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August 24, 2015

Which Dog Breeds Bark the Most? Which are Quiet?

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Barking is a big deal. When choosing a dog, it's helpful to know how much they are naturally prone to bark. Dogs that are not predisposed to barking may be good choices for apartment living, but a quiet dog isn't a great choice for isolated dwellings if you want to be alerted to unusual things happening in the area. 

You may think your barking dog is just being "talkative," but your neighbor may find it more than a little annoying. There are some extreme cases of dog owners being sued for not controlling their barking dogs.

And yet, many people have a dog as a security measure to be alerted that strangers or dangers are nearby. Watchdogs have helped humans for thousands of years. 

Regardless of your needs, it's important to be informed of any dog's predisposed behaviors. Most dogs can be trained to modify their natural tendencies, but it will take significant effort and vigilance on the part of the owner. 

Dogs breeds that bark a lot (when they aren't supposed to)

Beagles

The dog breed that is most often cited as being the most vocal is the Beagle. I know this from experience since we raised them when I was growing up.

Our show beagle, a national bench champion, was rather well behaved, but Beagles that are more of the field type can be guaranteed to be noisy. 

Beagles were bred to bray, howl, and alert hunters about foxes or other animals being pursued. In modern times, this means that your adorable little hound will alert you about anything that moves or comes by the door.

Beagles may not actually bark that much, but they are noisy. Thankfully, we had nice neighbors because it was a losing battle to try and get them to be quiet.

Fox Terriers

Like the Beagle that was bred to hunt foxes, the Fox Terrier has a strong prey drive with the addition of the tenacity (i.e., stubbornness) of terriers. 

The scrappy Fox Terrier will constantly be on patrol with their excellent vision and hearing. They will bark at squirrels, postmen, other dogs and their walkers, and nothing at all. After all, there might be something out there in the future! 

Should you decide you'd like a Fox Terrier, you'd better be equally active, clever and stubborn. Strong and consistent leadership is a must and this applies to barking limits.

Yorkshire Terriers

As adorable as these little pups can be, the Yorkshire Terrier is still a terrier even if they are categorized in the Toy Breeds. This means they can be stubborn and yappy, and the barking must be curbed from day one. 

Depending on if your dog was bred to be a tiny lap dog or comes from a larger, sturdier line may determine your Yorkie's barking tendency. Either way, don't neglect their training in regards to barking just because they're small.

The shrill barking of a Yorkshire Terrier can make your dog unpopular with neighbors and possibly get them attacked by larger dogs.

Miniature Schnauzer

As you know, BaxterBoo.com is named after a miniature Schnauzer named Baxter. Surprisingly, our Baxter is not a big barker.

I don't know if it's because he's not the typical silver type (he's black and silky) or if it's just good breeding. (I'm sure that's what he'd say.)

Of course, with Baxter getting up there in years, he's not seeing or hearing very much these days. Other than that, he's in very good health for a 14-year-old dog. 

The silver Miniature Schnauzer dogs I've known have all be quite yappy. Their barking is incessant, shrill and more than a little annoying.

There was a pair of Schnauzers in an apartment complex I would visit and they'd terrorize everyone they saw. They barked at anything and anyone that had the audacity to pass by their third-floor balcony. 

Because of the owner's lack of leadership, I'm quite sure the man was regularly turned into the managers for their terrible manners. That's putting it mildly. They were terrors. 

If  you get a Schnauzer, please train them early and often that they need to be good citizens by curbing the barking.

Cairn Terrier

The dog most famously cast as Toto in the Wizard of Oz did a great job of alerting Dorothy that the wicked witch was around. In real life, Cairn Terriers will alert their owners to everyone and anything they deem suspicious. 

Several of my family members have Cairn Terriers and their personalities vary greatly. Regardless of their natural disposition, strong leadership is required to limit their barking when it is inappropriate. 

West Highland White Terrier

I love the plucky personality, looks and intelligence of the Westie, but I'm not sure I'd be up to the task of curbing the barking tendency of this terrier. The good thing about this dog is that he tends to settle down once the stranger comes inside and will be received with a wagging tail. 

Squirrels, birds and other small creatures that dare come near the yard will be greeted with a lasting alarm, as will humans and other dogs.

West Highland White Terriers will need a consistent trainer that knows how to limit their barking or the neighbors will be quite annoyed. 

Other barking offenders

  • Pekingese
  • Chihuahuas
  • Poodles
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Maltese
  • Pomeranian

Dogs that seldom bark

If you're looking for a watchdog, you may want to look elsewhere as these breeds tend to keep quiet or are too friendly to care. 

  • Whippet
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Golden Retriever
  • Borzoi
  • Saluki

Some of these dogs may not bark because they have different vocalizations such as howling, "yodeling" and other unusual sounds not common to most dog breeds:

  • Basenji
  • Shiba Inu

These large dogs don't have to do much barking possibly because their imposing figures do most of the talking for them:

  • Mastiff
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Saint Bernard
  • Great Dane
  • Newfoundland
  • Bull Mastiff

These dogs actually do make good watchdogs but aren't likely to bark if there isn't a reason:

  • Chinese Sharpei
  • Collie 

There are some dog breeds that may have a tendency to bark more than others, but it really has more to do with the human training the dog. Keep in mind that a well-exercised dog that's content and secure will definitely bark less.

Still, it's great to research the behaviors of various dog breeds before bringing one home. This definitely includes barking.

Do you agree with this list? What's your experience?

Linda on August 24 at 2:16 PM said:

I adopted a formerly neglected & abused Chaweenie when she was 10 months old. Even though she was timid in many ways, she was very yappy. As I didn't want my new puppy disturbing my neighbors in my apt complex I started training her not to bark indoors. She would do almost anything to please me she was so happy to have her new loving home so she responded well to the training. All I do when she starts to bark is say (in a normal volume, but firm voice) "No bark!" I look her in her eyes and never do I feel the need to be punitive or harsh. I have experienced you can easily train a dog with rewards & love. If your dog is stubborn, use a clicker. I never even tell my dog she's bad. I tell her she did a bad thing but never is she told she is bad. Creating a relationship with your dog where he or she wishes to please you is best. This can be accomplished with patience & love.
Marilyn Morahan on August 24 at 3:55 PM said:

Just as there is no bad child (only one that is behaving badly), there is no bad dog. Love, structure, and positive reforcement will work wonders.
Katarina on August 25 at 2:07 PM said:

I too believe in positive kind training. I say "Thank you" in a calm polite, but not excited, voice. I say that because I think one or two barks is him telling me, "Mom look ... is that supposed to be happening"? Then I say thank you for him telling me to look at something and he is rewarded with a nice voice for doing a job of looking out for us but not encouraged to keep barking since he received a pleasant appreciative response from me. If he continues to bark I say in a calm voice "all done" or "it's OK" to relieve his anxiety about what ever it is out there, i.e. a skate boarder, etc... Now with a dog that loves to bark, as my large Aussie can be, I purchased a fabulous product. I say the same words as before, but if he is over the top with excitement, and that is too much for him then I hold up a product made by Sentry called "Stop It." It is completely kind to the dog. It is a spray that contains mommy dog pheromones and lavender, it makes a very quiet woosh sound when it comes out for a second, and my large out of control Aussie calms right down immediately! I take it on walks, I have it on all floors of my house and even by the back door. Sentry has the same scent in other great products that help rescues and puppies fall right to sleep and be calmer. I don't want anyone to be afraid of my large excitable dog and I don't want to yell at him either, which is counter productive. Speaking calmly is #1 and #2 I like the Sentry scented product mommy dog pheromones and lavender and others they make with the same ingredients: another calm spray without a woosh sound, a plug in, etc... Make sure to be calm when using it and never to aim it toward the dog's face.
Wayne on February 6 at 4:22 PM said:

My golden retriever barks at anything that passes the house except cars. But if he knows who is in the car he barks as soon as he hears it. He also barks at everyone he sees until they pet or play with him and I’m sure he barks because he thinks we know what he is saying

What do you think?

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