No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

AKC Meet the Breeds: Basenji

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

A poised, elegant hunting dog from Africa, the Basenji is smoothly muscular and moves with ease and agility. He is lightly built and possesses a wrinkled head and a high, curled tail. The Basenji is commonly known as the "barkless dog," but when excited, he makes a noise that sounds like a yodel. Colors include chestnut red, pure black, or brindle -- all with white feet, chest, and tail tip.

A Look Back
Prized for its hunting prowess in its native Central Africa, the Basenji were first brought from the source of the Nile as presents to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The breed wasn't successfully introduced in England until 1937, and the first litter of Basenji puppies raised to maturity in America was in 1941. In Africa, the natives use him for pointing, retrieving, and driving game into nets

Right Breed for You?
The Basenji is known for his fastidious habits and being full of play and activity. Because he often worked out of sight of hunters, he can tend to be independent and aloof and prefers to meet strangers on his own terms. Grooming is minimal due to his short coat, which lacks the typical "doggy" odor.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1944.
  • Ideal size ranges from 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and 22 to 24 pounds.
  • Hunter, companion.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (5)

  • basenjimaster 26 Oct, 2010

    Basenjimommy is right. I have owned my royal brindle for almost 6 years. He is amazing, the most beautiful dog of true regal origin on Central Park West, however, he is ownerous with a clever mind of his own. When I leave him, I have to make sure he is tired or content with something that will keep him entertained. He also becomes jealous and can misbehave when I have guests...

  • basenjimommy 12 Jul, 2010

    I have one of these dogs. This breed is NOT for everyone. If it feels ignored or alone it can become quite vocal and/or destructive. MUST be exercised regularly and either not left alone for long periods or crated. Our dog has destroyed one cage (@3 months) as well as numerous other items over the years. They NEVER NEVER NEVER get out of the puppy stage. They will chew things you never thought a dog would chew (metal mini blinds, window sills, AND they climb too!)

  • prod_test690 14 Sep, 2009

    I wish I could have one of these dogs as my own.

  • ManicCat 22 Apr, 2009

    What a beautiful dog.

  • ManicCat 22 Apr, 2009

    What a beautiful dog.