everyone including strangers. They are docile yet confident and curious which is ideal if you want a dog that is calm but still playful and full of life and personality.

These Newfoundland Dogs are also usually quiet with their deep bark, only coming out in times of serious distress.

4. Borzoi

Image from Nom Nom

Borzoi is also known as a Russian Wolfhound and has been bred as a companion pet for centuries. They are popular for their great manners and respect for people and property.

Despite being super athletic, they love to laze around and just hang out in the house and will almost never cause any scenes. In a nutshell, this is a loving and friendly dog whose independence and general respect for you as the owner pretty much guarantees you a peaceful dog parent experience.

3. Whippet

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The Whippet is a descendant of the greyhound and is known for the same agility, athleticism, and speed that makes its larger relative so popular. Whippets also inherited the calm and laid-back personalities and took “cool, calm, and collected” to the next level.

These dogs are so quiet and reserved that a lot of people are not even sure if they are physically capable of making noise. The truth is that they are, and they can be noisy if they have to. They just choose not to.

2. Afghan Hound

Image from Front Of The Pack

Afghan Hounds are known for their tall and slender build and long silky coats. These magnificent dogs are fantastic for dog owners who want a quiet breed mainly due to their personalities.

These doggies are also known for being proud and detached from anything they do not consider interesting. Therefore, it is very unlikely for you to hear them barking at anyone or anything, even when it is unfamiliar. To put it simply, being loud is beneath the haughty dog.

1. Bull Mastiff

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Bull Mastiffs are known for their large, solid build and wrinkly faces. They are brave and intelligent and have been used for many years as guard dogs. While they have been known to bark at strangers and dogs, they are generally very calm and will not make noise unless necessary.

You could also train them to be quiet even when faced with unfamiliar faces by socializing them from a young age.

What Are Some Calm Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed? 

The truth of the matter is that all dogs shed, including the so-called hypoallergenic ones. It is just that some shed less than others. We have a few minimal shedders on our list of calm dog breeds that make for wonderful family pets if you have allergic members or just don’t want to deal with all the cleanup. These include Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Italian Greyhounds, Basenjis, and Whippets.

What Are Some Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds? 

When it comes to grooming, dogs with short and smooth coat types are the easiest to maintain. These include the Greyhound, Saluki, Chihuahua, and Pitbull. You could also look at maintenance in terms of how much active attention they need from you as the owner. In this case, you could go for independent breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, and Bulldogs.

What Are The Best Calm Dog Breeds For Families? 

For the most part, all dogs with calm temperaments are ideal for families, especially where there are children, other pets, or regular guests involved. However, some stand out with their super friendly personalities, high intelligence, obedience, and overall ease of maintenance. In this case, consider Collies, Labrador Retrievers, French Bulldogs, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundland doggies.

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Pete Decker