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Most popular dog breeds that keep it quiet

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Pixabay

Most popular dog breeds that keep it quiet

A dog’s bark can be worse than its bite if a pet is too noisy, anxious, or aggressive to be a good companion. Fortunately, lots of wonderful dogs are quiet, making the breeds good fits for families who need a calm environment, for close-quarter apartment living, or simply for homes that favor serenity.

Some are rare, like North Africa’s sloughi, or little known in the West like the Japanese chin. Others are immensely popular like the affectionate pug and friendly golden retriever. Dogs that were raised for hunting like the Rhodesian ridgeback are among those that tend not to bark. Their breeding called for them to be stealthy and silent as they tracked prey.

Herding dogs, too, are among the quietest. Dogs that rounded up sheep learned over generations to be quiet, as flocks can easily startle: A barking dog could create chaos. They often learned more effective ways to get their way than barking, whether it be rounding up wayward livestock or nipping them in the heels. Retrievers had little need to bark, following their nose to find and fetch downed prey.

Indoor dog breeds like the Pekingese and English toy spaniels were taught to be quiet and well behaved for their roles in imperial palaces and aristocratic estate houses. Today they might be more often found curled up on a soft couch or in a comfortable lap. Others could use their might or their looks to better effect than a bark. A silent mastiff looks tough enough—a bark might just not be needed.

Stacker used data from the American Kennel Club to rank dog breeds categorized as having an "infrequent" or "when necessary" barking level. Each of the 40 dog breeds is ranked by its AKC 2018 popularity rank, released in March 2019. Only dogs that have been registered with and ranked by the AKC are included in the list.

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Sabine.schlenkrich // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Sloughi

- AKC popularity rank: #192 out of 193
- Temperament: Reserved, graceful, noble
- Height: 26-29 inches (male), 24-27 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-50 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-15 years
- AKC group: Hound group

Uncommon in the United States, the sloughi descends from an ancient line of hounds that stealthily hunted game in the deserts of North Africa. Sloughis are lean and fast, with appealing dark eyes.

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Bergamasco // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Bergamasco sheepdog

- AKC popularity rank: #187 out of 193
- Temperament: Independent, sociable, intelligent
- Height: 23.5 inches (male), 22 inches (female)
- Weight: 70-84 pounds (male), 57-71 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 13-15 years
- AKC group: Herding group

The Bergamasco sheepdog is big-boned, with a large head and a distinctive shaggy coat that forms long mats. The breed was common for centuries in the valleys of the Alps, where it was used to herd sheep; with a quiet patient nature, it kept the flocks from getting startled and running off.

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otsphoto // Shutterstock

#38. Cirneco dell’etna

- AKC popularity rank: #183 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, friendly, independent
- Height: 18-19.5 inches (male), 16.5-18 inches (female)
- Weight: 22-26 pounds (male), 17-22 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- AKC group: Hound group

The cirneco hails from Sicily where images resembling the dog have been found on coins dating to 500 B.C. The hunting dog is skilled at chasing rabbits and birds. The breed almost died out in the 1930s, but a Sicilian aristocrat dedicated herself to bringing it back.

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Pixabay

#37. Glen of Imaal terrier

- AKC popularity rank: #174 out of 193
- Temperament: Gentle, spirited, bold
- Height: 12.5-14 inches
- Weight: 32-40 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-15 years
- AKC group: Terrier group

From Ireland, the Glen of Imaal terrier was bred to be a quiet worker. Short, with bowed front legs, the terrier hunted badgers and fox and, also, according to legend, was used to turn spits for roasting meat over open fires.

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Bev Sykes // Flickr

#36. Irish water spaniel

- AKC popularity rank: #159 out of 193
- Temperament: Playful, hardworking, brave
- Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-68 pounds (male), 45-58 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 12-13 years
- AKC group: Sporting group

The Irish water spaniel, with its curly coat, tapered tail, and webbed feet, is a strong swimmer. It was bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. It tends to bark only when sending a warning.

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Sisteskrik // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Scottish deerhound

- AKC popularity rank: #158 out of 193
- Temperament: Gentle, dignified, polite
- Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28 inches & up (female)
- Weight: 85-110 pounds (male), 75-95 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 8-11 years
- AKC group: Hound group

The Scottish deerhound is one of the tallest breeds of dogs. The breed is ancient, designed to hunt giant wild red deer in the Scottish Highlands. Historically it was so valuable that at one time no one with a rank below earl was allowed to own one.

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Svenska Mässan // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Nederlandse kooikerhondje

- AKC popularity rank: #150 out of 193
- Temperament: Friendly, alert, quick
- Height: 15-17 inches (male), 14-16 inches (female)
- Weight: 20-30 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- AKC group: Sporting group

Images of the Nederlandse kooikerhondje, which are white and red with black tips on their ears and feathered tails, can be found in the 17th-century paintings of Dutch Masters. The dogs were bred for use in an ancient form of duck hunting, trained to respond to silent hand signs to help lure the birds into traps.

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Leanam // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Berger picard

- AKC popularity rank: #144 out of 193
- Temperament: Loyal, good-natured, observant
- Height: 23.5-25.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
- Weight: 50-70 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-13 years
- AKC group: Herding group

The shaggy berger picard is a French herding breed that can be traced back to ninth-century Celts in northern France. It is rare and nearly died out when the French region of Picardy was the scene of devastating battles and trench warfare during both World War I and World War II.

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audrey_sel//Flickr

#32. Clumber spaniel

- AKC popularity rank: #143 out of 193
- Temperament: Mellow, amusing, gentlemanly
- Height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
- Weight: 70-85 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
- AKC group: Sporting group

The Clumber spaniel is a bird dog, and its long, low-slung build helps it maneuver through heavy brush to flush out fowl. Its name dates to the late 1700s in Nottinghamshire, England, where the Duke of Newcastle named the breed for his estate, Clumber Park. The dogs have found a home with British royalty, including George V, the grandfather of reigning Queen Elizabeth II, who bred them.

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peakpx

#31. English toy spaniel

- AKC popularity rank: #135 out of 193
- Temperament: Gentle, playful, intelligent
- Height: 9-10 inches
- Weight: 8-14 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
- AKC group: Toy group

The English toy spaniel was bred to be a quiet companion dog. Mary, Queen of Scots, is said to have been hiding a toy spaniel in her skirts when she was beheaded in 1587. The black and tan King Charles variety dates to Britain’s 17th-century monarchs Charles I and Charles II.

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Oskar Svensson // Wikimedia Commons

#30. German pinscher

- AKC popularity rank: #134 out of 193
- Temperament: Courageous, intelligent, vivacious
- Height: 17-20 inches
- Weight: 25-45 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- AKC group: Working group

The muscular German pinscher was originally bred to hunt rats. The extremely old breed, forebear to the larger, better-known Doberman, nearly went extinct during World War I and II. No litters were registered in West Germany for several years following the Second World War, and one man is credited with smuggling a female pinscher out of East Germany to rebuild the breed.

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Dardeche // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Briard

- AKC popularity rank: #132 out of 193
- Temperament: Confident, smart, faithful
- Height: 23-27 inches (male), 22-25.5 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-100 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12 years
- AKC group: Herding group

The briard is a French herding dog named for the cheese-producing region Brie. The breed is so old that it is depicted in eighth-century tapestries. Thomas Jefferson brought a Briard home to Virginia after serving as America’s ambassador to France, and the Briard was the official dog of the French Army during World War I.

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Max Pixel

#28. Boerboel

- AKC popularity rank: #121 out of 193
- Temperament: Confident, intelligent, calm
- Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 150-200 pounds
- Life expectancy: 9-11 years
- AKC group: Working group

Watchful and quiet, the Boerboel descends from imposing dogs used by the Boer settlers in South Africa to guard their homesteads starting in the 17th century. The dark skin under the dog’s coat is thought to be protective against the sun and heat of its homeland.

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Pexels

#27. Tibetan spaniel

- AKC popularity rank: #119 out of 193
- Temperament: Playful, bright, self-confident
- Height: 10 inches
- Weight: 9-15 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- AKC group: Non-sporting group

Tiny Tibetan spaniels, standing at about 10 inches at their shoulder, were bred by ancient monks as sentinels to watch for danger from monastery walls. They are not spaniels but are related to Pekingese and pugs. They have thick manes around their necks, earning them the nickname “little lions.”

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LostinTexas (Alex Archambault) // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Japanese chin

- AKC popularity rank: #104 out of 193
- Temperament: Charming, noble, loving
- Height: 8-11 inches
- Weight: 7-11 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
- AKC group: Toy group

The Japanese chin is a silky lapdog that was popular with Japan’s nobility and believed to have originated in China. Chins are tiny, cuddly, and also known to climb—part of the reason they are often described as catlike.

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Anastasiia Cherniavskaia // Shutterstock

#25. Borzoi

- AKC popularity rank: #103 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, loyal, regally dignified
- Height: 28 inches & up (male), 26 inches & up (female)
- Weight: 75-105 pounds (male), 60-85 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 9-14 years
- AKC group: Hound group

The borzoi was formerly called the Russian wolfhound, and packs of the swift dogs were ideal for use in wolf hunts popular with Russian aristocracy. After the 1917 revolution, the breed nearly disappeared in Russia but was kept alive overseas. While the sighthounds love to chase, their infrequent barking is said to make them poor watchdogs.

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gomagoti // Flickr

#24. Neapolitan mastiff

- AKC popularity rank: #102 out of 193
- Temperament: Loyal, dignified, watchful
- Height: 26-31 inches (male), 24-29 inches (female)
- Weight: 150 pounds (male), 110 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 7-9 years
- AKC group: Working group

The epitome of a gentle giant, the Neapolitan mastiff has a big head, wrinkly face, and distinctive loose jowls and dewlap at its throat. The breed is protective but rarely uses its deep and intimidating bark. The guard dogs’ ancestry has been traced to the Bronze Age.

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Jne Valokuvaus // Shutterstock

#23. Lagotto Romagnolo

- AKC popularity rank: #99 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, keen, undemanding
- Height: 17-19 inches (male), 16-18 inches (female)
- Weight: 28.5-35 pounds (male), 24-31 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 15-17 years
- AKC group: Sporting group

The Italian lagotto Romagnolo has a keen sense of smell and so is used to hunt truffles. With its curly, water-resistant coat, the dog was used to hunt and retrieve birds in the Italian marshlands as far back as the Renaissance.

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Karen Arnold // PublicDomainPictures

#22. Pekingese

- AKC popularity rank: #92 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, loyal, regal in manner
- Height: 6-9 inches
- Weight: up to 14 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- AKC group: Toy group

The tiny, long-haired Pekingese were close companions of nobility throughout imperial China as far back as the eighth century. According to one legend, as the dog was bred to be smaller and smaller, its heart remained its original size. The breed became popular in England after British troops raided China’s Imperial Palace in the late 19th century and took a Pekingese pup home for Queen Victoria. The aptly named “Looty” went on to live in both Buckingham and Windsor Palaces.

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Pixabay

#21. Basenji

- AKC popularity rank: #87 out of 193
- Temperament: Independent, smart, poised
- Height: 17 inches (male), 16 inches (female)
- Weight: 24 pounds (male), 22 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 13-14 years
- AKC group: Hound group

With short shiny coats and coiled tails, basenjis don't bark due to an unusually shaped larynx. The sound they make instead is often compared to a yodel. Images of the breed can be seen in artifacts from ancient Egypt, Babylonia, and Mesopotamia, and they were prized by African hunters for their jumping skills in tall grass.

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Pixabay

#20. Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever

- AKC popularity rank: #83 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, outgoing
- Height: 18-21 inches (male), 17-20 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-50 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- AKC group: Sporting group

The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever historically was used to trap ducks. The breed resembles a fox, and it would draw the attention of the water birds that were lured into the range of hunters. The dogs may not bark, but they are known to let out a piercing, high-pitched scream when excited.

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Public Domain

#19. Coton de Tulear

- AKC popularity rank: #81 out of 193
- Temperament: Charming, bright, happy-go-lucky
- Height: 10-11 inches (male), 9-10 inches (female)
- Weight: 9-15 pounds (male), 8-13 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 15-19 years
- AKC group: Non-sporting group

The fluffy, companionable Coton de Tulear comes from Madagascar, where once only aristocrats, and not commoners, were allowed to own them. Legend has it the dogs’ ancestors were shipwreck survivors who landed on the isolated island off the African coast. The entertaining lap dogs rarely bark but communicate with grunts and growls.

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Pixabay

#18. Irish wolfhound

- AKC popularity rank: #76 out of 193
- Temperament: Courageous, dignified, calm
- Height: 32 inches minimum (male), 30 inches minimum (female)
- Weight: 120 pounds (male), 105 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 6-8 years
- AKC group: Hound group

The Irish wolfhound was originally used to hunt huge Irish elk, now extinct, and later to hunt wolves. The breed almost became extinct itself when the wolf population died off. The dogs have noticeable eyebrows and beards and a wiry coat good in cold, damp weather, and they are the tallest breed of dog, with males tending to measure almost 3 feet at the shoulder. The wolfhounds are not guarding dogs by nature nor are they protective, and they do not tend to bark to issue warnings.

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Khomiak // Shutterstock

#17. Chow chow

- AKC popularity rank: #75 out of 193
- Temperament: Dignified, bright, serious-minded
- Height: 17-20 inches
- Weight: 45-70 pounds
- Life expectancy: 8-12 years
- AKC group: Non-sporting group

The thick-coated, aloof chow chow, with its unusual blue-black tongue, traces its ancestry to Imperial China where it was a guard and hunting dog. According to legend, one eighth-century emperor in the Tang dynasty had a kennel with about 5,000 chows. The name is said to come from the pidgin-English word “chow chow” used by 18th-century British sea captains for the Chinese goods they carried and traded.

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louiesbath // Flickr

#16. Italian greyhound

- AKC popularity rank: #73 out of 193
- Temperament: Playful, alert, sensitive
- Height: 13-15 inches
- Weight: 7-14 pounds
- Life expectancy: 14-15 years
- AKC group: Toy group

The Italian greyhound, the smallest of the sighthounds, was hugely popular and prestigious among the nobility in the Italian Renaissance. Later, Catherine the Great had one as did first lady Julia Tyler, wife of President John Tyler, whose Italian greyhound chewed up antique rugs and furniture in the White House. The dogs are athletic and love to chase prey but at the same time have been bred to be affectionate lap dogs who rarely bark. Outdoors, they typically need to wear sweaters for extra warmth.

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Pixabay

#15. Whippet

- AKC popularity rank: #61 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, playful, calm
- Height: 19-22 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)
- Weight: 25-40 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- AKC group: Hound group

The lithe, arch-necked whippets were bred in Victorian England by coal miners for racing and rabbit hunting who were unable to afford the larger, more expensive greyhounds. Whippets, which can run as fast as 35 miles per hour, were called the “poor man’s race dog,” and whippet racing continues today. They rarely bark unless taught to do so.

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Zingpix // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Australian cattle dog

- AKC popularity rank: #55 out of 193
- Temperament: Alert, curious, pleasant
- Height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-50 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-16 years
- AKC group: Herding group

Also called blue heelers, Australian cattle dogs were bred as quick, smart herders that could tolerate heat, distance, and rocky ground. To find the needed characteristics, ranchers bred dingoes, the continent’s feral dogs, with collies, dalmatians, and sheepdogs. Rather than bark, they will herd or nip lightly to get what they want.

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Pixabay

#13. Bullmastiff

- AKC popularity rank: #51 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, loyal, brave
- Height: 25-27 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
- Weight: 110-130 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 7-9 years
- AKC group: Working group

Descendants of bulldogs and mastiffs, the daunting bullmastiff was bred to guard 19th-century English estates and game preserves from poachers. While they rarely bark, bullmastiffs are known to snore.

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Pixabay

#12. Saint Bernard

- AKC popularity rank: #48 out of 193
- Temperament: Playful, charming, inquisitive
- Height: 28-30 inches (males), 26-28 inches (female)
- Weight: 140-180 pounds (male), 120-140 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 8-10 years
- AKC group: Working group

The St. Bernard comes originally from the Alps, where medieval monks used the dogs, and their superior sense of smell, to rescue stranded travelers. Historians say the dogs did not carry tiny flasks of brandy on their collars, but a well-known English painting showed a St. Bernard bearing a little barrel at its neck and the image stuck. They do not bark without reason, but they drool and shed.

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Biser Yanev//Wikimedia Commons

#11. Akita

- AKC popularity rank: #47 out of 193
- Temperament: Courageous, dignified, profoundly loyal
- Height: 26-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
- Weight: 100-130 pounds (male), 70-100 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 10-13 years
- AKC group: Working group

The Akitas, with their large heads, dense coats, and curled tails, were bred to be quiet as they hunted big game such as boar and bear in Japan. Helen Keller brought the first Akita to the United States after visiting Japan in 1937.

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Max Pixel

#10. Rhodesian ridgeback

- AKC popularity rank: #41 out of 193
- Temperament: Affectionate, dignified, even-tempered
- Height: 25-27 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
- Weight: 85 pounds (male), 70 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: ~10 years
- AKC group: Hound group

The Rhodesian ridgeback was bred in southern Africa from the native Khoikhoi, the source of the hair ridge on its back, and greyhounds and terriers brought by Dutch colonists for speed, stamina, and stealth to hunt lions. The first person to breed the dogs in the United States was Hollywood’s Errol Flynn in the 1930s.

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Peter Ludes // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Newfoundland

- AKC popularity rank: #40 out of 193
- Temperament: Sweet, patient, devoted
- Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
- Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 9-10 years
- AKC group: Working group

Giant Newfoundlands, known for having sweet dispositions, long worked onboard ships in the North Atlantic, adept at water rescues and hauling heavy fishing nets. Lewis and Clark took a Newfoundland on their 8,000-mile journey across America, and Robert Kennedy often was accompanied to his office as U.S. attorney general by his Newfoundland Brumus. Newfoundlands rarely bark unless provoked.

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Lextergrace // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Miniature American shepherd

- AKC popularity rank: #34 out of 193
- Temperament: Good-natured, intelligent, devoted
- Height: 14-18 inches (male), 13-17 inches (female)
- Weight: 20-40 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-13 years
- AKC group: Herding group

In the 1960s, the miniature American shepherd was bred to be a smaller version of the Australian shepherd. Known for being good around horses, the dogs were popular at rodeos and equestrian events. Typically they do not bark without reason.

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Pleple2000 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Mastiff

- AKC popularity rank: #29 out of 193
- Temperament: Courageous, dignified, good-natured
- Height: 30 inches & up (male), 27.5 inches & up (female)
- Weight: 160-230 pounds (male), 120-170 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 6-10 years
- AKC group: Working group

Mastiffs date back thousands of years in Britain, where Julius Caesar encountered them in 55 B.C. In England the dogs were used for hunting and guarding, and they were taken to Rome to fight gladiators. Only a handful of mastiffs survived World War II in England, and a concerted effort ensued to save the breed. Mastiffs have a deep bark they only use when needed, although they are known to howl.

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PxHere

#6. Pug

- AKC popularity rank: #28 out of 193
- Temperament: Charming, mischievous, loving
- Height: 10-13 inches
- Weight: 14-18 pounds
- Life expectancy: 13-15 years
- AKC group: Toy group

Pugs started out in the imperial palaces of China and spread to Europe with sea traders in the 1500s. Pugs may bark, as they are territorial, but are more likely to make noises such as snoring, panting, and gulping.

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Gdegezelle // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Boston terrier

- AKC popularity rank: #21 out of 193
- Temperament: Friendly, bright, amusing
- Height: 15-17 inches
- Weight: 12-25 pounds
- Life expectancy: 11-13 years
- AKC group: Non-sporting group

The alert, cheerful Boston terrier descends from a dog bred in Britain from a bulldog and an English terrier, now extinct. The original dog was sold to an American in the late 1800s who brought him to Boston, where he became the breed’s patriarch. The state dog of Massachusetts and the mascot of Boston University is typically quiet and not aggressive.

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Pixabay

#4. Rottweiler

- AKC popularity rank: #8 out of 193
- Temperament: Loyal, loving, confident guardian
- Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 9-10 years
- AKC group: Working group

Powerful guard dogs with a playful streak, Rottweilers arrived with the ancient Roman army to Germany where they were used as cattle herders and later as police dogs. They can be intimidating in appearance but are quiet, not easily excited, and not aggressive.

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Wikimedia Commons

#3. Bulldog

- AKC popularity rank: #5 out of 193
- Temperament: Friendly, courageous, calm
- Height: 14-15 inches
- Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 8-10 years
- AKC group: Non-sporting group

Bulldogs started out in ancient England where they were used for a vicious sport called bullbaiting, in which a bull would fight a pack of dogs. When the blood sport was outlawed in 1835, bulldogs faced extinction until advocates rebuilt the breed with less fierce and more affectionate traits. While they tend not to bark, bulldogs make plenty of noise snorting and wheezing due to their short air passages.

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Frosya a // Wikimedia Commons

#2. French bulldog

- AKC popularity rank: #4 out of 193
- Temperament: Adaptable, playful, smart
- Height: 11-13 inches
- Weight: under 28 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
- AKC group: Non-sporting group

The companionable French bulldogs descend from bulldogs in England’s lace-making regions who moved with their owners to France during the Industrial Revolution. The French bulldogs became popular in Parisian cafe society and can be spotted in paintings by Edgar Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. They don’t bark much but do like to snuffle and make other noises when excited.

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Pixabay

#1. Golden retriever

- AKC popularity rank: #3 out of 193
- Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, devoted
- Height: 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
- Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
- AKC group: Sporting group

Golden retrievers hail from the Scottish Highlands of the Victorian era and were bred for hunting game and fowl. They have since excelled as guide dogs and with search-and-rescue teams. They rarely bark, and when they do, it is a sign of friendliness and not aggression.

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