Why Do Basenjis Howl? 12 Common Causes To Learn!!!

Are you concerned by the odd yodeling of your dog? And are you wondering why they don’t bark like other dogs? You have come to the right place to understand why your Basenji howls and yodels

Why does your Basenji howl? Howling is a form of communication for them, so if they are constantly howling then there can be a number of reasons why, for example, they can be howling to grab your attention, or to threaten another intruder, they could be potentially warning you against danger, or could be expressing pain.

Since Basenjis are known as “barkless dogs”, howling is definitely a sign of odd behavior, so if you think there is something wrong, you must find out the source of the problem immediately, and this article can help you find it.

Related Reading: Does Your Cane Corso Like To Howl?

Why Do Basenjis Howl?

Does Your Basenji Like To Howl a Lot?

Unlike other dogs, your Basenji may not bark like any regular dog, instead, you may hear a peculiar howl which is predominantly known as “baroo”, the reason why this has been given a whole different term is because of how unique it sounds compared to other dogs,

So if your Basenji baroos, then do not worry and think of it as something anomalistic, because it is not. 

12 Common Causes: Why Does Your Basenji Howl So Much?

As Basenjis don’t have the same howling pattern as other dogs, their reasoning behind howling is vastly different. So, the key reasons why your Basenji might howl are:

  • To alert others of danger
  • To express frustration 
  • To grab the attention of the owner
  • When they sense danger from another dog
  • When they catch sight of prey as they are primarily hunting dogs
  • To express physical pain 
  • To threaten others to defend their territory
  • In response to other loud noises 
  • To express emotional distress 
  • To express separation anxiety
  • To communicate with other animals 
  • If overjoyed or overly excited

#1 Does Your Basenji howl by yodeling?

This is in fact a common characteristic of Basenjis, they are renowned for yodeling and not howling, their way of howling is quite melodic, and unlike other dogs not very shrilly.

This is not something that develops as they get older, in fact, from the moment they are a puppy you will never find them bark, instead, it’s a melodic yodel which is why they have given the name “barkless dog”.

They yodel because they can not bark, and there is a biological reason why, their vocal box is far more narrow than most other dogs, their laryngeal ventricle is more shallow so that is why when they try to communicate it is more of a melodic sound than a loud bark.

So, you must never try to force your Basenji to bark, as their anatomy is not built for that.

#2 Does Your Basenji Howl To Alert You?

One of the key reasons why you Basenji may howl is to alert you, they are predominantly hunting dogs and have been faithful companions in times of danger.

So, unlike many home dogs, they have an exceptional sense of danger and can warn their owners if they feel like something is wrong. So, if you want a dog that can be a fantastic guard dog, then you have a perfect dog.

#3 Does Your Basenji Howl To Communicate?

Basenjis are known as “barkless dogs”, which means they primarily communicate by howling and through body language, so, if your Basenji is howling then do not worry, it is potentially trying to communicate with other animals, or with you the owner.

They have a very wide range of sounds, they can howl, can scream, can yodel, and do all of this to communicate with others.

#4 Does Your Basenji Howl To Seek Your Attention?

You can tell that Basenji yodels, screams, and whines to communicate, and one of the prime incentives is to seek your attention.

Your Basenji might be howling and using body language, so you need to be observant enough to understand the pattern, if they are trying to communicate to you then you must appease them so that they calm down.

You must never scold them, or threaten physical abuse because that will be extremely detrimental for your Basenji, instead you must train them to understand that howling excessively is not good behavior.

Related Reading: Why Does Your Border Collie Howl?

#5 Does Your Basenji Howl Express Joy and Success?

For Basenjis, howling is the method of communication, so if they are immensely happy they will express it by howling, in fact, it is a method for them to let you know that they are happy or excited.

For example, some Basenjis might actually howl after seeing another animal, like a dog or cat, and a good reason is that they are excited. 

#6 Do Basenjis Howl To Defend Their Territory?

Basenjis just like every other dog are territorial, and for them howling is a way to assert dominance. They get defensive if they spot another near their territory, so if your Basenji is howling after spotting another dog, then you can tell they are howling to defend their territory and assert dominance.

Again, if your dog has a pack then dogs also howl to call for the pack, which is a “social call” and it is to let them know about the intruder. 

Read To Know: Does Your Border Terrier Like To Howl?

#7 Does Your Basenji Howl In Response To Other Dogs’ Howling?

For Basenjis, howling is a mode of communication, so they definitely howl while trying to communicate with other dogs. Usually, dogs communicate with other new dogs by physical gestures, but if your dog howls at others dogs then either they are threatened by it or are sending some form of a warning sign.

#8 Does Your Basenji Howl When She Is Isolated?

Dogs have many characteristics that resemble humans, and just like humans, they require enough social interactions. So, if your Basenji is howling when isolated, then they are definitely lonely.

So, to make sure they are not lonely, they need adequate social interactions. If they do not get enough social interactions and are isolated too much then that can result in your Basenji turning more depressed.  

#9 Do Basenjis Howl When Separated From You?

Basenjis may howl if they are separated from you, but this might not be the case for all Basenjis. Some dogs may have severe separation anxiety, if that is the case then your Basenji might howl due to being severely anxious as they do not have you.

This can be triggered by countless reasons such as a change in housing, or ownership. To fix this, you have to be incredibly patient and get your Basenji to readjust to schedule. 

Related Reading: Why Does Your Bullmastiff Howl So Much?

#10 Is Your Basenji Dealing with Anxiety?

Howling is a common symptom of anxiety, so if you see your Basenji incessantly howling, and you can not figure it out why then there’s a good possibility your Basenji has a lot of anxiety that needs to be appeased.

You must train your dog to get accustomed to the ambiance and buy them toys to stay distracted. If none of these work, then you can take your Basenji to doggie daycare, or find a dogsitter.

Prolonged anxiety can be detrimental to your Basenji’s health, so you must take your dog to the veterinarian if you think they are anxious due to any medical condition.

Symptoms Of Anxiety In Your Basenjis:  

There are some notable symptoms that may be evident, so you must discern whether these symptoms are visible in your Basenji

  • Destructive behavior: If your Basenji destroys furniture and chews on other objects, and shows other kinds of destructive behavior then it is a sign of anxiety.
  • Howling: If your Basenji incessantly howls and shows no sign of ending, and you can not figure out the reason behind it then it is possible your Basenji is anxious. 
  • Digging: If your Basenji constantly digs, and hides things in there, then that can actually be a sign of anxiety.
  • Urinating: Urinating in places where they usually do not urinate is a sign of your Basenji being scared and having anxiety. 

#11 Does Your Basenji Howl In Response To Sirens?

There are several interpretations of why dogs howl to sirens, one of the most commonly interpreted reasons is that they believe sirens are a form of danger and in a way, they howl to warn you of danger.

Loud noises such as sirens actually frighten your Basenji, so in their case, howling is a form of defense mechanism, they believe it is a threat or a foreign noise and so they howl.

Again, if your Basenji is not intimidated by sirens, then they could also howl to be in tune with the noise. 

Read To Learn: Do Dalmatians Howl Often?

How To Stop Your Basenji From Excessive Howling?

Stopping your Basenji from howling will take perseverance and patience, but with the right methods, you can stop your dog from excessively howling.

  • Discern the reason: Understand the root of the problem, based on that you must take the necessary steps.
  • Training: Training can solve a lot of the problems, so you must efficiently train your Basenji to understand that howling is not always the way to grab your attention.
  • Rewards: If your training goes smoothly, then reward your Basenji for not howling as much.
  • Veterinarian: Howling could be symptoms of an underlying medical condition which you can not understand, for that get your Basenji checked by a vet.
  • Seek professional help: If you can not control the separation anxiety of your Basenji, then you can try seeking professional help.

Related Reading: Why Do Irish Wolfhounds Howl?

Basenjis’ Behavior Related Questions

There are some questions that are commonly asked in regard to why your Basenjis howl, and all of them have been thoroughly answered here:

Can Basenji Dogs only Yodel?

Basenjis are the only dogs who are known as “barkless dogs”, and that is because they are the only dogs who yodel. They primarily yodel, use body language, and scream to communicate.

Yodeling is a wide spectrum of noises from melodic singing to shrills and screaming. Basenjis don’t bark, so yodeling and howling is their only method of communication, so you should never force your Basenji to bark.

Are Basenjis Loud?

Basenjis don’t bark, so they are not loud, but they do yodel and they can howl, which is why their yodeling can be high-pitched but it is not loud, unlike other dogs.

So, with Basenjis, you will have an easier time as they are not as loud as other breeds of dogs.

Do Basenjis Howl Like Wolves?

Both dogs and wolves may howl, but their reasons to howl are vastly different from each other, wolves primarily howl to their pack, as they are wild animals they howl to communicate with their pack in regard to any danger.

But, dogs can howl for countless reasons, though they are not wild animals, they are still territorial so they might howl if they sense an intruder, again health problems, communication with the owner, etc are other reasons why Basenjis can howl. 

Read To Know: How To Make Your Bloodhound Howl?

Over To You

Basenjis are not the most vocal dogs, so if they howl they definitely have reasons why, here I have listed down all the possible reasons why your Basenji might howl, so did you find out why your Basenji howls?

Is there any point that you disagree with us? Do you think there is anything we missed? Your Basenji could be howling for different reasons that have not been listed here, so if you think you know it then please share it with us,  and if you believe there is any wrong information here, then please share with us in the comments section.

Is there any crucial fact that we missed upon, that you believe the readers should be aware of, then please feel free to share all of it with us and our readers in the comment section below?

Further Readings:

Personality and Temperament Of Basenji

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