Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by Pets Feed
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.
|Country of origin||Congo|
|Weight||10 – 12 kg|
|Height (at the withers)||40 – 43 cm|
|Life expectancy||16 years|
Physical characteristics of the Basenji
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.
Weight / Height
The average size of males is 40-56 cm, that of females 37-43 cm.
The average weight of males is 10-12 kg, females – 8.5-10 kg.
Behavior and character
The basenji is an alert, independent, curious and affectionate dog. It can be reserved for strangers and can respond aggressively to provocations, so it is not the best option for families with young children. Due to its predisposition to hunting, this dog is generally not recommended to live with animals of other species.
However, he generally get along with other dogs. Of course, socializing a puppy is a necessity for both this breed and any other breed of dog. This canine breed is very active and can be destructive if it is not given the necessary exercise. His hunting impulses make the Basenji an independent dog, but that’s why you shouldn’t leave him alone for long.
In fact, the basenji, like all many other breeds of dogs, also needs his human companions to take care of him, play with him and offer him affection. While he doesn’t like being overwhelmed with effusive hugs, he also doesn’t tolerate indifference.
A characteristic and the main distinguishing feature of basenji is that they do not bark. The dog makes a number of sounds – growls, moans, grunts. Basenjis will become faithful companions for a person leading an active lifestyle.
On the other hand, the basenji is a very small dog that is extremely clean. In addition, his character also highlights his playful, playful and very stubborn personality. This breed of dog needs a patient and constant companion in its education.
Basenji dogs have the particularity of not barking, but they emit howls similar to those of the Tyrolean song when they are excited. This breed of dog, awake, independent, autonomous and practically odorless, looks very much like a cat.
We even know that they climb trees and fences like felines. They are affectionate with loved ones, but they tend to be distant with strangers. The Basenji often faces other dogs, so early socialization is essential.
Representatives of this breed are freedom-loving, they can run away and join a pack of stray dogs. If the dog is kept in a private home, the area should be well fenced. Under no circumstances should you put a basenji on a chain.
On average, representatives of the Basenji breed live for 14-16 years. 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.
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 or no grooming. Brushing once a week is the maximum. Always clean the eyes of deposits daily, keep the ears clean, bathe the dog once a week, and trim the claws 3 times a month.
The Basenji can adapt well to apartment life, but daily walks are a must as it has a high activity level. Her needs can be satisfied by a long walk followed by vigorous play.
The basenji’s metabolism is different from that of normal dogs, and you may not be able to find the right nutrition right away. Also note that females have estrus only once a year, although recently the number of individuals with estrus 2 times a year has been increasing. The breed does not tolerate cold, so in winter it is necessary to warm up.
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.
Basenji Dog 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.
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.”