Basic Information

The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Breed Group
Black,Black and Tan,Brindle,Red,Tricolor,White
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Basenji is often referred to as the "barkless" dog although they are also described as being "talking dogs" because although they don't "bark" like other dogs, they make their own unique sound which is more like a yodel that anything else. They are ultra clean dogs which makes them more cat-like than other dogs and they will spend hours cleaning themselves when they have any dirt on their coats. Just like cats, Basenjis use their paws to clean themselves and as a result rarely have any sort of smell about them.

Basenjis are around the size of a terrier and have a very endearing look about them which is enhanced by the wrinkles on their foreheads. They are wonderfully friendly by nature as well as being inquisitive and confident. A Basenji forms a very strong and close bond with a family and in particular with one person in a household which is why over the years, they have become one of the most popular choices of a family pets or companion dogs.

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Basenjis have been around for a very long time with evidence of very similar looking dogs being found on wall paintings and engravings in the Pharaoh's tombs of Ancient Egypt. However, these extraordinary little dogs were also found in the Congo in the seventeenth century where they highly prized for the hunting and scenting skills.

Three dogs that were imported to France from the Belgium Congo can be seen in a picture that was taken in 1880 at the Zoological Gardens in Paris. These dogs bear a striking resemblance to the Basenji and the breed profile that was written back then is very similar to today's breed standard for the Basenji.

Over the years, these lovely little dogs became highly prized for their hunting skills in many African countries where they are often referred to as "the jumping up and down dog" or M'bwa M'kube M'bwawamwitu. It was not until the mid thirties that the breed found its way to the UK when a pair of Basenjis were imported into the country and later these dogs produced their first litter. The following year, in 1937, the puppies were exhibited for the first time at Crufts and the interest was so great that crowds of people had to be kept under control by the Police.

Today, the Basenji is still used as a hunting dog in many African countries, but these lovely, loyal dogs are extremely popular here in the UK and elsewhere in the world too thanks to their sweet personalities and the fact they don't bark. The Basenji also sheds very little and because they are often in the limelight when they appear and win at Crufts being described as the "silent dogs", they continue to be a great choice as family pets and companion dogs.

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