The Basenji is one of the few dog breeds which share a close resemblance to the ‘local dog’ in Nigeria. Originating from Central Africa, the Basenji is thought to be one of the world’s oldest breed of dog, dating back to the 4th dynasty (of Eygpt) over 4000 years ago. Dogs similar to the Basenji are depicted on Egyptian artifacts, the dogs were brought up the Nile as gifts for the Pharoahs of ancient Eygpt. The Basenji has been used as a hunting and tracking dog since time immemorial and is placed in the hound group, specifically, as a sight hound.

Physical Attributes

The breed is small and graceful with a short coat, tightly curled tail, and wrinkled forehead

Weight: 9.5 – 11kg
Height: 16-17 inches
Coat: Very Short coat
Colours: Chestnut and white, Black and White, Brindle and White
Life Span: 10-14 years

Characteristics of the Basenji

The basenji is alert, highly intelligent, independent and reserved with strangers. They have an aloof personality and will only bond with one or two members of the family and most likely wouldn’t get along with non-canine pets.

The breed’s most unique characteristic is that it does not bark, this is as a result of its unusually shaped larynx. Although the breed is known to make a variety of sounds (yodelling and howling), it is usually quiet, a trait which gives the basenji the nickname ‘barkless dog’.

One of the perks of owning this dog breed is that its inability to bark, short coat and clean habits make it a perfect house dog, the downside though is that they can be very difficult to train.

This breed was officially recognised by the AKC in 1943.


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