15 Best Quiet Dog Breeds That Bark Less

A picture of a Bernese Mountain dog standing in grassy on a sunny day

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Barking dogs can be a real nuisance, especially if you live close to your neighbors. It's possible to train a dog to bark less, but you can improve your odds of having a quiet dog by selecting a breed with a low tendency to bark. Certain dogs were bred to be barking hunting dogs—alerting the hunter to prey. Other dogs keep quiet and remain stealthy, allowing them to catch game.

Tip

Dogs vocalize out of excitement, anxiety, boredom, and more. It's their natural way to communicate, and owners must understand the reasons behind the barks before they can address the behavior.

Breed Characteristics

Breeds that bark less tend to be more confident; they have a routine to their lives and feel comfortable with their people, environment, and exercise level. Dogs prone to be barkers get anxious and may experience separation anxiety, phobias, or attention-seeking behaviors. In general, sighthounds hunt by sight, not scent, and do not usually need to alert hunters or the rest of the pack about finding a quarry. These quieter dogs go out and catch prey items using their speed and stealth.

Here are 15 generally quiet dog breeds that make great companions, especially if your neighbors are sensitive to noise.

  • 01 of 15

    Afghan Hound

    portrait of an Afghan hound

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    Afghan hounds are generally quiet and independent, though they can be playful and affectionate around their favorite humans. They are intensely loyal to their families. Their silky coat requires ample grooming, and some Afghans can have a stubborn streak. They're also pretty energetic dogs, so they're not suitable for every home.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 25 to 27 inches

    Weight: 50 to 60 pounds

    Coat and Color: Silky coat; colors include blue, cream, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 02 of 15

    Akita

    akita lying on pavement

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    Akitas can make excellent guard dogs and will typically only bark to alert you of danger. They are intensely loyal and often form strong bonds with only a few people. Otherwise, they tend to be aloof around strangers. Consistent training is a must, as many Akitas have a stubborn streak.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 28 inches

    Weight: 70 to 130 pounds

    Coat and Color: Burly and heavy-boned dogs with a dense double coat that comes in multiple colors, including white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years

  • 03 of 15

    Basenji

    basenji standing alert

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    The basenji doesn't bark. Instead, the breed makes a yodeling sound when vocalizing. These dogs are not especially noisy, but they are also not silent. When excited, expect the occasional yodel, squeal, or whine out of these energetic dogs.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 16 to 17 inches
    Weight: 22 to 24 pounds
    Coat and Color: Short, fine coat; colors include red, black, tricolor, or brindle with white markings on their feet, chest, and tail

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 14 years

  • 04 of 15

    Chow Chow

    chow chow on grass

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    The chow chow is a stoic, independent dog breed known for its bear-like appearance and bluish-black tongue. Chows are generally not barkers unless they sense danger. Even then, they're not especially vocal. They sometimes have a reputation for being aggressive, but this is mainly because they want to protect themselves and their families.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Coats can be rough or smooth in black, blue, cinnamon, cream, or red; blue-black tongue

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

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  • 05 of 15

    Collie

    A border collie

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    Intelligent and athletic, collies are typically quiet until they have something important to say. This gentle breed can make an excellent companion for many types of homes. Coat care is essential with brushing a few times per week. Exercise needs also are reasonably high, but training is generally straightforward.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 22 to 26 inches

    Weight: 50 to 75 pounds

    Coat and Color: Rough or smooth coat; colors include sable and white, blue merle, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 06 of 15

    Greyhound

    A Greyhound on a sofa

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    The greyhound is one of the few hound breeds that can be considered quiet. Although they need a moderate amount of exercise, most greyhounds are easygoing couch potatoes. But some develop very close bonds with their families and will vocalize their displeasure when left alone. Behavioral training can help to correct this.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 28 inches

    Weight: 100 to 150 pounds

    Coat and Color: Large, heavy-coated in gray, brown, black, and black-and-white

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

  • 07 of 15

    Newfoundland

    black Newfoundland in snow outdoors

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    The Newfoundland is an affectionate dog that's intensely loyal to its humans. Barking is not typical unless your Newfie needs to warn you about something. It takes the right home to accommodate these gentle giants. They need plenty of exercise but not as much grooming as you might think. Most are responsive to training.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 28 inches

    Weight: 100 to 150 pounds

    Coat and Color: Large, heavy-coated in gray, brown, black, and black-and-white

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

  • 08 of 15

    Saint Bernard

    Saint Bernard lying on a wooden floor

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    Saint Bernards are generally quiet unless they feel they must warn you of danger. In general, they are highly loyal and affectionate dogs that are eager to please. Take the time to train this breed, as they can be easily distracted and must be controllable at such a large size.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 30 inches

    Weight: 120 to 180 pounds

    Coat and Color: Dense coat; colors include brown and white, red and white, and more

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Shiba Inu

    red shiba inu outside

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    The shiba inu is typically a quiet dog that might seem reserved or standoffish at first, especially among strangers. The breed tends to be stoic but devoted to its family. These dogs have minimal grooming and average exercise needs, but training can be challenging due to their independent nature.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 13.5 to 16.5 inches

    Weight: 17 to 23 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long coat, heavy shedders; coat comes in black with tan points, sesame, red, or cream/white; undercoat is cream, gray, or buff

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years

  • 10 of 15

    Whippet

    brindle and white whippet

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    Like its greyhound cousin, the whippet is a generally quiet dog. Exercise is essential, as the breed's activity needs are moderate to high. And because whippets can be stubborn or easily distracted, training must be consistent. Some whippets can be reserved around strangers, but they're playful and affectionate with their families.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 18 to 22 inches

    Weight: 25 to 40 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat that comes in various colors

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 11 of 15

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog outdoors in nature
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    Cavalier King Charles spaniels are not known to be barkers. However, some can bark tons if they crave attention or feel neglected. If they are left alone for any length of time, expect this dog—or most types for that matter—to become a barking dog. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel can change its barks depending on its emotional level and what they're trying to say. If they're barking, it's usually for protection, alarm, or out of fear or separation anxiety.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 12 to 13 inches

    Weight: 13 to 18 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium-length silky, wavy coat; adults have feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet, and tail; primary coat color is white with ruby, chestnut, and black and tan varieties

    Life Expectancy: 9 to 14 years

  • 12 of 15

    Shar-Pei

    Shar Pei puppy
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    The shar-pei rarely, if ever, barks. It is a perfect choice if you prefer a quiet breed. The shar-pei is a strong, loyal, and loving dog breed. Chinese shar-peis are zen-like dogs that hardly make a sound unless to sound an alarm about a potential threat.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 18 to 20 inches

    Weight: 45 to 60 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, bristle coat, commonly in black, chocolate, blue, and cream

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years

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  • 13 of 15

    Japanese Chin

    Japanese Chin
    Niconic_Photography / Getty Images

    Japanese chins are not prone to barking. This family-friendly breed is pleasant, cuddly, and gets along with children. They are often described as being cat-like and are fond of curling in a lap. This breed can turn into an anxious dog and will bark if left alone or lacking attention.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 8 to 11 inches

    Weight: 4 to 9 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long and silky coats in black and white, lemon and white, sable and white, black, and other color variations

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years

  • 14 of 15

    Great Dane

    Black and white Great Dane staring at camera
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    Great Danes are another breed of gentle giants that are famous for protecting their homes and loved ones. They are among the quietest breeds. They rarely bark unless there is a good reason—usually to alert, protect, greet, or, sometimes, out of boredom, if ignored or left alone for too long.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 28 to 32 inches

    Weight: 110 to 175 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short hair in brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (white with black patches), or mantle (black and white)

    Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years

  • 15 of 15

    Rhodesian Ridgeback

    Adorable Rhodesian Ridgeback portrait in nature scene
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    Ridgebacks generally don't bark a lot. They may bark to alert you to something unusual, and some might bark when they are bored, but this isn't a yappy breed. This African breed was bred to hunt and guard its home. It makes a beautiful addition to the home and continues to gain popularity in the U.S.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 24 to 27 inches
    Weight: 70 to 85 pounds
    Coat and Color: Ridge on their back; short and dense coat; colors range from light to red wheaten with small white markings on their chest and toes; may have a black mask

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Breeds to Avoid

Unlike their quiet cousins, several dog breeds are known for their vocal nature. Many terrier breeds, such as the Yorkshire terrier, tend to be barkers—often reacting to movement around their homes. And scenthound dogs, including basset hounds and beagles, can be rather noisy with their melodious howls, though they typically aren’t excessive barkers. One of the barkiest dogs, the Finnish spitz, is also called the barking bird dog and can bark up to 160 times per minute.