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Basenji

Characteristics: , , , ,

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Origin:

Basenji is a hunting dog springing from Central Africa. This breed is pictured in cave paintings in Sudan and Libya from 6000 BC and in artwork from the ancient Egypt dogs resembling the basenji is seen sitting besides its owners. In Africa the basenji is used for hunting or roaming between villages. The basenji has been giving the byname “African dingo”.

The basenji’s larynx is formed in a special way that makes the dog bark differently from other breeds. Instead of barking it makes a distinctive low-voiced sound. The basenji rapidly spread to almost every part of Africa but the dogs most true to its origin is to be found in Congo, Sudan, and Liberia.

Appearance, grooming and health
The basenji is a medium-sized elegant dog with erect ears and a slightly curved tail. The eyes are almond shaped, which gives the dog a characteristic almost scowling expression. The basenji weighs 22-24 pounds and is approximately 15 inches tall.

This breed is just as long as it is tall, athletic, and strong considering its size. When a basenji runs really fast it folds out the tail in order to keep the balance. Life expectancy is 13-14 years.

The basenji has a short coat, which can either be red, black, white, brindle, or multi coloured. In Africa the dog is available in even more colours and colour combinations. It only sheds a little and the short coat does not require much grooming. It actually cleans itself by licking the coat, just as a cat does.

Character and behaviour
The expression of a basenji is alert, energetic, and curious. However, this breed may be reserved towards strangers and thus becomes highly attached to its owners. Due to its hunting instincts the basenji does not hit it off with other pets. The basenji prefers warm weather.

In addition, it is good at entering places you would not think possible to enter e.g. it will easily climb a chicken fence or escape from a secured area. The basenji is a curious little dog that you will often see standing on hind legs to better get a look through a window.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Does not shed a lot
  • Practical size. Good combination of robustness and elegance
  • Moves gracefully
  • Has an alert expression
  • Is easy to house train
  • Needs a lot of exercise and activities
  • May be reserved towards strangers
  • Good at escaping if the garden is not fenced in properly
  • Can be stubborn
  • Well-developed hunting instincts that can be hard to combine with the presence of other pets

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