The Basenji dog breed was found in Africa, in the Congo. This dog has an excellent sense of sight and scent due to his origins as a hunting dog. In the past, they were often used to chase small game into hunters’ nets and to cull the village of rodents.
- African Bush Dog
- African Barkless Dog
- Ango Angari
- Congo Dog
- Zande Dog
Body: A moderately deep chest, short back, loose skin and moderately sprung ribs.
Coat: Short-haired and fine.
Color: Red/white, black/white, tricolor (red/black/white) and solid black.
Ears: Small, erect, pointed and slightly hooded ears with short hair.
Eyes: Almond-shaped and dark hazel to dark brown with dark rims.
Feet: Small, compact and well-padded with arched toes.
Head: The skull is flat and tapers towards the eyes. The forehead will wrinkle when the ears are erect.
Legs: Forelegs are straight and fine-boned. Hind legs are powerful and muscular with long double thighs.
Neck: Well-muscled, long and arched.
Weight: 20 – 24 pounds (9 – 11kg)
Height: 17 inches (43cm)
Tail: Set high and curled to the side.
The Basenji is intelligent, graceful, and powerful with strong athletic abilities. They are poised, acutely alert, and have an endless curiosity with a need for constant mental stimulation and physical exercise or they will become bored and possibly destructive.
This is a very clean dog with an absence of body odor and meticulous, cat-like personal habits. They are also known as the African Barkless Dog because they are physically unable to bark like a typical dog.
They instead make a range of noises such as howling, or a throaty crow-like noise and a noise considered to be between a chortle and a yodel. Yet their other keen instincts make them very sharp watchdogs.
The Congo dog is a keenly sharp dog best handled by someone with experience. This is a clever, thinking breed that will easily get the best of you if you don’t know how to control them at all times.
They are swift and will disappear quickly if not kept on a lead. They’re capable of scaling fences and have powerful instincts to run and climb.
Be careful when considering this breed. There is much more to the Basenji than just being clean, easily housebroken and easily maintained. This is not a dog for a novice handler. They are good with older children, wary of strangers, accepting of friends and other family members.
AKC Group: Hound Group (Sight Hound)
The Basenji is capable of hunting by both sight and scent. They were originally bred for chasing or flushing wild game into nets for their masters.
Care and Grooming
Exercise: Moderate exercise and play is recommended. Changes in the type of play will help to stimulate them and keep them from becoming bored.
Grooming: A weekly brushing and occasional bath is enough to keep them looking good.
Life Expectancy: 12 Years
Fanconi Syndrome – Basenjis are prone to this inherited kidney disorder and will typically begin to show signs by the age of four.
Other Possible Problems:
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)