Basenji or Decker Rat Terrier?

  • Hello everyone. Last week we adopted what we were told was a Jack Russell mix from our local shelter. When we brought him home my daughter pointed out his wrinkled forehead and said she believed he was a Basenji. I knew nothing of Basenjis other than they are the 'barkless' dog, but after doing some research he seems to have many of the traits. He doesnt want to listen, doesnt like to be corrected and when runs a a leisurely pace, it looks like an elegant horse trot. He's fast as a bullet when he wants to be. He is super sweet too. He is just shy of a year and is 27 lbs which seems a bit on the high end of the weight spectrum for a Basenji. He makes the weirdest high pitched noises, but did let out a single high pitched, shrill bark once. He also is constantly stretching his hind legs, as shown in one of the pictures. He urinates like that, runs a few yards, then stands like that, runs some more, then stands like that again. I dont know if this is a breed trait or just a quirky habit all his own. Unfortunately, he doesnt have the curled tail. I googled docked tail Basenji and it came up with Decker Rat Terrier, although I couldnt find a picture of a DRT with a wrinkled forehead. I'm wondering if I have a Basenji with a natural bobtail, a DRT, or possibly a mix. What do you all think? Thanks!


  • Face and head sure look Basenji, tail looks like a Decker. Would like to see another side view. Looks a bit long in the body and short in the legs, Basenjis are very square. Nice looking dog!

  • Thank you. I apologize, I know standing in grass isnt the best way to assess leg length. These are the only two pictures I could get of him from the side. I'm trying to get him to stand still and he is not having it! Standing still for a tape measure is out of the question as well, lol. When standing completely erect, he is more square than these photos. I'll upload better ones if I can get them.

  • Also, any recommendations for DNA tests between Embark or Wisdom? I'm reading reviews and both brands seem to be either on or waaay off. Thanks.

  • I had one that looked like that that some idiot docked his tail. DNA test is the way to go.

  • Tape measure.....I assume to get his height. That would be useful. Looks quite Basenji to me, certainly nothing that suggests Jack Russell as was suggested to you. The tail is the only thing. Maybe a Basenji/Rat Terrier cross? If I couldn't see the tail I would guess Basenji.

  • Definitely a Basenji! Although the standard calls for a more square body, there are plenty out there that are longer than ideal. He looks and sounds like a wonderful companion, and I agree that some bozo must have hacked his tail off. 😞

  • That’s a Basenji! You need to give him plenty of exercise and watch his weight!

  • @emca11
    He is very adorable! He definitely looks part Basenji to me! Congratulations on you new baby!🐾

  • far miss by some 95%


  • @morsesa said in Basenji or Decker Rat Terrier?:

    far miss by some 95%

    Is "far miss" a regional expression? I'm not sure I understand what it means...

  • Thanks everyone! He looks purebred to me but I'm certainly no expert. The tail was really throwing me off a bit. From all the reading I've been doing we're going to have a handful with this one but we're up for the challenge. When he's not racing around the yard at 100 mph or shredding everything he gets his mouth on, he turns into the biggest snuggle bug and we love him so much already. His adoption fee is definitely the best $20 we've ever spent! 😄

  • I should think there is a heavy dose of Basenji there - but perhaps an interesting mix too.
    Nice looking boy !

  • My guess is Basenji dad. My reasoning is that anyone with a Basenji bitch whelping pups would have left the tail alone. Interesting that they docked the tail and left the dew-claws. I would be absolutely floored if DNA results didn't come back with B in it.

  • @emca11 “When he's not racing around the yard at 100 mph or shredding everything he gets his mouth on, he turns into the biggest snuggle bug”

    Sure sounds like a basenji lol.

  • @emca11 - I would bet Decker Rat Terrier, Basenjis were used/crossed years ago with Deckers. The only reason to think that might be Basenji is that Deckers are typically all Tri colored

  • He's a real cutie!!!

  • I have posted before and I have three basenjis and a decker rat terrier from the original lines. It is said that basenjis were used to make deckers way back when. The older deckers do have the wrinkling. They also do not bark, and when they lay down they splay their feet in the back. The only thing I can say and this is because I rescued my decker and there were many rescued from the same breeder and I have kept in touch with a couple. They are not active except when their prey drive kicks in. They are known to be aggressive because they bond very strongly to their family. My decker was aggressive, it was ALOT of training to knock that out. I definately see alot of basenji in your pup. The body, tail and stance definately reminds me of a decker but the color throws me off. I have seen standard rat terriers in that color but not deckers. Either way, the pup is beautiful and you are very lucky if it is basenji or decker or any breed for that matter Basenji and decker are both wonderful breeds.

  • Anyone got a picture of a decker ? Unknown in my neck of the woods and I would love to see one ! Interesting idea that the Basenji part of the mix is more likely to be Dad. I agree that anyone whelping puppies with curly tails would not dock them BUT Basenji puppies are not born with curly tails. Even so, even if the pups were the result of an ooops mating to a 'man with a bicycle' I doubt Mom's owner would dock.

  • Posting a picture of my guy would not show their true appearance. He is 17-18 years old. The coat gets dull, blind, deaf, just their body changes. I think I have a picture of his mom and dad, his mom had the wrinkle head. Let me get back on that.

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