Can Basenji Mixes Bark?

What are Basenji mixes and can Basenji mixes bark? If you were looking for the answer to either of these questions then you are in the right place. In this article, we are going to be taking a deeper look into these issues.

The Basenji is without a doubt, a very unique breed of dog. It comes with its own set of characteristics unmatched by most dog breeds. One of these unique characteristics is the Basenji’s inability to bark.

basenji dog looking happy as it explore a hedge
A happy Basenjoy dog explores a hedge. Red and white markings.

Basenjis are crossbred with different breeds these days to create various designer breeds. Are these breeds able to bark though? Well, the answer is not as cut and dry as you would expect. It really depends. In short:

Some Basenji breeds are able to bark while others are not. This depends on which breed it is mixed with and which dominant traits end up in the Basenji puppy. A Basenji puppy will take the different traits of both its parents.

What is a Basenji Mix?

A Basenji mix is a Basenji that has been cross bred with another pure breed dog. They are known as designer breeds where to pure breed dogs are bred to bring out a third breed that borrows from both sides of the gene pool.

Often, the results will vary even within the same litter of puppies especially if the two parents have very distinct characteristics. For example, a Basenji bred with a dachshund may either have a longer or shorter frame with short or long legs.

What you end up with is somewhat of a coin toss in as far as characteristics are concerned.

basenji beagle mix
A Basenji Beagle mix is a rare but fascinating dog to encounter!

Are Basenji Mixes Able to Bark?

As we said earlier, it’s really a mix of two different breeds where you are not 100% sure of what you will end up with.  This also applies to the ability of your Basenji mix to bark. If one parent was a breed that barks, there is a likelihood that the Basenji mix will bark or will bark somewhat reluctantly.

Then again, they might end up just like their Basenji parent and not bark at all. Basenjis are mainly known for making a yodeling sound instead of barking but they may go through a lifetime yodeling once or twice or not at all. Others will yodel all the time.

What is a Basenji Mix’s Temperament?

Basenjis are believed to be temperamental and somewhat aggressive but this is often the view of a few owners or outsiders. Much like human children, a purebred Basenji will have a unique set of characteristics.

A running Basenji leaping through the air.
A running Basenji leaping through the air. They are FAST!

You cannot really tell what they will end up like before or just after birth. Their temperament exhibits itself when they are adults. Some owners who have adopted adult Basenjis have had bad experiences with Basenjis.

This happens but is not often the norm.  It’s one of the reasons that new owners are encouraged to adopt puppies that can be trained early on or to foster a Basenji for a few weeks before adopting one full time.

I’ve gone to lengths to explain this about purebred Basenjis to say that the same applies for Basenji mixes. You really won’t be able to tell their temperament from the get-go. It’s something that will manifest with age, training as well as the environments they grow up in.

For example, a dog that is trained as a pup and lives in a loving environment is less likely to have a bad temperament. You need to factor such issues in.

A Basenji being asked to wait during training
A Basenji being asked to wait during training. They respond to movements as well as verbal cues.

How Often Do Basenji Mixes Bark?

If they do bark, how often they do bark will be determined by how much they inherit from either side of the gene pool. Considering that the Basenji’s inability to bark is down to the underdevelopment of vocal cords, your Basenji mix may have underdeveloped vocal cords as well.

This may lead to the m not barking, barking less, or having a weird kind of bark. Then again, they may be all-out barkers. As stated over and over, this is not a cut-and-dry issue.


Whether or not your Basenji mix will bark is dependent on several factors. There really isn’t a 100% formula for determining how they will turn out. It all boils down to what’s passed on from either side of the gene pool as well as your mix’s individual personality.