Home Breeds Basenji


Here comes an outdoor companion, Basenji. Compact in size and smart in intelligence, Basenjis are suitable for agility competitions. Brisk walks and energy run-off can be attractive for Basenjis. Some inheritable disease might exist so testing is important.

Other Names African Barkless Dog, African Bush Dog, Ango Angari, Avuvi, Congo Bush Dog, Congo Dog, Congo Terrier, Zande Dog
Color brown
Height Males: 16-18 inches. Females: 15-17 inches.
Weight Males: 23-24 pounds. Females: 21-22 pounds.
Life Span 13-14 years
Personality Independent, Smart, Poised
Exercise Energetic
Popularity #87
Groom Needs Occasional Bath/Brush and Occasional Shedding
Kids Friendly No
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 3-5 puppies

Basenji Pictures

Basenji Video


The Basenji is an African dog with glistening short coats, curled up tails, and wrinkled forehead. They have a keen sense of smell and are “quick to the chase”. When the Basenji runs, it leaps vertically up and down, and it strides with a graceful and confident deportment that reminds one of a racehorse. 

Basenjis are small and compact dogs, belonging to the Hound group. As such, they have a sturdy build and keen eyesight. A standard male weighs somewhere around 24 pounds, while a female weighs between 21 and 22 pounds. Generally, the females appear only a bit smaller than the males. The female stands at 15-16 inches from shoulder to paw, where a male stands taller, measuring only about 1 inch more (16-17 inches). The Basenji is an amiable and independent dog, with a life expectancy of 12-14 years. They are ranked 87th most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club.

Living with Basenji

With a short coat, it takes owners little efforts to groom Basenjis. Their coats are applicable to soft-bristle brush, rubber grooming mitt or tool or hound glove. Skin oils can be distributed all over their bodies, so that their coat can have a good appearance overall. Regular bath is required as the cleanness of dogs lead to good health. Ears and teeth should be checked once a week, so owners can rest assured that there’re no signs of infection and gum disease. Owners should have Basenjis’ nails trimmed once a month. Long nails can lead to the pain and inconvenience when walking and running.

Basenjis requires regular exercise. Energetic as Basenjis are, they’re definitely perfect companions for outdoor fanatics. Regular exercise sucha as brisk walks outdoor. Twice-a-day exercise is perfectly healthy. Two-hour exercise each time will keep Basenjis not only in physical heath but in mental health. As Basenjis are easily to get bored. Outdoor exercising will make joy and energy full Basenjis’ day. Any Basenjis exercise should be under the lead of owners. They can easily get into troubles when running in playground with no high fences. Any destructive behavior should be forbidden immediately. Applicable to games such as lure coursing and tracking, Basenjis can perform well obedience and agility competitions.

Owners should feed Basenjis with premium and well-balanced food. Whether it is wet or dry, food that meet nutritional needs is suitable for Basenjis. Vitamins and minerals is also of great importance for Basenjis. Feed puppies 3 to 4 times a day is enough. For older Basenjis, twice a day is appropriate. Owners should learn more information about dog foods. Not all human food are safe for dogs. Check it out with your vet if you are confused about the safety of your dog food. Clean and fresh water should be approachable all the time. If there are any infections or irritation, you should check the ingredients of commercial dog food. If you find it difficult, ask vet for help.

Basically, Basenjis are in good health. But some of Basenjis are prone to suffer from Fanconi syndrome. This inheritable disorder make renal fail to reabsorb nutrients. Owners should test Basenjis’ urine for glucose once a mouth beginning at 3 years old of Basenjis. Glucose testing strip are available in pharmacy. Professional gene tests are also applicable to screen PRA, which is a disease related to progressive retinal atrophy. Owners can rest assured the feasibility of Basenjis breeding plan only if screening measures are taken. It’s also likely for Basenjis to suffer from hypothyroidism, IPSID and canine hip dysplasia. Apart from disease screening, owners should make sure the tidiness and cleanness of Basenjis. Have their ears checked and teeth brushed regularly can keep them in good health.

Total Annual Cost: $2139

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Basenjis are energetic and intelligent, so early socialization is of great importance. Always keen for mischief, Basenjis are unable to stay calm during longlasting training period, unless there’s an interval after 5 to 10 minutes training time. Naughty as they are, Basenjis are hard to accept obedience training. Dedicated and consistent training is applicable to Basenjis. The training is likely to work out when it comes with positive reinforcement and firm commands. However, the key point is whether emotional connection between owners and dogs is tight enough. Basenji can accomplish some directions when he strives to please its owner. If you find it difficult, hiring a professional can be applicable to you. 


Originally called the African Bush Dog, the Basenji only got its current name around 1937 when a pair of it was brought into the United Kingdom. The Basenji is a pariah-type dog of ancient African civilization. While some believe that this dog breed had originated in Zaire (Congo), others claim that the Basenji has Egyptian roots. Another report states that the Basenji had developed sufficiently somewhere else before they were offered as gifts to the Pharaohs of Egypt. Nonetheless, what is clear about the history of the Basenji is that they are descendants of the semi-wild dogs that dominated the regions of the Nile and Congo rivers. The name Basenji,

The Basenji is an ancient dog, how old we can’t say with certainty. Early historical records depicting the Basenji are seen in ancient Egyptian artifacts, and artworks of old Babylon and Mesopotamia, before the 1800s. The natives of the region around the Nile and Congo rivers fancied the Basenji as incredible hunting dogs, what with their powerful strides, explosive speed, the unique vertical leaping, and a keen sense of smell. 

The Basenji was introduced into Europe around 1896 by European explorers returning from. Africa. Although the first pair of Basenji, died the same year, the breed was later imported into England in 1937 and was exhibited publicly. The first Basenjis in the U.S are believed to have been imported by a Boston breeder who got them, male and female. The name Basenji literally translates to “dog of the villagers” or “dog of the savages”.

Helpful Information

Breed Club: Basenji Club of America

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