About breed

     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.

     The first sightings of Basenjis by Europeans came in the 1870s among the local peoples of the Ubangi-Uele basin in central Africa. They were first and foremost a hunting dog. The natives valued those dogs that excelled in the hunt and placed considerable emphasis on the dog’s intelligence, courage and adaptability. The dogs were products of natural selection with only the most fit and cunning surviving to produce the next generation.


     The Basenji is a small, short haired hunting dog from Africa. It is short backed and lightly built, appearing high on the leg compared to its length.

     The wrinkled head is proudly carried on a well arched neck and the tail is set high and curled. Elegant and graceful, the whole demeanor is one of poise and inquiring alertness. The balanced structure and the smooth musculature enables it to move with ease and agility. The Basenji hunts by both sight and scent.

     Ideal height for dogs is 17 inches and bitches 16 inches. Dogs 17 inches and bitches 16 inches from front of chest to the point of the buttocks. Approximate weight for dogs, 24 pounds, and bitches, 22 pounds. Lightly built within this height to weight ratio.

     Coat short and fine. Skin very pliant. Colors chestnut red; pure black, tricolor (pure black and chestnut red); or brindle (black stripes on chestnut red); all with white feet, chest, and tail tip. White legs, blaze, and collars are optional.


     The Basenji should not bark but is not mute. The wrinkled forehead, tightly curled tail and swift, effortless gait (resembling a racehorse trotting full out) are typical of the breed.

     An intelligent, independent, but affectionate and alert breed.

Resource: Basenji Club of America         

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