Basenji At a Glance

Country of Origin:



Small. Weight: Male: 24, Female: 22 lbs; Height: Male: 17, Female 16 inches


The hair of the Basenji’s coat is short and fine, yet somewhat harsh.


Red, Black, Black and Tan, or Brindle

Life Span:

10 to 12 years

Breed Profile

Affection Level – 100
Barking Tendencies – 10
Cat Friendly – 60
Cold Weather Tolerance – 20
Exercise Needs – 50
General Health – 40
Grooming Needs – 20
Hot Weather Tolerance – 80
Intelligence – 80
Kid Friendly – 100
Playfulness – 40
Shedding Level – 10
Social Needs – 90
Watchdog Ability – 70

Did You Know?

The Basenjis are the only dogs who don’t bark. They yodel instead.

Breed: Basenji

AKC Breed Group: Hound

Other Registries: ANKC (Hounds); CKC (Hounds); FCI (Spitz, Primitive); KC (Hound); UKC (Sighthound, Pariah)

Basenji Overview

This dog breed was originally developed in Africa for hunting purposes. The Basenji is a sight hound and hunts by sight only. The hunting instinct is very strong and the dog tends to chase everything, including cars. The name is pronounced Buh-SEN-jee. The dog has no bark. Instead, they have a distinctive wail and yodel that can be heard for miles when the dog is hunting or excited.

Basenji Characteristics

This dog breed has a somewhat aloof demeanor and tends to be a little wary of strangers. The Basenji is highly intelligent and able to make independent decisions, making training these dogs challenging. The breed is extremelyalert, rambunctious and playful. This breed makes a superb household pet. The dog is at home in the outdoors and does best if there is room to run.

Basenji Temperament

This is an alert, pleasant and loving dog breed, but is not suited to an inexperienced owner. The Basenji loves human interaction and if left alone for extended periods tends to become destructive. Proper training is essential for this breed. The dogs are very patient and good with children, but should receive early socialization to overcome the tendency to fight with other dogs.

Basenji Care

This is a very clean breed of dog. The Basenji is similar to a cat in that they groom themselves. This breed sheds little or no hair. To keep the breed’s coat pristine, some grooming is required. An occasional brush with a firm bristle or wire brush works best to remove useless or dead hair from the coat. Generally, the dog is very easy to care for.

Basenji Coat

This dog breed has a short coat that requires little grooming. The hair of the Basenji’s coat is short and fine, yet somewhat harsh. The breed clean themselves, emit virtually no odor and shed minimally.

Basenji Training

This dog breed has destructive tendencies and should be socialized from an early age. The Basenji is an extremely energetic and alert breed and obedience training is essential. The dog bore easily and like variety and these facts should be taken into account when training. Variety, consistency and firm handling work best with the dog.

Basenji Activity

Being such an energetic breed, the Basenji needs a fair amount of exercise. Vigorous daily walks are required as this breed has a lot of stamina and does not tire easily. A medium to large, fenced yard is required. The breed are escape artists and a high fence, planted deeply works best.

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