Dog Breed


Primary image of Basenji dog breed
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Life Span
13 - 16 years years
22 - 24 pounds

Affectionate, Energetic, Alert, Curious, Playful, Intelligent

Bred For
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Basenji good with children?

    Yes, the Basenji is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Basenji naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Basenji friendly with strangers?

    Yes, the Basenji is very friendly with strangers. We still recommend early socialization while the Basenji is a puppy to introduce them to various new people, but in general they are friendly with everyone.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Basenji friendly with other dogs?

    Yes, the Basenji is very friendly with other dogs. We still recommend early socialization while the Basenji is a puppy to introduce them to various new dogs, but in general they are friendly with dogs as soon as they meet them.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Basenji like to cuddle?

    The Basenji likes to cuddle up every once in a while. They appreciate physical affection, but probably won't stay in your lap for extended amounts of time.

    Does the Basenji like to play?

    The Basenji will almost always be ready for play! The Basenji is great for a family with children, or otherwise, an environment that is always ready for play.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Basenji make a good service dog?

    The Basenji would not be a great fit as a service dog for several reasons.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Basenji good for first-time owners?

    The Basenji is not the easiest breed for first-time owners, but can certainly still work out if the owner is willing to put the time into training and exercise.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Basenji be trained?

    The Basenji does not have high levels of training potential. There are exceptions, but the Basenji is not typically seen in competitions or as a service dog or police dog.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Basenji shed a lot?

    The Basenji does shed, but less than average.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Basenji easy to groom?

    The Basenji requires some grooming, but less than the average dog breed. Typically you will not need to take the Basenji to the pet salon, and occasional combing at home should be enough.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Basenji need a lot of exercise?

    The Basenji requires an average amount of exercise. You should be ready to dedicate a couple of short walks or a larger dog park session each day for your Basenji to be happy and fulfilled.

    How smart is the Basenji?

    The Basenji is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Basenji bark? Does the Basenji bark too much?

    The Basenji occasionally barks, but only for specific reasons such as when they need something, for protection, etc.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Basenji a good guard dog?

    The Basenji would not make a good guard dog. They can be alert, but typically do not have the desire or instinct to take on "guarding" as their job.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Basenji good at staying alone? Is the Basenji independent?

    The Basenji does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Basenji a good apartment dog?

    The Basenji is not the best dog apartment living, but it can work if the owner is dedicated to exercising and training their Basenji

    How big is the Basenji?

    The Basenji is below average when it comes to size. They are not a "toy" breed, but it is still significantly easier to travel with them.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Basenji tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Basenji?

    The Basenji can do very well in hot weather. Owners should still be aware of over-heating as this is one of the most common reasons for dogs going into the emergency room, but overall the Basenji can do well in hot climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Basenji tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Basenji?

    The Basenji does not tolerate cold weather very well, and we would not recommend having a Basenji if you live in a very cold weather climate. Even if your home is warm, it can be inconvenient to go on walks, and you may need to have a sweater for your Basenji.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Basenji try to run away?

    The Basenji has huge wanderlust, meaning that it's natural for them to want to run away. They are known as escape artists. It's important to test your yard and have a tall fence that cannot be jumped or climbed over. Sometimes the Basenji is not well suited for being off-leash, even if they are well trained.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Basenji a healthy dog? The health of a Basenji should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Basenji is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Basenji high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Basenji?

    The Basenji has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Basenji into your home. Can you give your Basenji enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Basenji drool?

    The Basenji drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Basenji have a large prey drive? Does the Basenji like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Basenji has a high prey drive and has a natural tendency to chase after any small animal. Every case is unique, but the Basenji may not be the best dog for living with other cats or small animals.

    Is the Basenji atheltic?

    The Basenji is very athletic and would be well suited for a family that frequently works out or goes on adventures.
  1. Hound
  2. Ancient
  3. Basenji
The Basenji is a purebred dog that belongs to the Ancient sub group, which falls under the larger Hound dog breed group.
Hound group: The hound has traditionally been used alongside hunters to track or chase prey. Unlike retrievers who are bred primarily to retrieve and bring back the prey, hounds were typically bred to have excellent vision, scent, or speed to pursue the prey. Because of the Hound's excellent vision, scent, and focus, they are a common police and secret services dog. Hounds are typically categorized into either "scent hounds" or "sight hounds". Both exercise and mental stimulation is important for hounds because of their history. They want to feel they have a "job" and want to go to bed feeling they have done their day's duty.
Ancient sub-group: These dogs are unique as they are some of the oldest dogs! Dogs in the ancient world have been documented, both for work, and companionship. Dogs have been recorded to be living alongside humans dating as far back as 12,000 BC, which can be seen from temple paintings. Ancient dogs have been recorded in ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Persia, and ancient Turkey and India. Ancient dogs are generally medium sized, healthy, and well-rounded. They are friendly but somewhat reserved with strangers- all characteristics that sense for a dog that has survived through thousands of years.

Basenjis for adoption

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