If you’re here now, chances are you want a dog but live in an apartment. We have some 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’s 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. Read on to learn which breeds can be a good fit for apartment life.
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Quiet Dog Breeds for Apartment Living
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 tendency of remaining as silent as possible.
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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. But when they’re not participating in races, they’re calm and friendly dogs. And while they can be great for the apartment lifestyle, 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. As long as they get sufficient daily exercise, apartments are okay.
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 by a long shot.
These dogs will dedicate themselves to their owners, but will be aloof with unfamiliar people. For this reason, they’re some of the best guard dogs. What’s great is they don’t use their bark unless intruders are seriously invading their territory.
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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 kids 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 dog 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. But there’s more to these dogs than just the meme.
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.
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Highlights: Loving, 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 fairly calm in nature. Plus, they don’t bark much, making them an excellent option for apartments.
But even so, 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 territorial instincts to kick in.
8. French Bulldogs
Highlights: Smart, Adaptable, Fun-loving
I’ve heard a lot of mixed results for French Bulldogs. Some owners claim their French Bulldog never barks while others say they bark a ton. It really depends on your individual dog. However, most of the Frenchies I have met are quiet.
But what makes them such attractive apartment dogs is their ability to adapt to any situation. They’re some of the most adaptable dogs in the canine kingdom. Whether you live in an apartment complex, farm or suburban home, they’ll thrive.
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Highlights: Independent, Gentle, Calm
The Saluki has a rich history and is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They’re great 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: Strong-willed, Calm, Poised
The Basenji is often described as a very “feline” dog. That’s to say, they exhibit a lot of cat-like qualities – including the quietness (or lack of barking). They’re rather difficult to train for most first-time owners, but they are easy to keep content.
Like how cats are great in apartments, the Basenji is too. In addition to being quiet dogs, they also groom themselves. But even so, the Basenji is a playful and independent-minded dog that apartment dwellers tend to appreciate.
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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 this 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. In fact, Dalmatians are actually relatively quiet dog breeds that almost never “cry wolf.” Not all people-loving 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 (yes, they ran with their caravans!). 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.
And despite popular belief, Greyhounds can make great apartment dogs if given their 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.
14. Cavalier King Charles
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. But just make sure to take them for a stroll in 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. And while they were infamously 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, it’s 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.
Highlights: Calm, Playful, People-loving
The Maltese is one of the most popular apartments dog for a few reasons. They’re small in size, loving 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 dog to bring home to an apartment, the Maltese is an obvious choice. And a big plus is that they’re low-shedding dogs despite their long elegant locks of hair. However, it’s their quietness that really makes them such peaceful dogs at home.
17. Lakeland Terrier
Highlights: Confident, Loving, 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 if properly socialized.
Highlights: Patient, Calm, Loyal
The Newfoundland is one of the largest dog breeds on this list. Still, they’re great apartment dogs since 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 St 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. Apartment living doesn’t mean you can’t own a big dog!
19. Scottish Deerhound
Highlights: Respectful, Calm, Proud
The Scottish Deerhound has many similar characteristics compared to the Greyhound. For example, they are both relatively silent dogs that don’t use their barks. On the other hand, they’re both great hunters due to their speed.
Scottish Deerhounds are “Royal Dogs of Scotland” because they’re majestic yet 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, they get along well with people and other pets.
20. Soft-Coated Wheaten
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, a Soft Coated sounds like a great choice!
21. Irish Setter
Highlights: Energetic, Sociable, Sweet
The Irish Setter is a fantastic apartment dog because they’re a good size dog that comes without all that barking. Irish Setters are very bold and spirited, but they are also known to be excellent family dogs if properly trained and socialized.
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 for your apartment.
Highlights: Smart, 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 top family dogs for apartments.
Chinooks are hardworking dogs, but their devotion and loyalty to the family trumps all. In my opinion, they’re very underrated dog breeds, as evident by their AKC popularity ranking. But if you can get your hands on one, the Chinook is a great dog that doesn’t bark a lot.
Highlights: Brave, Devoted, Loving
The Bullmastiff is one of the least obvious dog breeds on this list. They certainly are big 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. And since they’re not easy to train, experienced owners will fare better.
Bringing Quiet Dogs into Apartments
Any time you bring home a dog to your apartment complex, there are a few 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 that are under a specific weight and/or height limit.
What’s even more ridiculous is that some complexes may even outright ban a specific breed believed to be “dangerous.” There aren’t any on this list that may be considered aggressive, except for the Bulldog and Bullmastiff.
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 & 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?
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