Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Basenji puppy or adult dog.


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Basenji!

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Basenji dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Basenji

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Basenji the right breed for you?

Basenjis: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Basenji Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Basenji?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Basenji stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, lure coursing); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Basenjis are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Basenji to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Basenji, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Basenji?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Basenji be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Basenji?

Basenjis are middle-of-the-road in popularity in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Basenjis rank 88th.

Unfortunately, many people acquire a Basenji based on their convenient size, easy-care coat, striking colors, alert expression, and prancing gait. I say "unfortunately" because people who acquire a Basenji based on its appearance often end up regretting it. These dogs can be very challenging to live with.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
You might find a Basenji available from a Dog Rescue group. Basenjis may be turned over to Rescue because they're more active than their owner expected. Bored Basenjis get into everything. There might be dominance issues, or aggression toward other animals. Owners often give up their Basenji when it becomes apparent that despite its small size, the dog is too much for them to handle. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Basenjis are rarely found here. Basenji Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. On the off chance that a Basenji turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Basenji from a show breeder, who breeds Basenjis to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Basenji from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Basenji puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have a normal thyroid

Also, at least ONE PARENT of a Basenji puppy should have:

  • a DNA test proving they are Normal/Clear of a life-threatening kidney disease called Fanconi.
  • a DNA test proving they are Normal/Clear of a severe hereditary eye disease called Basenji Night Blindness-PRA.

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Basenji ends up with cataracts and kidney disease.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have never seen a Basenji in a pet shop, but it's possible. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Basenji Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Basenji puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Basenji puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.