Some dog owners love dogs that are bouncing from wall to wall with energy, ready to run out and hike with them at a moment's notice or tackle an agility competition with ease. Other dog lovers prefer a companion that enjoys a calmer lifestyle and just wants to generally "hang out" and be there best canine buddy. Thankfully, those of us who prefer more relaxed dogs have many excellent options to choose from.
Calm Dog Breeds
Keep in mind when choosing any of these breeds that their reputation is based on their temperament as an adult. Puppies of just about every breed will be energetic and full of boundless vigor. The calm dog you were expecting may not appear until the dog hits maturity around 2 to 4 years of age. The calmness of an adult dog is also strongly related to how well you train and socialize them as puppies.
The Basset Hound is definitely the kind of canine companion who enjoys a nice stroll followed by long naps on the couch. Basset Hounds are known for being easy-going dogs who get along with everyone in the household, human and animal. Although they were bred to be excellent hunting dogs, they don't have extreme exercise needs and are generally low maintenance.
The Cavachon is a mixed breed composed of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise. Both the Cavalier and the Bichon are great choices as well but the cross of the two produces a dog with a lovely temperament. Cavachons are dogs with sweet temperaments who enjoy going out with you but don't need long walks and tons of exercise to keep them happy. They also have a reputation for being wonderful with children.
The Chow Chow is best known for being a stoic, quiet companion who prefers a quiet lifestyle. They do best in a home with older adults as they don't enjoy being startled or busy environments. Despite their size, this is a dog that doesn't need lots of daily exercise and they're a good fit for adults looking for a serious yet loving companion.
Bulldog lovers will attest that the English Bulldog is a charming canine sidekick with tons of personality. They do not need long walks or heavy exercise and their physique prevents them from indulging in sustained bouts of energetic play. This isn't to say they can't be energetic but it will be in small enough doses that an owner looking for a calm dog with a comedic side will enjoy the English Bulldog.
Great Danes are gentle dogs with a definite silly side. They enjoy a good romp in the park and play time, but they also aren't a dog that needs a long jog every day to keep them happy. Great Danes are often quite content to lounge about your house and settle their immense bulk on your lap to snooze.
The size and physical attributes of a Greyhound might make one think they need lots of heavy exercise. They actually are very quiet, mild tempered dogs who are happiest finding a warm spot to cuddle and sleep. If you love the look and personality of the Greyhound but prefer a smaller dog, the Italian Greyhound, or Miniature Greyhound, is a perfect choice.
The Great Pyrenees is a large beautiful dog with a reputation for being very calm and centered. They aren't the best choice for every owner due to their size and their tendency to be protective. If raised with children, they are loving and relaxed with their human families. They do require daily exercise and are a good fit for a home with a fenced yard and adults willing to socialize and train him to be an even-tempered adult.
Another large dog, the Leonberger is not as well known as other large breed dogs. They are known for being mellow dogs as adults who make good family dogs in homes with older children. Because of their laid back temperament they excel at therapy dog work and their adult exercise needs are not excessive.
For an owner looking for a large, calm dog with a bit of a challenge, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be a great choice. They are fiercely intelligent dogs who will need training and socialization, but it will pay off to produce an adult dog that is laid back and affectionate. They also may not be the best choice for homes with small children as they prefer a quieter environment.
The beloved Lassie dog, the Rough Collie can be a bit more energetic than other dogs on this list. However in comparison to other herding dogs, they are generally affable dogs who are quite calm in the home once their exercise and playtime is done. This makes them a favorite dog for families as they're active enough to keep up with children yet are easily able to quiet down and relax.
The Shih Tzu looks like a fancy, pampered show dog to the uninitiated. In truth these small dogs have happy loving personalities and make wonderful pets for children, adults and seniors. They are not excessively hyper like other toy dog breeds and a well-socialized and trained Shih Tzu can be a considerate, relaxed companion who enjoys spending time with you.
Finding a Calm Canine Companion
There are many other breeds of dogs that have a reputation for being mellow pets. Keep in mind with any breed that you'll still need to deal with the activity and energy of puppies, unless you choose to adopt an older dog from a breed rescue or shelter.