While known as a barkless dog, the basenji does yodel and growl, so it is not mute.
Well known as the "barkless" dog from Africa, the Basenji attracts admirers with his short coat, small, muscular body, alert demeanor, erect ears, and tail curled tightly over one hip. A wrinkled brow gives him a quizzical and sometimes mischievous expression.
The Basenji is highly intelligent, but he has a stubborn streak a mile wide. The phrase "willing to please," used to describe so many breeds, is unknown to him. A Basenji may know perfectly well all the commands you teach him, but whether he actually performs them will always be in question. He may think first and then obey, or he may decide there's really no good reason to do as you ask. Instead, Basenjis use their intelligence to demand your attention and get you to provide whatever it is they need or want.
Basenji people say their breed is good at teaching you to pick up your house. Anything left out where the dog can find it is fair game to be chewed or eaten. You'll soon learn to protect your belongings by putting them out of reach of these inquisitive dogs.
The Basenji is known for not barking, but that doesn't mean he's silent. His vocalizations range from a delightful yodel to a hair-raising scream, as well as the usual growls, whimpers, and whines made by all dogs.