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Basenji dogs are intelligent yet independent small sized dogs with unique personality. One of the most popular traits of these adorable dogs is their tendency to produce yodel like sounds instead of the usual barks, especially when they are happy. Plus, they do not bark much. Therefore, at times they are also referred to as Barkless Dogs. 

This breed of dogs is believed to have originated in central Africa and hence also known as African Barkless Dog, African Bush Dog, Congo Dog etc. These hound dogs are known for their excellent hunting skills.

Nowadays they are also used for lure coursing and judged on the basis of qualities such as agility, endurance, speed, follow and enthusiasm.

Physical Appearance

Basenji breed dogs are small, athletic and elegant looking dogs with a square build. The dog tends to have a wrinkled forehead accompanied by flat and well chiseled skull.

The wrinkles seem less noticeable in black, brindle or tri colored dogs. The almond shaped eyes are dark hazel to dark brown in color with dark eye rims. They have small and erect ears. The high set tail is generally curled over to the other side.

Color: The Basenji hair coat is usually pure black, red, chestnut red, brindle or tri colored (black, brindle and white or black, tan and white). The feet, chest and the tip of the tail are generally white in color.
Height: The average height of Basenji dog breed is 16-17 inches. The bitches can be a bit shorter, that is, 15-16 inches.
Weight: The ideal healthy weight of these dogs ranges between 22 to 26 pounds. Female Basenjis are usually 20 to 25 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

Basenji dog breed is highly susceptible to kidney related health problems, especially Fanconi Syndrome. Such health issue demand immediate medical attention and treatment in order to prevent and reduce organ damage.

Other common health issues in these dogs are Hypothyroidism, intestinal problems, eye diseases and infections (PRA, in particular) and other common skin problems.

Life Expectancy: The average life span of these dogs is about 10 to 12 years.

Grooming Requirements

The short and silky hair coat of a Basenji is easy to maintain. In fact, your Basenji’s natural cat-like grooming habits will the task of grooming even easier. Simply brush the smooth hair coat with a firm bristle brush occasionally to keep it in perfect shiny condition.

Moreover, they are relatively clean and free of doggy odor. So, they need not be bathed frequently. Also carry out other essential grooming activities like nail trimming, eye cleaning, teeth brushing etc on a more or less regular basis. They shed almost little to no hair and hence recommended for allergy sufferers.


The typical Basenji temperament consists of qualities like intelligence, loyalty, love, playfulness and inquisitiveness. These dogs are usually suitable for older children capable of judging the dog’s level of tolerance and acting accordingly.

However, due to their strong hunting instincts, these dogs are generally not suggested for homes with other smaller pets, especially cats. Though, they tend to get along well with dogs of the same breed.

Chewing is perhaps one of the most common and equally troublesome Basenji characteristics. So, make sure all your prized possessions are far away from the reach of your dog. Moreover, provide different types of dog toys to you’re your dog so that his habit of chewing remains a fun activity rather than a destructive activity.

Besides, Basenji dogs, though smart, enthusiastic and intelligent are still difficult to train due to their occasional stubborn and independent streaks of nature. Therefore, cleverly use the dog’s inherent desire of pleasing the owners during the training. These dogs require firm, authoritative and active owners who do not let the dog become bossy and demanding. These alert and active dogs make for good watchdogs.

Key Points

These active and energetic dogs require a good amount of physical as well as mental stimulation. When not exercised sufficiently, they tend to become lazy and fat.

Therefore, you need to provide vigorous physical exercise to your beloved Basenji, through adequate play sessions in at least a properly fenced small sized yard and daily long walks. Hence, they tend to do well in apartment situation when provided with sufficient opportunity to fulfill their basic physical activity needs.

Most of the Basenji dogs love to binge on anything and everything they find in their vicinity. This particular unhealthy habit should be discouraged or else the dog may gain weight unnecessary, thereby increasing the risk of developing several obesity related health problems.



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