Basenji (Congo Dog, Congo Terrier)

The Basenji is square-proportioned and high on leg. This breed is far more slightly built and longer legged than most other primitive breeds, allowing a good amount of speed and the ability to perform the double-suspension gallop. The Basenji’s erect ears help locate game in thick bush and may act as heat dissipaters. This dog’s short coat also aids in dealing with the hot climate of Africa.

 

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Temperament

Some consider Basenjis to have terrier-like mannerisms because they are feisty for a hound. More often they are considered catlike in mannerisms: clever, inquisitive, stubborn, independent, and reserved. Their hunting roots are very evident, as they love to chase and trail. They need regular mental and physical stimulation lest it become frustrated and destructive. Basenjis may be barkless, but they are not mute. They do make a sort of yodel, howl, and shriek—and occasionally bark, but just one or two “fox barks” at a time. This breed gets along fairly well with other dogs, but often poorly with other Basenjis.

 

Upkeep

The Basenji is an active dog that needs daily mental and physical exercise. Their needs can be met by a long walk followed by a vigorous game or by free-running in a safe enclosed area. Coat care is minimal, consisting of only occasional brushing to remove dead hair.