Basenji Temperament and Personality

Basenji Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • Basenji Temperament and Personality

    Basenji (“barkless dog”) – a small hunting breed, a dog - companion. It can produce a unique sound like a yodel. Experienced breeders know if the dog does not bark that does not mean that it does not bite. Basenji has strong, sharp teeth like dog - hunter. The Pygmies of Central Africa used hunt for lions with basenji nowadays.

    During the hunt it uses two flair organs - eyes and ears, while the most the hunting breeds use only one organ flair.

    Basenji is a "singing dog". Because, of this specific structure of throat, which is different from other breeds`throat. When air passes through the basenji throat, people can hear the sound like a croak, yodel, meow, chuckle, howl, but not barking.

    Basenji is temperament like a cat. It is independent and closed, noiseless moving, it washes muzzle with paw after eating. It was brought as gift to Pharaoh, from Central Africa. Perhaps Egyptians depicted exactly this breed on ancient drawings, hieroglyphics and dishes.

    Archaeologists found these embalmed dogs during the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb. It was wrapped in an expensive fabric, on its neck, she was wearing a collar with jewels and lying next fragrance. Ancient Egyptians thus showed respect for this breed.

    Scientists have found cave paintings of the animals like the Basenji for the period of the Neolithic in Africa in the caves. Aboriginals of Africa considered it as theirs a live talisman.

    Unfortunately for breeders, a genetic kidney disease called "Fanconi syndrome", has destroyed almost the entire breed in the United States in the 80s of XX century. Breeders went to Congo for the new representatives of the Basenji breed for diversity of the gene pool.

    According to an old African legend - Basenji is silent precisely because in the past, leader of the pack of dogs Basenji overheard the secret of an African tribe. And in order to Basenji can never tell this secret to someone else, African shamans imposed on Basenji curse - and these dogs are forever silent...

    Who knows, maybe this legend is a grain of truth, however, zoologists still failed to find any explanation why Basenji is silent.


    Basenji has a quiet, tranquil, independent character. This is a very loyal and intelligent breed. It loves the owner and everyone in the family with whom it lives.

    The owners love it for cleanliness and lack smell of dogs. Basenji`s small size makes it a good pet for a small apartment. People who are allergic to wool can become owners of this breed.

    It is fun and independent, is a good watchdog, distrustful to strangers.

    Basenji puppies are very playful and active and they need early socialization. You can start to it education when they are 3 month old. The breed is very energetic, always on the move. It will be a good pet for a person leading an active lifestyle.

    It is necessary to walk with basenji twice a day, in the morning and evening. Walking can be educational, with exercise and training: to bring the wand, to catch the ball, repeat the learned command. The breed is good at agility, it adores overcoming obstacles. Experienced owners know, the more energy your pet spending outdoors, the less rebellious it is in house.

    If it spends the whole day at home without exercise, it becomes capricious and stubborn. It can spoil owner`s things. Basenji steals a thing and then secretly nibbles it. You have to put the TV remote, glasses and other things as high as possible on the shelf. It will not be easy to wean your pet from damaging things, except to give it other toys.

    Basenji is not easy to train, they are stubborn and willful. You must begin to educate pet from the first days of its appearance in your home.

    Basenji loves kids, always playing with them in active games, but very young children should stay with it alone.

    You need to know, if your dog loves your children it does not mean that it likes other people's children outside, so by walking is better to keep the dog on a leash.

    It gets along well with cats in the same house, especially if it lives with them from puppyhood.

    He is distrustful to strangers. He can watch the whole day the guests of the host without hiding distrust.

    It is devoted to owner, ready to play and walk with him all day. It enjoys long walks, running and frolics, for 2 hours at least. Basenji hunting breed needs constant control and strict performance of owner`s team. It can get lost if it runs after a squirrel or a bird in the park.

    Recommendation from experienced breeder: never keep a Basenji off the leash especially in a city where there is a playground and intense traffic. It can run and not obey commands. You can walk the dog without a leash in special closed areas.

    If the Basenji met during a walk other representatives of the same breed, they can arrange in a flock and run away together.