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Basenji - Discover the peculiar characteristics of this breed

Basenji - Descubre las peculiares características de esta raza

Lobo Azul |

Each dog has distinctive characteristics of the breed: large, small or medium, muscular or slender, funny or calm, barking or quiet... The traits can vary in any of the canines, and even when they seem the most strange, these peculiar typologies are what that lead a dog to become a very popular pet, such is the case of the Basenji breed.
  • Size : Small/Medium.
  • Weight : Between 8 and 12kg.
  • Hair type : Very short and straight
  • Character : Curious, Quiet, Intelligent, Playful, Affectionate, Energetic, Alert, Confident
  • Health : Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 16 years.
It is a dog from the African continent , muscular and active, whose main distinguishing feature is that it does not bark like a common dog. Instead of barking, the Basenji breed has a tone similar to a yodel or a chuckle. Learning the characteristics and other important details about this breed can make it the pet you want. Be sure to read the information we offer below about these dogs.

Origin of the Basenji breed

One of the ways to identify this breed is as “ Congo dogs ”, since it is popularly known that their descendants come from the Republic with this same name. However, specimens similar to this one can be found throughout Africa. Although the previous one is indicated as its origin, the beginnings of the Basenji breed date back many years. Well, through historical data it has been determined that, in Ancient Egypt, dogs of this species were used as hunters . In addition, they came to associate with pharaohs who worshiped it and identified it as a sacred dog.
Origin of the basenji breed
Around the year 1800 this breed was moved to Europe, however, its existence in this geography did not last because a disease wiped out the existing specimens. It was not until after the 1930s that the species was transferred to England and, years later in 1941, to the United States, taking preventive measures in advance to ensure the preservation of the breed. His character as a caregiver led him to occupy a popular place as a companion dog in different parts of the world. However, due to its bravery and hunting ability in countries like Africa, it is still used by different hunters to secure their prey.

Basenji Physical Characteristics

It is a dog with an elegant and athletic appearance at the same time, of medium size and a muscular build. Let's look at its physical characteristics in more detail.

Size and weight

In the case of males, their height at the withers averages 43 centimeters. While females reach a size of up to 40 centimeters. Now, the weight of these dogs can reach up to 11 kilos in males and females, around 9.5 and up to 10 kilos.
congo dog

head and face

This dog breed has a moderately wide skull, which becomes narrower towards its nose. While its head gives it an appearance of elegance and class due to its shape. Their eyes are generally black and have a horizontally oval shape, in addition to their penetrating gaze. His nose is dark and his ears are tilted slightly forward. Always firm and pointed, giving the impression that it is constantly alert.


A particular aspect of this little friend is his tail, thin, but particularly curled into a snail shape, very tight on the dog's back. A unique characteristic of this breed, which is arranged on one side of the dog, completely visible.


The hair of this breed is short, that is, it does not require much maintenance, it is fine and also very shiny. There is a great diversity of colors in which a Basenji's coat can be presented: Black, white and combinations of black and red, black and tan, white with spots and brindle.

Breed character

In general, it is a quite pleasant dog with an affectionate behavior , also very independent and, above all, curious. He is intelligent and also very active, he loves to constantly exercise and do activities. Also always remain alert. When faced with strange situations, places or people, they are really distrustful, and if they perceive any danger or risk, they can respond aggressively. This means that education is of great importance. Despite this detail in their character, Basenjis are not highly recommended in families where there are small children. As we have already mentioned, they have great hunting skills, this is a positive factor for those who love these outdoor activities. However, when living with animals, this can represent a problem, because they can attack unexpectedly in some cases. They usually get along well with other animals, but encouraging socialization from very early on is the best method to combat this situation.
adopt a basenji dog
Because it is a very energetic breed, it requires, to a large extent, exercise. The lack of these can generate aggressive behaviors in the animal. Although it is a strong and independent dog, it requires attention and affection, but not in an exaggerated way. Showing him affection and maintaining time for games and activities together will be enough to keep him happy. As already said, it is a dog that does not bark much. Instead of barking, it makes a peculiar sound that sounds like a muffled laugh . This, in addition, is accompanied by a mischievous and playful personality , therefore, education is really important for the dog to identify the areas in which it should or should not play and get into mischief. This is a dog that requires patience and tolerance in training, since its independence usually comes before everything. Therefore, in addition to a tolerant owner, he needs someone who will show him firmness in a positive way, without aggression. In the specific case of females, and which is also added as a particular point of the breed, they come into heat only once a year. This, coupled with its singing instead of barking, makes this breed really very special .

Training of this breed

As peculiar as their yodeling, is the education of this breed. As we mentioned, it is an intelligent breed, but whose learning requires patience and tolerance because, although it is easy to train it for obedience, the orders it practices are recorded in its mind after having repeated it at least 40 times. Internalizing and memorizing commands is not a quick thing for this breed. However, this does not mean that you cannot learn them. Those who own a Basenji as a pet must have time for training and patience so as not to despair while training the breed.
Congo dog care
A point of great interest is that training should not exceed the maximum of 20 minutes a day. Because, if this time is exceeded, both the owner and the dog may find themselves exhausted and irritated by the incessant practice of the same lesson, and this would generate stress and anxiety in both, which is not recommended. Another important aspect of educating your dog is to always maintain positive reinforcement, since education through aggression and intolerance can cause stress and rebellion in the dog when receiving orders in practice. Always trying to maintain reward and recognition for performing good actions is essential to establish bonds of trust that strengthen the animal's training. Consistency is another key factor for the education of the Congo dog, going progressively and coordinating the lessons it will learn one by one is very important. Short but constant daily practices , or up to twice a day, will generate a productive reminder in the animal about what it has practiced.

Basenji Health and Wellbeing

The Basenji is generally in good health. However, like any of the others, it can present some common diseases that, although they may be hereditary, in some cases it can be acquired if the care that must be provided is neglected. Obesity, kidney problems, vision disorders (especially in the retina) or intestinal problems are the most common diseases that deteriorate the health of a Basenji. In the case of kidney problems, most cases usually present with genetics as the point of origin, so taking caution in this aspect will greatly prevent the dog from suffering from this disease or, in such case, treat him early.
breeds with unusual traits
Obesity, on the other hand, can be generated due to inadequate nutrition or lack of exercise and physical activity, so ensuring that these two aspects are met will undoubtedly be a great advance in maintaining the health of our canine friend in perfect condition. and enjoy your life for a long time. The Basenji has a life expectancy of up to 10 years, which with the required care and due attention can be maintained optimally and actively to make it an excellent adventure companion.


As it is a hunting dog, it is used to the outdoors , an independent and somewhat rustic life, so it does not require special care to a large extent. As for hygiene, this dog does not need frequent baths, only if it is really dirty. Regarding brushing, it can easily be done once a week to maintain the shine of their coat. The cold is an aspect that we must take care of in this breed. Although he is accustomed to life in the countryside, low temperatures can affect him frequently, due to the short length of his coat. A factor that should undoubtedly not be forgotten in the life of the Basenji is food. This breed should receive a maximum of 270 grams of food daily, rationed several times a day. This will ensure that it stays well fed.
basenji training
Together with the above, exercise constitutes another fundamental piece in the health and well-being of these dogs . It is a very energetic animal that, if it does not channel its energy through frequent exercises at least three times a day, not only runs the risk of suffering from obesity, but can also suffer from anxiety or rebellion and start mischief and destruction within itself. of home. Shows of affection and attention should not be overlooked with this breed either. Although it is an independent dog, loneliness can affect it to the point of depression if it feels alone or abandoned. Showing affection from time to time, or spending time with him, will give him the security of being part of the family and he will not feel alone. Periodic visits to the veterinarian are also important in the care of this breed, as it is a way to control the reduction of diseases mentioned in the previous segment, which can considerably affect their health.


If breeds with unusual traits among other canines catch your attention, the Basenji may be your ideal companion.
Basenji characteristics
It is an ideal dog for company or for activities such as hunting, in any of the scenarios, fun and energy will never be lacking if you have the company of a Basenji in your home. A dog that requires patience in training, but when learning can become the most obedient. Affectionate and very active, as well as protective and attentive to strange situations or people. It will take care of you and yours permanently and although in some cases it is not recommended as a pet for homes with very young children, coexistence for these canines is not complicated at all. Other dog breeds that may interest you:
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