About the Basenji

The Basenji is an alert, energetic, curious dog that is often aloof and reserved with strangers. They tend to be particularly attached to one or two people in the home, although they can still love, enjoy, and tolerate other members. 


They can also be very independent or velcro dogs, depending on the genetics behind them, and partially dependent on how they are raised.

When introduced properly, Basenjis have been known to get along well with small animals like cats, BUT, it is important to remember that they are an African hunting dog, so extreme caution is warranted. Exposure to all sorts of animals (ideally before a puppy reaches 12 weeks of age) can off set the chances of having bad introduction outcomes. This will increase the likelihood of a successful introduction, and to a new situation, where a Basenji might not normally accept something so readily; or where a person might be cautioned by in a normal situation. 


Basenjis are very cat-like, and majority of them dislike being wet or going out in wet weather; often times, they will refuse to go outside altogether, especially in any sort of damp conditions. This can make potty training difficult for some people and some locations, especially if they are more prone to bad weather like snow and/or excessive rain. We start our puppies on a litter box training which helps in cases like these, until the weather cooperates more, and allows owners the time to give the puppy a chance to feel more confident using outside as their designated area.

Females: 16" (15-17")
Males: 17" (16-18")
+ or - 1" of ideal is acceptable
Average: 10-15 years
although 17+ years is not unheard of
Females: 18-25 lbs
Males: 20-27 lbs
Lean, fit weight is ideal for all Basenjis


While not all Basenjis enjoy kids, with the proper introduction, socialization, and care, Basenjis can be great companions for children. It is important to use caution, however, to ensure that children have respect for their pets, and to always supervise them around children, especially small children under the age of 5 years old. Teaching children to read animal body language, and to teach them safe and proper handling, will go a long ways in a successful introduction and memorable life with a Basenji and their children companions. 


Basenjis are incredibly intelligent and tend to be overly clever dogs when they want something, especially if they can’t have it. They are creative and love to get into things when bored. They also can be very destructive when left unattended, or when they have nothing better to do. They have been known to find all sorts of ways to escape, including climbing over a 6-foot fence or digging under a fence to escape. 


They are also very prey driven and will do anything they can to get to something they want to chase (aka, a bunny or squirrel in the front yard). For this reason, a crate with proper crate training is ideal for the breed. They also have been known to redirect their frustration onto things close to them when they do not get their way. The ability to work with them and release frustration through safe means will be important when owning a Basenji. 


This breed needs a patient, understanding owner that will help bring out their best qualities and allow them to have a meaningful life with something to do. Although they can be difficult, they also make amazing cuddle partners, great bed heaters, comedians that can make you laugh when you are in your darkest hours, and are the best friends anyone could ever ask for. You either love them, or hate them, there is no in between. 




The Basenji is a hound originally used in Africa as a hunting dog. They were bred to be able to travel long distances without getting tired. “Swift, tireless trot. Stride is . . . effortless” according to the AKC Basenji breed standard. They were bred for energy, persistence, and are one of the few breeds of dogs that use both sight and scent to hunt. This means they are “twice” as keen on their prey because they use two senses instead of just one. 


A fun fact about the Basenji, it is one of the few breeds of dogs that have a trot like a thoroughbred racehorse. These gorgeous dogs trot around so elegantly and have been described as having a regal appearance. Also unique to the breed, the Basenji has a double suspension gallop, which allows it to “fly” through the air, so to speak, where no legs are touching the ground within certain phases of its gallop. Unlike other breeds, this allows them to move faster and cover more ground during a hunt or chase. This also means that catching them when they run off is almost impossible.-Unless you have a solid training protocol in place and are lucky enough to get a good recall down!- We do work with all of our puppies on recalls, starting at the whelping box when we introduce the puppies to food! We use the Pavlov’s dog ideology which has, so far, instilled amazing recalls in our puppies. We thank our puppy buyers for giving us feedback to improve this so that future generations can benefit from it as well!


With this said, your typical Basenji is not one to be trusted off leash. While there are exceptions, most Basenjis, if left unsupervised in a yard, will typically take off to explore the world or go hunting. While we work on solid recalls starting as puppies at the food dish, recalls are not always 100% effective when a rabbit or squirrel decides to make an appearance. For this reason, it is encouraged to always have a nice fitted collar and a leash attached when outdoors, just incase. We love them as much as you do, and would be devastated to hear of the loss of your family member through an accident. (But we do appreciate those that take time to let us know so we can mourn with you during this difficult time)


Being a very active breed, the Basenji should be given plenty of daily physical activity, as well as mental stimulation. A long walk, free running, and energetic games in an enclosed area are also great ways to occupy this breed and keep it from its potentially destructive nature. Lure coursing is also a great, fun way for dogs (and owners) to enjoy themselves, and for the dogs to release energy and do what they love to do best, which is run!

Lean and Properly Fed

Nutrition is so extremely important!

Did you know? 

 Hip Dysplasia(HD) is actually a polygenic trait which means that multiple genes will affect the outcome of a dog becoming afflicted with it. 

What does this mean to you?

Not only are genetics and proper exercise important for dogs to avoid HD, but nutrition is another key factor that plays a huge roll in the affliction of this painful disease.


While I will talk just briefly here on this topic, because I have a whole page devoted to it, proper nutrition for your canine companion is of extreme importance. 


This is especially true in the case of a growing puppy. Puppies require precise growth formulas for their bodies to grow and mature at the proper rates. Feeding an appropriate puppy diet will ensure your puppy receives all of the nutrients it needs during its critical growth period. This will reduce structural and developmental problems as the puppy ages and will give you more peace of mind. 


Puppies also cannot regulate their own nutrients until they are much older, so it is vital that you NEVER feed a home prepared diet to a growing puppy UNLESS it is specifically formulated by a professional nutritionist that uses the National Research Council’s (NRC) guidelines for growing puppies. Most nutritional problems can be corrected on puppies, if you catch it early enough, before the growth plates have closed. However, once growth plates have closed, any nutritional damage that you see will be permanent, and the dog will have to live with such damage for the rest of its life. We are advocates of DIY raw and home prepared diets, and if you express interest in such, we will help you ensure the diet you feed your growing puppy is a safe and healthy option! We LOVE specifically formulated diets for all dogs, but especially our puppies!


It is also important to note that dogs should be kept at a healthy lean or pet weight. Dogs that are allowed to be obese and overeat have a higher rate at developing HD than dogs that are fed on a strict schedule and kept at a fit, lean weight. Puppies that are allowed to overeat will also keep this bad habit when they grow up, which can lead to obesity and other health problems! Free feeding is never a good idea, even though we understand the appeal of it. This allows dogs to engorge on food and continue to eat even when full. It also will limit your ability to note when there is a problem, such as reduced food intake or lack of eating, which can be indicators of an approaching health problem. 


Puppies, even adults, should be fed 2-3 times a day. This allows owners to be able to notice changes in eating habits and be able to detect problems faster which could ultimately save your dog’s life! A minimum of 2 feedings is HIGHLY recommended for all Basenjis, but it is ESSENTIAL that puppies be fed a minimum of 3 times a day due to their inability to regulate nutrients. This will keep them from becoming hypoglycemic(low blood sugar) and help prevent further future problems

require Training

While we put in a very strong effort to start our puppies off on the right foot when it comes to training, it is something that is incredibly important for owners to keep in mind when contemplating a Basenji. All future Basenjis owners should be aware of, and expect to put in a lot of time and energy into training. Ensuring they are ready to invest time in a good trainer if unsolvable problems arise. Basenjis are typically not for the first time owner or soft hearted owners either. Their primitive like behavior and willingness to be independent can often make them difficult and unruly members of the family. They are a breed that needs lots of hours invested in training and their owners must always be in control at all times. With dedicated training, Basenjis can be an amazing breed for those who love them. 


While we work hard to get good temperaments genetically, we also invest our energy in implementing puppy culture protocols for easier training and offer 24/7 support to all buyers of our “Amore” puppies.  With that being said, we do need to emphasize that future behavior will be based on what you continue to teach your puppy, long after they leave our home. For our puppies here, we personally start them all on potty training, crate training, clicker training, some obedience training, manding, resource guarding, and, whether permitting, we also attempt to work on leash training. It is a buyers responsibility to continue the hard work we have invested early in their lives to ensure they have a great continued experience when they become apart of your family. It is advised that buyers research different breeders to find the right breeder that suits them, so they can find the right fit for what they are looking for in a future Basenji or puppy.

Did you know?

Basenjis do not bark! However, they are far from mute, as they can make an assortment of noises such as a yodel, chortle, scream, howl, and whine.

It is said that their vocal cords are too narrow, which restricts them from emitting a normal dog bark. However, when a Basenji is upset or excited to see you, you will definitely know and hear about it!

Did you know?

Basenjis are often referred to as "catlike," because they are fastidious groomers and lick themselves like cats do.

They also love climbing up onto high places, like the back of the couch or a window sill, to check out their surroundings.

Did you know?​

Basenjis are a healthier breed than most, but still suffer from several health issues, which should be tested for prior to breeding.

All ethical breeders will test for:
Fanconi Syndrome
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
X-ray for Hip Dysplasia
Eye Exam for Eye Disorders

and ideally Blood draw for Thyroid Problems

You can learn more about these on our HEALTH page in the main menu

Did you know?​

Basenjis are not actually hypoallergenic and they shed somewhat like a normal dog! Shedding is usually minimal, and less noticeable than, say a lab, but the fact of the matter is that the Basenji does indeed shed.

The reason most people seem to not react as badly is because of the Basenji's obsession with keeping themselves cleaned and well groomed. Coupled with a short coat, there's less fur to irritate people which results in less allergies. However, still, it is important to mention that most people with a true dog allergy will have a reaction to them one way or another and would be better suited with a breed like the Poodle, which is actually a hypoallergenic breed.of dog.