7 Most Gentle Dog Breeds, Ranked

When looking for a new furry friend to add to your family, it’s important to consider the temperament and personality of the breed. Gentle dog breeds are often sought after for their calm and friendly demeanor, making them great companions for families with children or individuals looking for a loyal and loving pet. These gentle dog breeds are known for their patience, intelligence, and sociability, making them easy to train and well-behaved in various situations. From the playful and affectionate Golden Retriever to the laid-back and cuddly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, there are many breeds to choose from that can fit seamlessly into your home and lifestyle. This is why today we decided to explore some of the most gentle dog breeds and what makes them such wonderful companions for dog lovers everywhere.

While not all dogs within a breed have the same temperament, the gentle breeds on the list below are more likely to be calm and affectionate towards their families. To find out what breeds made today’s rank, we at StudyFinds have researched across eight expert sources to find the top seven most gentle dog breeds. Don’t agree with our list or feel we missed out on a certain pooch? No worries. We would love to hear from you in the comments below. Now, onto the list!

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golden retriever puppy lying on white textile
Golden Retriever (Photo by Taylor Sondgeroth on Unsplash)

The List: Most Gentle Dog Breeds, Per Canine Specialists 

1. Golden Retriever

golden retriever on gray rock during daytime
Golden Retriever (Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash)

The first breed to make our list is the trusty Golden Retriever, and as Tree Hugger notes, the “gentle dog category is undoubtedly dominated” by this beautiful breed. Known for their friendly and affectionate nature, Golden Retrievers are excellent family pets and are great with children. With their golden coats and happy-go-lucky personalities, it’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers tops our ranks.

Coops And Cages explains that these pups do require exercise; chasing after kiddos or playing in the yard will suffice. Golden Retrievers are also extremely intelligent and easy to train, making them ideal for obedience training and agility exercises. With their love for water, they also enjoy activities like swimming and playing fetch at the beach or in a pool.

Golden Retrievers are also known for their work in search and rescue operations, adds The Outdor. These dogs have an incredible sense of smell and excellent tracking abilities, making them invaluable in locating missing persons in various terrains. Their friendly and gentle nature also makes them excellent therapy dogs, providing comfort and support to those in need. 

2. Labrador Retriever 

Black labrador retriever with red collar
Black Labrador Retriever (Photo by Megan M on Unsplash)

Next up is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever. Tree Hugger describes that anyone seeking an active, patient companion would greatly benefit from having one of these dogs, especially families with energetic children. Their high energy levels and love for outdoor activities also make them ideal for families who enjoy spending time outside.

Known for their “friendly nature and gentle demeanor,” Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Not only are they great family pets, but they are also highly intelligent and versatile. Labs excel in various roles, from search and rescue to therapy work, making them a truly remarkable and beloved breed (TryFi).

Best Bully Sticks also notes the Labrador Retrievers’ loyalty as one of the breeds’ most endearing qualities. Labradors are known for their unwavering devotion to their families and their eagerness to please. In addition to their loyalty, Labradors are also highly intelligent and easily trainable, making them a popular choice for various roles in society.

3. Pug

shallow focus photography of fawn pug
Pug (Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash)

The next breed to take up rank on our list is the pug. FSTHA writes that the pug is seemingly hardwired to avoid any aggressive behavior as if the tendency were “absent from their genetic makeup.” Their friendly, sometimes lazy nature makes them great companions for families, children, and even other pets

Tree Hugger notes that pugs are so patient and gentle that even “prodding” children will be treated with passivity. Despite their small size, these dogs have big hearts and are always eager to please their human family members. Pugs are also known for their ability to adapt to any living situation, whether it be a bustling city apartment or a quiet countryside home. 

iHeartDogs describes the pug breed as being “big hams” who love to make their owners laugh. Pugs are known for their playful and affectionate nature, often forming strong bonds with their owners. Their expressive faces and silly antics are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. 

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  

white and brown long coat small dog
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo by Courtney Mihaka on Unsplash)

Known for their “friendly” and “calming disposition,” these dogs are a favorite among families and individuals alike; with their affectionate nature and willingness to please, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make great companions for people of all ages (Scotsman).

Bred as a “companion dog,” as described by iHeartDogs, the Cavalier King Charles loves nothing more than curling up with his favorite human. With their gentle ways, these dogs make excellent lap warmers and are always eager to please. Whether lounging on the couch or going for a leisurely walk, the Cavalier King Charles is sure to bring joy and companionship to their owner’s life.

Best Bully Sticks notes the Cavalier King Charles’ “noble” and “obedient” nature, making them a great choice for families looking for a loving and well-behaved pet. 

5. English Bulldog

selective focus photography of short-coated white and brown dog on fallen brown leaves during daytime
English Bulldog (Photo by Sébastien L. on Unsplash)

The English bulldog is our next gentle breed, no matter how “menacing” they may appear, explains iHeartDogs. These dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature towards their owners. Despite their tough exterior, English bulldogs are actually quite laid-back and easygoing, making them a popular choice for many dog lovers.

At the end of the day, behind that muscular build, English bulldogs are big “people pleasers” and generally get along with everyone, according to Best Bully Sticks. They are known for their loyalty towards their owners, often forming strong bonds with their families. These dogs are also quite adaptable and can thrive in various living situations, making them great companions for households of all sizes.

TryFi also describes how the English bulldog is great with children, making them ideal for family situations. With their calm and gentle demeanor, English bulldogs are known for being patient and tolerant with kids, making them perfect companions for households with young ones. Additionally, these dogs’ playful and sociable personalities mean they will happily engage in games and activities with kids, creating lasting memories for the whole family.

6. Beagle

dog's face
Beagle (Photo by Milli on Unsplash)

The Beagle is next up on our list, a breed that is noted by TryFi as being highly intelligent and thus more easily trainable. Beagles are also known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them great family pets. Their gentle nature makes them excellent companions for children or in homes with other dogs

People often say that beagles aren’t good security dogs because of how social they are. Having been bred to hunt in groups, these dogs are social creatures that thrive in human and canine companionship. As pets, they provide joy to people of all ages since they are carefree, friendly, and rarely aggressive, reports Tree Hugger.

Known for their “happy spirits” and “good-natured personalities,” writes Best Bully Sticks, beagles are lovable and easygoing, making it no wonder why they are one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world. 

7. Newfoundland

a close up of a dog laying on the ground
Newfoundland (Photo by Angel Luciano on Unsplash)

Last but not least is the Newfoundland breed. The epitome of a gentle giant, TryFi also notes that these dogs are “highly intelligent and easy to train,” making them a fantastic choice for first-time dog owners. Newfoundlands are also known for their calm and friendly demeanor, making them great companions for families with children

The beloved “Newfies” are recognized for their kindness, patience, and amiability. They are also quick to defend their family when someone threatens them. Their watchful demeanor has earned them the nickname “nanny dogs,” writes Tree Hugger. Despite their imposing appearance, Newfoundlands are sweet and affectionate companions that form strong bonds with their families.

Additionally, the Newfoundland can swim quite well. Indeed, it has proven to be an invaluable asset in a number of “various emergency and rescue operations,” reports Coops And Cages. With their natural instincts and training, Newfoundlands have become trusted companions in saving lives during emergencies on both land and water.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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  1. Your list isn’t even close. Where do you come up this bs. 1 out of your 7on your list fits the list.

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