Top 10 Least Aggressive Dogs Breeds

When choosing a dog as a family pet, it’s critical to understand each individual breed’s traits and their level of aggression. Some dog breeds have inborn characteristics for hunting, guarding, retrieving, among others. A mellow dog, for instance, is an ideal fit for households with children and the elderly, as they’re usually calm with a laid-back demeanor.

Several factors can influence the character of a dog. If a dog is socialized early and provided with proper love, care, and training, they may be less hostile to people and other pets. However, when it comes to the severity of aggression, some breeds are mild and docile, while others are very aggressive. In this guide, we have listed the top 10 least aggressive dog breeds.

Top 10 Least Aggressive Dog Breeds

1. Basset Hound

basset hound dog spring

The Basset Hound is a popular choice for people with families. If you live in an apartment with children and the elderly who have limited mobility, this dog will be able to deal with nuisances from kids. They’re affectionate with family members and friendly towards strangers, with a calm and pleasant disposition. They are steadfastly loyal and an ideal option for novice owners.

This mid-sized dog has a sad-looking face, extremely long velvety ears, a wrinkled brow, and droopy eyes. Although they look blue, their temperament is the exact opposite and are known to be playful and outgoing. They come in a classic tri-color pattern of black, brown and white color markings.


Bassets are more endurance rather than speed dogs. They have short legs that make them move slower than long-legged dogs. They also have a smooth and close coat. The Basset Hound weighs 50-65 pounds, making it a big dog with short legs. They are not more than 14 inches tall, giving them a stocky appearance.

The Basset is a bloodhound and is a scent dog initially bred for hunting with long low-set ears for scenting ability. These features allow the dog to follow the scent of prey. They're not very active and are rather lazy; they also love to eat and can quickly gain weight.


  • Temperament: Friendly, loyal, obedient, agile, affectionate, calm
  • Life span: 10-12 years
  • Coat: Tri-color pattern (black, brown and white)
  • Adaptability: Adapts well to an apartment setting

2. Retriever

golden retriever dog

There are two varieties of the Retriever breed, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. The dog is bred to retrieve game birds and small game during hunting and shooting parties. They are medium sized dogs popular in the US, Canada, and the UK with an even-tempered demeanor. Besides, they are working dogs and an excellent choice for search and rescue, families, and assistant dogs for the disabled.


The Retriever has a tolerant attitude, affectionate, playful, and is gentle with children. They are social dogs and the least aggressive, as they get along well with strangers and other pets. The Retriever would be a poor choice as a guard dog as it's friendly to strangers.

The Retriever does well in dog sports too as they’re energetic, making them natural athletes. If you adopt a Retriever, he’ll need daily exercise and should be involved in family activities. They also thrive well with owners with a large yard.

Their coating may vary slightly due to breeding and pedigree. The Golden Retriever comes in shades of light to dark gold, while the Labrador has black, chocolate or yellow tans. Both dogs have a slightly wavy water-resistant coat with featherings on the neck, legs, thighs, and the tail that make them look attractive.

They weigh between 55-75 pounds and stand tall at 21 to 24 inches. They have a deep chest with ears that hang below the jawline. Their lifespan is between 10-13 years.



  • Temperament: Friendly, easy-going, outgoing, confident, calm and patient
  • Life span: 10-13 years
  • Coat: Light to dark gold, black, chocolate and yellow tans
  • Adaptability: Adapts well to an apartment setting

3. Bernese Mountain Dog

two bernese mountain dogs

The Bernese Mountain Dog (BMD) is a large-sized hound bred for draft work. They’re steady tempered, alert, and easy-going, making them an ideal choice for families with large yards and farms. It’s also large with a calm demeanor and can herd cattle and pull carts efficiently. This “gentle giant” is obedient and easy to train and enjoys physical work; making them a pleasant household companion.

The Bernese features a tri-colored coat; black with tan markings with white. They also have relatively thick hair that sheds more than average, which requires regular brushing grooming to prevent matting. This dog varies in size with a weight range of between 75-120 pounds and a height of 23-27 inches.

As a family pet, the Bernese is a devoted friend and enjoys human companionship. Additionally, they are patient with other pets and children, making them excellent family companions. Since they are curious dogs, they’re well suited for adventures.


  • Temperament: Friendly, evenly tempered, alert, and easy-going
  • Life span: 7-9 years
  • Coat: Tri-colored black coat with red and white markings
  • Adaptability: Adapts well to homes with large yards and farms

4. Beagle

beagle dog

Beagles are mid-sized little fellows known for their notoriously friendly and gentle disposition. The dog is playful, making it an excellent choice for a novice looking for a small non-aggressive dog. They are very affectionate, merry, and fun-loving towards family members and will keep your kids entertained.

The Beagle is a scent hound with over 220 million scent receptors and is good with picking up scents. They were initially bred to assist in hunting small game, making them an ideal option for ground scenting.

The Beagle stands tall at 13-15 inches and weighs 18-30 pounds. They have a smooth, dense, and water repellent coat that doesn't shed much, although regular brushing keeps them healthy. Because they are pack dogs, they enjoy company from people or pets.


  • Temperament: Affectionate, fun-loving, kind and pet-friendly,
  • Life span: 10-15 years
  • Coat: Tri-colored coat with red, white and black saddle
  • Adaptability: Adapts well to an apartment setting

5. Bergamasco

bergamasque shepherd dog

The Bergamasco is also known as the sheepdog and features a unique coat that is long and thick that gives him a distinguishing characteristic among all dog breeds. Their hair forms three types of naturally occurring loose mats that look like they’re woven together that cover the whole body. The flocks give the Bergamasco a rustic appearance.

In contrast to their formidable appearance, they are brilliant, balanced, peaceful, patient, obedient, alert, observant, and stubbornly devoted to working. Additionally, the Bergamasco is vigilant and makes an excellent watchdog to alert you of strangers.

They have a solid grey, silver grey or solid black coat that gives them camouflage when working in the mountains. The Bergamasco is muscular and bulky boned with a long body. They stand tall at 22-23 inches and weigh between 51-71 pounds.


  • Temperament: Intelligent, balanced, patient, obedient, alert, observant and devoted
  • Life span: 13-15 years
  • Coat: Solid grey, silver grey or solid black
  • Adaptability: Adapts well to a mountain environment

6. Bulldog

french bulldog in autumnal scenery

If you're looking for a solidly built short-haired dog known for its legendary patience with kids, then we’d recommend the Bulldog. They’re friendly, dependable, easy-going and people-oriented, making them a wonderful family pet. Additionally, they are low endurance dogs with a sweet and gentle disposition.

The Bulldog was originally bred for fighting and baiting thanks to their bold personality. However, they don't tend to be barkers, but their appearance alone is enough to frighten off strangers. They are also loyal, protective, and territorial, making them excellent watchdogs.

The Bulldog is very muscular and stocky. They weigh about 40 to 50 pounds and stand tall at 12 to 15 inches. They have a white, red, fawn or pale yellow bridle coat and shed averagely; meaning they are low maintenance dogs. Their heads are heavily wrinkled with thick folds. The Bulldog requires little exercise, making them a popular choice for people living in apartments.


  1. Temperament: Friendly, dependable, easy-going and people-oriented
  2. Life span: 8-12 years
  3. Coat: Robust white, red, fawn or pale yellow bridle
  4. Adaptability: Adapts well to apartments

7. Rough Collie

rough collie dog

The Rough Collie is intelligent, sweet, peaceful, elegant, and graceful. They are strikingly beautiful, mild-mannered and even-tempered, making them ideal companions as well as capable herding dogs. Besides, they are loyal and protective, so it's vital to introduce them to different people and other pets when they're puppies. They also enjoy playing with kids and make excellent watchdogs.

The Collie is smart and a quick learner and responds well to consistent, reward-based training. Puppies are particularly curious and playful, although they need early socialization so that they grow up as well-rounded dogs.

The Rough Collie has a rough-textured double coat with abundant, long, straight hair and a soft furry undercoat that give them an elegant look. You can spot them in four colors – a mix of black, brown, and tan with white markings. They stand tall at 24 to 26 inches and weigh 50 to 70 pounds.


  1. Temperament: Intelligent, sweet, peaceful, elegant, loyal, and patient
  2. Life span: 10-14 years
  3. Coat: Black with white markings, blue merle, sable, and white markings
  4. Adaptability: Good for novice owners

8. Irish Setter

irish setter in summer forest

The Irish setter has a stunning appearance with a rich chestnut red coat. It has long silky featherings on the ears, tail, forelegs, chest and belly. They stand tall at 27 inches and look glamorous in appearance with an outgoing and friendly attitude. The Irish setter is a hunting dog bred for hunting purposes. They enjoy a fair amount of daily exercise.

They are intelligent, patient, fun-loving, and gentle with the elderly and young kids. They make excellent family companions and mostly compete in dog sports thanks to their ability and stamina to run for a long time. Early socialization of this breed is essential, as the Irish setter is a shy dog; although high-spirited and patient with small children.

The Irish setter weighs between 60-70 pounds and stands tall at 27 inches. Their sturdy, long legs make them excellent sporting and family dogs.


  1. Temperament: Intelligent, patient, fun-loving, and gentle
  2. Life span: 11-15 years
  3. Coat: Mahogany or rich chestnut red
  4. Adaptability: Adapts well to an apartment setting

9. Greyhound

italian greyhound

The Greyhound is a slender and long-legged dog. It's a sighthound bred for track racing. Despite their physical appearance, they have a laid back personality and are polite with people. They are also peaceful, quiet, calm, and move gracefully. The Greyhound is a politely reserved dog and does well in quiet environments. Although they are non-aggressive, they like to chase cats and smaller dogs, but they rarely bark.

The Greyhound can be aloof with strangers; therefore, early socialization helps to ensure they grow up well-rounded. They have a sleek, short, and smooth, easy to care for coat that comes in different colors. These colors include gray, white, red, fawn, black, or streaked African Savanna pattern. He’s a moderate shedder and requires daily brushing.

Greyhounds are built for speed and have a sizeable streamlined frame. They weigh 65-85 pounds and stand tall at 25-29 inches tall. They also have a long neck and face, a deep chest, a slightly arched loin, and narrow waist.


  1. Temperament: Peaceful, quiet, calm, gentle
  2. Life span: 12-15 years
  3. Coat: Grey, white, red, fawn, black, streaked African Savanna patterns
  4. Adaptability: Adapts well to quiet environments

10. Newfoundland Dog


The Newfoundland is a working dog. They have a large frame, a broad and massive face, but their size can be a problem with other pets if not well trained. They’re also good swimmers thanks to their broad feet and webbed toes. Additionally, they have a dense, oily, water-resistant coat that sheds all year round.

He will need a considerable amount of yard space for exercise and safe access to water where he can swim if he’s to keep healthy. The Newfoundland is a massive dog with a docile temperament that loves to play with children. He is courageous, intelligent, watchful, and sweet, which makes him an excellent rescue and family dog.

The Newfoundland is a large breed and can gain 100 pounds in the first year. Adults can weigh 130-150 pounds and stand tall at 26-28 inches. You can spot the dog in a wide range of colors that include black, brown, grey, or white with black markings.


  • Temperament: Courageous, intelligent, watchful and sweet
  • Life span: 8-10 years
  • Coat: Black, brown, grey, or white with black markings
  • Adaptability: Adapts well to spacious environments and near water bodies

Take Away

Large dogs like the Greyhound, Newfoundland, and Rough Collie among others are often seen as aggressive due to their body size and frame. On the contrary, most are gentle giants with a laid back disposition. On the other hand, small breeds tend to exhibit aggression towards owners and strangers.

If you’re looking for the least aggressive dog or one with a laid back demeanor, this list will help you to start your adoption journey. While some breeds exhibit a hostile personality, improper socialization, and other environmental triggers can make even the most relaxed dog hostile.

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