If you’re looking for a breed of dog that only barks very rarely, this list is for you. A loud dog can be great in the right context. They can, for instance, scare away intruders and protect your home and family. However, they can also be a real nuisance. A quiet and calm dog is often the best choice for a four-legged companion and our list is a great place to start.
15. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a beloved breed whose wonderful temperament is a key reason why they are regularly the dogs of choice as therapy animals. If they are good enough to be used in therapy treatments, sure enough, they will be good for you at home! They were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl shot down by hunters and they are easily trainable and very eager to please. They are also a calm breed that is highly intelligent with good recall.
You may not have heard of a Chinook before. A relatively new breed, it was bred in the opening decades of the 20th century in New Hampshire and it’s still the official dog of the state. Fun and loving, Chinooks are particularly affectionate with children and are thus a great pet for families with kids. The Chinook is also a good and eager learner and is always trying to make its owners happy. This makes it an adaptable and highly trainable breed that loves socializing with four-legged friends. They can be a bit aloof around people they don’t know but this never manifests as aggression or fear.
Newfoundlands are large working dogs that were bred to help fishermen in what was then the Dominion of Newfoundland. ‘Newfies’ or ‘Newfs’ are thus not only quiet but also exceptional swimmers skilled at rescuing people in distress from the water. They are muscular and have thick, webbed feet, both of which make them such great swimmers, and are one of the gentlest dogs around. Calm, patient, and with an endearingly sweet temperament, if you can accommodate a large animal, a Newfie may be the one for you.
Greyhounds have been around for centuries and are believed to date back to Ancient Egypt. Throughout history, their quietness and aloofness have appealed to the elite. Their slender, streamlined build makes them fantastic racers but this doesn’t mean they need a lot of exercise. They excel at sprinting, not endurance, so moderate exercise is enough for a Greyhound, making them a good option for families.
This breed of dog has its origins in Russia and is described by the American Kennel Club as ‘catlike.’ Looking a bit like a Greyhound, the Borzoi have an unmistakably dignified appearance and will not deign to bark unless they must. They are a striking looking breed and, like the Greyhound, are extremely fast. At full sprint, they can reach 40 miles an hour. They sure are a pricey investment, but they are well worth it if you love them.
10. Shibu Inu
A Japanese dog bred to hunt wild boar, Shiba Inus have a regal, aloof air about them. They are a very quiet breed but can make something known as a ‘Shiba scream,’ a high-pitched yell that is sometimes mistaken for a cat’s meow, when they are upset. A small to medium-sized breed that is agile and lovable, treat them well and they’ll be quiet as mice! They are a good investment, especially if you want a pet that will live by your side for years and years to come.
9. Bernese Mountain Dog
Another large working dog bred to be of use to farmers in the mountains of Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is not a bounding, bustling sort of animal but rather a quiet, peaceful beast who likes nothing better than to snuggle with you. However, they do love the great outdoors so they are not suitable as pets for people living in apartment buildings, or even in the suburbs. These dogs are perfect for country life!
8. Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is similar to the Bernese Mountain dog both in the way they look and the way they behave. Another working dog bred in the Swiss Alps, Saint Bernards are traditionally trained to rescue people stranded in the Great Saint Bernard Pass. They originally lived in a travelers’ hospice named for Bernard of Menthon, an Italian monk. The image of a gorgeous St. Bernard with a small barrel around its neck full of brandy to help warm people stuck in the snow has become an iconic depiction of the breed and is frequently found in TV and film. However, there are only a few recorded instances of the dog carrying this barrel.
7. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is, unsurprisingly, from Scotland, where it was originally bred for deer-hunting. These dogs are quiet, a characteristic shared by most sighthounds. A Scottish Deerhound is certainly not a lapdog and stands at close to three feet tall but it is a sweet and refined animal. Moreover, while they love a rice run outside, Scottish Deerhounds are then happy to spend the rest of the day napping indoors.
6. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
An Irish pure breed terrier, the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier can have either a soft Irish coat or a heavy American coat. They are playful and sociable dogs that typically interact well with other dogs and kids. They are an energetic breed and although they do occasionally bark, their favored greeting, the ‘Wheaten greetin’,’ involves a lot of excited jumping rather than noise.
5. Coton de Tuléar
This Malagasy breed of dog gets its name from Tuléar, a city, and the cotton-like look and feel of its coat. These sweet little dogs resemble soft toys and, unlike some small dogs, are lovely and quiet. However, that doesn’t make them uninteresting! The Coton de Tuléar is an energetic and funny breed of dog the whole family will love.
4. Shar Pei
Although a medium-sized animal, the Shar Pei was first bred in China as a guard dog. This means that they are highly devoted to their owners but are reserved around strangers and wary of anyone they don’t know. They are quiet dogs with a noble history but they will bark in the face of real danger. Who needs a security alarm system when you can invest in such a cute dog?
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Everyone loves a Spaniel, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the pick of the bunch. Kept by the first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, on his estate to help with the hunt in the early years of the 18th century, you’ve possibly seen this breed more recently on Sex and the City as Charlotte’s beloved pet. They may come from country manors but their adorable looks and quiet, sociable nature make them an ideal choice for city-dwellers, too.
2. Glen of Imaal Terrier
These dogs come from County Wicklow in Ireland where they were family dogs on farms found in the remote Glen of Imaal. They are very happy to sit back and relax at your feet and are less energetic and excitable than a lot of other terriers. Although gentle animals, their docile nature does not mean they lack personality. They have a lot of spirit, but keep things calm and quiet. Are you ready to claim one of your own?
‘Basenji’ translates as ‘barkless dog’ but this doesn’t mean the breed can’t make any noise at all. Although naturally very quiet, when a Basenji does decide to ‘speak,’ they make quiet odd sounds that resemble a yodel. As Basenjis tend to make strong emotional connections with just one human, they can be a great breed for singletons. They can be reserved with people they don’t know but are curious and alert animals.