Which dog is known as “the barkless dog”?

And the answer: Basenji.    
Photo credit: fugzu

Basenjis are known as “barkless dogs.” Their voice boxes resemble those of other dogs, except they are more shallow, which likely limits the movement needed to bark. They do, however, possess an impressive talent for yodeling. The noises they make can be described as somewhere between a yodel and chortle.

Discovered in the Congo, the Basenji dog breed was originally sought-after for its hunting capabilities (though they’re now considered to be a part of the hound group). The basenji’s excellent sight and scent was a helpful tool in driving small game into hunters’ nets, and the dog’s intelligence certainly didn’t hurt. Interestingly, when hunters take Basenjis into forests or savannahs to hunt, they will often tie a bell around the pooch’s neck so that it can be heard. While the Basenjis track prey, the hunters follow the sound of the bells (a little more pleasant than barks, no?).

Did you know?

Basenjis are contenders for the oldest dog breed! Paleontologists have revealed that the first domesticated dogs had similar physical structure to Basenjis. Additionally, cave paintings found in Libya and dated to 6,000 BCE depict hunters with dogs that have curled tails—one of the Basenji's distinctive features.

Although they may be the oldest type of dogs in the world, Basenjis have not been bred in Western countries for very long. In 1895, the British made a first attempt to bring the dog to England, but to no avail; a viral infection called distemper took out the Basenji colony. It wasn't until 1937 that Basenjis were successfully established in England, landing in the United States shortly after.

Learn more about the Basenji here.


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