Learn a little more about the Basenji


The Basenji is among the most distinct of all dog breeds, particularly since it’s been identified via DNA to have descended from the gray wolf. This small, elegant dog is probably best known for its lack of barking. However, the breed will sometimes whine and make noises that resemble yodeling.

The Basenji, which was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1943, is a muscular dog but is also very lean and agile. This breed is quite intelligent, with a proud manner and curious nature, but can be hard to train to respond to commands. Many people consider the Basenji to be a cat-like dog.


The Basenji’s smooth, short coat requires very little grooming. This breed actually cleans itself, kind of like a cat, but you can assist with brushing once a week. They rarely need a bath. The typical “dog odor” is not usually present in this breed and the fine hair isn’t very noticeable when it is shed.

Basenjis are known to be very loyal, affectionate, alert and active. They are best suited to homes where they can get adequate exercise, plenty of attention, and proper obedience training. The Basenji has an independent personality and sometimes has a mischievous nature and/or rebellious streak. Opinions on their intelligence differ as they may perfectly well understand commands, but choose not to follow them.

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READ ALSO: The most quiet dog breeds (Part 1)

Basenjis are sighthounds and so they will pursue anything they see moving. This presents a challenge for keeping them in a yard, as they are adept at climbing over fences (no matter how tall) and escaping. You can bet that an underground electronic fence won’t stop them. As a watchdog, they will alert you to any passersby although they will do it with their own forms of vocalization rather than bark.



HEIGHT: 16 to 17 inches

WEIGHT: 20 to 25 pounds

COAT AND COLORS: Smooth, short coat in chestnut red, black, brindle, or tri-color (black and red); all have white feet, chest and tail tip; may have white legs, blaze, and collar.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 13 to 14 years

Contributed by The Spruce Pets

VIDEO: All About Basenji The Afrrican Barkless Dog


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