Description: The Basenji dogs are small and short-haired, with a tightly curled tail. The wrinkles on their forehead and their alertness, together with the horse-like gait, make them look preoccupied and worried all the time.
The first appearance of the breed can be seen in Egyptian wall drawings.
Originally used for hunting, this dog has two main qualities for the owners who do not want headaches: he does not shed and he does not bark. Nevertheless, it has a wide variety of... vocalizations, like yodels, howls, ululates, growls or crows, depending on the mood.
They are very playful dogs, that’s why, left alone, they won’t hesitate to destroy everything in their path.
Temperament: The basenji dogs are very intelligent and alert, affectionate, energetic and curious. Being a hunting dog, the basenji likes to chase almost anything, this is why it wouldn’t be a good idea to be left alone with other pets, especially with little ones. Chasing cars is one of their favorite pastimes (being athletic and muscular, jumping the fence won’t be a problem for a basenji, neither digging under it).
Aloof with strangers, the dog can form strong bonds with the owners. It has charm and a strong desire to please and it is a very playful and frisky dog, which makes him the perfect pet for a numerous, active family.
The basenji dogs don’t like wet weather, so don’t force them out on rainy days.
Health: The main problems for basenji dogs are progressive retinal atrophy, a disorder that initially affects night vision and then all vision. It can also develop intestinal and kidney problems (like Fanconi Syndrome). Noticed in early stages, they must be addressed immediately in order not to aggravate.
Maintenance/Grooming: The Basenji has a very short and harsh coat, which does not need require much grooming. The nice thing is that this very doggish dog washes itself like a cat and does not smell, so that very little grooming is required from your part.
This breed sheds little to no hair, this is why a 12 weeks full grooming interval would be fine. It is one of the breeds recommended for people with allergies or asthma.
Training: The Basenji dogs are very active and fun loving and they need vigorous daily exercise and walks. The owners who get a Basenji for not barking and assume that this characteristic makes it an inactive dog will have a surprise. The dog is very playful and willing to please everybody in the household and responds well to training.
Left alone, it suffers and starts destroying things. A looot of chewing toys could solve the problem, as well as early firm training. Fun loving and intelligent, it tends to get bored quickly, this is why you have to change often the training method.
Most behavioral problems encountered are due to a mismatch with the owner or due to non-consistency in training.
Breeding, puppies: Most of the dog breeds come into heats twice a year. The Basenji dogs have only one. After mating, they give birth to 4 - 6 puppies.
Varieties: Red, copper, black, black and tan, black and brindle, all with white feet, chest and tail tips; white legs, blaze, and collar optional. The percentage of white shouldn’t be higher than the main color.