Why Basenji Dogs Don’T Bark


When it comes to dogs, barking is one of the most common forms of communication. However, there is one breed of dog that doesn’t bark at all – the Basenji. This unique characteristic is what sets this breed apart from all others, but why exactly do Basenjis not bark?

Origins of the Basenji

Basenjis are an ancient breed of dog that originated in Africa, specifically in the Congo Basin. They were initially bred for hunting and are often referred to as the “barkless dog” due to their lack of vocalization.

Alternative Forms of Communication

While the Basenji may not bark, they still communicate with their owners and each other. They make a range of other vocalizations, such as yodels, whines, growls, and even screams. In addition to these sounds, they also communicate through body language and facial expressions.

Natural Selection

One theory behind why Basenjis don’t bark is that it is a result of natural selection. In the dense jungle environment of their native Congo Basin, being quiet helped Basenjis avoid detection while hunting prey. Barking, on the other hand, would have given away their position and potentially scared off their target.


Another possible explanation for the Basenji’s lack of barking is that it is a result of domestication. Over time, humans may have intentionally or unintentionally selected for Basenjis that exhibited less vocalization, leading to the development of the breed’s unique characteristic.

Modern Day Basenjis

Today, Basenjis are kept as companion animals rather than hunters. While their lack of barking may make them seem like a low-maintenance pet, they still require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.


The basenji’s lack of barking is a unique characteristic that sets them apart from all other breeds of dogs. theories behind their silence range from natural selection to domestication, but regardless of the reason, the basenji remains a fascinating and beloved breed.

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