Basenji Dog Buyer’s Guide (NOV 2023)

The Basenji is a unique and ancient breed with a fascinating history and set of characteristics. While they may not be suitable for every household due to their independent nature and unique vocalizations.

They can make wonderful companions for individuals or families who understand and appreciate their distinctive traits.

They are known by various names like – African bush dog, African barkless dog, Ango Angari, Congo dog, and Zande dog.

Basenji Dog Breed Info –

Proper training, socialization, and care are essential for raising a well-adjusted and happy Basenji. Here is detailed information about the Basenji dog breed:

Basenji Dog FAQ
Basenji Dog FAQ
COAT GROOMING FREQUENCY1 to 2 times in a week


African barkless dog are medium-sized dogs with a compact and athletic build. They have a short, fine coat that comes in a variety of colors, including red, black, tricolor, and brindle.

Basenji Dog
Photo Credit: istock

One of their most unique features is their tightly curled tail, which often rests against their back. They also have a wrinkled forehead and almond-shaped eyes that give them a curious and intelligent expression.

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Basenjis are known for their independent and cat-like personalities. They are curious, alert, and often reserved with strangers. While they can be affectionate and loyal to their families, they are not always overtly demonstrative.

This breed has a reputation for being intelligent, but they also have a strong sense of self and can be somewhat stubborn. Training requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods.


One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Basenji is their lack of traditional barking. Instead, they produce a unique sound known as a “barroo” or a “yodel.”

This is due to their unusually shaped larynx which limits their ability to bark like other dogs. This trait makes them relatively quieter in comparison to many other breeds, but they can still make a range of other vocalizations.

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Exercise and Activity:

African barkless dogs are an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy activities such as running, playing, and exploring, so providing them with sufficient physical and mental stimulation is important to prevent boredom-related behaviors.


African barkless dog have a short coat that requires minimal grooming. Weekly brushing can help keep their coat in good condition and reduce shedding.

Their unique grooming behavior is worth noting: African barkless dogs are known to clean themselves like cats by licking their fur and paws.


Basenji Dog FAQ, Before Adopt You Can Check It
Photo Credit: Getty Images

As with any breed, African barkless dogs can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the conditions that can affect Basenjis include Fanconi syndrome (a kidney disorder), hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative eye condition), and certain skin conditions.

Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet are important for maintaining their overall well-being.

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Suitable Living Environment:

African barkless dogs can adapt to various living situations, but they thrive in homes where they have space to run and explore. A secure yard is essential, as Basenjis are known for their agility and their tendency to chase after interesting scents.

Due to their independent nature, they can be left alone for moderate periods of time, but they do best when they receive regular attention and exercise.


The history of the Basenji dog is intriguing and dates back thousands of years. This breed has a rich background that traces its origins to Central Africa and its close association with various indigenous communities. Here’s a brief overview of the African barkless dog history:

Basenji Dog history
Photo Credit: istock

Ancient Origins:

The Basenji is often referred to as the “Barkless Dog” due to its unique vocalization patterns. This breed’s origins can be traced to ancient Egypt and the regions surrounding the Congo Basin in Central Africa.

It is believed that African barkless dog were used by local tribes for hunting small game, such as monkeys and other forest animals. Their keen sense of smell, agility, and speed made them excellent trackers and hunters.

Cultural Significance:

Barkless Dogs were highly valued by the indigenous tribes of Central Africa, such as the Azande and the Pygmies. They played an important role in the daily lives of these communities, assisting with hunting, guarding, and companionship.

Basenji Dog
Photo Credit: istock

African barkless dogs were often treated as prized possessions and were even presented as gifts to other tribes and visitors.

Introduction to the Western World:

The first recorded introduction of Basenjis to the Western world occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 19th century, European explorers and colonists encountered these dogs during their travels to Africa.

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The first African barkless dog to be brought to Europe were often treated as curiosities due to their unique appearance, behavior, and vocalizations.

The Foundation of the Breed:

Basenji dog Foundation of the Breed
Photo Credit: Getty Images

In the 1930s, efforts were made to establish a stable breeding program for the African barkless dog breed in Europe and the United States.

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However, due to the limited gene pool available from the dogs imported from Africa, inbreeding became a concern.

This led to the development of the “African Stock Project,” which aimed to bring more Basenjis from Africa to diversify the gene pool.

Challenges and Preservation:

The breed faced challenges due to the small number of individuals available for breeding and the inherent health issues associated with inbreeding.

Basenji Dog
Photo Credit: istock

Additionally, African barkless dogs unique vocalization patterns and independent nature made them a bit of a challenge for prospective owners who were used to more typical dog behaviors.

Modern Status:

Today, the African barkless dog has gained recognition and popularity as a unique and ancient breed with a fascinating history. Breed enthusiasts and responsible breeders continue to work to maintain the breed’s genetic diversity and overall health.

They are recognized by various kennel clubs around the world and participate in dog shows and various canine sports.

Is the Basenji a good family dog?

The Basenji can be a good family dog, but there are several important factors to consider before deciding if this breed is the right fit for your family:

Is the Basenji a good family dog
Photo Credit: Getty Images


Early and thorough socialization is crucial for Basenjis. Exposing them to a variety of people, animals, environments, and situations from a young age can help prevent shyness, aggression, or other behavioral issues.

Proper socialization can also help the Basenji develop into a well-adjusted and confident companion.

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Energy Level and Exercise Needs:

African barkless dogs are an active and energetic breed. They require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

If their exercise needs are not met, they can become bored and potentially develop destructive behaviors. Families considering a Basenji should be prepared to provide daily walks, playtime, and other forms of physical and mental activity.

Space and Environment:

These dogs can adapt to different living environments, including apartments, as long as their exercise needs are met. However, having a secure yard where they can safely explore and play is beneficial.

Basenjis are known for their agility and their tendency to chase after scents, so a secure outdoor space is important.

Vocalization and Behavior:

One of the distinctive traits of the Basenji is its lack of traditional barking. Instead, they produce unique sounds such as a “barroo” or a “yodel.”

Is the Basenji a good family dog
Photo Credit: Getty Images

While this can be a plus for families living in close quarters, it’s important to note that Basenjis are not entirely silent and can still make various vocalizations.

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Training and Patience:

Training a Basenji requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods. They are intelligent dogs but can also be somewhat stubborn due to their independent nature.

Families willing to invest time and effort in training and bonding with their African barkless dog can build strong relationships.

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets:

They can get along well with children and other pets if they are properly socialized and introduced from a young age.

However, their independent nature means they might not always be as tolerant of rough play or constant attention as some other breeds. Supervision and teaching children how to interact appropriately with the dog are important.

Basenji Price 2023

The price of a Basenji dog can vary widely based on several factors, including the dog’s pedigree, lineage, location, breeder reputation, and whether the dog is being sold as a pet, show quality, or for breeding purposes. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2,500 for a Basenji puppy.

Basenji Price 2023
Photo Credit: Getty Images

It’s important to note that while the initial cost of purchasing a puppy is one aspect of ownership, there are additional expenses to consider, such as veterinary care, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, grooming, food, training, and other supplies.

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Responsible breeders may also have specific requirements for potential buyers to ensure their puppies go to suitable homes.

When looking for a African barkless puppy, it’s recommended to do thorough research and find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs.

Avoid buying from puppy mills or backyard breeders who may not provide proper care for their dogs or adhere to responsible breeding practices.

Are Basenjis rare?

Yes, Basenjis are considered relatively rare dogs. Known for their barkless nature and unique appearance, they are not as commonly seen as more popular dog breeds. Their distinctive traits and limited numbers contribute to their rarity in many places.

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