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Breeds 101

Basenji

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This quiet and graceful dog is typical of the breeds that evolved in temperate and warm climates.

This quiet and graceful dog is typical of the breeds that evolved in temperate and warm climates.
Tan color provides camouflage, and white patches on the fur and a short coat all help with heat tolerance. These factors, as well as the Basenji’s silence while tracking game, make it an efficient hunter.

Although its exact origins are mystery, dogs similar to Basenji are depicted in Egyptian tombs from the Fourth Dynasty. Today’s Basenji descends from Zaire in the 1930’s.

The lightly built Basenji was used for hunting game and was prized for its speed and intelligence.

It rarely barks, but howls in a curious voice not unlike the sound of an Alpine yodeler.

Docile with humans, it has a tendency to wander.

Despite some unsuccessful attempts to bring the breed to England in the late 1800’s, the Basenji eventually was established outside of Africa in England and, in 1941, the U.S.

Size:
Small; females 16 inches, 22 pounds; males 17 inches, 24 pounds.

Color:
Chestnut red, black, black and tan, or brindle with white markings.

Temperament:
Feisty, intelligent, curious, and independent; affectionate with friends and family, but reserved with strangers. Fastidious about grooming.

Energy level: Medium to high.

Best owner: Active owner with fenced yard and time for canine exercise.

Needs:
Daily mental and physical exercise (walks, games, free runs), fenced yard, minimal coat care.

Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years.