Basenji Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs




The Basenji was originally bred in central Africa for the purpose of hunting. Basenjis have the incredibly strong prey drive that causes them to chase anything that moves; in particular, this dog loves to chase cars. The most striking feature of these dogs is that they are not able to bark. This trait gives the Basenji the nickname “soundless dog”. Due to its unusually shaped larynx, the Basenji produces an unusual yodel-like sound commonly called a barroo.

Height: 15-17 inches  Weight: 20-24 pounds  Lifespan: 13-14 years


Basenjis are small, short-haired dogs with erect ears and almond-shaped eyes. They are very smart but have an independent mind, which makes the training a rather challenging process. The Basenji is very playful which makes him the perfect pet. These dogs are curious and reserved with strangers and may not get along with non-canine pets.


The Basenji is alert, affectionate, energetic and curious. This dog is not recommended for inexperienced owners since he is very sensitive. Basenjis are good with children, and they tend to become emotionally attached to a single human from the family. It can be described as speedy, frisky and tireless at play.

Coat / Care:

The Basenji has very short, shiny and fine and comes in red, chestnut red, pure black, copper, or tricolor in combinations of black, tan and white, or black, brindle and white. White legs, blaze and collar are optional. The Basenji washes its self like a cat and has no doggie smell, so very little grooming is needed. This breed sheds little to no hair. It is best to periodically clean the dog’s coat using a stiff brush to remove excess hair.

Health Problems:

The Basenji is generally healthy dog breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Intestinal and Eye Problems. Basenjis, like many small dog breeds can be expected to live 13 to 14 years on average.

Weight / Height:

The male Basenji dog breed’s height is around 16 – 17 inches and weighs around 22 and 24 pounds. Female Basenji dogs can reach a size from 15 – 16 inches and weighs between 20 and 22 pounds.


In order to subdue the destructive instinct of Basenjis, this breed must be subjected to early socialization and obedience training. Since the Basenji gets easily distracted, teaching methods must be sufficiently diversified, in order to keep his attention. Especially if the dog is brought up in an apartment and to be quite sure that the Basenji will conduct themselves properly with children and other animals.


Since the Basenji is extremely energetic breed, he needs intense physical stimulation. Long walks can be effective, but the best environment is extensive and well-fenced yard, thus, this dog has the opportunity to fulfill its hunting instincts. Many Basenjis are clever escape artists who will go over or under fences in search of adventure.


Photo Credit: fugzu/Flickr; fugzu/Flickr

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