7 Best Quiet Small Dog Breeds (with photos)

Small dogs have a reputation as noisy and prone to constant barking. If you’ve ever known a beagle or a small terrier, you’ll understand. But are there quiet small dog breeds!? Well, every dog is individual – but some breeds are much quieter than others.

best quiet small dog breeds
The 7 Best Quiet Small Dog Breeds

Some small breeds don’t bark much, though, and people often assume they do because of their size. Some quiet small dog breeds bark less than big dogs. They tend to be calmer than their small stature leads people to believe. 

I don’t mind dogs that bark. Most dog owners don’t, or they’d be cat people instead! However, if you’re looking for a small dog that doesn’t bark much, you’ll find one to love among the quiet small dog breeds listed below. 

English Toy Spaniel

english toy spaniel
Two English Toy Spaniels. Small dogs, and trainable!

This Spaniel might remind you of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, but it’s smaller with a slightly different head shape. In the UK, the name for this breed is King Charles spaniel, so it’s easy to mix them up. 

English toy spaniels weigh up to 14 pounds and stand less than a foot high. Despite being a small dog, the English toy spaniel is calm and easygoing. These spaniels don’t bark as much as most dogs their size and are one of the best quiet small dog breeds you’ll find. 

These dogs bond deeply with their owners and don’t like being apart for very long. I love the easygoing nature of these spaniels. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

black and tan cavalier King Charles spaniel dog image
An image of a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Photo Mitchell Gaiser/Unsplash

Cavalier Kings are sweet-natured dogs that bond to their owners. If you’ve ever wanted a small dog that will follow you from room to room, this quiet small dog breed fits the bill. These dogs love walks and running in the park, but they enjoy napping, too. 

Cavalier King Charles spaniels can weigh 18 pounds, but they usually top out around 13-15 pounds and a foot or 13 inches in height. 

They train well and make suitable pets for homes or apartments. This dog is one of the quiet small dog breeds that’s also good with kids and other pets. 

The adorable mixed-breed Cavapoo combines a Cavalier King and poodle. Cavapoos are one of my favorite dogs. They bark more than Cavalier Kings, but you can train them to be quieter.

If you want a small dog that doesn’t bark much, look at Cavalier Kings.

Shih Tzu

shih tzu puppy licks tonuge out
A Shih Tzu puppy wiht its tongue out. Expect a Shih Tzu puppy to lick EVERYTHING!

A Shih Tzu will bark at new situations, people, and anything it sees as a threat. If you live a lifestyle with lots of people coming in and out of your home or lots of loud activities, a Shih Tzu will probably bark a lot. 

They’re not one of the yappiest small breeds, though. Most of the time, a Shih Tzu is content to nap or play quietly without a lot of barking. 

These beautiful dogs are one of the best quiet small dog breeds to own. They’re good with kids because as much as they love their naps, they’re enthusiastic at playtime, too. 

The biggest Shih Tzu will probably weigh 16 pounds and stand just under a foot tall, but they can be as small as 9 pounds. 


curly tailed basenji
Curly tailed Basenji

The Basenji is the least likely dog to bark because the breed’s larynx almost prevents it. 

That doesn’t mean the dog is always quiet, though. Basenjis communicate with you through grunts, growls, and howls. Sometimes they sound like they’re screaming when they’re excited or agitated. 

The Basenji is an African dog that’s often called a barkless dog. They’re easy to groom and friendly but high-energy. If you own a Basenji, you’ll spend a lot of time walking and playing this active breed. 

This breed can weigh up to 16 pounds and stand up to a foot-and-a-half high. They’re good with kids when raised around them. Adult Basenjis not used to kids or pets might not adapt well to either. 


bolognese dog breed
The Bolognese dog breed – you read that right! Small and playful.

When I met a Bolognese for the first time, I assumed this dog would be yappy. Their tiny faces and attitude make you think they’re going to be barkers. Instead, Bolognese dogs are one of the best quiet small dog breeds. 

These cute and fluffy dogs, known as Bolo by their fans, are more easygoing than many small breeds. You should train a Bolognese early to avoid things like nipping to keep other people or pets away from you. 

The Bolognese doesn’t shed much, so maintenance is easy. These dogs are lower energy than many other small breeds and train well if you start early. 

They weigh 5-9 pounds and stand 10-12 inches high. The Bolognese is one of the best quiet small dog breeds for kids and older owners.

Chinese Crested

chinese crested puppy
The Chinese Crested is a beautiful and unique breed – but surprisingly energetic!

The Chinese Crested dog won’t bark much unless it learns this bad behavior as a puppy. 

Whether you choose a Hairless or Power Puff Chinese Crested, these dogs are playful and sensitive. They can go from running and playing to snuggling and calm in no time. They’re good with other pets and children as long as they’re gentle with dogs. 

Most Chinese Crested dogs weigh close to 12 pounds and stand a foot high. They’re hypoallergenic, so they’re a good choice for people sensitive to allergens. 

This breed isn’t the one for you if you’re gone a lot. A Chinese Crested might bark excessively from separation anxiety. These dogs love to cling to you and stay by your side. Some people call this breed “Velcro dogs” because they want to stick to their owners like Velcro. 

As long as these dogs feel content and safe with their owners nearby, they’re one of the best quiet small dog breeds. 

French Bulldog

french bulldog panda
A French Bulldog with some imagination can be Panda-like

The French bulldog is one of the most popular small breeds. This stocky little dog is playful and happy and one of the best quiet small dog breeds

A French bulldog doesn’t bark much, but they’re not silent all the time. These dogs love to talk. How much noise they make to communicate with you has a lot to do with the kinds of sounds you make when talking to your dog. 

French bulldogs weigh up to 28 pounds and stand about a foot high. They don’t require much grooming aside from wiping their face wrinkles regularly. 

This breed’s whole body moves when it’s happy and wagging its tail. Most bulldogs are good with kids and other pets, and they’re known for their easygoing nature. 

Look at French bulldogs for a small, sturdy dog that’s not known for yapping and barking. 

The Best Quiet Small Dog Breeds

When looking for a small, quiet dog, don’t focus on just how often it barks. It’s important to remember issues like grooming, potential health problems, energy level, and other parts of a dog’s temperament. 

When you buy or adopt a dog, look at the breed carefully to make sure it will fit into your lifestyle and household.