Dog who never ever barks - anyone else had this?

(65 Posts)
somm Wed 08-Jul-20 18:40:18

I'm asking because I wonder if it's more normal than I think, or it's just that our dog is strange? He has got vocal cords that he can use, because we have the occasional weird noise, so I'm not worried on that score. He's our fourth rescue sighthound, and he was eight when we adopted him in 2019. He was a very successful racer, later used for breeding; and then he was handed to a greyhound rescue site.

For months he was mute. When we'd had him a few months and he finally made some kind of weird sound I was so pleased. From time to time he'll make a noise that I try to interprete, but barking isn't part of his vocabulary. I was used to knowing what my dogs were trying to indicate because of the noises they make; can't do this with him.

I have picked up on one sound, which I interprete as 'Woe is me, I'm not getting another breakfast just after my first breakfast'; 'Woe is me, you're not getting my tea, mum, even though I'm an hour too early'. So he can say, 'Woe is me', but not bark to say, 'I think that's an intruder mum, you need to protect me'.

OP’s posts: |
somm Wed 08-Jul-20 20:52:53

Oh dear, now I'm thinking he does have a problem, as no-one's responded that they've had the same experience. Communication between dogs is obviously vital, as it is between us humans. I was hoping someone would respond saying we could understand him through other ways.

OP’s posts: |
Sunsage Wed 08-Jul-20 21:06:24

Hi OP, my childhood dog (a heinz 55 rescue pup) never ever barked. We knew she could (she barked in her sleep) but just never made a peep while she was awake. She paw poked us as her means of communication.

She lived to the ripe old age of 17. Now that I have two very vocal dogs of my own, I really do miss her silent ways!

So you're not alone with your silent doggy.

SweepTheHalls Wed 08-Jul-20 21:07:32

I have a silent boy, aged 14, probably only barked half a dozen times ever 😊

imnottoofussed Wed 08-Jul-20 21:08:22

My dog rarely barks I didn't think it was that unusual smile

hopeforlucky3 Wed 08-Jul-20 21:10:03

What breed is he OP? I have had staffys most my life and they have never barked. My boy only barks when the door goes.

pineapplepalmtree Wed 08-Jul-20 21:11:15

enjoy it.. mine is howling along to the music on the adverts right now.. hmm


hopeforlucky3 Wed 08-Jul-20 21:11:57

Sorry just read he's an ex-racer. Greyhounds and such are usually bred not to bark, this is to do with when they are being used for hunting and a non-barking dog is desirable.

tabulahrasa Wed 08-Jul-20 21:12:14

I’ve had dogs that rarely bark... like literally once in a few years...

Not never though.

confusednortherner Wed 08-Jul-20 21:13:11

We've a quiet boy too, not completely silent but he didn't bark at all not even once till he was 2 or 3 . He does bark very occasionally now but really rarely and when he does we all look at each other as it's so unexpected. The kids always assume there's something wrong when he barks. He seems genuinely confused by barky dogs like the grumpy neighbours ones and just looks at them! What we've found strange is that as he's go older ( nearly 9) is that he's started talking, he makes grumbling noises like he's having a conversation with you!

JKRisagryff Wed 08-Jul-20 21:14:28

I would love a silent dog grin typing this as mine is barking out the window at nobody for the bazillionth time today!

I wouldn’t worry about it OP. Is the ‘woe is me’ a whine? I think as long as he can vocalise a bit to let you know he needs something, out to the loo etc. then you should just try and enjoy it. PIL’s dog is very quiet barely a peep out of her, although he does whine if he needs out or if he’s excited. He’s a rescue as well, we think it was trained out of him, it might hit be the case with your rescue too?

MissDollyMix Wed 08-Jul-20 21:15:30

My mother has a working cocker. As far as I know, it’s not a good thing for a working dog to be too barky. anyway this dog hardly ever barked. Then when she was about 8 my DM got another dog who was yip, yap, bark all the time and after that dog no.1 was obviously thinking “hmm, think I might give this barking business a go” and now we can’t shut her up!

Kelcat9494 Wed 08-Jul-20 21:15:42

Wow I wish I had this haha wanna swap? My spaniel doesn't stop barking 😂 but my pug rarely barks to be fair only at the postman x

Ohffs66 Wed 08-Jul-20 21:15:47

Ours is a rescue and is very silent. I think we'd had her about 6 months before she made any kind of noise, I nearly jumped out my skin when one day she made a weird kind of woofing noise out of the blue. She's a very anxious dog and both dog / stranger reactive despite lots of effort on our part, and now if anyone knocks the door she kind of howls but other than that, rarely a noise other than a huffing kind of noise she makes when you're not doing what she wants! Sadly the rescue told us sometimes the reason for the silence is that a dog has been kicked / hit for barking in the past so they have learned not to do it 😪

chrisrobin Wed 08-Jul-20 21:15:58

Our previous dog was a rescue border collie, came to us at 2.5years. She never barked, she growled on one occasion when someone came too close to our motor home during the first holiday with our newborn DS, she loved him dearly and was very protective of him. She also yipped once when she got very excited after we returned from being away (she stayed with my parents), we were all shocked!Otherwise she was silent until she died. She was happy though, very waggy and cuddly.
Our current border collie loves barking, we didn't know how lucky we were before!

Letsnotargue Wed 08-Jul-20 21:16:36

Our greyhound probably only barked 5 times in his whole life. They were either when he got really wound up playing, or trying to chase the pigeons off the shed roof.

He had a vocabulary of whining, from

“I know it’s the middle of the night but I need a wee right now” to

“I’m awake and think it’s breakfast time” (that was very rarely used),

“someone has knocked on the door so let them in so they can play with me” and

“I’d really like to be allowed up on the sofa/bad with you, look how cute I am”.

He never barked to attract attention, defend the house, or anything remotely doglike. Good job he trained us well.

KenDodd Wed 08-Jul-20 21:16:48

My dog doesn't bark. Makes a change from the dog we had before who barked nonstop!

JacobReesMogadishu Wed 08-Jul-20 21:17:57

My old greyhound never barked once. She’d whine a bit but not bark.

gardenbridge Wed 08-Jul-20 21:19:06

We had a rescue dog who would only bark when we gave the command 'speak'. Then he let rip

glassbrightly Wed 08-Jul-20 21:20:00

My PILs had a rescue Jack Russel that never barked. He could make noises but never barked, possibly abuse - but he had a lovely 4 years with my PILs who spoilt him rotten !

Bananaman123 Wed 08-Jul-20 21:20:31

My firends dog didnt bark for years until a sporting event where everyone was shouting and getting excited and he started barking, so everyone turned round at him instead of the sport. My rescue didnt make a sound until 2 months of having her, staffy so we know they like to chat, she just needed confidence and encouragement, now we cant shut her up lol

user1471453601 Wed 08-Jul-20 21:21:06

I have a staffy rescue. She didn't bark for at least six months. Now, she goes ballistic if someone rings our door bell. Shes great, cos I'm hard of hearing so don't always hear the bell.

I think she needed to be confident that this was her gaff, and no one entered unless we said so.

Shes great as well because if we tell her "good job, now sit", she does that.

Maybe your dog is just a non barker ( I never heard my Mums Shitzu bark) or May be dog doesn't think it's her gaff. UNlikely after so long.

Geometricprince Wed 08-Jul-20 21:23:22

Our greyhound very rarely barks. Didnt bark once in the first six months we had him, jumped out of my skin the first time he did grin it is still very rare for him to bark, just when he gets over excited playing and then he looks really surprised at himself!

somm Wed 08-Jul-20 22:21:04

Oh, thanks everybody. Your responses have made me cry a bit. We got the latest rescue (the one who is silent) after we lost a much loved previous rescue dog to cancer in 2019. He was very vocal. Geomericprince - maybe we have siblings smile

OP’s posts: |
EasternDailyStress Wed 08-Jul-20 22:28:45

Can you swap with my neighbour please OP? That monster barks all day long.

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