Other names: Congo Terrier, Nyam-Nyam Terrier

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A breed that is little known in France in the end, the Basenji is an adorable dog suitable for any type of family. It blends in wonderfully in any type of environment. It does not require any maintenance because it is renowned for its cleanliness. He is sociable, gentle, but also lively and athletic. He is protective and caring. The perfect dog.



Photo: Basenji breed dog on Woopets
Hair type Short
Origin Congo
Template Small
Head shape Long
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 9 kg to 10 kg From 40 cm to 41 cm
Male From 10 kg to 11 kg From 42 cm to 43 cm
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History of the breed

The Basenji   is considered to be an aristocratic dog in his appearance. He is originally from the Congo and happens to be a very old breed. Indeed, he descends from the greyhound of Egypt. We find its trace more than 5,000 years ago.

The first Basenji to be imported into Europe from the early 20th century, in the mid 1930. It arrived in France in 1966 but is still very little known on the French territory. Conversely, it is very popular with families in England and the Nordic countries, in particular thanks to its great friendliness. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed on March 26, 1964.

Basenji Pictures

Photo by Zazou, BasenjiPhoto by Billabong, BasenjiPhoto by Fennec, BasenjiPhoto by Seymour, Basenji

See all photos of Basenji from Woopets members

Physical features

His hair: short, shiny, tight, of fine texture and covering a very supple skin.
Its color: two-tone in most cases (pure black and white, red and white, black and tan, fawn and white, white with dots and tan markings on the eyes, muzzle and cheeks), unicolour black or brindle (stripes black on a red background). The feet, the chest and the tip of the chest are white.
His head: finely and profusely wrinkled, especially on the forehead when the dog pricks up its ears. The skull is flat, well chiseled, moderately broad, tapering towards the nose.
His ears: small, not very thick, pointed, well erect, set high and forward.
His eyes: dark in color, almond shaped, displaying a somewhat mysterious expression.
His body: well proportioned, harmonious. The back is short and horizontal, the chest is well lowered in the sternal region, the belly rises and merges with the flank which is well marked.
Its tail: set high, coiled in a tight loop above the spine.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

the   Basenji   is a balanced, lively and intelligent dog. He is quite independent and is suspicious of strangers , but he remains affectionate towards his master and his family. The Basenji does not bark, it is not for all that silent, since it emits a characteristic cry which evokes the chuckles or the vocalizations of the Tyrolean singers. It is not a dog particularly known to like children. It is better that the children grow up at the same time as him. This is to avoid misinterpretation of an inappropriate gesture by a child unfamiliar with dogs.

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The first order to teach him is to recall . Otherwise, he will be inclined to favor his flair rather than listen to his master. The Basenji is a remarkable dog who is not very difficult to train. He needs a strict education , firm , but also filled with gentleness , otherwise he could focus and withdraw into himself. As with all dogs, it is enough to start very early.

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

The advantage of the Basenji is its absence of barking, to which it prefers a small chuckle. He is therefore not silent, but will not disturb the neighborhood if he lives in an apartment and therefore in the city. He is also not against city life, provided he benefits from several daily outings. Indeed, it is not made to remain exclusively inside a habitat. Thus, it will be more comfortable in the countryside or in a house with a garden . A garden that he will have to avoid in winter and when the temperatures cooler.


Ease of gaining weight

The Basenji has a solid health , to which some diseases can nevertheless cling. So, during his lifetime, he is predisposed to develop Fanconi syndrome , which is a fatal genetic kidney disease. It will be necessary that his master, before any adoption, has had a test done by the breeder. In addition, because of his size, he is also more fragile at the hip, where he can be prone to dysplasia . An inguinal hernia is also not excluded. Finally, if he likes hot weather, he only moderately appreciates the winter cold. It will therefore need to be covered in the colder months.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 4 and 6 puppies

Major concerns
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Hip dysplasia
Fanconi syndrome
Minor concerns
Hemolytic anemia
Inguinal hernia
Umbilical hernia
Persistence of the pupillary membrane
Occasional concerns
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease
Suggested tests

To protect yourself from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends a Basenji dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 12 years old

Maximum: 14 years

The life expectancy of a Basenji is, on average, between 12 years and 14 years.

Calculate the human age of your Basenji!

To choose… 1 year 2 years 3 years Four years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10 years 11 years old 12 years 13 years 14 years old 15 years old 16 years old 17 years 18 years old 19 years old 20 years 21 years old

Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

the   Basenji   is a dog which requires very little maintenance and which sheds very little hair . It is known and appreciated for its remarkable cleanliness. He has this manner of ensuring his own toilet which is somewhat reminiscent of that of cats, of which he sometimes imitates the sitting posture. This does not mean that it should not be maintained at all, which would put it at risk of infection and disease.

Despite its extreme cleanliness , it is recommended to brush the dog on a weekly basis to help it maintain the cleanliness of its coat. As the Basenji are very clean dogs, they rarely need a bath.

His eyes and ears should be checked regularly to make sure there is no trace of dirt or any infection. His teeth need to be brushed to eliminate the build-up of tartar and the proliferation of bacteria. Finally, if they do not wear out naturally, his nails need to be cut. If you are new to this, it is recommended that you seek advice from a veterinarian.

Price and budget

Purchase price

Max € 500
1000 €

The purchase price of a Basenji is between € 500 and € 1000.

Annual maintenance cost

€ 950
1050 €

The annual maintenance cost of a Basenji is between 950 € and 1050 €.

Name ideas for a Basenji


None of these proposals suit you? Use our tool to find the name of your Basenji!


Basenji are prone to overweight . In fact, a balanced diet in relation to its daily energy expenditure is essential. His diet should be adapted to his physical activity, age, weight and height. It is made from high quality croquettes , to be divided into 2 meals per day. Do not hesitate to approach a veterinarian to rationalize it.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

the   Basenji is a dog who needs a lot of exercise to burn off his energy . They are inherently free and active dogs that require daily activities and walks. He also enjoys playing sessions and is quite comfortable t on agility courses.


Classifications & Standards
(FCI) Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(AKC) American Kennel Club
(ANKC) Australian National Council Kennel
(CKC) Canadian Kennel Club
(KC) The Kennel Club
(NZKC) New Zealand Kennel Club
(UKC) United Kennel Club


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

FCI Information



FCI Group

Group 5: Spitz-type and primitive-type dogs

Recognized by FCI

Since 1964


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