Breed Information


2022: #91

2021: #87

2020: #86

2015: #87



Other names

Congo Dog, Congo Terrier, African Bush Dog, African Barkless Dog, Ango Angari, Zande Dog



Breed Group

Hound (AKC:1943)

Sighthounds and Pariahs (UKC)


Small to Medium



Life Span

12-15 years









Male: 16-17 inches (41-43 cm)

Female: 15-16 inches (38-41 cm)


Male: 22-26 pounds (10-12 kg)

Female: 20-25 pounds (9-11 kg)


Black & White, Black Tan & White, Brindle & White, Red & White

Litter Size

4-5 puppies

Puppy Prices

Average $1500 – $2000 USD

A Basenji puppy typically costs between $1,500 and $3,000 though prices may vary somewhat. Factors such as a low number of puppies born each year, few breeders, the breeder’s reputation, and the costs of health testing can all influence the price.

basenji dog breed

Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

Breed Characteristics



Apartment Friendly


The Basenji will do okay in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. It is very active indoors and a small yard will do. The Basenji is happiest when it is kept with two or three other Basenjis; they will not fight among themselves.

Barking Tendencies



Cat Friendly


Child Friendly


Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Dog Friendly


Exercise Needs


The Basenji needs vigorous daily exercise. They have a tendency to become fat and lazy unless the owner is consistent about it. This breed needs a long daily walk.



Low Maintenance: Grooming is only necessary once in a while to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.

Health Issues


Hypoallergenic: No

This breed is prone to Fanconi’s syndrome (kidney problems), which must be treated the moment the symptoms are noticed. Also, it is susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy, intestinal and eye problems.



Ranking: #78 Full Ranking List



Shedding Level


Minimal Shedding: This dog will shed a negligible amount. Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with dog hair in their cars and homes.

Stranger Friendly




Difficult Training: The independence of the Basenji can make it difficult to train. It is not known for its obedience. However, Basenjis are eager to please and can learn quickly due to their high intelligence.

Watchdog Ability


The dog world is replete with various breeds, each boasting its own unique characteristics. Among these stands the Basenji, an intriguing breed filled with nuances that have captured the heart of many a dog lover. This guide provides a detailed look into what makes the Basenji so special. Whether you’re a prospective Basenji owner or simply a canine aficionado, this guide will satiate your curiosity.

Basenji Dog Breed Characteristics

Often dubbed the “barkless dog,” the Basenji is anything but silent. Characterized by its unique yodel-like sound, known as the “barroo,” this breed stands out not just by its voice but also by its endearing personality and distinctive appearance. Originating from Central Africa, the Basenji’s history is as rich as its character.

Historical Roots of the Basenji

The Ancient Origins

The roots of the Basenji trace back to ancient times. In fact, their likenesses have been found in ancient Egyptian artifacts, suggesting their existence thousands of years ago. These dogs were revered and often associated with pharaohs and nobility.

Journey to the Modern World

Despite their ancient origins, the Basenji made its formal introduction to the Western world only in the 20th century. English explorers were entranced by this breed and decided to bring them back home. The Basenji’s transition from the African wilderness to modern homes was smooth, given their adaptability.

Physical Attributes

Size and Build

Typically, the Basenji stands at about 16-17 inches tall and weighs between 22 to 24 pounds. They have a lean build, complemented by a finely wrinkled forehead, which often gives them a thoughtful expression.

The Unique Tail

One cannot discuss the Basenji without mentioning its unique tail. Curled tightly over its back, the tail adds a touch of elegance to the breed’s overall appearance.

Personality and Temperament

The “Barkless” Trait

Though often dubbed “barkless,” the Basenji isn’t mute. Instead, they produce a unique yodel called the “barroo”. This sound is a mix of a chortle and a yodel and is truly music to a Basenji lover’s ears.

Intelligence and Training

Basenjis are incredibly intelligent, which can sometimes lead them to be a tad stubborn. Training them requires patience, but once they’re trained, they can be very obedient.

Social Behavior

Being naturally curious, Basenjis are great with families and children. However, they do possess a strong prey drive, so it’s advised to be cautious around smaller pets.

Health and Care

Lifespan and Health Issues

With a lifespan of around 13-14 years, Basenjis are relatively healthy. However, they can be prone to certain genetic conditions, making regular vet check-ups essential.

Grooming Essentials

Thanks to their short coat, Basenjis require minimal grooming. A weekly brush and occasional bath will keep them looking their best.

The Basenji in Pop Culture

Given their unique traits, Basenjis have found a place in popular culture, including movies, books, and TV shows. Their distinct “barroo” has often been a topic of intrigue and amusement.


The Basenji is indeed a unique breed, filled with quirks and endearing characteristics that make it stand out in the vast world of canines. From its intriguing “barroo” to its rich history, every facet of the Basenji tells a captivating story. Whether you’re looking to welcome one into your home or simply gain knowledge, one thing is certain: the Basenji will leave a lasting impression on your heart.


Why don’t Basenjis bark?

While they don’t bark in the traditional sense, Basenjis make a unique yodel-like sound called “barroo”. This trait is genetic and dates back to their ancient lineage.

Are Basenjis good family pets?

Absolutely! Basenjis are loving and get along well with families, especially if introduced to them as puppies.

How often should I groom my Basenji?

A weekly brush and occasional bath are all a Basenji needs, thanks to its short coat.

Do Basenjis have any specific dietary needs?

While they don’t have specific dietary needs, it’s essential to feed them high-quality dog food. Regular vet consultations can provide tailored diet recommendations.

Are they good with other animals?

Basenjis get along with other dogs, but their strong prey drive can be a concern around smaller pets.

Where did the Basenji originate?

The Basenji originated in Central Africa and has been around for thousands of years, as evidenced by ancient Egyptian artifacts.

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