The Basenji, Africa's barkless dog, existed in the early days of the Pharaohs, and in fact the breed is older than the Pyramids themselves. It was not until 1895 that Western civilization discovered the Basenji in the Congo regions being used by the various tribes as a hunting dog. Even today, they are highly prized possessions, as without these little dogs, natives lose their prestige as hunters.


Basenjis can often live up to 14 years of age, but with the proper care and nutrition will usually live to 16 years


Elegant, graceful and extremely versatile, the Basenji is fastidiously clean, easily house trained and completely lacks any doggy smell. Although the breed's lack of bark is often thought to mean lack of voice, this is definitely not so. In fact, the Basenji has an amazing vocabulary of sounds, and is usually uttered when the dog is happy, or caught in the act of being mischievous. The most common vocalisation is a mixture between a chortle and a yodel. As a watchdog, the Basenji is more positive in its approach than the usual barking house pet - it will raise its hackles and let out an unnerving rumble at the sound of impending danger. It is particularly protective with children. In fact, the breed is said to have the gameness of a Bullmastiff, but with the gentleness of a Labrador. The breed can be disobedient if not trained correctly. It is, however, too intelligent to be forced, so do not try to break your dogs will. You must be firm but fair. But any dog-lover with the patience and tolerance to really understand the Basenji will be rewarded with an affectionate, lovable family companion that thrives on attention. Basenjis are known to cry real tears, climb trees, hug like bears, stalk birds, and will even clean themselves similar to cats.


Independent, but will not object to sharing their life with other pets they grow up with.


These dogs are natural hunters, with the ability to make the best use of sight, scent and sound. However, these strongly developed hunting instincts can also be the Basenji's undoing. For instance, if a dog is busy following a scent but a car happens to get in the way, the dog will not see it - this has resulted in an alarming number of Basenjis being killed. For this reason, it is extremely important to have good fencing. Please take note: Basenjis do have an independent nature and because of this can sometimes be hard to live with.


For those people who can meet the very specific needs of this highly individualistic breed.


If you have decided that the Basenji is the dog for you and you are prepared to live with an extremely independent dog that likes to "lead the way", then contact one of the groups listed below:

Canine Clubs

Australian Capital Territory:New South Wales:
Dogs ACT
(ACT Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 815
Dickson, ACT 2602
Tel: 02 6241 4404
Fax: 02 6241 1129
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs NSW
(Royal New South Wales Canine Council Ltd)
PO Box 632
St Marys, NSW 1790
Tel: 02 9834 3022
Fax: 02 9834 3872
(Details current as of 10/10/2013)
Northern Terrority :Queensland:
Dogs NT
(North Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 37521
Winnellie, NT 0821
Tel: 08 8984 3570
Fax: 08 8984 3409
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Queensland
(Canine Control Council (Queensland))
PO Box 495
Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006
Tel: 07 3252 2661
Fax: 07 3252 3864
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
South Australia :Tasmania :
Dogs SA
(South Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 844
Prospect East, SA 5082
Tel: 08 8349 4797
Fax: 08 8262 5751
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Tasmania
(Tasmanian Canine Association Inc)
The Rothman Building
PO Box 116
Glenorchy, Tas 7010
Tel: 03 6272 9443
Fax: 03 6273 0844
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Victoria:Western Australia:
Dogs Victoria
(Victorian Canine Association)
Locked Bag K9
Cranbourne, Vic 3977
Tel: 03 9788 2500
Fax: 03 9788 2599
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs West
(Canine Association of Western Australia Inc)
Cnr Warton & Ranford Rds,
Southern River, WA, 6110
Tel: 08 9455 1188
Fax: 08 9455 1190
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)