A Basenji is a hound type of breed which originates from Africa. Its early roots are connected to the Congo Basin region where the original stock comes from.
These dogs are characterized by a yodel-like sound, called the “baroo.” The dogs actually display the lack to bark, which was deemed useful in the developed of the dog as the people of Africa saw barking like giving off your position in the wild.
These dogs are thus connected to pariah dog types like dingoes and New Guinea singing dogs. Their original purpose was to aid the people in hunting and flush out the prey in the open.
Due to the unusual sound which they make, these hounds are also called “barkless dogs,” while the name itself drives from the Lingala language of Congo, which translates the name to “village dogs.”
Basenji History & Origins
The Basenji hound is an ancient breed. It is related to basal breed and the recent DNA findings state that this breed is a genetically divergent subspecies of the gray wolf. It states that the dog was derived from now-extinct ghost population of Late Pleistocene wolves.
The dogs were first established in Africa and were seen as companion dogs but also as hunting dogs. There are pictures of these dogs even with Egyptian pharaoh on their courts.
But when people from Europe started coming to Africa, they noticed the intelligence and obedience that these dogs displayed. The first attempt to bring the dogs to England failed as all of the dogs succumbed to a disease. But they finally managed to bring a founding stuck successfully in 1930s and it is how the Basenji breed started spreading here.
Characteristics & Temperament
The Basenji dogs are very alert, curios and energetic kind of dogs. They are reserved with strangers and are not fond of them until they get to know them. On the other hand, they will form an attachment with their owners which is difficult to break.
They will do their utmost to protect them as well. But at the same time, they are not good with other animals, especially those that are not canine. So they are prone to chasing other animals around the household. This is also due to their high prey drive that they have developed through the years.
Since they are curious, they often have a tendency to stand on their hind legs. That way they express their interest into something at times. But what does not boast for the breed is that they are not really trainable dogs. It is extremely hard to train them as they can be independent and uninterested in it. It will require additional skills to train then properly.
Basenji Appearance, Colors, Size
The Basenji hound has a graceful and elegant look to it. They are small in size and have short hair, erect ears and slim necks. They have a square appearance and their heads can be wrinkled when they are younger but the skin will tighten up as they get older.
Although they do not seem so energetic when you look at them, but they are in fact very vigorous dogs.
Their size goes to 41–46 cm in height and 9.1–10.9 kg. There are also a few different color alternations which are accepted like red, brindle, black and tricolor. All of them also have white chests, feet and tail tips.
There have not been many medical tests run for Basenji dogs. The latest survey states that their lifespan is between 12 and 14 years, which is pretty good. This indicates that they are generally a healthy breed.
There are a few established ailments which affect them. They are prone to blindness due to progressive retinal atrophy and can also suffer from Fanconi syndrome. Other ailments may include hypothyroidism and immunoproliferative systemic intestinal disease. But the thing that affects the Basenji breed extremely are chemical, so try to clear them out of your household if you are keeping this type of a dog.
Grooming & Shedding
A Basenji is very easily to take care of. They are very light shedders and almost do not shed at all. This makes them perfect pets for inside the household. This is because they have almost feline properties as they take care of themselves and clean themselves. But there is still some grooming that you have to do yourself.
To keep their short coats clean and neat brush them a few times a week. Giving them baths also does not hurt, but do not overdo it. They do not have any doggy odor so frequent baths are unnecessary. These dogs are often used on shows so displaying them will require a professional treatment.
Basenji Price and Breeders
Finding a Basenji puppy is getting easier these days. Some time back, the breed has yet to reach its popularity and has not had so many breeders. Now there are more of them present in various locations of the world, making it easier to get one. The ongoing price is somewhere between 800 and 1,300 dollars for a single puppy.
When it comes to rescuing a Basenji, it is a very useful alternative opposed to buying a dog. There are lots of ways to really get a Basenji, but adoption is probably the best one as it works in the benefit of the dog and the person who is adopting it. You may refer to the pages of Basenji Rescue and Transport, Inc., Country Hearts Hound & Basenji Rescue and Colorado Basenji Rescue to see how everything works and hopefully find a suitable dog for you.