Small dogs can make amazing pets, especially if you have a small living space. Unfortunately, many small dog breeds have a reputation for barking. They tend to act like they’re big and tough with a lot of bark.
If you have a small house with neighbors nearby, like a condo or apartment, your dog’s voice volume can quickly become an issue. There are, however, several smaller dog breeds that do not share the noisy Napoleon complex of their little peers.
If you’re looking for a small dog without the barks, whines, and yelping howls, then take a look at the 13 breeds of small, mostly calm dogs listed below! If you see a breed you like, check out The DogTime adoption page which allows you to search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!
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The Affenpinscher, also known as “Monkey Dog” (“affen” means “monkey / monkey” in German, and “pinscher” means “terrier”), is small but fiery, full of courage and energy. They bark occasionally, but are usually content to remain silent, especially if they are well trained.
Although they are very affectionate with their humans, they do not enjoy children or violent games as well.
These dogs are typically between nine and eleven inches at the withers and weigh between seven and nine pounds.
Find out more about the Affenpinscher to find out if this is the breed for you!
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Well known as the “barkless” dog of Africa, the Basenji draws admirers with its short coat, small muscular body, alert demeanor, erect ears, and tail curled tightly on one hip.
However, they have an infamous stubborn streak. Watch out for parents of novice animals!
Basenjis approach the average size of dogs, but are just small enough to adapt to apartment living. They measure between 16 and 17 inches at the withers and weigh between 22 and 24 pounds.
Find out more about the Basenji to find out if this is the breed for you!
Basset Fauve de Bretagne
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The Basset Fauves de Bretagne are generally friendly with everyone but will let you know if a stranger approaches the door. They aren’t meant to be guard dogs, but they are tough and will protect their families no matter what.
They are able to get along with everyone in the household, but can chase after small pets.
Brittany Basset Fauves tend to be 12 to 15 inches at the withers and weigh 25 to 35 pounds, so some of the larger ones can approach the size of a medium dog.
Find out more about the Basset Fauve de Bretagne to find out if this is the breed for you!
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With compact bodies, baby doll faces and fluffy white hair, the Bichon Frize is a very attractive breed whose appearance is enhanced by a cheerful disposition and good humor.
Bichons generally get along well with other animals and people, but they alert you when strangers come to the door.
Dogs of this breed are nine to eleven inches at the withers and weigh seven to twelve pounds.
Read more about the Bichon Frize to find out if this is the breed for you!
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may or may not bark when someone comes to the door, so he is a poor choice as a guard dog.
There are, of course, exceptions – some Cavaliers will notify you of every event in your neighborhood and bark fiercely at strangers approaching – but overall you’d be better off buying an alarm system than relying on it. your Cavalier to alert you in the event of a problem.
Adult riders are typically 12 to 13 inches at the withers and weigh 13 to 18 pounds.
Find out more about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to find out if this is the breed for you!
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When your doorbell rings, the Coton may bark once, then politely accompany you to the door to greet your guest. The only risk a burglar faces is being licked to death.
They love to “talk” to their people, using their own special language of unique vocalizations, including growls and growls. But they don’t usually bark just for fun.
Coton de Tulear is generally eight to twelve inches at the withers and weighs eight to 13 pounds.
Find out more about Coton de Tulear to find out if this is the breed for you!
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
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These little puppies have long bodies. The length of a Dandie Dinmont Terrier, from the top of its shoulders to the base of its tail, is almost double its height.
Because Dandies are reserved dogs, they are not “barkers” like most of their terrier cousins are. Dandies will bark if necessary, and their bark is deep and loud. They just don’t seem to think it’s appropriate to continue barking after the alarm has been duly noted or to bark just to hear their own voice.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers stand eight to eleven inches at the withers and weigh 18 to 24 pounds.
Find out more about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to find out if this is the breed for you!
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Havanese love to look at the world from above and make their way to the backs of sofas and tables to watch the day go by.
They probably bark when they see someone walking past the house or when they hear a strange noise. But the good news is, they don’t bark just for the sake of hearing their own voices.
These puppies are eight to eleven inches tall at the withers and weigh seven to 13 pounds.
Find out more about the Havanese to find out if this is the breed for you!
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In general, the Japanese chin is a cheerful and charming dog, affectionate and intelligent. They are talkative, but do not bark. Chin people say their dogs love to “sing” and will chatter to announce the arrival of guests or strangers.
Chins are so sensitive to their surroundings and the emotions of their people that they are known to shape their personalities around them. If they live in a quiet house, the Chin will become reserved. If they live in an active house, they will keep the action lively.
They are eight to eleven inches at the withers and weigh only four to nine pounds.
Learn more about the Japanese chin to find out if this is the breed for you!
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The Lancashire Heeler is an intelligent dog who learns quickly, but has a mind of his own and can be stubborn as well as mischievously inventive. They can find creative ways to escape, so they will need a secure home and garden.
With others, they are generally friendly, but they can be snappy towards other dogs. Make sure they take early socialization training and you will have a loving and fairly calm companion.
These puppies can be around ten to twelve inches at the withers and weigh 13 to 15 pounds.
Find out more about the Lancashire Heeler to find out if this is the breed for you!
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Reports from pet parents vary when it comes to how often Butterflies bark. They tend to ring when they hear or smell something abnormal, so if they move to a new house with new sounds, they may bark a bit.
However, once they are used to their surroundings and trained well, they don’t vocalize just for fun. They will stay calm and silent, unless they need to alert you to what they think is danger.
Butterflies are eight to eleven inches at the withers and weigh four to nine pounds.
Find out more about the Papillon to find out if this is the breed for you!
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While pugs can be good watchdogs, they are not inclined to be “barkers,” which your neighbors will appreciate. Because they are a small, calm breed and are relatively inactive indoors, they are a good choice for apartment dwellers.
Pugs need constant human company. If you adopt a pug, expect them to follow you around the house, sit on your lap, and want to sleep in bed with you.
These dogs tend to be 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 14 to 18 pounds.
Find out more about the Pug to find out if this is the breed for you!
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This can be a controversial addition to the list, as some Shih Tzus bark a lot. They are wary of new arrivals on their territory and alert if necessary.
However, these puppies are so affectionate and friendly that the second someone walks through your door or stops to pet your puppy, the Shih Tzu will welcome them like a new friend. So even if they make some noise, it tends to blend in with the love and lick off in no time.
The Shih Tzu can measure nine to ten inches at the withers and weigh nine to 16 pounds.
Find out more about the Shih Tzu to find out if this is the breed for you!
Do you have a quiet little dog at home? Are they one of the breeds on the list? Let us know in the comments below!