The Basenji is among the most unique of all dog breeds. This small, elegant dog is probably best known for its lack of barking. However, the breed will sometimes whine and make noises that resemble yodeling. The Basenji is a muscular dog but is also very lean and agile. This breed is quite intelligent, with a fine character and curious nature. Many people consider the Basenji to be a cat-like dog.
Caring for Your Basenji
The Basenji's smooth, short coat requires very little grooming. This breed actually cleans itself - kind of like a cat. Additionally, the Basenji may be considered hypoallergenic, as it barely sheds at all. This makes it a good option for those who suffer from allergies. Also, the typical "dog odor" is not usually present in this breed.
Basenjis are known to be very loyal, affectionate, alert and active. They are best suited to homes where they can get adequate exercise, plenty of attention and proper obedience training. The Basenji has an independent personality and sometimes has a mischievous nature and/or rebellious streak. Socialization is a must, especially if the dog is to be around children or other pets (particularly the smaller ones).
The Basenji can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt and nearly did not survive the collapse of that civilization.
Fortunately, the breed endured and was developed in Africa and a highly skilled hunting dog. There it became known as the "Congo Dog."
Basenjis were brought to Europe and the Unites states during the early to mid 20th century where they were further developed and refined. To this day, the Basenji remains a skilled hunter and worker with an affectionate and loyal demeanor.
Size: 20-25 pounds
Colors: Chestnut red, black, brindle or tri-color (black and red); all have white feet, chest and tail tip; may have white legs, blaze, and collar.
Health Problems in the Basenji
Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:
Living With a Basenji
The unusual, almost cat-like Basenji is a pleasure to have in your life. As with all dogs, it is important to research and become educated about the individual features of different types of dogs. Because the Basenji is so unique, it may or may not be the right fit for your home. If it is a perfect match, then you are sure to enjoy the companionship of the lovely Basenji for years to come.
If you think the Basenji could be right for you, try to locate Basenji breeders and owners in your area so you can spend some time with the breed first. Also, consider searching for a Basenji rescue group to adopt one.
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