The Calmest Dog Breed In The World

Look, dogs are dogs. They're almost certainly going to get excited about one thing or another at some point, and If your dog is calm and collected 24/7, your best move might be to check its pulse. That being said, there are certain dog breeds that are significantly less hyper than others. Which ones, though? And what constitutes a calm dog, anyway? Is it the kind of lethargic sort-of-present-but-also-dozing-off attitude some older dogs boast, where the urge to check the animal's pulse is only undermined by the periodical gusts of foul gas they liberally pass. Perhaps a Labrador retriever, who is friendliness personified ... right up until he spots food, at which point all bets are off and all furniture is knocked over as they make the beeline toward the comestible? 

Yeah, no. We're just now realizing that we're not very good at guessing dog stuff. Fortunately, we don't need to, seeing as we have professionals to help us out. Today's mission: Finding the calmest dog breed in the world. Let's go!

The search for the calmest dog breed begins

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has compiled a handy laundry list of dog breeds that are remarkably calm. While no dog is a robot that's calm all of the time (unless the dog is actually a robot), and almost all of the animals on the list have some caveats that might weigh against them at the finishing line, they're at least all worth mentioning in the "chillest dog breed" context. 

Now, before we dive in, it should be mentioned that a calm dog is not necessarily the same as a calm human being. Even the most refined and reserved dog in the world may start climbing the walls if you wave a hot dog near its face. As AKC puts it, calm dog breeds are more about reacting in a certain, predictable way to various sounds, smells, and things. They're unlikely to stress, growl, or freak out, and are generally able to maintain a degree of composure that allows them to deal with pesky things like small children, and work in assorted guardian, herder, or therapy dog roles. Still, they're dogs and not monks, so there's a certain amount of ... well, dogginess to be expected. In fact, some would doubtlessly argue it's kind of the point.  

So, with that out of the way, let's see what these breeds are all about! 

Small dog, big chill?

The Basset Hound mostly qualifies in the "small dog" category because of its height, but it's still a very decent frontrunner. The droopy low-rider of the canine world seems like a sure-fire selection for the "calmest dog" award, because, well, just look at it. Indeed, the breed makes the AKC list, but unfortunately, its entry notes that the Basset Hound boasts an independent, difficult-to-train streak. This sounds like it might counteract the calmness. 

Up next, we have the tiny Pekingese. The breed is quite calm, but also requires you to "earn its respect" ... which seems like the exact opposite of chill. An assortment of spaniels — Cavalier King Charles, Tibetan, and Clumber, for those keeping count — also make the AKC list, but their calmness factor is somewhat undermined by the fact that they tend to "thrive" on exercise, hunting, and/or training. Finally, AKC name-drops the French Bulldog, which might be a very decent candidate if it wasn't for the fact that some individuals "have larger-than-life personalities." Sadly, a doggy drama queen does not bode well for the title of the calmest breed. And so, our search continues. 

Big dogs, small egos

The AKC list also boasts a few larger dog breeds.  The long-coated Bergamasco Sheepdog and the muscular Boerboel appear to be as calm enough, but their description still comes across as that very peculiar "terrifyingly large man standing quietly in the corner" brand of calmness. This is because the Bergamasco Sheepdog can be wary around strangers, and the Boerboel specifically isn't recommended for inexperienced owners. 

Of course, the most famous big dog of all big dogs also makes an appearance. A Saint Bernard's considerable body mass is only matched by its genuine kindness and gentleness ... at least, until you get to the part where it says that the breed might just knock people over with their sheer size. And so, our search continues.

The calmest dog of them all

If we go one size bigger from the Saint Bernard, we finally come across a dog breed that both makes the AKC list and seems genuinely and completely calm. The gigantic Irish Wolfhound may have been the worst nightmare of the 15th Century wolf population in its namesake country, but the breed's modern incarnation is an incredibly calm, emphatic and intelligent animal. Though the Irish Wolfhound is a muscular giant that can stand up to three feet at the shoulder and weigh around 180 pounds, AKC describes the breed as incredibly patient with children, and their dignified demeanor, calm temperament and "serene" nature makes them excellent companions. They're even wonderful therapy dogs. Oh, and as an added bonus, their owners are incredibly unlikely to be attacked by wolves.