basenji breed information


The Basenji is one of the oldest dog breeds – their presence has been documented as far back as ancient Egypt. The breed made its way to Central Africa, where it was prized for its intelligence, speed and outstanding hunting skills. Known as the “barkless dog”, the Basenji excelled as a hunter in part due to its lack of bark. (More on that in a bit!)

The breed was introduced to England in 1895, but unfortunately many were lost to a distemper outbreak. The breed finally gained a foothold in both the United States and England in 1937. Though it was developed as a hunting dog, today the breed is mostly kept as a companion.

As hunters, the Basenji often worked away from his master, and therefore developed unusual courage. Today, this breed-wide courage shows itself as an independent streak, so patience is needed in training sessions. The breed is both active and playful, and when excited, they make an adorable “yodel” sound instead of a bark. At around 25 lbs., they are a great size for any home, provided they’re given the opportunity to get rid of their frisky energy.

These playful pups are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Basenjis are prone to include blood disorders like pyruvate kinase deficiency; kidney problems such as Fanconi Syndrome; and eye conditions such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, persistent pupillary membranes and progressive retinal atrophy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your athletic Basenji inherits more than just a fantastic singing voice, you’re covered.

Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

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