For more information

If you are interested in more information about this breed contact the SPDR Breed Rep here.





General Description:

Basenjis aren't for most owners. They are a smart breed that can learn what drives you crazy and do it for attention. They have a great sense of humor and expect the same from you. Best with owners who don't expect "obedience" from their dogs. Owners need to have done the research on the breed, so they know most of the issues that will crop up. The dogs are house dogs who are happiest with the family they love.

They like warm, soft areas, require a fenced yard and walks on a leash. Most can't be left loose in the house and require crating when the owners are at work. Dogs left loose without training can destroy furniture and carpets or climb counters, in an attempt to amuse themselves. Dogs left in yards can dig, climb and destroy any attempt at landscaping.They can also climb fences. They have to be socialized at an early age, and temperment-testing is a must with a rescue dog.

This is a cat-like breed. If a cat temperment is one that appeals to you, then you should continue your research on this dog, to see if it will fit into your family. It is not a breed for families with small children. Basenjis will take a lot from their owners only after the dogs have tested the families and found their place in the pack. They will see small children as pack mates and treat them accordingly. Older basenjis can be wonderful apartment dogs and great with folks who are homebound or senior. Basenjis can be trained to use litterboxes when kept in apartments.



16-17in at the shoulder. 20lbs or up, with females a bit smaller.



4 types: Red/white, black/white/, tri (black, tan, white), brindle


Energy Level:

High as puppies, young adults...some are quite sedate as middle aged dogs.


Life expectancy:

17 years



Not recommended for families with small children as they will see the children as pack mates and may nip to establish dominance.


Other animals:

Basenji are sight hounds, so may have problems with cats, rabbits, other animals they see as prey. They have a strong chase/prey drive.



Smart, clean breed. Generally quiet, but may scream when unhappy, yodel when happy. Very cat like in their ability to climb and escape from areas. Can be extremely destructive if left loose in the house.



Most don't shed, some may a small bit. They clean themselves like cats and are generally odor free.



Fanconis (a deadly kidney disease) and PRA (progressive blindness).


Best with:

Homes who want to have the basenji with them. Basenjis can stay home when their people are working, but crating and/or a companion animal is recommended. Its best that basenjis are an indoor dog.


Not for:

Folks who don’t want a lazy breed. Basenjis are very smart and will find things to do if they are bored. A tired basenji is a good Basenj.



This breed is smart, active, and has a great sense of humor..they will train the human to give them the home they require…they work very well with positive conditioning.



They are not “obedient” and are free thinkers. They will not respond to harsh handling or corrections.

They can be destructive when left at home without proper exercise. This is a smart breed who will not be ignored.


Further Information:

Basenji Club of America
Basenji Rescue and Transport
Evergreen Basenji Club
Breed Details

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