Basenji Dog Breed Information: Profile, History, Care & Review

Out of Africa, the Basenji dog breed has initially been found within the Congo. He used both scent and sight for hunting and was originally used for flushing small game into a hunter’s nets and for controlling village rodent populations. Clever and endearing, he’s an honest companion for the person or family who can stay a step ahead of him.

All that sounds attractive, but people who don’t research the Basenji before acquiring one could also be disappointed or frustrated once they aren’t prepared for the Basenji’s unique temperament and personality. Obtaining a Basenji from a reputable breeder who will discuss the pros and cons of living with this breed will provide you with a reality check, and such a breeder is additionally more likely to check breeding stock for heritable health problems breeding them.

Basenji Dog Information:

Breed Name Basenji
Other Names Congo Dog, Congo Terrier, African Bush Dog,
African Barkless Dog
Breed Group Sighthounds and Pariahs (UKC)
Type Hound Dogs
Size Medium
Weight Male: 21-24 lbs.
Female: 21-22 lbs.
Height Male: 17 in.
Female: 16 in.
Area of Origin Central Africa (Zaire and the Congo)
Life Range 12 – 14 Years
Colors Black & White
Black Tan & White
Brindle & White
Red & White
Level of Energy Very Energetic
Bark Tendency  Low
Exercise Daily
Overall Grooming Low Maintenance

Basenji Dog History:

The Basenji (also referred to as an “African Bush Dog,” “Congo Dog,” or “Congo Terrier”) is an ancient breed which may be seen depicted on stone tablets in Egyptian tombs. The modern breed originates within the African Congo (“Basenji” means “bush thing”), where they were used as pack hunters to chase game into nets. Basenjis were imported to England within the 1930s, then to America.

The Basenji is one among the oldest breeds of domesticated dogs, and that’s why he is not a barker. Early people may have preferred a quiet dog on hunts. Like his wild cousin, the wolf, the Basenji can bark but usually barks only once then is silent. It is also theorized that he’s only partially domesticated. His metabolism is unlike that of any other trained dog, and like wild canids, the feminine Basenji only cycles once a year compared to twice a year for other domesticated dogs.

The Basenji Club of America was formed in 1942, and also the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1943. Phemister’s Bois was the first Basenji registered with the AKC, in 1944. Basenjis are rare, ranking 84th among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC, so expect to spend time on a breeder’s waiting list if you choose this is often the dog for you.

They increased in popularity after being featured as the title character of a well-liked 1950’s book and movie, “Goodbye, My Lady.” Some Basenjis from Africa were imported within the 1980s, widening the gene pool and introducing the brindle color to the breed.

Basenji Dog Photos:

About Basenji Dog Health:

Basenjis are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to specific health conditions. Not all Basenjis will get any or all of those diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed. If you’re buying a puppy, find an honest breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a specific condition.

  • Major Concerns: Fanconi syndrome, PRA, Basenji enteropathy
  • Minor Concerns: PPM, PK, hypothyroidism, umbilical hernia
  • Occasionally seen: CHD, patellar luxation, corneal dystrophy.
  • Recommendation Tests: eye, thyroid, hip, Fanconi, DNA for PK, DNA for PRA

Nutrition For Basenji Dog:

Recommended Daily Amount: 3/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food each day, divided into two meals.

The Basenji should act on high-quality pet food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared, together with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).

If you’re unsure whether he’s overweight, give him the hands-on test. Place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, and also the fingers spread downward. You ought to be able to feel but not see his ribs. If you cannot feel the ribs, he needs a bit less food and a lot more exercise.

How to Take Care of Basenji Dog:

The Basenji is a dog and needs daily exercise. Some Basenjis do fine with a daily walk, while others require more enthusiastic types of exercise. Basenjis raised with children often will spend their time wearing each other out.

The Basenji isn’t a dog who is often left unattended within the backyard. He’s an accomplished escape artist, and an unwatched Basenji will soon become a missing Basenji. If you’ll provide him with a few 30-minute walks or play sessions every day, he’s well suited to apartment or condo life. Always keep your Basenji on leash unless you’re during a securely fenced area, and do not count on any type of fence to keep him confined.

Basenji Grooming, Bathing & Coat:

Basenji’s are a brief flat coated breed that sheds throughout the year, even within the wintertime. Grooming is usually recommended for 4 – 8-week intervals to wash ears, clip nails, check anal glands and ensure the coat and skin are in healthy condition.

Bathing Care: Basenji’s require two baths once you bathe them. The primary bath should be a general bath. If your Basenji has allergies or sensitive skin, we might suggest a Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo and follow it with a medicated shampoo depending on your dog’s needs. If your Basenji has normal skin, then the second bath, you would want to select one among our excellent fragrant shampoos and conditioners. Follow the bathtub with a conditioner or Luxury Remoisturizer to keep the coat in great shape.

Eyes Care: Eyes should be alert and bright. Use Opti-Soothe Eye Wash during the bath to flush any foreign matter.

Ears Care: Monthly ear cleaning with Ear Care is suggested to make sure no ear problems that might need vet attention to arise. Only clean as far as you’ll see, never further.

Paws Care: Paw Balm should be used weekly. Also, paw pads that are soft and pliable are less likely to dry and crack.

Coat Care: Use Aloe Hydrating Spray between baths to manage flaking and dandruff, especially in dry conditions.

Tips for Show Dog: Silky Show Shampoo and Silky Show Conditioner will add silk proteins and shine to the coat also as the Luxury Remoisturizer Conditioner. High Sheen Finishing Spray right before entering the show ring will add the small extra shine with none oily residue.

Basenji Dog Exercise:

Basenjis are energetic, inquisitive, and very active. They require many regular exercises to keep them from becoming bored. Boredom can cause destructive behavior. Long play sessions during a well-fenced yard or securely on the lead are required.

A Basenji should never run loose, as the breed’s instinct to hunt is extremely strong, and also the dog won’t be able to resist the urge to run off on a chase. Giving the dog a structured outlet for those instincts which pent-up energy can help immensely; many Basenjis enjoy and excel at canine sports like lure coursing, tracking, & obedience and agility competitions.

Basenji Dog Training:

Basenji needs an experienced dog owner who can train them well. A consistent leader can train better, and with the knowledge of their temperament, you’ll train your Basenji accordingly. The subsequent are the essential factor that’s used for training your dog.

Leadership: As soon as the Basenji gets to the right age of training, which is around six months, establish leadership on the is extremely necessary. They have to check you as their leader for them to understand they will trust and follow you. This is often the right age for leadership as they’re always roaming around humans and are eager to please them.

Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is extremely important while training your dog as it will keep them focused and motivated. Reward-based training will always give your dog reason to be obedient and disciplined. As they complete a certain task, reward them with a treat, and it’ll motivate them. Give them tons of vocal praise as they’re done with a task.

Socialization: Since basenji is a dog, it’s important to socialize them with a range of individuals and other canines. Start socializing from a really early age so that they don’t get timid or aggressive around strangers unnecessarily. Take them to a park with people and their pets, so you’ll socialize them properly. Although always keep them on a leash while taking them out.


Advantages of Basenji Dogs:

  • Loyal, affectionate, alert, and active
  • Doesn’t bark
  • Barely sheds (hypo-allergenic) and self-grooms.

Disadvantages of Basenji Dogs:

    • Heavy chewer
    • As a sighthound, will pursue anything it sees moving (may jump a fence to chase, won’t be deterred by an electronic fence).
    • Not great for younger children who may not know how to interact with a high-energy dog.

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