We spend a lot of time helping clients understand the importance of picking a dog that is a good fit for them. When people are looking for their perfect pet, they usually want a dog that mirrors their own nature. If you’re energetic and a real go-getter, you might want an athletic dog who can keep up with you.
For those that want a chilled-out and more relaxed pet, you have to look carefully for your best match. This can be tricky if they are puppies! Here’s our guide for finding an easy-going companion.
Breed Is Not The Only Factor In Determining A Dog’s Energy Level
It’s difficult to say whether a dog is going to be relaxed based only on their breed. We’ve had labs who are quiet and shy, and others that wanted to play ball all day. Every dog is different.
Age is a big factor. Even breeds that are more inclined to be easy-going can be a little spastic when they’re young. They have more energy than they know what to do with and it can take them a few years to settle into their typical adult behaviors.
On the other hand, older dogs of any breed tend to be more relaxed. They’ve spent their youthful energies and are ready to kick back and take it all in. If you’re thinking of adopting and you want a relaxed pet, we’d recommend adopting an older dog. Not only are they calmer, but they’re also slower to get adopted because most people want young dogs.
Every litter will have dogs of different personalities just like how human siblings are often wildly different. Traditionally, dog litters have a “pick of the litter” and a “runt.” This may seem hard to believe, but the pick of the litter isn’t a good choice for most people.
Traditionally, the pick of the litter was the dog that seemed the best for working. This meant they had traits like:
While these traits are great for a ranching dog, they’re the exact opposite of what you want in a pet dog. The pick of the litter will require the most training. The runt of the litter is more likely to be calm and relaxed.
These Dog Breeds Are Definitely NOT Relaxed
When picking a dog, you need to consider what they were bred for and their primal nature. This is their baseline energy level.
Working breeds have higher arousal levels because they were bred for performing a specific job. They needed to be active, reactive, and able to work all day alongside their owners. These breeds would include:
Breeds that fall into these categories were bred to be high-powered. They’ll need a lot of attention, exercise, and engagement from their owner. If you’re looking for a dog to laze the day away with, these puppies aren’t the right choice.
Many people think that the smaller breeds are automatically lax, but this is far from true. A breed like the Pekingese may look like a lap dog, but it was bred to be an alarm! They were trained to bark and make a huge fuss for intruders.
Sighthounds are another group that can seem relaxed on the surface. Without certain stimulus, they may lay around and act relaxed. However, these dogs were bred to react to fast movements. Some of these hound breeds include:
- Scottish Deer Hounds
- Irish Wolf Hounds
If another dog or a cat runs by one of these breeds, the movement can trigger their prey drive. They may not be the best choice for relaxation.
Breeds That Make Chill Companions: The Tinys And The Giants
The breeds most notable for their relaxed nature are the toy group and the draft group. Toy dogs are known as “lap dogs” because of their small size. Draft dogs were bred to pull carts and can be gigantic.
Both of these groups originally needed to be more relaxed for their jobs. Toys were bred to be companion dogs who patiently sat in your lap. The tinys include breeds such as:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Chinese Crested
These little dogs make perfect companions and are content to just hang out with you. They also shed less and are easier to handle because of their small stature.
The draft breeds, despite their enormous size and power, were bred to be cool and collected. If they chased every squirrel, they could derail their cargo. The draft group includes breeds like:
- Saint Bernards
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
These gentle giants are calm, cuddly, and can pull a cart if needed! But beware of the slobber!
Before we end, we’d like to say that exercise is the best way to make any dog calmer. They may never be calm, but you can definitely get your dog to chill out by getting them good and tired after a run or some playtime. Daycare at a facility like DogBoy’s is an excellent way to tire your pup out.
We are here to help you find the right dog. If you have any questions about different breeds, activity levels, or just dogs in general, please contact us today!
Ocean Dog by Austin Kirk
Lazy Bulldog by Tammy Lo
Lazy Dogs by Jlhopgood