Basenjis are adorable little barkless dogs whose popularity is on the rise. The article explores the unique breed and offers suggestions to anyone considering dog ownership.
Basenjis make wonderful family pets. Weighing just over twenty pounds, and standing about as tall as your knee, basenjis are known for their keen intelligence, affectionate nature and alert appearance. What many dog lovers don’t realize is that these dogs don’t bark: they softly yodel!
Surprisingly, the yodeling breed is not originally from Switzerland, but from Africa, where people bred basenjis to chase game. Today the loving little dogs are mostly treasured pets. Owners prize the dogs’ short hair, curly tales and gently wrinkled heads. These wrinkles give the dogs a quizzical expression which matches their natural curiosity and spirit. Although basenjis can be initially aloof with strangers, they are loyal, loving dogs which get along well with older children.
Basenjis have short fine coats that they groom themselves every day. Coloration can range from tan or chestnut to black or brindle. Basenjis always have white paws and chests.
Of course not every dog is right for every family. Basenjis are sight hounds, just like greyhounds and whippets. Consequently, they love to chase “prey” and run like the wind. Working with these traits requires a commitment to positive reinforcement training and the understanding that these little dogs like to run. Being a couch potato is just not an option for a basenji; neither is being outdoors off the leash, unless you have a secured, fenced area.
Like any dog, lonely, bored basenjis get into trouble while their owners are away, so make sure your family truly has the time commitment to adopt a basenji. These little dogs are known for “exploring” while home alone. “Exploring” to a basenji often means chewing, so be comfortable knowing that you will need to crate your dog when you away.
No matter what breed you consider, do your homework before purchasing or adopting a dog. Select a reputable breeder or rescue and avoid pet stores or puppy mills. Most importantly, honestly evaluate your family’s lifestyle to make sure your selection is a good match. Choosing the right dog will be the start of a wonderful journey with a new, loyal friend. And if your new friend can yodel, all the better!