5 Small Dog Breeds That Don't Bark (a Lot!)

Updated on June 5, 2019
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Are you looking for a little dog who is good in a small space with thin walls and sensitive neighbors? If you want to find a list of small dog breeds that bark a lot, just open up any list of small dog breeds. Most of the breeds listed are known for their barks.

  • Forget about the Maltese—they are great, but often abandoned due to excessive barking.
  • In fact, you can forget about the all really cute, small, white dogs, which are all notorious barkers.
  • Did you have your heart set on a Yorkie? Forget about it. They are small but they bark loud enough to scare off the meter reader.

So are there any little dog breeds that are quiet? Yes! Read on.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
French bulldogs usually do not bark much when sleeping.French bulldogs do not bark much even when awake.
French bulldogs usually do not bark much when sleeping.
French bulldogs usually do not bark much when sleeping. | Source
French bulldogs do not bark much even when awake.
French bulldogs do not bark much even when awake. | Source

1. French Bulldog

  • These dogs are little, but Frenchies are not toys. They weigh about 10 kilos, or 22 pounds, and still have the thick bodies of their Mastiff ancestors.
  • They may be related to pugs, but no one really knows what all is mixed in there. (Bulldog is really from the French for “a ball Mastiff.”)
  • Frenchies are blocky, muscular, and smooth, with coats in several different colors, batwing ears, and smushed-in faces.
  • These dogs do have several health issues, sometimes related to their small short faces and unusual anatomy.
  • Some dogs are prone to back problems, luxating patellas (trick knees), and all sorts of eye problems like cataracts, corneal ulcers, and cherry eye.
  • They can't take the heat well and cannot be exercised outside on warm humid days.
  • They live about 11 or 12 years.
  • A French bulldog is probably going to stay by your side, as long as you don’t get out and exercise too much, and probably won't bark unless he needs to alert you to a problem (like a visit from a neighbor's dog who barks a lot).

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Is this Japanese Chin barking? No, she is ready to take a nap.Japanese Chin puppy: Is it confused about its size?
Is this Japanese Chin barking? No, she is ready to take a nap.
Is this Japanese Chin barking? No, she is ready to take a nap. | Source
Japanese Chin puppy: Is it confused about its size?
Japanese Chin puppy: Is it confused about its size? | Source

2. Japanese Chin

  • This is the smallest of the Japanese dog breeds (only about 4 kilos, or 9 pounds), but some people consider them one of the tiny Chinese dogs.
  • Chins may have come from China, and may be related to the Pekingese, but that does not make them Chinese. Chin are as Japanese as sushi.
  • They are easy to care for, requiring only a light brushing and occasional bath.
  • Chin do have problems with their short faces, just like French bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds. They are also prone to heart murmurs, luxating patellas (trick knees), damage to their prominent eyes, and a few less common problems.
  • Japanese Chin usually live about 10 years, but they are one of those breeds that can live a long, long time.
  • This is another breed that really only barks to alert his owner, but they are vocal at times and have an unusual singing voice.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
When Italian greyhounds sleep, they do not bark.Italian greyhound.
When Italian greyhounds sleep, they do not bark.
When Italian greyhounds sleep, they do not bark. | Source
Italian greyhound.
Italian greyhound. | Source

3. Italian Greyhound

  • Italian greyhounds are “toys” based on their weight (4 to 8 kilos, or about 9 to 18 pounds), small when compared to other sighthounds, but tall when compared to the other miniatures out there. (However, calling them miniature is not “PC.” How about vertically challenged?)
  • Italian Greyhounds (IGs) are delicate and frail and don’t require much grooming, just a bath about once a month.
  • They do need to have their teeth brushed every day since they are prone to dental disease.
  • IGs are also prone to luxating patellas (trick knees), a hip disease called Legg-Calves-Perthes, eye problems like retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, and epilepsy.
  • Since they are so fragile, they sometimes break their leg bones just messing around and pretending to be a full-sized greyhound.
  • They live about 12 years if they survive all the accidents and diseases.
  • The great news is that they hardly ever bark, but will make a great watchdog if something strange passes their way.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sleeping Boston terriers have even less reason to bark.Happy Boston terriers have no reason to bark.
Sleeping Boston terriers have even less reason to bark.
Sleeping Boston terriers have even less reason to bark. | Source
Happy Boston terriers have no reason to bark.
Happy Boston terriers have no reason to bark. | Source

4. Boston Terrier

  • Boston terriers are one of the best small watch dogs, but not because they bark a lot. This little dog (usually less than 10 kilos, or 22 pounds) is often dressed in tuxedo and is content to lie around quietly planning his next dinner party, listening to classical music, and making sure things are okay around the house.
  • At times, their working-class background comes though, as they were bred from fighting dogs and ran through the factories of the northeast U.S. searching for rats. Despite that heritage, they and are good with kids and other small animals, and tend to dote on their owners.
  • Bostons are prone to luxating patellas (trick knees), heart murmurs, eye problems like cataracts, and some of them are prone to a type of cancer called mast cell tumors.
  • Like all dogs with short noses, they don’t do well in hot and humid weather.
  • If everything goes okay, Bostons live about 12 or 13 years.
  • Barking is not really a problem with these dogs, but they may shout out on occasion when watching the house.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Shiba Inu may not bark much, but they can be very vocal.Shiba Inu are great in an apartment and look really good walking outside.
Shiba Inu may not bark much, but they can be very vocal.
Shiba Inu may not bark much, but they can be very vocal. | Source
Shiba Inu are great in an apartment and look really good walking outside.
Shiba Inu are great in an apartment and look really good walking outside. | Source

5. Shiba Inu

  • These dogs are not big, weighing in at less than 10 kilos, or 22 pounds.
  • They act like a little red fox around the house, are about as easy as red fox when it comes to training, and get along with other dogs about as well as your average neighborhood fox.
  • Shiba Inu are easy to groom, are usually healthy, and are clean so they are easy to housebreak.
  • Shiba fanciers like to point out that this breed has been around thousands of years, and individual dogs have a long life expectancy, about 13 or 14 years.
  • But do they bark much? No, not at all, but they are vocal. Shiba have a special type of “scream” when they are angry or happy.
  • Do you want a dog that also does not scream? Avoid making him happy or sad. Sounds easy.

What is the best small dog breed that doesn't bark much?

See results

Where to Find a Quiet Little Dog

All of these dogs are great potential family members. If you are interested in finding a little dog that does not bark much, be sure to call or run by your local animal shelter first. Sometimes owners have to give up their dog because of a move, at other times a little dog may run away from home and end up a stray. The animal shelter may have just the dog you are looking for.

Also be sure to look at Petfinder.com. They keep a listing of dogs available at shelters in your area, and you may find a great dog just a short drive away.

Nothing available? Try visiting a dog show and looking at some of the fine examples you see there. Talk to breeders and find out when puppies or an adult dog will be available.

Do not buy a puppy from a pet shop or an internet wholesale site. You will be supporting a puppy mill.

Good luck finding your quiet little companion! It will all be worth it as soon as you bring your new dog home.

Questions & Answers

  • Do you recommend a Boston terrier for someone who is afraid of dogs, but wants to adopt one?

    The best breed of dog for someone who is nervous around dogs is one of the first-time or affectionate dog breeds. If you like dogs, appreciate them getting up on your lap, but are just nervous, you should look at the selection under https://hubpages.com/dogs/affectionate-dog-breeds....

    If you are nervous about being around a dog and do not want one that will climb up onto your lap, check out https://hubpages.com/dogs/what-is-the-best-breed-o...

    You will notice that some breeds make both lists.

  • Are Chihuahuas yappy?

    Most Chihuahuas do bark a lot. Much of this depends on the environment, and if you teach your dogs to alert, and then tell them not to bark, you can train them to bark less.

    This is an article on teaching your dog to bark less: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-Training-Tips-Bark...

  • Do bichons bark a lot?

    Bichons are great dogs because they are happy and do not shed much. They do bark, though, but not as much as some other breeds that are watchdogs. Some pedigree lines bark more than others, so ask the breeder about the puppy's parents to find out if your young dog is going to bark a lot.

  • Where can I get Shiba Inu?

    Check with your local animal shelter.

    Check with Petfinder.com to view dogs available in shelters close to you.

    You can also search for "Shiba Inu rescue and [the name of your city]" online and find a rescue in your area.

    Visit dog shows, talk to people that are showing Shibas, and make an appointment to visit a breeder.

    DO NOT buy from a pet shop or an internet puppy mill.

  • Do Coton De Tulears bark a lot?

    Some Coton owners say that they do not bark as much as a Maltese or Yorkie. Since they do not stink and are fairly clean, they are a good choice for someone who wants a small white dog.

© 2013 Dr Mark


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    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      12 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Maya, the English Bulldog is WAY too big for a small dog list. Cute suggestion though!

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      I would say you missed the English Bulldog. They are very quiet and nice apartment dogs. Their not as small as the other dogs on your list but they are somewhat short and chubby. Another one is the Miniature Bulldog. They have the same characteristics but are smaller with less health issues.

    • profile image

      Katie Best 

      24 months ago

      I would love to forever home a pet that does’t bark or shed a lot. We live in a manufactured home community. They have to be under 25 lbs.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      You were very heplful. You did a good job of then good and bad in each dog. I am very impresssed.

      Thank you

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My roommate has a Boston terrier and he barks SO MUCH at EVERYTHING. I just arrived in my car and was gathering my things(not in the site of the door) and I heard him start barking and there was NOTHING around. This habit has made me really dislike the breed. I've baby sat my friends French bulldog and my gosh I thought the Boston was bad, the frenchie is even worse! Their barks are piercing and everything anybody opened ANY door of the house, bathroom, closet. She would bark so loud and bark at us and just wouldn't stop!!! now I'm hesitant about any of these other breed :( I guess I'll just stick to big dogs!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      shannon - This is AWESOME! I cannot wait to share it. If you go to the tmeeprament testing web site (on my way to work) they have wonderful statistics about who passes and fails by breed! I'll try to find it and forward to you. This is exactly what our nation needs and I appreciate it greatly and intend to spread it widely! I know in our surgery clinic, it's the little guys that are happy to bite, bite, bite! August 20, 2010 6:08 am

    • thepoen profile image

      Irfan Fahrudin 

      5 years ago

      Good and useful information

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Min Pins certainly wont make this list! They are a lot of energy, packed into a little package, and have a full-sized dog bark!!!

      Thanks for sharing this.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Another great one DrMark....I love the way you write your hubs so that they are enjoyable to read and yet packed with so much good and useful information. I, as you know, have a MinPin...'nuff said. One of my daughters has a Whippet, very similar to the Italian Greyhound but a tad more sturdy. The Shiba Inu is absolutely beautiful! Of course all of your pictures and videos are excellent.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting....shared for the dog lovers.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks for stopping by, teacuppigs. I was just reading some of your hubs. It seems that this barking problem is a non-issue with your enjoyable household!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks, barbat! That is another great thing about dogs--they don't mind letting us talk.

      (Even when we do complain that they bark too much.)

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Jaye you point out a really sad trade off. Most of the small dogs that don't bark much have a lot of health problems. Even though the IG is not brachycephalic, he too has a lot of issues.

      I guess the Shiba would be dog that doesn't bark much and does not have a lot of health issues, but they are certainly not for everyone.

      I think I could live with the barking. (My dog has that "rowr-rowr" that means "get off that computer and take me for a walk already"!)

    • barbat79 profile image

      B A Tobin 

      6 years ago from Connnecticut

      Once again a truly valuable hub...I am nick naming you the "dog talker"

      as opposed to the whisperer...lol

      I really love that we could actually hear breeds live through video! Thank you DrMark1961! you did it Again!!!! :)

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Hi, DrMark...This is very interesting, but (as you know), it's too late for me! My mini schnauzer takes barking to a new level in her roles as (1) watchdog of strangers and (2) enthusiastic greeter of people she loves. Still, she doesn't bark much otherwise except to "tell" me something ("Time to eat, Mom" or "Need to go potty"), most of which I'm grateful for her doing. She also has a "mumble/grumble" vocalization that is not loud, but is so funny it always makes me laugh. She usually saves this one for when she's trying to get me to leave the computer and pay attention to her or she's telling me it's past my bedtime!

      Of the breeds which you wrote about in this hub, I've watched the major problems encountered by my grandson's Boston terrier to never be brave enough for one of them. He's spent a small fortune at the veterinary eye specialist and hospital, with two surgeries already required, and his beloved dog only has one eye now. This Boston also has what appears to be the canine equivalent of sleep apnea, which can lead to heart disease.

      It seems all the brachycephalic breeds are prone to so many medical disorders that excessive barking seems like a walk in the park. (They're all very pretty dogs, however, so it's understandable why many people want them around.)

      Voted Up++


    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Oh well, at least you can remind yourself that they are really cute!!!

    • TheLibertyCell profile image

      Jim Lyde 

      6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      That's what I was afraid of! The white Schnauzer featured in your "Five Really Cute White Dog Breeds" is a dead ringer for my Mamie, but her sister Belle is even more "mouthy." More walking and more inside time are in store for both of them.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I adore Miniature Shnauzers, but I think excessive barking is hard wired with that breed. I have a hub about "How to train your dog not to bark" but the main recommendation is to walk the dog more, since tired dogs bark less. With Shnauzers, they even bark when sleeping!!!

    • TheLibertyCell profile image

      Jim Lyde 

      6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Too late! I own two toy Schnauzers. They are wonderful, but the neighbors may not agree. How can I encourage the little darlings to shut up?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks, Scribenet. I have never owned one but I am told that the Shiba Inu does really well with cats. (If you can handle the screaming, I guess.) I appreciate you taking the time to share!

    • Scribenet profile image

      Maggie Griess 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Okay...I will have one of each!

      My cat says,"No way," though.

      I think he might out-weigh a few of these breeds! They are all so adorable!

      I found myself watching the videos to listen to their voices! Great Hub... voted up and "everything" and sharing! :)


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