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The Basenji is one of the most ancient breeds
dating back to the pharaohs. This sleek and elegant
breed can be found in Egyptian tombs and wall
drawings dating back thousands of years ago. Also
known as the "Congo Dog", they were
originally bred for hunting small game by coursing.
When Egypt fell, the Basenji breed became scarce.
It is possible these dogs were given up when Egypt
lost a war against Sudan and valuable items such
as dogs were turned over along with precious metals
Basenjis were first exported to England in 1895,
but they perished due to distemper. In 1937, another
attempt to England was made while a pair of dogs
were also exported to the United States. There
was only one survivor from the litter produced
by this pair in the US - a male named Boris. In
1941, a female was imported and was mated with
Boris. And, together, they produced the first
American litter of Basenjis.
The name Basenji means "small wild thing
from the bush".
heigh for a Basenji is approximately 17 inches
(43 cm) for dogs and 16 inches (40 cm) for bitches.
weight for Basenji dogs is approximately 24 pounds
(11 kg) and 22 pounds (10 kg) for bitches.
Coat Type: The
Basenji has a short, smooth, shiny and very fine
coat. Grooming is minimal. Very light or no shedding.
The Basenji cleans itself the same way a cat does.
Ideal for an owner with allergies.
colors for the Basenji's coat include: chestnut
red; pure black; tricolor (pure black, chestnut
red and white); and brindle (black stripes on
a background of chestnut red); all with white
feet, chest and tail tip. White legs, blaze and
collar are optional. White should not dominate
the primary color.
The Basenji is alert, playful, energetic and curious.
It is independent, yet also affectionate and does
not like to left alone for long periods. This
breed doesn't bark, but makes a sound like a mix
of a chortle and yodel. These dogs should not
be trusted with non-canine animals and their owner
should be aware of their climbing abilities which
enables them to easily climb chain wire fences.
The Basenji does best with older, good children.
They like to chew, so its owner should give them
plenty of toys. The Basenji can be reserved with
strangers. It does well with training and is eager
to please its master.
According to results from a 2004 UK Kennel Club
survey, many Basenjis suffer from PRA, which causes
blindness and Fanconi's syndrome - an inheritable
disorder in which the kidneys fail to reabsorb
electrolytes and nutrients. This can cause kidney
failure. The most common health issues noted by
owners were dermatological and urologic. Other
health issues include hip dysplasia, resulting
in loss of mobility and arthritis-like symptoms
and malabsorption, or immunoproliferative enteropathy
- an autoimmune intestinal disease that leads
to anorexia, chronic diarrhea, and even death.
• The Basenji is known as the "barkless
• The Basenji cleans itself like a cat and
does not have a 'doggy odor'.
• The first specimens of the Basenji were
brought from the source of the Nile as presents
to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
• The Basenji is used in Africa as a guide
in the forests to warn of the approach of dangerous
AKC: Hound Group
KC: Hound Group
UKC: Sighthound & Pariah Group
FCI: Group 5; Section 6 - Primitive type