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Which Dog Breed Is The Most Gentle? We Countdown The Top 15 Most Gentle Breeds

Written by: Ejay Camposano
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on May 21, 2024

When it comes to finding a gentle dog breed, it’s not just about their calm and sweet nature, but also about the adorable quirks and silly habits that make them endearing companions. Gentle dogs can soothe our stress with a simple nuzzle, make us laugh with their playful antics, and melt our hearts with their kind eyes. Whether they’re big or small, fluffy or sleek, each breed brings a unique blend of gentleness and charm. Let’s dive into the countdown of the top 15 most gentle dog breeds, where we’ll explore what makes each one special and why they’re perfect for those seeking a tender-hearted canine companion.

15. Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are known for their droopy ears and sad-looking eyes, which hide their playful and gentle nature. These low-slung hounds are incredibly affectionate and love lounging around with their families. Despite their sometimes lazy demeanor, Basset Hounds have a funny side, often engaging in epic sniffing sessions that lead them on hilarious scent trails around the yard. Their endearing habit of tripping over their own ears adds to their charm, making them lovable and gentle companions.

14. Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear, hailing from Madagascar, is a small breed with a big heart. These fluffy dogs are known for their friendly and gentle disposition. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on human companionship. Cotons are playful and enjoy engaging in silly antics, such as hopping like bunnies when they’re excited. Their soft, cotton-like fur and perpetual smiles make them irresistible cuddle buddies.

13. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties, are not only intelligent but also incredibly gentle. These herding dogs are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature. Shelties are great with children and other pets, making them wonderful family dogs. They have a quirky habit of trying to herd anything that moves, including their human family members. Their expressive faces and gentle demeanor make them both amusing and endearing companions.

12. Whippet

Whippets are graceful and gentle dogs, often referred to as “the poor man’s Greyhound.” These sleek canines are known for their calm and affectionate nature. Whippets love to lounge around the house, often curling up in the most comfortable spot they can find. Despite their relaxed demeanor, they can surprise you with bursts of speed during playtime, resulting in some hilarious zoomie sessions around the yard. Their gentle and loving nature makes them perfect lap dogs.

11. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus, with their regal appearance and affectionate personality, are the epitome of gentle lap dogs. These small dogs thrive on human interaction and are known for their sweet and friendly nature. Shih Tzus have a playful side and often engage in “zoomies” around the house, their flowing coats trailing behind them like little tornadoes. Their love for belly rubs and cuddles, combined with their gentle demeanor, makes them delightful companions.

10. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees are majestic and gentle giants, known for their calm and patient nature. These dogs were originally bred to guard livestock, but they are equally protective and gentle with their human families. Great Pyrenees have a quirky habit of patrolling their territory, whether it’s a sprawling farm or a suburban backyard, with a serious yet endearing dedication. Their fluffy coats and gentle eyes make them perfect cuddle partners on cold nights.

9. Havanese

Havanese dogs are cheerful and gentle companions, known for their affectionate nature. These small dogs thrive on human interaction and are always eager to please. Havanese are playful and enjoy entertaining their owners with silly antics, such as spinning in circles or performing little “dance” moves. Their soft coats and bright eyes make them irresistible, and their gentle disposition makes them wonderful family pets.

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the epitome of gentle lap dogs. These small, affectionate dogs are known for their sweet and friendly nature. Cavaliers are easy to train and eager to please, making them ideal pets for families and individuals alike. They have a quirky habit of “shadowing” their owners, following them from room to room with unwavering devotion. Their expressive eyes and constant need for affection make them both charming and gentle companions.

7. Newfoundland

Newfoundlands, or “Newfies,” are gentle giants known for their sweet disposition and patient nature. These large dogs are incredibly gentle and protective, especially with children. Newfoundlands have a natural instinct to keep their loved ones safe, often acting as furry lifeguards. Their love for water and penchant for drooling can lead to some amusingly messy situations, but their gentle hearts and loving nature make them perfect family pets.

6. Collie

Collies, made famous by Lassie, are known for their intelligence and gentle nature. These herding dogs are loyal, affectionate, and great with children. Collies are also known for their playful side, often seen herding family members or chasing after balls with enthusiasm. Their expressive eyes and loving nature make them both well-behaved and endearing. They have a natural instinct to protect and comfort, making them ideal gentle companions.

5. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds, known for their friendly and gentle nature. Labs are intelligent, easy to train, and always eager to please. They have a playful side that includes a love for fetch and water games. Labs often greet their owners with a toy or shoe in their mouth, showcasing their goofy yet endearing personality. Their loyalty and gentle demeanor make them excellent family pets.


4. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are synonymous with gentleness. These dogs are friendly, obedient, and incredibly loyal. Goldens are known for their patience, making them great with children and other pets. They love to play fetch and often carry objects in their mouths as a sign of affection. Goldens have a silly habit of rolling around on their backs with their legs in the air, looking both ridiculous and adorable. Their loving nature and impeccable manners make them beloved companions.


3. Irish Setter

Irish Setters are known for their beautiful red coats and gentle disposition. These dogs are affectionate, friendly, and great with children. Irish Setters are also playful and love to engage in silly antics, such as bounding around the yard or playing fetch with unbridled enthusiasm. Their expressive eyes and gentle nature make them perfect family pets. Their goofy and energetic personalities combined with their gentle hearts make them a joy to be around.

2. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are gentle giants with a heart of gold. These dogs are known for their calm and patient nature, especially with children. Saint Bernards have a playful side and enjoy romping around with their families, often resulting in some amusingly clumsy moments. Their love for snow and cold weather can lead to hilarious snowball chases and frosty cuddles. Despite their large size, Saint Bernards are incredibly gentle and loving, making them wonderful companions.

1. English Bulldog

Topping our list is the English Bulldog, known for its gentle and easygoing nature. These dogs are incredibly affectionate and love to be around their families. Bulldogs are also known for their silly antics, such as snoring loudly or lounging in the most awkward positions. Their squishy faces and endearing wrinkles make them hard to resist. Despite their somewhat grumpy appearance, Bulldogs are incredibly gentle and loving, making them the ultimate gentle companions.

In the end, the most gentle dog breed is a matter of personal preference and experience. Each breed on this list offers a unique blend of gentleness, charm, and playful quirks that make them special. Whether you prefer the calm and patient nature of a Saint Bernard, the playful antics of an Irish Setter, or the affectionate cuddles of an English Bulldog, there is a gentle dog out there for everyone. These delightful canines not only bring us comfort and joy but also fill our lives with laughter and love through their charming personalities and endearing habits.