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What is Not Barking?

While it may sound pleasant for your dog to stop barking, you want to be sure that his lack of noise is not a result of a medical issue. He may try to bark and no sound comes out, or he may just be uninterested in doing so. There is more than one reason that your dog may not bark to include:

  • He is hoarse as a result of over-barking
  • Breed
  • Personality
  • Health condition

How serious it is that your dog is not barking will depend on the reason why he is not doing so. Should he be hoarse as a result of over-barking or has a relaxed temperament, his not barking won’t be a health concern. If his lack of barking is due to a health condition, how serious it is will depend upon the health condition, which can be relatively minor or more serious.

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Why Not Barking Occurs in Dogs

Why your dog is not barking will depend upon its cause. For example:

He is Hoarse as a Result of Over-barking

Your dog may have been barking for a while and have overused his vocal cords. A lot of barking can lead to inflammation of your dog’s vocal cords and cause him to have laryngitis. After giving his voice a rest, his bark will be back.

Breed

Certain breeds of dogs tend not to bark much, if at all. For example, Basenjis and Beagles make a sound that is more like a humming noise than a bark. 

Personality

Each dog has his or her own personality. Some dogs may not like the sound they make when barking or he may prefer to whine or make whimpering sounds. Your dog may be laid-back and easy-going and feel no need to bark.

Health Condition

There are conditions that can lead to your dog not barking. These include laryngeal paralysis and a tumor. In laryngeal paralysis, the structure of your dog’s larynx or voice box will be altered and/or the function will be impaired. In laryngeal paralysis, the laryngeal muscles become weak or paralyzed and the cartilage that is usually supported by those muscles collapses in. In the case of a tumor, one can grow in the larynx or trachea of your dog. The tumor is called Chondrosarcoma, which is a slow growing malignant cancer. The tumor can get in the way of your dog’s ability to eat and breathe and can impact his voice.

What to do if your Dog is Not Barking

If you find that your dog is not barking, there are a few things to consider. First, think about whether he has ever barked much. Perhaps he was never much of a barker, whether as a result of his personality or breed. Also, think about the last few days and whether your dog was barking more than usual. If he was barking more than he normally does, he may have laryngitis. 

If your dog usually does bark, however has not been barking more than usual, it is a good idea to have him examined by your veterinarian. A full physical examination of your dog will be conducted and your veterinarian will ask you about what symptoms you have noticed in your dog (aside from his not barking), when you first noticed them and any changes that you have observed. You will want to let your veterinarian know if your dog has experienced any physical trauma and let him know if your dog has any prior or current health conditions. During the physical examination, your veterinarian will feel your dog’s throat to see if he can feel any abnormalities. 

Your veterinarian will conduct a complete blood count (CBC) which will show abnormal levels of red and white blood cells and your dog’s hormone levels will be measured through a chemical blood profile. A urinalysis will also likely be conducted in order to measure your dog’s calcium and phosphate levels. The results of these tests will show if your dog has an underlying condition that is leading to laryngeal disease. If your veterinarian has concerns about aspiration pneumonia, he may recommend an x-ray, fluoroscopy and/or bronchoscopy. A chest x-ray may be considered to view your dog’s larynx. Should your veterinarian feel a laryngoscopy (where the larynx will be examined with an endoscope) is necessary to confirm the presence of a mass or determine the level of function, your dog will be sedated before the procedure.

Prevention of Not Barking

If you notice that your dog is barking excessively, you will want to see what is bothering him and leading to his ongoing barking. If, say, there is something in the yard that is bothering your dog, moving him to a different part of the house may help calm him down and reduce his barking, ultimately leading to his not losing his voice.

As far as preventing health conditions that can lead to his losing his voice, you will want to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular examinations so that any potential issues can be caught early before becoming more severe. You can also speak with your veterinarian about your dog’s diet to be sure that it is meeting his nutritional needs. Regular exercise is also important for your dog’s overall health.

Cost of Not Barking

The cost of treatment for your dog not barking will depend upon its cause. Should it be the result of over-barking, there will be no cost involved in treatment; after resting his voice his bark should be back. If his not barking is the result of a tumor or laryngeal paralysis, the cost of treatment can range from $1200 to $6,000 depending on the severity of his condition. Regardless of the condition, the cost of treatment will vary based on the location you are seeking treatment and its cost of living.

Not Barking Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

rocky
Rottweiler
18 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

We have a Rottweiler which is 1.6 years old, active and is not barking from last night. Recently undergone a minor surgery as a needle was stuck in it's back while injecting some medicine for itching. Please help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Is he trying to bark with no bark or just not attempting to bark; if he isn’t attempting to bark this would be caused by different causes than if he is attempting to bark with no bark. There are a few possible causes for this, a visit to your Veterinarian may be useful to have a general check up to see if there are any other issues which may be contributing to no barking. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Hi, I have an 8 month old dog and when we first got him he barked a lot, but recently he went to obedience school for a month and there they started him on a shock collar with a very low shock. When we got him back this past Tuesday he has barely barked. He tries to bark, but a soft barely hearable sound comes out and it scares me that something is wrong with him. Please help.

Hi i have a 4 mnth old shitzu and i never heard him bark even once. He whimpers but no barking

My 4 month old Rottweiler has sleeping aggression but she was very afraid of other dogs and start whispering and stand besides me how can I help her and also she didn't bark on stranger plz help me and my little buddy.

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Debo and Cocco
Boxer
7 Months
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

We have 2 dogs and both will only bark when playing with each other. Both a very scared of things and run but love to play,with us. How do we change this and what is the problem

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is difficult to know why Debo and Cocco are presenting with this behaviour and unfortunately I cannot recommend anything to help since we need to have an idea why this behaviour is occurring. I would recommend that you visit a Behaviourist to get their view after observing Debo and Cocco. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Murphy
English Springer Spaniel
3 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Mute

Medication Used

none

We have a 3 year old English Springer Spaniel that we got from a rescue centre 5 weeks ago. He doesn't bark, only in his sleep when he's dreaming does he make a sound. We believe he is an abandoned Gun dog. If this is the case then could he have been trained not to bark? Although it's annoying to hear a dog constantly bark, if would be nice to hear a bit of noise from him!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There are various causes for a dog not to bark, but if he is not attempting to bark this may be a learned behaviour but if he is attempting to bark and isn’t producing any noise then this would be a more serious issue. I doubt there is anything medically wrong, it is just a behaviour which I’m sure many dog owners are envious of. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Zoey
Shih Tzu mix
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Not Eating
Not barking
Lethargic

Zoey is 10 years old and all of sudden stopped barking. One minute she was barking when someone left (which is normal for her) and then all of a sudden she stopped. She stopped barking, she stopped eating, she got very lethargic, had no energy, didn't want to play. I did take her to the Vet, no temp and they attempted to give her some type of soft food she took a couple of bites but has since refused. No other tests were run. It was only last night that we noticed she was trying to bark and nothing was coming out. She looks so sad and is getting weak. She is drinking water and is having bowel movements and urinating. What do I do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
I'm not sure why blood tests weren't run when you were at your veterinarian, but it seems that she needs further diagnostics. A blood panel would be a good place to start to assess her systemic function and see if she has an underlying problem causing this. I hope that she is okay.

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Lady
Beagle
6 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Medication Used

Alphantern, Ceporex, fucidin ointme

I left my puppy in a dog hotel for a week. She returned with an infection in her neck, treated by ointments and systematic antibiotic. Her appetite is good, but she sleeps a lot and she stopped barking. I am worried about her loss of interest to bark. Can you help me?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
If Lady just started treatment, it may take some time for the antibiotics to take effect; however, the desire not to bark may be due to laryngitis or another laryngeal disorder. You should speak with your Veterinarian once you’ve completed the current course of treatment to investigate further the cause of Lady not barking. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have a two year old male pekingnese, he used to bark alot. recently he had barked excessively and was panting alot afterwards...a day or two after that I noticed he is having difficulty in barking. It is so feint and everytime he attempts to bark he chokes. I also thought of giving it time thinking it is Laryngitis, and I kept him indoors. Now my concern is he is panting alot and from what I hear he is kind of WHEEZING as if he has difficulty breathing. He is eating normally though...Please advise :( Hope it is not something serious

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Georgia
Boxma
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Will not bark

I have a 3 year old Boxma, (Boxer Mastiff mix). We have had her for almost a year now and she used to bark as soon as I let her out. Bark bark bark, almost only when outside or inside if someone came to the door. Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed she isn't barking. Now, I can't even recall when she barked last.

Is it possible I have a neighbor feeding her something to stop her from barking? She seems healthy otherwise, but I have noticed some odd behavior. She used to want to go outside all the time, now I almost have to make her go except in the morning.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It sounds like maybe one of your neighbors did get tired of Georgia barking, and may have been discouraging her to bark, although there are no products that I am aware of that she would eat that would cause her to stop barking. There are sound activated products that are available thta set off high pitched noises that deter dogs from barking, and it is possible that one of your neighbors has been using that type of product?

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Shelby
Chihuahua
24 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

we just adopted a rescue a few days ago. She is mild mannered so sweet and we love her. However, she doesn't bark and likes to sleep a lot. She is a chichiahua /pug mix( they believe). She does have moments of jumping around and activity. But we are worried a bit about her. Should we be worried?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Lethargy is a vague symptom and not barking can be a medical issue or may be Shelby just doesn’t bark (or is she trying to bark with little or no sound - laryngitis); it is still early days after rescuing her and she may be still not herself due to new environment etc… I would keep an eye on her and ensure that she is eating and drinking; if she continues to be lethargic you should visit a Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Roxy
Labrador Retriever
5 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Not barking

I have a 5 month old blank lab who literally has not barked once. She is not deaf, we have heard her whimper, hack when grass is stuck in her throat and yelp when my son stepped on her paw. Is it normal that she has nor barked one time? She eats, sleeps and plays great and she is very healthy.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Some dogs just don’t really bark whilst you cannot shut others up, many times it is down to the personality of the dog; however in some cases it may be a sign of an issue with the larynx or another cause but without examining Roxy I cannot say for certain. If you don’t notice any other symptoms you should keep an eye on her and bring it up with your Veterinarian at her next checkup. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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TED
Pekingese
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Wheezing
Choke
Panting

I have a two year old male pekingnese, he used to bark alot. recently he had barked excessively and was panting alot afterwards...a day or two after that I noticed he is having difficulty in barking. It is so feint and everytime he attempts to bark he chokes. I also thought of giving it time thinking it is Laryngitis, and I kept him indoors. Now my concern is he is panting alot and from what I hear he is kind of WHEEZING as if he has difficulty breathing. He is eating normally though...Please advise :( Hope it is not something serious

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is possible that Ted has strained his larynx from excessive barking, but we also need to be concerned if he is wheezing in case he is having breathing difficulties; if it seems that Ted is struggling to breathe you should visit a Veterinarian immediately for an examination. Laryngeal paralysis, infections, foreign objects, nerve damage, trauma among other causes may cause difficulty barking and/or breathing. If this continues or there is breathing difficulties you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have a 14 year old lab but I’ve notice she can’t bark . She doesn’t bark at cats like she use to but I’ve noticed she tries but nothing comes out . Is this normal for a dog at her age ?

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Princess Jones
pit bull terrier
3 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

I have a 3yr old Pit bull I've had her for 5 months when I first got her she would bark at strangers or unfamiliar faces coming into the house and she stopped doing that shes a friendly dog but Iptoni still want her to bark when somethings not right or to protect any advice as to what i can do. She whines and moans and cries so i don't think its a medical condition but some advice would help

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your advice. Princess Jones may just be getting more comfortable in her environment, and seems to be a friendly, well adjusted dog. Dogs are very intuitive, and naturally protective of their family, and I suspect that if you were in danger or a stranger was entering your home that you were not okay with or did not know, she would surprise you, and bark when she needed to!

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Chata
Shih Tzu
3 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none.

Hello! My dog has never had a loud bark. Sometimes no sound comes out (even though she does move her mouth) or if she does, it’s not loud at all. Shes a shih-tzu mix, 3 year old. I’ve had her since she was a couple of months old and it’s always been that way. Should I be worried?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There are a few causes for a dog not producing a bark, some of them may be serious; but if Chata has never produced a bark then it may be due to a conditions like laryngeal paralysis or another condition. Without examining Chata, I cannot say whether this is something to be concerned about or not; I would bring it up with your Veterinarian at your next visit. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I am contemplating between two reasons for my dog not barking;
1. Cruelty-my co-tenants do not like dogs, I notice that my dog is too scared of them.

2. Breed/personality-my dog is just too friendly, he plays a lot especially when I'm around. I don't really know his breed but he resembles a German shepherd (laugh).

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logan
Rottweiler
5 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

barking

hi sir i have a rottweiler of 5 month old my problem is my dog is not barking completely at strangers and unknown persons could you please help me out please and his continues hair fall and dandruff please help

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without examining Logan, I cannot comment on his behavior, or his hair loss. He may just be a well adjusted, friendly puppy. Puppies are prone to parasites, or he may have a skin infection. He should see your veterinarian to be examined, and they will be able to determine what is happening with his skin and prescribe appropriate treatment.

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Skittles
pit bull terrier
2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

No bark

Hello! I just recently adopted a dog who’s previous owners used a shock collar so much they fried her vocal cords and I haven’t heard her bark once since I’ve got her. Is there anything I can do to help improve the strength in her vocal cords? Thanks in advance!!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Thankfully more and more countries are banning them; a shock collar is not a substitute for poor or no training. I cannot think of anything to help Skittles in this case, it is already enough that she is away from her previous owners. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Molly
Maltese
Three Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Why isnt my dog barking?,and why is she just laying around?,and can this happen because I put a flea collar around her neck that last for four months before she turned twelve weeks old?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Some dogs may just not bark, but if Molly is trying to bark with no noise produced it is a more serious condition; flea collars may cause lethargy in dogs and may cause a reduction in activity and barking but you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to rule out other possible causes of no barking like laryngitis or infections. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Gunther
German Shepherd Dog
2 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

I have a two year old German Shepherd/Harrier Hound that I just adopted from a Rescue Shelter. Sweet and friendly - but I've never heard him bark yet. AND he doesn't chase the turkeys or deer on our property. Isn't that odd? Your thoughts?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
I feel that you may have gotten lucky in your adoption of Gunther, as those are qualities that many would want! I hope that everything continues to go well for him!

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