Basenji | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


Originally from Central Africa, the basenji is one of the oldest dogs that exists today. This intelligent and balanced dog has two particular characteristics: it never barks and the females heat only once a year. The absence of barking does not mean that the basenji is a dumb dog; It makes sounds that could be defined as a mixture of Tyrolean song and muffled laughter. However, it is a generally calm dog.

The presence of annual zeal, instead of biennial as in other breeds of dogs, denotes the phylogenetic antiquity of the basenji, since this characteristic is shared with wolves and with New Guinea song dogs (dogs that do not bark not).

Such a pet is ideal for apartment living, because in addition to being quiet, the basenji does not have a specific smell, does not take up much space and has a tender character. The main thing is to provide this overly energetic doggie with the opportunity to walk a lot and spend time actively.

Dog sheet Basenji

Basenji photos

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Physical characteristics

The Basenji is a small to medium sized dog. It is distinguished by the presence of a stiff, curled tail and a wrinkled forehead. The Basenji has a smooth, short, shiny coat.

The ideal height for adult males is 40-46 cm at the withers, for females – 37-43 cm. The ideal weight for an adult male is 10-12 kg, for females – 9-10 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The head is compact and elongated. There is a characteristic shallow furrow. When the dog is alert, pronounced wrinkles appear on the forehead. The skull is strong, wide in the region of the occiput and sharpens noticeably towards the muzzle. The muzzle is long, rather narrow, the length is 3/4 of the skull. The transition from forehead to muzzle is distinctly pronounced.
  • Teeth: The jaws are strong, elongated. Scissor bite. The lower jaw is hidden under the upper jaw.
  • Ears: The ears are small, have characteristic sharp tips. Tied up high, leaning forward. The ears are positioned so that their tips are closer to the central part of the head than to the base.
  • Eyes: The eyes are small, oval. Planted diagonally. Eye color is dark brown, almost black.
  • Frame: The body is short and compact. The chest is deep. The ribs are oval, but not barrel-shaped. The belly is slightly upturned. The back is strong and straight. The buttocks exceed the base of the tail.
  • Limbs: The dog’s legs are straight, thin, parallel to each other. The shoulder blades are muscular, the elbows are directed backwards. The hocks are pronounced.
  • Coat: The coat is short. The undercoat is missing. The color can be different: white-red, red-black, tricolor, brindle.

Character and behavior

The Basenji is a hunter, the dog is characterized by its energy and its constant will to act. Representatives of the breed are dedicated, but their dedication must be earned. If the basenji has recognized the person and is ready to obey him, then this friendship will be eternal. The dog is suspicious of strangers, but will not show aggression without reason.

This breed is classified as a primitive dog. In other words, the breed was created without human intervention. Spirit, independence, the ability to adapt to a new environment – all these qualities are a gift of nature.

Dogs have a bad habit of putting whatever they want in their mouths, which can be harmful to their health. It is almost impossible to wean the Basenji into hanging around and eating different objects. During the walk, the dog must be kept on a leash, especially in the city. Also, the instinct of a hunter can awaken in a dog, and he will rush in pursuit of a cat, rat or squirrel.

With the children

Basenjis get along well with children over the age of 10. It is dangerous to leave the dog alone with the children, if the child inadvertently hurts him, he will bite.

With other animals

At the same time, representatives of the breed get along well with other dogs. In cats, rodents or birds, the basenji sees prey.


Nature rewarded them with good health, but there is a predisposition to certain diseases:

  • Eye diseases.
  • Fanconi syndrome is a kidney problem.
  • Urolithiasis – the bladder is filled with stones of different sizes that block the urinary canals, causing unbearable pain.
  • Joint diseases.

The dog must be vaccinated on time. It is also recommended to visit a veterinary clinic with a pet once a year for preventive examinations.

Life expectancy

On average, representatives of the Basenji breed live for 14-16 years.


Basenji has almost no dog smell and is considered the cleanest dog. She washes herself like a cat.

  • The breed has a very short coat and requires little to no grooming. Brushing once a week is the maximum. Always clean the eyes of deposits daily, keep the ears clean.
  • Basenjis are afraid of water and it takes a long time to teach them to swim.
  • You need to bathe them irregularly, 2-3 times a year will be enough. While bathing, dogs should not get their heads wet.
  • When bathing with these dogs you need to talk, it will help calm them down.
  • In the bath, the animal should feel safe, lay a rubber mat on the bottom of the bath.
  • You should bathe dogs with a special pet shampoo.
  • After bathing, it is impossible to dry the dog’s hair with a hair dryer, it must be blotted with a soft towel.


Created for hunting on large grounds, the Basenji requires at least an hour of exercise a day and has more stamina if you can give it. Although it is not easy to train, it is advisable to involve the Basenji in some kind of canine sport to keep your body and mind healthy.

They have absolutely no idea what a route is, so care should be taken when exercising.

Fun facts

  • Basenji loves to transfer everything that “lies badly” from place to place, so things will disappear from time to time in the house and the owners will have to find them.
  • There’s an African quote: “A good basenji is a tired basenji.” The fact is that it’s hard to keep up with a too energetic pet.
  • These dogs wash their feet like cats.
  • Basenji females pass only once a year.
  • The dog from Congo was known as a true escape master. This dog can not only jump over a rather high fence or make a dig under it, but also climb over the fence like a cat.
  • Representatives of the African breed live as pets in many royal houses.

History of the breed

The Basenji may be one of the oldest breeds of domestic dogs, and that may be why they don’t bark. The ancients may have preferred a calm dog for hunting. It is also assumed that it is only partially domesticated.

Basenjis were discovered by Westerners in the Congo region of West Africa in the 19th century. Edward C. Ash, in his book Dogs: Their History and Development, quotes a priest, Father Jerome Merolla da Sorrento, who saw dogs in the Congo in 1682: inhabitants. They are ginger, have small, slender bodies, and their tails are turned backwards.”


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