If you are prepared for a little slobber, the Bullmastiff is a truly wonderful companion to have. They are natural guardians, brave and confident, and do not need to be trained to protect their family in times of need. They are also pretty quiet dogs, and only bark out of necessity. Also, their exercise needs are minimal and they are happy being with the family inside the house.
Each breed of dog was developed with a specific purpose in mind. Some were bred for hunting, some for companionship, some for guarding, some for racing, etc. Depending on the purpose, certain characteristics were focused upon during the development of all breeds. Some have an inherent mischievous streak and love getting into trouble, some are quiet, while others are buzzing with energy and are always longing to be out and about, playing, swimming, etc.
Dogs with a calm temperament do not necessarily have to be small, or require less or no exercise. A calm temperament is inherent in the dog, and to a great extent, is independent of external circumstances. They can handle most situations and people without getting riled up, provided they have been given the right upbringing and training. Calm breeds are usually sought by families with very young kids or seniors, since they are easier to handle. Here is a list of a few of the calmest dog breeds for your perusal, given in no particular order.
Huge, like a real cuddly bear, elegant in bearing, and dignified in manner, Leonberger is famous for its temperament. Very loving towards its family, caring, protective, loyal, friendly, obedient, intelliegent, smart, and eager to please, Leonbergers are also fairly easy to train. They exude a quiet confidence and are naturally very disciplined. As long as they are with their family, they are not ones to act up about changes in surroundings, and adapt and adjust quickly.
An independent and intelligent breed, they are self appointed guardians of their home and family. They take this duty seriously and can become fiercely protective. Also, they are extremely quiet by nature and have the habit of sneaking up on intruders quietly without fanfare and shocking the daylights out of them. They are the hulks of the dog world, with their massive body and weight, and hence, not very suitable for families with small children or for first-time owners.
These huge fur balls are called the Gentle Giants and with good reason. They set a high standard in calmness, gentleness as well as kindness. They are protective of their family and specially affectionate and caring towards children. In fact, so legendary is their love for children, that they are sometimes fondly addressed as “the nanny dog breed”. The dog “Nana” in Peter Pan was a Newfoundland.
St. Bernards make perfect pets with proper training. They are very affectionate and playful, although carrying around so much weight means that their energy runs out much sooner than their enthusiasm! Training is compulsory because of their huge size, because they can easily knock down an adult human in their innocent excitement. But if trained, they are just loyal, lovable and huggable giants who love lounging around on the porch keeping a watchful eye out for anything suspicious.
Another gentle giant and most probably everyone’s favorite. On the opposite end of the spectrum from their imposing stature and intimidating looks is their lovable and friendly disposition. Great Danes are very gentle dogs and really enjoy the company of humans as well as other pets. Far from being yappy and insecure, they are generally calm and composed and bear themselves with dignity. But truth be told, they are just big babies really!
Having gained a reputation for being droolers and snorers, this breed can be faulted for being too trusting. They are very sweet, gentle and loving with their family, but can intimidate strangers with their mere stature and deadpan looks. They are calm and even-tempered and make excellent watch dogs and guard dogs. Their massive built means training is essential to be able to handle them, specially around children. They get along well with other animals and pets.
They are confident dogs and don’t feel the need for reassurance all the time. They can sometimes fail to obey commands, not because they don’t want to, but because of their very independent nature. They are brave, loyal, patient, loving, reserved, sometimes stubborn and particularly indulgent with children. Nocturnal barking can be a problem, but it can be dealt with by proper training. They tend to get territorial around strangers, but if their masters like them, they will accept them too.
With proper socialization and training, Rough Collies can be one of the most splendid companion dogs, and they are great with children. They are more family oriented than outdoorish, but can be pretty vocal if not trained. Gentleness brings out the best in them, and they learn new things fairly quickly and are non-aggressive. They thrive on human companionship and they are more suited to large families since they love herding their “flock”.
Borzois are gentle creatures that thrive with gentle companionship. Born with strong hunting instinct, they are very sensitive to fast movements, aggressive handling and rough play and hence should be watched around other pets. They are pretty independent and reserved by nature, and can seem aloof towards people. But they are very loving and sensitive towards their immediate family.
Although bassets need exercise, they are famous for their laziness and calm and serene temperament. They are very loyal and loving to their master, and are also very fond of children. Like Collies, they are vocal and they tend to whine if they want something. They need to be forced to get out for walks or for minimal exercise, but it is important for maintaining good health. Excellent to cuddle with, since they are content to lounge all day.
These dogs were originally bred as fighting dogs and guard dogs, so they are pretty reticent by nature and suspicious of strangers. But they are very affectionate, protective, and devoted with their family. They bark only at strangers or if it is necessary, but are generally quiet. There are a few health concerns and socialization plays an important part in shaping their personality. Overall, they are very loyal companions who will protect you fearlessly, should the need arise.
The greyhound was originally bred for racing and is still used for the same purpose. But owners who adopt retired racing greyhounds attest to the fact that they make amazing pets. While they have a lot of energy, they prefer to spend it by sprinting. When they are puppies, they need enough exercise so that
they do not become restless and destructive. They are sensitive and will not react positively to harsh commands and rough handling.
Whippets are a calmness and dignity personified. They are pretty quiet by nature and are content couch potatoes. There are very sensitive to physical contact, so it is best to be careful when you are going close to them or handling them so as not to startle them unnecessarily. They require exercise regularly, but once they get their daily dose, they will happily spend the rest of the time warming your floor or couch while giving you frequent, adoring looks with their big, liquid eyes.
Apart from the adorable looks, this breed is flexible and adapts to the energy levels of its family. They are as happy and content nesting in your lap, as they are playing ball in the yard or taking a leisurely walk. They get along well with other pets as well because of their friendly and affectionate nature. Their patience makes them great pets for children as well as seniors. They could be faulted for chasing everything that moved, but their adorableness makes this trait much more tolerable!
Both, the French (left) and English (right) Bulldogs feature on this list. Not only do Bulldogs not exercise, they do not NEED much exercise! They are pretty laid-back and happy to be indoors most of the time with their family. Courageous, mild mannered, sometimes stubborn, bulldogs deal with children, adults, and other pets with incredible patience. The only two faults that can be associated with them are that they have a few health problems and are usually too attached to their family.
Japanese Chins love to clean and groom themselves. Although they were bred to be lapdogs and companion dogs, they are pretty happy to be left to their own devices as long as their family is around them. They love sitting and watching and can do it for hours on end. They are funny too, and often get up to antics, endlessly entertaining their family. “Chin-spin” is the ultimate fun sport for them and involves running around in circles, usually at breakneck speed.
Probably one of the cutest looking dog, the Lhasa is also one of the few breeds which is fairly content with limited indoor playtime. They were bred as indoor dogs, so they do not demand too much exercise and make really adorable lapdogs. They are also reputed to be very expressive and emotive and want nothing more than to please their master. But at the same time, they are independent and watchful, and make excellent watch dogs and companion dogs.
A dog that was favored by Chinese royalty, this breed that fulfills the role of both lap dog and companion dog. It is a low energy breed, satisfied by some indoor playtime or leisurely walks. While they have a host of health issues due to their body structure, they also have a lot of characteristics which make them a favored choice for developing designer crossbreeds. Running around the house expends most of their energy, and the rest of the time they are happy enough to sit and look around.
These dogs love to watch the world from a vantage point and hence make excellent watchdogs, and will alert their owners to intruders. Affection is probably their middle name, and they seem to think it is their duty to lick their owners clean and give them hugs every time they greet them. They are compassionate, confident and also independent. Being companion dogs, they do not thrive when left alone for extended periods and need to be among their family as much as possible.
All these are ideal companions to have if you think you cannot handle a high energy dog. But it should be kept in mind that every breed of dog needs some amount of exercise and a little mental stimulation. Keeping a dog cooped up inside the house all day, day after day, and expecting it to remain composed and serene is really a huge ask. It is important to take care of your chosen dog just like he will take care of you in his own way.