Small dogs can make amazing pets, especially if you have a tiny living space. Unfortunately, a lot of small dog breeds have a reputation for being yappy. They tend to act like they’re big and tough with lots of barks.
If you’ve got a small home with neighbors nearby, like a condo or apartment, then your dog’s vocal volume can quickly become a problem. There are, however, several smaller dog breeds that don’t share the noisy Napoleon complex of their tiny peers.
If you’re looking for a little dog without the yappy barks, whines, and howls, then check out the 13 small, mostly quiet dog breeds on the list below! If you see a breed you like, check out DogTime’s adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!
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The Affenpinscher, also known as the "Monkey Dog" ("affen" means "ape/monkey" in German, and "pinscher" means "terrier"), is small but feisty, full of spunk and energy. They bark on occasion, but are mostly content to stay quiet, especially if they're well trained.
While they're super affectionate with their humans, they don't take as well to children or rough play.
These dogs are usually between nine and eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between seven and nine pounds.
Read more about the Affenpinscher to find out if this is the breed for you!
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Well known as the "barkless" dog from Africa, the Basenji attracts admirers with their short coat, small, muscular body, alert demeanor, erect ears, and tail curled tightly over one hip.
They do, however, have an infamous stubborn streak. Novice pet parents beware!
Basenjis approach medium dog size but are just small enough to adapt to apartment life. They stand between 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 22 and 24 pounds.
Read more about the Basenji to find out if this is the breed for you!
Basset Fauve de Bretagne
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Basset Fauve de Bretagnes are generally friendly with everyone but will let you know if a stranger approaches the door. They're not meant to be watchdogs, but they are tough and will protect their families no matter what.
They're able to get along with everyone in the household but might chase after smaller pets.
Basset Fauve de Bretagne tend to be twelve to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 25 to 35 pounds, so some of the larger ones may approach the size of a medium dog.
Read 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 Frise is a very appealing breed whose looks are enhanced by a perky, good-natured disposition
Bichons generally get along well with other animals and people, but they will alert you when strangers come to the door.
Dogs of this breed stand at nine to eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh seven to twelve pounds.
Read more about the Bichon Frise to find out if this is the breed for you!
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel might or might not bark when someone comes to the door, so they're a poor choice as a watchdog.
There are exceptions, of course — some Cavaliers will inform you of every event in your neighborhood and bark ferociously when strangers approach — but overall you're better off buying an alarm system than counting on your Cavalier to alert you to trouble.
Adult Cavaliers are usually twelve to 13 inches at the shoulder and weigh 13 to 18 pounds.
Read more about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to find out if this is the breed for you!
Coton de Tulear
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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 housebreaker faces is being licked to death.
They do like to "talk" to their people, using their own special language of unique vocalizations, including grunts and growls. But they don't generally bark just for the fun of it.
Coton de Tulears are usually eight to twelve inches tall at the shoulder and weigh eight to 13 pounds.
Read more about the Coton de Tulear to find out if this is the breed for you!
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
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These short pups have long bodies. The length of a Dandie Dinmont Terrier, from the top of their shoulders to the base of their tail, is almost twice their height.
Because Dandies are reserved dogs, they are not "barkers," as are most of their terrier cousins. Dandies will bark when necessary, and their bark is deep and loud. They just don't seem to think it's proper to keep barking after the alarm has been duly noted or to bark just to hear their own voices.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are eight to eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh from 18 to 24 pounds.
Read more about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to find out if this is the breed for you!
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The Havanese loves to watch the world from up high and will find their way onto the backs of sofas and tables to watch the day pass by.
They'll probably bark when they see someone passing by the house or when they hear a strange noise. But the good news is that they don't bark just for the sake of hearing their own voice.
These pups stand at eight to eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh seven to 13 pounds.
Read 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 happy and charming dog who's affectionate and intelligent. They're talkative, but not barky. Chin people say their dogs like to "sing" and will chatter to announce the arrival of guests or strangers.
Chins are so sensitive to their environments and the emotions of their people that they've been known to shape their personality around them. If they live in a quiet home, the Chin will become reserved. If they live in an active home, they'll keep the action lively.
They get to be eight to eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh only four to nine pounds.
Read 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 they have a mind of their own and can be stubborn as well as mischievously inventive. They can find creative ways to escape, so they'll need a secure home and yard.
With other people, they're generally friendly, but they can be sharp toward other dogs. Make sure they have early socialization training and you'll have a loving, fairly quiet companion.
These pups can get to be around ten to twelve inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 13 to 15 pounds.
Read 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 Papillons bark. They do tend to sound off when they hear or sense something out of the ordinary, so if they move to a new home with new sounds, they may bark a bit.
However, once they're used to their environment and well trained, they don't vocalize just for the fun of it. They'll remain calm and quiet, unless they need to alert you of what they think might be danger.
Papillons are eight to eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh in at a tiny four to nine pounds.
Read 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 aren't inclined to be "yappy," something your neighbors will appreciate. Because they are a small, quiet breed and are relatively inactive when indoors, they are a good choice for apartment dwellers.
Pugs need constant human companionship. If you adopt a Pug, expect them to follow you around in the house, sit in your lap, and want to sleep in bed with you.
These dogs tend to stand at ten to 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 14 to 18 pounds.
Read more about the Pug to find out if this is the breed for you!
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This may be a controversial addition to the list, as some Shih Tzus do, in fact, bark quite a bit. They're suspicious of newcomers on their turf and will alert if need be.
However, these pups are so affectionate and friendly that the second a person walks in your door or stops to pet your pup, the Shih Tzu will greet them as a new friend. So even if they make some noise, it tends to fade into love and licks in no time.
Shih Tzus can be nine to ten inches tall at the shoulder and weigh nine to 16 pounds.
Read more about the Shih Tzu to find out if this is the breed for you!
Do you have a small, quiet dog at home? Are they one of the breeds on the list? Let us know in the comments below!