10 Basenji Facts | Facts About The Basenji

Have you ever seen a dog that possesses a combination of affection, energy, intelligence, curiosity, alertness, and playfulness? That’s the Basenji for you. This dog is one of the most endearing companions in the field and in the household. Aside from their natural hunting instincts, they also adjust well inside apartments for indoor living.

This is why they are known as one of the most versatile dogs in the world. But these are not the only facts you need to know about the Basenji.

10 Facts About The Basenji

Fact # 1: The Basenji Originated In Africa

The Basenji originated in Congo, Africa in the 19th Century when natives wanted to breed a dog that can flush cattle into barns, carry goods, and warn of the approach of dangerous animals. Believe it or not, wolves are cousins of the Basenji but they are not great barkers and howlers like their wilder cousins. The only traits similar between these two are their strength, agility, intelligence, and prey drive.

Fact # 2: The Oldest Breed Of Dog

The Basenjis are known as the oldest dog breeds that ever lived on the Earth. Proof of their existence was found in cave paintings and artifacts that date back as far as 4000 BCE. Other historical pieces of evidence even show that Basenjis were given to the Egyptian Pharaohs as gifts. Not only were they trained to guard the royals but also to hunt for them in fields. It’s no surprise people love these dogs. They are a combination of affection, responsibility, and strength.

Fact # 3: Basenjis Have Outstanding Senses

Contrary to other dog breeds that use their sight or smell to hunt, Basenjis use both these senses to catch their prey. This makes them ideal to hunt small and large animals alike. Believe it or not, they were used to hunt and drive away dangerous wildlife from homes and farms. In Kenya, for example, Basenjis are used to luring out lions, bears, and other dangerous creatures out of their dens. They are fearless, strong, and agile despite their size. Basenjis will not back down no matter how large their targets are.

Fact # 4: These Dogs Are Medium-sized

The way they lure out lions and dangerous animals make you think that they are large dogs. You’ll be shocked to know that these dogs can only grow up to 16 to 17 inches and can weigh up to 24 pounds. Their size makes countless people wonder, how can a dog this small drive away or lure out lions in the wild? Well, this is one of the reasons why people love the Basenji.

Fact #5: Basenjis Have Flat Larynxes

Because of their flat larynxes, the Basenji can’t bark. This is why Africans tie bells around their necks to be signaled whenever their dogs are around. You can hear them growl, yodel, or whine but you can never heat them bark. This makes them outstanding in hunting wild animals. They are quiet and sneaky. Their prey will never know what hit them from behind.

Fact #6: They Are Independent And Aloof

The Basenjis like doing things on their own. Unlike other breeds that need constant guidance from their masters, the Basenji can be left alone to do their job. Their intelligence and trainability allow people to focus on other activities rather than assisting them in their every move.

Another unique fact about Basenjis is its selective nature. Did you know that these dogs only bond with one or two people? They rarely listen to others unless they have a bond. This makes training and socialization tricky. Only their masters can command and handle them. When others try, the Basenji can be stubborn or aggressive.

Fact #7: Basenjis Are Cunning Creatures

Believe it or not, Basenjis are very cunning. They always have a plan to get what they want. For example, if there’s extra food in the kitchen, they will conceptualize steps so they can reach and eat it. Look at it on the bright side, these dogs will never go hungry. But if you don’t want them to develop this kind of behavior, you need to train them and accustom them to a healthy feeding schedule. With that said, you also need to be responsible for giving them food when it’s time.

Fact #8: They Are Clean Dogs

The Basenjis can clean their coat and paws themselves. Just like cats, they lick themselves clean. Owners of this breed find grooming this dog easy because of its cat-like personality. They do not even emit a foul doggie smell because of their outstanding sense of hygiene.

Fact #9: They Gallop While Running

When running, most dogs have at least one foot on the ground. The Basenji is different. They’re a galloping breed like the whippets and greyhounds. These dogs have a double suspension gallop when they run. This means that they don’t need to put one or two feet on the ground. The Basenji can run with all four paws in the air to give them a flying sensation. This adds to their speed and agility, making them ideal in hunting even the fastest wildlife.

Fact #10: Basenjis Are Generally Healthy

These dogs have outstanding metabolism. They rarely get sick with proper care. However, as they get older, they can be prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, kidney diseases, and irritable bowel syndrome.

This is why regular vet visits are necessary. Despite having a healthy body, you need to learn how to care for them. This includes their diet, exercise needs, and grooming needs. Usually, caring for a Basenji costs less, around $300 to $500 annually but this amount can still be reduced with proper care.

There you have it! These are some of the reasons why people love having a Basenji in the household and in the field. Aside from their endearing nature, they are loyal and intelligent creatures. The best part is, they are versatile creatures who can adapt anywhere, including apartments and fields.

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