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The Most Calm and Quiet Dog Breeds

dog relaxing on a couch

Is your dog calm, cool, and collected? Or, is your canine high-strung, yapping at every noise and movement? While an owner’s temperament and approach to training can make a huge difference in how a dog behaves, several breeds are so chill, so composed they have the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition of “calm dog.”

If a quiet, subdued pup sounds like the perfect dog for you, your family and neighborhood, read on.

What Are the Most Laid-Back Dog Breeds?

According to the AKC Temperament Guide, here are 10 top calm dog breeds:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – With a gentle demeanor, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a tremendous emotional support or therapy dog and does well in a home with children or multiple family members. They love your lap and exercise. 

cavalier king charles spaniel

Basset hound – Often content to snooze on the couch, Basset hounds are independent and can be challenging to train. However, with some patience and persistence on the owner’s part, this breed is quiet, lovable, and loyal.  

bassett hound

Related: Are small dogs harder to train?

Bergamasco sheepdog – From the Italian Alps, the Bergamasco sheepdog is protective and may take some time warming up to strangers. It tends to be highly intelligent and bright. In addition to being one of the calmest dogs, the Bergamasco sheepdog is considered a low maintenance breed.  

bergamasco sheepdog

Boerboel – This breed is protective and loyal. While the Boerboel does well with children, placement in a home with newer dog owners is not advised.  

Boerboel dog

Clumber spaniel – This calm breed is known for its hunting skills and loyalty. Clumber spaniels are reliable, very affectionate, and dedicated to their work. They do well with training. 

French bulldog – Friendly and easy-to-please, French bulldogs often have larger-than-life personalities that make great companions. This breed gets along well with other dogs and doesn’t bark much.  

french bulldog

Irish wolfhound – Highly intelligent, Irish wolfhounds learn quickly. They are calm and sensitive to human emotions, making them ideal therapy dogs.  

irish wolfhound

Pekingese – Outgoing and friendly, Pekingese are independent, loving, and full of personality. This breed would do best in a home without children, although they can adapt to being around kids. Pekingese are considered one of the more affectionate, kind, and calm canine companions. 

pekingese

Saint Bernard – These big, calm, gentle giants love being with their owners. Due to their size and ability to knock people over, especially children, training Saint Bernards is recommended and tremendously helpful. 

saint bernard

Which Breeds Are Easiest to Train?

Although the following breeds don’t earn the distinction or calmness, they do earn points for being the easiest to train.

Golden retriever – One of the more popular breeds, Golden retrievers make great family dogs. Rated the most eager to please by the AKC, this breed is smart, highly motivated by food and easy to train.

golden retriever

Australian cattle cog – This intelligent breed requires regular exercise to prevent destructive behavior. Highly trainable, Australian cattle dogs make devoted guard dogs.

Border collie – Intelligent and committed to their owner, the Border Collies, is sensitive and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. This breed is highly energetic and easy to train. 

Australian shepherd – The Australian shepherd, bred to be herding dogs, works well with their humans and is reasonably easy to train when they receive at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.

Labrador retriever – Another one of the smartest breeds, the happy, easy-going demeanor of Labrador Retrievers, makes them easy to train. 

labrador retriever

Poodle – Considered one of the smartest breeds, poodles train easily. However, it is best to begin training and socializing them at a young age, or they can develop constant anxiety. 

poodle

German shepherd – Agile, intelligent, and obedient describe German shepherds. This breed excels at agility courses and is highly trainable. 

german shepherd

Doberman pinscher – Intelligent, obedient, and loyal, the Doberman pinscher is highly trainable. This breed is known as an outstanding guard dog and for working with first-responders, including police officers.

doberman pinscher

Papillon – This naturally curious toy dog breed responds well to training and positive reinforcement. Papillon are often considered to be one of the most obedient and trainable toy dog breeds. 

Cardigan Welsh corgi – The cute and adorable Cardigan Welsh corgis are loving and eager to please, making them both easy and fun to train. 

cardigan welsh corgi

Miniature schnauzer – Even though these little guys can be stubborn if their owners don’t take charge, miniature schnauzers respond well to consistent training. They are considered loyal and very playful. 

schnauzer

Shetland sheepdog – Without early training and socialization, this intelligent breed can acquire some not so cool habits, like barking and nipping. Given plenty of treats and praise, however, the Shetland Sheepdog is easy to train. 

shetland sheepdog

Tips to Train Any Dog 

No matter how easy a dog is to train, they don’t train themselves, that’s your job. And, to train your dog well, there are a few tips to keep in mind. 

  1. Consider your dog’s physical and mental limitations.
  2. If you are training a puppy, puppy proof your home e.g., crate, gates, and safe toys.
  3. Learn your dog’s body language.
  4. Treats, treats, and more treats.
  5. Praise your dog any time you catch him being good.
  6. Remember, he’s a dog, not a human. He’s just doing what makes him feel safe and happy.
  7. Whatever behavior you reinforce, your dog will repeat, even if that behavior is terrible.
  8. Give praise and treats immediately after good behavior. Wait much longer than a few seconds, and your dog will have forgotten what he’s getting the treat and adoration for (although he won’t complain about getting either!)
  9. Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A bored dog and bad behavior go together.
  10. Above all else, remain positive. With patience and consistency, your dog will catch on. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool can help make dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.
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How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Neighbors

Dog Barking

You really don’t want to be that neighbor, do you? The one with the noisy dog that turns neighbors into “frenemies”? 

If your dog is harassing your neighbors and barking constantly, it’s probably for a “good” reason: She has one job — to protect her territory. Your dog is not barking because she hates your neighbor — that’s not the reason! Dogs tend to bark more when they are at home for this reason; they’re protecting you, your home, your family, and your property.

And, to be honest, this isn’t always a bad thing. Dogs can hear noises that we can’t. Some of us have dogs for that very reason — not only do we want a companion, but we also want a protector. 

Related: Got a problem with a neighbor’s barking dog?

However, when your dog is barking nonstop or aggressively at your neighbors and you want him to stop, you can train him. Any time you teach something new to a dog, remember that training takes time, patience, and consistency.

Be Consistent When Training Your Dog

When we talk about the importance of consistency with dog training, we mean two things: Be consistent with correcting bad behaviors, every time, and make sure everyone in your house understands “the rules.”

Consistency with commands: Your dog may be the smartest pet you know, but his mind is very simple, and he’s looking to you to tell him what to do and what not to do. If he barks at neighbors and you correct his behavior one time, while ignoring it the next time, he’s learned nothing. You’ve confused him. 

Consistency with people: You might notice that your dog tends to behave better with certain family members than others. Dog training is as much about people training as it is about teaching dogs new tricks. Everyone who lives in your home has to be involved in correcting bad behaviors and rewarding good behaviors using the same tools and commands. For example, your dog doesn’t know that “quiet” and “hush” mean the same thing; everyone should know the same command words.

How to Stop Your Dog Barking at People

Out of sight, out of mind: To reduce your dog’s barking at people, remove what triggers him, especially when you aren’t home. Close windows, curtains and blinds when you aren’t home so your dog can’t see or hear your neighbors. 

You might even consider leaving on a radio or playing white noise or a fan to help block outside noises.

You can also sequester your dog in a part of your house that is further from noises that trigger it to bark. For example, if you have a two-story house and you crate your dog, consider moving the crate to an upper floor toward the back of your house, which might be further from street noises.

If there are certain times of day when your dog barks, try to figure out what triggers her. Does she bark more when kids are coming home from school? Or does she go crazy barking in the evening, like after dinner when your neighbors are in their yards and walking the neighborhood? Recognize these patterns and plan distractions for your dog during these times.    

Train Your Dog Not to Bark at Neighbors, Using ‘Quiet’ Command

Teach your dog to stop barking when you say a command word or phrase such as “Quiet.” We don’t recommend the word “stop,” because if you use that word too much — stop scratching, stop begging, stop chewing, stop jumping — it confuses the dog. “Quiet” means stop barking.

The quiet command works well when used with an ultrasonic sound training device. These training devices are designed specifically to control dogs’ barking. The device isn’t harmful to your dog, and it’s easy to use. 

Again, it’s important that everyone in your household understands how to use an ultrasonic training device with the quiet command. You might consider getting more than one device, so each person has their own and you can keep them in different parts of your home, so they’re handy when you need them.

Show Your Dog Alternate Behaviors

The following technique requires more time, but if you are patient and stick with it, it can work. 

In addition to teaching your dog the quiet command and using the ultrasonic training device, teach your dog to associate playtime or treat time when you see neighbors. 

This is how it works: When the two of you see or hear your neighbors, give your dog a treat or invite her to play. Even if she barks, give her the treat or continue to play. Do this every time you see and hear your neighbors. Eventually, she will look to you for rewards when she sees the neighbors, because she will know this is a trigger for something great.  

One last piece of advice in this section: You may have heard the saying, “A tired pup is a good pup.” Make sure your dog gets exercise and he’ll be less wound up when he’s at home. 

Communicate With Your Neighbors About Your Dog

Let your neighbors know that you’re working with your dog to stop the annoying barking and ask for their support. Tell your neighbors if there is anything they need to know about your dog — if she isn’t good with children, is aggressive toward other dogs, or doesn’t like to be touched on the head, for example.  

Take your dogs on walks and introduce him to neighbors. Reward your dog when she exhibits good behaviors (with a treat or praise or a scratch behind the ears), and redirect her when she barks. By redirect, we mean this literally. When your dog barks at your neighbors, turn her around and head her away from the neighbors. When she doesn’t bark at neighbors, praise her and let her know she’s been a good dog.

What Not to Do When Your Dog Barks at Neighbors

Don’t argue with your neighbors about your dog. Empathize and acknowledge that you’ve heard their complaint. Let them know what you’re going to do and ask them to be patient.

Don’t admit guilt. Tell your neighbor that you’re sorry they’re bothered by the sound of a barking dog and ask them if they have suggestions. That lets them know you understand their frustration and you want to be a good neighbor.

Don’t yell at your dog when he barks. When you yell at a barking dog, you confuse him. He might think you’re just as alarmed as he is.

Don’t give up. We said this at the start of this article, and we’ll end with a reminder: Dog training takes time, patience and consistency. Some dog breeds are easier to train than others, and some dogs within breeds are easier than others. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool makes dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.