In Africa, the Basenji breed of dog was originally found in the Congo. These dogs use both scent and sight to hunt and were originally used to flush small game into hunters’ nets and to control rodent populations in villages. Today, they also make excellent family members, affectionate and furry. Although they are purebred dogs, you may find Basenjis in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Intelligent and endearing, these dogs make good companions for the person or family who can keep one step ahead of them. They can adapt to flat living, and even novice pet parents will find these puppies make excellent first-time dogs. You just have to make sure you can get enough exercise to satisfy their high energy levels. You’ll need to commit to lots of walks and playtime. AniMall24 recommends a good dog bed to give your medium sized Basenji a good night’s sleep. You should also buy a dog brush and massager for your short haired puppy.


Basenjis do not normally bark, but can be very noisy, emitting sounds including yodels, whines and yelps. They are difficult to train. Basenjis have survived for thousands of years as independent thinkers. They see no need to obey humans. Positive training can work to some extent, but they will choose when to obey. Basenjis have a strong prey drive and cannot be trusted off leash unless they are in a well fenced area. Basenjis are escape artists. They will use a chain link fence as a ladder, jump and climb over a wooden fence or escape through open gates. Basenjis have a great deal of energy. If they are not provided an outlet for this, they will become destructive or find other ways to burn energy. The use of cages is recommended when unsupervised. Basenjis are considered a family. They cannot be left in a yard with food and water. They require a lot of time and attention. They do not do well in homes with other small animals, as their instinct to chase may take over. If raised with cats, they may do well, but are not recommended in homes with hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, birds or ferrets. Basenjis are stubborn, and you may end up with a confused and aggressive Basenji if you try to overcome their stubbornness with force. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill or pet shop. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they are free of genetic diseases that can be passed on to puppies, and that they have a sound temperament.


The Basenji is probably one of the oldest breeds of domesticated dogs, and perhaps that is why it is not a barker. It is possible that early settlers preferred a quiet dog on the hunt. Like its wild cousin, the wolf, the Basenji can bark, but it usually does so only once and then remains silent. It is also believed to be partially domesticated. Its metabolism is different from that of any other domesticated dog and, like wild canids, the female Basenji has only one annual cycle, compared to twice a year for other domesticated dogs. Basenjis were discovered by Westerners in the Congo region of West Africa in the 19th century. There, the dogs were used to flush game into nets, to transport goods and to warn of approaching dangerous animals when they were on the road. Some African tribes valued a good Basenji hunter more than a wife, not only for his hunting prowess but also for his wit. Attempts to bring the Basenji to Europe failed at first because all imported dogs died of disease soon after arrival. The first successful importation occurred in the 1930s in both England and the United States. The Basenji Club of America was formed in 1942, and 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 decide this is the dog for you.

Breed Characteristics:
All Around Friendliness:
Health And Grooming Needs:
Physical Needs:
Vital Stats:
Dog Breed Group: Hound Dogs
Height: 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 22 to 24 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years

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