A Basinji is an intelligent and good humored dog but can be a dickens. An owner should learn to put their things away and when they are young and enjoy their antics. They do like to chew on everything and anylthing - shoes, socks, furniture, rocks. If you don't want to go through this puppy stage you might want to consider an older dog who already has been socialized and taught commands.

When Basinji dogs are raised with patience and love, they are a job to have around. They don't bark or yap. They do have a delightful sound that sounds like a yodel. This is due to an unusual shaped larynx.


They are a small and elegant looking dog with a short silky coat. They have graceful necks with a wrinkled forehead (especially young dogs), erect ears, black nose, almond shaped eyes that are dark brown to dark hazel with tightly curled tails. They are a short backed dog. Their coats comes in chestnut red, black or brindle with all white feet, chest and tail tip.

Basenji Dog Picture

Their gait is graceful and confident!

Weight: Female 22 pounds
Male 24 pounds

Height: Female 16 inches
Male 17 inches

Life Span: 10 -12 years


A Basinji is one of the most ancient dog breeds. They are orginally from Africa and can be seen on stiles in tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. They were established in England in the 1930's and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1943.


Extremely inquistive
Highly intelligent
Love to play
Have cat-like independence and self-motivation
Can be aloof with strangers
Forms strong bonds with owner
Become bored when alone
Dislikes water even walking in rain

Basenji's are quick and fast! They love to run and chase anything and are expert climbers' even trees. They need to be on a leash or in a secure area. Now this secure area needs to be high, like a six feet wooden fence with electric " caution" fence along the bottom. They do require vigorous excerise.

These dogs are smart and will out-smart you so puppy kindergarten and basic household obedience classes are a good idea. A good obedience will help you communicate with your Basenji. Owners need to understand dominace and dog behaviour to get along with him. They tend to be dominant dogs and they will think before obeying you. They do learn quickly if you use positive reinforcement techniques.

Early socialization with children make then more tolerant of them but they are best with older children.

A Basenji has a very strong sense of territory. They consider their home and areas where they are regularly walked their territory. So they can be very hostile towards other dogs in these areas.


They are fastidious about their grooming. They even wash themselves like a cat. they don't ahve much dog order and only need to be bathed every few months. They do tend to have sensitive skin. These dogs are good for people with allergies since they shed little to no hair.

Diseases Prone To

Fanocoui Syndrome - kidney disorder
Progressive retinal atrophy
Hip dysplasia


Find a good breeder to buy Basenji from. Look for members of the Basenji Club of America and go to dog shows. The puppy should be friendly and interact with other puppies and his mother.

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Check out Choosing a Breeder page.