Basenji: character, health, price and breeding
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The Basenji is a very particular four-legged: it looks more like a cat than a dog.
Originally from Africa, the Basenji it is a dog breed that was greatly appreciated by the Pygmy populations, who considered it a valid aid in hunting and a dog capable of keeping evil spirits away. Even the Egyptians recognized its value, even making it a sacred animal. The fact is that the Basenji it is a very particular dog.
What makes this dog unique is the fact that it does not bark. Rather, it emits a sound that resembles the Tyrolean yodler. This characteristic, together with the fact that he licks himself like a feline, which like it loves cleaning, and the fact that he loves curling up on chairs and tables, to keep an eye on the situation, has earned him the nickname of “dog most cat of all”.
The Basenji it is part of medium-sized dogs with a temper that is sometimes not easy and that needs a firm education since puppyhood. He is smart, lively and very intelligent. But he is also an affectionate dog that adapts well to family life and becomes attached to his master for which he would also give his life. He loves children and gets along well with other dogs. He can’t stand loneliness.
He adapts to apartment living but loves the outdoors as long as it doesn’t rain because he just doesn’t like the water.
A dive into the history of the origin of the Basenji
The Basenji is a canine breed originating from central Africa and more specifically from the Congo region. The origin of its name comes from the Bantu language and means indigenous. The first evidence of this breed can be found in the heart of the Ituri forest. This breed was in fact the favorite hunting dog of the Pygmies due to its excellent eyesight, speed and its ability to push prey towards the hunter.
It turned out to be a very versatile dog and could also act as a guide dog in the forest and as a dog that signals ferocious animals. Africans also thought that he warded off evil spirits and entrusted him with guarding their homes.
The Basenji it was then discovered by the Egyptians, who even came to worship it, making it a sacred dog. It was represented in the tomb decorations as it was believed to accompany the dead to the afterlife. In fact, there are many tombs dating back to 3,600 BC that present representations of these dogs.
Around 1870 the British discovered this breed and in 1895 it appeared in National Cruft’s Show di Londra, one of the best known international exhibitions. However, the breed was affected by distemper and imported dogs were unable to reproduce.
It was only thanks to the efforts of the English breeder Veronica Tudor Williams that the race was able to re-establish itself in the Western world. Although there are quality breeding today, this dog breed remains virtually unknown. In Italy there are just under fifty examples.
However, it is necessary to clarify one point: the Basenji is a purebred dog. In Africa there are numerous dogs that resemble him but the real one is impossible not to recognize as it has an unmistakable characteristic: it does not bark!
Basenji: physical characteristics
We must first say that the Basenji is a primitive dog. One of the details that unites it to these breeds is that the females come into heat only once a year.
Let’s now see what are the physical characteristics of this dog breed, recognized by the breed standard. The Basenji is a canine breed of medium-small size, the head has a flat skull, well chiseled and of medium length, thinner towards the nose. Above the eyes and between the ears there are rather marked lines. The ears are small, pointed and carried erect. The eyes are dark and almond-shaped and are placed obliquely.
The neck of the Basenji it is elongated and gives it an elegant and proud bearing. The body is well proportioned, with a straight and short back. The limbs are long, muscular with fine bone. The tail is set high and coils up over the spine resting on the back. The coat is short and silky, very fine. The colors are black, black-white, brindle, white-fawn, white-fawn-black. There are also some cream colored specimens but they do not fall within the standard.
The average height of the Basenji it goes from 41 to 43 cm for the male, with a weight that is around 10-12 kg. For the female, on the other hand, we are around 38-41 cm, for a weight ranging from 9 to 11 kg. It is therefore among the medium-sized dogs.
It is a dog breed that is in good health and has an average lifespan of about ten years. It is not particularly fragile but it is necessary to avoid letting it get cold, as it is not used to low temperatures. This dog always keeps himself in order so his coat does not need special care.
As already mentioned, females only go into heat once a year and cubs are always born between November and December. Months in which they are very vulnerable.
As regards the power supply we can say that the Basenji it is an omnivorous dog: it eats anything but in smaller portions than other dogs of the same size. However, it is good to avoid making him gain weight to avoid harming his health.
The Basenji is defined the most cat of all dogs. Because? Well, first of all because he doesn’t bark and secondly because he licks himself like cats do. He loves cleanliness and hates bad smells. By his nature he himself is devoid of it. He also loves to perch on a table or chair where he can keep everything around him under control.
This dog breed needs a very firm upbringing because it has a stubborn and roguish and also very determined personality, which can take over a too permissive owner. He has a possessive temperament and is very attached to his master by whom he does not tolerate being ignored. If left alone for a long time it can become very destructive. The Basenji he would defend his master even at the cost of his own life.
One of the characteristics that are most often recognized in this breed is also its independent character. For the Basenji disobedience is a deliberate act. He is also a very curious dog and always seems to be on the lookout for. He is undoubtedly intelligent, very alert and sure of himself, reckless to the point of unconsciousness.
If educated from an early age, he adapts well to apartment life and easily integrates into family life. He is affectionate, playful and very patient with children he controls on sight. He is also friendly with strangers but if he perceives danger he immediately makes it clear to his master.
It is a dog that hates rain and water. The Basenji however, he prefers life in the open air. In this case, however, we must be careful because his curiosity and his independence could lead him to try to escape. If outdoors, he loves to play and run with other dogs. It is a dog that needs to let off steam so it needs to be taken out often.
Today he is considered an excellent companion dog. The fact that he does not bark and therefore does not disturb the neighbors definitely earns him points.
For a Basenji puppy to be healthy, it is essential that his mother has been vaccinated first of all against the most common diseases, such as distemper, leptospirosis and parvovirus. In this way the puppies will be immune in the first months of life from these serious pathologies.
Secondly, the young must be dewormed within two months. The other tips are the usual ones: balanced diet and nutrition administered gradually. We must not exaggerate, this is clear.
Attention then to some parasitic forms present in certain climates (it depends on the area in which you live): filariasis and leishmaniasis can always be lurking. Ultimately, there is one thing to say: the knowledge of the Basenji in Italy is still a little behind compared to other countries, but certainly this breed can suffer from allergies, but also from eye problems such as progressive atrophy. of the retina and cataracts.
Basenji: price and breeding
The price of a puppy of Basenji it is around two thousand euros. The high price is due to the fact that it is little known in Italy and to the characteristic of the annual heat of the females which does not favor its spread.
We have said that in Italy it is not a very well known dog while in England it is bred with discrete numbers. However, there are three farms in Italy that we can mention: the Basenji of the Red houses, ENCI approved since 2007, on Basenji Italy in Rosignano marittimo e Anubi’s Enigma located in the Veneto.