19 Calm Dog Breeds That Are Easy to Manage

Not every dog breed is known for being easy to train and manage. Some require long periods of training and socialization. Other breeds are calmer, respond well to positive reinforcement, or have lower exercise needs. Here are 19 calm dog breeds that owners will find easy to manage.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are famed for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them great companions for families and individuals. My Family Vets writes that so long as the breed is “surrounded by loving company, they’d be happy living anywhere.” Their smaller size and moderate exercise needs make them easy to train, and they are suited for apartments and homes with small yards.


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Pugs are a Chinese breed known for their sociable, gentle, and playful nature and iconic wrinkled faces. They generally require minimal exercise and are content with short walks, making them ideal apartment pets.


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These gentle giants are prized for their calmness and intelligence. Known as “nanny dogs,” Newfoundlands are excellent with children due to their protective and nurturing nature. They need space to roam around, but their sweet temperament makes them easy to manage.


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Bulldogs are a popular breed known for their calm and courageous demeanor, showing remarkable resilience and patience in various situations. Hills Pet notes, “Typically low-endurance dogs, English bulldogs have a sweet disposition, are predictable, dependable, and excellent with children, and need only moderate exercise.”


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Chihuahuas are small Mexican toy dogs known for their loyalty and affection toward their owners. Their small size means they have menial exercise requirements and are content with indoor play and short walks, making them perfect for owners with limited space.

Basset Hound

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This short-legged French breed is known for its laid-back personality and friendly disposition toward children and adults. PDSA says that they “are fairly easygoing dogs once they grow out of their boisterous puppy ways.” Basset Hounds are patient, making them perfect for first-time owners.

Irish Wolfhound

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This ancient, giant breed is calm, dignified, and gentle, making them a relaxing family member. They will require daily exercise to maintain their health and happiness, so owners must be willing to go on long walks.

Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retrievers are British gun dogs well-known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them one of the most popular dog breeds for families. Highly adaptable and easily trainable, Labradors are manageable dogs and great companions.

Shih Tzu

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Bark Busters argues that “this breed is easy to manage as they are small and generally obliging, but they need your attention and don’t like to be ignored.” Bred as companion dogs, Shih Tzus are affectionate, happy pets that require minimal exercise and are content to play indoors.

Golden Retriever

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This Scottish breed is famous for its luscious, water-repellent double coat, which comes in various shades of gold. Eager to please and intelligent, Golden Retrievers are friendly and tolerant, making them excellent pets for families with young children.

Bernese Mountain Dog

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Despite their large size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their calm and easygoing nature, making them great family pets. Rover argues that this Swiss breed is easy to train. They do require regular exercise, but they will be gentle and patient with their owners.


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Havanese are Cuba’s only native breed, a toy dog famous for their long, soft, wavy coats. They are tropical dogs, so they are best suited to owners living in warmer climates. Their moderate exercise needs make them adaptable to various living situations, and a cheerful disposition and ease of training make them great for first-time owners.


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Despite their reputation as racing dogs, Greyhounds are a surprisingly laid-back breed that enjoys lounging around the house. Pet Plan writes that “Due to their high intelligence and easy-going nature, Greyhounds tend to be easy to train, but since they tend to be sensitive, positive reinforcement works best.” Friendly and gentle, Greyhounds are suitable for families and individuals alike.

Great Dane

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The German Great Dane is a gentle giant like the Irish Wolfhound, weighing up to 180 lbs and standing up to 35 inches tall. Great Danes have moderate exercise needs despite their large size and make excellent daily pets. This breed famously appeared in Scooby-Doo and is the state dog of Pennsylvania.

English Setter

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English Setters are a highly intelligent, sociable breed that gets along with children, other dogs, and strangers. Their friendly and mild-mannered temperament makes them great companions for active individuals and families who are happy to go on regular walks.


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Borrow My Doggy notes, “Maltese dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them generally responsive and trainable.” This breed loves learning new tricks and commands and requires less exercise as puppies when their bones and joints develop.

Clumber Spaniel

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This powerful, mellow breed is prized for its calm and gentle demeanor. They are easy to manage because of their loyal nature, and their amusing behavior makes them a joy to be around.

King Charles Spaniel

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Smaller than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this breed has a sweet, gentle nature and is an excellent choice for a lap dog. They are easily adaptable, so first-time owners living in apartments or larger houses will experience little difficulty with them.


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Front of the Pack writes, “Non-shedding, calm in temperament, and lacking that ‘dog’ smell, the Basenji might be the most low-maintenance dog breed there is.” Originally a Central African hunting dog, this breed tends to become emotionally attached to one owner, making them ideal for individuals.

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