About Breed

Basenji


Available Pets

Clubs, Registries & Associations

  • American Canine Association
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • Universal Kennel Club International
  • American Kennel Club
  • United All Breed Registry
  • America's Pet Registry, Inc.
  • United Kennel Club

(Based on breed recognition. See store for details on this particular puppy.)

Group

Hound

Heritage

The Basenji is an ancient dog. Originating as a hunting dog in Africa, wall drawings have been found in Egyptian Pharaoh tombs of a dog similar to a Basenji. Primarily a hunting dog, they have high prey drive and are excellent at agility, tracking and lure coursing dog sports.

Description

Small, 16-17” (or more) at the shoulders, weighing anywhere from 22-24 pounds. Their short smooth coat comes in colors of red, copper, chestnut, black or tricolor. The Basenji has a tightly curled tail, a graceful neck and is often called elegant, looking similar to a miniature deer.

Health Awareness

The Basenji has a life expectancy of 10-12 years. This breed is also prone to hypothyroidism, kidney, intestinal and eye problems.

Personality

The Basenji is alert, curious, energetic, clever, somewhat aloof and highly independent. They like to climb, hunt and roam, not known for a reliable recall. They do require a calm, consistent person in charge who uses humane leadership. They are charming and very intelligent, so they are willing to learn and want to bond with you. They are indefatigable at play and need daily aerobic exercise to fulfill their need for physical release.

Exercise/Energy Level

High energy requiring a brisk daily walk with off leash aerobic running.

Additional Information

 Grooming Requirements:   Requires occasional brushing and bathing
 Coat: Short and smooth
 Shedding: Little to no shedding
 Hypoallergenic: Yes
 Apartment Living: Good for apartment living if given sufficient exercise
 Lap Dog: Yes
 Good With Children: Good with older children who understand how to respect this breed; they do not like to be teased and will bite if pushed.
 Good With Other Pets: Good with other dogs when socialized while a puppy; not trustworthy with non-canine pets

General Appearance

The Basenji is a small, short haired hunting dog from Africa. It is short backed and lightly built, appearing high on the leg compared to its length. The wrinkled head is proudly carried on a well arched neck and the tail is set high and curled. Elegant and graceful, the whole demeanor is one of poise and inquiring alertness. The balanced structure and the smooth musculature enables it to move with ease and agility. The Basenji hunts by both sight and scent. Characteristics--The Basenji should not bark but is not mute. The wrinkled forehead, tightly curled tail and swift, effortless gait (resembling a racehorse trotting full out) are typical of the breed. Faults--Any departure from the following points must be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault is regarded is to be in exact proportion to its degree.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Ideal height for dogs is 17 inches and bitches 16 inches. Dogs 17 inches and bitches 16 inches from front of chest to point of buttocks. Approximate weight for dogs, 24 pounds and bitches, 22 pounds. Lightly built within this height to weight ratio.

Head

The head is proudly carried. Eyes--Dark hazel to dark brown, almond shaped, obliquely set and farseeing. Rims dark. Ears--Small, erect and slightly hooded, of fine texture and set well forward on top of head. The skull is flat, well chiseled and of medium width, tapering toward the eyes. The foreface tapers from eye to muzzle with a perceptible stop. Muzzle shorter than skull, neither coarse nor snipy, but with rounded cushions. Wrinkles appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and are fine and profuse. Side wrinkles are desirable, but should never be exaggerated into dewlap. Wrinkles are most noticeable in puppies, and because of lack of shadowing, less noticeable in blacks, tricolors and brindles. Nose--Black greatly desired. Teeth--Evenly aligned with a scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck of good length, well crested and slightly full at base of throat. Well set into shoulders. Topline--Back level. Body--Balanced with a short back, short coupled and ending in a definite waist. Ribs moderately sprung, deep to elbows and oval. Slight forechest in front of point of shoulder. Chest of medium width. Tail is set high on topline, bends acutely forward and lies well curled over to either side.

Forequarters

Shoulders moderately laid back. Shoulder blade and upper arm of approximately equal length. Elbows tucked firmly against brisket. Legs straight with clean fine bone, long forearm and well defined sinews. Pasterns of good length, strong and flexible. Feet--Small, oval and compact with thick pads and well arched toes. Dewclaws are usually removed.

Hindquarters

Hindquarters Medium width, strong and muscular, hocks well let down and turned neither in nor out, with long second thighs and moderately bent stifles. Feet--Same as in "Forequarters."

Coat

Coat short and fine. Skin very pliant.

Color

Chestnut red; pure black; tricolor (pure black and chestnut red); or brindle (black stripes on a background of chestnut red); all with white feet, chest and tail tip. White legs, blaze and collar optional. The amount of white should never predominate over primary color. Color and markings should be rich, clear and well-defined, with a distinct line of demarcation between the black and red of tricolors and the stripes of brindles.

Gait

Swift, tireless trot. Stride is long, smooth, effortless and the topline remains level. Coming and going, the straight column of bones from shoulder joint to foot and from hip joint to pad remains unbroken, converging toward the centerline under the body. The faster the trot, the greater the convergence.

Temperament

An intelligent, independent, but affectionate and alert breed. Can be aloof with strangers.

Did you know?

  • Also called the Congo Dog
  • The Basenji does not have a traditional bark, instead making a yodel-like noise called a "barroo".
  • "Heart Of The Savannah" is a novel that features a Basenji (named Savannah) narrating her adventures as an African-born dog coming to America.