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Basenji Breed Summary

Stubborn, Intelligent, Playful, Curious and Energetic

These dogs are extremely unique, they don't bark but rather 'talk' through a strange yodel-like sound! Additionally, they are very hygienic and tend to clean themselves like cats using their paws. They also get very obsessive trying to get rid of dirt on their coats!

Additionally, they have a very sweet appearance, mainly due to their little wrinkly foreheads and kind-looking eyes. They are very gentle and affectionate by nature and form extremely strong bonds with their families!

Fun Fact: These dogs are called M'bwa M'kube M'bwawamwitu in Africa, which means the jumping up and down dog!

Kennel Club Group Hound
Lifespan 12 - 14 Years
Height (at the withers) Males 41cm - 43cm, Females 38cm - 40cm
Weight Males 10kg - 12kg, Females 9.5kg - 11kg
Coat Very short, Sleek and Fine
Colour Black & White, Black Tan & White, Brindle, Brindle & White, Red & White, Tricolour
Eye colour Dark Hazel or Dark Brown
Common health issues Persistent pupillary membrane (PPM), Hip dysplasia, Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD), Fanconi syndrome, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Immunoproliferative enteropathy, Urolithiasis (linked to Fanconi syndrome), Autoimmune hypothyroiditis, Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia, Patellar luxation
Other Names African Bush Dog, African Barkless Dog, Ango Angari, Congo Dog, Zande Dog, Congo Terrier

This is not a dog for first-time owners, we repeat, not a dog for first-time owners! Unlike many dogs, who are 'willing to please', this is a phrase the Basenji just doesn't understand. They can be highly stubborn dogs and even if you train them impeccably, the chances of them actually 'sitting' when you command them to, are low. They are also very prone to chewing and eating everything in eyesight, so owners need to keep their possessions out of site and mouth! You will also need a very sturdy fence, as these guys are prone to escaping. But negatives a-side, they love to play all sorts of games!  Additionally, they make excellent watchdogs and will alert their 'hoomans' to almost anything that is out of their comfort zone. These dogs are also excellent for owners who jog or cycle, as they will happily run alongside you. They also love sports and hunting, so are perfect for an active family.

It's thought that the Basenji may be one of the oldest domestic dogs in the world and was discovered by Westerners in the Congo in the 19th Century. The dogs were used to flush game, as well as carrying their 'hoomans' goods and warning in case predators approached the tribe. They were so highly respected, that it's believed many tribe members valued these doggies more than their Wives! They are often referred to as the 'barkless dog' which may be due to tribes preferring a quiet dog on hunts. However, they are not completely silent, and their vocals range from a pleasant yodel to an ear-piercing human-like scream! They made their way successfully to England and America, in the 1930s and were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1943.