Basenjis are unusual dogs because they are self-grooming, odour-free and barkless. Perfect for active households, this breed will keep you on your toes.


Basenjis are a truly unique breed that can be likened to many different animals. They groom themselves like cats, can climb trees like monkeys, hug like bears and even stalk birds. They are gentle like a Golden Retriever yet protective and strong. Basenjis are hound dogs who originate from Central Africa and were used to hunt reed rats, point, retrieve, drive game into a net and track wounded prey.

Basenjis are smart, intelligent dogs and while they might not receive a gold medal in obedience competitions, they can be taught a range of commands and tricks. Being patient and consistent is key when training a Basenji. Socialise your dog early and it will get along with other pets. Basenjis have high-energy needs and have been bred to be tireless. You may as well throw away the couch as this dog needs lots of physical exertion. Daily runs, lots of games and even dog sports are advised for this breed.

Fun fact: Just like humans, Basenjis can cry real tears.

Did you know the Basenji is barkless? They do make some noises though such as a chortle or a yodel, usually only when happy or caught being cheeky. They are independent dogs and don’t want to be coddled. Basenjis aren’t overly affectionate and can handle time alone. If you have a strong sense of smell, then a Basenji may be right for you as they have no doggy odour. They are also low maintenance, and while they mostly groom themselves a quick wipe down of their coat from time to time will help remove loose hairs. Check ears and nails every so often. Basenjis are hypoallergenic and shed moderately.

Scheduled six-monthly health checks and visits to the vet are important to ensure your dog is healthy and happy throughout all life-stages. It’s important that together with your vet a preventative health care program is determined and maintained based on the individual needs of your canine companion. Basenjis are prone to some breed-specific hereditary diseases such as Fanconi’s syndrome, Pyruvate kinase deficiency and lymphangiectasia. Their skin is also sensitive.


A medium sized breed weighing 9.5-11kgs with an average height of 40-43cm.


Happiest when living in large outdoor spaces.

Energy Levels

Basenjis have high energy levels. A long daily stroll and lots of games will keep this dog happy.

Difficulty Of Training

They are intelligent but very dominant and strong-willed. Consistent training is key.

Family suitability

Great family pets and loyal companions.

Suitability to other pets

If socialised from a young age, a Basenji will befriend other pets.  

Need for company

They have a moderate need for company and enjoy playing games with their family.

Hypoallergenic dog breed?


Coat and grooming needs

This breed is low maintenance as they groom themselves. Brush weekly. They have a short smooth coat in chestnut red, black and tri-colours. All dogs have white markings on their chest, feet, tail tip and as a blaze on the forehead.  


They shed moderately.  

Tendency to bark

Basenjis are barkless dogs, however they still make noise such as a chortle or yodel.  

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