Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
Some breeds, like the Siberian Husky, do not bark much but are very vocal. For some others, barking is more normal—in fact, some breeds were actually bred to bark a lot. Others, of course, were selected to not bark as much.
No large dog will stay quiet all of the time, but the following breeds do not bark much.
Big Dogs That Aren't Big Barkers
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Bull Terrier
Some watchdogs are good because they bark a lot. The Rottweiler is actually the best family watch dog because he is concerned about his family and will bark as soon as anything threatens them.
Other watch and guard dogs are different. The Bullmastiff is one of them. They are a breed that watches and guards but does not bark much. These dogs were originally developed to guard estates back in the 19th century.
Bullmastiffs are one of the largest of the breeds that does not bark much, weighing about 50 kilos (110 pounds) and sometimes even a little more. Like all giant dogs, they need to be socialized early and go through obedience training.
Common Health Issues
About a fourth of all Bullmastiffs have hip dysplasia, so if you are getting a puppy, be sure the parents have been evaluated. Dogs are also prone to bloat and arthritis.
Bullmastiffs usually only live about eight years.
2. Neapolitan Mastiff
Like the Bullmastiff, the Neo is a large dog who usually only barks when it is necessary. This is one of the best family guard dogs, ready to lie quietly and do what he must to defend his family. They should not be chosen just because they do not bark much, but that is definitely one of the good points of this intelligent and powerful guard dog.
This Italian breed is really big, often over 60 kilos (about 130 pounds).
Common Health Issues
They are prone to hip dysplasia. Because of their loose skin and droopy eyes, they are prone to cherry eye and eyelid diseases like ectroption and entropion. When they get older, they are likely to develop arthritis.
Most Neos only live seven or eight years.
This large sighthound is best known for being thin, but they are also one of the breeds that does not bark much. They will usually run when they get a chance, almost always stay away from strangers, and rarely bark.
They really need to get out and run in a safe area, but as long as they have exercise, they are unlikely to have behavioral problems and even less likely to become aggressive.
Even though they are so sleek, adult Borzois usually weigh more than 45 kilos (about 120 pounds).
Common Health Issues
They are prone to bloat, as are most big dogs with deep chests, and some dogs may develop retinal atrophy (PRA) and heart disease.
Borzois usually live about 11 years.
This sighthound has a reputation for being fierce because of the wire muzzles dogs wear at the racetrack. They are actually a gentle breed, and although they like to run, they are also known as “couch potatoes” because of their quiet nature.
They need to go for a walk every day, and they're most likely to be quiet if they have an enclosed place to run. Most Greyhounds will stay calm back at the house, rarely bark, and sleep most of the time they are not taken outside. A comfortable couch is appreciated.
Greyhounds usually weigh over 30 kilos (around 65 pounds) and that weight is almost all muscle and bone. These dogs have less body fat than any other breed and a large heart. The only other animal that can run as fast is the cheetah.
Common Health Issues
Most dogs are healthy, but of course they can be prone to bloat and bed sores, both problems secondary to their anatomy.
Greyhounds have an average lifespan of about 11 or 12 years.
5. Bull Terrier
Although they are famous for their powerful bodies, Bull Terriers are actually mild and are nicknamed the “white cavalier” since they almost never start fights, but usually are able to finish them.
Fanciers do not recommend them for first-time dog owners since they are so powerful, independent, and stubborn. They have a high prey drive and do not do well with cats and other small animals.
This English breed is the smallest of the large dog breeds that don’t bark much. Some are as small as 20 kilos (about 45 pounds), but others are large and weigh over 35 kilos (over 80 pounds).
Common Health Issues
Bull Terriers live about 10 years.
Breeder Recommended: The American Alsatian
The breeder who started the American Alsatian breeding program left a comment that her dogs do not bark much. They look fantastic and have a lot going for them. If you like the looks of this modern Dire Wolf, be sure to contact one of the breeders and check them out.
How Do I Find These Breeds?
Several of these dogs are going to be difficult to find. If you are looking for one of the large breeds that do not bark much, your first stop should be your local animal shelter. Tell the volunteers what type of dog you are looking for, and you may find out they have just what you are looking for!
If you have no luck, visit a dog show and talk to breeders that have the type you are looking for. You can find out when puppies or an adult will be ready, and you can find out what you will need to make your new dog a part of your family.
If Your Dog Barks, Put the Time Into Training
If you already have a dog that barks too much, do not give up on him! Try to provide more exercise and give him a reason to bark less. If you need more help, read how to train a dog to bark less.
More About Choosing a Great Dog . . .
- Five Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds
If you need a protection dog find out which breed will do the job.Photos, videos, and descriptions of the five best will help you decide.
- Five Large Dog Breeds That Look Like Guards
Are you looking for a big dog with a fierce gaze and a deep bark? All of these dogs look like guards, and pictures, videos, and details will give you the advice you need to choose one of the best.
- Five Large Dog Breeds For People That Like to Be Alo...
Want to keep a breed of dog that really will guard your home, even from the meter reader? Try one of these five!
© 2013 Dr Mark
Elizabeth on August 27, 2019:
You could knock me over with a feather as I have been dealing with neighbors who have non stop barking bull mastiffs. They live in separate homes.
Told neighbors about problem. Ssy sorry and it continues for years now.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 01, 2015:
Thanks so much for that comment. I am making a note about the Am. Alsatian in the text above.
Lois Schwarz on March 01, 2015:
You do realize that everything an entity is , is genetic. Therefore Barking is also genetic and I can and do breed dogs that do not bark much. The Am. Alsatian only barks when necessary. Come visit out 20+ dogs and hear the birds chirping.
darrenboy on December 28, 2013:
my ridgebacks rarely bark and we leave them out the back during the day and most nights apart from the winter months
alannahbale from Rugby, Warwickshire on May 27, 2013:
Very interesting hub! :-)
Shelley Watson on May 26, 2013:
Hi - I had two bull terriers, and loved those dogs so much. My siamese cat arrived with the first one, joined him in his basket and they became firm friends. He would stand quite still while he was pounced on or having his tail swatted. The second one also loved the same daft siamese, but didn't take too kindly to any other cats. They love and protect what is theirs in their homes, but don't like intruders much. Thanks for the interesting hub - voted up, interesting and useful.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 26, 2013:
Does your dog bark much? One of my street dogs NEVER barks, and I think the vira lata/Pariah/Askal deserve their own category! "Great Dogs From The Street". Thanks for reading and commenting!
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on May 25, 2013:
I like the idea of silent dogs and your explanations and addition of videos were quite effective. The Neopolitan Mastiff was very funny and expressive. Maybe the pillow technique of the greyhound might have worked better:)
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 25, 2013:
Imagine if she weighed 70 kilos! I certainly would not bother asking her off the couch.
wetnosedogs from Alabama on May 25, 2013:
Love that mastiff that didn't want to get off the couch. Reminds me of Bella when she doesn't want to do something. She is not as vocal, though. But she gets a lot of sweet talking from me like the mastiff did in the video.