Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of Brain Training for Dogs.
Prospective dog owners who live in the city may be searching for dog breeds that do not bark too much. If your goal is to have a dog but you still want to be able to maintain peaceful relationships with your neighbors, or if you simply wished there was a dog breed that does not require a special ''mute button,'' the good news is that, indeed, there are some dog breeds that are less inclined to bark.
In theory, any dog can be taught to bark less, however, chances of success are higher if one looks for dog breeds that do not bark much in the first place. These are dog breeds whose owners at times may question if their dog has ever had a voice.
Top Quiet Dog Breeds
The Basenji has a reputation of not being a barker, however they are not totally mute. Rather, they tend to produce noises similar to those produced by a coyote or a wolf. Basenji's are capable of screaming, howling, growling, and yodeling, however, they are not repeat barkers, rather their barks are pretty isolated. Their tendency not to bark much is due to the fact the fact that they derive from wild canines at the time where silence and stealth was required in order to be good hunters and survive.
Whippets are sleek dogs that somehow resemble a Greyhound in appearance. They are not inclined to bark much because they tend to have a shy and reserved temperament. The fact that they may or may not bark at strangers approaching your home, make them poor guard dogs. They make trusting companions that are friendly to visitors. They are a good choice therefore for people concerned about maintaining a quiet setting.
This Russian breed may require exercise and daily walks, but they give some peace and quite in exchange because they are not much inclined to bark when compared to other dogs. Like the Whippet they do not make good guard dogs because they are not territorial. They are very gentle dogs that are well mannered around people when socialized properly.
This dog breed is on the quiet side, but they are are quite large specimens. Some can even reach up to 150 pounds. If space is not an issue, this lovely dog breed requires daily walks but they are calm and gentle giants that make ideal companions. While they are not known to bark a lot, some will bark to alert their owners of the presence of an intruder or a strange noise.
How to Find the Right Dog
A good way to start the search for a quiet companion is by avoiding certain dog breeds that throughout the centuries have made a living out of barking. There are indeed some dog breeds that have been genetically engineered by humans throughout the years to bark more. These are breeds that by virtue of their genetics, were appreciated mostly for their qualities of alerting owners of intruders or of the presence of game. On the other hand, there are also dog breeds that were appreciated more because of their lack of vocalization.
Breeds to Avoid
Dog breeds to avoid are some specimens specimens belonging to the hound group because they may engage in baying for countless hours each day. Beagles for instance, are known to be one of the loudest breeds. Other breeds to avoid are some specimens belonging to the guarding dog breeds because they have a tendency to be territorial and may bark or growl at every minimum noise. Some dogs belonging to the small breed category may be quite yappy at times, Terriers are known to be great barkers such as Yorkshire Terriers, Fox Terriers, and West Highland terriers, even though Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Miniature Schnauzers may join in to the cacophony society.
In general however, one must keep in mind that there is not such thing as a dog that does not bark. All dogs need to express themselves and they do so by barking. Puppies in order to survive must whine in order to get their mother's attention. Another consideration is that each dog is an individual and therefore, there will be dogs that will be more vocal and dogs that will be less even within a litter a puppies.
Breeds that bark less or more cannot be generalized. Each dog comes with its own personality and owners must learn how to discourage barking if they do not want a dog that barks at everything that moves. By choosing some dog breeds wisely and with proper training owners may enjoy some peaceful nights and good relationships with their neighbors.
© 2010 Adrienne Farricelli
darrenboy on December 28, 2013:
ridgebacks are very quiet dogs, both of mine rarely bark.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 21, 2013:
Great to hear you found the perfect dog that doesn't bark much!
Janice on April 21, 2013:
I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and i must say that she is the best dog i could ever wish for. She's reasonably quiet and she's the perfect little lap dog!
Michelle Downes on December 30, 2011:
I have 3 dogs, they very seldom bark, occassionally to let me know that someone is at the door. They are taken out twice daily, on and off lead. When I hear a dog barking regularly/constantly I always think, how sad. Most dogs bark for a reason, I am lonely, bored, needing decent exercise, cold, old and needing help, hungry etc. It seems to me that most people do not know how to correct a dog properly for barking inappropriately such as people walking past the fence, they usually yell out the dog's name in a harsh manner. What does that mean to the dog, not much. Happy New Year and hoping that all dog owners try and learn how to give your animals a well balanced and happy life, it is so worth it for you and your dog.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 19, 2011:
At this age, a vet visit is recommended just to check all is fine. Sudden barking as you portray may indicate eye problems, ear problems and even the first signs of canine dementia. Doesn't hurt to rule these out. Best wishes!
Lonz on December 19, 2011:
My mastiff x never used to bark too much though recently she seems to be barking at every little thing. She turned 12 in October so she is getting on, but it is frustrating as she is only barking because something is worrying her, but it's just every day stuff like cars driving past, or doors shutting... She spends the day outside while we are at work but comes inside when we are home...
makesumsense on October 19, 2011:
I agree that any breed of dog is capable of barking and barking excessively. Usually, though, when a dog is barking a lot it is trying to tell us something. Quite often, they are not getting enough excersie. I have a 10 month old male Vizsla and he did not bark at all until he was 6 months old. Now, he will bark for us when we ask him to 'speak' and if he is trying to tell us he wants a toy that has gotten stuck behind furniture, or a snack but it will still only be one bark and I am very grateful for that! I suggest observing the parents before choosing a pup as they will give you great insite as to the future temperment of your puppy. Good luck!
Irene on September 11, 2011:
I had two Bichons. The first one I got as a puppy and taught it that it was uneccessary to bark when the neighbours were outside. I just said sch... It's ok in a query whisper whilst petting him and after a few times it worked. After that he would still let me know with a kind of grumping noise and I gave him lots of praise for that.
northshore70448 on September 08, 2010:
I used to have a Rhodesian Ridgeback. He was the most gentle and silent dog ever. His facial features and size was intimidating to outsiders, but he never barked and was sweet as pie.
Pamela Dapples from Just Arizona Now on May 18, 2010:
Great article and interesting additions to it.
Jaspal from New Delhi, India on January 05, 2010:
I have two cockers, and the elder one who is 5 years old has, since the last one year or so, started barking when he wants attention, or is complaining about something, or in greeting to people he recognises. The younger one who is 10 months old, is pretty quiet. I wonder if it has something to do with age too. Even the elder one was quieter when younger.
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on January 04, 2010:
Great article, I have a poodle. She didn't bark for several years, now she does bark with this annoying high pitch sound. The neibors complain and it's winter and all the window and doors are closed and I don't life in an apartment. LOL
must65gt on January 04, 2010:
lol...I have Jack Russell’s, no chance of teaching them not to bark. Some great recommendations though. A little late for me and my family to fall out of love with our little noise makers. nice hub.