Originally from Central Africa, the Basenji is one of the oldest dogs that exist today. This intelligent and balanced dog has two peculiar characteristics: it never beats and females only enter the rut once a year. The absence of the bark does not mean that the Basenji is a dumb dog, it emits sounds that could be defined as a mixture of singing and laughter. But overall it’s a quiet dog.
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The presence of annual heat, rather than twice a year as in other dog breeds, denotes the phylogenetic antiquity of the Basenji, since this characteristic is shared with the wolves and with the singing dogs of New Guinea (which also do not bark ). If you are thinking of adopting a Basenji or, if you already have a companion of this breed, in this sheet the Expert can find out everything you need to know about him, the physical characteristics of Basenji, his character, education and health .
- United Kingdom
- Grupo V
- More than 80
Origin of Basenji
Basenji, also known as the Congo dog , is a breed of dog whose origin dates back to Central Africa. On the other hand, it was also shown that the ancient Egyptians used the Basenjis for hunting and were appreciated for their courage and devotion to work, so are also part of their history.
At the end of the year 1800 the Basenji was tried to import to Europe, but the distemperfinished with all the imported copies. Thus it was only in the 1930s that this breed was imported to England and Wales. in 1941 that took to the United States.
Although in the rest of the world the Basenji is treated like a companion dog, in Africa it continues being used to hunt small animals.
Physical characteristics of Basenji
The Basenji is an elegant, athletic, small and unusual dog . The Basenji’s head gives it an aristocratic appearance, and the forehead has fine, well-defined wrinkles when the dog lifts its ears. The skull, of moderate width, gradually decreases to the nose, the calvaria is flat and the stop, although existing, is not very marked. The eyes of the Basenji are dark and almond shaped, are arranged obliquely in the skull and their eyes are penetrating. The small ears end in tip and are upright and slightly inclined forward.
The Basenji has a tail, with a high insertion, well wrapped around the back. This characteristic tail of the breed can form one or two laps next to the thigh. Check out our article to learn why dogs wag their tail and learn how to interpret their position.
The back is short and level, and the chest is deep. The upper line rises to form a clearly defined waist. Basenji’s hair is short and very dense, fine and shiny. Accepted colors for this breed are:
- Red and white
- Black and tan
- White with fire spots on the snout and cheeks
- Black, fire and white
- Tigrado (red background)
- The feet, the chest and the tip of the tail should be white
The ideal height of Basenji males is around 43 cm at the withers, while the ideal height of females is around 40 cm at the withers. In turn, the weight of the males is around 11 kilos, and the weight of the females is nine kilos and a half.
Basenji is an alert, independent, curious and loving dog . It can be booked with strangers and can respond aggressively to teasing, so it is not the best option for families with young children.
Due to its predisposition to hunting, this dog is not usually recommended to live with pets of other species. However, the Basenji tend to get along well with other dogs. Therefore, socialization since puppyhood is a necessity for both this breed and any other breed of dog.
This canine breed is very active and can be destructive if not provided with the necessary exercise. His hunting impulses make Basenji an independent dog, but that is not why it should be left alone for long. In fact, Basenji, like any other race, also needs his fellow human beings to listen to him, play with him, and give him affection. Although he does not like constant embraces, he does not tolerate indifference either.
On the other hand, the Basenji is a dog that barks very little and that is extremely clean. In addition, the character of Basenji also highlights his playful personality and very stubborn . This breed of dog needs a patient and constant companion in his education.
Education of Basenji
As we mentioned in the previous point, the Basenji is a dog that needs a companion with a lot of patience and constancy , since although it is not a dog complicated to train, it needs to practice several times the orders of obedience to internalize them. There are breeds of dogs with a faster learning process, such as the German Shepherd, and others with a slower response, as is the case with Basenji.
For best results during Basenji education, the most advisable is to train him with positive reinforcement . In this way, the dog will gradually associate orders with positive stimuli and will internalize them much more quickly. The traditional training based on punishment, ends up generating in the dog stress, anxiety and fear, so it is never a good option. Begin your education with basic orders and go advanced little by little, until you have not internalized one should not go on to the next. Check out our article on basic dog orders and discover the steps you should take to teach each dog .
In general, for Basenji to learn an order usually requires between 30 and 40 repetitions , so do not be surprised if you observe that after practicing with him more than 10 times still do not understand. In addition, it is not advisable to perform training sessions of more than 15 minutes, as it could generate anxiety and stress in the dog. In this way, opt for short but constant education sessions.
Care of Basenji
The Basenji is a dog that can live quietly in an apartment if it is provided with frequent rides and the exercise necessary to burn the accumulated energy. You do not need excessive exercise, but you can get bored easily if you do not provide enough mental exercise. This usually leads to behavior problems such as the destruction of furniture or other items. In addition, Basenji needs two to three daily walks in which you can walk, run, play and relate to other dogs.
For those who are addicted to cleaning or suffering from allergy to dogs , Basenji has a great advantage over other breeds of dogs. This dog loses very little hair, so it is considered as a hypoallergenic dog. Although it is not one of the most recommended breeds for people with a high degree of allergy, it can be good when it comes to mild allergies. On the other hand, he has a habit of cleaning himself often , like cats, and likes to be clean at all times. In this way, and to finish with the care of the Basenji, the brushing and the bath need much less time and dedication with this race. Basenji will need a bath when it’s really dirty and will need one to two brushings a week, especially during times of change.
Health of Basenji
There are a number of diseases more common in Basenji than in other breeds of dogs. To be attentive and to prevent them from developing, we will show you what they are:
- Renal problems such as Fanconi’s syndrome
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Intestinal problems
- Obesity if you do not get the exercise you need
When referring to the periodic reviews defined by the veterinarian, it will be essential to keep in mind the previous conditions to pay special attention, since some of them are hereditary (kidney problems). On the other hand, although we have mentioned that Basenji is an active dog, if you are not provided with the exercise that your body needs you will eventually suffer from obesity. Overweight in dogs is a condition that can cause serious consequences, such as deterioration of heart function. Therefore, we recommend that you consult our article on how to prevent obesity in dogs and not forget your walks. In addition, it will be vital to keep up with your schedule of vaccines and deworming to avoid contracting viral diseases.