Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The Basenji, which originated in Africa, is a small, short haired and athletic dog with a smooth shiny coat and is the size of a fox terrier. They have a shiny coat of a number of different colors usually having white feet as well as white on the chest and tip of the tail. The Basenji is an elegant dog with long legs and a level back. Many think they have a perpetual worried look on their face because of the deep wrinkles in their forehead. The tail is high up, but curls up and slightly over to the side of its back. The ears are erect, straight and open in the front similar to a German shepherd, although some say they resemble a small deer. The small almond shaped eyes make the Basenji appear to be squinting. They enjoy doing what they were born for: hunting and running.The Basenji only comes in heat once a year, in the fall.The one trait that the Basenji is most known for is the fact it does not bark. This is not to say that it is a mute dog by any means. Depending on what their mood is at the time, they will whine, squeal or howl and give one single 'woof' from time to time. When the Basenji is upset about something like being locked up, they will let out a scream that is similar to a woman or baby screaming or a rooster crowing. They do make a sound called a yodel or baroo that is attributed only to their breed. Overall, when they want to be heard, they know what to do and they are heard. 

Basenjis can be hard to train because they can be very stubborn.They are very destructive dogs and will chew on things much more so than most dogs.There are four basic colors:

  •  Red,
  •  black,
  •  tricolor, which consists of black with tan in their traditional pattern) 
  •  brindle (red with black stripes)AND each of these with white on the tail, chest and feet.
They can live outdoors with a big yard or in an apartment provided,they get exercise daily and lots of it.The Basenji is a very old breed of dog with his origin stemming way back to ancient times. It has been said that they originated in Africa and considered an "African import" at some point. In the late 1800s, they were prized as hunting dogs in the Congo because of their great speed and intelligence as they would track their wild game right into nets while waiting for the master to come. They are very alert, energetic and affectionate, yet they are also demanding. The Basenji needs to be handled and have human contact from a very young age to truly make a good pet. They do not like small animals and will chase them until they catch and kill them, if given the chance. Another characteristic of the Basenji is their inability to get along with other dogs, especially if they are a dominant dog.This is especially true when it is the a dog of the same gender.Many owners of Basenji have said that they get along fine with other Basenji dogs, just not dogs of another breed.They are very intelligent dogs and bond very strongly with their family members. Basenjis are somewhat shy and aloof with strangers and may actually "circle" them like prey if left unsupervised. When they circle something, this usually means that they consider it a threat to them or their home. They are territorial and very protective of their home and any area they spend a lot of time in and consider as "theirs". They are very playful dogs that need much play time and exercise to release some of their energy.

 They are very loving dogs with their owners, but need to have constant attention and human contact. Many owners say that their Basenji is like a 2-year-old child with their demands for attention and if they don't get it, they make you regret it by being destructive.
There are a few diseases and disorders that the Basenji is prone to getting:
  1. Fanconi Syndrome is an inheritable kidney disorder that usually will Show its symptoms after the age of four.
  2. Genetic Hemolytic Anemia, a blood disorder, is common with Basenji dogs that are carriers.
  3. Hip dysplasia is a disorder that can cause loss of mobility, lameness and painful arthritis in the joints. It can be mild to severe where it will cripple the dog.
  4. Malabsorption is an autoimmune intestinal disease that if left untreated can lead to death.
  5. Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is a degeneration of the retina of the eye, may lead to total blindness and other less serious eye problems.
They are highly energetic dogs that need more than just an occasional walk around the block.Basenjis do not like to be around or in water and will avoid it at all costs. You will have to almost trick them to get them in water. Although, if they are in pursuit of something, they have been know to run in the rain.