Dogs and barking go hand in hand; or, rather, leash in hand. But there are some dogs that are almost certain to bark less than others. The fact is, many people do choose their dog breed in order to control the volume in their home.
Most of us have experienced that helpless and infuriating feeling caused by a neighbor’s barking dog. The constant yapping of a dog next door is so common that it was even featured in a Seinfeld episode: Frazzled Elaine, leaning - bedhead and all - out of her apartment window, screaming at the dog to, “Shut up!”
Dogs are masters at fitting into our lifestyles. There are small dogs for small spaces, big dogs for large families, herding dogs for farm work, dogs that can guide the blind or detect an oncoming seizure, and dogs that love to wear sweaters and look cute. Of all the outlandish things we expect from dogs, one of the things we can’t seem to accomplish is getting them to stop barking.
Barking is deeply ingrained in dogs’ behavior. Our canine companions bark for different reasons:
- To warn of intruders
- To call for help
- To announce a guest
- To point out the presence of a squirrel, rabbit, or another dog
It can go well beyond that though and barking out of frustration and boredom is probably the most common reason that the sound becomes a problem. Dogs often mix barking in with a sprinkle of howling and whining, and their loud noises can go on for hours.
To Bark or Not to Bark?
To understand how to get a dog to stop barking, it is best to look at what dogs who don’t excessively bark have in common. Dogs who tend not to bark excessively have some common advantages in life:
- Plenty of aerobic exercises
- A way to occupy themselves when their owners are at work, such as interactive toys or toys stuffed with treats
- A companion animal to keep them company
- No access to windows when home alone
Although barking is deeply compulsive in the canine species, there are some breeds of dogs that could be considered low-maintenance when it comes to vocalizing. Apartment dwellers should consider these breeds.
Silent and Barkless Dog Breeds
There may be no such thing as a truly silent dog, but there is hope for those who are looking for the Holy Grail, ere, a small dog that doesn’t bark a lot. Or perhaps even a large dog that doesn’t bark a lot. Dogtime has shared some ideas for good apartment dogs, with a list of small dogs that don’t bark much, if at all.
For breeds that tend to bark less than others, here are a few suggestions:
This ancient breed is a favorite for people who want a non-barking dog. After all, the Basenji is the only dog unable to bark. However, a Basenji can’t be considered “silent.” Many of them yodel and, although they don’t bark, they don’t have a problem getting their point across.
Bred to run silently after swift prey, the Greyhound is a surprisingly good alternative for apartment living. Although a large breed of dog and famously fast, they actually like to be couch potatoes. Many are available for rescue from the racetrack so you can save a life and keep a quiet home.
This mini bulldog is growing in popularity as a small, quiet dog breed, and is an excellent alternative for people who want to live in a small, bark-free space. Besides being friendly, they know they are cute and don’t have to keep reminding you.
If you want to do dog sports but don’t fancy having a canine cheerleader as a partner, the Chinook may be a good choice for you. They are known for not being excessively vocal but do require lots of physical activity.
If a big dog is more your style, consider a quiet, calm Bullmastiff for a companion. Warning: they are handsome and imposing, and tend to draw attention when out in public, so they may not be the best choice for introverts.
Most Vocal Dog Breeds
At the opposite end, there are dogs who are considered high-maintenance on the barking scale. These dogs have barking deeply ingrained in their DNA and prospective owners must understand that before committing to a life with them.
Among the winners in the high-yap category are the following:
They’ve got the corner on cute – after all, Snoopy is the most famous beagle. But the soul behind those brown eyes is all hound. They were bred to chase rabbits and, yes, shout about it.
The tiny-but-mighty chihuahua has earned a reputation as being one of the dogs that bark the most. Although apartment-sized, they’ve got a spice of hot pepper and a mouth to go with it.
They may look like a bit of fluff, but they’ve got a big personality and a bark to boot.
Bred to pull sleds and bark while they work, this Northern breed has the added benefit of howling like a wolf when the mood strikes.
Their silky fur and bright expression have made them a favorite to dress up and carry around in designer bags – but they’re a true terrier and won’t let you forget it.
How to Stop A Dog from Barking
A dog behaviorist can help you with the “quiet” command, but dogs are highly motivated to bark. This article in cuteness describes why some dogs don’t bark.
The best way to stop a dog from barking is to prevent the habit in the first place. This can be achieved through having a happy dog. Here are a few ways to help your dog have a calm and happy life:
Make sure you get your dog moving. Activity is an important way to vent frustrations that may lead to habitual barking.
The Brain Game
Keep your dog’s mind occupied. There are plenty of interactive toys that can help with this. Of course, nothing takes the place of one-on-one attention from you. This article describes training techniques and other ideas to curb barking.
Check Their Health
If your dog is having some type of physical issue or ailment, it may not be an easy fix. Don’t forget to keep up to date on their healthcare. Talk to your veterinarian about barking issues if you suspect there might be an underlying medical cause.
Keep Your Dog with You
Are you going anywhere that may be dog-friendly? Load them up. Many workplaces are becoming more lenient about bringing your pet to work. Another alternative to leaving your dog home alone is to take them to a doggy daycare facility.
Monitor Your Dog While Not at Home
There are convenient home surveillance tools that will help you keep an eye on your pup when you aren’t around. One of them is a Petcube dog camera. It enables people to see, talk, play, and treat pets remotely while keeping pets safe and healthy.
If you don’t have a home camera, consider getting in touch with your neighbors and asking them to call you if they are bothered by barking. Give a friend your key and have them take your four-legged companion out for a walk if you can’t for long periods of time, or consider using a reputable online service for dog walking. There are plenty of creative ways to check up on your dog and give them outlets for their vocal energy.
The most important thing to remember is that a barking dog is usually trying to tell you something. If you can figure out the reason, you can fix the problem. Remember that you may have up to 15 years to live with your best friend, and you want those years to be the best ones possible – for both of you.
About the author: Cedric Jackson is an experienced writer who creates articles on a broad range of topics, from pets to marketing.