Are you looking to welcome a new dog into the family? That’s great news! But, you are worried about the kids and your other pets, “What if the dog is aggressive?”
To answer your question, all dogs tend to bite because, of course, they are dogs. The biting behavior or aggressiveness also depends on their owners, past life mistreatment, or the environment. When dogs feel threatened, they most likely show hostility. The fear or uneasiness may increase the probability of biting.
Even though dogs have a biting tendency, many are sweet-natured and considered non-aggressive. In this article, we’ll get to know in total 17 least aggressive dog breeds.
8 Big Dog Breeds That Don’t Bite
We are glad to present you with a list of dogs that don’t bite. You might be surprised by some of them!
Newfoundlands are known for their gentle nature. Don’t be fooled by their size; they make great snuggle buddies. Your pets will love snuggling on their soft-long fur coat. They are very affectionate towards kids and love their families dearly. Oh! They also love swimming because they were originally bred to save drowners.
2. Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds for families in the U.S. They are admired for their calm, playful, and funny nature and also definitely for their luscious golden coat. They are people-pleasers and feel happy to be working for you.
3. Labrador Retrievers
Like the goldens, Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds. They tend to be very cooperative because they were originally bred to co-operate when hunting. But, they show not even a little aggression. They are playful, intelligent, and easy to train. Just like the goldens, they are people-pleasers, so they make good companions.
Yes, Boxers are on the sweet list! Believe us or not, behind their muscular and fierce look is a big-hearted, affectionate dog that loves kids. They are a very misunderstood breed, and they are the opposite of what people think. They are intelligent, loyal, and easily trainable. They are also the 3 Ps: playful, protective, and patient! You and your kids will become BFFs with boxers in no time.
5. Bernese Mountain Dogs
Bernese Mountain Dogs are big and powerful but are also ranked very low on the aggression scale. They are very calm, patient, and affectionate. They love helping out around the house and make great service dogs. That’s why they are perfect for kids. If you go out for walks, be sure Bernese will be there to guide your kids.
Whippets rank as the least aggressive dog breed. The reasons are clear why. They are sighthounds who are very calm, quiet, and mild-tempered. They love being affectionate to kids and enjoy playing with them but don’t worry; it’s not rough play. They are also very good with other pets. Practically, they are already family dogs. Most of all, they love to lie down with their favorite human.
7. Basset Hound
Basset hounds are comfort-loving dogs. They can also be considered lazy. Even though they are hunting dogs, they have a chilled-natured. They love long naps under the sun and will spend their time relaxing. Kids love to cuddle with them, and they like being around children. They are bright but challenging to train and usually can’t remember many commands. So you better start training them from the puppy stage!
8. Irish Setter
Irish Setters are also known as Ret Setters because of their magnificent red coats. Initially, they were gundogs who helped hunters bring back doves, ducks, or quails. But they are very kind and patient, making them great for kids and other family pets. They are very energetic, athletic, and goofy. They are very obedient, making them easily trainable, but they can be anti-social because they are shy dogs. Isn’t that cute!
9 Kid-Friendly Small Dog Breeds
If you are still afraid of small dogs being too aggressive, you can always settle for small dogs who are kid-friendly and less likely to bite. Where will you find them? You can find them right here!
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels classify as toy breeds because of their height, i.e., under 13 inches. Even being this small, they have a big heart and personality. They are very cheerful, playful, kind, and easy-going around children. They also favor the companionship of other pets.
Fun Fact: They are very adaptable. Do you want to go for a run? They will happily accompany you. Do you want to relax on a couch? They will happily be your couch potato.
Beagles are adorable, and they do well with families as they tend to like to live with a crowd. They are pretty athletic, and their ears flop in the air when they run, just like wings. But they are also notorious for running after smells that may seem pleasing. So remember to fence your yard and leash them properly on walks.
Pugs are like babies with big black eyes and cute baby-like faces. They steal the hearts of many. Pugs are playful, even-tempered, and love being around people. They are very sensitive to scoldings. But watch out for the weight gain because they love snacking!
Bulldogs may look intimidating, but they are harmless. They are just soft-hearted fur balls. They sometimes like a little rough play, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for aggression. They will tug or tumble! They also have a laid-back nature, but they are not lazy. So, don’t forget to go on walks.
Havanese is a small, adorable dog breed weighing only up to 13 pounds. They are very friendly and sweet and impress any passerby. But, they don’t like getting scolded and behave like babies. They won’t step back when it comes to guarding the house.
6. Portuguese Water Dogs
Portuguese water dogs are one of the best choices if you want a medium-sized dog. They are outgoing, playful, intelligent, and love being around humans. They show enthusiasm for trying new things. Let’s name a famous Portuguese water dog, Sunny Obama. Do you know why the former president got them? Because they are fun-loving and hypoallergenic dogs, as Malia Obama has allergies.
7. Bichon Frises
The first thing that will come to mind when you see a Bichon Frise is Teddy Bear. They look exactly like a white teddy bear with fluffy-curly coats. They have positive, playful, and happy-go-lucky behavior. They love the company of kids, adults, and other animals. But you should watch the kids because the furballs can easily get hurt. They are also hypoallergenic for those who are allergic.
8. Shih Tzus
“Little Lion” is the meaning of Shih Tzu, but an adorable, small pup like them can’t even hurt a fly! They weigh only 10 to 16 pounds and grow up to 9 to 10 inches tall when fully grown. Shih Tzus are known to be excellent lap dogs. They adjust to small places and are obedient. But sometimes, they can be curious and roam around the house investigating! Shih Tzus are also hypoallergenic.
Papillons are small dogs weighing only 10 pounds. Papillon means “butterfly,” a name given for its fascinating look. The fur on their ears represents it. Just like butterflies, they are delightful, delicate, gentle, and loving. They are great with kids and other pets. But be mindful during playtime because they are very delicate.
Why Are Small Dogs So Aggressive?
The University of Helsinki, Finland, studied 9,000 dogs on the factors behind aggressiveness. They found that small dogs are likely more aggressive than mid-sized or large dog breeds. The factors behind it can be due to their size or fearfulness or may be due to past trauma. Lack of training can also be a cause for aggressive behavior.
Many owners think small dogs don’t need much training, and some also feel that this aggressiveness is cute. It is a wrong concept. Imagine your small dog showing hostility to your bigger dog; then your bigger dog snaps one day! It can cause a chaotic situation. So, it’s better to train the small and big dogs properly.
Get to know five tips to train an aggressive dog. Scroll down!
5 Tips on Training Aggressive Dogs
All dogs need proper training from the puppy stage to avoid any aggressive behavior. I hope these five tips will help you train your dog. It will improve their patience, manners, and behavior in total.
Usually, dogs behave aggressively when they are experiencing any health issues. So you may want to check up on the vet for proper clinical examinations.
Tip 2: Make sure the dog’s exercise needs and playtime
Dogs need a lot of exercise and playtime. Usually, lonely or bored dogs get aggressive toward their owners and be destructive. Providing enough playtime and exercise can help them.
Tip 3: Positive reinforcement: Reward-based training techniques
Dogs feel more ready to repeat something rewarding. Remember how we train dogs to sit, roll over, shake, etc. Positive reinforcement takes practice and depends on your understanding of your dog’s behavior. You can check out some reward training techniques from the American Kennel Club.
Tip 4: Be calm
The most important thing you can do around your aggressive dog is calm. Most dogs are scared and react to sudden movements and bites. So, stay calm! It will show your dog that you are not a threat, and they will calm down too.
Tip 5: Consult a certified dog trainer
You may not have the proper training or mechanics to control and train an aggressive dog. So, leave it to the professionals! They know how to train your dog to calm down and be their sweet self.
Find trainers through Karen Pryor Academy or look for trainers with these credentials:
- For Mild Aggressions: CBCC-KA, JDA, KPA, PMCT, PPG, or VBC
- For Significant Aggressions: ACAAB, CAAB, PMCT 2 or 3, VB, VBC, and some CBCC-KAs, JDAs, or KPAs
- For Severe Aggressions: ACAAB, CAAB, VB, or VBC
Who’s a Good Pupper?
Every dog breed has its unique way of loving you. Just like humans, they express themselves very differently. But, of course, aggressive behavior shouldn’t be encouraged. All dogs need proper training when you get them. If you have trouble training, look for others who can help.
Are you having trouble finding compatible dog breeds? You can go through the Spruce Pets to make yourself a dog breed compatibility chart. It will help you decide better which of these mentioned least aggressive dog breeds you want.
We hope this article helps you find your perfect match!
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I am Dana McQueen, a Veterinary Doctor who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. For years, I have got common questions from friends and family about their pets. So, I decided to open up this website and answer all those frequently asked questions. Alongside, here I share my expert knowledge about pet care, pet health and the animal environment.