By MyPetNeedsThat Staff
Last Updated April 19, 2021

When your dog stops barking, it’s usually a sign that something isn’t quite right. Not all dog breeds bark as much or as loudly as others, but an obvious change in your dog’s personality traits should be a clear signal to you that there’s an issue you need to address.

In some situations, dogs temporarily stop barking after they have barked too much for too long. This is just one of the many reasons that we will cover in this piece while we inform you about all of the reasons your dog may stop barking.

Common Reasons Dogs Stop Barking

If you are the owner of a lively and loud dog that has ceased barking, one of the following common reasons could be the cause behind the sudden change in their daily life.

Over-barking

Dogs that bark often, whether it’s part of their personality or they are particularly anxious, may occasionally end up over-barking.

Over-barking happens when dogs bark too much and overuse their vocal cords. Dogs that become hoarse because of their barking habits will prefer to stop barking for some time, until they feel that barking does not cause them any undue pain or discomfort.

You can speed along the diagnosis of over-barking by visiting your veterinarian and talking to them about your dog’s barking habits. A veterinarian will be much more familiar with the various causes behind dogs that suddenly change their barking behavior, and they will know your dog’s medical history, too.

Over-barking is a behavior that your dog can be trained out of. Dogs bark for a number of reasons, and not all of them are beneficial for your pup. An overly anxious dog, for example, may bark at any and all people, animals, and objects, for seemingly no reason. They could be straining their vocal cords because of this.

Personality

Your dog’s personality may be involved in how much they do or don’t bark. A puppy may bark often as they’re growing up, but you could end up with a quiet dog as they get older.

This is perfectly normal, as is the opposite – having a quiet dog while they’re still a young puppy, who eventually starts barking at people and any new sound around them.

Each dog has their own unique personality. Whether they prefer to whine, bark, whimper, or make no noise at all. That said, if your dog is excessively making sound that you find concerning (such as constant whimpering), a trip to your veterinarian wouldn’t go amiss.

Health conditions

Pre-existing and new health conditions can be the reason behind your dog’s sudden lack of their barking sound. Depending on the conditions that they have, your dog may have come out of their most recent procedure with some kind of paralysis or problem that has made barking difficult or impossible.

Always follow after-treatment advice to the letter following any surgery procedure that your dog needs to go through, and query the veterinarian if you find that your dog is acting differently to their usual personality. A dog that suddenly stops barking following surgery should be checked over for any new problem that could have occurred before they were brought home.

Some kinds of disease and health issues can cause dogs to suddenly stop barking as much. A stroke, for example, may result in a huge behavior change in your pet. Dogs that stop barking need as much attention as dogs that continue barking. If you suspect a medical cause, have them seen as soon as possible.

Shelter dogs

If you’ve just adopted a shelter dog into your family and you’re finding yourself wondering “Why doesn’t my dog bark?”, instead, ask yourself about their history.

The shelter that you adopted your dog from should be able to tell you a little bit about their experience with their previous owners if the information is available. Some dogs come with trauma, and it takes kind and loving owners to help a dog continue to heal once they’ve been re-homed. Having a new home isn’t enough to make all of their experiences go away, so you may find that your dog is either very loud, very quiet, or a mixture of both.

Before adopting a shelter or rescue dog, ensure that you read up on the right way to introduce a skittish dog into your household. Eventually, their true nature will be revealed, and you’ll be able to hear the full range of noises that your new friend makes when they’re living their life with everything they have.

Breeds that Don’t Bark Much

There are, interestingly enough, a plethora of dog breeds that don’t bark at all or bark very little. Some of these breeds rely on other sounds – like the yodel sound – while others are just naturally quieter.

As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to research the attributes of the dog breed that you bring into your family to become your pet. If you find yourself searching “My dog doesn’t bark”, check if they’re on a list of quiet dogs first. You could be making the situation more than it is.

Basenji

The Basenji dog breed was bred to be a barkless dog. They originate from Central Africa and use a yodel to alert their owner when they’ve found prey, rather than any sound barkers would make.

Coton de Tulear

These teddy-like dogs are named after the city Tuléar in Madagascar. They’re lapdogs that are still quite playful but don’t bark much at all or make many vocal sounds.

French Bulldog

Like the standard Bulldog breed, the French Bulldog is also quite quiet. They were originally popular in the high society of France, and were often used for hunting rats and the like.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

An interesting little dog from Ireland, these pets were originally employed as family dogs on the farms of Glen of Imaal, which is found in County Wicklow. They’re notoriously quiet dogs, who will sit by your side while you’re relaxing, rather than make a fuss.

Irish Setter

An old hunting dog bred for hunting game of the avian kind, the Irish Setter would stop and point at any birds they’ve located, rather than barking (which would likely scare off the prey).

Newfoundland

Unsurprisingly, another working dog, the Newfoundland is known for being quiet and agile. They were bred to be fishermen’s companions, but it became apparent that they had other vital skills – like being able to rescue people in the water, for one.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

A unique dog breed that had the techniques available to keep a lion’s focus on them while their owner caught up. These dogs hail from the South African region.

Shiba Inu

A well-known dog breed from Japan, Shiba Inu dogs have a very dignified personality and don’t really bark. In place of barking, they sometimes let out a “Shiba scream” to announce that they do not agree with the way they are being handled. This dog will definitely let you know if you’ve messed up.

What to do When Your Dog Stops Barking

The best advice we can give you is to stay calm. Don’t panic when you notice that your dog isn’t barking as much. To be honest, you likely won’t realize that the noise in your home is lower than usual until a few days have passed.

When you do pick up on this new silence, think back to any barking or long stretches of silence that you may have noticed over the last few days. Did your dog stop barking suddenly or have they gradually stopped using their voice box?

Before you go to your veterinarian, you should gather as much information as possible. Think over the following questions:

  1. Are they still eating and drinking as normal?
  2. Have they experienced any physical injuries recently?
  3. Could a health condition that they have cause these issues?
  4. Does your dog typically have a quiet disposition?
  5. Have they been behaving in the same ways they always do?

The more information you can give your vet about the sudden loss of your dog’s barking voice, the easier it will be for them to start diagnosing your dog. Ask your family members and neighbors if they’ve noticed anything. More eyes than yours will have noticed any leading factors that caused your dog to stop their barking.

If you can think of a reason that may cause your barker to stop barking – such as an existing health issue – then there’s no need to panic. But if your dog, no matter their age, is acting out of sorts, having information for your vet is better than a rushed trip and an emergency appointment for issues that might not even be something problematic.

Remember: If your dog does bark a lot and suddenly stops or is expressing that they’re in pain, have your vet check over your dog. They could have strained their larynx – the larynx being their voice box. This is the more common of the reasons that a dog may stop barking.

After your visit, follow any advice given to you to care for your pet while they recover.

Training

Dogs, as a species, greatly benefit from training and rewarded behavior. You’re going to have a much more social dog if you train them from the get-go, rather than waiting until they’re older.

Training a dog can take many forms, and there are a lot of great training techniques out there that you can implement at home if you don’t have access to a trainer.

You can begin training your pet from any age, but we must stress that a shock collar is not the correct way to train your dog. Such practices will only make your dog fear you, and if they stop barking then, it’s because they’re scared of you.

maltese dog barking

FAQs:

Q: Why is my dog barking at the window?

A: A lot of dog breeds are naturally alert and act as guard dogs. They bark to alert you that they’ve seen something. If your dog continues to bark at the window, try installing a camera to see what may be catching their attention or keep the curtains closed on the window they bark at. Seeing a squirrel is a likely cause of sudden barking.

Q: Why is my dog always barking at someone?

A: Dogs that aren’t socialized from a young age may have trouble with strangers – both humans and animals. If you feel like your dog is constantly barking at others, they may benefit from some professional training.

Q: Why is my dog barking at my cats?

A: Dogs and cats aren’t inherently enemies. The reason that a lot of dogs and cats don’t get along is because they weren’t introduced to each other properly or they haven’t had time to socialize. Always introduce a new animal to your household slowly, giving the new arrival their own space, and blocking off that room from the rest of the animals. Baby steps and lots of cat and dog treats will help.

Q: What age do dogs stop barking so much?

A: Barking has little to do with the age of your pet, it’s actually part of their personality. That said, senior dogs prefer sleeping and resting to barking all hours of the day, and are more likely to share your couch with you than show you all the ways they can make noise.

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