Monday, May 20, 2013

The Most Talkative Dog Breeds

By Linda Cole

My Redbone Coonhound always had something to say, and always got the last word, especially when I made her move out of my chair. Rosie let me know she was giving up her spot in protest and filing a complaint to whoever would listen. She even let me know when she felt it was time for her CANIDAE dog treats. She'd bring me her treat can, drop it in my lap and then sit down, giving me a few respectful woofs in case I missed her hint. I miss those conversations I had with her over the years. Some dog breeds are quiet, but some are quite vocal and don't have a problem letting you know what's on their mind.

You would think the most vocal dog breeds would be easy to list, but they aren't. Dogs have been bred to do specific jobs that require them to speak out so their owner knows where they are. The challenge with listing the most vocal breeds is that there are a lot of talkative canines. Some are yappers, some just love to bark, and some aren't shy in telling you what they think.

Small to Medium Scent Hounds

Beagles, American Foxhounds, Dachshunds and other small to medium sized scent hounds were bred to find a trail, and follow their nose wherever it may lead. The pack mentality is strong in hounds, and they use their voice to stay in contact with each other. Small hounds work in groups to find prey and chase them down. The familiar baying of a hound is also a good way for hunters following behind to locate where their dogs are. These dogs have a high prey drive and should never be let off leash unless they are in a secured fenced-in area.

Large Scent Hounds

Coonhounds, Bloodhounds and Redbone hounds, like their smaller counterparts, hunt by scent. However, unlike the smaller hounds who hunt in groups, the larger dogs are better at tracking in pairs or by themselves. They use their voice primarily to let their human find them. These dogs are more methodical in their approach to locating whatever their nose is following, and are even more independent than the smaller version of hounds.


Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Standard Poodles, Irish Setters and other sporting dogs were bred to flush out prey, as well as retrieve birds from water. These dogs work side by side with a human partner and are very attentive to their owner, which makes them easy to train. They also have a high prey drive.


The Rat Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Fox Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Airedale and other terriers were bred to follow their usually larger prey underground. They are expected to do their job on their own without any directions from their human. Terriers have attitude and aren't shy in letting you know what they think. These are feisty and independent canines with a high prey drive.

Sled Dogs 

The Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed are definitely vocal dogs. I know from experience that familiar woo-woo-woo a Husky will use to let you know what's on their mind. These dogs thrive in cold weather and the one thing they love to do is run. They are smart, independent, have a good work ethic, and are capable of finding a safe trail under snow and ice. They use their voice to communicate with their team. They also have a high prey drive and if you let them off leash, they will be gone in a flash if they see something to chase.


The Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, German Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog and Corgi were bred to herd livestock with or without a human directing them. These are very smart dogs, with the Border Collie at the top of the most intelligent list, who need a job to do and require lots of exercise. Herders can be very vocal on and off the field, and have a high prey drive.

Companion dogs

The Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Cavalier and other small canines were bred to be our companions. These are the true lap dogs, although all dogs, regardless of size, think they fit perfectly on their owner's lap. Companion dogs can be yappy, especially if they are not treated like a big dog and trained to prevent unwanted behavior.

The American Eskimo, Akita, Standard Schnauzer, Doberman, Boxer, Chow, Newfoundland and St. Bernard can also be some of the more vocal dogs. However, any dog can become vocal if they haven't been trained or are lacking in exercise. Some breeds use their voice to do their job and some dogs seem to enjoy talking every chance they get.

Does your dog like to talk?

Top photo by Danielle G.
Bottom photo by Craig Moore

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. We are all bigtime wooers, but Mom says she is grateful that we usually only do it inside. Nothing bugs here more about a dog than a noisy barking one whose owners do nothing to curb the sound outside. We reserve our woos for playtime with each other and for letting the humans know we want something.

    And about that prey drive, you got that right, but sadly we never get that chance to go off leash:(

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  2. I found it interesting you have a picture of a Shiba yet didn't mention them in the article...

    My Shiba Riley isn't super vocal, but he does like to talk back! He throws his head back and sorta howls, sorta rowr rowr rowrs, if that makes sense :)

  3. I have 2 Corgis and a Red Heeler. My red-headed tri-color Pembroke Welsh corgi, Franki Sinatra... LOVES to sing! and talk, and baroo-woo-woo from high volume to Barry White lows! He is ALWAYS talking! Our red heeler, Roxxi, is a drama queen and doesn't mind telling you what she doesn't like! Sammi Dean Martin, my beloved red and white Pembroke Corgi, either "Whuffs" at a very low volume or he BARKS loudly when excited or ignored - playing ball with him almost requires ear muffs! :D

  4. I have a pit lab mix that is only vocal when playing or when he hears the doorbell. Other than that, he uses breathy pants and huffs to express himself. He really is remarkably quiet.


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