Basenji Training and Temperament
The Basenji is alert, affectionate and loves to play. They make good pets as long as they are handled regularly from puppies. The Basenji should not be trusted with non-canine pets. The Basenji dislike wet weather. They like to chew and to climb.
They are very intelligent and with a strong desire to please, respond well to training. As with all dogs, Basenji training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
A medium sized, lightly built, compact dog with pricked ears a curly tail carried to one side of its back and a wrinkled forehead.
The History Of The Basenji
The Basenji is also known as the Zaire Terrier, Barkless Dog and Congo Terrier. They originated in Central Africa around 4,000 BC.
Thought to have originated in the rain forest of what is now Zaire and the Sudan. Dogs very similar to the Basenji were depicted on the tombs of ancient Egypt and believed to be tribute offerings to the Pharaohs.
The first pair were brought into to England in 1895 and attracted a great deal of attention. The first attempts to breed Basenjis in Europe and also the US were delayed by distemper outbreaks. These “barkless dogs” were first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1943.
Description Of The Basenji
Erect ears are not altered. Tightly curled tail is not altered.
Dogs are around 16 - 17 inches at the shoulder with bitches 15 - 16 inches tall. Dogs weigh between 22 - 26 pounds and the bitches a little lighter at 20 - 25 pounds.
Basenji are small and athletic dogs. The back is level and the legs long. The forehead is wrinkled with a worried look. Ears are straight and open in the front and the tail curls over and slightly to one side of the back.
Coat & Grooming
The silky coat has a luster like burnished copper. Permitted colors are chestnut red, black, or black and tan. All colors with white feet, chest and tail tip. White legs, blazes and collars are optional. Brindle coloring has recently been allowed.
The Basenji washes like a cat and has no doggie smell. Little grooming is needed. This is a good dog for people with allergies and sheds little or no hair.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a Basenji is around 10-12 years.
Overall a healthy breed but they have been heavily inbred. Somewhat prone to allergic skin diseases. Hernias can be a problem. Also prone to Fanconi's syndrome (kidney problems), which must be treated the moment the symptoms are noticed. Also susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
The Basenji will be fine in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. Very active indoors and a small yard will suffice. The Basenji is happiest when it is kept with two or three other Basenji.
They need vigorous daily exercise and have a tendency to become fat and lazy unless the owner is consistent about it.
For More Information on the Basenji
To get more information, check out the Basenji web site:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
They are considered one of the sight hunting hounds and the breed is eligible for AKC coursing events. Bitches may come into season only once a year instead of every six months as most breeds do.
:: Basenji Training ::