Country of origin: Congo
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Hunter
Size: 16 to 17 in tall; 20 to
25 lbs
Longevity: 12 to 14 years
Exercise: Needs to run
Training: Challenge
Grooming: Easy

Dogs similar to the Basenji are depicted in Egyptian tomb reliefs dating from the Fourth Dynasty over 4,000 years ago. However, today’s Basenji descends from dogs that came from Zaire in the 1930s. The breed shows many traits of a dog that evolved in a warm climate, notably a short coat, especially on the ears, a light build, and white patches, all of which help with heat loss. It also bears similarities to its genetically close wolf ancestors in its quietness, its tendency to communicate with howls rather than barks, and the fact that the female comes into season only once a year. A distinctive breed with a permanently surprised expression, although not easy to train, the Basenji makes a docile, undemanding pet.

The Basenji is an African hunting hound that can be seen tracing back to ancient Egyptian times. They are considered to be one of the oldest breeds. They were initially used for hunting but have become family companions as well. They were desired for their unique nature and lack of a bark.

The predecessors of these dogs started declining when Egyptian civilization declined making them near extinct. The breed was saved in Central Africa where the modern day breed originated. Their hunting abilities were sought after because of their quiet hunts and swift speed.

The breeds spread from England and Canada to the United States. That’s not to say they weren’t off to a rough start initially in England. Due to the fatal distemper disease, the breed was dying off in England. Finally, they were able to try again in 1937 and it was a success.

In 1941, these dogs surpassed health issues and were exported to Boston. It only took a couple of years for them to become apart of American culture. In 1943, they became apart of the AKC.

Since these dogs were bred for hunting, it is safe to say they have very important traits that complement their hunting nature. They are poised and very independent. They have a swift gait and are quiet. They have a high energy level and love to play.

They are great with children but wary of strangers. They are good with other dogs but not so much with other animals. They have human-like emotions so they love their humans strongly.

They hunt using their noses and eyes primarily. Sight and scent is the most prevalent means of hunting for Basenjis. Their quiet nature help significantly when hunting prey. They aren’t mute, instead they have a unique yodel noise.

Basenjis are a medium sized hound with short hair. They have distinct wrinkled heads and curled tails. Their coat can be a numerous amount of colors, including black or brindle with white markings. Typically, they can be a combination of any color and white. They can be 20 to 24 pounds heavy and can be 41 to 46 inches tall.

Due to the short coat of these dogs, their grooming practices are minimal. They even contribute to their own cleanliness with their cat-like attributes. They tend to lick themselves clean like a feline would. They should be wiped down with a brush so their loose fur falls off.

Their nails should be trimmed around every two weeks. They don’t produce a dog smell so excessive bathing is not necessary.

Just as with any breed, crate training is a vital step to creating the best temperament. This is also because boredom of this breed can lead to disaster. They become destructive when left alone. A leash is also to be considered because their interpretation of danger can be skewed.

They are known to be a tad difficult to train because of their high energy and need to make their own rules. It is said that they are the second in a list of least trainable dogs. With positive reinforcement and consistency, it is not an impossible task.

The Basenji is usually a healthy dog and they can live anywhere from 12 to 14 years with proper breeding. Some common health problems include progressive retinal atrophy and fanconi syndrome which is a kidney dystrophy. Eye disorders are another leading cause of health problems.



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