Breeds

Basenji

Basenji

DESCRIPTION
Hi I am a Basenji!!  I am a small, unusual, elegant, athletic dog about the size of a fox terrier, with a smooth shiny coat of copper, red, black and tan, black and brindle.  I usually  have white feet and white on the chest and tip of the tail. Some of us may have a white facial blaze, white legs and/or a white collar. My back is level; the legs are long, and the forehead is furrowed with wrinkles, giving me a worried look. My ears are straight and open in the front and my tail is set high and curls up over and slightly to either side of the back. My eyes are small and almond shaped. My thighs are muscular, and I have a flat skull. We have a distinctive, horse-like running gait. I do not bark, but I do have a lot of other unusual vocalizations. I may yodel, howl, growl or crow, depending on my mood. Unlike most other domestic breeds, which have two heats per year, my female friends come into heat only once a year.

TEMPERAMENT
I am alert, affectionate, demanding, energetic and curious. I love to play and I make a good pet, as long as I am handled regularly from an early age. I am very intelligent, I respond well to training with a strong desire to please. I may be reserved with strangers. I am somewhat aloof, but can also form strong bonds with people. I really should not be trusted with non-canine pets. I am usually patient, but I do my best with older considerate children. I dislike wet weather. I like to chew, so giving me lots of toys would be a good idea. I like to climb and can easily get over chain wire fences. I am very clever at getting my own way, I succeed less by obstinacy than by charm. I have the unique characteristics of not barking (I makes a low, liquid ululation instead), and of cleaning myself like a cat. I can be described as speedy, frisky, tireless at play and teasing you into play. My strong desire to play can lead to behavior problems if I am left alone. Most problems usually involve a mismatch between owner and pet. The owners mistake the adjective “quiet’ to mean inactive instead of noiseless; thus, they become harassed by an active, though relatively silent, dog.

HEIGHT, WEIGHT
Height: Dogs 16-17 inches. Bitches 15-16 inches.
Weight: Dogs 22-26 pounds. Bitches 20-25 pounds.

HEALTH PROBLEMS
We are prone to Fanconi’s syndrome (kidney problems), which must be treated the moment the symptoms are noticed. Also, we are susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy, intestinal, and eye problems.

LIVING CONDITIONS
I will do okay in an apartment if I get enough exercise but very active indoors so a small yard will do. I am happiest when I am kept with two or three of my other Basenji friends; we will not fight.

EXERCISE
I need vigorous daily exercise. I have a tendency to become fat and lazy unless you are consistent about it.

LIFE EXPECTANCY
About 10-12 years.

GROOMING
Like I said before I wash myself like a cat and I have no doggie smell, so very little grooming is needed. I am a great dog for people with allergies and shed little to no hair.

ORIGIN
The first traces of a dog similar to the Basenji are found in Egyptian tombs and wall drawings of five thousand years ago. Also called the Congo Dog, it was brought to Europe in 1934. English breeders refined it and exported it all over the world. In Africa, it is used as a guide in the forests, to warn against the approach of dangerous animals, and as a very active pack-hunting dog of small game.


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