Could the Basenji Be the Perfect Dog for You?

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 4 Jul 2020

Happy Basenji dog,  Dog, Basenji, Hundbild, Basenji

Distinguished as a rare dog that only a few can call their own, the Basenji is an intelligent hunter that is quiet and never barks. If you are interested in calling one of these dogs your own, read on to learn everything you need to know about them!

Breed Snapshot

  • Size Small Dog (10 – 11kg); 40 – 43cm in height. Slight variation between males and females.
  • Coat Low shedding short glossy coat
  • Energy High energy dogs that need to constantly be on the go. Best walked daily for at least 1 hour
  • Lifespan 13 – 14 years
  • Country of origin Africa
  • Breed type Small hound dog that is regarded for its speed and hunting abilities. This dog is fun loving and high energy
  • Other names “Africa Bush Dog” and “Congo Hound”
  • Great breed for: Apartment Living or Home with yard, Active families

Meet the Cat-Like Basenji

Regarded as an astute hunter that can prance through the African Savannah almost completely undetected, the Basenji is one of the world’s oldest dogs. This breed dates back to the days of ancient Egypt where there is evidence that they were gifted to Pharaohs by the Africans. This dog is little but exposés the spirit of a true warrior.

Basenjis are poised with confidence and are extremely loyal to their human family. They do not bark but instead make yodeling noises and let their feelings be known with many humanlike facial expressions. Basenjis are a dog for those who want a pet that is just a little different.


What Does a Basenji Look Like?

A Basenji is a small hound dog that kind of looks like a Terrier. They have patchy skin that is most often tan or brown and white. Basenjis have slender bodies that help them get close to their prey – almost completely undetected. This breed of dog is speedy and has an elegant body that seems regal in nature.

The Basenji has a protruding snout and pointed ears that can hear even the quietest sounds in the distance. Unique to this dog is a curled tail that rests on its back. Basenjis have a sweet face that will melt your heart.

How Do I Groom My Basenji

You do not need to do much to keep your Basenji looking healthy and clean. This dog has a short coat that hugs its skin tightly. Simply bathe your dog every so often and brush him or her to get rid of dead fur as it sheds and move the oils around so that they keep the skin moist. Basenji’s do not have bad doggy smells and are great for those who have dog allergies. They are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs!


You should trim your dog’s nails at least a couple of times per month so that the nails do not snag on debris outside or your furniture. Regular teeth brushing is also recommended to maintain good oral health.


How Often Should I Walk My Basenji?

Basenjis are active dogs that require a lot of exercise to keep from getting bored and to stay physically fit. This dog breed is best walked multiple times per day for at least 30 minutes. PetCloud can help you find a reputable dog walker in your area. If you are going to walk your dog in public places, be sure to keep him or her on a leash to quell their hunting and chasing instincts. These dogs do best in large fenced in yards or farm settings.

Play with your Basenji often to keep him or her from getting bored. A bored dog is much more destructive than an occupied dog. Whilst your dog is outside, provide him or her with interactive toys that keep them busy.

Is A Basenji the Right Breed for Me?

You should only welcome a Basenji into your home if you live an active lifestyle as these dogs are not the couch potato type. Basenjis need to run around and play to keep their mind occupied. It is best to have a large fenced in yard where they can roam free!

Basenji FAQs

Are Basenjis aggressive dogs?

Basenji dogs are natural hunters and can be aggressive if they do not receive obedience training when they are puppies. Trained Basenjis are friendly around people and can make friends with other dogs. They generally do well around strangers and will be loving toward them. 

Can Basenjis be around cats?

It is recommended that you keep your Basenji away from cats as they have the tendency to chase them due to their hunter instincts.

What is the lifespan of a Basenji?

With a proper diet and plenty of exercise, you can expect your Basenji to live between 13 – 14 years.

Do Basenjis have health issues?

Your Basenji should live a long and healthy life as long as he or she is bred responsibly. These dogs can develop hip dysplasia later on in life, which can be managed with the care of a vet.


Can My Basenji be left alone?

This breed can be left at home whilst you are at work or out running errands as they do not suffer from separation anxiety and do not bark. This breed has the unofficial title of “Africa’s Barkless Dog.”

How Can I Get a Basenji?

If you have decided that a Basenji is the right dog for you, Australia has a few responsible breeders to choose from. The average cost of a Basenji puppy is approximately $500. You will not likely find one of these dogs strolling through a shelter as they are a bit of a rare breed. Once you have welcomed one of these charming and intelligent dogs into your home to live, you will soon understand what makes them so special!