Dog Training Profile for your dog from one of our expert trainers



Very intelligent and affectionate, the Basenji has a playful and curious disposition. The Basenji is a dog that is eager to place, and is energetic and alert, and although these dogs do not bark this enables them to be effective as watchdogs. The breed is not always suited to younger children that may tease it, and should only be housed with other pets if he has been properly socialized. The Basenji can have a dominant streak too, and can be manipulative sometimes, and is therefore best suited to more experienced dog owners. The Basenji can be wary in nature, and although they don't bark they can - and do - make other sounds including plenty of whining.

It is important not to neglect your Basenji or to leave him to get bored, as this can lead to destructive behavior. This keen and eager breed can is a very independent thinker, and in order to show him who's boss you do need to be assertive and firm during training, although the training should always be positive as the breed has a tendency to become defensive in some circumstances. This dog does like to chew, and this should be taken into consideration if you are planning to leave this dog alone for any period of time.

Basenji Appearance

A handsome and athletically built dog, the Basenji is small in size, and has an eager, alert, and intelligent expression. The coat of the Basenji is smooth and sleek, and the coloring can vary and includes brindle, copper or red, black and brindle, or black and tan, all with white markings. These dogs can sometimes give the impression that they are quite worried about something due to their naturally furrowed brow. The Basenji also has a distinctive white blaze on the face. The height of the Basenji is around 16-17 inches, and the weight is around 20-25 pounds.

Basenji Grooming

The grooming requirements for a Basenji are low, as this breed does not shed much at all, and has a sleek, easy to maintain coat. An occasional brushing of the coat is all that is required to get rid of any dead hair, and an occasional rub down with a damp cloth will also help to keep the coat glossy and in good condition.

Basenji Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Basenji is around thirteen years. There are a number of health problems associated with the Basenji, and these include eye defects, PKD, Fanconi's Syndrome, malabsorbtion, thyroid problems, hip dysplasia, and digestive problems. Parents of your Basenji puppy should have OFA and CERF certification.

Basenji History

The Basenji originates from Zaire, and was once known as the Congo Dog. It is thought that this breed may have originated from a hunting dog that was once used by Congo pygmies. The Basenji was introduced to Europe in the mid 1930s, and was registered with the AKC in 1944

Breed Attributes

  • Small Dog
  • Low shedding
  • Low grooming needs
  • Daily exercise

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