Basenji dog – also known as the ‘barkless dog, shrieking dog or screaming child dog’ is a sighthound. You might have heard or read about the Basenji yodel. That is what these adorable creatures do. They howl, growl or ululate depending on what’s happening in their environment. If you are looking to buy a Basenji puppy, this guide covers everything you need to know about them.
What is the Basenji dog breed like?
As stated above, Basenji dog breed is a sighthound that rarely barks. The Basenji bark is also quite rare- you might simply hear a single ‘woof’ from your pet but mostly you will hear the famous Basenji yodel. This Congolese hunting dog breed is small and elegant looking and its appearance is characterized by following features:
- Short hair
- Erect ears
- Tightly curled tail
- Graceful neck
- Almond shaped eyes
- Weight between 20-24 pounds and height up to 17 inches.
- Athletic, confident and graceful gait-they can be deceptively powerful for their size.
Where to find a Basenji
The best place to find your Basenji is through a reputed and ethical breeder. To get more information about where you can find puppies or rescues, check out the AKC website. When you visit Basenji breeders, you might find Basenji puppies in the following colors: red/white, black/white or tri colors red/white/black or even black stripes on backgrounds of white. The cost of a purebred Basenji could range anywhere between $1600 and $4400. Average monthly cost of owing one is $90 to $300 per month. If your visits to the vet are frequent, the annual cost could run anywhere up to $5000.
Best food for the Basenji
It is best to feed your Basenji puppy with whatever food the breeder was feeding. Ask the breeder what food he was feeding and if Basenji puppy is doing well on it. If that is so, it is best to continue the same. There are many breed specific foods available today-make sure you feed them based on your pet’s weight and age. Dry foods are generally the best; you can also add some moisture to it which is easy to make at home without added costs.
As stated before, these are quiet dogs – you won’t hear them bark other than a single woof at times. You might hear them chortle, whine, howl or squeal. The specific sound they make is known as the Basenji yodel or barroo.
Here are some more characteristics of the Basenji:
- Most Basenjis come in season once a year – in autumn.
- They mostly dislike water and might go to great lengths to avoid it.
- Basenjis are also inquisitive by nature.
- You might also use adjectives like alert, affectionate, reserved, energetic and curious to describe this breed.
- Your pet will likely form a strong bond with one of the humans in the family.
- They are not very easy to train but with consistent training and patience, you can teach your pet some basic commands
- Many Basenjis are even trained to be therapy/service/companion dogs for patients. However, at times, this breed could come across as aloof and distant.
- They are excellent self groomers and keep themselves very clean.
- This breed is hunter breed and sometimes their hunting instincts take over. Do not be surprised if you see your pet chasing birds or climbing trees.
- Basenjis need a lot of exercise; take them on a daily walk or run with you.
Basenjis do not need a whole lot of bathing but you should check their ears every now and then. If you see dirt accumulated inside, use a Q tip to clean it out. Brush your pet’s coat with a rubber comb or hound glove to keep it shining. Also remember to check your pet’s teeth for tartar buildup. Note that your pet will hate to have his nails trimmed.
Common health problems
Common health problems of the Basenjis are progressive retinal atrophy, Fanconi syndrome (symptoms like excessive drinking, urination, weight loss and poor hair coat), hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. Life span of most is about 13.6 years.