Every dog breed makes some kind of vocal sound. Certain breeds, though, are calmer and quieter than others -- just as certain breeds are known for their persistent barking and high-energy personalities. Knowing that your own lifestyle requires a calmer and quieter dog is an important first step towards finding the ideal canine companion!
If you find yourself searching for a quiet dog, a dog who barks infrequently, it's important to bear in mind that just about any canine can be trained to bark less. Equally important to remember is that many quiet dogs can become more vocal if they are placed in stressful situations or if their owners don't understand how to relate to them properly. Finally, consider that even the quietest pooch will bark on occasion!
Even though dogs can be trained to bark less (or more), some canines are quieter by nature. Such quieter dogs can still be energetic and require lots of exercise or they can be low-energy companions who prefer hanging out on the couch and snuggling. Quiet dogs can also be big or small, hairy or smooth. Quieter dogs come in all shapes and sizes!
Many organizations and canine information sources, such as the American Kennel Club and dogtime.com, provide good data on breed temperament. Certain breeds are cited more often by such organizations and sources as being "quiet." Five of the most commonly cited breeds are the basenji, the borzoi, the Chinese shar-pei, the greyhound and the whippet. Basenjis sometimes are referred to as being "barkless." Like all dogs, though, even the basenji will make a sound from time to time.
In terms of quieter dogs that are larger in size, some other breeds that are cited by canine organizations and information sources include the Afghan hound, the American Alsatian, the bloodhound, the Newfoundland, the Saint Bernard and the saluki. Information about all of these dogs may be found on the breed pages of the AKC.
Medium and Small Breeds
Naturally quiet canine breeds that are medium in size include the basset hound, the bulldog, the cirneco dell'Etna, the chow chow, the Clumber spaniel, the Ibizan hound, the pharaoh hound and the shiba inu. Among the quieter small breeds are the American pit bull terrier, the beagle, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the French bulldog, the Maltese shih-tzu and the Pekingese. All of these medium and small breeds, with the exception of the cirneco dell'Etna, are recognized by the AKC.
Pets Journal cites a study published in The American Naturalist that reports that quieter dogs may actually have a higher likelihood of living longer than noisier dogs. It is also widely believed, as WebMD points out, that human health may be affected by pet personality. So if a quiet dog suits your own lifestyle and temperament, your health may be rewarded by the presence of such a quiet friend!
Jeff Katz has been a professional librarian, educator, historian, writer and editor for almost 20 years. He holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA degree in Classical Studies from Hunter College of the City University of New York.