Basenji or "African barkless dog" is one of the oldest natural dog breeds, and is one of Nature's Masterpieces. The breed originated in central Africa, and connected with a man long before the pyramids were created. This fascinating breed is still a useful hound of primitive tribes in Africa.



This fascinating breed is one of the oldest breeds in the world. They brought to the shores of the Nile in Central Africa as a gift to Pharaoh. Basenji type of dogs appears in Egyptian hieroglyphs and some artwork.




Basenji is a dog that DOESN’T bark but that does not mean that it is completely mute. He cannot bark like an ordinary dog, but can produce only a short "Woolf". They may whine, growl and howl like a wolf, and when they do it can be quite loud.

The Basenji breed is one that people tend to think is perfect for a pet or totally impossible.  They seem to be one of the smartest or one of the dumbest breeds depending on your outlook.


Basenji dog is still to be calm, quiet and loyal pet. Considered to be highly intelligent, resourceful and super smart dogs. Their intelligence is very often interpreted as stubbornness.
Generally they are very curious, playful dogs full of energy.
Can be aloof with strangers.


They have a lot of cat characteristics, such as independence and indifference, and, just like cats, they keep themselves clean. They are not water lovers, and don’t like rain or wet soil. Mainly they will avoid going out during the rainy time and would rather stay at home all day, where is dry and warm.

This is an elegant dog, aristocratic look with wrinkles on the forehead. Large erect ears, dark almond-shaped eyes create a typical absent and thoughtful look.
Another distinguishing feature of the breed is tightly curled tail (single or double curl) lay on his back.




Basenji isn’t a big dog. Females grow 40 cm, weighing around 9.5 kg. Males are slight larger, up to 43 cm and weighing around 11 kg. Usually tolerated deviation from centimeter or two, and everything else is considered very high or  i.e. very low.


The most common colors are red, but FCI (Fédération Internationale Cynologique) recognizes also black, tricolor and brindle. AKC (American Kennel Club) recognizes the fifth color – Trindle, tricolor with brindle points. White markings are required on the feet, chest and tail tip, and allowed on the head and neck. White on colored areas (e.g. on the back) are considered to being error but the reverse is allowed, i.e. red stains on the white parts (usually on the neck).




As for health concerns, they are mainly healthy dogs. Abroad are required to test for Fanconi Syndrome (DNA test). In addition to mandatory and meaning hip and eye examination, this shows only the current state and must be repeated every so often.
Umbilical hernia is very common in Basenjis, and according to some estimates there are about 50% Basenji with it, which is usually not a problem for a normal life, but if umbilical hernia is quite big than the surgery is highly recommended.

Usually they live around 14 years and some are known to live up to 17 years.



Basenji care is not difficult. Their coat is short, generally without undercoat. Just brush them during shedding, which is usually less intense than in other breeds.
Basenji is known as a very clean dog - cannot stand dirt or wet hair and will be licking like a cat until it is cleaned and dried. Basenji will also lick other members of their pack, and this applies to humans and animals.
them is almost unnecessary because apart from the fact that they are clean, Basenji is also known that has no odor. Basenji is a dog that must be kept inside of the house or apartment.


Unlike other female dogs Basenji comes in heat once a year. In the northern hemisphere they seasoning in autumn while puppies born between November and January. In the southern hemisphere, females are in heat in spring, and the puppies are born in June or July. Sometimes females can season two times a year, but this spring heat usually turns out to be a false.




Training Basenji is not an easy job. It is necessary to devote considerable time and a lot of effort and patience with the appropriate stimulus. Only in this way you can train their apathy and indifference.
This is not a dog that will blindly obey orders and cannot wait to do something for his master, but despite all this, one can study and learn to perform various tricks, but with the right motivation, otherwise it will very quickly begin to tease.

Basenji is a hunting dog originated in Central Africa and is still used as Pygmies hunting dog. While most dogs are hunted with the aid of sight and smell Basenji uses both senses to spy their prey. In Africa, it's often used to help in the hunt like find and chasing wild animals into nets that were stretched on the bushes.


Out of Africa is mainly a pet, hunting is rarely used. He’s excellent in lure coursing and racing, and sometimes competes in agility.


Outside Basenji active dog always ready for action, long hours of walking, running and hunting. But at home is generally a quiet pet that likes to be near his family lying on a couch near to their owners or other animals. He loves to sunbathe and will move from one room to another catching sun spots. He doesn’t like winter, cold or rain, and during winter will usually be reduced to the barest outings and more or less sleep over the winter with a hot radiator or under the covers.

Can be aloof with strangers but with little food becomes their best friend and, of course, just as they have food.
Attitude towards strange dogs depends on a Basenji. There is a chance to be aggressive to dogs with same sex and can have difficulty to accepting new dogs when grow up.
Early socialization and company with other dogs is highly recommended, so they can, as puppies get to know other dogs as many as possible. They have a very good memory and will be good friend with dogs they likes to play, even if they are not seen for years. On the other hand, if they don’t like one specific dog for some reason, it is almost
impossible to ever be friends with him.


Basenjis do well with other pets (cats) if they growing up with them from early age.


Basenji in Croatia


First Basenji in Croatia came in mid 90-ies of the last century. The HKS has so far registered 30-odd Basenjis. Because some of them sold overseas, and some are already dead, in Croatia there are today around 15-20, mostly in the northern parts (most of them in Varazdin, Zagreb ...)


With the amount of effort Basenji becomes perfect and wonderful pet and friend.


Country of origin:


Republic of Congo
Females - 40 cm, males - 43 cm
Females – around 10 kg, males - around 11kg
Short, pliant and fine.
Red, black, tricolor and brindle
An intelligent, independent, but affectionate and alert breed

Can be aloof with strangers






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