• Hello! After years of begging, my parents are finally letting me get a dog. While doing research I learned about the Basenji, and I can't decide if it is what I am looking for. I know this site is probably biased 😉 , but could y'all give me some advice? I want a dog that is relatively easy to train, not aggressive, energetic enough to play at the park, but still able to be left home alone some. I've heard a Basenji grooms itself like a cat, so will it not shed a lot? Please let me know if this sounds similar to a Basenji or if I should keep looking. Thank you!!!

  • Basenjis are a hound, they are a hunting dog, bred to track/kill game (my Basenjis over the years have caught many a squirrel and plucked birds from the sky)... they are a sighthound, what they see they chase... why in the US we as breeders recommend that they are kept on lease always unless in a secure area and away from streets/cars. While I in 35+ years mine have never chased cars, per say, but they will dash after a critter (including leaves blowing across the road).. they will not check for cars first or listen to you telling them to "stop". This is not something you can train them out of... Basenjis are a thinking dog, so while there are many that will say they are not easy to train, think about it?... they think first... with what you are asking them to do... they are NOT the type that will sit just because you told them to and stay... they "want to know what is in it for me?". They can be aggressive on leash... and playing in the park..as in a dog park, I have never taken mine there, too many people that are not "in tune" to their dogs to watch them... as far as being in the home alone, mine are... but then they have their space with access to the yard (we have 10' solid fences) and access to both their room and the outdoors. Do they shed? YES... and while they will clean themselves as cats do, that doesn't mean that it will lessen the shedding... Some more than others. They do not lick themselves all over like a cat (which causes hairballs)... but they do keep themselves fairly clean. Align yourself with a breeder and talk about what exactly you are looking for, responsible breeders will tell you the "negative" things first and then the good

  • A Basenji is not the dog for you, trust me. They are not "relatively easy to train", they can be aggressive, many are not good being left alone. They do groom themselves although they also shed. Yes, on the engergetic, possibly more than you can handle. If you are living at home you would need major buy in from your parents and they deserve to know what they are getting into, but based on your questions, a Basenji is not something you should be considering! Sorry. They are delightful for people who have the time, patience, and don't sweat the small stuff (e.g. a chewed up couch, destroyed furniture or clothing) that may happen if you leave them alone too long.

  • Hello,

    Good for you for doing your research! .I do not believe a Basenji is for you though. This is good information as you need to consider that whatever pup you pick will be your best pal and responsibility for 14+ years. I know they are cute but they are often aggressive with other breeds and or in situations that are spontaneous- crowds, kids running up, they will run away and cannot be off leash as a sight hound, and they can often climb fences, counters and are not an easy dog to take into a dog park or in crowds. Not all clean themselves like cats and some yodel a lot so not quiet like people think. This is good information for you to know. There are so many easier pups that will allow you to socialize with people and at events with ease.


  • A good first step is to think about what your day is like now and what it will be like with a dog.

    How big of a dog you want? If you want your dog to sleep in your bed, don't get a big one. Basenji's do like to sleep with you, but they aren't always considerate about sharing the covers.

    When can you fit the dog's walk(s) in? The first walk of the day? How about the second? Can one of the walks be to the park to play (with you or other dogs)?

    Are you dreaming of playing "fetch" or teaching your dog to "catch a frisbee"? Basenji's aren't really known for those things. I love my Basenji, but... this is a breed that needs a LOT of exercise. Hour long walks every day, no days off. And they will still have the energy for playtime at the park. But playtime for a Basenji is more like, "catch me if you can!". You are not going to tire the dog out playing fetch, because this breed sees no reason to bring the ball back. Ever.

    How much do you know about training a dog? Training a Basenji is possible. Until you realize that your dog has trained you... to do exactly what it wants you to do.

    Take some time to think about what kind of dog you want. Then do some research on the breed(s) at the AKC website. I would suggest a Brittany Spaniel, or possibly the Australian Shepard. Just for comparison sake.

  • Emmett, got for it.... Do not limit your hunt. We lived in Hawaii at the time and could not find what we wanted so got ours from N.Z. Cost was $2,000. Most of that was the airfare. But he was worth every penny spent.


  • As I have read your posts and done some more research of my own, I have started to agree that they are probably not what I am looking for. Thank you everyone for helping me!

  • Emmet..
    if you are,still there...

    I HAVE ONLY ONE recommendation...find a Corgi breeder, a first or last time dog...play mate loyal, eager to learn anything. Trust worthy honest pal. I have owned basenjis for 35 years but have had corgis in my life. The only problem is hair but a good brushing a couple times a week....problem solved.

  • @emmett Hope you're still reading our responses. I'm impressed that you're doing research and reaching out to people who have the breed of dog you're interested in. In my opinion you're doing exactly the right thing. I also like that you're considering a Basenji. I really hope you'll keep that seed of interest in the back of your mind, and that when the time is right that you'll revisit having a Basenji.

    As other have pointed out, and you've concluded... a Basenji may not be the best choice for where you are right now. Another thought might be to find a local dog park, go there, observe the dogs, the way that they interact with their owners and see if particular breed looks interesting. Some are laid back, some are high energy, some crave attention, some want independence, etc. Watch them. Get use to spotting the behaviors that you want in a dog. Then, when it comes time for you to choose your dog for life, you'll be better prepared to spot the personality, or temperament as we call it, that best fits where you are in life. In turn you'll be making the best choice for your new pal as well.

    We have great members here with decades of experience breeding, training, showing and co-existing with dogs. I hope you'll stop by anytime you have any questions at all. They don't have to be about Basenjis. Good luck and let us know if you get a pup!! 👊 🙂 👍

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