Basenji dog breed characteristics and facts

Basenji dog breed characteristics and facts


Hound Dogs


16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder


22 to 24 pounds


10 to 12 years

Formerly a hunting breed from Central Africa, the Basenji is now a popular pet breed. They measure 16 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 22 and 24 pounds. A Basenji has a short, plush coat that comes in red, black, brindle, or fawn. Basenjis have a head that is long and thin with upright ears and a sharp muzzle stair and a round rump the body is short and muscular, with a deep chest. One of the Basenji’s most recognizable characteristics is that they do not bark conventionally; they yodel. A Basenji will bark, but it is a very quiet breedNotes.

For this is a high-energy dog that can exercise a lot. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day and more, if possible. Besides, basenjis are intelligent dogs; they need mental stimulation. They tend to do agility and are good at obedience school because of their active mind. Highly intelligent, Basenjis also contain stubborn streaks due to independence. This breed requires experience in pet owners and patient, consistent training. This is worth considering if you are a first-time parent thinking of acquiring a basenji puppy. The breed can become your best friend and prove to be a loyal companion with time, dedication, and a lot of patience.

Basenji Facts

  • Origin: Central Africa
  • Size: 22-24 pounds
  • Breed Group: Hound Group
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Coat: Short, fine coat
  • Temperament: Independent, intelligent and alert
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate exercise
  • Training: Consistent training
  • Grooming: Minimal grooming needs
  • Health: Generally a healthy breed, but they can be prone to some conditions like kidney problems and hip dysplasia.

Basenji Overview

Basenji dog, a historically fascinating breed that descended from the oldest known breed. Originating from Central Africa, particularly the Congo, Basenjis are informally known as the “African barkless dog.” They lack the capacity or ability to generate the melodic sounds that give them their name. Rather than barking, they produce a yodeling sound that some have dubbed a “baroo.” If one is concerned about loud noise, this breed may be perfect for them. They require less vocal attention due to their inability to bark, and with proper training and discipline, they become quieter. Basing is a medium-sized dog, measuring between 16 and 17 inches at the shoulder; in weight, they vary from 22 to 24 pounds. Because of their short coat, they have a sleek, glossy form that comes in various colors, including red, black, tricolor, and brindle and well-stressed muscles.

Overall, the Basenji is an intelligent, alert, and highly independent dog. They are known for their prey drive, having been a hunting breed from Africa. I do not think basenjis are suitable for a household with smaller pets such as cats or rodent, as they have a tendency to chase smaller animals; however, I believe they are great family dogs. They are loving and extremely playful. Basenjis require exercise to burn off their energy and can excel at running, hiking, or agility. Young basenjis need regular training and need to be well socialized to ensure a decent house dog. I think the Basenji is a great breed for someone who enjoys a good challenge. This breed is ideal for someone who can appreciate their crazy abilities.

Basenji Highlights

Since Basenjis do not bark, they could do various vocalizations, including yodels, whines, and even screams, even howls. Since Basenjis have been independent thinkers for thousands of years, they are difficult to train. Simply put, they would respond when they feel like it, no matter how kind and positive the training methods are. Their prey drive is solid; hence they should not be off-leash outside of a safe environment.

Basenji is well-known for escaping from yards, vaulting over high barriers, and darting out any open doors. Since Basenjis are generally lively, outlets are needed. Therefore, crating while unsupervised is recommended.

Basenji History

People believe that the Basenji is one of the most primitive canine subspecies, that is why it has a mute voice. While hunting, early humans did not want their prey to be able to identify them. It emits a sound like a wolf but does so only once and then falls quiet. Some people assert that it is partially subjugated.

Basenji has a peculiar metabolism to all other domestic dogs, while female Basenji has only one cycle in a year than other dogs having it twice a year. Westerners discovered these dogs around the 19th century in the Congo region in West Africa. The Basenji was used to flush game, carry goods, and alert to dangers on the trails.

Basenjis were considered by some African tribes to have a good hunting power than an excellent wife; not only did Basenjis rely on their skills, but they also valued their astuteness. Livingstone Weed attempted to import Basenjis from England but was unsuccessful due to diseases. However, in the 1930s, dogs were successfully imported first to England, then to the United States. The Basenji Club of America was founded in 1942, and the American Kennel Club accepted the breed in 1943, and Phemister’s Bois was the first Basenji to be registered with the AKC in 1944. Basenjis are one of the most rare, with a ranking of 84 of the 155 AKC-recognized breeds and varieties. As a result, you should be prepared to wait at minimum for your purchase if you do decide to visit a breeder.

Basenji Size

A Male Basenji has a shoulder size of around seventeen inches, whereas females are around sixteen inches. Males weigh around 24 pounds, while adult females are about 22 pounds.

Basenji Personality

Basenji is an intelligent and independent hound. Nevertheless, it is also very loving and playful. Basenji is a sighthound, which means it’s fixated on movement and will constantly chase cats, squirrels, or rabbits. Additionally, it’s not the kind of dog that will readily follow your orders — rather, it will think over it. One must have a lot of patience and a sense of humor to live with a Basenji.

If they can chew it, if it is accessible enough for them to do so, Basenjis like to chew it. Even eating, if they feel the need, becomes a strategy: They may climb counters in the kitchen or push cupboards when you are out of the room, looking for the dog’s tender treats in the pantry. Many Basenjis are distant with strangers, and living with a dog who believes cats and small animals are prey is not suitable unless they are raised together or have been conditioned to live together. Outdoor cats and small dogs, in particular, are not part of the family and do not benefit from Basenjis’ recognition.

Basenjis require early socialization and training like other dogs. Proper socialization – exposing them to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they are young – will allow them to mature into well-adjusted adults. Socialization of puppies includes enrolling them in a puppy kindergarten course, inviting people to your house occasionally, taking them to busy parks where dogs are permitted, and going for a walk in crowded areas to meet neighbors. Base training on kindness and consistency, utilizing positive reinforcement such as food rewards and praise. Basenjis are becoming more obstinate with stiff penalties. To avoid their attention span while something more fascinating seems outside of your house, make your training fun.

Basenji Health

As with all breeds, the Basenji does have its potential health issues, so if you’re thinking of this breed, be sure to understand them. If you purchase a puppy, obtain one from a reputable breeder who can provide you with health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been checked for and cleared of a specific condition. Most breeders with a Basenji will expect you to agree to have your puppy tested for seven serious health problems, such as OFA for dysplasia of the hip, elbow, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease. Clearances are also required from Auburn University for thrombopathy, as well as the Canine Eye Registry Foundation for healthy eyes. You can verify health clearances by checking the OFA website.

  • Fanconi Syndrome
  • Immunoproliferative Systemic Intestinal Disease
  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (Hemolytic Anemia)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM)
  • Coloboma
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Umbilical Hernia
  • Hip Dysplasia

Basenji Care

The Basenji is a hunting pack animal that requires exercise every day. While some Basenjis are content with a daily walk, others require more high-intensity activities. When raised with children, they often play together, wear each other out, and cleanse the soul. However, the basenji is unable to be kept in the backyard unattended for long periods of time owing to their explorer abilities; it can readily disappear.

The Basenji’s ability to adapt well to apartment or condo living makes it ideal. A couple 30-minute walks or play sessions each day are sufficient. Always use a leash unless you’re in a securely fenced area because Basenjis can overcome typical fences. They’ll even use chain link fences as ladders, and a wooden fence may not be enough unless you place the smooth side facing the yard and add an electric wire on top. Basenjis also resemble cats in that they don’t like rain. They may be grumpy if you take them out for a walk in the wetness. However, they might enjoy being wet on unusually hot days.

Basenji Grooming And Coat Color

The Basenji dog has a short, healthy coat, and its colors are the most lovely: rich chestnut red, black, tricolor , or brindle. These colors are accompanied by white markings on the feet, chest, end of the tail, and occasionally legs, a blaze on the face between the eyes, or a white collar around the neck. The primary color is still dominant, and the marking is clear and not unclear.

In many ways, the Basenji is similar to the cat, especially in terms of grooming. Fido bathes only every few months. Although they shed, their short hair with a fine structure makes the process less noticeable. It is necessary to brush your pet’s teeth at least two or three times a week with a toothpaste. This procedure will help prevent plaque and the rapid growth of pathogenic bacteria. Ideally, do it every day.

Your Basenji’s quick-growing nails must be clipped regularly. Squelching on the floor indicates that the nails are too long. When your enthusiastic pet jumps up to greet you, long toenails will leave scratches in your legs. Begin grooming when your Basenji is a puppy to have a Basenji puppy. When these puppies are young, teach them to do the brushing and the probing. Since these dogs can be sensitive about their paws, gradually become recognizable. Grooming time is an excellent time to get joy and rewards. Start as soon as the pet is mature, and you’ll have difficulty coping with him, making this a simple task.

During the grooming, make sure to regularly examine the skin, ears, nose, mouth and eyes, as well as the paws for any sores, rashes or infection. The ears have a slight pleasant scent and should not be filled with wax, while the eyes should be clear and free from redness or discharage. Regular weekly inspection allows you to detect the potential health problems early.

Basenji Children And Other Pets

It is not common to see a Basenji get along well with children. However, they are high in energy and could become great playing mates if a child is old enough to know how to play as a kid with a dog. If you have or are involved in such a family setup, be sure to introduce them as soon as possible. Dogs that grow up with kids learn they are adorable and, thus, their exposure to attacks under diminishes fear. Always train your kids how to approach and touch a pet, however. No approach from the back should be tolerated, and no pulling its ears or tail either. Furthermore, no approach should be made to a pet while eating or an attempt to take away its meal.

Never allow dogs and children to interact without supervision, even if the dog is well-accustomed to children. Thus, you will reduce the likelihood of possible accidents. Basenjis can never be trusted with cats or other small animals unless the dog is raised with them and you are confident that the Basenji recognizes the smaller animal as a loved one. Outside, when the dog sees a cat or another smaller animal, it will chase it until it catches it. If introduced correctly and have patience, a Basenji is a devoted and loving friend for children of all ages.