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The Basenji, Nyam-Nyam terrier or Congo terrier

Revealing all the grace of a gazelle with its fine bones, proudly carried head and light body, the Basenji is appreciated for its royal look. It is a sporty, lively, gentle and adorable animal that will occupy a place of choice in any family if you know how to deal with it.

Characteristics of Basenji

The Basenji attracts all the attention by its morphology combining elegance and finesse. High on legs, it develops an average size between 40 and 43 cm. Its fine bones and its dry musculature make all its peculiarity. It reveals a correctly chiselled head of average width on which two pointed ears throne which bring all its charm to this dog. When they stand up, wrinkles appear on the forehead and sides, giving the animal a stunned look.

It has almond-shaped eyes, a dark color that expresses a bit of mystery. The Basenji has a short, tight, shiny and rather fine coat. It is generally bicolor (black and tan, black and white, black, fawn and white, etc.), but can also have a brindle or black coat. In principle the chest, tip and feet are white. Another specificity of this breed is its tail which forms a tight loop on the back and is carried high.

History of the Basenji breed

The Basenji is part of the closed circle of very old breeds of dogs. Its first traces were discovered 5000 years ago and since these many centuries, it seems that it has not changed much in appearance. This dog is said to be a descendant of the Egyptian greyhound and comes from Central Africa, more precisely from the Congo. After having disappeared for a while, it was rediscovered in the 19th century by British explorers. It was not introduced in Europe until the 20th century. Even if African tribes used the Basenji for small game hunting, as a guide in the forests or to warn of the presence of wild animals, today it will be appreciated above all as a pet, as it is not adapted to European game.

Necessary living conditions and behaviour of the Basenji

The Basenji clearly does not look like other dogs. First of all, he doesn't bark. But that doesn't mean that he is silent. Rather, it emits vocalizations or chuckles that are quite typical. This animal is very intelligent, rather lively and very affectionate towards its masters. On the other hand, it does not appreciate strangers too much. Another thing, it can evolve with children, but it is preferable that they grow up with it. The Basenji is also an independent, active and athletic dog. Ideally, he has large spaces at his disposal, as he used to be when he was a hunter in Africa. He is also known to be very stubborn and does not like orders. This is why he needs expert masters in dog education.

Diet and main health problems of Basenji

Basenji is in good health, although certain pathologies such as Fanconi syndrome, a hereditary disease manifested by kidney disorders, should be monitored. In addition, this animal can be affected by ocular degeneration, groin hernia or hip dysplasia. To ensure his iron health, he needs a balanced and good quality diet, without an excess of treats, as he is a dog easily prone to being overweight.