The Basenji is a medium-sized, non-barking dog with a soft smooth coat and a tightly curled tail. It originates from Central Africa, where it was used as a hunting dog for rodents. Other names the Basenji was known by are the Lagos Bush Dog and the Congo Terrier.
Basenjis are graceful, compact canines standing 40-43 cm tall and weighing 9.5 to 11 kg. Their coat is soft and comes in striking black, chestnut red and tri-colour with white markings on the chest and feet, on the tip of the curly tail and on the forehead. Basenjis hardly shed or smell and tend to keep themselves very clean.
The Basenji is a very alert and intelligent dog. It is a keen watchdog, but due to its inability to bark, may not be suitable as a guard dog. While it is physically incapable of barking, the Basenji is not soundless, and will growl, yodel, whine and scream to express itself.
Affectionate to its owners, the Basenji can make a good family pet. However, it tends to be wary of strangers, get into arguments with other dogs, and may not take get along nicely with other small pets.
The lively Basenji is curious and wants to be included in any activity. With seemingly tireless stamina, it demands a fair amount of daily exercise and needs mental stimulation to keep its mind occupied. This is not a dog to be left unsupervised in the yard or walked off leash, as it will run away and chase, climb or dig up something, or run mindlessly into the road.
Basenjis are prone to obesity as they will eat any food they can find, and the breed is plagued by several hereditary defects. You can expect your Basenji to live 10 to 13 years.
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