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Affectionate, Intelligent and clean, this breed is sure to keep you on your toes! It loves to get plenty of exercise and spend time with its family. Unfortunately if you leave it alone too long though you may find your little mate is missing from the yard when you arrive home!

Where I'm From

The Basenji is arguably one of the oldest domestic dog breeds in the world. It’s believed they were bred as companions for the Pharaohs and you can see pictures of them in the Egyptian Pyramids.

The breed shifted to the Congo region in Central Africa where its sight and smell was put to the test. The dogs were used to drive away reed rats that threatened local livestock.

Despite the Basenji’s longevity, it wasn’t until 1895 that the breed made it to the western world. Two were brought over to England but died from distemper shortly afterwards. This would be a recurring problem for the next 40 years until two dogs were finally bred.

What I Look Like

Basenjis are small to medium sized dogs with a distinctive curled tail. Their little foreheads are wrinkled and the breed is blissfully unaware of the need for botox. They grow to around 40 centimetres in height.

If you’re looking to adopt this breed you’ll be able to get puppies in red, black, tricolour and brindle. They’ll all have a white belly, feet and tip of the tail. Some will also have white on their faces between their eyes and on their necks.

How I Act

Cat lovers will feel an instant kinship with this breed. They like to lick themselves clean like felines and avoid bath time where possible. Interestingly, these dogs don’t like rain so make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out for your daily walk.

Basenjis are intelligent and alert dogs, making them excellent hunters. They don’t make great guard dogs though, not because they don’t have the intelligence or the instinct, but because they can’t bark. Instead they may choose to yodel, whine or scream.

These canines have a lot of energy and can become destructive if they’re not given the chance to burn it off. You should also know they can climb fences like cats and they’re talented escape artists so it’s in your best interest to do right by them!

They’re independent thinkers who can’t be trusted off leash in open spaces. Their instinct to chase small animals will take over so you’re best to only let them run free in a fenced backyard.

Despite their quirks they are an affectionate breed and do love spending time with their owners. These dogs are better suited to older children.

Looking After Me

Basenjis require about 30 minutes of daily exercise which they can get from running around the backyard or going for a walk. If you have older children you can entrust the two to tire each other out, providing they’re in an enclosed area.

Training this breed can be an uphill battle. They’re independent and won’t necessarily see the value in listening to people. When you think about it they survived for thousands of years without human intervention so why would they start now? That’s not to say they can’t be trained, but don’t go into it thinking it will be easy.

It’s best to start training and socialising your Basenji when their young so they know who’s boss.

The list of possible health problems in this breed is longer than most breeds but that’s not to say every dog will be affected. Basenjis can develop Fanconi Syndrome which affects the kidneys, Immunoproliferative Systemic Intestinal Disease, Hypothyroidism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Hip Dysplasia among other illnesses. You can stay on top of any emerging illnesses or symptoms by taking your dog to the vet for regular check ups.

Am I the pet for you?

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.