The Basenji, known as the African Barkless Dog, is considered by its devotees as unique to the species. One
of the oldest of breeds, Basenji type dogs are depicted on the tombs of the Pharaohs and date back to as early as 3600 B.C. Small and short haired, with a foxy face, worried-looking wrinkled brow, upright ears and tail curled like a doughnut, the Basenjis’ most unusual characteristic is that it does not bark. He is, however, not mute and, although usually quiet, has a repertoire of sounds that range from a pleased throaty crow, to a
keening wail when he is lonely or unhappy.
The Basenji is found today in Southern Sudan and in Zaire where they live with the natives in remote forests and are used to hunt. Well balanced, graceful and active, the 16-to 17-inch height allows a functional yet sustainable size in an environment devoid of luxury. Basenjis hunt using both sight and scent. Rather than pointing or retrieving, dogs are used to assist beaters in flushing game that is driven into nets strung up against trees.
The Basenji Breeder in Central Africa as a sight hunter. It is not a mute dog, yet it is known as the "barkless dog." The sound that the Basenji makes is somewhere between a chortle and a yodel. In their native Africa they hunt small game by pointing, holding, and then upon command, driving the game into a net after the hunter is in position. They are also used as retrievers for the game that takes flight.
The coat is smooth and shiny and comes in chestnut, black, brindle, or black and tan all set off with varying
amounts of white markings; although, the required white is the chest, four feet, and the tip of the tail. Another feature that is a boon to pet owners but a cross for breeders is that the females as a general rule have only
one heat period a year in the fall. About 90% of the litters are born from October through December.
As a personality, the Basenji Dog is intriguing, engaging and complex. An independent thinker, he is charming as well as trying. Reared with affection as well as discipline, he is a delightful companion. He is active and resourceful at play and cozy and comfortable in repose. He can stand cold temperatures when he is busy, but prefers a warm place out of the rain and weather. As a rule he prefers to be allowed the courtesy of making the first overtures in a friendship. His barklessness is a disadvantage as a guard dog. Although he is exceedingly alert and will let you know that someone or something is outside, anyone on the outside is not apt to know that there is a dog within.
Your Basenji will need plenty of exercise to enable him to develop properly and also to prevent boredom; a bored dog can be a destructive dog! He can not be allowed to run loose for when he is on the trail of a rabbit or a squirrel, he has no thought for dangers like vehicular traffic. A stout fence or a strong leash will help him lead a happy life.
|Basenji Dog Weight Standards: m - 25 lbs., f - 23 lbs.|
Height Standards: m - 17 inches, f - 16 inches
Coat: short, silky smooth, single in tan, black or red with white
Common Ailments: congenital hemolytic anemia, hyperactive
Basenji Native food supplies for this breed would have been the African desert partridge and rabbit combined with a local form of the grains wheat and rice. Another staple of their diet would have been a tuber root that is very similar to the peanut. For the Basenji I recommend foods that contain their protein from beef and horse meats blended with poultry. The carbohydrate sources should be from brown rice and wheat. However, you should avoid feeding a Basenji any foods containing soy, beet pulp, fish, lamb or white rice.