Meet the Basenji Dog, One of the Oldest Known Breeds Why This Breed is Thought to be Ancient

Basenji dog photo
Medium Breed Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Basenji

Is the Basenji Good For You?

  • 1 The Basenji dog is relatively easy to manage even with their lively and playful personality.
  • 2 Although they are not recommended for homes with non-canine pets or small children, they love people.
  • 3 Basenji puppies are easy to train and have a love for games and tricks.


The Basenji is an ancient dog breed that is thought to have a legacy of over 5000 years. While their own origins remain unknown, Egyptian tomb drawings that portray similar dogs, substantiates their history. The dog was used in Africa to assist hunters in flushing out the game. In 1944, the Basenji was registered by the AKC.

Quick Facts

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    10-12 years, though occasionally they can live up to 20

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    16-17 inches (41-43 cm)

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    Male Weight

    22-26 pounds (10-12 kg)

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    Female Height

    15-16 (38-41 cm)

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    Female Weight

    20-25 pounds (9-11 kg)

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    Litter Size

    4 to 6 puppies


Basenjis are lively dogs that are jovial, playful, and easy to manage. Basenjis make a watchful pet who responds well to training and commands. Always eager to please their owner, a Basenji is ever willing to put in their best. Basenjis are not recommended to be kept with non-canine pets or in homes with small children. They bond strongly with people though they can be reclusive with strangers. They have a penchant for games and tricks and are a dynamic canine with oodles of energy. The Basenji is an enthusiastic chewer and an expert climber. .


Red, black, tricolor (black and tan), or brindle (red with black stripes).

Health Concerns

Though the Basenji is normally healthy with an impressive lifespan of 10โ€“12 years, they can be susceptible to ailments like:

  • Fanconiโ€™s syndrome
  • progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • intestinal conditions

The Basenji is a stunning small dog with a graceful and athletic body. They have long legs, muscular thighs, and an even back. They have a smooth hairy coat in various colors like red, copper, black and tan, or black and brindle. Basenjis are easily identifiable by their white feet and prominent white markings on their tail and chest. The creased forehead gives them a thoughtful look. The tail is arched and elevated and the ears straight. The dog does not bark and only makes vocalizations.

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