Top 10 Least Aggressive Dog Breeds

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 04/04/21 •  10 min read
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Are you doing your research before you adopt a dog or choose a puppy from a breeder? A lot of people want to know whether the breed they are looking at could be aggressive or not. In particular, this applies to families with young kids. After all, you are looking for a companion.

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Of course, it is important to remember that it is more about how a dog is raised when it comes to aggression. Often, a lack of discipline, training and neglect can lead to aggressive tendencies or what we deem bad behavior. But there are breeds out there that are famous for being laid-back and very nonchalant, which may mean that they are less likely to be aggressive towards people and other animals.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 least aggressive dog breeds out there so you can choose your four-legged friend.

1. Portuguese Water Dog

The first dog on our list you may not be familiar with. Indeed, it is a rare pooch to come across yet it is an amazing dog to own. The Portuguese Water Dog is known for its loving nature and this intelligent pup is an amazing canine to have around the home. Due to being smart, this pooch is easy to train. This may be why they are used for service roles in the community. In particular, the Portuguese Water Dog is used as therapy pets, seizure response dogs and hearing dogs. They are gentle and patient, making them fantastic family pets.

It is important to realize that this gentle pup does need mental stimulation to be happy and relaxed at home. They used to serve fisherman and they are used to have a job. This means they will look for ways to be entertained and have a purpose in everyday life. They can also be very energetic, which means dedicated hours in the day for playtime and running.

When all of their needs are satisfied, they will chill out at home and be a great companion

2. Newfoundland

Next on our list is the Newfoundland, better known as the gentle giant. This massive pooch is famous for being calm and loyal. A lot of people are scared of dogs because they are big. But the Newfoundland can show you that they have a bigger heart. They have even been used as rescue dogs because they are brave and show courage in the face of danger.

They have great characteristics that mean you can enjoy having this pup around kids. In fact, they have earned the nickname of a nanny dog. This breed originated in Canada and they were a working dog. Their job was to help with hunting, retrieving and moving heavy equipment. Due to their size, they are strong dogs and they do require a good amount of exercise to be happy. In addition, having a big yard will allow them to go outside and explore, draining energy and having some fun with members of the family or other dogs.

3. Golden Retriever

Everybody has heard of a Golden Retriever. This adorable dog is actually one of the most popular dog breeds for families in the United States. Of course, this is for a good reason; this breed is exceptionally well tempered and is known for not being aggressive. This pooch was originally used for retrieving things, such as hunting and tracking. This means they love to have a job and purpose. Indeed, they do need a lot of daily exercise. Whether this is running with you or playing fetch, they love to be active and have a silly, playful personality.

Golden Retrievers are normally easy to train. They are intelligent and sociable, as well as loyal to their owners. They’re good with children, but they can be boisterous when they are young. Just make sure your furry friend gets enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day so that they’re happy and relaxed during the day.

4. Great Dane

Another gentle giant on our list of least aggressive dog breeds is the Great Dane. This big beauty is a softy and loves to spend time with its owners. While it is easy to be intimidated due to the size of the Great Dane, this large pooch has a very sweet and affectionate nature. This means they are good with children and they are well-behaved in the home. Of course, you will want to make sure you train your Great Dane and teach them good manners. Since they are so large, they may jump out of excitement and they can be clumsy in small spaces. They respond well to positive reinforcement and love to please their owners.

You may be surprised to hear that the Great Dane does not need huge amounts of exercise. Of course, daily walks and playtime are necessary. But for their size, they are quite relaxed. It is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise with your Great Dane until they are at least 18 months old. Their bones and joints can take a while to grow and you do not want to damage them while they are young. They have an average lifespan of around eight years. You will find that a lot of larger pups do not have as long a lifespan as smaller canines.

5. Pug

One dog that is often referred to as a lap dog is the Pug. This cute little pooch is popular with families and they are popular for being funny clowns. Think about this pup as a small dog with lots of personality! They have deep wrinkles and a flat round face, which you cannot help but love. This canine is ready for fun and they love playtime with their family. This breed is not known to be aggressive but they still need training and socialization from an early age like all dogs. In particular, they can be difficult to house break and this will take some time.

Due to having a short muzzle, Pugs do not cope well with high temperatures. But the good news is that is a pooch that can adapt well to small apartments. They do not need excessive amounts of exercise but they do need their playtime to be happy and healthy. Pugs can be funny since they snort and snore a lot of the time. This breed does love human companionship. This means they can grow attached to you and may develop separation anxiety.

6. Basset Hound

If you are looking for a pup with a very easy-going temperament that makes a great companion, consider the Basset Hound. These pooches are instantly recognizable with their sad expressions and droopy eyes. But they are playful and love to spend time with you. They were originally bred for hunting small game and they still enjoy following a trail when you are out on walks. They are scent hounds and you will not be able to hide any treats from this canine!

Despite loving walks to they can follow the latest scent, Basset Hounds are famous for being lazy around the house. They will happily nap during the day and stick with their human. However, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.

This is something to remember if you are out working. They may become destructive like any breed does when they are bored

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

With their happy smiles and tails always wagging, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is always happy. This means that it is a breed that is not commonly aggressive or shows negative behaviors. They love to sit with you, as well as get plenty of belly rubs. But this does not mean they do not love to hike and run too. They are fairly active and do require regular walks and new environments to explore.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are intelligent dogs. This means that they respond well to training and love to learn new tricks. Indeed, if you have food on offer, you can get this little pooch to do anything. However, house training can be difficult and this will take some time to master. Always make sure you are patient and avoid negative reinforcement. This is a breed that does not respond well to punishment. 

8. Rough Collie

Have you ever watched the television series called Lassie? No doubt you will have noticed that this brave pup was a Rough Collie. Just like the television series, this pooch is known for being non-aggressive and friendly towards humans and other dogs. They used to be a herding dog in Scotland and England and this means that they love to have a job to do. They are intelligent, which makes training a lot easier than other breeds.

The Rough Collie is recognized for its beautiful coat, with its multi-color shades and this long and rough textured means they are accustomed to cold temperatures. They can be a combination of black, brown, tan and white. Make sure that you offer this pooch plenty of exercise since they are high energy. This is going to keep them happy in the home. Rough Collies do require some grooming. It is best to brush them once per week and bath once per month. Their fur can get dirty when you’re out and about that you’ll have to clean.

9. Beagle

If there is one dog that is known for its gentle nature, it is the Beagle. This pooch is going to bring some merry and happy energy to your home and they love being part of the family. They are also very cute canines with their tri-colored coat and they are easy to maintain with minimal shedding. This is known as an active breed and they do love to go out and explore new places. In particular, they love to follow a scent and this can make them escape artists. They will require a yard with a fence. The origin of the breed is not well known as the Beagle is a very old breed. It is thought that similar pooches existed back in Ancient Greece. It is also thought that the Romans brought this pup to Britain and this is how they became this modern breed.

Beagles are known for their howling and baying. This is going to becoming annoying if you do not try to train your pooch.  keeping them active will also help to control this behavior. As a scent hound, they will need off-leash training. They may wander off because they are following a scent. They are loving towards children this makes them a great family pet. But do not think they will guard your home; they are too friendly!

10. Brittany

You may know the Brittany dog as the Brittany Spaniel. This is the same breed and they are a non-aggressive and sweet-natured pooch. They love nothing more than to please their owner. They were originally used as gundogs and this pooch still has a prey drive. But they are also a great family companion to have around the home. They are going to be best for active families as they do have a lot of energy to burn during the day. They love to play, chase birds and run around. You can take them hiking, walking or to play fetch in the park. However, it is important to note that a short walk will simply not be enough if you are out all day.

It is possible that you will hear about American Brittany and French Brittany dogs. They are the same breed but there are slight differences. For example, the American Brittany tends to be taller and they may also be faster. The French Brittany is known for being closer to the owner and they can be smaller. Both have a very friendly nature and this makes them a good choice of pet if you have children. Be sure to be gentle with your pooch when you are training them. They can become scared if they are subject to any harsh treatment.

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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