Basenji temperament – living with an African sighthound

by Dog Moda

Basenji dogs are alert and affectionate. They deserve special Basenji collars

Did you know that these elegant little high spirited dogs were originally bred in Africa as a hunting hound?

With their owners Basenjis are very affectionate, loyal and smart. They are eager to please and so, as long as you establish leadership, your Basenji will be easy to train.

One of the best things about the Basenji temperament is how much they love their humans. They enjoy being part of the family and dislike to be left alone, so are best suited to households where they will not be left without human company for long periods of time.

Some fun facts

  • The Basenji does not bark, but they are far from being mute! These dogs make noises closer to that of a coyote or wolf. Their characteristic yodel that may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up the first few times you hear it.
  • Height – Males top off at about 17 inches tall, while female Besenjis are a little bit shorter at about 15-16 inches tall.
  • Weight – These are compact and strong little dogs that weigh about 20-25 pounds
  • Life-span – Besenjis live to be between 12 and 16 years.
  • The Besenji has amazing eyesight and is still used by native Bushman in central Africa to help push large game into nets.

Things to be aware of before choosing a Basenji

  • If you don't give your Basenji something to keep his keen mind entertained, he will find something. Basenji will keep you on your toes and you will learn quickly not to leave him unsupervised with your favorite pair of shoes!
  • They are not so great with small animals. Basenji are one of the oldest natural breeds still in existence and they have been hunting small critters for thousands of years. Their instinct is to chase pretty much anything that runs.
  • Besenjis are very high energy dogs. Do not think that this breed to be happy to lounge, patiently awaiting your return. They want to be active and without a lot of exercise may develop behavior problems.
  • Unlike Spaniel or Collie, Basenji still has strong wild instincts and needs to be treated with the respect you might give a wild animal.
  • A well fenced escape proof garden is a must for Basenjis, as they are notorious for their Houdini impersonations and seem to be able to get out of just about any gardens. They are excellent climbers!
  • This intelligent breed can start learning manners at a very young age and the earlier you introduce your new Basenji to the rules of the house, the better chance of success you will have. Start training early, use positive reinforcementmethods, stay patient and have fun.

Basenji keyrings