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The Most Calm and Quiet Dog Breeds

dog relaxing on a couch

Is your dog calm, cool, and collected? Or, is your canine high-strung, yapping at every noise and movement? While an owner’s temperament and approach to training can make a huge difference in how a dog behaves, several breeds are so chill, so composed they have the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition of “calm dog.”

If a quiet, subdued pup sounds like the perfect dog for you, your family and neighborhood, read on.

What Are the Most Laid-Back Dog Breeds?

According to the AKC Temperament Guide, here are 10 top calm dog breeds:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – With a gentle demeanor, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a tremendous emotional support or therapy dog and does well in a home with children or multiple family members. They love your lap and exercise. 

cavalier king charles spaniel

Basset hound – Often content to snooze on the couch, Basset hounds are independent and can be challenging to train. However, with some patience and persistence on the owner’s part, this breed is quiet, lovable, and loyal.  

bassett hound

Related: Are small dogs harder to train?

Bergamasco sheepdog – From the Italian Alps, the Bergamasco sheepdog is protective and may take some time warming up to strangers. It tends to be highly intelligent and bright. In addition to being one of the calmest dogs, the Bergamasco sheepdog is considered a low maintenance breed.  

bergamasco sheepdog

Boerboel – This breed is protective and loyal. While the Boerboel does well with children, placement in a home with newer dog owners is not advised.  

Boerboel dog

Clumber spaniel – This calm breed is known for its hunting skills and loyalty. Clumber spaniels are reliable, very affectionate, and dedicated to their work. They do well with training. 

French bulldog – Friendly and easy-to-please, French bulldogs often have larger-than-life personalities that make great companions. This breed gets along well with other dogs and doesn’t bark much.  

french bulldog

Irish wolfhound – Highly intelligent, Irish wolfhounds learn quickly. They are calm and sensitive to human emotions, making them ideal therapy dogs.  

irish wolfhound

Pekingese – Outgoing and friendly, Pekingese are independent, loving, and full of personality. This breed would do best in a home without children, although they can adapt to being around kids. Pekingese are considered one of the more affectionate, kind, and calm canine companions. 

pekingese

Saint Bernard – These big, calm, gentle giants love being with their owners. Due to their size and ability to knock people over, especially children, training Saint Bernards is recommended and tremendously helpful. 

saint bernard

Which Breeds Are Easiest to Train?

Although the following breeds don’t earn the distinction or calmness, they do earn points for being the easiest to train.

Golden retriever – One of the more popular breeds, Golden retrievers make great family dogs. Rated the most eager to please by the AKC, this breed is smart, highly motivated by food and easy to train.

golden retriever

Australian cattle cog – This intelligent breed requires regular exercise to prevent destructive behavior. Highly trainable, Australian cattle dogs make devoted guard dogs.

Border collie – Intelligent and committed to their owner, the Border Collies, is sensitive and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. This breed is highly energetic and easy to train. 

Australian shepherd – The Australian shepherd, bred to be herding dogs, works well with their humans and is reasonably easy to train when they receive at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.

Labrador retriever – Another one of the smartest breeds, the happy, easy-going demeanor of Labrador Retrievers, makes them easy to train. 

labrador retriever

Poodle – Considered one of the smartest breeds, poodles train easily. However, it is best to begin training and socializing them at a young age, or they can develop constant anxiety. 

poodle

German shepherd – Agile, intelligent, and obedient describe German shepherds. This breed excels at agility courses and is highly trainable. 

german shepherd

Doberman pinscher – Intelligent, obedient, and loyal, the Doberman pinscher is highly trainable. This breed is known as an outstanding guard dog and for working with first-responders, including police officers.

doberman pinscher

Papillon – This naturally curious toy dog breed responds well to training and positive reinforcement. Papillon are often considered to be one of the most obedient and trainable toy dog breeds. 

Cardigan Welsh corgi – The cute and adorable Cardigan Welsh corgis are loving and eager to please, making them both easy and fun to train. 

cardigan welsh corgi

Miniature schnauzer – Even though these little guys can be stubborn if their owners don’t take charge, miniature schnauzers respond well to consistent training. They are considered loyal and very playful. 

schnauzer

Shetland sheepdog – Without early training and socialization, this intelligent breed can acquire some not so cool habits, like barking and nipping. Given plenty of treats and praise, however, the Shetland Sheepdog is easy to train. 

shetland sheepdog

Tips to Train Any Dog 

No matter how easy a dog is to train, they don’t train themselves, that’s your job. And, to train your dog well, there are a few tips to keep in mind. 

  1. Consider your dog’s physical and mental limitations.
  2. If you are training a puppy, puppy proof your home e.g., crate, gates, and safe toys.
  3. Learn your dog’s body language.
  4. Treats, treats, and more treats.
  5. Praise your dog any time you catch him being good.
  6. Remember, he’s a dog, not a human. He’s just doing what makes him feel safe and happy.
  7. Whatever behavior you reinforce, your dog will repeat, even if that behavior is terrible.
  8. Give praise and treats immediately after good behavior. Wait much longer than a few seconds, and your dog will have forgotten what he’s getting the treat and adoration for (although he won’t complain about getting either!)
  9. Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A bored dog and bad behavior go together.
  10. Above all else, remain positive. With patience and consistency, your dog will catch on. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool can help make dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.
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10 Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Dogs so They Live Longer

Happy dogs live longer

What do food, friends, family, and your physician have in common? Together they are partly responsible for helping you stay happy and healthy. Surrounding yourself with loved ones, practicing proper nutrition, and minding your physical health add to your overall well-being. 

Dogs, too, need the love and support of those around them to live their best life. And of course, regular visits to the vet help your dog stay well. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog stays as happy and healthy as possible. 

1. Socialize Your Dogs and Puppies

That’s right, just like when you need to get out to enjoy time with your friends, so does your dog. Socializing with fellow pups offers a host of benefits, including easing anxiety, encouraging good behaviors, promoting fitness, and fostering friendships.

Socializing puppies: It’s best to introduce your dog to people and other dogs when he’s around three to four months old. 

Socialize a nervous dog: However, if your dog is older and hasn’t had exposure to others, socializing him is essential to his health. Use caution as you introduce him to others one at a time, never leave your dog alone with children, and reward good behavior with treats and plenty of praise. 

2. Keep Calm and Avoid Yelling at Your Dog

Honestly, it’s hard to prevent a freakout when your dog shreds your favorite slippers or tears through a bag of garbage, but yelling at your dog could make things worse. Before you raise your voice, know that your dog can read facial expressions and negative commands, so learn to use these to your advantage. 

A recent study in BioRxiv demonstrates, dogs subjected to scary behavior and negative commands were likely to suffer from long-term stress and lower overall cognitive abilities. If your dog is displaying a behavior you don’t like, it’s time to reassess what you could’ve done to help prevent the situation.

Maybe trade your slippers in for a chew toy your dog can enjoy or keep your garbage can closed and locked and take the trash out before your dog can get into it. Remember, before your next blow up, do yourself and your dog a favor, keep calm and carry on.

3. Learn the Language of Dogs

While it’s believed dogs have the mental capacity of a two-and-a-half-year-old, dogs can learn language through repetition. Keep it simple. You know the words: ball, walk, sit, treat, or stay. 

  • It’s playtime — repeat the words you want to associate with it, such as “toy” or “play.” 
  • Exercise time — repeat the word “walk” so your dog recognizes the word when it’s time to go for walks.
  • Sit and stay — when your dog is sitting or staying, say things like “Good sit” or “Good stay” and reward with treats. 

Canines recognize human emotion from your tone and body language, so when you get the chance, be present, and hold a relaxed conversation with your dog. 

4. Feed Your Dog Healthy Treats

Feeding your dog a high-quality diet reinforces his overall health and well-being. So is occasionally giving in to his puppy eyes, and sliding him some table scraps or treats (as long as they make up less than 10% of his diet). 

5. Never Stop Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Training your dog is a lot more than just teaching him how to follow commands. Learning something new is good for his concentration, flexibility, stamina, and balance; plus, it’s a great way to strengthen the bond between the two of you. Even as he gets older, training can go a long way to keeping your dog active, agile, and alert.

RELATED: Are smaller dogs harder to train?

6. Tame Your Dog’s Jealousy

Yep, just like humans, man’s best friend can appear jealous when their owners pay more attention to another person or pet. While your devoted companion may not go full-tilt green monster, he can display any number of unhealthy jealous-like behaviors such as growling, hissing, or worse getting into a fight with another pet.  

There are a few things you can do to address jealousy and help your dog maintain his coolness and mental wellness. For pet parents with more than one dog, avoid giving too much attention to one pet over another, and separate toys and mealtimes if needed. Be sure to give recognition and praise when your dog behaves well. 

7. Keep Your Dog Happy When Home Alone

Leaving your dog home alone while you’re at work — especially when they may be used to having you around for long periods of time — can stress your dog. Yet, you have no choice, right? You have to work! 

Dogs have a sense of time and can suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave. While you may think your dog is calm and collected in his crate or on the couch while you’re at work, he may, in fact, be stressing out and feeling lonely. 

To help prevent health-related issues from this daily dose of solitude, try to return home consistently at the same time (or as close as possible). If you aren’t able to get back around the same time, ask someone to check in on your dog and spend a few minutes with him.

You might enlist the help of a neighbor you trust, or look into one of the many dog-walking services. Make sure you choose a service that does full background checks on their walkers.

8. Your Scent May Calm Your Dog

One trick that might help your dog’s anxiety while you’re gone or during other stressful events like thunderstorms or fireworks, involves leaving a piece of your clothing or something that smells like you with your dog. Your scent alone can help ease your dog’s fears. 

9. Take Your Dog for Scent Walks 

Keep your dog happy AND fit by taking them on regular “scent walks.”

Dog sniffing is normal behavior. They rely on their sense of smell to understand their environment. Whether it’s to sniff out a new walking trail or fellow canine, a dog’s nose knows. With hundreds of millions of scent receptors in their noses, a dog is wired for smell; it’s their way of gathering relevant information about their surroundings. Be sure to let your dog sniff for mental stimulation and so he can stay on top of what’s going on in his world.

While walks for exercise are important, so are scent walks, which exercise their sense of smell and allows their brains to analyze their findings. Dogs are data analysts!  

10. Take a Trip

While keeping up with all vet appointments is crucial to your dog’s health, a trip to the vet makes just about any dog shake and shiver, and may even stress out their owners. To help reduce your dog’s fear of visiting the vet, take him on plenty of car rides that don’t end up with him getting poked and prodded. As always, treats and toys also help. 

These are just a few tips about how to keep your dog healthy and live longer. For more advice on raising happy and health dogs, explore our blog.