All dogs bark. It's their natural mode of communication. They bark when they are happy, distressed or bored, when they are playing, working, issuing a warning, asking for a treat or warding off intruders. However, like humans, some dogs enjoy the sounds of their own voices more than others. These particular barkers have reputations that loudly precede them as the chattiest canines on the planet.
Dogs in the hound group were originally bred for their sharp tracking skills and hunting stamina. Many of these dogs not only bark, but communicate through a distinct vocalization called baying. Hounds may bark or bay excessively if bored, so whether you keep your hound busy by utilizing his ancestral skills or engaging him in play and household activities, keeping him busy is essential. Several hounds are superfluous barkers. Topping the list are beagles, bloodhounds, basset hounds and American English coonhounds.
Dogs in the toy group have reputations for being little yappers, and some of them rightly deserve it. Demanding and confident, toy dogs bark to communicate their wishes, fears, anger and joy. And truth be told, these diminutive little dogs bark simply to assert themselves in a world that, to them, is so big and often overwhelming. Toy dogs highest on the list of gratuitous barkers are chihuahuas, miniature pinschers, Pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers, toy poodles, silky terriers and Pekingese.
Terriers were bred to aggressively hunt and kill vermin. They're notorious for their feisty, take-no-prisoners attitude. With confidence like that, these audacious canines typically have a lot to say. And like hounds, terriers need exercise and stimulation or they may bark out of sheer boredom. Terriers topping the list of wanton barkers include West Highland white terriers, cairn terriers, Airedale terriers, fox terriers, miniature schnauzers and Scottish terriers.
Dogs in the working group were bred to perform tasks like guarding livestock, pulling sleds or participating in rescue operations. Typically, working dogs keep their heads down and tend to their duties with little vocal expression. There are, however, two exceptions that make the list of excessive barkers: Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes. Both happy, affectionate, active breeds, they speak in howls and "woo-woos" as often as they bark. Not typically nuisance barkers, they tend to vocalize for a reason, whether speaking to you, along with you, or howling along with the siren down the block.
Herding dogs, although they make excellent family pets, were originally bred to protect, contain and control the movement of flocks of sheep, cows and other livestock. They are highly intelligent, energetic, easily trained dogs who need to stay engaged. Two herding breeds -- German shepherds and Shetland sheepdogs -- top the list of loquacious canines.
Although not considered extremely excessive barkers, a handful of dogs in the sporting and non-sporting groups can become overly garrulous at times. Weimaraners and Irish setters, bred for their superb speed and game hunting abilities, top the list of sporting breeds that tend to bark a bit too much. In the non-sporting group, only the Boston terrier makes the list. However, this diminutive little barker makes up for his excessive chatter with a cheerful, affectionate and well-rounded disposition.
Yvette Sajem has been a professional writer since 1995. Her work includes greeting cards and two children's books. A lifelong animal advocate, she is active in animal rescue and transport, and is particularly partial to senior and special needs animals.