The Basenji Dog Breed FAQ

two basenji dogs on the bed
The Basenji is an old dog breed, dating back to ancient Egyptian times. Find out more about these wonderful dogs!

Originating in Africa, the Basenji dates back to ancient times in Egypt. This type of breed has been depicted in many carvings in the tombs of the Pharaohs. It is said that these dogs were brought as valuable presents by travelers from the lower reaches of the Nile. The breed almost disappeared from public sight during the ancient Egyptian times until the middle of 19th century, when the Basenji was again discovered by explorers in the Congo and Southern Sudan. 

What Are the Different Names for the Breed?

This dog breed goes by many names: 

  • Basenji
  • Belgian Congo Dog
  • Bongo Terrier
  • Congo Bush Dog
  • Zande Dog
  • Congo Terrier. 

Do Basenji Dogs Bark?

What makes this breed particularly special is that it is the only breed who has no bark. Don’t get too excited, this breed will whine and growl like other dogs. The Basenji is also known for its unique yodel or chortle. This dog breed is not mute. It is believed that the past thousands of years in training to hunt game silently may explain its lack of bark. 

basenji puppy sniffing the ground

Do the Basenjis Make Good Family Dogs?

This breed is recognized for its gentle nature and love of children. Inquisitive and mischievous, the Basenji will make a great family pet. These dogs do not smell and adapt to most climates (but they are known to hate the rain). Its curling tail, wrinkled forehead and its habit of licking its paws like a cat makes this dog absolutely adorable to many. 

Can Basenjis Suffer From Separation Anxiety?

They can be left alone all day without any issues. This is not something we can do with our overly attached Dachshund!

basenji sleeping in a donut form on black background

Basenji Personality

Just because the Basenji doesn’t 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 the outdoors. You need to make sure that your Basenji has time to run around and burn off all that energy! In addition, the Basenji is a grass eater and should have plenty of access to fresh grass. 

This high energy dog makes an excellent watchdog as they are wary of strangers. They need a lot of exercise and play. Since they are a little on the independent side, they also enjoy some alone play. Here are other things to keep in mind: they love chewing stuff and do not like cats. 

Do They Like to Cuddle?

They certainly should in their own unique ways! Each dog has its own personality and ways of showing love. However, Basenjis are known to be very affectionate and loving dogs.

Basenjis Are Very Catlike

Basenjis purr! Well, it sounds more like whirring mini helicopter noise from what I have heard but no matter. Want proof that they are catlike? Rub their back, give good tummy rubs and you will hear these African beauties purr.

How Big do Basenjis Get?

The ideal height for the male Basenji is 17in at the shoulder while the ideal height for the female Basenji is 16in. The ideal weight is 24lb for the male and 21lb for the female.

How long do do they live?

On average 12 to 16 years so these are long lived dogs!

They Need Exercise

This breed is a terrific hunter and has a tendency to put on extra weight. That’s why they need plenty of exercise. Your Basenji will love to go on regular walks and runs. 

How much exercise do Basenjis need?

Usually at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour for some energetic dogs. Never neglect daily exercise requirements. We’re giving you a rough estimate but the exact amount depends on your abilities and how vigorous the exercise is, as well as the age and health of your Basenji.

They can get destructive

Basenjis get bored very easily. Bored dogs can often get pretty destructive. If you do not give them something to do, they will FIND something to do. Hide your shoes, cords and everything else in sight if you let your Basenji get bored!

Do Basenji dogs shed a lot?

Yes, they shed but their hair is short and fine. On top of that, the Basenji cleans itself like a cat. Basenjis are also known for licking and grooming their hair like a cat. Their smooth, shiny, dense coat is short and lies flat against the body. The coat is easy to care for. 

How Much do Basenji Dogs Cost?

A Basenji puppy costs anywhere from $1,800 up to $5,500. Prices can climb if you want a puppy with a superior pedigree. We saw year old dogs sold for as low as $300.

Thinking About Getting a Basenji?


1 thought on “The Basenji Dog Breed FAQ”

  1. Hello
    Thank you for the article!!
    My husband and i would love a puppy or under 1 year old female basenji to adopt.
    We wish to have one soon.
    We live in Florida and know they are hard to find. If you can help please let us know.
    Thank you


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