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15 Cute and Calm Small Dogs – Quiet Breeds

An exuberant dog that needs a lot of exercises is not the ideal pet for every owner. Each breed has its own unique characteristics, and in finding the best pooch for your own personality, you may look to breeds for a hint of what potential K-9 partners are out there for you.

If you live in an apartment or prefer a cute dog that has a low tendency to bark, then you might not want a dog that is a high-energy pet that needs to be walked often or entertained non-stop. Luckily, this list of 15 cute and calm small dog breeds is for you. 

The 15 best quiet and small dogs that are cute are: 

  1. Yorkshire terrier  
  2. Affenpinscher 
  3. Dandie Dinmont terrier 
  4. Bichon Frise 
  5. Shih tzu
  6. Basset Fauve de Bretagne 
  7. Papillon
  8. Lancashire heeler 
  9. Basenji 
  10. Coton de Tulear 
  11. Havanese 
  12. Maltese 
  13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  14. Japanese chin 

Let’s see why these cute breeds are calm and quiet so you can pick the best dog for you. 

15 Calm and Small Dog Breeds

Calm and Small Dog Breeds

Here are the top 15 calm and small dog breeds: 

Yorkshire Terrier

A Yorkie, also known as a Yorkshire terrier, is a popular choice if you want a quiet dog. They can be a bundle of energy, so remember to play with your Yorkie and take it on a daily walk, but they also like to snuggle.   

A Yorkshire terrier can weigh anything between 2-7 pounds and they are only 6-7 inches tall. 


In German, “affen” means monkey while “pinscher” means terrier. Thus, the affenpinscher is also known as the monkey dog. These dogs do bark, but they are happy to stay quiet if you train them well from the start. 

The monkey dog has a lot of energy and spunk, so don’t let its small size fool you. 

The affenpinscher doesn’t generally do well with rough play or kids; however, they are very affectionate dogs.  

These dogs are usually 9-11 inches tall at the shoulder and only weigh between 7-9 pounds.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Even with its long body, the Dandie Dinmont terrier is a small dog at 8-11 inches tall. They generally weigh 18-24 pounds. 

A Dandie is a reserved dog, so they don’t bark a lot. If they bark, it is a loud and deep sound. And they may only bark once or twice to alert you to something. 

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise literally translates to “curly lapdog” from French. 

A small dog with its baby-doll face and white fluffy hair, the Bichon Frise is another calm dog breed. They have a sweet, upbeat personality so a Bichon Frise will get along with you, the other members of your family, as well as with other animals. 

Expect a bark when a stranger arrives at your front step. 

At 9-11 inches tall at the shoulder, a Bichon Frise weighs 7-12 pounds. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus only really bark if they feel like they have something to say. They are suspicious of visitors or anyone new. Otherwise, this small dog is quiet. 

An excellent watch or guard dog, a Shih Tzu will let you know if there is a trespasser or a visiting squirrel. So if your Shih Tzu barks more than you would like, implement positive reinforcement training and consistency. 

A Shih Tzu can grow to be 8-11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 9-16 pounds. 

Basset Fauve de Bretagne

If you have a stranger approaching, your Basset Fauve de Bretagne will definitely let you know. These dogs are loyal to their owners and want to protect them. Other than this, these dogs don’t bark a lot. 

They may chase after smaller dogs, but they are friendly, inquisitive, and intelligent.  

A Basset Fauve de Bretagne, which originally comes from France, can grow to be 12-15 inches tall and weigh 25-35 pounds. 


Some dog owners say their papillon barks a lot while others say it’s a dog that doesn’t bark often. 

In general, if your papillon is well trained, they may only bark occasionally when there is something out of the ordinary. For example, a papillon may bark to warn you if there is something they think might be dangerous. 

At 8-11 inches tall at the shoulder, a papillon weighs 4-9 pounds. 

Lancashire Heeler

An intelligent dog, the Lancashire heeler learns quickly. So with early socialization and good training, you can be sure your Lancashire heeler doesn’t bark unnecessarily. 

Due to their mischievous nature, these dogs are also escaping artists, so ensure your home and yard are secure. 

A good companion dog, a Lancashire heeler can be 10-12 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 13-15 pounds. 


A basenji is a small dog that is originally from Africa and is known as the barkless dog of Africa. They grow to be 16-17 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 22-24 pounds. 

These dogs don’t bark. Instead, they make a yodeling or chortling sound when they want to voice their excitement. They also sometimes whine or squeal. 

The main reason these dogs don’t bark is that their larynx doesn’t have the right shape to let them bark. 

An energetic breed, ensure you take your basenji for daily walks and provide plenty of mental stimulation. 


A good choice for a guard dog or watchdog, a pug isn’t yappy. As quiet and calm dogs, they are relatively inactive and happy to be a couch potato.  

Constantly looking for attention, your pug will follow you everywhere you go. They’ll want to sit on your lap as you type away on your computer or chill with you on your sofa. 

Because of its small size, a pug is an ideal dog for apartment living. They grow to be 10-14 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 14-18 pounds. 

Coton de Tulear

A Coton de Tulear doesn’t bark for fun but there may be one bark when your doorbell rings. You may want to warn your visitor as the Coton will lick them to death so friendly is this dog breed. 

A Coton likes to talk to its owners by growling and grunting and using their own special language so you’ll be entertained. These dogs are known for their clownish nature, and they are cuddly and sweet. 

These dogs grow to be between 8-12 inches tall and they weigh 8-13 pounds. 


A toy dog, the Havanese is originally from Cuba. They weigh between 7-13 pounds and they are 8.5-11.5 inches tall at the shoulder. 

The Havanese have a deeper bark than other toy dog breeds, and they may only bark to announce that there is a visitor at your door. Otherwise, these dogs hardly ever bark. 

This calm dog likes to cuddle so they will be happy to sit with you while you chill out with Netflix. Havanese is also a good choice if you have kids. 


A peaceful, family-friendly dog, the Maltese is a quiet dog breed. However, they can bark excessively if you forget to play with them or if they don’t get enough exercise.

With proper training, you can ensure your Maltese doesn’t bark obnoxiously. They are intelligent and responsive, as well as affectionate, gentle, and trusting. 

Maltese dogs grow to be 7-12 inches tall at the shoulder and they weigh 4-8 pounds.  

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is only known to bark if they haven’t been given a lot of attention recently and feel neglected. Otherwise, they aren’t barkers. 

When they do bark, it may be because there is danger or to sound the alarm. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known to be sweet and docile. They also get along with everyone. 

These dogs are usually 12-13 inches tall and weigh 13-18 pounds. 

Japanese Chin

Another small dog breed that isn’t prone to barking is the Japanese chin. 

Beware, however. If you leave your Japanese chin alone for long hours and don’t lavish it with attention often, they may become a barker.  

Also known to sing, a Japanese chin also sometimes seems to have a conversation with their paw parent. 

Japanese chins are family-friendly dogs that like to cuddle on your lap. They are quite cat-like in this sense. These dogs are also mischievous and smart. 

These small dogs grow to be 8-11 inches at the shoulder and only weigh 4-9 pounds.

Other Choices

Other good choices if you are looking for a dog breed that doesn’t bark a lot are: 

  • French bulldog
  • Italian greyhound 
  • Afghan hound 
  • Akita 
  • Chow chow 
  • Collie 
  • Newfoundland 
  • Saint Bernard 
  • Shiba Inu 
  • Whippet 
  • Shar-pei 
  • Great Dane 
  • Rhodesian ridgeback 
  • Corgi 
  • Boston terrier 
  • Lhasa Apso 
  • Bolognese 
  • English toy spaniel 


Most dogs can be trained to not bark at every single thing; however, some dog breeds tend to be calmer than others. Remember to still give your paw-friend all the love and attention and ensure they get enough exercise. 

What calm dog breeds do you recommend for dog owners who live in apartments or want a dog that doesn’t bark a lot? 

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