About the Author: Introducing Dr. Adriana Luis, our Senior Content Editor at MyPetDoggie and also Veterinarian (MVZ). Kerry devotes most of her time to penning enlightening pieces about pet health, providing invaluable knowledge to pet owners globally. As the director of our Veterinary Content Team, she ensures the accuracy and comprehensiveness of our content, thereby making pet care accessible and understandable for everyone.
If you have a dog, then it is a given that they will bark. Barking is a way of communication for dogs. However, if your dog isn’t barking, several underlying reasons exist. Their silent behavior may be part of their personality and breed.
As the dogs get older, they have less energy to bark. If your dog isn’t aged, then there must be a health concern that hinders their barking. Moreover, when dogs are stressed or anxious, they tend to be silent. Additionally, dogs can’t bark because of problems in their larynx (vocal cords).
Therefore, in this blog, you will find every possible reason why your dog isn’t barking. Along with reasons, we have listed alternatives to hear your dog’s bark again.
Why Is My Dog Not Barking?
Wondering, “Why is my dog not barking?” Well, there can be various reasons behind this quiet behavior. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to find the underlying cause of your dog’s silence.
To help you find the right cause, we have listed common reasons why your dog doesn’t bark.
Breed and Personality:
One significant factor influencing your dog’s barking habits is its breed and individual personality. Some breeds, like Basenjis, huskies, and Beagles, are naturally less inclined to bark. Instead, they might produce unique sounds such as humming or whining. Additionally, each dog has a distinct personality; some may simply prefer not to bark. Notice that such dogs will be using other ways, like whining and whimpering, to express themselves.
Age can also play a role in your dog’s barking behavior. Puppies tend to be more vocal as they explore their surroundings and communicate their needs. However, aged dogs become less prone to barking as they mature. This change in behavior is part of their natural development.
Health problems may become a hurdle in your dog’s barks. Tumors like chondrosarcoma may obstruct your dog’s airway and impact its voice. Therefore, if you suspect your dogs aren’t barking suddenly, even with the right age and breed, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian. You will get the suspected health problem diagnosed and treated.
Stress or Anxiety:
A dog’s mental state is a lot like a human’s. Dogs, like humans, can experience stress and anxiety. These emotions can cause changes in behavior, including reduced barking. New environments, changes in routine, or traumatic experiences may trigger stress or anxiety in your dog. Hence, creating a safe and comforting environment and possible behavior modification techniques is recommended. It can help you encourage your dog to bark and enjoy life to the fullest.
Change in Environment:
Have you noticed your dog becomes an introvert who sits in the corner in a new environment? A sudden change in your dog’s environment can also lead to decreased barking. Moving to a new home, a different neighborhood, or being in an unfamiliar setting, like a kennel, may temporarily silence your dog. Give them time to adjust to the new surroundings before returning to their usual barking habits.
The larynx is also called the voice box. Larynx issues arise often due to laryngeal paralysis. Laryngeal paralysis occurs when the muscles responsible for controlling the movement of the larynx become weak or paralyzed. Some dogs are born with it, like Labrador Retrievers and Siberian Huskies. Besides, larynx issues come with age, too. So, when the larynx doesn’t work right, it’s difficult for your dog to bark.
Throat Irritation or Infection:
Throat irritation or infection can be caused due to several reasons. The reasons include allergies, infections, foreign objects, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Hence, such issues also cause your dogs to bark less than usual.
Training or Behavior Modification:
Some dogs receive training or behavior modification. It discourages excessive barking habits. If your dog has undergone such training, it may have learned to bark less in response to specific stimuli. Additionally, barking less is often intentional, as excessive barking can be disruptive and unwanted in certain situations.
Another reason why dogs don’t bark is Deafness. Hearing loss is often a reason for many species not to speak. If your dog can not hear you or identify sounds, he must have lost his hearing ability. Therefore, when they cannot hear, they don’t respond by barking.
Because sudden changes in a dog’s barking behavior mostly have underlying health issues, it is advised to contact your vet ASAP.
Can All Dogs Bark?
No, not all dogs can bark! Some dogs, like the Basenji, can’t bark, but they make unique sounds like yodeling. Various factors influence a dog’s tendency to bark. Some dogs have quieter personalities and prefer different ways of communication. If they are not barking, you must hear them whining.
Additionally, their body language matters, too. Sometimes, dogs prefer communicating with gestures instead of barking, like wagging their tails. If you see dogs not barking at all, their breed must be the reason for their silent behavior. Hence, not all dogs can bark.
Other Reasons Your Dog Doesn’t Bark:
Dogs express most of their feelings and emotions through barking. However, it’s a red sign when your dog stops barking or doesn’t bark as frequently as other dogs do. Several reasons can affect your dog’s barking habits.
So, let’s explore them to see if it’s a matter of concern or if your dog is just calmer.
Imagine your dog’s life is like your own daily routine. What your dog does every day can make them bark more or less. For instance, if your dog usually stays in a quiet and calm place and doesn’t see many other dogs or hear loud noises, they won’t bark often. But if your dog lives in a busy city where many people, cars, and other dogs make noise, they might bark more because they’re reacting to all the commotion around them. So, where and how your dog lives can affect how often they bark.
Your dog’s temperament means its personality. Just like people, dogs have different personalities. Some dogs are like the relaxed and easygoing kids in your class who don’t make a fuss. Other dogs might be confident and brave, so they don’t get scared easily, and that can make them bark less because they’re not worried about things. If your dog is friendly and used to being around people and other animals, they might not bark much because they’re not afraid of new things.
Dogs usually bark when they want to feel more secure or get scared. But they don’t need to bark as much when in a secure and happy place, like a loving home. Hence, a secure environment can be a reason why your dog doesn’t bark much. So, if they know their environment is safe, they won’t bark to protect themselves or warn about dangers.
Previous Negative Experiences:
If your dog had scary or bad things happen before, they might not bark much now. It’s like when you touch something hot and learn not to do it again. Dogs can be the same way. If they had bad experiences, they might stay quiet to avoid trouble. So, their past can make them not bark as much. They would prefer to stay quiet and not attract much attention.
Lack of Socialization:
When dogs meet lots of different people and dogs at a young age, they learn that new things are okay. But they might get nervous around new people or animals if they don’t. Hence, they might stay quiet instead of barking because they’re unsure or scared. A lack of socialization can make your dog not bark because they’re unsure how to react to new things. Thus, they might choose to be quiet to stay safe.
Habituation means your dog becomes familiar with something. Dogs habitually barking in response to new things like a fast-moving bike. Barking is your dog’s language to express emotions Whenever they need attention or get scared of things. When they get habitual of things, like a car passing by, they stop barking because it’s not new or scary anymore.
Medical conditions can be a major reason if your dog suddenly stops barking or does not bark much after birth. Sometimes, a dog’s harness hurts their trachea, or they may get tracheal infection due to bacterial infections. These infections are sourced by contaminated food or water intake, resulting in sore throat and tracheal infection. Besides, throat cancers are also a common medical issue in dogs that affect their barking ability. So, if you think your pup is suffering from any medical conditions, check it immediately.
Some dog breeds are very sensitive and express their feelings through barking. Your dog can stop barking as a sign of anger or frustration in response to your actions. So, if your dog is not barking or being silent, he may be trying to communicate his anger with you.
Training and Obedience:
Dogs are famous for their obedience, training ability, and loyalty. If you have a well-trained dog to avoid stimulation and barking, he may not bark much. Besides, training can also impact their self-confidence and reduce the feeling of fear in minor incidents. Therefore, they may bark rarely. So, if you have a trained dog and he is not barking a lot, don’t worry. However, if they suddenly start barking, check if there is some serious stimulation that may have triggered them.
Breeds That Rarely Bark:
Regarding our furry friend, we often associate barking with their communication method. However, some dog breeds are known for their serene and less vocal nature.
So let me tell you what breeds rarely bark!
Our list begins with Basenji. It is often referred to as “Barkless Dogs.” Besides barking in the traditional sense, they make unique voices. You may hear them vocalizing like a yodel or howl.
Borzois are described as “quiet and catlike” by the American Kennel Club. They are elegant and graceful. These dogs are not prone to excessive barking and are known for their sighthound abilities.
Whether it’s the English Bull Dog or the French Bulldog, these pups are content sleeping on the sofa rather than barking up a storm. They are known for their easygoing nature. Bulldogs may look like angry pets but are very sweet.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is perfect to live within a city. These toy breeds are quiet, friendly, and incredibly adorable. If you’re an introvert who loves peace, this dog breed can be your lifelong companion. They’re unlikely to disrupt your peace with excessive barking.
Known for their lion-like manes and dignified appearance. Chow chow prefers to stay reserved as they are not inclined to bark frequently. Additionally, they are fiercely loyal to their families, and one standout feature in them is their blue-black tongue.
Clumber Spaniel is another breed in the list of quiet dog breeds. They have superior hunting skills, but still, they don’t bark much. They prefer to communicate through their calm and friendly demeanor. These dogs are often called “Gentle Giants, ” excellent family pets.
These calm dogs are unlikely to disturb your tranquility with continuous barking. They have a dignified and gentle personality and are famous for their immense size yet affectionate nature. Despite their size, they’re known for being incredibly calm and gentle, especially with children.
With their short height, Japanese Chin are quiet and charming. They’re more likely to spend quality time with you than create noise. Chins have a rich history as companions to Chinese and Japanese nobility, as often associated with royalty.
Newfoundlands are also not known for their barking habit. These pets are wonderful family members with a patient nature. They are excellent swimmers and have been known to save lives in water rescues due to their strong swimming abilities.
What are the Noisiest Dog Breeds?
Dogs are always praised for their loyalty and companionship. Besides, some breeds are favorites for their vocal powers.
So, let’s learn about the noisiest dog breeds.
Beagle is one of the noisiest dog breeds. They are famous for their melodic voices. Their unique form of barking can be heard from miles away. Dog parents adopt beagles because they think beagles will become music to their ears and a silent house, but sometimes, it can become a symphony of noise.
This breed is also called Deep Throated Crooner. Basset Hounds have a deep and soulful voice that resonates through the air. Their mournful howls are often used for hunting purposes. However, they’re not shy about serenading their owners, too.
Dachshund, the tenacious tenor. They may be small in size, but their barks are mighty. They have a powerful and persistent nature. It makes their barks more loud and powerful.
Miniature Schnauzer takes their role as watchdogs seriously. They have a knack for alerting their owners to any threat or danger with their persistent barks.
Despite their small size, chihuahuas have the loudest bark. They’re known for their high-pitched yaps.
German Shepherds are often associated with police and military work. Their commanding bark and smelling abilities contribute to many security tasks.
Siberian huskies have a unique vocalization style called howling. Huskies are fearless and are not afraid to unleash their wild side with dramatic howls.
Can I Train My Dog to Bark?
Of course! You can train your dog to bark. You have to use positive reinforcement techniques to listen to your dog barking. Start by grabbing their attention with something exciting, like a toy, or by ringing the doorbell. Focus on moments when they bark, and by repeating those activities, you can make a habit of barking. Treats are the greatest motivation for dogs.
So, don’t hesitate to give your dog treats whenever they bark. This behavior will encourage them to bark more often as they will associate treats with barking.
Undoubtedly, positive association plays a significant role in making any habit. In the end, let them see other dogs barking. If they play with such dogs, they can easily adopt a barking habit.
When Do Puppies Start Barking? What Does It Sound Like At First?
If you’re a new puppy parent, you might wonder when your adorable fur ball will start barking. The timing for puppies to start barking can vary. However, puppies typically begin to use their vocal cords within 2 – 3 weeks.
But you will only listen to their voices after they have fully opened their eyes and ears. So if your 3 weeks old pup is whining, not barking, it is one right track. Initially, you will only hear their grunts, muffled noises, and soft whines. These are early attempts at communication.
Around 7 – 8 weeks of age, those initial grunts will transform into yips and barks. However, it is important to note that every puppy is unique. The timing to start barking also depends on the dog. Some quieter breed dogs may start barking after 16 – 17 weeks.
How Do You Get a Stubborn Dog to Bark?
Getting a stubborn dog to bark can be a bit of a challenge. You may need to be patient to teach your dog to bark. Find their triggering point or things that excite or interest them, like treats or their favorite toy.
Just before your dog is likely to bark in response, use a simple command like “speak.” Now, you can use this technique to remind them that the “speak” command is associated with barking.
Continue practicing this command regularly, but keep training sessions short to avoid frustration. Moreover, use their favorite snacks and games to encourage barking. Sometimes, games like tug of war or fetch can excite them enough to bark. Remember that consistency is the key!
What is the 3-bark rule?
The 3-bark rule means that if a dog barks three times in a row, it’s often a sign of excitement or alertness.
Why is my 5-month-old puppy not barking?
Puppies above 8 weeks start barking, but their barks are not usually traditional barks because of their immature vocal cords. While some dog breeds take longer to bark, silent behavior may be due to any issues with their vocal cord. It’s better to get them checked by a veterinarian.
Can a dog lose its bark permanently?
In rare cases, yes! A dog can lose its bark permanently. If your dog has undergone any accidents or collapsed their vocal cord with the trachea, it can permanently go silent.
What stage of the puppy is barking?
Puppies usually start barking at around 2 to 3 weeks of age when their eyes and ears are open. It may sound like soft whines at first.
How do I know if my dog is depressed?
Signs of depression can include appetite, energy level, or social behavior changes. If you notice that your dog has such behavior, it may be depressed.
If your dog is staying silent more than usual, look for possible reasons behind the dog’s silent behavior. After finding the cause of the problem, take remedial measures to hear their barks again.