Basenji

Breed Details

Size:

Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:

Weight:

9-11 kg (approx)

Life Span:

12-15 years (approx)

Appearance

The Basenji is an elegantly built, aristocratic looking dog. Basenjis are a medium sized dog; measured at the shoulder they are about- 43 cm (17 in) tall for dogs and 40 cm (16 in) for bitches and about 9.5 kg (bitches) - 11 kg (dogs) in weight. Although they are a small dog they are very strong and extremely fast. They have short, fine, silky coats which they constantly groom like a cat. He is meticulous about his cleanliness so he only needs an occasional bath and is almost odourless.

History

The Basenji is a very ancient breed which dates back to the days of the Pharaohs. He is both a scent hound and a sighthound. Their distinctive gait, which adds to their appeal, is a straight-legged lope, which enables them to run at a steady pace for hours. When flushing their quarry in the tall elephant grass, their hunting strategy is to leap straight up in the air, and take a quick look around for their prey when airborne. As they do not bark like most hounds when hunting. As this hunting instinct is so strong, their immediate reaction is to chase and kill any animal or bird within sight, if not too large. Akin to the dingo, bitches come into season usually only once a year, and puppies are born in the winter time. Like the Dingo, Basenji males also come into season, and will not mate a bitch unless he too, is in season. The breed almost died out in Australia between the years 1957-1960 with no litters being born. After Mrs Beryl Hancock relocated from New Zealand to Australia she began importing some Basenjis from New Zealand in 1960 and so revived the interest in the breed in this country. Since then there have been many importations from the U.K, New Zealand and the U.S.A.

Temperament

He is extremely intelligent, independent, alert, and affectionate to those he knows and loves, but can be rather aloof with strangers. Basenjis must be socialised well as young puppies.

Care/Grooming

Grooming with a rubber curry comb once or twice a week.

Breeders