Small Dog Breeds That Don’t Bark a Lot

Are you looking for a little dog who is good in a small space with thin walls and obnoxious neighbors? Forget about the Maltese. They are great but are usually abandoned due to barking. In fact you can forget all about the really cute small white dogs, which are all notorious barkers.

Did you have your heart set on a Yorkie? Forget about it. They are small but they bark loud enough to scare off the meter reader. If you want to find a list of small dog breeds that bark a lot, just open up any list of small dog breeds.

So are there any little dog breeds that are quiet? Yes! Read on.

French Bulldog

This dog is little but a Frenchie is not a toy. They weigh about 10 kilos, or 22 pounds, and still have the thick bodies of their Mastiff ancestors.

They may be related to pugs, but no one really knows what all is mixed in there. (Bulldog is really from the French for “a ball Mastiff”.) Frenchies are blocky, muscular, and smooth, with coats in several different colors, batwing ears, and smushed-in faces.

These dogs do have several health issues, sometimes related to their small short faces and unusual anatomy. They can’t take the heat well and cannot be exercised outside on warm humid days. Some dogs are prone to back problems, luxating patellas (trick knees), and all sorts of eye problems like cataracts, corneal ulcers, and cherry eye.

They live about 11 or 12 years. A French bulldog is probably going to stay by your side, as long as you don’t get out and exercise too much, and probably won’t bark unless he needs to alert you to a problem (like a visit from a neighbor’s dog who barks a lot).

Japanese Chin

This is the smallest of the Japanese dog breeds (only about 4 kilos, or 9 pounds), but some people consider them one of the tiny Chinese dogs. Chins may have come from China, and may be related to the Pekingese, but that does not make them Chinese. Chin are as Japanese as sushi.

They are easy to care for, requiring only a light brushing and occasional bath. Chin do have problems with their short faces, just like French bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds. They are also prone to heart murmurs, luxating patellas (trick knees), damage to their prominent eyes, and a few less common problems.

Japanese Chin usually live about 10 years, but they are one of those breeds that can live a long, long time. This is another breed that really only barks to alert his owner, but they are vocal at times and have an unusual singing voice. Who knows what country that came from?

Italian Greyhound

This third choice among the little dogs who do not bark much are the Italian greyhound: “toys” based on their weight (4 to 8 kilos, or about 9 to 18 pounds), small when compared to other sighthounds, but tall when compared to the other miniatures out there. (However, calling them miniature is not “PC.” How about vertically challenged?)

Italian Greyhounds (IGs) are delicate and frail and don’t require much grooming, just a bath about once a month. They do need to have their teeth brushed every day since they are prone to dental disease. IGs are also prone to luxating patellas (trick knees), a hip disease called Legg-Calves-Perthes, eye problems like retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, and epilepsy. Since they are so fragile, they sometimes break their leg bones just messing around and pretending to be a full-sized greyhound. They live about 12 years if they survive all the accidents and diseases.

The great news is that they hardly ever bark, but will make a great watchdog if something strange passes their way.

Boston Terrier

Boston terriers are one of the, but not because they bark a lot. This little dog (usually less than 10 kilos, or 22 pounds) is often dressed in tuxedo and is content to lie around quietly planning his next dinner party, listening to classical music, and making sure things are okay around the house.

At times their working class background comes though, as they were bred from fighting dogs and ran through the factories of the northeast U.S. searching for rats. Despite that heritage, they and are good with kids and other small animals, and tend to dote on their owners.

Bostons are prone to luxating patellas (trick knees), heart murmur, eye problems like cataracts, and some of them are prone to a type of cancer called mast cell tumors. Like all dogs with short noses, they don’t do well in hot and humid weather.

If everything goes okay, Bostons live about 12 or 13 years. Barking is not really a problem with these dogs, but they may shout out on occasion when watching the house.

Shiba Inu

These dogs are not big, weighing in at less than 10 kilos, or 22 pounds. They are more like the little red fox that everyone has always thought about owning. They act like a red fox around the house, are about as easy as red fox when it comes to training, and get along with other dogs about as well as your average neighborhood fox.

Shiba Inu are easy to groom, are usually healthy, and are clean so they are easy to housebreak. Shiba fanciers like to point out that this breed has been around thousands of years, and individual dogs have a long life expectancy, about 13 or 14 years.

But do they bark much? No, not at all, but they are vocal. Shiba have a special type of “scream” when they are angry or happy.

Do you want a dog that also does not scream? Avoid making him happy or sad. Sounds easy.

Where to Find a Quiet Little Dog

All of these dogs are great potential family members. If you are interested in finding a little dog that does not bark much, be sure to call or run by your local animal shelter first. Sometimes owners have to give up their dog because of a move, at other times a little dog may run away from home and end up a stray. The animal shelter may have just the dog you are looking for.