Breed Highlight: Basenjis


The Basenji is mischievous, smart, lively and by no means silent. The “barkless” Basenji is a hilarious handful. This breed is also catlike in his cleanliness and independence. Therefore, we will discuss this breed to help you determine if it is ideal for you and your family.

The Basenji

Vital Stats of Basenjis

Vital stats of this breed include the following:

  • Dog breed group: Hound
  • Height: 16 to 17 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 22 to 24 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Physical Characteristics of Basenjis


The Basenji is different from other primitive dogs, in that it has as sturdy build. The longer legs of this breed helps it to run fast, performing a sort of double-suspensions gallop.

Additionally, Basenjis have a short black, red, brindle or tricolor coat. This coat is effective in coping with the hot African climate. His erect ears are great for dissipating heat and locating game in dense bushes.

Care for Basenjis

This breed requires minimal coat care. It is sufficient to brush the coat once in a while to get rid of dead hair.

Being very active, the Basenji requires daily physical as well as mental exercise, as he might become aggressive and/or frustrated without exercise. We suggest long walks, free running and energetic games in an enclosed area.

Health of Basenjis


Similar to any other breed, the Basenji is prone to specific health problems. These health problems include the following:

  • Fanconi syndrome
  • immunoproliferative small intestinal disease
  • pyruvate kinase deficiency leading to hemolytic anemia
  • autoimmune thyroiditis
  • persistent pupillary membrane
  • progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • coloboma
  • umbilical hernias

History of Basenjis

The Basenji is one of many breeds that supposedly dates to the Pharaohs, with no evidence supporting such a claim. The breeds that are said to be depicted on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs range from Dachshunds to Pharaoh Hounds. While dogs that superficially resembled the modern-day Basenji may certainly have existed for thousands of years, this breed as we know it today has been around for just a little more than a century.

From what is known, Europeans found small, short-haired hunting dogs in the remote—the Congo, as it was known then—as well as in the Sudan and Zaire. Their job was to find prey and flush it so that it ran into cunningly laid nets.

A pair of Basenjis was brought to Britain in 1895. However, the dogs died of distemper in those pre-vaccination days. In 1937, more were successfully imported to Britain, but Basenjis sent to the United States that same year all died of distemper, except for one, a male named Bois. Another female named Congo was finally brought from African in 1941. Congo and Bois produced puppies, and more of the dogs were later imported from Britain and Canada. In 1942, the Basenji Club of America was formed and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1943.


For more information on the Basenji or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *