Not all dog devotees want a tireless canine companion for mountain hikes or hyperkinetic games of Frisbee. They’re not looking for challenging personality quirks; they just want an unflappable and adoring best buddy to chillax with.
The following dog breeds are among the most imperturbable and amiable around. True, many are also some of the biggest and most beastly looking. But as you’ll see, looks can be deceiving. You may have to get past the high-energy puppy stage for most of these breeds, using plenty of patient training and opportunities for socialization. But after that you should have a serene and agreeable companion for life. Read on to get an overview of some of the most laid-back, people-loving pooches on the planet.
This golden retriever/Great Pyrenees hybrid (sometimes called the Great Pytriever) is a mellow mix of the two breeds. These low-maintenance mates have the golden’s loving temperament and the Great Pyrenees’ calm and caring demeanor.
Sure, they’re big (usually about 75-120 pounds), and they shed a lot, but they love to laze away the day after a walk and are particularly great with kids.
Behemoth might best describe this tranquil but hulking breed. English mastiffs were bred for war and can top out at a regal 200 pounds, but these once ferocious pooches (regular fighters in the Roman Coliseum) are some of the chillest canines around.
Patient, nurturing and protective of their families, English mastiffs — with their droopy eyes and floppy ears — are consummate snugglers. They often forget just how big they are and try to join their humans on the couch or in bed for some oversized, slobbery loving.
Another expert (and slobbery) cuddler, the Great Dane may also try to settle in beside you (or on you) for some nuzzle time. This gentle giant makes a mild-mannered mate and doesn’t need as much exercise as its size might indicate.
But that doesn’t mean Great Danes don’t need space — and lots of it — particularly inside your home where these leviathan loungers spend much of their time. They simply need lots of leeway to maneuver through rooms and around furniture.
Despite their wrinkly faced mugs and blocky, barrel-chested build, English bulldogs are sweet-natured and lovable. They adore kids and naps. Lots of naps.
They’re also ideal for those seeking a sofa buddy that actually fits on the sofa. These placid pooches rarely grow over 50 pounds, they hardly ever bark and their short-haired coats don’t require much grooming. They’re ideal laid-back dogs for equally laid-back humans.
Bernese mountain dog
Even-tempered, friendly and absolutely gorgeous, Bernese mountain dogs were bred in Switzerland for farm work, but they also make faithful family pets. Not only do they love a good romp in the snow with kids and some intense downtime by the fireplace afterwards, these huge, tri-colored canines are also easygoing around other pets.
And because they’re sensitive, intelligent and eager to please, Bernese mountain dogs are fairly easy to train. Just use a gentle touch. They hate to be yelled at, scolded or yanked around.
You’d think these sleek racers would be hyper-competitive, prickly prima donnas, but not so. Greyhounds need a bit of regular high-speed exercise (a good sprint around the yard usually does it), but most of the time they’re quiet, companionable couch potatoes.
In fact, due to their unusual sensitivity and highly docile natures, most greyhounds prefer quiet, tension-free homes and low-key, soft-spoken owners.
These massive fur balls may look like bears, but they’re more like teddy bears than the ones found in the wilderness. Most Newfoundlands are content to lounge with their families at home, and they rarely get ruffled — even with a pile of kids climbing on them. It’s no coincidence that Nana, the dog who cared for the Darling children in “Peter Pan,” was a Newfie.
Not that they don’t need exercise. Newfies like regular walks and love to swim. They’re also intelligent and like mentally stimulating play.
If you’re looking for a steady, endearing charmer that doesn’t come in a jumbo size, the basset hound may be the pooch for you. These low-slung sweeties with their droopy ears and sad eyes aren’t necessarily petite. They can weigh up to 65 pounds. But that’s still manageable if you have a smaller home or live in an apartment.
Basset hounds love long, slow walks with plenty of good scents to tantalize that super-keen sense of smell, but they also live for lazing around the house and make wonderful family companions.
Bloodhounds sort of resemble basset hounds — at least facially — and they’re all about a good smell when one whiffs by. But they’re a whole lot bigger (males can weigh up to 110 pounds). They’re also some of the gentlest, family-centric giants around. They love everybody — their own people, as well as just about anybody else who happens by.
You’ve probably seen bloodhounds depicted lounging on a sunny porch in some sleepy, Southern town. And, for sure, they have that side. But they’re not as lazy as their stereotype suggests. Bloodhounds may be good-natured and gentle, but they also need daily exercise and space to ramble.
One of the tallest dog breeds in the world (sometimes reaching small pony size and standing nearly seven feet tall on their hind legs), Irish wolfhounds are genial, intelligent and utterly devoted to their humans. Bred by the ancient Romans as a wolf hunter, today this shaggy but noble-looking colossus is one of the calmest canines you’ll meet.
Even so, the Irish wolfhound’s sheer size means it’s not ideal for apartment living. Most are just too darn big, as well as clumsy, to fit happily in small spaces.