Dogs bark for a reason, although we don’t always appreciate their motives. A dog may bark to say he’s alarmed, frustrated, scared, happy, protective or excited. Some breeds, such as those in the Herding and Terrier groups, are notably vocal. Others, like the Basenji, are especially noiseless. And while there are no dogs that don’t bark, let’s hear from five generally less barky breeds, or quiet dog breeds. No guarantee given: All dogs are individuals and some love to prove generalities wrong!
Extraordinarily speedy and yet cuddly as kittens, we Whippets are gracious, gentle and appreciative of a quiet environment. We’re small sighthounds with ancient origins. Over time, we became companions (and an economical race horse of sorts!) to the British working class. We could race up to 35 mph, and help keep food on the table. Today, we’re calm on the inside, exuberant on the outside. Natural athletes, we enjoy lure coursing, agility and running for the pure joy of running. Although we’re capable of barking, we rarely bother. Indoors or out, if you’re looking for an alarm dog, keep looking! We Whippets aim to keep the peace. Well, maybe not with rabbits, but that’s a different story….
2. Gordon Setter
I lobbied hard for this spot. The Irish Setter almost always wins the “quiet Setter” spot, but maybe that’s because they’re so well-known? I’m not typically on the dogs that don’t bark list since I do have a watchdog gene. I’m energetic and aware, but usually not inclined to uncalled-for barking. I was developed to find quarry, pursuing pheasant and quail. No good comes from barking all day when hunting, of course. The Gordon in my name nods to the 4th Duke of Gordon, the Cock o’ the North. Although my ancestors existed before the Duke, we bear his name since he helped establish my breed in Scotland. Today, if I’m well exercised and included in your daily life, I’ll likely only bark when necessary. But yes, I prefer my own interpretation of “necessary.”
3. English Toy Spaniel
My nickname — the comforting spaniel — sheds light on my personality. Although I appreciate plenty of activity, I’m mainly a companion breed, known for my gentleness and kindness. I’m also upbeat, affectionate and eager to please. Developed centuries ago from Toy and Spaniel breeds, I share a history with my cousin, the equally gentle and usually quiet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Characteristically, I’m not a barky breed — how could I cuddle and comfort you if I were yipping and yapping?
4. Chow Chow
An ancient breed with a lion-like appearance, we were developed in China as all-around working dogs. We hunted, guarded, herded and pulled carts to help our families. Queen Victoria’s interest in my forefathers contributed to our admiration in England. Today, we’re dignified, noble and mostly noiseless. We’re confident, capable and loyal to our owners, but rather skeptical about the outside world. I view newcomers approaching my home with skepticism, but I don’t typically bark at any little leaf blowing by the house.
Ever try swimming and talking at the same time? Now you know why I’m not typically vocal while I swim! Developed to work with fisherman in ice-cold waters, I’m celebrated for my courage, amiable nature and swimming strength in the water. My feet are even webbed and my coat is water resistant. We’re normally better lifeguards than house guards; we may rush to a water rescue, but we’re more likely to welcome strangers into the house than chase them off. Now for a caveat: If we do bark, it’s going to be loud. We boys weigh about 140 pounds; the ladies about 115 pounds. We don’t bark often, but when we do, you’ll surely hear us!
Tell us: What do you think? Do you know any dogs that don’t bark? What quiet dogs do you know? What breed(s) are they?
Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Sharon Wagner.
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Read more about dog barking on Dogster.com:
17 thoughts on “Dogs That Don’t Bark: 5 Quiet Dog Breeds”
I HAVE A GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER WHO SINGS TO ME EVERY MORNING AS SOON AS I SAY GOOD MORNING OFF HE GOES EVERY MORNING FOR THE LAST 6 YEARS AND THEY VERY RARELY BARK UNLESS THERE IS AN UNUSUAL NOISE OUTSIDE.
Japanese Chins are the sweetest little dogs and they never bark. Well, they may occasionally bark when they play but other than that, you won’t hear a peep out of them.
I have an apartment and I love this quiet dog breeds. Chow Chow is the best!
Pugs, which are bred down from bull mastiffs, rarely bark, too.
I’m in agreement with Tak. As a guardian of a rescue dog, we put great thought into choosing the right breed for our family based on research from articles just like this one. We wanted to provide a forever-home, and in making that commitment, we did our homework. Thanks Dogster.
No shame in providing useful information to those thinking about getting a dog, especially those who may share apartment walls and need to be considerate of their neighbors. Too many complaints and that sweet pup with the loud voice could end up right back in the shelter. Adopt yes but nothing wrong with helping people making an informed decision.
Why are you promoting dog breeds? Especially based on certain traits. If you are dog lovers, encourage people to ADOPT. Shame on you.
Agree with the other comments – adopting or not, potential dog owners need to find a good breed match for their circumstances. We’ve all seen it – people who bail on their pets if they become inconvenient.
So to inform you but there is a Newfoundland down the street from me AND I’ve heard it bark a few times.
I can count the times my Belgian Tervuren has barked over the course of the years. That’s not to say that he doesn’t grumble or whine to make his point…
Bullmastiffs should be on this list as well, they hardly ever bark, but they will let you know if someone is on their property!
What about the Basenji? My husband had one when he was a child.
Bullterriers are very quiet dogs; they are very popular in South-Africa. They seldom bark; my neighbour runs a breeding farm and has about 15 dogs. Altogether they are quieter than my collie and border collie.
Greyhound.. our greyhound never makes a peep…
she is very mellow- seldom have heard her bark.
our whippet is quiet, though she will bark if she sees something in the yard.. for example, when UPS comes into the yard..
My Greyhounds are very quiet also, extra quiet , never alert me with barking at all.
their alert is, coming running to me with a wagging tail, saying, Mom, we are getting company . 🙂
Or just getting off the couch and looking out the front window to see who is coming.
I have had numerous Siberian Huskies and none were prone to barking. When out for a walk, if another dog started to bark they would look at it as if it was crazy.
I’m surprised the Soft-coated Wheaton Terrier is not on the list. My neighbors have a couple and the first time I heard them bark, I thought they were sneezing (the dogs, not the neighbors)!