Dog Profiles - Description of Basenji


Description: The Basenji is a handsome, muscular dog, who is also known as the African Barkless Dog. He should not bark, but is not mute. His repertoire of sounds range from a pleasing throaty crow to a keening wail made when he is lonely or unhappy. One of the oldest breeds of dogs he is native to Africa where he is used to assist beaters in flushing game which is then driven into nets strung up against trees. His name means "wild and violent" in Swahili. The Basenji will make a good pet as long as he is handled on a regular basis from an early age.

Height: 16-17 inches

Weight: 21-24 lbs.

Colors: Black, red, back and tan. White on his chest, feet and tail tips.

Coat: Smooth, short-haired, fine, silky coat.

Temperament: Intelligent, affectionate. Good with children if properly socialized and supervised. Good with other pets if properly socialized and supervised. Same sex aggression is common. Good watch-dog, but depends on dog and owner attentiveness. Doesn't bark to alert. Poor guard-dog.

Care and Exercise: Comb or brush his smooth coat and bathe when necessary. Daily exercise will prevent obesity. Curiosity may cause him to wander if left off leash or in an unfenced area. House training comes easily as they are naturally clean creatures. Females usually only have one season a year which will last up to 30 days.

Training: Learning Rate: High. Rewards-based training produces best results.

Activity: High

Living Environment: Indoor or outdoor dog that does best with a fenced yard and lots of exercise

Health Issues: Kidney problems, PRA and intestinal problems.

Life Span: 10-12 Years

Litter Size: 6

Country of Origin: Zaire

History: Basenji-type dogs are depicted on the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs and date back to early 3600 B.C. Many details of his origins are unclear, but he is thought to have come from a purebred dog used by the Pygmies for hunting in the Congo. The Basenji was imported to England in the 1930's and then made his way to America in 1941.

Registration: ACA, AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC(GB)