The Quietest Dog Breeds That Aren't Likely to Bark
These are the dogs that don't bark, and if they do, it's seldom. Learn about this behavior commonly seen in the Basenji, the Shiba Inu, and the Chow Chow, among others.
Dogs make great companions, but if you live in a condo, co-op apartment, or a neighborhood with its own homeowner's associations (HOAs), you may find yourself beholden to a noise ordinance. And while that constant yipper can be adorable and fun, a quieter dog may be better suited to your home environment.
You may be surprised to learn that some of the biggest dogs, like the Saint Bernard, also happen to be the quietest. If you're looking to bring home a quieter four-legged friend, know that the temperament of the dog goes a long way, as does training them to only bark at appropriate times. "Essentially, it is about developing a relationship with your dog so they are happy to comply with your requests," explains Andrea Arden, New York-based dog trainer, pet expert on Animal Planet, and the author of several books including The Little Book of Dog Tricks and Barron's Dog Training Bible. "In the case of barking, the request would be for a behavior that refocuses them on you and stops the barking."
This is best prevented through positive training, adequate physical and mental exercise, and ensuring the dog's overall well-being. That said, there are dog breeds that tend to be less vocal than others. This does not mean that they never bark—only that they tend not to bark excessively. Here, learn more about breeds like the Whippet or the Basenji, which are ideal for people who just want silent companionship every day.
Akitas are quiet, fastidious dogs. The large, independent-thinking Akita is hardwired for protecting those in their pack, so they often need training to keep his intolerance of strangers in check, but this breed makes for a very loving and loyal addition to the family.
Australian Cattle Dog
Once you've established yourself as the pack leader, the Australian Cattle Dog is fiercely loyal. The calm demeanor of this dog is in line with its even-keeled temperament. This breed is very high energy and loves wide, open spaces to run off excess energy.
Instead of a traditional bark, the Basenji makes a vocalization that sounds more like a yodel. This, at least in part, has to do with the anatomy of the breeds' voice boxes: In a Basenji, the voice box is narrower as well as more uniform in diameter than most all other dog breeds.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is large in size, but friendly and calm in personality. While they may be imposing, they aren't threatening and would rather maintain an aloof distance from strangers rather than bark them away.
The Borzoi is a breed that's known for its beautiful coat and regal bearing. While they are known for their silence, they have strong hunting instincts and this means they require daily exercise.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you're looking for a dog that's easy to train and is great with children, then the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent choice. Their quiet, docile nature and small size make them ideal for anyone living in an apartment.
Martha's favorite breed, the Chow Chow, is a dignified and serious-minded dog with origins as a guardian of ancient China. Their distinctive lion's-mane ruff around the head and shoulders even give them a fierce look but they are not likely to bark.
The Bulldog is an easygoing breed that isn't one to bark. These dogs have a blocky build and furrowed brow that is distinctive; despite their gruff and tough exterior, they make loyal companions who are just as happy to sit in your lap.
The Newfoundland, or Newfie, is famously gentle and their sweet temperament is the single most important characteristic of the breed. Because of this, they don't bark hardly at all; but when they do, it's a loud and thunderous call.
Among the world's oldest breeds, the Saluki is a hunting hound that is gentle and independent. They make swift and agile athletes, and they love a good sprint. These dogs, if left alone at home without physical and mental exertion, can be destructive but seldom do they bark.
Saint Bernards are saintly in name and demeanor; in fact, they were originally bred to rescue people stuck in snowy mountains and get their name from Saint Bernard de Menthon, the patron saint of mountaineers and skiers. They are famously patient and make quiet, dignified watchdogs.
The Scottish Deerhound is among the tallest of dog breeds, but their imposing height is no match for their noble personality. They're not ones to bark; they're simply happy doing what Deerhounds were bred to do—run for the sheer joy of running.
Famously for cat lovers, the Shiba Inu's demeanor tends to skew more feline than canine. And like cats, they do well in apartment living. Rather than bark, they very rarely make other vocalizations including the "Shiba scream," which can be a sharp, vehement protest to bathing or nail-trimming.
The Whippet has speed on its side. These dogs can run as fast as 35 miles per hour, but otherwise tend to be homebodies with their people. Give them enough exercise then relax on the couch with them for a quiet evening at home.