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Basenji

 

Basenjis don't bark! These Central African imports make a noise between a yodel and a chuckle to let you know what's on their minds. Thought to be one of the world's oldest breeds, Basenjis appear in Egyptian art and hieroglyphics. Bred to hunt, the Basenji is a cat-like sort of canine: this dog is a curious, clever, and strong-willed loner who keeps to herself.

This medium-sized, high-energy breed can grow to between 22-24 pounds and lives an average of 13-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeHunting
OriginCentral Africa
Breed groupHound
Average Lifespan12-14 years
SizeMedium
Bark factorRarely barks, if ever
AKC Ranking79
FamilySighthound, scenthound, primitive
Date of originAncient
Original function Hunting small game
Today's functionLure coursing
Average size of maleHeight: 17 Weight: 24
Average size of femaleHeight: 16 Weight: 22

 

Other nameCongo dog, Congo terrier
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Shy
Friendliness toward other pets Shy
Friendliness toward strangersFriendly
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A BASENJI'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Basenjis are inquisitive, independent dogs. They are very intelligent and can be somewhat playful and affectionate. This breed is sometimes shy with other dogs and pets and does best playing with older children. They can be standoffish with strangers, but they are loving toward their chosen people.

WHAT IS BASENJI BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Basenjis are alert and vigilant, though not especially protective. This breed is very active and needs plenty of daily exercise. They far prefer warm weather and will want to run and romp with you outside.

Basenjis can be mischievous and destructive, particularly when they're bored. Keep them on their toes, or they'll keep you on yours.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BASENJI?

A Basenji knows its own mind and can be somewhat challenging to train. Start early and be patient and consistent with your furry friend — training will take time and energy. You'll also need to keep this smarty-paws entertained, so make your training sessions brief and fun (and don't be shocked if he has his own ideas about what “obedient” looks like). Basenjis respond well to food rewards, play, and praise.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO BASENJIS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Basenjis have short, relatively odorless hair. They shed seasonally and require occasional grooming. You can wipe this dog down with a mitt or hound glove. Their feline-esque character includes being fastidious about their own tidiness — your Basenji will also groom itself.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BASENJIS HAVE?

Basenjis have been known to develop Faconi Syndrome (a kidney disorder), Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and hip dysplasia. Most Basenjis are relatively healthy, however.

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