Basenji illustration
Hound

Basenji

The barkless dog of Central Africa

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Small house
Grooming
Once a week
Coat length
Short
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 12 years
Vulnerable native breed
No
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
Small/ medium garden

About this breed

The first Basenjis arrived in England in 1936 from the African Congo, where they had been used as an all purpose hunter working by sight and by scent.

However their history extends back to the time of the Pharaohs and paintings in their tombs bear a similar resemblance to the breed. Gazelle like in his elegance and with a stylish, swinging stride, he is catlike in his cleanliness and has no bark which is replaced by a yodelling sound.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Hound breed group

Breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or by sight. The scent hounds include the Beagle and Bloodhound and the sight hounds such breeds as the Whippet and Greyhound. Many of them enjoy a significant amount of exercise and can be described as dignified, aloof but trustworthy companions.

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:
  • Black & White
  • Black Tan & White
  • Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • Red & White
  • Tricolour

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Basenji.

Breed watch

Category 1

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.

More information

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