The Basenji dog breed is, in fact, something like a domesticated wolf. Of course, the wolf and this domesticated dog, animals are different, but very close. After all, the Basenji is a wild dog that is not far from its ancestors, or rather brothers, wolves. Moreover, this breed was domesticated a very long time ago, perhaps several thousand years ago, back in the days of ancient civilizations and the first people.
The Basenji breed was born and developed on the African continent, and the locals tremendously appreciated, and still appreciate, these truly amazing animals. In ancient times, there were special hunters who hunted Basenji, and even now, residents of remote areas say that hunting Basenji is a more complicated and valuable business than hunting a wife. Apparently, there is some truth in this.
The aborigines appreciated dogs for their excellent qualities of a hunter, incredible animal instinct, excellent sense of smell and hearing, as well as for an amazing mind, which sometimes shows wonders of ingenuity.
Today the breed is considered rare, and no wonder. After all, when for the first time, at the end of the 19th century, Europeans discovered these dogs in the Congo, and tried to transport several individuals to the United States, then all the animals died very quickly. They were completely unsuitable for other environmental conditions, climate, ecology, and most importantly – for completely different diseases.
The first dog that was able to survive in a new place appeared only in 1930. Based on this positive experience, the breeders managed to bring in a few more individuals (dogs appeared in both the US and the UK), thanks to which they created a small population, and then founded a club. The Basenji breed club was established in 1942. In 1943 the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Basenji are lean, but muscular dogs, strong and resilient, the chest is voluminous. The limbs are long, the muzzle is slightly elongated, but not long, the ears are erect. The tail is of medium length, the coat is short.
The color of the coat is mainly black and piebald, black and piebald with tan, red and piebald, brindle. White is found on the chest, legs, tip of the tail and neck.
The Basenji breed of dogs are very funny and funny animals that have a high level of energy, are always cheerful and extremely curious. We can say that this is a very unusual dog that will bring you a lot of joy and unexpected moments, make you smile and, possibly, cause some inconvenience. After all, it is a living being with its own pluses and minuses of character.
Since this is a domesticated dog, he has a very high level of intelligence, and internal independence, and therefore do not expect that he will obey you unquestioningly. This is not that breed at all. In this case, the dog must understand why and why it is following commands, which means, at least, it must recognize the owner and leader in you, for your inner qualities. Not for superior strength.
This is generally extremely ineffective with this breed, since by rudeness and beatings you will only set the dog up against yourself, which will make its character more suppressed, withdrawn, timid. But at the same time, almost certainly – incredibly stubborn, and you will not achieve obedience by any beatings. But if the dog becomes your friend – completely.
The Basenji’s curiosity is truly legendary – if you want to hide food from it, then take care of it twice. The dog can wait, wait for the night when no one interferes, then climb on a chair, from the chair to the countertop near the refrigerator, from there to the refrigerator itself, and so on. Agility, flexibility, resourcefulness – you have to live with all this every day, and therefore think twice also about whether you should even start this breed. However, these are very loyal and loving friends. By the way, in a private house there must be a high fence without holes, otherwise the dog can go to explore the world.
Since these are hunting dogs, accept the fact that they will hunt whatever is within their reach. Whether it’s a cat, a squirrel, a pigeon or a mole in your garden. Most likely, sooner or later you will see all these animals in a mortified form, but there is nothing you can do about it. On the other hand, Basenji is an intelligent dog, and therefore it can be trained to live with any animal under one roof. That is, in the mind of a dog there may be a “own” cat, which is like a friend, but all the other cats will still remain prey.
They need long walks, they need to exercise their energy and have physical activity. It is imperative that you visit the parks, go outdoors, it would be a very good idea to run with your dog in the park in the morning or in the evenings. Strangers are mostly ignored, but they show tenderness and friendliness in relation to loved ones. Children are treated normally.
They are completely unsuitable for the functions of a guard dog, as they almost never bark. Basenji can bark once, and that’s it. Researchers suggest that such a feature can be both natural, from nature, and acquired in time immemorial. Humans could teach dogs to be quiet while hunting, and then, due to natural crossing between wild and domesticated individuals, this tendency could remain in the genes. And, perhaps, one and the other take place.
Basenji needs early socialization and proper education. He appreciates a fair, balanced and kind owner. Always be patient, do not try to break the dog – most likely you will only harm it and you will not achieve anything sensible. For misconduct, you can punish differently, for example, showing with all your appearance an attitude towards the dog’s act, as well as delaying the moment of eating.
In training, one must be patient and kind. Do not make the activities too monotonous, otherwise the Basenji will get bored. The key here is variety, consistency and alternation of teams with physical activity and active games.
Basenji has practically no doggy smell and is considered the cleanest dog. She washes herself like cats.
The breed has a very short coat and hardly needs any grooming. Combing once a week is the maximum. Always clean your eyes of deposits daily, keep your ears clean, bathe your dog once a week, and trim your nails 3 times a month.
Basenji metabolism is different from that of normal dogs, and you may not be able to find the right diet right away. Also note that females are in estrus only once a year, although the number of individuals in heat 2 times a year has been increasing recently. The breed does not tolerate cold, therefore it is necessary to warm up in winter.
Basenji can adapt well to apartment life, but daily walks are a must as she has a high level of activity. Her needs can be met with long walks followed by vigorous play.
The Basenji breed is prone to several diseases, including:
- Fanconi syndrome;
- immunoproliferative systemic bowel disease (malabsorption);
- persistent pupillary membrane;
- coloboma – hereditary eye disease;
- progressive retinal atrophy;
- umbilical hernia;
- dysplasia of the hip joint.