Basenji are hypoallergenic dogs that have their origins in Central Africa – especially the regions around Congo and Southern Sudan. The Basenji dog are a hunting breed. They have a special characteristic: Basenjis don’t bark, they yodel. This is why they are popularly known as the “African barkless dogs”.
However, these hound dogs do make a wide range of sounds: Like other dogs, a Basenji can growl, howl, chortle, whimper and even scream if in pain. Their yodelling comes in a variety of unique sounds as well. That is how the dog breed are able to communicate various messages with their master while hunting in packs in the jungle.
They are an ancient dog breed that are thought to have appeared as a result of mating between wolves and coyotes (a yodel is one of the sounds that coyotes make). Their inability to bark is valued by African hunters since the dog does not scare away the prey.
The Basenji are medium-size hypoallergenic dogs whose male weigh up to about 10 kg. They can be as tall as 17 inches at the shoulders and have a tightly curled tail. This tail is high-set over its rump, and tapers at the end. In addition, a Basenji has erect ears and a wrinkled forehead. The dog has a life span of 12 – 14 years.
Are Basenji Hypoallergenic Dogs – Facts about Basenji Shedding
The Basenji dog is intelligent and friendly but sometimes Basenjis are mean and stubborn. They are also independent (this is crucial for their survival in the jungles of Africa), hence difficult to train.
The following are top facts about the Basenji dog breed.
- Basenji are hypoallergenic. They don’t cause much allergic reactions in people who suffer from pet allergies. In addition, they have a short, fine coat that rarely sheds.
- They don’t bark. Instead, a Basenji makes a series of sounds called yodels. You can read more about why the Basenji dog can’t bark here (PDF).
- Basenji originated from Central Africa. They thrive in many countries in Africa, including Congo, Sudan and even as far north as Egypt.
- This is one of the popular, medium-size, non-shedding dogs. Other medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs include the Standard Poodle, Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican hairless dog), Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the Tibetan Terrier.
- A Basenji Poodle mix inherits the best qualities of both dog breeds, and is non-allergenic as well. This dog breed is also frequently mixed with Chihuahuas, Beagle, and terriers such as the Jack Russell terrier.
- Basenjis come in various coat colors. These include Basenji tricolor coat (usually black, tan and white), black, red, tan, brindle, red and white, brindle and white, and black and white. But all purebred Basenji have white chest, feet and the tip of their curled tail.
- A Basenji will groom himself by licking his coat just like cats do. This quality is found in very few dog breeds, including the shedding Shiba Inu.
- Basenji dogs have little maintenance costs. They rarely need bathing since they love to groom themselves and their hair is very short. This means the dogs rarely pick up dirt and they hardly have the usual dog smell.
- The dog breed is one of the most ancient. This is according to a study of dog DNA that shows that Basenji dogs are among a few dog breeds that are closely related to wolf-like dog ancestors that are now extinct.
Questions People Ask about the Basenji Dog
Do Basenji dogs smell?
No. A Basenji dog will have little or no smell. This is because the dogs have a short coat and groom themselves.
What is special about the Basenji breed of dog?
Basenji are also known as the barkless African dogs. They yodel, instead of the usual barking seen in other dog breeds. This is what is special about Basenji dogs.
Why do Basenjis yodel?
A Basenji yodels because they have a narrow voice box (larynx) that limits the movement of the dog’s vocal cords. This changes the sound that the dog makes into a yodel.
Are Basenjis aggressive?
A well socialized and trained Basenji should not be aggressive to their family members and other pets.
How much money is a Basenji?
Basenji price depends on where you are getting the puppy form. Basenji puppy for sale from breeders cost about $1,000 while dogs from an adoption center are much cheaper.
Are Basenjis cuddly?
The dogs are very affectionate with their family and love to follow people around. Most like to cuddle but some do not.
Is a Basenji a good family dog?
Basenjis can be independent and even aloof. But when trained and treated well the dogs are great with kids and the whole family. They should be well socialized while young to make them a great family dog.
Can a Basenji mix bark?
Whether a Basenji mix can bark depends on the genetic makeup of each puppy. The puppies that inherit more genes from their Basenji parents are unlikely to be able to bark.
Are Basenjis Friendly?
Basenjis are hunting dogs that hunt in packs. This is why they love human companionship. But they are independent and sometimes aloof. However, they are good with familiar people and other dogs. Basenji are hypoallergenic and friendly with their family but they don’t like strangers.
The dog breed has a short fine coat that doesn’t shed much. In addition, the Basenji love being outdoors and will therefore leave little hair and dander inside the house.
Purebred Basenji dogs love to groom themselves and therefore rarely need bathing. The non-shedding dogs need moderate exercises such as walking at a dog park and running.