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Variety:
Basenji

Country of origin:
Central Africa

Uses:
Domestic dog

Colours:
Black, white, blackish brown, white with brown spots around muzzle and cheeks, brownish white, reddish black

Character:
Energetic, active, playful, affectionate, friendly, curious, stubborn. Gentle with children but can be unfriendly with other dogs and cats

Height:
38-43 cm

Weight:
9-11 kg

Longevity:
11-12 years

Other names:
Congo dog, Basenji

Hypoallergenic:
Yes (100% hypoallergenic dogs do not exist, but a hypoallergenic breed of dog may have milder allergy symptoms, or no allergy at all. Read more about allergies in dogs here)

Litter size:
4-6 puppies

Basenji

Basenji – a small, short-haired dog originally from Africa. One of the best known characteristics of this breed is that Basenjis never bark. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the dog doesn’t make any other noises, but in general they are quite quiet dogs. If a Basenji does not get bored, you can rest assured that your neighbours will have no reason to complain about the noise. However, if the dog wants attention, it certainly knows how to get it. The Besenji is quite difficult to train, so this breed is not suitable for beginners. It is also important to appreciate that they are quite active dogs and need to be given a lot of time.

History of the breed

It is speculated that this dog breed may be very old – embalmed dogs were found in the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen, which look very much like Basenjis. It is likely that Basenjis assisted the pharaohs in hunting and were like living talismans that protected the rulers from black magic. The breed was rediscovered in the nineteenth century – during this period, the Basenji was called African Forest Dog, Zande Dog, Congo, Bongo or Niam-Niam Terrier. The breed was interesting in that Basenjis do not bark, which is admittedly quite unusual. In 1895, the English took an interest in the Basenji, but the breeding process itself was not easy – all the dogs brought to England contracted the plague and did not survive. The English managed to breed their first Basenjis quite late – only in 1937. The first litter of Basenjis appeared in America in 1941. The first representatives of this breed arrived in Lithuania only in 2007.

Basenji: Appearance

The Basenji is a small, athletic dog: males are 43 cm tall at the withers and females 40.5 cm. Females are not only shorter than males, but also smaller – they typically weigh 9,5 kg (males – approximately 11 kg). Basenjis are characterised by their proportionate build and long, graceful legs. The head of this breed is adorned with long, erect ears, which can be considered a distinctive feature of the Basenji. When the dog is excited, the forehead is furrowed with fine lines which make the dog look very thoughtful. The chest of the Basenji is deep (but not too deep) and quite broad. The tail is twisted into a tight ring. The coat is short, close-fitting, and may be of various colours: black, white, blackish-brown, white with brown spots around the muzzle and cheeks, brownish-white, reddish-black.

Community: Character

Basenji breeders claim that the temperament of these dogs is similar to that of cats. They are not intrusive dogs, and are characterised by restraint and independence. Basenjis can be kept with small children and a variety of pets (although smaller pets may be considered as prey, so early socialisation is necessary). If you expect a dog to be 100% obedient, the Basenji is definitely not the most suitable breed – although they try to please their owner, they are very stubborn. It is important to strengthen the bond from an early age, and to reward generously when commands are given.

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