My Dog Doesn’t Bark – Is There Something Wrong?

Have you noticed your dog is quieter compared to other dogs in the neighborhood? If my dog doesn’t bark, is there something wrong with him?

Having a quiet dog might be a dream come true for many dog owners. However, if he only recently stopped barking, this can cause concern for many homeowners. What can be the reason if my dog doesn’t bark?

Why Dogs Bark?

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To understand why my dog doesn’t bark, first, we have to know what barking is and why they do it.

Dogs communicate in many ways, and the most noticeable one of them is barking.

The reasons for this vocal activity are many. Some of them include:

  • Greeting
  • Play
  • Fear
  • Territorial behavior
  • Boredom
  • Compulsive barking

Dogs can also bark when they want attention from their owners. If there doesn’t seem to be the reason behind the barking, your dog probably wants you to notice him.

They’ll do this if they want something, as well. A few owners can ignore a dog who loudly barks, and they know this.

While barking is pretty common, sometimes it can become pretty excessive and almost annoying. But in this article, we’re talking about a completely different situation.

You probably wonder: ‘Why my dog doesn’t bark?’ and want to know if there’s something you can do.

Is It Concerning if My Dog Doesn’t Bark?

The answer to this question depends on whether your dog has always been quiet. If he did, this shouldn’t worry you. Canines can have different personalities, and some are simply quieter than the rest.

However, when people tell the vet: “My dog can’t bark ANYMORE,” this can cause some concern.

Any sudden change of behavior is a sign that something happened or that something is wrong. Don’t just sit and wonder, “Why doesn’t my dog bark at the door like before,” contact the local vet.

Still, in many situations, the problem isn’t anything serious. Below are some of the most common reasons why a dog isn’t barking.

Breed Disposition

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Some dog breeds bark less than the others. This is pretty normal, as barking isn’t in every dog’s nature. Believe it or not, humans are the reason behind this.

One of the main reasons people tamed dogs is so they can have someone to guard a house. Barking is a good way for a guard dog to alert his owners that there is an intruder.

However, it didn’t take long to realize that not every dog is good for this job. This is where quiet breeds – mostly dogs intended for hunting – come into play.

For example, Newfoundlands are one of the quietest dog breeds around.

They have an extremely loud bark, but they keep it for special occasions.

Basenjis and Huskies are also known for not barking – but they produce various other sounds instead. One of the first things a new Husky owner notices is: “My dog’s bark sounds different compared to other dogs.”

They’ll howl and hum, but you’ll rarely hear any loud bark.

Some of the quietest dog breeds are:

  • Newfoundland
  • Basenji
  • Husky
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Bernese Mountain Dog

Personality

As we’ve already mentioned, every dog has a unique personality. Some dogs are outgoing and love to remain the center of attention, while others are more laid back and quiet.

It’s perfectly natural for some dogs to stay silent throughout most of the day, as long as this isn’t sudden.

Maybe they’re shy and don’t want everyone to look at them or exert their energy differently. Some dogs simply don’t think barking is worth the effort, and they’ll prefer staying quiet.

Don’t worry about this. Most dog owners would be more than happy to have a silent dog.

This doesn’t mean they’re unhappy or depressed; they simply prefer other methods of communication. If you pay close attention to them, you’ll probably notice they’re expressing themselves in a less noticeable way.

They Still Don’t Feel Relaxed in a New Home

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Sometimes, you notice a cute, talkative dog at the shelter or breeder that wins your heart over. You adopt or buy him, take him home, but he’s suddenly silent.

Many times we hear “My dog doesn’t bark anymore since I brought him home.” This doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you or your home.

Some dogs take a lot more time to adjust to new surroundings and new people. If a dog isn’t comfortable in a new home, he’ll prefer staying quiet.

Once he realizes that he’s here to stay, he’ll become more relaxed. With this, they typically become louder, and their true personality will show. Be patient.

Negative Experiences

“My dog’s bark has changed suddenly, he wasn’t like this before!” If you catch yourself thinking about such things, try to remember has something happened recently.

Dogs rarely forget their past experiences, no matter how friendly they are. If you lashed out on your dog the last time he barked, he might decide to stay quiet.

The same goes for rescue dogs. You can’t always know everything a dog has been through. Perhaps they had an abusive owner who hit them when they barked.

This makes canines realize that if they bark, there’ll be consequences. Similarly, dogs who wore shock collars have learned that barking isn’t a good option.

A dog who was heavily punished for barking will decide it’s better not to make a sound.

Your Dog Is Tired

If you were at a concert last night, singing loudly for hours, tomorrow you’ll feel hoarse. The same goes for dogs who overuse their vocal cords.

If they’ve been barking excessively over the past few hours, their throat might hurt. It’s even possible they’ve developed laryngitis, a vocal cord inflammation.

This isn’t a serious issue, and most of the time, your dog simply needs some time to rest his voice. To your neighbor’s dismay, he’ll be loud in no time.

Medical Conditions

Unfortunately, some health conditions can also cause your dog to stop barking. Most respiratory infections make vocal communication uncomfortable or even painful.

The most common medical condition behind a dog not barking is a laryngeal disease. The laryngeal disease is any condition that disrupts the normal function and structure of vocal cords or larynx.

Your dog might also be suffering from paralysis of the larynx, which restricts the airflow.

In time, this disallows them to bark. This is very common for breeds such as Bouvier des Flandres, Newfoundlands, and St. Bernards. Paralysis of the larynx can be inherited or acquired due to cancer, trauma, stress, or various unknown causes.

Other common medical reasons behind a dog not barking are chronic vomiting, metabolic disorders or trauma to the trachea or larynx.

My Dog Doesn’t Bark, What Should I Do?

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There are a few things you need to consider if your dog doesn’t bark. First off, think about his past behavior. Perhaps he was a quiet dog, to begin with, no matter the reason behind that.

There is nothing wrong if a dog simply doesn’t want to bark. Also, try to remember did your dog bark more than usually in the past few days. Maybe he simply has a sore throat and needs to rest for a while.

If your dog used to be a barker, but now he stopped, we would recommend you visit your local vet.

They will likely conduct a full physical examination and ask if you’ve noticed any other symptoms or unusual behaviors. It would help if you also let them know when this unusual silence started.

The vet will then feel your four-legged friend’s throat to see if there is anything out of the ordinary with it.

They’ll probably conduct a complete blood count test, as well. This way, they can see if your dog has any abnormal levels of red and white blood cells. Chances are, they’ll also check his hormonal levels.

A urinalysis will probably be necessary, as well. This way, they’ll measure levels of phosphate and calcium. The results of these numerous tests will let the veterinarian determine if your dog might have a laryngeal disease.

If a vet worries about pneumonia or similar respiratory conditions, an X-ray will likely be necessary. Another exam that might be important is laryngoscopy.

Laryngoscopy will confirm if your dog has a tumor or anything unusual in his throat. Don’t worry, the vet will sedate your furry companion before this procedure.

Bottom Line

Having a dog that doesn’t bark isn’t a serious problem on its own. In fact, a silent dog is typically better for the neighborhood. However, any sudden change in your dog’s behavior should be checked with the vet. Medical conditions that make your dog stop barking are rare, but you can never know.

Make sure always to monitor your dog’s behavior, and don’t panic. Most health issues can be treated, as long as you go to your vet in time. And if your dog is simply silent, consider yourself lucky! Dogs are great animals!