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8 Best Calm Dog Breeds for a Relaxing Walk

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and also spends time training and caring for his own canine family.

Some dogs make relaxing companions on a walk.

Some dogs make relaxing companions on a walk.

How to Find a Calm Dog That Does Well on Walks

If you already have a dog, you know that going for a walk can be one of the most relaxing times of the day. For some people, however, this is not the case. I hear both of these complaints and a lot of others just like them pretty often:

“Every time I take my Frenchie for a walk, we are surrounded by a bunch of loose pit bulls that run around our neighborhood.”

“Every time I take my pit bull for a walk, one of the neighbors lets his little rat-sized Min Pin loose and he runs up and barks in my dog's face. I hold on to her, but one of these days she is going to kill that little dog.”

If you are thinking about your first dog or are looking for a companion to join your canine household, here are eight dog breeds that would be great to take out for a relaxing walk:

Top 8 Dog Breeds That Are Great for Leash Walks

  1. Brittany
  2. Standard Schnauzer
  3. Shar-Pei
  4. Portuguese Water Dog
  5. Irish Setter
  6. Boxer
  7. Golden Retriever
  8. Doberman

It's important to remember that there are no guarantees when you bring any dog home, of course, but here are the characteristics you should be looking for in a dog:

Traits to Look for in a Dog

  • Medium-sized: Not so tiny that you have to worry about other dogs and not so giant that you are not able to control them.
  • Calm: A very active dog is going to be very hard to handle for anyone, and if the person is small, weak, or elderly, this situation is going to be even worse.
  • Somewhat athletic: Some dog breeds have health issues and are not comfortable on long walks.
  • Non-aggressive: There are no guarantees that a dog will not be aggressive as any dog can change with age. Some dog breeds, however, are prone to this problem more than others and should be avoided.

1. The Brittany

Although this dog breed was developed to hunt, it is very affectionate and amazingly calm when out for a walk. These dogs are the perfect size for a relaxing stroll, athletic but not too active, and rarely, if ever, dog-aggressive. If you wanted a small dog because you are looking for something that would be cuddly, this dog is definitely your best choice among all of those listed here.

What to Know About This Breed

The Brittany does not do well when left alone all day, and unfortunately, some of these dogs do develop separation anxiety. And, since they have feathery coats, they do tend to shed a lot.

2. The Standard Schnauzer

This dog is a working breed and a type I would not normally recommend for a relaxing walk, but overall, Standard Schnauzers are a confident breed and adept at walking around without creating problems. They are easy to train, great around livestock, do not shed much, and make great watchdogs.

What to Know About This Breed

When discussing dog breeds, there is always a “however.” In this case, the Standard Schnauzer's negative traits include their need to be regularly groomed since they do not shed. They are also at risk of getting bored and destructive if they are not exercised or lack socialization or interaction. For this reason, they are often recommended for experienced owners only.

Portuguese Water Dogs are great with kids and do not shed much.

Portuguese Water Dogs are great with kids and do not shed much.

3. The Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is great because it does not shed much. They make good watchdogs but are not large and hard to handle like some of the other larger watchdog/guard dog breeds. This is one of the breeds I recommend for families that want a nearly hypoallergenic dog that is good around kids.

What to Know About This Breed

Although this breed is not going to shed much, their coat does need to be clipped about every 6 weeks. Do keep in mind that this is a working breed and can be a little hyperactive if not walked enough.

4. The Shar-Pei

One of the great things about this breed of dog is that they do okay even if left alone all day when the family has to go to work. They do not need to be walked as much as the rest of the dogs on this list and tend to be easy to housebreak and very loyal to their family.

What to Know About This Breed

One main concern about a leisurely walk with one of these dogs is the issue of aggression. These dogs usually need a take-charge owner who has experience around other dogs. Many dogs of this breed are not aggressive, however, if you do find one to welcome into your home and want to walk a lot, please remember that this breed was developed as a guard dog and fighting dog. Shar-Peis can also have serious health problems, and some of these might be chronic and expensive.

5. The Irish Setter

If you are looking to get a larger dog than those breeds listed above and have plenty of time and inclination to take your dog on long walks, the Irish Setter is a great choice. Irish Setters are usually not aggressive with other people or with dogs, are easy to train, and look great because of their flashy coats.

What to Know About This Breed

Irish Setters do not do well alone, so if you work all day, it is not a good idea to acquire one of these dogs and leave them home all day. They also have glamorous coats that need daily grooming and tend to shed a lot.

6. The Boxer

Although larger than most of the dogs on this list, the Boxer has a pretty low prey drive and is not likely to run off chasing a cat. Most of the members of this breed have little need to chase other animals as well.

What to Know About This Breed

Unfortunately, these dogs are brachycephalic, so they tend to have some breathing problems and wheeze and snort a lot. They also slobber, tend to be gassy, and have a short lifespan because of their often inherited health issues.

7. The Golden Retriever

Many casual walkers will want a dog that is smaller than a Golden Retriever; however, if you decide you want a larger dog, this is an excellent choice. They have a low prey drive and usually get along with all the other animals in the house. They are also typically good with kids and make nice companions when out on a walk.

What to Know About This Breed

Goldens do have some negative traits like any other breed. They do tend to shed more than other breeds, they can be very active and mouthy when young, and they can suffer from a lot of serious health problems like recurrent ear infections, obesity, and arthritis.