Other names : African Bush Dog, African Barkless Dog, Ango Angari, Congo Dog, Zande Dog, Congo Terrier

Photo: adult dog of Basenji breed
Photo: puppy of Basenji breed
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Life expectancy

The Basenji has a life expectancy of between 13 and 15 years




Adult size

Female Between 15 and 17 in
Male Between 16 and 18 in

Adult weight

Female Between 20 and 22 lb
Male Between 22 and 26 lb
Coat colour
Black Red White
Type of coat
Eye colour

Purchase price

The Basenji costs between £790 and £965

Good to know

More details about the Basenji

Basenji: Origins and history

George Schweinfurth was first westerner to come into contact with the Basenji. He was researching the Niam Niam tribe in central Congo, who used packs of Basenjis as hunting companions. Not only was he surprised by the breeds superior tracking abilities, but he also made a note of their unusual bark, which the locals described as a “baroo” noise. The Basenji shares many of the same characteristics as Pariah dogs, half-feral pack dogs that survive on the outskirts of human settlements in developing countries. Basenjis are nowhere near as domesticated as most other breeds. In fact, these dogs are a real link between our modern household pets and their wild ancestors. Several attempts were made to introduce the breed into Britain and the Western world.  However, given the long distances in transporting them and their unfamiliarity with the British climate, the first batches of Basenjis suffered several health problems and failed to develop. It wasn't until the 1930s that a foundation stock was established in the UK, from which their numbers and popularity began to grow. This culminated in 2001 when a Basenji named Jethard was named best in show at crufts.

FCI classification of the Basenji

  • Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

  • Section 6 : Primitive type

Training a Basenji

This depends on the ability and knowledge of the trainer. An inexperienced handler will have a very tough time keeping this dog focused. According to the author of the Intelligence of Dogs, the Basenji is the second most difficult dog to train.

Basenji: Purchase price

The average cost of a purebred Great Basenji is somewhere between  £790-£965.

You'll also need to budget around £60 a month for feeding costs; the average cost of a basic insurance policy is around £20.00 per month.

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