photo of a Basenji

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Small Dog Breeds

Information About The Basenji Dog Breed


The dog Basenji goes by many names, some of which include Belgian Congo Dog, Bongo Terrier, Congo Bush Dog, Zande Dog, and Congo Terrier. What makes this breed particularly special is that he is the only breed who has no bark. But other than the absence of bark, this breed will whine and growl like other dogs, and can express his feelings with a unique yodel or chortle sound. The Basenji does have a vocal cord. However, it is believed that the past thousands of years in training to hunt game silently may explain his characteristic quietness. Nevertheless, this breed is recognized for its gentle nature and love of children. He is very inquisitive, mischievous, does not have any doggie smell, and adaptable to most climates. He can be wary around strangers and does not like the rain. He has a number of appealing features, including his curling tail, high set and lying over to one side of the back, his wrinkled forehead that gives him a worried-like look, and his habit of washing with his paw similar to a cat.

Size: The ideal height for the male Basenji is 17in at the shoulder while the ideal height for the female Basenji is 16in. The ideal weight is 24lb for the male and 21lb for the female.

History and origin: This type of breed has been depicted in many carvings in the tombs of the Pharaohs. It is said that these dogs were brought as valuable presents by travelers from the lower reaches of the Nile. The breed almost disappeared from public sight during the ancient Egyptian times until the middle of 19 th century, when the Basenji was again discovered by explorers in the Congo and Southern Sudan.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for Basenji is about 11/2-2 cans of quality dog food (13.3oz size) with equivalent amount of biscuit or 3 cupfuls of dry food. This breed will also enjoy an occasional serving of green vegetables. In addition, the Basenji is a grass eater and should have plenty of access to fresh grass.

Exercise: This breed is a terrific hunter and has a tendency to put on extra weight unless he gets plenty of exercise. He is tireless, fleet-footed, and loves to take regular walks and runs. He is an indoor dog that should not be put in an outside kennel. He would love to just relax next to you and lie down in a corner. He is a great apartment dog as long as he is given enough exercise.

Grooming: A hound glove is recommended to keep his coat in great condition.

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