The characteristics of the Basenji breed

Unfortunately we donít know much about how the Basenjis live in Africa. Most of the information comes from non-Africans who paid attention to the dogs and reported about them..

In his native land the Basenji lives in a close but simple relationship with his master and works for him as a hunting dog. He lives in a social structure within his pack, similar to the wild animals such as wolves, jackals, etc. The only difference is that his master becomes drawn into the dogís social relations and thus they become mutually dependent. Since the Basenjis are very capable as hunters, they are mainly deployed in packs so as to drive the quarry into stretched nets.

The Basenjis have the same rights as the villagers and live in a good fellowship with them, yet not as possessions of the natives. This is still so to this day. The Basenji owners value this very partner-like companionship. As was the case for centuries, so to this day are those dogs valued for their refreshing unfaltering character. Independence and ability to quickly react on their own in diverse situations differentiates this breed from the others Just as most of the Sight hounds these are not necessarily obsequious in nature. If you want to be his master seek out a different breed. If, however, you wish to have an intelligent, fun-loving dog, then this is the right breed for you. The Basenjis expect fairness, and accept discipline when it is implemented. If it is your wish that your Basenji should love and respect you, you must see to it that you are a fair and even handed leader. Having said that, it isnít necessarily meant that your Basenji be allowed to be the bossís but he will recognise your authority only if you are just and honest.

Sight hounds, an English term for Greyhounds, are presumably the oldest dogs in history. So too the Basenji, if not even older. As always, he is the essence, which was at last brought into our human society. While the Sight hounds have lived with us for over a hundred years, the Basenji has lived with us for just 60 years. This is a refreshing aspect because his natural instincts are still strongly imbedded. We must try to integrate him carefully into our society to ensure that his natural instincts do not atrophy.