If you live in a tight-knit community where your neighbors almost can hear you sneeze, you may be looking for the most silent canine companions out there. While a dog equipped with a mute button is yet to be invented, fortunately some pooches are much less opinionated and talkative than others. The right choice of dog can allow you to keep your pooch at home and out of trouble.
The Barkless Basenji
Meet the Basenji: native to Africa, this breed has a reputation for being bark-less, yet those who know this breed well are aware of this fellow's other vocalizations. While you neighbors may never knock on your door to complain about your Basenji's barking, expect them to have something to say about his crows, yodels, screeches and occasional howls. The lack of bark, though, comes at a price. This breed has great needs for exercise and mental stimulation, which makes him unfit for couch potato families.
The Baying Beagle
Snoopy, the friendly beagle, ranks high among the non-barking dogs. Don't just assume though that this breed is totally quiet. As the Basenji, the beagle rarely will bark, yet, he can be one of the loudest dogs out there. The fact is, beagles don't bark because they prefer to bay, and when they bay it's a long, deep toned sound that certainly won't go unnoticed. Indeed, the baying noise is so loud, beagles used it when they were hunting in the fields to announce their location to their owners and pack members.
The New Guinea Singing Dog
Most likely, you may never get to meet this fellow but he deserves a top spot among the non-barking dudes. Ranking as one of the rarest breeds on earth and on the brink of extinction, the New Guinea Singing dog emits a unique single note sound like no other animal on the planet. Other possible vocalizations in this primitive breed include odd rumblings and growls used to express happiness or dissatisfaction.
Dogs that Don't Bark...Much
While these dogs all are capable of barking, they will hardly peep unless they have a really good reason for it. Greyhounds are quiet, mellow fellows with the potential for making wonderful companions. Another quiet dude is the mastiff; despite his size, he has very low energy levels and is quite a calm, easygoing fellow. If you're looking for a small dog, the Bichon is a quiet pup who lacks the “yippyness factor" so common in other toy breeds. Finally, meet the pug: this silly little fellow is known for being quiet and quite laid-back.
A Debarked Dog
This dog obviously does not bark because he simply can't. The surgery, which consists of removing the flaps on either side of the larynx so Scruffy no longer can bark, is known as ventriculocordectomy or laryngotomy. Debarked dogs are unable to bark normally, but tend to make a noise between a wheeze and a squeak. Commonly known as debarking, this surgery remains a subject of controversy and obviously has fallen out of favor, especially among the newer generations of veterinarians and the animal-rights advocates.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.