Find out more about the breed of dog known as the "voiceless dog".
The basenji dog does not bark. When happy, it will make an appealing sound described as something between a chortle and a yodel. It also snarls and growls on occasion.
One of the oldest breeds of dogs and originating in central Africa, the basenji was often given as a present to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Following the decline of the Egyptian civilization, the basenji was still valued in central Africa for its hunting prowess and its silence. The dog was rediscovered by English explorers in the nineteenth century, although it was not widely bred until the 1940s.
The basenji is a small, lightly built dog with a flat skull and a long rounded muzzle. It measures 16 to 17 inches (40 to 43 centimeters) in height at the shoulder and weighs 22 to 24 pounds (10 to 11 kilograms). The coat is short and silky in texture. The feet, chest and tail tip are white; the rest of the coat is chestnut red, black or black and tan.