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Basenji-Dog-BreedThe Basenji breed is thousands of years old, and they are part of the Schensi group, which are undomesticated dogs, which was their historical status. Historically, this breed lived near the Pygmies but stayed self-reliant. These dogs were utilized to herd marsupials into the Pygmies nets. The Pygmy hunters created bells that they hung from the Basenji’s necks, so they could find the dogs.

Mrs. Olivia Burn presented some Basenji puppies, she had obtained from some Africans at Crufts in 1937. In 1944, the AKC gave the Basenji recognition.

The average lifespan of a Basenji is between 12 and 13 years. Major health concerns that are seen amongst Basenji’s are Basenji enteropathy, PRA, and Fanconi syndrome. Minor concerns include umbilical hernias, PK, PPM, and hypothyroidism.

General Looks

It is a fairly small dog. It is built lightly, has a diminutive back, and long legs. The head has slight wrinkles; the eyes are shaped like almonds; the eyes colors span from hazel to brown. The skull is longer than the muzzle, which rounds off nicely. Their nose is black and the teeth are even. It is a good looking athletic canine. The coat is finely textured, short, and pliable. The colors are black, chestnut red, and tricolor. The paws, chest, and tail’s tip are white.

Is This Your Breed?

The Basenji doesn’t give off the doggy smell. The short coat needs little grooming. Occasionally, brush the coat and likewise rub with a towel to shine the coat. This breed sheds only slightly. It is an active dog that needs a lot of exercise. Not an apartment dog.


This breed is smart, attentive, curious, energetic, and playful. The Basenji may not be a good pick with younger children around because they might tease the animal and get a bad reaction. Though they are wonderful pets for families with older children.

They are smart and attentive. They housebreak easily. They require a tall fence around the yard. Some are standoffish to other animals and humans they aren’t familiar with. For this breed to be well adjusted, the puppy should get early socialization. These dogs may be stubborn at times; they need training that is patience, firm, and done with affection. This breed has a strong hunting instinct and shouldn’t live around rodent pets and cats. The Basenji enjoys chewing. It can be destructive, if it gets bored.

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