Constant barking isn’t a super-great quality, even in the most valiant of guard dogs. You want your pup to loudly alert you to intruders, not to every innocent bird flying past the window. If it’s a quiet breed you seek, look no further than this comprehensive list, built with some help from the American Kennel Club’s breed standard guide. Most of the pups here have been identified as breeds that bark only when necessary (if then!). So find a quiet spot to curl up and dig into this list.
Australian Cattle Dog
These incredibly smart dogs are herders at heart, making them loyal companions who need of lots of activity. While they aren’t big barkers, they are big runners, so make sure they get plenty of exercise (or that bark might come to life).
Patience is hard to come by in a dog, but the Newfoundland is full of it. You’ll hardly ever get a restless yelp or irritable nip out of one of these big friendly giants. More often than not, they’re passively accepting pats on the head and belly scratches.
Scottish Deerhounds were bred to hunt deer, which may be why they are so good at being quiet. They are also often called polite, which means they like doing what’s asked of them and respond well to instructions.
These pups may be small in size, but they are large in the personality department. Tibetan Spaniels are independent and follow their hearts, though this often doesn’t include shouting it out to the world. Today’s pups may have inherited these traits from their ancestors who lived their lives in monasteries with Buddhist monks. The more ya know!
As quiet as they are small, Italian Greyhounds love nothing more than a peaceful afternoon on their person’s lap. Maybe it’s the breed’s worldly wisdom (they’ve been around for about 2,000 years) that makes them so calm—or maybe they just know actions speak louder than words.
Even if met with the unfriendly dog next door, the Chow Chow is a noble, quiet creature who will continue going about her day without so much as a growl. Sure, they can be stubborn, but reaffirming this non-confrontational behavior early is the best way to keep it going.
The Mastiff family is a docile one, despite their intimidating statures. Bullmastiffs, Spanish mastiffs, Pyrenean mastiffs and Neapolitan mastiffs all go easy on the barking and hard on the cuddling. Be sure to train early—they’re eager to please but need to get the rules down as puppies.
Like Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards are oversize teddy bears ready to play—and they are especially good with children. You’ve got a greater chance of seeing their slobbering tongues sneaking food from the table than hearing their booming bark from down the hall.
One of the more interesting breeds on our list, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is even-tempered as long as her owners raise her with firm discipline. These dogs used to help people track lions in Africa, OK? So yeah, they are strong-willed but can be trained to give into their relaxed sides.
Irish Water Spaniel
These dogs love being outdoors, which must include listening to the soothing sounds of nature, as they rarely bark. Irish water spaniels are also incredibly sensitive and intuitive; don’t bark at them and they will continue not barking at you.
Almost godlike in stature, Irish Wolfhounds are tall, elegant and tranquil canines. Their enormous size might look scary to strangers, but their subdued nature actually makes them lousy guard dogs. On the flip side, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better canine BFF.
12. Golden Retriever
Just about the friendliest dog around, golden retrievers are playful without being noisy about it. It’s more likely a Golden will happily greet strangers with kisses or announce his hunger with a nudge or a whine than resort to barking.
Since these canines are considered royalty (or at least, they have regal dispositions), it’s unlikely you’ll hear them yelping about anything. How plebian! They keep quiet while patrolling their territory (or following you around wherever you go).
Miniature American Shepherd
These tiny, energetic pups love companionship and are very easy to train. Since they were bred to herd horses, they require lots of activity, but are always eager to wind down once they’ve blown off tons of steam. Miniature American Shepherds have also retained an affinity for horses over the years from their early breeding days, so…if you live on a ranch that’s a plus!
With a smile practically plastered onto their faces, Pugs are lovable dogs with generally positive dispositions. They avoid barking because they just want to make their people happy! Train them early to reinforce this behavior.
Calm and gentle, Whippets want nothing more than to hang out with you! But not like, in a desperate way. Hobbies include: running around, spooning with owners, running around some more and not barking. Just be sure you slather some doggie sunscreen on your whippet when heading outdoors!
French Bulldogs limit their barking big-time and are known for their ability to chillax. They make excellent apartment dogs because of their quiet, even-keeled nature and dedication to their owners.
Praised as being both quiet and meticulous, Akitas don’t bark loudly but definitely don’t trust strangers and are territorial of their owners. Since they are constantly alert and protective, they make terrific guard dogs (without being all barky about it).
These pups are literally called “barkless dogs;” however, that nickname can be deceiving. While Basenjis don’t bark per se, they do make throaty groans to express themselves. These cuties are also likened to cats when it comes to grooming and training, so consider yourself warned.
While most dogs don’t like to be attached to a line or leash all day, working kelpies are chill with this situation, as long as you give them some solid one-on-one time as soon as you get home from work. They understand the work hard, play hard mentality, and won’t bark all day while you’re away.