Breed History

Basenji black and white background

Basenji is a small, quiet, fast, and smart hunting dog with straight ears and a curly tail. Fast speed and smelling ability make them one of the best in that area for hunting small animals.

Doesn’t bark much and makes more of a howling sound in comparison to other dogs. In fact, they have been known to have be called bark less due to their low possibility to bark.

One of the few dogs that go into heat only once per year. Females who are old enough to go into heat go into their cycle few times than other dogs.

Congo Basin is the region they come from in Central Africa. Their name means village, savage, or bush dog in the Bantu language spoken by the Congo Africans.

One of the oldest breeds that predates many modern breeds with little changes in their appearance. Images of their breed are shown on Ancient Egyptian Dynasty artifacts showing the head shape and tail features that are distinct to this breed.

Black Pharaohs were given these dogs as gifts and gave them out as gifts to people who done important tasks. Took a long time before these dogs were an import to a different country because of dying from modern day shots.

Around the 20th century that were appearing in England and were heading to America soon after. Came to the United States in the 1940’s while the country was still at war and more imports came right after the war.


More popular than over half of the dogs in America they still command a lot of interest in America. As an older breed they have recognition all over the world at the major Kennel Clubs.

Spitz or Sighthound is the category from the Kennel Clubs regarding this breed. Here are the Kennel Clubs and the breed standards that differ only slightly across the world.


Male Height: 17 inches

Female Height: 16 inches

Male Weight: 24 pounds

Female Weight: 22 pounds

Men and women are around the same size and it is hard to determine by looking at the size. You will need to look at other factors to determine the gender.

Litter Size

6 puppies are the average litter size of the Basenji. There are no known health issues or procedures that need to happen for the mother dog to deliver the puppy.


  • Black and White
  • Black, Tan, and White
  • Brindle and White
  • Red and White
  • Brindle Markings
  • Black Mask

Make sure when buying a puppy that they have the right colors, markings, and other features that are allowed for the Basenji.

Basenji Price

The price of the average puppy with papers is $2,000-$5,000. Understand that the bloodline, kennel club, and other factors are all in documentation when you get papers from a Kennel Club when both parents have papers.

Expect to pay less money for a dog without papers. This breed will cost you a few hundred dollars and the quality of the puppy drops dramatically. You will have no documentation if one of the parents has papers and the other one doesn’t.


Coat description is short and fine. Contributions to the changes and maintenance you will have as owner decreases as the coat length is shorter. Here are the areas you will need to concentrate on.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

All dogs should get some type of brushing once at least weekly. Due to the short coat there are no consequences if you choose not to brush and let nature takes its course.

Combing is not something you need to do for this breed.

Bathing should take place at least once per month or six weeks at the longest. You can choose to do it on a schedule or just when the dog is dirty.

Cleaning the ears can prevent the dog from having an infection in the future. Dogs living in a desert climate can get a build up from windy days and need a weekly cleaning.

Nails should be trim like they would in nature, while exercising. Scrapping against the ground daily will the nails nonexistent That is the strongest recommendation we can give. When you don’t exercise the dog, you need to clip them with clippers for dogs.

Professional help isn’t a recommendation because you can do nothing with the dog’s coat and there won’t be any strong consequences for those actions.

Life Span

12-15 years is a longer lifespan than average and having a dog for over a decade is a long time to own a dog. Kids can go from 3 years old to an adult before the dog passes away and owners should be aware of this timeline.

Health Issues

Fanconi Syndrome – Fanconi Syndrome is a kidney disease that should be taken very seriously if you own the breed. They are prone to getting this condition and it occurs the most with them accounting for three fourths of the cases. They will show signs as an adult so make sure you get your annual checkups and visit the vet if symptoms arise.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy – Retina degeneration can cause the dog to have a permanent disability of blindness. Getting this condition is will result in long term treatment and will be ongoing until the dog passes away. Passing the blindness from one generation to the next is how they get it at a high rate.

Hip Dysplasia – dogs with hip dysplasia will show a disinterest in exercising. X-rays will need to show you and the vet the condition of the hips. Some situations can be minimum hip injury and others will be more serious in nature.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease – excessive throwing up and runny stool will hamper your dog’s quality of life. When your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it can be something normal or a health problem. Inflammation in the stomach will make it hard to digest and result in improper discharge of bodily waste.

Brush Teeth – teeth can become a huge issue and making it a point to brush them often will help your dog with teeth decay and gum diseases. Although it is hard to tell someone to brush the dog’s teeth it is key to their mouth hygiene.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Hound Group because of their strong scent work and ability to hunt down small game with stamina that can last for a long period of time.

All the dogs in the Hound Group have the same characteristics for hunting. Some bigger than others and some with a stronger nose but the skill sets are commonly the same.

They all have used their talents and natural abilities to help humans catch animals before animal farms were raising thousands of animals just to kill them instead of hunting for them in the wild.

Although their jobs have significantly seen changes over the years, they are still going to need an excellent outlet that can include nose work and lots of exercise.

Here are some of the dogs in this important breed group.

Exercise Needs

A lot of exercise is something you will see across the internet but that’s too lazy for us. We must do proper investigating and stay away from stereotypical dog exercise requirements.

First thing you want to do is look at your dog and figure out what does the dog look like. Is the dog digging, barking excessively, biting, nipping, and other undesirable behaviors? If so, you want to increase the exercise. If they are getting none get an hour in per day and if they are getting that add another session later in the day.

Although you should increase when the behavior is bad when the exercise is enough than we can tell by the same principle. Dogs will display excellent body language, calm, and always listening to every command. When we witness this shift in the dog we can maintain or scale back the exercise.

Reason why the general blanket of a lot of exercise is wrong is because of age differences. Young puppies need a lot of exercise and running should occur frequently.

Adult dogs should be showing a decline in the ability to run day after day and be calmer than their younger counter parts. Senior dogs will not need more than a walk around the corner at times.

Remember, everything is dependent on their behavior. A senior dog may need more than another senior dog. Use the dog as the indicator for how much time they need.

Here is a general guideline

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (run, walk, or treadmill)

Adjust the increase or decrease in exercise on the behavior of your dog.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

There is nothing you can do to make your dog listen to you for one to two hours every day better than walking. What if your dog had to listen to where to walk, how to walk, on which side, this fast, and other behaviors inside of our walking structure every day of the week for a whole year? Image how easy this dog will listen because he’s already listening all the time every day. Homeless dog owners exercise every day and the dog is always calm, social, and listening to every command. See where I’m going with this?

Commands are going to be a small part of the training. Areas of the training that deserve the most attention is exercising, and this area is smaller for time usage. That’s probably why so many people talk about it. Teach the commands with repetition and the dog is going to response. Dogs will misbehave and sit every time you ask them too. So, this is great to teach and needed for every program but shouldn’t be focus.

Socializing will come natural to a calm dog that exercises daily and listens to their owner to stop bad behavior. Bringing them to socialize after giving them an outlet is the best decision.

Correcting the dog should be done in the following manner: Correct and make them sit or lay. Verbal, hand or leash correction should follow that same order and the dog will listen. This is the way that the dogs correct themselves and it is easy to see with puppies and their mother.  

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