One nice thing about cats is that no matter how insistent they meow for their supper, it usually won’t annoy the neighbors. A barking dog can, on the other hand. Some breeds use their voice more than others, and others will bark just for attention. Thankfully, there are some dogs that typically don’t bark a lot.
Chinese Shar-Pei – Bred in southern China as an all purpose farm dog, the wrinkly Shar-Pei dates back to at least the 1200s. The breed was highly prized as a herder, hunter, tracker, and guard dog for property and livestock. He shares his distinct blue-black tongue with only one other dog breed, the ancient Chow Chow, also from China. Shar-Pei means “sand skin” in Chinese. This breed is intelligent, devoted to his family, an independent thinker with a stubborn streak, wary of people and dogs he doesn’t know, and a good watchdog. As a general rule, the Shar-Pei only barks when he’s worried about something or during play.
Rhodesian Ridgeback – This is an ancient breed native to South Africa, developed by farmers who needed an intelligent, athletic and courageous dog for hunting, herding, and guarding livestock and the home from large predators. Also known as the African Lion Hound, the Ridgeback was used to hunt lions and leopards, holding them at bay until a hunter came. A distinctive ridge of hair along the spine, growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat, is how the breed got its name. The Ridgeback is extremely devoted to his family and will do what’s necessary to defend them.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – This tail wagging breed was a favorite of England’s King Charles I and II, and is named after them. Bred as a companion pet, the Cavalier has the heart of a spaniel and can be trained to hunt small game. This family-friendly pet gets along well with people and other pets. He loves his family and wants to be with them, so this isn’t a dog to be left home alone for long periods of time. Outgoing, intelligent, playful and energetic, the Cavalier is one of the largest in the Toy Group. They are generally easy to train, and eager to do anything you ask for a yummy treat like CANIDAE Pure Heaven biscuits.
Saint Bernard – Developed by monks in the Swiss Alps, the Saint Bernard was used to guard the grounds of the hospice and monastery that was nestled 8,000 feet above sea level in the Great Saint Bernard Pass connecting Switzerland and Italy. They also searched for and rescued travelers who got lost crossing the treacherous pass. The Saint Bernard is intelligent, calm, patient, friendly and easy going. They can be stubborn and shy, but are eager to please and enjoy playing with kids and in snow.
Bernese Mountain Dog – One of four Swiss mountain dogs, the Bernese is the only one with a long, silky coat. Originating in Switzerland, the breed was developed from crosses of Mastiff-type dogs brought in by invading Romans, and farm dogs already in the Swiss Alps some 2,000 years ago. The Bernese drove cattle to market, pulled carts and acted as watchdogs for the home, mainly in the Canton of Berne, which is where the breed gets its name. This is an affectionate, calm, confident, sensitive, gentle, alert, cautious and intelligent breed. He’s protective of his family, gentle with kids and forms a close bond with his owner.
Great Pyrenees – Originating in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, the Pyrenees dates back to around 1,800 to 1,000 B.C. Bred as a flock guardian dog, this white coated beauty fiercely protected his flock from large predators and thieves that roamed the cold and isolated mountain slopes. This breed has a keen sense of smell, hearing and sight. They were highly prized by shepherds and noblemen. Despite his great size, the Pyrenees is calm, gentle, friendly and laid back. The breed is intelligent, able to work on his own and protective of his family. Pyrenees need a strong leader and must be trained well to keep them under control, but they can be challenging to train.
Great Dane – Called the Apollo of Dogs, the Great Dane originated in Germany to hunt the European wild boar, which was one of the most powerful, quick and savage beasts around at the time. A dog was needed that had an equal amount of tenacity, power, speed and intelligence to hunt the boars. German noblemen were so impressed with the breed, they decided to turn them into estate guard dogs and prized pets. The Great Dane is affectionate, gentle, playful, good-natured and enjoys being around people, including children.
Other quiet dog breeds include the Golden Retriever, Mastiff, Whippet, Bullmastiff, Irish Setter, Collie, Italian Greyhound and Newfoundland.
Top photo (Shar-Pei) by ruscca
Middle photo (Cavelier) by Angelique Hayne
Bottom photo (Pyrenees) by Mike Baird
Read more articles by Linda Cole