Are you looking for a furry friend that brings joy to your world? It would be a fantastic new phase for you! Dogs, often dubbed "man's best friend," come in all shapes and sizes. Each has a unique personality. Some are soft, while others are aggressive.
When you own a dog, it might be best to know about their temperament. Choosing the friendliest dog may be difficult because it requires in-depth study.
In this blog, we, the dog experts, explore the softer side of our canine pals. We will highlight 21 breeds known for their gentle and laid-back nature.
Join us as we share a delightful journey to discover the least aggressive dog breeds that make perfect companions for everyone.
Understanding Dog Aggression
There was a time when no one gave heed to dog aggression. Many were under the impression that some dogs don't bite. Today, there is more awareness, and people discuss it widely.
Minor aggression is part of all dog breeds. 70% of them all bark at strangers threateningly when around them. It is in their genes. Other factors like temperament and upbringing play a role in their aggressive behavior.
Signs of aggressive actions comprise growling, staring, snapping, teeth flaring, standing straight with pointed ears, and subtle predator barks. Aggressive and reactive dog behavior also includes lunging and biting.
There are different forms of aggression among dogs-
Territorial aggression: Dogs may display aggression to protect their perceived territory, such as their home or yard.
- Possessive aggression: Stems from a desire to protect or claim possessions like toys, food, or other items.
- Defensive aggression: A perception of a threat or danger to their well-being leads to defensive aggression.
- Fear aggression: A display of aggression when a dog feels frightened or threatened in a particular situation.
- Social aggression: Aggression arising from social interactions, often related to competition for status or resources among dogs.
- Redirected aggression: Aggression directed at a target different from the source of their frustration or arousal.
- Predatory aggression: Instinctual aggression happens during hunting or chasing behaviors, particularly to moving objects.
- Sex-related aggression: This happens because of reproductive instincts, such as competition for mates or territory.
- Pain-elicited aggression: Aggression triggered by pain, discomfort, or illness that makes the dog more irritable and prone to fierce reactions.
Dogs from good breeders are easier to understand because their behavior is more predictable. Certain traits and behaviors come from their parents due to their genes.
Even if a dog is a mix of different breeds, it still might inherit characteristics from its parents. Therefore, understanding a mixed-breed personality requires careful attention and good care from the owner.
Some of them are hostile to specific groups of people. It can be aggression with a groomer or veterinarian, with individuals on wheelchairs or using walkers. They may react towards postal carriers or delivery people.
It would help if you talked to veterinarians or dog specialists who can guide you in choosing gentle dogs and controlling hostility.
What Are The Criteria for Non-Aggressive Breeds?
So, you are looking for gentle and fun-loving dogs? To determine non-aggressive dog breeds, you have to consider several criteria. It will guarantee a peaceful and harmonious camaraderie. Here are the primary characteristics you should know for their gentle nature-
One primary criterion for dog breeds that bite the least is their temperament—confused by this word? Let us clarify it. Temperament refers to the general nature and behavior of any living being. It includes how they react to people, other animals, and various situations.
Non-aggressive breeds often have a calm, amiable, and gentle temperament. They do not display bold behaviors. Instead, you will find them more approachable, making them suitable for any surroundings. So note this criterion when choosing a breed.
2. Socializing Dogs
Breeds that are naturally social and enjoy interacting with people and other animals are often less aggressive. They adapt well to various environments. So when you choose the least aggressive dog, ensure you know their background of socializing.
Naturally, if they are pups, they may have had little exposure. But if you pick an adult dog from a shelter, ask about the social aspect.
2. Training Ease
The least dangerous dog breeds must have the quality of being adaptable very fast. They should listen to their parent and have only small exercises to train for. It is different from aggressive ones.
Aggressive dogs need a lot more training than usual. Professional trainers may look after them for a while since they have a higher sensory perception of their surroundings.
The last criterion would be the dog size, which is not too important. Studies have shown that most small-sized dogs generally fall under the aggressive category. For instance, Daschund, Chihuahua, Akita, and more have disobedient and hostile traits. It is because they try to compensate for their size with an excitable or aggressive nature.
Whereas large or medium-sized dogs remain calm and laid-back. It is valid for breeds like Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Husky, Beagle, Golden Retrievers, etc.
However, the size of dogs and aggression levels can be debatable. It may not apply to all small dogs, but it still counts. For instance, despite their size, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Bull Dogs, and Cavelier King Charles Spaniels are known to be friendly. So, discuss this point in depth and then go ahead.
Why Choose a Non-Aggressive Dog Breed?
Temperament is something you should consider even though we will provide the 21 best options. Aggressive and non-aggressive dogs have a lot of differences. The way they react, treat others, and do tasks is varied.
Here we give you reasons why having a non-aggressive dog is a better option-
1. Peaceful Environment
Picture a day having a hot cup of coffee beside the window and a dog sitting beside you quietly, enjoying your company. Isn't that lovely? Dog breeds that are not aggressive are pure souls that wander around you without anger, snarls, or clenching their teeth. There is a soothing feeling when they are around.
You can do all your chores calmly around them and need not expend energy on shouting at them.
The atmosphere is mainly peaceful, and you have a perfect companion who listens to you, cheers you up, and stays by your side on gloomy days. Non-aggressive breed dogs are loving and friendly, unlike the aggressive ones, who may often growl, lunge, or bark.
2. Less Training Required
Generally speaking, dogs that are not aggressive listen to their owner and do not need rigorous training. There are times when aggressive dogs become hard to handle. They need more exercise and training than gentle ones as they have excessive pent-up energy waiting to burst.
Venting the energy via different activities is the way for aggressive dogs. On the other hand, the gentle ones have less aggression and a slight need to vent out. It doesn't mean non-aggressive ones don't need exercises or training at all. Every dog needs it, but the level or amount of activity varies according to the aggression.
When having any animal around you, safety becomes paramount. There are several things to look into when thinking of safety. Aggressive dogs tend to bite, threaten people, growl, and clench their teeth.
Non-aggressive dogs are generally more predictable and less likely to endanger people or other animals.
If you opt for the least aggressive dog breeds, you have nothing much to worry about apart from providing them with mild training. They are very protective of their owners, letting no harm in the way.
For example, let's take the Golden Retriever, a popular non-aggressive dog breed. They have a pleasant and delicate nature. They get along well with children and other pets. It makes them a safe option for families. Their calm demeanor and wanting to please others make them less likely to show aggressive behavior.
You have peace of mind when guests come around or take them to social events. Non-aggressive dogs are less harmful.
4. No Legal Hassles
If you choose a non-aggressive dog breed, it can help avoid legal hassles relating to fierce behavior. Some places have strict laws and regulations regarding dog aggression, and owning an aggressive dog can lead to legal troubles.
For instance, specific breeds, like Chihuahua, are potentially hostile, and some communities impose restrictions on them. They may require special permits for owning them. If a dog with aggressive tendencies causes harm or intimidates others, one may take legal actions like fines. There may also be mandatory training or even removal of the dog from your care.
On the other hand, non-aggressive dog breeds are less likely to cause legal problems. Take the Labrador Retriever, for instance. Labradors are known for their gentle and friendly traits. We have only heard legal battles because of Labradors, whether owners trained them or due to their upbringing.
Their temperament is less likely to trigger legal concerns, providing a smoother and steadier experience with them.
Top 21 Dog Breeds With Least Aggressive Behavior
It is a well-known fact that many individuals seek breeds known for their gentle and non-aggressive nature. These dogs make excellent family pets and contribute positively to their communities.
From Golden Retrievers to Shih Tzus, here is a glimpse into the top 21 non-aggressive dog breeds. This list will help especially those who have dogs as first-time owners and wonder which less aggressive dog breed will suit them.
1. Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are one of the loveliest non-aggressive dog breeds. This dog is super friendly and loves hanging out with everyone. Golden Retrievers are kind and love being around different animals as well. They are the gentlest of all in the dog world.
People like these dogs because they are calm and composed. Retrievers are always up for playing and are impressively clever and easy to train, so they perform different tasks.
Whether helping people, hunting, being police assistants, or being a great friend, these big dogs are the number one choice. Rest assured that you have a dog that is least likely to bite unless provoked.
2. Labrador Retriever
Like the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever is also playful and gifted. They want to make their owners happy, thus being the least aggressive dogs.
Labrador retrievers have more energy. If you are allergic or do not like having hair everywhere, the Labrador Retriever might be a better choice.
These dogs love being around their owners and doing tasks, whether chasing, swimming, hiking, or playing games. If you go for one of these breeds, be ready for a more active daily life.
They come in several colors and have 10 to 12 years lifespan. Regardless, we guarantee this is a loyal and astonishingly friendly dog.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Now, isn't that a royal name? Here's a small trivia about this name- the breed obtained its name from Great Britain's King Charles II. His father had supporters called Cavaliers when the English Civil Wars took place. He loved using the word "cavaliers" and was fond of spaniels. King Charles roamed around with Spaniels everywhere, and eventually, the breed got this name.
It is a dog that does not bite unless you instigate them. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a cute, friendly, and small dog from Britain. It's the most-loved dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. These dogs are gentle because they are kind and easy to get along with everyone.
They are perfect for kids, babies, and even little pets. They come under the toy breed because they are tiny (less than 13 inches tall). This breed can be playful or snuggle with you on the couch.
Plus, they come in diverse appealing colors like tri-color, chestnut, and chestnut with white.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
As the name suggests, this dog is one of five Sennenhund dogs that help alpine herders in the Swiss Alps. They are big dogs and are happiest if they live in a house with a yard, especially on a farm.
Even though big, they are composed, listen well, and are easy to get along with. These dogs are patient and kind, making them great friends for families with kids. They like doing different tasks and can be good at helping around the house or even being a service dog.
The only downside is that they shed a lot, especially twice a year, so they brush their fur regularly. They have a coat with three colors: black, red, and white. These dogs usually live around 7-8 years and make excellent watchdogs with a friendly attitude and loyalty.
5. Bichon Frise
Are you looking for another small-sized, non-aggressive dog? It would be the Bichon Frise. They are the dog breeds least likely to bite. These dogs have corkscrew curls with unusual textures, making them comfortable furballs.
This small dog with a vibrant personality has all the traits a dog owner would want. They are involved in all the family activities. Throughout history, these breeds have had solid roles as companion dogs. The dogs are typically easy-going and pleasant.
Bichon Frise loves playing outside and likes cuddling up with their owner. Yet they need a consistent routine for exercise and training to cut any harsh or mischievous behaviors. They may live up to 12-15 years.
6. St. Bernards
Another one, in our least non-aggressive dogs, is Saint Bernard. Relaxed and calm, this dog breed is one of the loveliest giants. They love accompanying their family anywhere, anytime. They flourish in surroundings where they do all activities. A playful breed, these dogs need large spaces to let out their energy.
It's vital to create a firm obedience routine, especially if adopting them as puppies. It is because they have a mischievous streak that can persist. So, without proper guidance, they may create havoc.
You can bring this dog home provided there is enough space, preferably a lawn or garden attached to your home.
Beagles can be another non-aggressive breed for you. These are the dogs least likely to bite. They come in small to medium sizes and love being around people, specifically young children. There is no doubt that they are the least aggressive dogs.
People celebrate Beagles for their delightful and serene nature. People cherish them. Characterized by short hair, little legs, and often a tricolored coat, Beagle is charming and easy to manage.
Originating in England as hunting dogs, Beagles are inherently high-energy, necessitating close supervision outdoors. They have a sharp and keen response to a myriad of scents. Their delightful nature extends to pleasant relationships with other dogs and unfamiliar people.
Despite their lively nature, beagles aren't known for having aggressive temperaments. However, they are susceptible to canine anxiety, particularly when facing monotony and separation.
8. Brittany (Spaniel)
The graceful and beautiful Brittany becomes a hunter dog. They are quick learners with natural hunting abilities. This breed is always ready for any canine activities.
Originating in a French province, these dogs are affectionate and form strong bonds with their owners, getting along well with everyone. They are non-aggressive and known for their high energy levels and playfulness.
If you are an active person who enjoys engaging in games, the Brittany breed might be a good fit for you. However, it is crucial to note that they require at least an hour of intensive daily exercise. Without proper training, they may become neurotic and destructive. We recommend early socialization for these trainable and bright dogs.
Brittanys thrive on companionship, and when left alone for extended periods without exercise, they may develop boredom-related barking issues.
The Newfoundland, as the name suggests, originates from Newfoundland, Canada. These are the dogs least likely to turn on owners. These dogs work with fishermen. Despite their enormous size, they are caring, warm, and incredibly faithful.
They might not be the biggest cuddlers, but they love being around their family and showing ample affection. Humorously, though, they may be unaware of their size and try to sit on your feet.
While generally obedient and calm around new people, these dogs can be very protective if they sense danger near their loved ones. They are excellent swimmers and have a reputation for saving people from drowning.
They are trainable, and starting it during their puppy phase is a good idea. These dogs have deep and loud barks. However, proper workouts can help correct this behavior and ensure they bark appropriately.
10. Basset Hound
If you are thinking about the least aggressive dog, let us talk about Basset Hounds. Despite their sad appearance, these dogs are mischievous and easy-going. They are famous for families with children and seniors because of their subdued personality.
A significant advantage is their adaptability to different environments, including apartment living, so you don't need a large yard.
Basset Hounds are known for being trustworthy and welcoming towards new people. Their short legs make them move at a slower pace. Hence, they are a good option for those who don't enjoy fast walks or have mobility problems.
They come in various colors and have adorable floppy ears (mostly bigger than their faces). Bring these non-aggressive dogs home with a typical lifespan of around 10-12 years.
Greyhounds are also known as gazehounds. They are originally hunting dogs and have a big S-shaped muscular build. With a long tail and rigid legs, you may find them impolite but are loving and peaceful.
They seldom bark and are peaceful beings who can tolerate children and have a soft temper. It would help if you supervised at regular intervals, especially around children. These non-aggressive dogs shed moderately and have short and easy coats to maintain.
These dogs are not that over-energetic but lively. While being a hunting dog, they can spend much time on the couch, so they are suitable for apartment living. These dogs are adaptive, and you can train them provided there is positive reinforcement, specifically with food.
Let's talk about Bergamascos. These dogs came from the Alpi e PrealpiBergamasche and were bred initially as herding animals for sheep and cattle. What makes them stand out is their long and thick coat.
Bergamascos are fantastic family dogs, forming strong bonds with their owners and household members. They generally get along with other dogs unless they see them as a threat. While not aggressive, they can be protective, making them excellent watchdogs. Good news for allergy sufferers – these fluffy dogs are hypoallergenic and require minimal grooming, with brushing and bathing requirements only 4-5 times a year.
Known for their calmness, patience, and sensitivity, Bergamascos are effortlessly trainable. They have moderate levels of playfulness and energy, requiring 30-60 minutes of daily exercise, walks, and play sessions. While they may bark occasionally, they are generally well-behaved and make perfect least-aggressive companions.
The next one on our list is the Whippet. They are good-mannered and gracious dogs. But if given a chance, they can be swift and athletic. However, these periods of accelerated activity are brief. They spend almost all of the day in the shade, resting profusely.
Surprisingly, these dogs are pleased to live in confined places because they don't bark very often. As long as they get enough exercise, they are not bothered by the confinement. It is an excellent reason to make them an apartment pet.
They are dazzling canines. We can confirm these are the least hostile dog breeds. It is easy-breezy to train them and need very little maintenance. You will find them endearing and compassionate among their human family.
14. Great Dane
The mighty Great Dane has made it to our gentle dogs. You might be surprised by this name, as they are giant dogs. But don't worry, the Great Dane is quite saintly! It lives up to its name- being a faithful and noble dog. Their towering physique and large build are things to look into.
Even though they become rarely aggressive, don't take them lightly when thinking of bringing them home. These giant ones need proper attention, care, and space to exercise and eat.
While not aggressive, they focus on their training and devote time to it.
Great Danes will be an excellent family member if you have the space. And the bonus? They are watchful and attentive guard dogs!
Maltese is a cute little furry friend that no one can resist! Because of its size, it comes under the toy dog category. They are friendly and often termed lap dogs, too. Maltese has an outgoing personality and a glossy coat. They are low-maintenance breeds with surprising agility capacity, considering their size.
This one is a conventional toy breed with a dangerously loud bark. Due to the overprotective nature of Maltese, they may even cause a stir. However, don't sulk as we bare good news.
These dogs eagerly wait to create new acquaintances. Wherever they go, you may find them being inquisitive. This action helps alleviate their energy to some extent. You can mitigate the pent-up energy through early socialization or training.
Don't go by its violent name and serious looks! We assure you Boxers are a gentle breed. Boxers may seem scary initially, but they are pretty friendly and love to have a good time.
They create expressive gestures that show a lot of emotions and are super loyal to their families. Boxers enjoy hanging out with their owners whenever they can.
These dogs are intelligent so that you can teach them anything new. They are also delicate when it comes to being around kids. However, they are energetic. Therefore, you must get them some exercise every day to keep them happy.
Taking Boxer breeds for walks or playing fetch are great ways to keep them active and content.
Here is another adorable breed with butterfly-like ears. Papillon is the oldest breed in the toy spaniel category. If you are looking for a temperate family dog, this one is for you. Papillons become attached to their family members quickly. They are great with kids, but we suggest having supervision during the interaction since they are small breeds and may get hurt easily.
The pet parents can train them with different tricks as these dogs enjoy variety and performative acts. Don't worry about them being near other animals. They will gel with cats, too!
They will thrive in social gatherings when they are young. They do not shed much, and you can care for their fur with regular brushing.
They are not the type to bark a lot or get anxious. Giving them some extra playtime, especially outside, is something they will thoroughly enjoy.
This Hungarian breed has a name that means "tracker or "searcher in Hungarian. It is because they were hunters. Vizslas look elegant because of their shiny coats and have non-aggressive breed behavior.
You can keep them around children and families as they make excellent companions. Since they get along well with other animals, raising them with other cats or dogs wouldn't be an issue. But, mind you, the hunter instincts may wake up if you raise them among birds or rabbits.
Vizslas have high energy. They are active and playful. Give them interactive games and exercises frequently. One significant advantage is that they are very adaptive and have minimal shedding. You can still brush them to eliminate the dead hair.
If you neglect them, expect loud and excessive bark. Be patient with their training, and you are good to go.
19. Irish Setter
We have a non aggressive dog breed originating from Ireland! The Irish Setter, also known as the "red setter," is a unique hunting dog. Their training helped hunters find and fetch birds like ducks, doves, and quails.
They are clever and easy to teach tricks to. You will find them affectionate, scoring a perfect 10/10 for their love towards their kids, family, owners, and even other dogs.
Train them when young since they have strong hunting instincts. It is not a laid-back dog, so think twice if you want to adopt, as you have to play a lot. While not aggressive, they can become vocal if neglected.
Interestingly, the original Irish settlers had white and red colors. Today, you might see shades of mahogany and chestnut in them.
These non-aggressive dogs are water dog breeds in different sizes: Toy, miniature, medium, and standard.
These dogs are intelligent, loyal, easy to teach, and are known as hypoallergenic, which means they are less likely to cause allergies. They are also warm towards their family and get along with kids.
Training your adorable paw friend is a good idea, especially when interacting with other dogs for safety reasons. Leaving them alone at home for too long might not make them happy. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are necessary if you are thinking about becoming a Poodle owner.
They can develop barking habits, but you can correct these actions with the proper training. The good news is they shed the least, which is excellent if you prefer a cleaner environment.
21. Rough Collie
The next one in our non aggressive dog breed list is the Rough Collie. Don't go by its first name, "rough." It is only named because of their long fur, contrary to their opposites, the smooth collies. We can assure you it has a cheerful temperament.
Collies are delicate and pleasant beings and come in large to medium sizes with fascinatingly long and thick coats. They originate from Scotland and have herding sheep instincts. Collies get along with children and other canines, making them perfect home dogs.
You can train them quickly, and they socialize well. Like Irish Setters, they want activities as well. So, you invest time in them regularly, or their herding instincts may take over.
How To Make Your Puppy Stay Non-Aggressive?
A considerable portion of being a responsible dog owner is selecting and training a dog that won't bite people, assault kids, or cause a security hazard to the neighbors or anyone around. It is a big commitment!
Have we scared you? We don't mean to! Maintaining a puppy's non-aggressive behavior requires patience because we tend to jump to our emotions very soon.
Keeping your dog gentle is easy. You can learn just a few tricks to keep them obedient, well-rounded, and loving.
Here is what you need to do to have non aggressive dogs-
1. Social Exercises
Getting dogs who are used to different people/situations is a great thing. It is called socialization. It helps them feel okay around new places and people, stopping aggressive behavior early on.
When dogs get used to it from a young age, they are less scared as grown-ups and happier.
They learn to handle new things, like new places and smells. Starting this early is critical to stop a dog from being too aggressive.
2. Positive Reinforcement
You're mistaken if you think teaching dogs is out of your league. Humans can successfully mold their pet's manners and actions. All you have to do is provide your dog a gift or treat when they listen to you or achieve something during their training. According to the owner, the act of giving a "reward" for doing something right is called positive reinforcement.
Dogs have a good memory. Your dog will repeat the training or behavior when you ask them to, as it will give them rewards.
3. Training To Be Obedient
By now, we know dogs are clever and can quickly learn tasks from their owners. Teaching them obedience is vital for good behavior. Dogs can start learning as early as 14 weeks old. Some experts say that golden retrievers and labradors are usually calm breeds. As mentioned, many dog owners use treats or love as rewards for good behavior during training. Use these tactics to teach them subordination. It will be good in the long run.
Social exercise, positive reinforcement, and obedience training can help a young dog become less aggressive.
Let us also point out that choosing suitable toys for your puppy helps them stay calm. Age-appropriate toys that test their mind and reward good manners can make your puppy a relaxed and friendly pet.
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Gentle dogs become a part of your life in mysterious ways. Their lovely, bright, and protective aura reflects on the pet parents. We have given you the names of the least aggressive dog breeds here. But here's something else- just bringing them home wouldn't be enough.
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