I was just gonna post this, I saw the episode, and it seems almost all of the dogs were Basenji's or more so basenji mixes. Just as Ridge backs are "defenders against lions", do you think it's too late for basenji's to be "defenders against Tigers"? Either way, it was a fun show to watch and watching Basenji or Basenji mixes was very interesting.
Most of the dogs I saw looked more like Shiba Inu's or Shiba mixes. Only one dog in the program, during the try outs, appeared to be a Basenji to me. It was a tri, and although the volume was not good on the dogs (the narrator was talking) I am pretty sure I heard a yodel!
Since Basenji's are not good 'barkers' I think their value as guard dogs against tigers would be limited.
From the commercials, they looked like basenji mixes, but based on where they're from I'm guessing shiba mixes. From what I've heard, basenjis and shibas are somewhat related.
Basenjis may not be good barkers, but they are tough little guys with great agility, so I would imagine they could be used as guard dogs, just not the kind that will bark.
From watching the show, it was clear the woman training the dogs was looking for them to bark, and act aggressively both to drive the tiger away, and alert the villagers to the presence of the tiger.
That was why I made the comment about barking, not because I do not think Basenji's are brave enough. Living with one has taught me they definitely are fearless enough to guard their own against the attack of a much larger animal.
The show was called Tigerhounds and it was about tigers in India that were getting too close to villages and killing or injuring people. An American dog trainer went over and she trained local men and their dogs for tiger patrol. The dogs were to alert when they smelled a tiger and the men then scared it away. They weren't actually used to attack tigers.
Some of the dogs did bear a strong resemblance to Basenjis but remember, this is India, not Africa. The dogs have no Basenji in them. They are just native village dogs (pariahs) that breed randomly with each other. I admit that I did find it interesting that some of the dogs didn't bark like regular dogs but rather "boofed" like Basenjis.
I just found an interesting blog about Indian pariah dogs.
The evolution of Basenjis and Indian pariahs may have been in different countries but they took a similar genetic path. From the blog:
_"In a slide presentation on stray dogs I created for The Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) in 1994, and in the WSD website, I pointed out that the Indian Pariah is NOT a mongrel but a primitive breed in its own right, evolved by natural selection over many centuries. This is based on the theories of canine biologists and experts worldwide. True pariah-type dog populations have probably suffered minimal or no genetic contamination by foreign breeds."
"The Pariah or INDog is the blueprint, the prototype for our best friend canis familiaris. It?s what Nature intended dogs to be."_
Photos of Indian pariah dogs