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A Guide to the Quiet Dog Breeds

Barking is one of the natural and indispensable characteristics of dogs. If you’re wondering whether there’s any dog breed that doesn’t bark—all dogs bark for various reasons. Although you can control your canine pal’s excessive barking with proper training, quiet dog breeds may be first on your list as they make it easier to live in communal living spaces like apartments or condos, and even in workplaces.

5-Minute Crafts prepared this guideline about our quieter furry friends that are suitable for environments where barking is a no-go.

Why dogs bark and how much barking is too much

Barking is one of the behavioral problems that dogs experience and it’s a dog’s natural and intuitive way to communicate vocally to tell you about what they want. It’s a healthy activity to express emotion, frustration, excitement, mood, etc. Barking might also be a call to play, a way to intimidate, a warning of danger, an indication of some underlying health issues, or be a defensive gesture.

Some poorly socialized, solitary, and insufficiently educated dogs that are getting no attention or inadequate exercise can have issues with barking. It could be a problem if repeated more than 4 times a day, lasting more than 5 minutes, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., especially for those living in quiet neighborhoods in apartments or condos.

1. Basenji

Origins: hunting dogs from Central Africa

Breed specifications: short shiny fur that doesn’t shed and a tightly curled tail. They’re known as barkless dogs because their larynx is not the correct shape, and they make tiny unique sounds in a low volume, that sound more like yodeling. They do cat-like self-cleaning by licking. They can grow up to 24 pounds (10.8 kilograms) and 17 inches (43 centimeters). They need plenty of exercise.

Personality: affectionate, family-friendly, extremely energetic, active, playful, calm

If they bark, they’re alerting you to say they are excited, bored, afraid, or that they need attention.

2. Pug

Origins: China

Breed specifications: cute wrinkly dogs with wideset eyes, dark masks, and short fur that doesn’t shed much. They’re small, only growing up to 14-18 pounds (6-8 kilograms) and under 14 inches (35.5 centimeters) in height.

Personality: intelligent, playful, loyal, gets bored quickly, not very mobile, friendly toward other animals, easy-going but can be jealous. They enjoy food.

If they bark, they want something: food, walks, playtime, or attention.

3. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Origins: lion hunters from South Africa

Breed specifications: short-haired, yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, athletic, bred initially to hunt lions and are also called African lion hounds. They can reach up to 85 pounds (38.5 kilograms) and 27 inches (68.5 centimeters).

Personality: intelligent, affectionate, even-tempered

If they bark, they’re frustrated, excited, bored, or need attention.

4. Golden Retriever

Origins: Scotland

Breed specifications: color changing black noses, wavy or straight-coat in different shades of gold, males can grow up to 24 inches (60.9 centimeters) and 75 pounds (34 kilograms), and females can reach up to 22.5 inches (57 centimeters) and 65 pounds (29.4 kilograms).

Personality: calm, gentle toward strangers, playful, fun, intelligent, obedient to their owner

If they bark, they’re intrigued, curious, or need attention.

5. Saint Bernard

Origins: the Great St. Bernard Pass, Swiss Alps

Breed specifications: search and rescue giants with muscular bodies and floppy ears, resembling Bernese mountain dogs. They can reach up to 180 pounds (81.6 kilograms) and 30 inches (76.2 centimeters).

Personality: calm, kind, relaxed, welcoming, friendly, outgoing, affectionate

If they bark, they feel threatened.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Origins: the United Kingdom

Breed specifications: hunting dogs with long-hair, easy-to-control, medium-size. They can grow up to 13 inches (33 centimeters) and to 18 pounds (nearly 8 kilograms).

Personality: affectionate, graceful, gentle, athletic, happy, loving, can develop separation anxiety when left alone

If they bark, they feel alone, need attention, feel ignored, need protection, or are giving you a warning.

7. Great Dane

Origins: Germany

Breed specifications: massive, powerful, in 5 or 6 different coat colors. They have a fast metabolism and can reach up to 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) and 34 inches (86.36 centimeters).

Personality: friendly, loving, known as the gentle giant of the canine world

If they bark, they feel alone, bored, on alert, or their protective instincts kick in.

8. Chinese Shar-Pei

Origins: hunting dogs from China

Breed specifications: cute with a wrinkled coat. They can grow up to 60 pounds (27 kilograms) and 20 inches (50.8 centimeters).

Personality: calm, independent, loyal

If they bark, they are bored, on alert, or need attention.

9. Irish Setter

Origins: hunting dogs from Ireland

Breed specifications: noble appearance with their dazzling silky red fur. Due to their high metabolisms, they need to exercise a lot. They can weigh up to 70 pounds (31 kilograms) and 27 inches (68.5 centimeters).

Personality: outgoing, friendly, loving, joyful

If they bark, they are alarmed, annoyed, or threatened.

10. Bernese mountain dog

Origins: working dogs in the Swiss Alps

Breed specifications: long-haired, giant, outdoor dogs. They can grow up to 115 pounds (52 kilograms) and 28 inches (71 centimeters).

Personality: gentle, affectionate, intelligent, tolerant, attach themselves to one person in particular

If they bark, they feel underexercised.

11. Chow chow

Origins: East Asia

Breed specifications: medium-sized, black (or blue)-tongued, ruff-ringed dogs that look like bears. They can grow up to 70 pounds (31 kilograms) and 20 inches (50.8 centimeters).

Personality: independent, protective, stubborn

If they bark, they’re on alert, want to play, and want to take a stroll.

12. Collie

Origins: Scotland and Northern England

Breed specifications: requires plenty of exercise. There are different types — the most common ones are the Rough Collie (the classic Lassie), with a long coat, and the Smooth Collie, with a short, dense, and flat coat. They shed a lot, so their long coats require regular brushing. They can reach up to 75 pounds (34 kilograms) and 26 inches (66 centimeters).

Personality: quiet, reserved, good with people, sensitive

If they bark, they feel alone.

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