The Basenji is one of the first dogs mentioned in recorded history. These small guys are quiet and can not physically bark. Many of their characteristics can be considered cat-like. Basenjis can make great companions with strong training and patience.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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Basenjis yodel because the unique shape of their larynx prevents them from barking.
About this Breed
The Basenji is widely known as the first dog; these little guys can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt. They have many unique qualities that separate them from the pack. The Basenji is very independent and requires a lot of patience when training. This is not a dog to trust off leash. They are very quiet fellows that will yodel instead of bark. Basenjis require little grooming due to their short coat and to the fact that they clean themselves like cats. While Basenjis make great apartment dogs, they still require a lot of exercise to prevent boredom. These dogs may require more training and patience than other breeds, but owners will tell you that these pups make fantastic household additions.
The Basenji is a small, short-haired dog. This dog has a short back, curled tail, arched neck, and wrinkled forehead.
“Elegant and graceful, the whole demeanor is one of poise and inquiring alertness. The balanced structure and the smooth musculature enable it to move with ease and agility,” according to the AKC.
Basenjis come in various colors including black and white; red and white; sable and white; and more. They typically stand at about 16 or 17 inches tall and weigh an average of 24 pounds, with females often a bit smaller than the males.
Basenjis groom themselves like cats do. They typically have short coats and don’t require a lot of brushing. Keep an eye on their nails though. They still need to have those cut.
Mixed breed Basenjis
There are several varieties of mixed breed Basenjis. Here are some of the names of Basenji mixes, according to dogbreedinfo.com:
Basenji x Beagle mix = Baseagle
Basenji x American Eskimo mix = Eskenji
Basenji x Great Dane mix = Great Dasenji
Basenji x Labrador Retriever mix = Labrasenji
Basenji x Welsh Corgi mix = Corsengi
“Basenjis are relatively rare dogs, like Keeshonds and Borzois. If you have heard of Basenjis, but not of Keeshonds or Borzois, I’m not surprised—on Petfinder there are 15 times as many Basenji mixes as there are Keeshond or Borzoi mixes,” according to our Co-founder and CSO Adam Boyko.
Boyko also wonders, “Are Basenjis hooking up with other breeds far more often than anyone realized to create this flood of Basenji mixes?”
Boyko owns his own “Terrier-Basenji” mix named Penny. Surprise…no Basenji. In fact, Basenji mixes are exceedingly rare in the Embark database, but that still doesn’t reduce the frequency with which people think they have a bona fide Basenji mix.
An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Basenjis:
Basenjis on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Basenji ancestry.