Breed of The Month

Breed of The Month

Basenji

  • Height: 17 inches (male), 16 inches (female)
  • Weight: 24 pounds (male), 22 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 13-14 years
  • About the Basenji

    Basenjis are small, graceful hounds standing 16 or 17 inches at the shoulder. They are recognizable by their glistening short coat, tightly curled tail, and wrinkled forehead and expressive almond-shaped eyes that convey a variety of subtle, humanlike emotions.
    Basenjis are a lovely sight at a standstill but more impressive yet at a fast trot, when they exhibit the long, smooth strides of a mini-racehorse. And yes, it’s true, they don’t bark, but they make their feelings known with an odd sound described as something between a chortle and a yodel. Basenjis are fastidious and will groom themselves like cats. This has been called a “cult breed”—small in numbers, but those lucky enough to own one do so with singular devotion.

  • The Basenji, Africa’s “Barkless Dog,” is a compact, sweet-faced hunter of intelligence and poise. They are unique and beguiling pets, best for owners who can meet their exercise needs and the challenge of training this catlike canine.

  • Care
  • The Basenji should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

  • Grooming
  • Basenjis are fastidious creatures. Their short coat is a breeze to take care of, generally requiring no more than a quick once-over with a soft-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove every week. Brushing distributes skin oils throughout the coat to help keep it healthy and looking its best. Basenjis don’t have a “doggy” smell, and they usually don’t need to be bathed unless they get into something particularly messy. As with all breeds, the Basenji‘s nails should be trimmed regularly, because overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.
  • Excercise

  • Basenjis are energetic, inquisitive, and very active. They require lots of regular exercise to keep them from becoming bored. Boredom can lead to destructive behavior. Long play sessions in a well-fenced yard or securely on lead are required. A Basenji should never run loose, as the breed’s instinct to hunt is very strong, and the dog might not be able to resist the urge to run off on a chase. Giving the dog a structured outlet for those instincts and that pent-up energy can help immensely; many Basenjis enjoy, and excel at, canine sports such as lure coursing, tracking, and obedience and agility competitions.

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