The basenji is square-proportioned and large on leg. It’s much more slightly built and longer-legged compared to most other primitive strains, providing it a fantastic amount of speed and also the capability to execute the double-suspension gallop. Its vertical ears allow it to find prey in thick bush and might behave as heat dissipaters. Its short coat also assists in addressing the hot climate of Africa.

Some believe the basenji to possess terrier-like mannerisms since it’s feisty to get a hound. More frequently it’s deemed catlike in mannerisms: smart, curious, tenacious, independent and booked. Its searching origins are extremely clear, since it loves to chase and track. It requires regular physical and psychological stimulation, making it frustrated and damaging. Basenjis could be barkless, however they’re not mute. They do create a kind of yodel, howl and shriek — and sometimes bark, but only one or 2 “fox barks” in a time.

FAMILY sighthound, scenthound, primitive, Southern (pariah)
AREA OF ORIGIN Central Africa (Zaire and the Congo)
ORIGINAL FUNCTION hunting small game
TODAY’S FUNCTION lure coursing
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 17 Weight: 24
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 16 Weight: 22
OTHER NAME Congo dog, Congo terrier
The basenji is an active dog that needs daily psychological and physical exercise. Its demands can be fulfilled by a very long walk followed by a vigorous game, or simply by conducting freely in a safe, enclosed area. It can live outside only in climates that are warm and normally does best as a backyard dog using a lawn. Coat care is minimal, comprising only occasional brushing to remove dead hair.
  • Energy levelHigh energy
  • Exercise needsMedium
  • PlayfullnessModerately playful
  • Affection levelModerately affectionate
  • Friendliness toward other dogsShy
  • Friendliness toward other petsShy
  • Friendliness toward strangersFriendly
  • Ease of trainingEasy to train
  • Watchdog abilityHigh
  • Protection abilityNot very protective
  • Grooming needsLow maintenance
  • Cold toleranceLow tolerance
  • Heat toleranceMedium tolerance
• Major concerns: Fanconi syndrome, PRA, basenji enteropathy
• Minor concerns: PPM, PK
• Occasionally seen: CHD
• Suggested tests: eye, DNA test for PK, Fanconi urine test
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
The basenji is one of the most crude of strains, found on the African Congo with Pygmy hunters. Early explorers called the puppies following the tribes who possessed them or the region where they had been discovered, for example Zande puppies or Congo terriers. The indigenous tribes used the puppies (which frequently wore big bells around their necks) as pack hunters, forcing game to nets. Early efforts to attract basenjis into England from the late 1800s and early 1900s were ineffective since the puppies all reacted to distemper. From the 1930s, a couple dogs were successfully brought back to England and became the base (along with subsequent imports in the Congo and Sudan) of this strain out of Africa. The title basenji, or “bush item,” was selected. The ancient imports brought much attention, and shortly after the basenji has been attracted to America. The breed’s popularity as both a pet and show dog climbed modestly but steadily. From the 1950s, a surge of fame happened as a consequence of a novel and film with a basenji. The 1980s saw two major but contentious events for its basenji in the us. To begin with, many basenjis were brought from Africa in an effort to expand the gene pool and fight some prevalent hereditary health issues; a number of the puppies introduced the formerly unrecognized brindle colour into the strain. Secondly, the basenji was realized by the American Sighthound Field Association as a sighthound and has been permitted to compete in lure-coursing trials. Its body structure and searching fashion had previously been deemed overly unsighthound-like. The basenji has always been difficult to categorize. It keeps several crude features, most especially its lack of barking capability and its annual, instead of twice annually, estrus cycle.


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