10 Dog Breeds That Barely Bark, According to Veterinarians
You won't have to worry about receiving a noise complaint if you have one of these dogs.
Whether they're excited to see you, hungry, need attention, or feel scared, most dogs have no problem getting loud and vocal. While some pooches resort to whining, yelping, or howling, barking is often the universal signal. But when you're trying to work, watch TV, or get some sleep, the noise level can be a bit much—especially if you have neighbors within earshot. That's why it might be worth it to look into dogs that don't bark. We spoke to veterinarians and dog trainers to uncover which pups hardly make a peep. Keep reading to learn more about them.
While they may not be the best-known breed, the Basenji can be a fantastic option for anyone looking for a quieter canine.
"This breed is known as the 'barkless dog' and is originally from Africa," Deepanshu Bedi, marketing director for Holistapet, tells Best Life. "They are an independent and aloof breed that is not prone to excessive barking."
However, there's a small caveat. "These dogs cannot bark, but they are vocal and can make other sounds, including howls," notes Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS, a veterinary surgeon and consultant for FiveBarks.
From their adorable faces and compact size to their friendly demeanor and loyal tendencies, Shih Tzus are a popular breed for a reason. And experts say that despite their occasional yappy reputation, they're not all that loud.
"The Shih Tzu will alert bark when it detects unusual sounds but is not a particularly vocal breed," Breed Advisor says.
"They are the perfect pets for people who live in apartments and have a lot of noise to deal with," Aaron Rice, an expert dog trainer and co-owner of Stayyy, tells Best Life. "They're also good for people who live in areas with a lot of traffic or where their neighbors might not be understanding about their dog's barking. They are usually small, low-maintenance, and easy to train. They also have high intelligence and don't need a lot of exercise because they are so small."
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
For anyone looking for a dog that won't make too much noise, experts point out that a breed's overall demeanor can be a huge deciding factor. But while some smaller dogs are prone to being overly energetic, one particular tiny variety defies the trend.
"The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an affectionate and laid-back pet who rarely gets over-excited," says Simon. "They are easygoing and are not prone to excessive barking. And since they tend to be so quiet and calm, it's no wonder they are so popular with senior owners and young families."
Other experts point out that the breed has been preferred for these traits for many years. "They were originally bred as lap dogs for English nobility, and they retain that gentle disposition today," points out Jeff Netzley, a dog trainer and the founder of Dog Training Near You.
Known for their slim build and ability to hit breakneck speeds, Greyhounds are a quiet dog that may be a good option for anyone looking for a larger pet.
"Greyhounds are a timid, quiet breed that would rather keep to themselves than bark incessantly at whatever's outside the window," says Daniel Caughill, a canine expert and co-founder of The Dog Tale. "This makes them perfect for those who'd like a quiet pet."
"However, their timidity doesn't mean Greyhounds don't know how to play," Caughill adds. "Since they were bred as racing dogs, Greyhounds love to go for a quick zoom around the yard."
Many dogs are known for their breed's physical characteristics—whether it's their size, coat, or unique coloring. In the case of the Shar Pei, its adorably wrinkly appearance gets more attention than the fact that it's a relatively calm breed.
"Bred as a guard dog in China, the Shar Pei rarely barks unless there's a potential danger to its owner," explains Ann-Marie Sharpe, a pet expert with Breed Advisor. "With early training, they're an excellent, obedient companion."
Bernese Mountain Dog
Working breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs are often coveted for their loyalty and ability to be easily trained. But this specific dog is also very quiet.
"Bred to work, these hardy dogs worked alongside their owners in the farmlands of Switzerland," says Sharpe. "They tend to bark very little and are generally quite laid back."
The breed is also a good option for anyone with little ones in mind. "They are great for families with small children, as they are very patient and tolerant," Netzley adds.
Great Danes truly exemplify a vast difference between size and personality. Despite being one of the largest breeds out there, these timid, low-maintenance animals are unlikely to cause a racket.
"These big beautiful dogs are calm and loving, known as 'gentle giants' with good reason," Sharpe tells Best Life. "Their calm nature means they rarely bark—although when they do, it is quite loud!"
Originally from Russia, Borzois are sighthounds that are known for hunting wolves. They're elegant and graceful in appearance and typically maintain a calm demeanor.
Joey Morris, animal behaviorist and co-founder of OverWatch K9 Academy, a dog training academy offering obedience training solutions and behavioral expertise, points out they are athletic dogs with lots of speed and endurance. However, they can quickly turn that energetic switch off.
"They are not prone to excessive barking and are often described as being cat-like," says Sean Prichard, certified canine fitness coach (CCFC) and current president of Pant and Wag.
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Newfoundlands are big dogs, but their size might be the only intimidating thing about them. Chris Allen, the founder of Oodlelife, shares that they're sweet and gentle and make great family dogs.
While they may sniff and whine, "this is one dog that can be trusted not to bark excessively," says Allen. He notes that they're generally content and therefore don't feel the need to get loud for your attention.
While you may have never heard of the Saluki, Prichard notes that they're one of the oldest known dog breeds, with roots dating back to ancient Egypt. With historical origins in hunting, these dogs have excellent speed and stamina, but they're not the type to bark too much.
"Salukis are gentle, dignified, and often described as reserved," says Prichard. "They are not known for being overly vocal and tend to be independent thinkers."
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