Basenji 

A Little History 

The Basenji is an interesting little dog full of surprises.

The animal once roamed the jungles and plains of Africa in packs. These highly successful dogs are both sight and scent hound in one.

The dog's complex social structure and superb hunting skills are evidence of it's intelligence.

Although the Basenji is bark less, it does have a voice that it uses to yodel and chortle. This sound is said to be a joyous and infectious. When you hear the him yodel you can't help but respond happily.

This sound must have interested the African tribesman. After observing the dog's hunting skills over the years, the tribesmen began adopting the dog into their homes to help with the hunt.

The Basenji and man easily adapted to life together, each helping the other. Tribal hunters taught their new friend to flush and sight prey for them, and even to drive prey into nets.  The Basenji can also retrieve.

Hunting side by side with his human companions gave the Basenji an honored place in the tribe. They were given a fair share of the catch and free reign of the camp. The dog was so highly favored by the hunters that it was said they were more valuable than a wife!

Great Pharisee of Egypt were given this dog as gifts. Even these Kings found the Basenji so valuable that they worshipped him for his abilities and companionship. Likenesses of the dog can be found engraved on the tombs of these great Egyptian rulers.

The Basenji has held a place of honor with man for thousands of years. It's catlike characteristics make it even more interesting. The Basenji will groom himself completely and often, like a cat will. He is also given to standing or sitting as still as a statue for minutes at a time, somewhat like a cat.

When English hunting parties began to travel to the African continent, they were amazed by the beautiful dog the tribesmen employed in the hunt.

The foreign travelers were, of course, anxious to bring the little Basenji home with them. Sadly, it took a few tries before the dog was able to survive such a long voyage and diseases of the new countries.

After some time the Basenji finally crossed the ocean to England. He met with great success there. The dog was so wildly popular that at his first formal showing the police had to control the crowd!  

The Basenji Temperament

As a companion to man, the Basenji has high honors. He is extremely loyal to his family and is also very clean. But potential owners of the dog should be prepared to get outside and play. 

This breed needs lots of exercise. He is born to run long distances. He will be stimulated by sight and scent, so chasing a ball or a squirrel we be equally exciting to him. 

The trot and run of the Basenji are likened to that of a racehorse. In the ring he is poised and alert. He can stand like a statue, yet his movements are smooth and athletic.

If well exercised, the Basenji will be the perfect house companion. He is clean and quiet. He will guard his family and territory very loyally.

The Basenji is wary of strangers and he should never be approached from behind. As a word of caution, people that do not belong to the family should be carefully introduced. Small children, that are strange to the Basenji, should be watched until the dog accepts this new person.

Other dogs are especially susceptible to the Basenji's watchfulness. He is bred to follow strict pack rules, which means any new dog will be shown who is boss.

Basenji breeders are known to separate their dogs to avoid fights. But others allow the dogs to fight it out and establish the pecking order. So if you have other dogs, be sure that you, and the other dog, can handle the Basenji's need for social order.

The Basenji has a regal countenance. He is quiet and inquisitive. He is well known for his questioning expression that is pronounced by the hallmark wrinkle between his ears. When his ears are pricked, the wrinkles show, and he seems to be asking a question.

This bark less dog, with a glowing coat and exotic history as a highly valued companion, making him a good choice for active families and hunters. 


Basenji Standards

Group: Hound

The Basenji is compact and strong looking. He has good bone and pronounced muscle. Although he should look proportioned and square, he gives the impression of being high on the leg.

He has "far seeing eyes", that are wide set. His muzzle should be chiseled looking but rounded, not sharp. His head is flat with well tapered bone down to the muzzle. 

The ears are high and tapered up into a rounded point. 

The Basenji should weigh between 20 and 24 pounds. Less for the females and slightly more for the males.

Height is 16 to 17 inches with the females being smaller.

The tail should curl over the back but not in a corkscrew. 

The back is short and level, and the chest is deep, as in all sight hounds.

His coloration can be either reddish brown and white, black and white, or brindle and white.


Do you love Basenji's?? Let us know, post your comments below.

Attention Registered Breeders!!

Small Dog Breeds Connection readers would love to be able to reach you, and see your pups!

See the tab on the left sidebar titled Breeder Advertising for information on how to advertise on our site.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.