Itching to adopt a dog but worried about the extra noise? Your neighbors will never know you have a dog if you choose one of these ten quiet dog breeds for apartments that you can leave alone without getting antsy and barking all day long.
Plenty of us live in small apartments, condos, or townhouses that might make us think twice about pet ownership. Even in a freestanding home with a large property, having a dog that sits in the window and barks at passers-by all day can be embarrassingly disruptive.
While we completely understand that being a respectful neighbor is essential, you can have a pup in a small home without disturbing or angering everyone around you.
We'll get into some training techniques that help to reduce problematic barking, but if you're worried about the noise potential, you'll want to look at the breed - there are certain calm, quiet dog breeds that naturally make a little less noise and some that don't bark at all.
Read our canine list below to find out which breeds are more likely to produce quiet dogs that don't bark!
Why Do Some Breeds Bark More?
Barking absolutely has a genetic component, along with environmental and behavioral factors.
We historically bred dogs for plenty of reasons, and barking was a valuable tool for plenty of working dogs, especially guard dogs and hunting dogs. The alarm bells of a dog's bark for intruders or potential danger could make the difference between losing your entire herd or catching the predator before it did too much damage.
Today, most of us aren't using our dogs for work, but working dogs often still possess many of their ancestors' genes, leading to some barky behaviors.
While the amount of barking is something to consider, there is also a significant variable in how disruptive the barking is - the frequency of a dog's bark ranges from 160Hz to 2630 Hz.
Dog breeds that tend toward chronic respiratory or throat issues may bark less, as it may be more taxing on their bodies.
And generally, the more sensitive a dog's temperament, the more you'll hear them bark as they react to every trigger that comes their way.
#1 Bernese Mountain Dog
- Berners are obsessed with their family and are incredibly loyal.
- These pups are bright and calm, and with enough daily exercise, are one of the best quiet, lazy dog breeds.
- The Bernese Mountain Dog is a pretty big breed, but they do quite well in small apartments, as they love to spend most of their time at home lounging with their favorite owner.
#2 Afghan Hound
It might surprise you that Afghan Hounds are among the quiet dog breeds that don't shed, given that they have a luxuriously long coat.
- These dogs are quiet and mostly independent, though they still attach to their owner with a strong sense of loyalty.
- These pups are lightning-fast like a Greyhound, but after playtime, they're more than happy to take a load off and laze about the house.
- Though they won't shed much, the Afghan Hound still requires weekly grooming to keep their fur in top shape and avoid matting and tangles.
#3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The King Charles breed is fit for royalty and a massive hit with the English royal family.
- These dogs are in heaven when cuddled into the lap of their favorite owner, and their size makes them one of the perfect quiet small dog breeds to own.
- King Charles Spaniels are cheerful and good-natured, so they don't often feel the need to bark unless someone is at the door, of course.
#4 Italian Greyhound
These professional runners are very quiet dogs, despite being in the hound category.
- The Italian Greyhound does well in small-apartment living, as long as they get some outdoor time each day to stretch out their legs.
- Give them plenty of exercise and watch them sleep the day away on the couch as you watch all of your favorite shows, without a peep to be heard!
#5 English Bulldog
These chunky pups are a little lazy and mostly cannot be bothered to disrupt their lounging with a barking session.
- The English Bulldog has a flattened snout and tends toward breathing difficulties, making barking even less appealing to them.
- English Bulldogs, despite their laziness, are brave pups that can stand their ground when needed and guard their family with a quiet fierceness that's unparalleled.
- If you want the perfect nap buddy, adopt an English Bulldog pup from one of the best quiet guard dog breeds around.
#6 French Bulldog
The French version of the Bulldog won't make a great guard dog, but they're even more relaxed than an English Bullie.
- Your Frenchie needs minimal exercise and won't make a peep for the most part.
- The French Bulldog breed is relatively small, making it the perfect fit for a smaller home or apartment.
- The Basenji dog is one of the most unique quiet dog breeds, as these dogs are unable to bark, earning them their title as a barkless dog.
- However, these dogs still make noise that may be disruptive, as it's a whiny yodel that may get just as loud as some barks.
- This breed is very stubborn, so we don't recommend them for a first-time owner - the Basenji needs an owner with plenty of experience and hands-on training.
The Canadian Newfie dog is surprisingly lazy and tries to be a lap dog despite its massive size.
- While they're mostly content to be quiet and lounge, the minute they see a body of water, they are running to hop in!
- The Newfoundland dog is slow and gentle, which is the perfect match for a family home with small children.
#9 Shih Tzu
- One of the longest-living dog breeds is also one of the most quiet dog breeds - if you decide to adopt one of these quiet sweeties, you enjoy many years to come together.
- The Shih Tzu is a favorite of Chinese royalty and is one of the more ancient breeds with a history over 1000 years long.
- Shih Tzus are 'little lions' that love to sit in your lap all day long.
#10 Irish Setter
These red-headed, regal-looking pups tend to be pretty quiet, despite having plenty of energy to burn.
- These pups are loyal and grow firmly attached to their owners.
- Adopting an Irish Setter is best suited for people with lots of time to dedicate to exercise and play to help run down their dog's daily energy stores, so if you don't head outside often, it's best to consider a lower-energy breed.
Final Notes: Choosing & Training Dogs That Don't Bark
Though we see barking patterns across different dog breeds, each dog is an individual, so it's crucial to meet any potential pup you want to adopt up close and personal to measure their temperament.
If they start yapping the minute you're within eyesight, it's a good indicator that this behavior comes naturally to them.
Training will take you a long way, too. Use positive training techniques that reward good behavior instead of focusing on and punishing bad behavior. In fact, professional trainers say that ignoring your dog while they bark and exhibit other negative behaviors can help to quell it, as the dog slowly learns that destructive behaviors no longer gets them any attention.
We wish you many quiet days and nights ahead with your new canine companion!