The Basenji is a dog of a medium size and light build, with a short sleek coat.
Its been said that a Basenji is 1/4 dog, 1/4 cat, 1/4 monkey and 1/4 human. They’re known for being smart, curious, alert, loving, proud and independent, all at the same time.
These qualities are needed to survive as a hunting dog, which the Basenji is. They are very smart, with the ability to learn quickly, but will not always choose to do what you ask of them. A typical bored Basenji will become destructive if left to their own devises and they can prove to become a challenge, even for the most experienced of dog owners.
The Basenji is a lightly built, small, short-haired hunting dog that is taller than it is long. It has a short back, which makes it appear high on the leg. The wrinkled head is made of flat, well-chiseled skull which tapers towards the eyes with a slight stop. It has almond-shaped eyes that are dark in colour, obliquely set and far-seeing. It has a black nose and small erect ears set well on top of the head. When the ears are erect, fine, profuse wrinkles will appear on the forehead giving a curious or sometimes roguish look. The neck is of good length, slightly full at the throat base which gives the head a high carriage. A muscular shoulder, firmly-tucked elbows, straight legs with fine bone structure and flexible pasterns makes up the forequarters profile. The short and level topline ends with a strong and muscular hindquarters and a highly set tail which bends forward and set on a single or double curl over to either side close to the thigh. All legs are cushioned by oval, compact feet with thick pads. The coat is short and fine and comes in chestnut red, pure black, tricolour, and brindle with white markings on the feet, chest and tip of the tail.
An adult male Basenji has an ideal height of 43 cm while a female stands at 40 cm. Ideal weight is between 9.5 kg and 11 kg with dogs on the heavier side of the scale.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Basenji is a small dog and one of the ancient breeds. The modern day breed originated in the Zaire region of Africa and is used as a hunting dog but its genetic ancestors were the free-ranging dogs that were abundant in the Saharan Africa during the Holocene era. These dogs came from eastern Asia which evolved from either Chinese or southeast Asian wolves. Although the modern Basenji hails from central Africa, a recent study that analyzed the DNA of ancient dogs showed that the Basenji has a lineage of a 14,500 BC wolf DNA sequence. These ancient basenji-like dogs have been known to accompany humans for millennia. Cave frescoes in the Tassili N’Ajjer Mountains of Algeria dating back 6,000 years or more depicts domesticated dogs similar to the Basenji ancestors – pointed ears, long legs and curled tail. Egyptian monuments and tomb decorations also depict pariah dogs similar to the modern-day Basenji with pricked ears and tightly curled tails. The first European descriptions of Basenji ancestors were in 1895 in Congo. These were prized companions by the locals because of their intelligence, courage and speed in tracking and luring game into nets. The Basenjis were first exhibited in England in 1895 and were known as “Lagos Bush Dogs” but these early imports unfortunately died after contracting distemper. Then in 1923, six Basenjis were brought to Great Britain from Khartoum, Sudan by Lady Helen Nutting but they too also died from the after-effects of distemper shots. The actual foundation stock of modern-day Basenjis were imported to Great Britain in 1936 by Mrs. Olivia Burns.
The Basenji is alert, energetic and curious. It is a loyal breed and has a tendency to be emotionally attached to its owner. It is typically aloof with strangers but is not an innately aggressive breed. It does not get along very well in wet weather conditions owing to the fact that it was originally bred in the dry sub-Saharan region. It is an agile dog that likes to climb and can easily get over fences. It is highly intelligent but is quite stubborn and likes to chew on things. It does not bark, hence the nickname “barkless dog” but it does give out a range of sounds from a delightful yodel to whines and screams. It makes a good watchdog.
The Basenji, although highly intelligent, is one of the toughest dog breeds to train. It is a wonderful pet to have but training can be challenging. It is an independent thinker and will often decide whether to obey a command or not. In their normal environment, the Basenji hunt by sight and will chase anything that runs. This trait makes it an excellent breed at the sport of lure coursing. It is not a breed for first-time pet owners as it needs someone who can appreciate its attitude and intelligence.
The Basenji has a short, soft coat with no doggy odour and sheds very little. It does not require any trimming or complicated grooming. It is also a fairly clean dog with almost feline grooming habits.
The average lifespan of the Basenji is between 12 to 14 years. It is prone to progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and Fanconi syndrome which affects the kidney. There are also some cases of hypothyroidism, immunoproliferative systemic intestinal disease or malabsorption which is similar to irritable bowel syndrome in humans, and hemolytic anemia which is a genetically acquired disease. Exposure to household chemicals can cause liver problems so it’s best to keep Basenjis away from these chemicals.
The Basenji is an active breed with a high energy level which requires high amounts of exercise. A Basenji who does not get a fair amount of physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis can become destructive or will channel its energy in other ways. Long daily walks or running on-leash alongside a bike or roller skates are good exercises for this feisty breed. It must not be left unattended even in a fenced backyard.
The Basenji has a strong prey drive that loves to chase small animals and may not get along well with non-canine pets, but if socialized early with cats and other small pets, it will be a good addition to the family. However, it is not recommended for homes with hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and other similar animals. It is a family-oriented dog that loves attention and can be good with older children who know how to properly handle dogs.