If you’re here now, chances are you want a dog but live in an apartment. We have good and bad news. Bad news: not all dogs are ideal for apartment living – many of them are serious barkers.
But wait! Good news: there is a huge selection of great dog breeds that don’t bark and are perfect for apartments. Though nearly all dogs can bark, not all have a tendency to.
RECOMMENDED: Top 100 Smartest Dog Breeds
Table of Contents
- Dogs That Don’t Bark
- 1. Kishu Ken
- 2. Whippet
- 3. Saint Bernard
- 4. Chinese Shar-Pei
- 5. Bernese Mountain Dog
- 6. Shiba Inu
- 7. Bulldog
- 8. French Bulldogs
- 9. Saluki
- 10. Basenji
- 11. Coton de Tulear
- 12. Dalmatian
- 13. Greyhound
- 14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- 15. Rhodesian Ridgeback
- 16. Maltese
- 17. Lakeland Terrier
- 18. Newfoundland
- 19. Scottish Deerhound
- 20. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- 21. Irish Setter
- 22. Chinook
- 23. Bullmastiff
- Bringing Quiet Dogs into Apartments
Dogs That Don’t Bark
If you’re worried about bothering your sweet neighbors with an unpredictable dog, worry no more! Here are 21 quiet dogs that don’t really bark much. Note: some breeds may be more quiet than others.
1. Kishu Ken
Highlights: Calm, Dignified, Loyal
The Kishu Ken is one of the oldest, most ancient Japanese dog breeds. As a matter of fact, they’ve been bred in the country for over a thousand years. They’re one of the six native breeds of Japan and originate from the Kishu region of the country – hence, the name.
And like many other Japanese dogs, the Kishu Ken is considered to be an extremely quiet hunting dog. Instead of using a deep bark to intimidate prey, they carefully stalk them. For this reason, they’ve likely developed the inherent characteristic of remaining as silent as possible.
RECOMMENDED: The Kishu Ken Dog Profile & Guide
Highlights: Docile, Playful, Loving
The Whippet is a unique dog breed that displays qualities of both a greyhound and sighthound. Though they can bark, their special skill set doesn’t involve being vocal. If you don’t already know, Whippets are amazing runners.
They’ve been aptly named the “poor man’s racehorse” due to their lightning-quick agility and speed. When they’re not participating in races, they’re calm and friendly dogs. Though they’re great for apartments, they require a lot of exercise.
3. Saint Bernard
Highlights: Playful, Docile, Curious
The Saint Bernard is the epitome of “gentle giant” dogs. Though these dogs are large, their barks aren’t! Part of their whole charm is their patience. And because they’re so patient, they don’t utilize their barks as much as other dog breeds.
Saint Bernards have been called the ultimate nanny dogs because they’re so great with children. Yes, they’re big, but they can make fantastic apartment dogs for responsible owners that meet their basic needs.
4. Chinese Shar-Pei
Highlights: Devoted, Independent, Calm
The Chinese Shar-Pei is an excellent Chinese dog breed with a long history since Imperial China. They can be a little challenging for new owners due to their stubbornness, but the good certainly outweighs the bad.
These dogs will dedicate themselves to their owners, but will be aloof with unfamiliar people. For this reason, they’re some of the best guardian dogs. What’s great is that they don’t use their bark unless intruders are seriously invading their territory. They won’t cry wolf for the sake of it!
RECOMMENDED: 10 Unbelievable Chinese Dog Breeds
5. Bernese Mountain Dog
Highlights: Sweet, Calm, Courageous
There are many words to describe these majestic dogs from the mountainous regions of the Swiss Alps. They’re big, strong and dedicated workers. However, they’re not big on barking. Their sheer size and strength is enough to intimidate others.
However, those that know these dogs know they aren’t aggressive or dangerous at all. Bernese Mountain Dogs are sweet and affectionate. Plus, they’re fantastic with children and other dogs. In other words, they’re a great option for a large apartment dog.
6. Shiba Inu
Highlights: Brave, Confident, Charming
The Shiba Inu is by far the most popular Japanese breed. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know these dogs are the inspiration for one of the internet’s most prevalent meme – the doge.
Though they’re not likely to go on a barking rampage, it’s worth noting that they can produce a scream-like noise, called the “Shiba Scream.” These noises aren’t typically common and is only heard when the Shiba in extremely happy or under distress. Still, because of their small size and lack of barking, they’re ideal apartment dogs.
RECOMMENDED: Shiba Inu – Bold, Spirited & Good Natured
Highlights: Affectionate, Brave, Calm
Despite the numerous reports of Bulldog attacks, Bulldogs are generally friendly and proud dogs. In fact, many owners would agree that they’re calm in nature. Plus, they don’t bark much, making them great dogs for apartment living.
Still, with Bulldogs, you’ll need to provide them with a moderate amount of exercise and a lot of socialization training. Chances are you’ll run into other dog breeds in the complex. The last thing you want is for your Bulldog’s protective instincts to kick in and attack.
8. French Bulldogs
Highlights: Intelligent, Adaptable, Fun-loving
I’ve heard a lot of mixed results for French Bulldogs. Some owners claim their Frenchie never barks while others say they bark a ton. It really depends on your dog.
But what makes them such attractive apartment dogs is their ability to adapt to any situation. Whether you live in an apartment complex, farm or suburban home, they’ll thrive.
RECOMMENDED: 8 Beautiful Colors of French Bulldogs
Highlights: Independent, Gentle, Calm
The Saluki has a rich history and is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They’re outstanding hunters and have been notable hunting hounds for kings in the past. They’re another dog that won’t likely bark at everything in sight.
Instead of barking at sounds, they chase what they hear. Though this is great for apartment dwellers, potential owners must provide these dogs with a ton of physical activity. For the most part, these dogs are gentle and loyal – making them perfect companions in any setting.
Highlights: Independent, Calm, Poised
The Basenji is often described as a very “feline” dog. In other words, they exhibit a lot of cat-like qualities – including the quietness (or lack of barking).
They’re rather difficult to train for most novice owners but they are easy to take care of. Like how cats are great in apartments, the Basenji is too. In addition to being quiet dogs, they also groom themselves. Still, the Basenji is a playful and independent-minded dog that apartment dwellers can appreciate.
RECOMMENDED: 10 Dumbest Dogs & Why They’re Not
11. Coton de Tulear
Highlights: Optimistic, Charming, Playful
There are a lot of reasons why the coton de Tulear are such great apartment dogs. Yes, they’re not big barkers, but they’re also hypoallergenic. If you don’t want a ton of fur around in your apartment, these dogs are perfect.
People are allergic to dog dander (dandruff) which spreads into the air when the dog sheds. Because apartments are generally small, dander may be more concentrated in the air with limited space. For that reason, these are the best apartment dogs for sensitive owners.
Highlights: Proud, Social, Intelligent
The cult classic, 101 Dalmatians, isn’t the only thing these dog breeds are known for. Dalmatians are actually relatively quiet dog breeds. Not all social dogs have the tendency to bark a lot.
They’re great apartment dogs and they know it. As a result, these proud dogs have been associated with firefighters, noblemen and even gypsies. Consider a Dalmatian for more than their iconic spotted coat.
Highlights: Calm, Independent, Noble
Greyhounds are the undisputed fastest dog breed in the world. In fact, they can reach speeds up to 45 MPH in just six strides. Running is always on their mind, but not barking. If they hear or spot something intriguing, they’ll chase it down – and not bark at it.
Despite belief, Greyhounds can actually make fantastic apartment dogs if provided the right basic needs. With their amazing skill for running lightning quick, they need to be let out and run often. These dogs are only great apartment dogs for active owners, specifically runners.
14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Highlights: Elegant, Calm, Charming
Due to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s docile and gentle demeanor, these spaniels are not huge on the whole barking thing. Consequently, they’ve been wildly popular apartment dogs for owners around the world.
Bred by the British, the Cavaliers are what dog enthusiasts call, the best of both worlds. Not only are they calm and affectionate, but they’re deceivingly athletic and quick. Just make sure to take them on a stroll through the neighborhood on a daily basis.
15. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Highlights: Stable, Proud, Loving
It’s a common folklore that these dogs were fierce hunters that took down lions in the African safari. Though they were famously used for tracking lions, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks were never used for killing them.
For such large and powerful dogs, it may seem odd that they don’t really bark much. However, this is true with most Ridgebacks. And because of this, they’re great for owners looking for a large dog breed to bring home to their apartment. You’ll need to make sure they get enough exercise though.
Highlights: Calm, Playful, People-loving
The Maltese are one of the most popular apartments dogs for a few reasons. They’re compact in size, affectionate dogs, but more importantly, not heavy barkers. It’s worth noting that some Maltese mixes, such as the Maltipoo, do bark quite a bit.
If you’re looking for a quiet and exotic-looking dog to bring home to an apartment, the Maltese is an obvious choice. Another big plus is that they’re low-shedding dogs despite their long elegant locks of hair. But it’s their quietness that really makes them such peaceful dogs in the home.
17. Lakeland Terrier
Highlights: Confident, Affectionate, Spirited
The Lakeland Terrier has a lot of great qualities you want in an apartment dog. Not only are they quiet dogs, but they’re hypoallergenic – meaning they rarely shed. Allergy-sensitive owners should highly consider these dogs.
Like most terriers, the Lakeland was bred to protect sheep and hunt foxes. Bred from the Lake district of England, these dogs come in a tough wiry coat. They may not be the best lapdogs, but they’re great for apartments. Furthermore, you should know that they tend to show aggression to other dogs – so socialization is a must.
Highlights: Patient, Calm, Loyal
The Newfoundland is one of the largest dog breeds on this list. Still, they’re great apartment dogs because they’re such quiet and sweet-tempered dog breeds. Though they do have a deep and loud bark, they don’t often use it.
Similar to the Saint Bernard or the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Newfoundland are large fluffy dogs that do well with kids. They have the reputation of being extremely patient and can be used as “nanny dogs” as well. Living in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t own a large dog like the Newfoundland!
19. Scottish Deerhound
Highlights: Respectful, Proud, Calm
The Scottish Deerhound has many similar characteristics compared to the Greyhound. For example, they’re both relatively quiet dogs that don’t really use their barks. On the other hand, they’re both great hunters due to their speed.
Scottish Deerhounds have been called the “Royal Dogs of Scotland” because they’re majestic and elegant in every way. They can be very polite dogs, but they know they’re great and as a result, are very dignified canines. Regardless, we recommend these large dogs for apartments because they get along well with people and other animals.
20. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Highlights: Cheerful, Loyal, Optimistic
Though the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can have their stubborn streak, they’re generally happy and cheerful dogs. They have a very typical terrier personality – except they don’t like to bark very much. All they need is a little love, and a lot of play time.
What’s great about them is that they’re also hypoallergenic dog breeds. In fact, they rarely shed, which is nice if you’re living in a compact apartment. Given how quiet these dogs are and their playful attitude, I would almost always recommend these dogs for potential owners, apartment or not.
21. Irish Setter
Highlights: Energetic, Social, Good-natured
The Irish Setter is a fantastic apartment dog because they’re a good size dog without all that barking. Irish Setters are very bold and spirited, but they are also known to be excellent family dogs.
If you have a family living in an apartment, these dogs are perfect for you. They’re quiet, sweet, patient and playful. There are few dog breeds as good with children as the Irish Setter. Take a long hard look at these dogs.
Highlights: Intelligent, Patient, Loyal
There’s a lot of similarities between the Chinook and the Labrador Retriever (the most popular family dog in the USA). A big difference is that the Chinook are not big barkers, making them some of the best family dogs for apartments.
Chinooks are hardworking dog breeds, but their devotion and loyalty to the family trumps all. In my opinion, they’re severely underrated dog breeds, as evident by their AKC popularity ranking. If you can get your hands on one, the Chinook is a great dog that doesn’t bark much.
Highlights: Courageous, Devoted, Loving
The Bullmastiff is one of the least obvious dog breeds on this list. They certainly are large and fierce dogs, but they actually don’t use their bark as much as most dogs of their size. However, Bullmastiffs are fit for every owner.
These dogs are intense on the field (at work), but calm and gentle at home. Yes, they’re quiet dogs, but they need a decent amount of physical activity. They’ll thrive if given daily “jobs” to do.
Bringing Quiet Dogs into Apartments
Any time you bring home a dog to your apartment complex, there are several things to consider in addition to how. It’s important to find a dog breed that’ll thrive in an apartment setting, but also important to be respectful to your neighbors.
1. Finding the Right Apartment
If you already live in an apartment, you need to ask if your complex allows dogs. Though we disagree, not every apartment building will allow dogs. Some apartment buildings will allow dogs, but only dogs under a specific weight and/or height limit.
What’s even more ridiculous is that some complexes may even outright ban a specific breed they believe to be “dangerous.” There aren’t any on this list that may be considered aggressive, except for the Bullmastiff and Bulldog.
2. Meeting the Dog’s Basic Needs
What’s more important is that you meet your dog’s basic needs. Not all dog breeds will have the same needs. For example, some dogs may need more exercise and physical activity than others.
For example, the Greyhound will require a lot more physical activity than say, a Shih Tzu. Without proper physical stimulation, it could lead to destructive behavior within the confinements of your apartment.
Dogs also need mental stimulation. This can mean daily obedience training or dog puzzles that keep them occupied. In some cases, mental stimulation can be more important than physical.
If you can meet these two essential needs of your dog, any dog (not just quiet dogs that don’t bark) can thrive in an apartment setting.
3. Socialization and Obedience Training
If you live in an apartment complex that allows dogs, chances are, you’ll have neighbors that own dogs as well. With that said, it’s important that you provide a ton of obedience and socialization training.
You don’t want to have potential fights and scuffles when your dog encounters another dog walking around the complex. I’d suggest to expose your dog to as many other dogs and people as possible early on. Go to dog parks, doggy day cares and events – wherever there will be other dogs!
Did we miss any quiet dog breeds that don’t really bark? Let us know if you live in an apartment with a dog! What dog breed do you own?
Posts you may like: