Getting a dog is a happy time – but try not to fall in love with the first furry little face that comes your way. Choosing the right canine companion depends on your lifestyle, and the dog’s temperament and primary breed characteristics. Size does matter, and cute puppies tend to make us forget the realities of full grown dogs. Keeping a Great Dane in a small apartment in the city would be sheer madness. Doing your homework in advance can save a lot of heartache and headaches.
Your lifestyle matters, too. If you’re really active, you’ll want to choose a dog that requires lots of exercise and stimulation. Older people and those with limited mobility will want to choose a quieter, more sedentary breed.
For those with little tolerance for noise, it’s best to choose breeds that don’t tend to bark excessively, if at all. Each breed’s activity level varies. Here are some of the best choices for those who prefer a quieter companion:
Basenjis – Known for their inability to bark, this hunting breed is of African origin. They’re high energy, and always watching. They have a boundless sense of curiosity and can be prone to taking off to explore on their own. Reward their quiet nature with frequent outings or suffer the consequences.
Borzoi – From a relatively ancient breed cultivated in Russia, these majestic creatures will quietly drape themselves on a sofa and blend in. They rarely opt to comment on anything, even intruders, and instead will sit, quietly judging you. Perfect for those who want a couch ornament.
Chinese Shar Pei – Short, stout and wrinkled. Only a Shar Pei can carry it off this look! While bred for hunting, they rarely bark for no reason. If they’re feeling uneasy or threatened, they’ll certainly let you know, but otherwise, they’re happy to just sit (okay, lay down) and just be.
Collies – OK, this one is probably a surprise to anyone who remembers the TV series Lassie and the running joke about Timmy falling in the well. Actually, collies tend to be quiet unless they have something really important to tell you like “Timmy just fell into the well again!”. For those who care, Timmy never actually fell into the well on the show – each week, he simply acted as a human decoder ring for Lassie’s rather complex barked messages.
Italian Greyhounds – A smaller, nervous and somewhat delicate looking breed, Italian Greyhounds tend to be quiet in favor of showcasing their flair for the dramatic. They’re easily stressed, and prefer to rest quietly on comfy fainting couches.
St. Bernards – Another breed of gentle giants. When properly socialized as puppies, they’ll grow up to love everyone and will rarely bark unless provoked.