Most dogs are friendly, but that doesn’t mean they’re all gentle. A gentle dog is not only a dog that is social and affectionate, but a dog that isn’t a bull in a china shop. We all known our beloved pooches might accidentally give us a bump or bruise when they’re playing around or trying to snuggle (they just get so excited, after all), and these breeds are less likely to do so. They’re gentler dogs, though no more or less affectionate than any other!
#1 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a tiny spaniel breed that’s sole purpose has been to be a loving companion. Many breeds have exciting histories, but the Cavalier has been bred to be a lapdog during its entire development. They are very sweet dogs that enjoy spending time with their families, require little exercise but maintain a playful personality.
#2 – Pug
The Pug is a Chinese breed, also bred solely to be companions to Chinese royal families. They are known for their adorable looks and clownish temperaments. Pugs are social, affectionate and fun-loving, always ready for a new game. That said, they make excellent lap dogs and are gentle enough to make great companions for children.
#3 – Mastiff
Despite its size, the Mastiff is a very gentle dog. Originally bred as hunters and guardians, they’re found mostly today relaxing on sofas and enjoying walks with their owners. They are large and imposing, but relatively lazy dogs, and actually make a great choice for those living in apartments because of their docile nature.
#4 – Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the sighthounds and therefore deemed the gentlest. They are very affectionate and bond closely with their owners, but their small stature makes them somewhat fragile and they do not fare well with rough play from children. They prefer quiet households to relax, though like all sighthounds require regular exercise.
#5 – Newfoundland
The Newfoundland was bred for water rescue, a job the breed can still be found doing today. Because of this, they need to be large, powerful, but gentle dogs so as to be able to safely rescue frightened victims. True to their standard, Newfoundlands are very affectionate, gentle dogs. They do well around children of all ages and make great family companions.
#6 – Collie
Made popular by Lassie, the Collie is an excellent choice when looking for a gentle dog. Despite being a herding breed, they are relatively calm dogs that respond well to training early on. Active and intelligent, they need regular exercise but are not destructive or obnoxious. They make a great choice for families looking for a gentle but active breed.
#7 – Bulldog
The Bulldog was originally used for bloodsports, but has long outgrown its ugly history. Instead, the breed became a companion animal and still makes an excellent choice for those looking for a gentle dog today. They are fun-loving, playful dogs that are deeply affectionate and relatively gentle for their size. They do very well with children and are relatively lazy, requiring minimal exercise.
#8 – Beagle
The Beagle is one of the smallest of the hound breeds and is arguably the gentlest of them all. They are active dogs that enjoy playing with their families, but are very docile and affectionate. They do well with families with children as they are known for being patient and easy-going. Although they can be vocal, Beagles are generally a low-maintenance breed.