What dog breeds are the most nonreactive or least aggressive?

What dog breeds are the most nonreactive or least aggressive?

Life As A Pet Parent

Choosing the right dog for your family is a highly-loaded endeavour with a lot riding on getting things right. It is important to do plenty of research and rule out dogs and dog breeds that would not be an appropriate fit for your home, lifestyle, family or living situation, which often means that the list of dogs that would tick all of the right boxes for any individual will often be quite short.

If you intend to bring your new dog into a home with children, or if you’re planning to have children in the next few years, making a sound choice is even more important. Not only must your new dog be able to fit into a busy family home and be happy to share the attention with your children, but you also need to ensure that the dog is safe, trustworthy and unaggressive too.

Every single dog regardless of their breed is an individual, and their personalities are shaped by a combination of nature and nurture, training and management, which largely dictates how they view the world and their reactions to the things they face within it. Any individual dog’s personality and handling might make them a great fit for family life, just as any dog might be an inappropriate choice for such situation in another circumstance, and there are no guarantees that picking a dog of a specific breed will mean that it displays certain textbook traits.

No dog is perfect, and any dog may react with aggression if they are frightened, anxious, mistreated or poorly handled, and it is very important to ensure that every member of your family respects the dog, treats them kindly, and knows when to leave them alone. Supervision of dogs around younger children is important too, regardless of the type of dog involved, and there is no way to get around this.

However, some breeds and types of dog tend to be more laid back, nonreactive and unaggressive when under stress than others, and these are a good place to start when it comes to choosing a new dog for a family, or where these traits are otherwise highly prized.

In this article we will suggest four great dog breeds that are widely renowned for being nonreactive and unaggressive in most situations, and which are worthy of consideration by people seeking a dog with such traits. Read on to learn more.

The greyhound

The greyhound is a tall, lean and leggy dog breed that is a type of sighthound, a dog type that we associate with a very high running speed and a strong prey drive. Whilst you might also fairly assume that these traits mean greyhounds are very lively and energetic dogs that are always looking for something to hunt, the greyhound can actually make for an excellent family dog.

Greyhounds will usually hunt small prey instinctively, but they are very gentle and calm dogs with people, and aside from needing a couple of daily walks to allow them to run and stretch their legs, they are quite quiet, sedentary dogs that are very laid back and nonreactive to things that might cause a negative reaction in many other dog types.

The Newfoundland

The Newfoundland dog is a very large, muscular and heavy giant dog breed, whose sheer size can make dogs of the breed seem very imposing. However, Newfoundland dogs are real gentle giants, and they have a huge soft spot for children, often being very loyal to the younger members of the family and potentially, quite protective of them too.

Newfoundlands often seem to do everything in slow motion, and they are thoughtful, soulful dogs that think things through before they act. They are rarely phased by children being noisy or rowdy as long as they’re not deliberately annoying the dog, and they’re generally calm and affectionate with even strange children.

The pug

The pug is a small, compact brachycephalic dog breed that is little enough to live happily in most types of homes, and that can be quite mischievous and comical to have around. They tend to actively enjoy the company of children and seek them out for play and attention, and they generally love being involved in everything going on within the home.

Pugs have kind, honest natures as a rule and they’re rarely snappy or unreliable. If you’re looking for a smaller dog breed that is widely renowned for being a great match for families, the pug may be a good choice.

The Labrador retriever

Finally, the Labrador retriever is a hugely popular large dog breed that is lively, intelligent and very personable, and they have lots of potential for a wide range of lifestyles including home life, working roles and canine sport.

For a versatile all-round family pet that is well behaved in the home and lively and fun-loving when playing, you would be hard pressed to find a better dog than the average Labrador. Labs are also quite adept at adapting their behaviour to accommodate for small children and shy children, and they are a great breed to help children to gain more confidence around dogs too.

Labradors are rarely reactive or defensive even under stress, and this is perhaps one of the most commonly chosen breeds for families seeking a new dog that will thrive within a family home and build strong relationships with the children and their friends.

Newsletter icon
Get free tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.


Pets for StudWanted Pets

Accessories & services


Knowledge Hub


Support & Safety Portal
All Pets for Sale