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Top 15 Least Aggressive Dog Breeds (with PHOTOS)

When you choose to bring a four-legged friend home, you are not just making a one-time purchase but a lifelong commitment. This decision will determine the dog’s happiness, yours, and that of your family members. 

A wrong decision may lead you to give up the dog and be an unnecessary source of heartache and distress for you and the dog. Hence, it is imperative to thoroughly research the breed and determine if it is a perfect fit for you and your family.

least aggressive dog breeds
Top 15 Least Aggressive Dog Breeds

One of the most essential characteristics you need to consider—especially if your family includes small kids and the elderly—is the aggressive tendency of the breed you plan to adopt. 

While most dogs are loving, loyal, and well-behaved when trained properly, it is always better to take precautionary steps when making this big decision. To help you decide on the ideal companion for you, we have curated a list of the least aggressive dog breeds.

15 Least Aggressive Dog Breeds

1. Bulldog

Don’t let the intimidating looks of the breed scare you. The frightening-looking beast is actually a sweetheart. You won’t mistake this dog for another breed due to its well-defined and unique facial features. 

English Bulldog with flowers
English Bulldog with a flower collar!

Bulldogs have muscular physiques, wrinkly faces, and short snouts. Their ancestors were bred to participate in violent animal games; however, the present-day Bulldog has a sweet, calm, and friendly disposition. They get along well with other animals, children, and even strangers.

The dog does not fare well in hot temperatures and requires minimal exercise. This makes it an excellent pet for people living in apartments.

There are many types of Bulldogs, like English and French Bulldogs. They also come in a variety of coat colors.

The animal is not just non-aggressive; it is also loyal and will put its owners before itself. 

2. Brittany

They were earlier called Brittany Spaniel; however, Spaniels was dropped from the name. The breed is of French descent. They had good retrieving skills and were bred to be gun dogs and hunting dogs.

Brittany dog
Three Brittany dogs posing for a photo!

The animal is non-aggressive and makes an amazing family pet. It easily socializes with other animals, children, and strangers and has an easy-going, friendly nature.

They are sensitive and eager to please their humans. They get very attached to their owners and are protective of them. 

The animal learns quickly and has a high exercise requirement, needing a minimum of 1 hour of vigorous activity. However, if its daily exercise needs are not met, the animal may develop destructive behaviors and even become neurotic. 

The dog is easily trainable, and you need to socialize it early so that it develops into a true representative of the breed. 

Brittany’s have moderate shedding coats, which come in various colors, with orange, white, and liver being some of the most common ones. If you have an adventurous lifestyle, Brittany will be your best companion. 

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

With their puppy dog eyes, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are difficult not to love. The toy breed is affectionate and excellent with other animals and children. They are also amazing companions for the elderly, thanks to their friendly and easy-going nature.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel tongue out
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sitting in front of a camera while tongue is out.

The animal is versatile, and it will be a perfect partner in crime regardless of activity. So whether you want to laze around on the couch or play fetch, your King will be happy to join.

However, these dogs do not fare well when left alone, so consider your schedule before adopting one.

4. Labrador Retrievers

There is a reason why the animal is America’s most popular dog breed. Its height and build may be daunting; however, the animal is one of the sweetest. They make amazing pets for families with children, as they are very gentle, loyal, and protective.

white Labrador Retriever
A white Labrador Retriever sits quietly.

The animal has high exercise requirements and needs at least one hour of physical activity every day. Their coats come in a variety of colors. They have a wavy double coat that sheds throughout the year

If you can handle a high-energy dog with daily grooming needs, the enthusiastic, loyal, and one of the least aggressive dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever, can be your forever friend.

5. Newfoundland

Ever heard the term “Gentle Giant?” Newfoundlands are the epitome of the same. These dogs were originally bred to be retriever, working, and hunting dogs; however, today, their docile yet courageous and incredibly gentle and caring ways with children have earned them the nickname “nanny dogs.”

newfoundland dog large
A large and in charge Newfoundland dog

Their heavy and dense coat comes in various colors and needs weekly grooming. Their water-resistant coat and webbed feet make them excellent swimmers, so they work as rescue dogs, too.

The breed is adaptable and will live comfortably in a large home or an apartment. However, as it is a large animal with exercise needs, large houses with backyards are best suited to a Newfoundland.

The animal is prone to obesity and other diet-related health issues, so you must monitor its eating habits and routines.

6. Bernese Mountain Dog

If you have a big yard or, better yet, a farm, a Bernese Mountain dog is the perfect dog for you. The large tri-colored dog originated in the Swiss Alps. The dog is patient, docile, gentle, and has a calm disposition.

bernese mountain dog wearing shoes
A Bernese Mountain dog wearing shoes on an asphalt road.

Bred as a herding dog, the animal can be your playmate, help you in your daily work, and serve as an excellent watch or guard dog.

Being friendly and patient with kids, Bernese Mountain Dogs make great family pets. However, with a double coat that sheds throughout the year and more during the shedding season, it needs regular grooming. 

If you live in a country home and are looking for a watchdog, a service dog, or simply a family pet, a Bernese Mountain Dog will prove to be an amazing companion.

7. Golden Retriever

Originally bred to retrieve small game like ducks and birds, the animals are very popular as house pets, and for good reason. They are calm, friendly, easy-going, lovely, and loyal. They are great with children and get along well with other dogs and animals. 

Golden Retriever with bandana
A beautiful Golden Retriever with a bandana on his neck stands outdoors.

Their energy level is a little high during the puppy stage; however, as they grow, their restlessness decreases, and they fall into a routine.

Their excellent companionship, intelligence, trainability, sense of smell, tendency to please the owner, loyalty, and more have made them excellent service dogs, therapy dogs, pets, and guide dogs for the blind.

Their coats come in cream and various shades of gold. They shed throughout the year and twice during the shedding season.

8. Beagle

The Beagle is yet another dog that was bred for hunting or “beagling” (hunting hares). These dogs have a strong sense of smell, which makes them excellent trackers.

Beagle lying on the floor
A Beagle wears onesies to prevent the diaper from coming off.

The animal is sweet and friendly and proves to be an amazing companion. They are great with children and other pets; however, owners need to train and socialize them from a young age.

This small-to-medium-sized dog is very vocal and will howl and bark. This makes living in apartments and crowded places a bit challenging. However, proper training can help resolve the issue.

The dogs come in beautiful tricolors and shed their coats once a year; however, their hair is not that long, so cleaning after is much easier.

9. Pug

The small animal has very distinctive facial features. The wrinkly face and large eyes give them the human-like expression they are famous for. The breed is loving, affectionate, and exceptionally friendly with kids.

pug dog with curly tail
Pugs are famous for their curly tails

These dogs are easily trainable and love to socialize.

Pugs are enthusiastic and love to play; however, they adjust well to smaller living spaces and are a great choice for people living in apartments. The animal sheds a lot, except for the black variety, which is single-coated and sheds comparatively less. 

Pugs are affectionate and form a strong bond with their owners, following them from room to room. Like with many other small dog breeds, this quality makes them highly prone to separation anxiety. 

10. Poodle

The lovely small breed is affectionate, friendly, and amazing with children. They socialize well with other dogs but get nervous at loud noises and rough play. They are intelligent and easy to train

do Poodles have hair or fur
Do Poodles have hair or fur? [Explained]

They have minimal shedding coats. However, the curly coat still needs regular grooming; otherwise, it will get matted. Their hypoallergenic coat and minimal exercise requirement make them an excellent choice for apartment pets.

The breed comes in various sizes—standard, medium, miniature, and toy. The Poodle does not do well when left alone and requires some physical activity and mental stimulation.

11. Portuguese Water Dog

The dogs aided fishermen in catching fish. The breed is fairly rare; however, their intelligence and trainability make them amazing therapy dogs, hearing dogs, mobility dogs, and seizure response dogs.

Portuguese water dog in training
A Portuguese Water Dog in training

The dogs are amazing with kids, friendly, and affectionate. However, they do not do well when left alone and require physical and mental stimulation. If you stay away from the house quite often, then a Portuguese Water Dog is not the right pet for you.

12. Collie 

Bred for herding sheep, these medium-to-large sized dogs originated in Scotland. The animal is friendly, lovely, and loyal and will protect its humans in times of danger. Its sweet temperament makes it great with kids. 

The beautiful dog is very intelligent in comparison to other breeds. This makes training very easy. The animals love to play and socialize.

When trained and socialized appropriately at an early age, they develop into well-rounded dogs.

Collies come in a variety of colors and require regular grooming. Whether you are looking for a companion or a watchdog, the Collie perfectly fits the bill.

13. Basset Hound

The short-legged medium-sized dog has a sad and droopy face; however, a Basset Hound is anything but sad. They have a calm and pleasant temperament that makes them an excellent choice as family pets for families with elderly, children, and people with limited mobility.

Basset Hound fluffy ears
Cute Basset Hound sits with fluffy ears.

The breed is quite accepting of strangers and makes friends with anyone easily. They are affectionate and cheerful and adapt well to any living condition, making them an excellent option as apartment pets.

Basset Hounds are lazy and may gain weight. They also shed a lot and need regular grooming. The coats come in various colors and two and three-color combinations as well.

14. Great Dane

The Great Dane is pretty huge, but do not get intimidated by its size, as it is affectionate and has a sweet disposition. They are great with kids, other animals, and even strangers. However, owning a Great Dane is a big responsibility as the animal requires a lot of space, food, love, and cuddles. 

do Great Danes bark a lot
Do Great Danes bark a lot? [Help]

The animal does not have exercise requirements corresponding to its size and is rather lazy. Also, if it exercises too much at an early age, it may face issues with its bones. This is because their bone structure development takes time and is completed only when it reaches 12 to 18 months of age.

The breed is not that intelligent and needs to be trained and socialized properly; however, it has good hunting skills. Their coat comes in standard 5 to 6 colors and sheds moderately. Great Danes have minimal grooming needs.

15. Greyhound

You may know the breed for its lightning speed and agility; however, a Greyhound is also easygoing, non-aggressive, and rarely barks

brown Italian Greyhound
A brown Italian Greyhound standing on the grass.

They are great with their family, including children but may be wary of strangers and may chase off smaller animals. You will need to train and socialize them properly so that they develop into well-rounded dogs.

Greyhounds may have high speeds, but they lack stamina and love to rest and laze around in cool, shady places. Their coat comes in a variety of colors that shed moderately and require daily brushing.

Conclusion 

Family and house pets must be well-rounded, sweet, loyal, and non-aggressive. This is especially important if you have kids at home and do not want your four-legged family member to end up in a shelter.

We hope our list of the top 15 least aggressive dog breeds will help you choose the one that is right for you and your family.