The Basenji is a small to medium sized dog weighing between 22 to 25 pounds. Their height is around 15″ to 17″. Known as the barkless dog, the Basenji (bah-SEN-gee) makes a low howl/moaning/yodeling sound instead of barking. They are also called the Congo Dog.
The smooth, shiny, dense coat is short and lies flat against the body. AKC acceptable colors for Basenjis are black, chestnut red, tricolor or brindle all with white on chest, feet and tip of tail in any color including pinto, white or brindle. The coat is easy to care for. Basenjis are also known for licking and grooming their hair like a cat.
This high energy dog makes an excellent watchdog. They are slow to warm up to strangers and will alert you if they see a stranger. They need a lot of exercise and play. Since they are a little on the independent side, they also enjoy some alone play. Chewing is one of their favorite pastimes, so load them up with toys so they don’t pick your favorite pair of shoes as a chew toy. They tend to no do well with non-canine pets. With early socialization, they can do well with children and other dogs. Because they possess a little bit of an independent nature, early training is recommended to help curb any unwanted behaviors.
Originating in Africa, the Basenji dates back to ancient times in Egypt. Pictures of the Basenji are on the walls in ancient Egyptian tombs. They are mainly used as watchdogs in Africa to warn others of the presence of wild game and they often hunt wild game as pack dogs.
Just because the Basenji does not bark, does not mean that they are a meek, quiet lap dog. They are very energetic and need plenty of play and exercise. They are perfect for homes that enjoy outside activity and will make sure that their Basenji has time to run and roam.