7 Tips on Grooming your Basenji Breed Dog

The Basenji breed has a coat of short, fine hair. They come in black, rich chestnut red, tricolor (black and chestnut) and brindle (black stripes on Chestnut) They all have white legs, white up the center of the face and between the eyes or a white collar and also white on the tail tip.

The Basenjis are very clean dogs, grooming themselves, vigilantly, much like a cat might do. They don’t omit the usual “dog odor” and do not shed hair excessively, though they do shed hair throughout the year like any other dog. We spoke to an expert pet groomer, Cesar Rodriguez about some tips for grooming Basenji dogs.  He’s the owner of Mobiledoggrooomingconejovalley.com in Moorpark, California and him and his wife Rita have over  12 years experience in pet grooming, and they’ve had a lot of experience with grooming Basenji’s.

7 Tips to help you groom your Basenji:

1. Eyes: Their eyes should look bright and alert. Use a gentle eye wash during bath time to flush out any possible foreign matter.

2. Ears: To make sure that no ear problems arise, clean their ears monthly with an ear care solution. Clean only where you can see, never further. You may cause damage to the inner ear.

3. Brush their teeth at least twice to three times a week: This will remove the build-up of tartar and bacteria that lurk in between teeth. Daily brushing can also prevent the possibility of gum disease and a bad breath.

4. Trim their nails regularly: Usually, a dog wears their nails down naturally. This will depend on how much activity and walking and running is done daily. When you can hear the nails clicking on the floor, they are too long. When the dog’s nails are kept neatly trimmed, it will prevent scratching on your legs when your enthusiastic Basenji jumps up in greeting.

5. Bathing: Basenjis will require 2 baths. The first bath should be a normal, general bath, to clean the coat and skin of dirt. The second bath is more for luxury and could be done with a fragrant shampoo and followed with a conditioner that will moisturize and keep their coat in great shape. If your dog has allergies or a sensitive skin, use a Hypo-Allergenic shampoo and follow this with a medicated shampoo that is right for your dog’s needs.

6. Paws: It is important to keep the pads soft and pliable to keep it from cracking and becoming dry.

7. In between baths use a hound glove or mitt to wipe down its coat and keep it in good order. Because they keep themselves clean, much in the way a cat does, they do not need to be bathed too frequently.

Accustom your Basenji dog to being brushed from a young age. Handle their paws frequently, all dogs are touchy about their feet and also look inside their ears and mouth. As you groom your dog, check for rashes, sores, signs of infection, tenderness, and inflammation of the skin. Also check the ears, nose, eyes, mouth, and feet.

Courtesy of http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/1078878/dog-grooming-tips

Doing this from an early age will make your Basenji more used to handling and regular careful examination will help towards spotting potential problems early. They will also be more comfortable when visiting the veterinary when it’s needed.

5 Tips on how to Train your Basenji Breed Dog

Basenjis are highly intelligent dogs and will learn very quickly. What they do with what they learned cannot always be foretold. They will learn new commands quickly, but will also get bored with them, just as quickly. They are a stubborn breed with certain characteristics and will obey you only if it suits them at that moment.

5 Tips on how to Train your Basenji Breed dog:

You won’t do well with a Basenji if you are a timid owner. Basenjis can be willful and dominant; therefore, you need to have confidence when training them.

1. Establish a daily routine: It is important to set regular times for feeding, going for walks, playtime, night-time sleep time, etc. When the rules are unmistakable and clear, the dog will follow it.

2. Establish a Pecking order: Basenjis are independent dogs and to heed your commands they have to see you as the leader of the pack. Handle these dogs firmly, but fairly, and they will consider you the leader.

3. Teach your Basenji the right words: In a way, he will understand; teach them specific words, spoken in a specific way, in order to learn your dog the words, but also learn them to develop a respectful attitude towards you when speaking these words. When the dog understands what you say, he will feel happy to obey you and them. Knowing the meaning of a word or command, the dog will understand what you need from it. Knowing what you want and understanding it, he will do it.

4. Positive Re-enforcement Training: Food rewards or a clicker-based training method works best for Basenjis. A treat works wonders. But, be careful not to give too much food rewards because the Basenji will eat anything, the whole day. They can become greedy eaters and get fat.

5. Start teaching a Basenji when still a puppy: Puppies will be easier to teach because everything is still new and you can direct them accordingly. They still have their inborn instincts but have not used them yet. With adult dogs, it might be more difficult to re-establish a pecking order and to submit to a new leader, you.

The Basenji Ancestors lived for centuries in their homeland in Central Africa. Hunting duties have been their job; this is still inborn in modern Basenjis. If you should punish them for hunting your chicken or cat, he will hold a grudge, because he would not understand why he has been punished.

Basenjis cannot be forced to obey you, they need to be convinced to do something or obey a command. They might understand immediately what we want but will obey only if it is natural behavior for them.

Train your Basenji Breed Dog in a playful but firm way. Expect them to obey you, they will react to your confidence but never expect an obedient, good dog.

7 Frequently Asked Questions about the Basenji Breed Dog?

The Basenji is, an Ancient Pure Breed, is one of the oldest purely bred dogs in modern existence. Their sisters and brothers are still used today as hunting dogs in Central Africa.

7 Commonly Asked Questions about the Basenji Breed Dog:

1. Basenjis cannot bark. Is this true? Yes, Basenjis are barkless dogs. They can growl and whine normal dog sounds, and also do a variety of “talking” sounds. The yodel sound that the Basenji makes is a happy, joyful sound. Some Basenjis are quieter, while others are very vocal.

2. Can Basenjis be tolerant with children? They are not always very tolerant of younger children and won’t tolerate rough and unfair treatment. Teach the children to respect the dog and to never tease or hurt the dog. Dogs and children should never be left unsupervised. In general, Basenjis enjoy being with children, but should never be roughhoused played by adults or children.

3. Can a Basenji dog co-exist with a cat or other smaller pet? If the cat and Basenji puppy are raised together, they might get along or maybe just tolerate each other. Trying to get older Basenjis to socialize with cats or other small pets may present problems.

4. Should you ever take the leash of a Basenji when at the park or on the beach? That would not be recommended. They get distracted very easily and can engage in a chase at any time. They cannot be relied on to come back when you call them. Their instinct is to follow and chase and they would be vulnerable running loose in traffic.

5. Do Basenjis shed hair? Yes, however, because of the shortness of their hair and the fine texture, you will hardly notice their shedding. They shed hair throughout the year as any other dog would.

6. Do Basenjis give off a doggy odor? Even when wet, the Basenji breed does not give off that doggy odor. They keep themselves clean and neat with grooming methods like a cat. Basenjis do not like to get dirty and will clean themselves whenever they do.

7. Do Basenjis like to destroy things? Basenjis like chewing and will chew on anything that they can reach. Keep doors closed where you do not want them to do mischief. Provide them with enough chew toys and also give them lots of exercise, taking them on long walks.

Basenji dogs still have the characteristics that their historic ancestors needed to survive in their place of origin in Central Africa. Therefore they still are essentially a hunting dog, needing a pack to live with and ready for action at any time.

What Kind of Personality Traits does a Basenji Breed Dog Displays?

The Basenji breed’s ancestors were hunting dogs. In their native land, their brothers and sisters are still used as hunting dogs. This breed of dog is both a sight and scent hound. But; if they want to be, they can be selectively, deaf, and blind.

Personality traits and characteristics of the Basenji Breed:

A Basenji is meticulous about cleanliness, they are constantly grooming themselves. They have short haired, fine, silky coats. They do not need to be bathed too frequently, because they do not omit the usual, doggy odor and because of their cat-like cleaning behavior.

Because of their short coats, they are able to tolerate heat, but they do not like cold, rain, strong winds, hail and frost. On cold days you will find them in the warmest spot they can find and if there is a bit of sunshine they will occupy the sunniest spot on a cold day.

Basenjis are a small to medium sized dog, where the male is larger than the female. They are as tall as they are long. They can run extremely fast and although small in build, they are very strong and powerful.

The Basenji Breed is hunters. They have a strong drive to chase, prey drive, in this case, anything that moves can become prey; chickens, cats, birds, rabbits, possums, bicycles, lawn mowers, etc. everything is fair game.

They are athletic and they can climb fences or jump fences.

They like being independent and they like open spaces and the feeling of freedom. When they find a door or gate that has been left open, even for a second, they will take the gap, and make a dash through it. Gone in a second. Running off to go find an adventure. They will also not obey calls to come back before they feel like it.

They are very intelligent dogs, but not in ways that all will like. They have a unique combination of intelligence, curiosity, energy, and independence. Put together it enabled their ancestors to survive in the bush and wild; put together in modern civilization can become a great challenge.

Basenjis have a sense of humor, not one you will always like, and they can be stubborn and charming. They are mischievous and will get into all sorts of antics.

Basenjis do not bark. They do, however, have a variety of sounds they make when communicating. One of these sounds, being, the yodel, which they are known for. This they will mostly use when happy or when they know they were extremely naughty, and they do know, to try and manipulate forgiveness.

The Basenji Breed dog is not a fully domesticated dog, and different in that respect from most other dog breeds. You need to establish yourself as the Pack Leader when the Basenji is still a puppy. When you treat them fair and firmly, you will be considered the leader, if they don’t accept that leadership, they will gladly take over this role from you.

If you want a reliable, obedient dog, the Basenji is not for you. If you have a good sense of humor, have a tolerance for mischief and are willing to learn the Basenjis’ behavior, you could enjoy a, definitely not boring, full life with your Basenji Breed dog.

Follow the Lineage, Origin, and History of the Basenjis Dog Breed

The Basenji dog is an ancient breed. It has also been identified as a basal breed, predating the emerging of the modern breeds of dog, which ultimately means that it has a direct lineage with the common ancestor of the group. In this case the “Late Pleistocene Wolves”.

Pre-Historic Cave Paintings, dated 6000BC, and later 100AD, depict drawings of Basenji type dogs in hunting scenes.

Egyptian tombs from as early as 3000BC yielded many things that show Basenji type dogs; for instance, a game (Hemaka Game Stone), and various Pyramids where dogs are shown with their masters, hunting, sitting and with other dogs.

In 1843 a painting showed three dogs that belonged to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, where one of the dogs is a Basenji dog. This date is almost a 100 years before Basenji dogs were imported from the Belgian Congo into Europe.

In earlier writings about dogs in Africa, around 1868, dogs that have a resemblance to the Basenji, is mentioned. They were mostly used for hunting in packs.

From 1880, the Congo Terrier is mentioned in the earliest European travelers, adventurers, missionaries, scientists, and explorers, when they write about their experiences while traveling through Africa.

Having their origin on the continent of Africa, Basenji-like dogs have been living with humans from prehistoric times.

However, several attempts to bring these dogs to England for breeding were unsuccessful. There is mention of singular Basenjis in England, but it was only in 1930 that they have been successfully established England.

From the 1940’s onward, Basenjis were established in the Americas, etc. They even made appearances in a few movies during the 1950’s.

In 1964, a story was published in “The New York Times”, in which the praises of the Basenji breed are sung. It stated that is a quiet, clean breed that is easy to have around.

What is the best Environment for the Basenji Dog Breed to Flourish and be Happy?

The Basenji Dog Breed originated in Central Africa and existed from Pre-Historic times, being part of a pack and being part of hunting parties. Their name, “mbwa shenzi” means wild dog.

A well-pronounced characteristic of the Basenji is their pack behavior. This should be taken in account when thinking about the environment a Basenji dog can flourish and operate in.

Things to take into account regarding the characteristics of the Basenji Dog:

A Basenji does not belong to anyone but needs to be in a pack. You and your family become their pack. Basenjis need to be completely included in the family; they need to feel equal to all pack (family) members. However, the Basenji will stay an independent, freedom loving dog, even though they do not want to be left alone.

A good atmosphere in their environment will ensure that they are also in a good mood. Basenjis are sensitive dogs and directly act on the feelings surrounding them.

The Basenji has highly developed instincts that were necessary for their pre-historic environment, but not for our modern civilization. Their hearing, sight, and sense of smell are excellent. Any opportunity for chase and catch that presents itself can cause havoc around a house. An open door or garden gate will offer an escape route to go find some adventure.

They have an inherent curiosity which can lead to unpleasant surprises throughout your home. They will bite and chew anything that you might leave in their reach, furniture, electrical cables, clothes, shoes, etc. In this case, curiosity can possibly kill the cat.

Darkness meant danger in their dog ancestors’ homeland and Basenjis are still afraid of the dark.

Because of their lack of the typical dog smell (an inheritance from their ancestors’ life in Africa where the absence of smell meant protection against predators) other dogs might attack them, taking them for something else than a dog.

Basenjis do not like cold and will need warm blankets and bedding in cold winters. They find cold rain, strong winds, hail and frost very unpleasant and will stop doing anything while this continues. They will, however, play in the snow.

When sleeping, stay away. Do not startle them, they wake up instantly, but do not approach until they are fully awake. The old saying:” Let sleeping dogs lie” will be good to remember.

Basenjis like to play a lot and will make you laugh with their antics. They have a sense of humor and are very inquisitive.

Basenjis have high energy levels and need to be taken on long walks, daily.

The Basenji is a hound, which means that it is intelligent and alert, also independent and affectionate. They are difficult to train and won’t obey your commands instantly. This dog has to think about the command and decide if he wants to do what is asked. Deciding if there is anything in obeying that will be to its benefit.

Having a Basenji dog as a pet; what is good about their temperament? What is bad about their character?

Basenjis are graceful, elegant dogs with a poised demeanor and an inquiring alertness. They become bored easily and are endlessly curious about everything.

If you are looking for a dog that:

Is a convenient size? Basenjis are small dogs, which are as tall as which they are long. Male dogs are usually larger than the female dogs.

Combined litheness and elegance with sturdiness? Basenjis are deceptively powerful when you look at their size. They are graceful and confident when running at top speed.

Has an easy-care, soft coat in striking colors? They come in black, red a three-color and brindle. They also come in Trindle; this is a tricolor with brindle points. All colors have white chests, feet and tail tips.

Does not shed much? Their hairs are so fine and short that you won’t notice it as you would other dogs’ shedding fur.

Makes a keen watchdog? Basenjis are alert and energetic dogs. They are very curious and also reserved with strangers.

All of the above is the positives in having a Basenji dog as a pet.

When you do not want to deal with:

A very high activity level; they are very busy and needs to be taken on long walks daily. When they get bored they will get into all kinds of mischief that can turn disastrous. They should also not be left alone for long.

Suspicious towards new persons; it can be difficult when people come to visit you that are not familiar. They do not trust outsiders, people not of their known family, very easily.

Aggression towards your other pets; they might be fine with other dogs, but cats, pet mice, etc. can be seen as prey and will be hunted.

Masters at escaping; you need to keep a close watch on doors and gates to keep them from taking the gap and going for a walk. They will take the road when they get out. They are very curious and like to chase anything.

They have a mind of their own; they are very intelligent but almost impossible to train. You need to take charge or they will just ignore you.

Basenjis need to be trained and need to get a lot of exercise. They also need to be in a secured area. They will go under, over and through fences, looking for adventure.

5 Tips towards Caring for your Basenji Dog Breed

It is important that you know what type of care you should provide to your Basenji dog, to ensure that they stay healthy and in perfect condition.

1. The Basenji Dog needs plenty of walks; although this dog will fit into city-life and smaller spaces, you need to take them on long, brisk walks. These dogs love freedom and open, quiet spaces. When taking them out choose the times of day that does not have too much hustle and bustle. Also avoid places with a lot of people around. Be careful with leaving doors and gates open, and make sure that the barriers keeping this breed inside are efficient. They will walk off if the opportunity presents itself.

2. Training is fundamental; start from an early age, spend the time to control the dogs’ character and making it more compliant. When they are small they can be very naughty and will bite absolutely anything they can. They are playful, passionate pups but they can receive orders and comply. Simple commands like sit, lie down, give paw will be learned through repetition and rewards.

3. Feeding; the Basenji dog breed is not very particular or demanding in its tastes in food. You should give a well-balanced food that will keep them strong, vital and full of lots of energy. You can also give treats, for example, to help with training. Keep the treats with low fat and empty calories.

4. By nature the Basenji is a very healthy dog; there are no weaknesses known but that it does not do too well in cold weather. In winter make sure that its bed is near heat and raised above the cold ground. This dog race is known for its strength and you will only have to take it for specific medical check-ups. Always remember to get vaccinations and deworming on the set dates

5. Basic Hygiene requirements are few; this breed shed few hairs and does not give off odors, therefore, the frequency of washing should be like that of a cat. You can brush their hair to keep a pristine mantle. Also, try to keep their eyes clean by using saline soaked wipes. Accustom the dog, from puppy time to regular brushing of their teeth to prevent the build up of debris and residue on the teeth.

A Basenji has a unique personality. It is playful, nervous and somewhat independent like a cat. It is an intelligent pet and feels great affection for its human family.