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Basenji pros and cons

Owning a Basenji pros and cons

Barkless dog

Basenji size

Basenji temperament

Crate train a Basenji

How to train a Basenji

Basenji shedding

Basenji care

Basenji health issues

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Basenji breed origin

Basenji artwork

Basenji pros and cons

Basenji pros and cons

Owning a Basenji dog has pros and cons.

Basenji pros: Basenjis are known as barkless dogs. Instead of barking the Basenji can produce a melodic yodeling sound that is very different from the familiar dog bark.
Basenji cons: Basenjis are very independent minded dogs and aren't easily trainable. A Basenji owner needs lots of patience combined with positive motivation to get the Congo Dog's attention and to get this dog to follow commands.
Basenji pros: Easy coat maintenance. In comparison to most other dog breeds, Basenjis have a very short coat that is easy to care for.
Basenji cons: Basenji dogs have a short coat that does not offer much protection during the cold weather. Congo dogs dislike cold and rainy weather and should be dressed appropriately for the cold weather. A dog raincoat or winter jacket for Basenji can go a long way to keep your pet comfortable in any weather. This breed is not suitable for very cold climates.
Basenji pros: Basenji dogs are clever and intelligent. Provide your Basenji with interactive dog toys or treat dispenser toys for dogs to keep your pet mentally stimulated.
Basenji cons: Basenjis are known for their talent of escaping. Never allow Basenji run without a leash in an area that doesn't have a good fence as the dog can easily run off chasing prey. The strong prey drive makes Basenji breed more prone to chasing small animals and the dog can easily get lost when busy chasing something, which can be a disadvantage to owning this breed.
Basenji pros: Basenji have an alert and smart. These clever dogs also may appear reserved and aloof towards strangers.

Basenji size

Basenji weight
Basenji male weight: 20 to 24.5 lb (9.5 to 11 kg)
Basenji female weight: 22 to 23 lb (10 to 11 kg)

Basenji size
Basenji male height: 40 to 43 cm (15.5 to 17 in)
Basenji female height: 40 to 43 cm (15.5 to 17 in)

Basenji coat: short hair. Basenji is a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Basenji colors: red, black, tricolor, and brindle, and they all have white chests and stomachs

Basenji life expectancy:
Basenji life span: 10 to 12 years

Basenji other names for the breed include Congo Dog, Congo Terrier, African Bush Dog, African Barkless Dog, Ango Angari, Zande Dog

How much does a Basenji dog cost?
Basenji prices start at $500 and up, depending on many factors.

Barkless dog

Dogs that don't bark include the Basenji. Be warned that barkless Basenji doesn't mean silent Basenji. The Basenji breed standard puts the sound that these dogs make as a mix of chortle and a yodel. Basenji is not a completely woofless dog. There is a whole range of sounds that a Basenji can make, including whining and screaming that may surprise someone who did not expect to hear any sounds from this breed. The larynx of a Basenji is different shape than that in other dogs and as a result the dog is unable to bark the way most other dogs do. Basenji yodel sounds more like a siren. Basenji is not such a quiet dog breed afterall! See video of Basenji yodeling. Hear the sounds that this African barkless dog can produce in this Basenji yodeling video.

Basenji temperament

The Basenji dog has a calm and independent temperament. Basenji owners often describe their pets as stubborn dogs. Clever Basenji are not easily trainable dogs and can be stubborn and unwilling to learn new commands. Finding the right motivation and keeping training sessions short and positive can help to achieve good training results. The Basenji tends to select one human to form emotional attachment with. Aloofness with strangers is one of the Basenji's character traits. Strangers should not make the first physical move to greet the Basenji and should not approach the dog from the rear. Let the dog make the first approach. Basenji will not mind a company of another Basenji - in fact the Basenji breed does really well when paired up with another Basenji. Basenji may not always get along with other non-canine pets. Remember that the breed has a strong prey drive and cannot be trusted around animals other than dogs when off leash.

Are Basenji good with kids? The Basenji enjoy activity playtimes and energy levels that come with older children. There can be a strong bond with children if raised with them. Keep in mind that older Basenji may not settle as well with a family who already have children. The African Bush Dog (another name for the Basenji breed) makes a good family watchdog and will defend both family and property.

When walking the Basenji, only let the dog off the leash in a fenced area, where dogs are allowed to run free. Basenji are fast runners and can easily take off running after some small animal that they see as a prey. Basenji may not immediately come back when called by the owner, especially if there's something that caught the dog's attention and activated his hunting instinct. The barkless dog is likely to ignore the owner's call to come back in such situation. Put an id tag on the dog's collar or harness as the fast dog is known to be an expert escape artist when given an opportunity. Write your contact info on the dog's collar or harness, so that in case your Basenji does escape, you have a better chance of reuniting with your four legged friend.


Proper socializing will help you to raise a dog that is confident and stable whether it is at home or outdoors. Bring treats with you so that if you notice that the dog is not comfortable in certain environment you can always use treats to distract the dog and reward it for a good behavior. Basenji may show a stubborn temperament at times and training this dog will take a lot of patience on the owner's part.

The Basenji is a great dog for living in the city as long as the dog gets enough exercise. The breed is very versatile and can adjust to living in an apartment or in a house. This African dog breed has a very short and hypoallergenic coat. Due to the short coat this dog breed should not be kept outside too long when the weather is cold. For cooler weather always dress your pet in a dog coat to keep him warm when spending time outside. Keep in mind that Basenji are great climbers that can easily climb over a chain wire fence and a strong yard fence will be needed. Some Basenji owners describe their Basenji as a catlike dog because just like cats this dog breed is serious about keeping itself clean and has the same independent and aloof personality as most cats do.

The Basenji is a hunting dog breed that belongs to hound dog category, a sight hound. The Basenji rely on their vision unlike other hunting dog breeds that rely on sense of smell. The Basenji will pay close attention to any moving objects and chases whatever it sees as causing the motion. The breed will enjoy lure chasing as a game. However, the African Bush Dog may not be willing to fetch on command. This is an independent dog, who will only obey when it suits him. Training a Basenji can be a challenge for novice owners. The Basenji breed evolved in Africa and there are several names that this breed is known by, including Congo Dog, Congo Terrier, African Bush Dog, African Barkless Dog, Ango Angari, Zande Dog. The Basenji temperament can be described as playful, curious, alert and energetic. The barkless dog has a reasonably independent personality. His tightly coiled tail, short coat that enables the dog to live comfortably in warm climate and erect ears are easy to recognize. Congo dog (which is another name for Basenji) is a hunting breed that uses both sight and sound senses during hunting.

Start socializing your Basenji early in life, while he is still a young puppy. Take Basenji puppy to the dog park, to busy streets and other new places so that the Basenji puppy can get used to being comfortable in different environments. Your goal is to introduce your Basenji puppy to various places, other dogs and people and keep the dog comfortable during the new experiences.

Potential Basenji owners should learn as much as possible about the Basenji temperament to make sure it's a good match. Basenji should not be left alone at home too long as these dogs tend to get destructive due to boredom. Be prepared to spend a minimum of an hour of walk time with your energetic Basenji every day, and if you can manage more - even better! Many Basenji owners quickly learn to keep important things around the house in order. It is an invitation for your Basenji to chew on or play with anything that it finds on the floor. The Basenji quickly gets bored if left alone. Always leave something for your Basenji to chew on before you leave the dog home alone.

Crate training a Congo dog

Crate training may help to keep the mischevious Basenji out of trouble when you are not around. Crate trained dogs are easier to travel with. When the dog stays in a familiar environment during the trip, it is easier to keep the Congo dog calm and less stressed during the trip. He is also safer being in a crate while traveling as there's less of a chance for the dog to accidentally escape. Crate training a Basenji may take a while and it is important to not force the dog into the crate too soon. When you bring a new crate home, place it in the area where the dog normally sleeps. Dogs are den-living animals in nature and the crate will serve as his safe den, where he can sleep and have a peaceful rest. Some crate trained dogs like to bring their toys or treats to the crate to hide. Never use the crate as a punishment - this will make the Basenji reluctant to use the crate in the future. Do not rush the crate training process and leave the crate open for the dog to explore in the first few days of crate training. Periodically place some treats for the dog to find inside the crate. Do not give the dog any treats as he is coming out of the crate - he may think that he is being rewarded for coming out of the crate. Your goal is to leave treats inside the crate, so that the dog can associate the crate with a positive experience. Make his crate comfortable for the dog by placing a crate pad or a soft towel inside the crate so that the dog can enjoy sleeping there. After the dog is comfortable using the open crate, it is time to train him to be comfortable in a crate with a locked door. At first only close the door for a few seconds at a time. If the dog immediately begins to whine, wait for the short moment when the dog is quiet and open the door then. This way the dog will not think that whining gets rewarded. Give the dog a treat while he is inside the closed crate to reward his good behavior. Crate training may take a few weeks but once complete, you can have a peace of mind that when you are not around, the dog is not getting in any sort of trouble. Always tire out the Basenji before placing him in a crate. If you are unable to attend to your crated dog in a couple of hours, be sure to arrange for someone to take the dog out, walk him, let him get water and food if necessary. The dog should not be confined in the crate for more than a couple of hours at a time during the day. Some owners choose to crate their dogs for the night, especially if dogs are prone to destructive behavior while not being watched. During the day do not leave the dog crated for more than a couple of hours at a time. The recommended crate size should be big enough for the dog to stand full height without touching the top of the crate with the head. The dog should be able to stetch out as he is sleeping and should easily turn around in the crate. If the crate is too big, the dog may be tempted to use a part of the crate as his toilet. Use a crate separator to allow enough room to keep the dog comfortable but not too much room so that he is not encouraged to use the crate as his toilet.


How to train a Basenji

Even though the Basenji is highly intelligent, Congo dogs are not easily trainable. Training your Basenji will require a lot of time, patience and dedication. Building a bond with your dog is the first and crucial step that will help to train the dog successfully. The Basenji breed is more likely to respond to the owner's commands when there's a trusting and secure relationship between the dog and the owner. To build a strong bond with your dog, spend quality time together, establish and promote mutually respectful relationship and understand each other's needs. As a result, you will be able to raise a calm and happy dog. There's a certain level of stubbornness in a Basenji character. Attempting to overcome the breed's stubbornness with force may lead to confusion and aggression. Do not use harsh training techniques and whenever a correction is needed, it must be immediate and consistent. Use plenty of positive reinforcement, food rewards and praise during training. Consider an option of training classes to help get you where you and your Basenji need to be.

Basenji housebreaking training should start as soon as you bring the dog home. Watch for the signs of readiness - if you notice that the dog is sniffing the floor and walking in circles, immediately take him to the designated dog toilet area. Reward him with a small treat as soon as he is done with his business. Although Basenji is not the easiest breed to train, with consistency and patience the Basenji can successfully be potty trained.


Many dog owners report that using a crate for housebreaking training can help to house train your Basenji. Dogs use crates for sleeping and for relaxing. If your Basenji is prone to getting destructive while you are away, a crate can help to keep him out of trouble. Never leave a dog in a crate for more than a couple of hours. If you are away the whole day, do not leave the dog locked in his crate for hours on end. Dogs often need to take time to get used to their crate. Leave some treats for your pet inside the crate so that he can get motivated to explore his new "den". Do not rush to quickly close the crate once your dog gets inside. It is best to get the dog to feel comfortable and safe in the new environment. Only after your dog is fully comfortable spending time in his crate you can start getting the dog used to being closed inside the crate. Only close the gate for a few seconds at first. Leave some treats or chewing toys inside the crate and practice closing the crate doors for a few seconds at a time. Do not offer praise or rewards as soon as the dog comes out of the crate as he will associate leaving the crate with getting a reward. In case your dog starts whining while he is in the crate, do not immediately open the gate. Wait for the interval when the dog gets quiet and immediately let him out. Never put the dog in a crate as a punishment as you don't want your pet to associate his crate with being punished. Dogs that are properly crate trained enjoy spending time in their crate and often use it as their sleeping area. Crate trained dogs are easier to travel with as the dog feels more secure in his familiar environment during the trip.


Basenji shedding

Do Basenjis shed? Yes, but Basenji shedding is so minimal that the short haired dog breed is known as hypoallergenic. No dog is completely allergen free, but some breeds are low shedding and do not produce much pet dander or other allergens. Basenji dogs originated in West Africa and in that warm climate these dogs naturally did not need a long coat to protect themselves from cold. Being short haired dogs, the Basenji has low resistance to cold weather and shouldn't be kept outside too long during the cold weather. Keep your dog warm during the cold months by dressing him in dog coat before going outside. Some owners like to put on dog shoes on their dogs to protect their paws during cold, rainy days. Basenjis feature a very short coat that requires minimal maintenance.


Basenji care

Basenji grooming involves trimming the dog's nails once every 6 weeks or as soon as you can hear clicking sounds whenever the dog is walking on a hardwood floor. Overgrown nails can curl and grow into the dog's flesh, causing pain to your pet. Dog nail clippers can be used to trim his nails.

If you accidenally cut your dog's nail too much and the dog nail is bleeding, styptic powder can quickly help stop bleeding.

Many Congo dog owners are not aware of the importance of brushing Basenji's teeth every day. Brushing your Basenji's teeth helps to remove plaque that will turn into a yellow crust on the dog's teeth known as tartar if the dog's teeth aren't brushed regularly. Tartar is more difficult to remove and it harbors harmful bacteria that can pose danger to your dog's teeth and overall health. Brush your dog's teeth every day to prevent dental issues.


Chewable dog toys can help to keep your Basenji busy for some time while you are away. Keeping a chewable dog toy in Basenji's crate can help to entertain the dog.


Feeding a dog with a well balanced dog food helps to keep the dog healthy and active. Do not feed the dog human food because human food does not support his nutritional needs and the dog is more likely to get overweight. Dog's diet plays an important role in his overall health and longevity.


Basenji colors and coat care

The Basenji breed comes in a variety of colors: black, red, tan, brindle, black and white and tri-color. Because Basenji evolved on the continent of Africa, the Basenji has short coat especially on the ears. As a result the African Barkless Dog sheds minimally. Ango Angari enjoys warm climate and will not be happy in a very cold climate or weather. For colder months make sure to dress your Basenji in an appropriate dog coat when taking walks. The Basenji does not have the distinct dog odor found with many other dog breeds. Due to low dander production by their coat, Basenji is a hypoallergenic breed. Hypo-allergenic breeds are breeds that produce lower than normal amounts of dander which causes pet allergy in some people.

Get your Basenji used to being bathed from an early age. After a bath, remember to thoroughly dry your dog before taking him outside.


Keeping Basenji's ears clean is easy with dog ear wipes.

Basenji health issues

Avoid exposing your Basenji to cold temperatures. Kidney disorder, specifically Fanconi syndrome poses a serious health issue to affected Basenji dogs. Hip and elbow dysplasia is also common. Other diseases common for the Congo Terrier (yet another name for Basenji breed) include eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Corneal dystrophy.

Basenji origin

Basenji is an ancient dog breed that originated on the continent of Africa. Dogs resembling modern Basenjis can be seen on stelae in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, sitting at the feet of their masters, looking just as they do today, with pricked ears and tightly curled tails. In the Congo, the Basenji is known as "dog of the bush", "dog of the savages", or "dog of the villagers" and as a "wild dog". A good hunting Basenji was valued more than a wife by some African tribes. The Basenji breed is still used today in the Central Africa by the Pygmies to hunt lions. The Basenji breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1943.

Basenji artwork

Basenji's expressive face and elegant posture inspired many artists to produce beautiful Basenji artwork. Basenji artwork makes a wonderful gift for the owner of the breed.

Basenji gifts and merchandise

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