This dog is barkless but tends to make other sounds similar to yodels. It also tends to show more facial expression than other breeds.

Breed Overview

As its area of origin is Central Africa, specifically Congo and Zaire, the Basenji was named after tribes that owned them. Also called the Zande dogs or Congo terriers, native tribes used them for hunting small game. Although they are hounds, they have terrier-like mannerisms, being feistier, clever, inquisitive, stubborn, independent, and reserved like cats. It requires daily physical and mental stimulation. While they are considered to be barkless, they do yodel, howl, and shriek. They make excellent watchdogs, however they do not provide the best protection capabilities. Families with older children, sportsmen, hunters, and experienced dog handlers would be ideal companions for the Basenji. Coat upkeep is fairly easy because it is short, so brushing to remove hair is only occasional.

Breed Characteristics

Grooming requirements:
1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming
Energy level:
1 = low energy - 5 = high energy
Friendliness toward strangers:
1 = shy - 5 = very friendly
Ease of training:
1 = difficult - 5 = easy
Affection toward owners:
1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Breed Details & Traits

Height: Male: 17"; Female: 16"
Weight: Male: 24 lb; Female:22 lb
Lifespan: 12-14 years

Breed Traits

Alert, Barkless, Clever, Curious, Inquisitive,


Watch this informative video on Basenjis from Animal Planet. You'll find out more about their breed characteristics, grooming tips, potential health issues along with fun facts about the Basenji.

Basenji Discussions

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