Basenji Dog Breed Information | Dogs 101 Basenji

Stubbornness is uncommon to most dogs. Most of them have strong prey drives that allow them to chase, walk, and run. But there are a few who are as stubborn as a potato. One of which is the Basenji. Well, these dogs can still follow orders, but they are difficult to train. They are independent-minded. The Basenji will take its time to decide if it will follow your commands. If he wants, that’s the only time he’ll follow you.

Look at it from the bright side! These dogs make outstanding apartment dogs. They love to lay down, watch, and eat. These creatures may be lazy at times, but they are highly intelligent. Can you imagine a dog with a combination of stubbornness and intelligence? You might have a lot of face-palm moments but they are all guaranteed to be memorable. If you love dogs who can share these moments with you, then the Basenji is for you. But these are not the only things that make them unique.

The Basenji is known for its light build and swift gait. They have hind legs that appear longer than their torso. These creatures have a muzzle that is shorter than their skull. Their eyes are almond-shaped that come from dark hazel to dark brown. The Basenji has a wrinkly face which maintains their thoughtful and worried emotion. These creatures have short and wiry coats that come in white, brindle, tan, and black. Despite what people think, these creatures are graceful. Instead of barking, they yodel to express emotions.


These dogs are one of the oldest breeds. Believe it or not, they are cousins with the wolf, but they are not as active. These creatures were discovered by westerners in the Congo in the 19th Century. They were initially bred to carry goods and to warn people about approaching animals. The Basenji was valued as a companion because they seldom bark. In addition, they are one of the most resourceful dogs you will ever meet.

There were countless attempts to bring the Basenji to Europe. It was until the 1930s that people were able to bring these dogs to the United States. Finally, in 1942, the Basenji Club of America perfected the breed and generated the domesticated dogs people have today.

Other names

These dogs are known by many names. This includes the African bush dog, Congo Dog, Zande Dog, African barkless dog, and Ango angari. Because of their long history and their lineage, they became popular and continue to gain support all over the world. In a few years, people could assign more nicknames that can capture the personality of the Basenjis we have today.


Basenjis are medium-sized dogs. The males can grow up to 43 cm or 17 inches and can weigh up to 11 kilograms that is 24 pounds. Females, on the other hand, can grow up to 40 cm or 16 inches and weigh up to 9.5 kilograms or 21 pounds.

These creatures have a lifespan of 14 to 16 years. Can you imagine how long you’ll be enjoying moments of laziness, stubbornness, and fun with these dogs? But if you plan to have them as service dogs, you can do so as well, provided you train them early on.


Aside from being intelligent, these creatures are affectionate, curious, and alert. Believe it or not, they can be playful as well, especially if they are used to it as a child. However, these creatures still display a relative amount of stubbornness. They do not obey commands instantly. They have to think about it first if they’re in the mood to follow you.

Once they decide to follow your orders, expect the best drive from them. They can display a surprising amount of energy. The Basenji can hunt, herd, and carry out activities. All you need is a little patience to deal with their laziness.

Pet Compatibility

These creatures are born hunters. They were initially bred to chase smaller animals. This is why they should not be mixed with small animals such as cats, rabbits, and squirrels. Sometimes, they can even mistake smaller dogs as prey.

If you’re planning to get a Basenji, monitor their activities with other pets. See to it that they get used to each other’s personality so they won’t dominate or hurt each other. The only time Basenjis do not get aggressive towards smaller animals is if they have lived with them all their lives. If not, proper socialization is necessary to let them get along.


If they are in the mood, they love to play chase and trail. They want to be entertained from time to time. At the same time, they love to make their masters happy. Like any other dog, they need to have regular exercise. Without it, the Basenji can display destructive behavior such as chewing and biting. They can even be mischievous. Despite their stubborn nature, they can be cunning. These dogs can outsmart you to get what they want.

Family Life

The Basenji is the best dog for families who understand how to put up with their stubbornness. These creatures are independent-minded. So, you need to control their impulses. It is important you lay a firm hand but of course, never neglecting positive reinforcement. Give them treats for doing great work. This helps boost their motivation to follow your instructions.

Training these dogs requires short and entertaining sessions. This way, they don’t get bored and they will absorb the information. It’s also important to socialize them. It helps the Basenji to adjust to various activities and people, so they won’t be aloof towards strangers. Through this process, they will be more welcoming to people and animals.

Children Compatibility

These dogs are not suitable for younger children. Seeing how energetic they are, the Basenji can hurt children when they get too playful. It’s better to have them with older children. So, your kids can handle rough play. But don’t forget to teach your children never to provoke the dog. They may be cute and stubborn, but when they get hurt, they could snap or bite others who hurt them. Never tug their tail and ears. Also, never hurt these dogs by throwing things at them or punching them. It could unleash their aggression.

Owning A Basenji

These creatures are prone to various health issues such as Hypothyroidism and eye diseases. To prevent these, always have a reliable vet on call. This way, they can prescribe and suggest activities and products you can use to keep your pooch healthy. Aside from that, the experts can recommend the best dog food for Basenjis. This keeps them in shape to prevent contracting any diseases.

In terms of grooming, the Basenji should be combed and brushed at least once a week with a rubber brush. This helps control shedding. Remember to bathe them regularly, usually once every 4 weeks. This keeps their natural hair oils balanced to keep their coat and skin healthy. It is also important to keep their teeth and ears cleaned and their nails clipped.

Caring for a Basenji usually costs around $400-$600 yearly. This includes their vet fees, supplies, and dog food. But this can be lessened if you care for your pooch well.

There you have it! Here’s how you can care for this stubborn yet intelligent dog. If you think you can care for these dogs, why not get one? Remember to get one from a reliable breeder. Better yet, adopt a Basenji to give them love which they definitely deserve.

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