The Top 10 Calmest Dog Breeds Perfect for New Pet Owners With Kids

Updated 09/01/19

Many dog owners will tell you that their home was not complete until the addition of their canine friend. Having any pet can be incredibly rewarding, and there's no substitute for the unmitigated attention and love that dogs show us. If you're a new pet owner who's just starting a family, then you've probably found that selecting your first dog can be quite an involved process. It's best to start your search by familiarizing yourself with the calmest dog breeds that are known to be child-friendly.

A great deal of insight into a dog’s personality has been gleaned from its breeding history, which can often be traced back thousands of years. If you have a child or are expecting one soon, the priority is to bring home a pooch that won’t intimidate or cause injury. Overly energetic and territorial dogs can pose a risk to young children. While there are many factors to consider, such as the basic characteristics of certain dog breeds, training, too, is beneficial for the new dog in your life, especially as a bonding exercise.

Because every pup has a unique personality, there's no ordered consensus on the absolute calmest dog breed of all time. But over time, dog experts have been able to pinpoint breeds that are predisposed to being calm (and even a bit sluggish), which should help you on the search for your first fur baby.

The 10 Calmest Dog Breeds
 Jiaqi Zhou / MyDomaine

Bernese Mountain Dog

A black, white, and brown Bernese Mountain Dog puppy lying in the grass.
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The Bernese Mountain Dog, known for its confidence and its calm demeanor, used to help farmers with various tasks many years ago. Its loyalty and need for companionship make it a great breed for new pet owners and families.

Bulldog

An English Bulldog sitting, panting, and looking alert.
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Many of the calmest dogs happen to also be some of the beefiest, like the gentle Bulldog, which can weigh up to 50 pounds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also mentions that the Bulldog is known to be “a sweet and mellow pet who is fond of children,” making it a great option, especially when you have young ones in your home.

Clumber Spaniel

A white and brown Clumber Spaniel sitting on a lawn and panting.
Lara / Wikimedia Commons

This breed of spaniel is easygoing and great with everyone, including kids and other dogs. Clumber Spaniels love retrieving toys and chasing after tennis balls, but they don't require intense exercise like other spaniels in their working class.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound laying down in the grass.
 lutz-p0 / Pixabay

Don't be fooled by the Irish Wolfhound's massive weight and stature (up to 180 pounds and three feet tall). Wolfhounds are actually very docile companions and according to the AKC, they are "characteristically patient with children." Back in 15th-century Ireland, they used to accompany their owners on elk and wolf hunts, but today they're content to lie on a rug and nap all day.

Newfoundland

A fuzzy, black Newfoundland dog panting outdoors and looking toward the left.
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The sweet "Newfie," another strikingly large dog (typically 100 pounds or more), is known for its love of children and its ease in being trained. Newfs love swimming and long walks but don't require constant exercise. The biggest problems you'll face in owning one of these gentle giants are its year-round propensities to shed and slobber.

Scottish Deerhound

A gray shaggy Scottish Deerhound looking out over the ocean.
 nemoris / iStock / Getty Images 

The Scottish Deerhound, another huge dog breed, is perfect for active dog owners, especially those who run and jog as part of their daily routines. (It was bred to hunt Scotland's huge red deer, so puppies, in particular, need regular exercise.) That said, they are quiet and polite, and older Deerhounds will be "hard to pry off your couch," says the AKC.

Bichon Frise

A fluffy white Bichon Frise dog lying on a lawn with its head tilted to the left.
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One of the few verified calmest dog breeds in the AKC's non-sporting category is the nonaggressive Bichon Frise, a clownish, alert cotton ball of a dog that gets along well with kids and other dogs, too. These little guys are considered hypoallergenic, perfect companions for city-dwellers, and easy to train.

Xoloitzcuintli

A gray hairless dog with white whiskers standing in front of foliage.
 Anita Peeples / Getty Images

Named for the ancient Aztec god Xolotl, the Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced Sh-Oh-Lo-Eets-Kweent-Le) breed is native to Mexico and has always been an important part of its culture. The Xolo, as it's affectionately known, has two varieties: hairless and coated. Its demeanor is calm, quiet, and alert, making it the perfect companion to a new dog owner with children—and allergies.

Border Collie

Border collie in a summery field of buttercups.
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Border Collies, one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, are easy to train and generally very healthy. Although they require loads of daily exercise (they're born to run long distances to herd sheep), they love kids and have plenty of affection to go around.

Great Dane

A spotted black, brown, and white Great Dane Dog sitting down with its ears perked.
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Nearly every dog breed on this list is quite large, but the Great Dane really tops the charts. Because this breed is one of, if not the largest in the world, it requires frequent daily exercise. Despite its hulking size (upwards of 110 pounds), the AKC describes Great Danes as "people pleasers who make friends easily" and are "patient with kids."

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