Brief History
The Basenji originated in Africa. DNA studies show that they were one of the earliest established dog breeds and have had very little genetic change through time. They are still used as a hunting breed, particularly in the villages of the Sudan and Congo, and work by flushing small game such as bush hare and some ground birds into nets.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 12 to 14 years.

Intelligent, independent but affectionate and alert. They can be aloof with strangers.

General Breed Description
A small/medium, lightly built, fine boned dog, with a foxy head, tightly curled tail and an aristocratic bearing. They are highly intelligent and extremely curious, quite mischievous, playful, and will make you laugh.

They are affectionate and caring with those they know, but may take time to get to know strangers, and have very quick reflexes so may react if challenged or taken by surprise. Similarly, they might not take kindly immediately to other dogs.

Basenji are sometimes known as barkless dogs, but have various sounds such as a howl, growl and yodel. They are also known for being very clean with very little doggy smell, and groom themselves like cats, so are well suited to live inside. The puppies are playfully destructive and need to be raised with patience, love and a sense of humour, and training through positive techniques and consistency.

Colours include red, black, brindle and black/tan, all combined with white.

Coat and Care Requirements
This is a short-coated breed with only a little shedding, so the coat is easily maintained by a weekly brush and bath when needed.

They require a well fenced yard as they will roam due to their hunting instinct and curiosity and are unlikely to return when called. For this reason, they are not safe anywhere off leash and can escape quickly and do not have any road sense.

Height: Males 43cms (17ins), Females 40cms (16ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Basenji is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Fanconi Syndrome.

Basenjis are either perfect for you or totally wrong. They are very suitable for easy going people who like an independent and affectionate dog of great character.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to Dogs Australia Breed Standard: 



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