Basenji

The Basenji is an active and inquisitive dog that is full of energy, mischief and unique qualities. The basenji originated in the African Congo, where it was developed to aid the natives in their trek through forestland. The dog's duties included hunting and retrieving game, helping with navigation and guarding the travelers against intruders. The Basenji successfully arrived in England in 1937, and then the breed made its debut in the United States in 1941. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed as a member of the hound group in 1944.

Originating in the bushes of Africa, the Basenji is a small, muscular and elegant dog. It has lean, long legs, enabling it to run at high speed. Basenjis have triangular, erect ears helping them to find prey and to dissipate heat. The Basenji has a smooth, silky coat, which is odorless. This breed likes to stay clean and will do its best to keep himself spotless. The muscular, athletic basenji stands 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder, and the dog weighs 22 to 24 pounds. The dog resembles the pharaoh dogs that are depicted on on the walls of Egyptian tombs. The smooth coat may be solid black, red, copper or chestnut, or the dog may sport a tricolor combination of black, brindle and white or black, tan and white. White markings adorn the feet, chest and the tip of the tail, which is curled upward to one side. Some basenjis also have white legs. The ears are pointy and erect, the eye color ranges from hazelnut to dark brown, and basenjis have a characteristic wrinkle on their forehead. Unlike most dogs, female basenjis only come into heat once annually. Personality: The Basenji is cat-like in appearance, as well as in personality. This is a very independent and adventurous dog that is light on its feet. Basenjis need a lot of daily exercise and mental stimulation to be happy and calm. It loves to trail and chase. They cannot bark but can howl and shriek. Basenjis are protective and can be aggressive towards strangers and other pets. Often equated to a cat in personality, the basenji is highly curious and tends to dislike being wet. The basenji is also commonly referred to as a barkless dog, but it makes up for the lack of barking ability with a symphony of other sounds, include yodels, crows, howls, growls and grumbles. The basenji is highly energetic and intelligent, requiring daily mental and physical stimulation. This breed loves to chew and investigate everything within its sites. The breed has a strong hunting instinct, making it a better match for households without other pets. Its keen alertness makes the dog an excellent watchdog. The basenji is aloof with strangers, but it craves the companionship of its human family members. Basenjis are headstrong and independent, which can make training a challenge, but they are adept at learning to navigate agility and lure courses.

Basenji image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Africa
Group
Function
Life Span
10-12 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
African Barkless Dog, Congo Dog, Congo Terrier, African Bush Dog, Basenji

Basenji Build Information

Size
Medium
Length (Male)
13-20 in.
Length (Female)
14-16 in.
Weight
15 - 25 lbs
Litter Size
4 - 5 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

Originating in the bushes of Africa, the Basenji is a small, muscular and elegant dog. It has lean, long legs, enabling it to run at high speed. Basenjis have triangular, erect ears helping them to find prey and to dissipate heat. The Basenji has a smooth, silky coat, which is odorless. This breed likes to stay clean and will do its best to keep himself spotless. The muscular, athletic basenji stands 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder, and the dog weighs 22 to 24 pounds.

The dog resembles the pharaoh dogs that are depicted on on the walls of Egyptian tombs.

The smooth coat may be solid black, red, copper or chestnut, or the dog may sport a tricolor combination of black, brindle and white or black, tan and white. White markings adorn the feet, chest and the tip of the tail, which is curled upward to one side. Some basenjis also have white legs. The ears are pointy and erect, the eye color ranges from hazelnut to dark brown, and basenjis have a characteristic wrinkle on their forehead. Unlike most dogs, female basenjis only come into heat once annually.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Basenji is cat-like in appearance, as well as in personality. This is a very independent and adventurous dog that is light on its feet. Basenjis need a lot of daily exercise and mental stimulation to be happy and calm. It loves to trail and chase. They cannot bark but can howl and shriek. Basenjis are protective and can be aggressive towards strangers and other pets. Often equated to a cat in personality, the basenji is highly curious and tends to dislike being wet.

The basenji is also commonly referred to as a barkless dog, but it makes up for the lack of barking ability with a symphony of other sounds, include yodels, crows, howls, growls and grumbles.

The basenji is highly energetic and intelligent, requiring daily mental and physical stimulation. This breed loves to chew and investigate everything within its sites. The breed has a strong hunting instinct, making it a better match for households without other pets. Its keen alertness makes the dog an excellent watchdog. The basenji is aloof with strangers, but it craves the companionship of its human family members. Basenjis are headstrong and independent, which can make training a challenge, but they are adept at learning to navigate agility and lure courses.

Appearance

Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Low Maintenance
Coat Type
Fine

A Basenji's coat requires little grooming, and the dog actually grooms itself in the same manner that a cat preens. Using a grooming mitt once a week will remove dead hairs, but the breed sheds very little. Brushing the teeth every other day will help to maintain oral health and preserve overall well-being.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
Hunting Companion
Yes
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
Yes
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
Yes
Pointing Breed
Yes
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
No
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
Yes
Fun with Lure Coursing
Yes
Obedient
No
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • The Basenji originated in the central African Congo
  • The Basenji is also called an African barkless dog, a Congo dog, a Congo terrier, and an African bush dog
  • The lively basenji is curious, intelligent and full of mischief
  • The breed does not bark, but it emits yodeling sounds when it gets excited
  • The basenji stands 16 to 17 inches tall and weighs 22 to 24 pounds
  • Basenjis have a high energy level
  • Basenjis require minimal grooming
  • The average lifespan for a basenji is 10 to 12 years

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Common Health Conditions in Basenjis

Basenjis live an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Several health conditions have been noted in basenjis, including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, Fanconi syndrome, basenji enteropathy, progressive retinal atrophy and corneal dystrophy.

Basenji Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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