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Breed Information: Basenji

Breed Description: Commonly referred to as the "barkless" dog, the Basenji is a short haired, finely built hunting dog from Africa. This fox-size breed has long legs for its height, muscular thighs, a tail that curls off to one side and is known for its furrowed brow.

Group: Hound Group

Purpose of Breed: Hunting dog

Country of Origin: Zaire

Average Size: 21-24 lbs. and 16-17 inches tall

Color(s): Colors include copper, red, black and tan and brindle. The feet are usually white as is the chest and the tip of the tail and there may or may not be a white blaze, white legs or a white collar.

Coat Type: The Basenji has a short, fine coat.

Grooming: The Basenji is a light shedder and washes itself in the same way a cat does. It has no dog smell and is good in homes where people suffer from allergies. This breed requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads and nails.

Exercise Needs: Basenjis are very energetic and enjoy a lot of exercise. This breed can climb fences and possess a high instinct to track and chase after things. For this reason they should be kept on a leash unless they are in a secure area.


Temperament: Basenjis are intelligent, affectionate and have an independent nature. They are loyal and loving to their family, but can be aloof with strangers. They are suited to households with older children and should be supervised around non-canine pets due their instinct to hunt. Early obedience classes are highly recommended as is utilizing positive reinforcement techniques in training. They have a reputation for non-stop antics and getting into things.

Common Ailments: Prone to kidney problems, progressive retinal atrophy, intestinal and eye problems, and hip dysplasia.

Life Expectancy: Averages 10-12 years

Trivia: The Basenji doesn't bark, but does make a sort of yodeling noise. They also growl, whimper and whine with the best of them.

More Information: The Basenji Club of America


Photo Credit: Sonbar Basenjis (

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