Setting the Table for Success! This page offers general information on the Basenji and links that you might find useful

by The Mid-Atlantic Basenji Club a great organization for Basenji owners see link below

So you think you want a Basenji...

Because... But...

You would think they were potty trained!

They don’t bark...

They can and do make a lot of noise. They scream, howl, cry, and yodel. They definitely have a voice.

They are small...

They are a big dog in a small package. They are fast and strong.

They are unusual...

There are more around than you think. Most owners love them too much to let them run loose, and since they do not bark, they can go unnoticed.

They are intelligent...

Basenjis are hounds and were bred to be independent hunters. Very intelligent, they get bored very easily. While entertaining themselves, they can get into lots of trouble.

I saw “Goodbye My Lady” and ...

Puppies in Home Depot with older dog for comfort.

While the movie is very enjoyable, it is not a good representation of normal Basenji home-life.

If you have read this far, and still want a Basenji, you should consider the following points:

Basenjis are an active, intelligent, demanding dog, requiring your attention most of the time, and your love all of the time. If you are not willing to spend the time and effort to train and enjoy them, then you do not want a Basenji.

Basenjis are affectionate, loving dogs, who will build a strong bond with you and your family. They will, in most cases, be friendly with strangers and follow children anywhere. If you want a one-person dog, you do not want a Basenji.

Basenjis are not guard dogs. However, they are very alert, and will give warning if strangers are around. Though they do not bark, you know by their actions when something is wrong. If you are looking for a guard or great protection dog, you do not want a Basenji.

Basenjis are mischievous and easily bored. It can be a big mistake to leave an untrained Basenji alone in a house. They can be extremely destructive if left to entertain themselves. They should be trained or confined in a suitable crate. If you are not prepared to do this, you do not want a Basenji.

Basenjis love to run and unfortunately, they believe they can out-run any danger. They can jump over or climb out of any fence if they so desire. They are very inquisitive, and the grass is always greener etc., so if you like a free-running dog, unsupervised, please do not get a Basenji.

Basenjis are habit-forming, once you have been owned by and loved this intelligent, mischievous, active, independent, loving breed, you may not ever want to be without at least one. When you buy a Basenji, you are making a 10-15 year commitment to him. If you are not ready for this commitment, please do not buy a Basenji. ( My daughter had a basenji that lived to 18 years old)

Basenji owners believe that all dogs should be contained in a yard or kennel run - rather than running loose. Yes, the dog that is contained misses a lot of life’s little pleasures... like being hit by a car; like being dirty and full of burrs; covered with fleas and ticks, and loaded with worms. The joy of fighting with other strays, the pleasure of being sick on garbage, and picking up diseases; and best of all, the thrill of being shot in a farmyard.

If you still believe you want a Basenji and are qualified to be owned by one of those unique little dogs, then welcome to the club. Basenji owners will take great pleasure in welcoming you into a select company of true believers that we own the best, most nearly ideal dog that ever lived, THE BASENJI.


I have found that my dogs do not really settle until they are 2 to 21/2 years of age. They are curious and this can lead to trouble and destruction. These are pack animals and you need to be the dominate pack leader!  You have to train yourself to remove temping things like glasses, remotes and other items they can be grabbed and chew. Your towels that are hanging over the edge of the counter, a jacket or pocket book, shoes etc. I keep the bathroom door shut or from time to time they will grab the end of the paper roll and go running throughout the kitchen and family room. 

  • CRATE TRAINING:  Your puppy or new adult should be crate trained. I know this can be difficult at times to listen to their crying and carrying on. The sooner you do this the better. You should feed your dog in their crate. This is a good way to get them comfortable. If they destroy their bed do not put one in the crate. They will eventually settle.  Since I find it hard to listen to them cry, I put them in their crate and I leave the house to do my errands. Always put your new puppy or dog in their crate to sleep at night. If you want to put it in your room that is fine. I have always kept my crates in a dog room, laundry room or other location. Eventually, you will find them going into their crates with the door open just to relax.  The crate is great when you have company that doesn't like dogs or a small child that is eating something that the dog can grab from their hands.
  •  SPRAY BOTTLE OF WATER: I have small spray bottles of water throughout my house. If I am sitting and eating and the dogs come and start to beg, I just hold up the bottle and typically all they need to know to "LEAVE IT". If the chair at the kitchen table is left out and someone decides that the napkin holder is full of napkins to chew, I give them a squirt. As they get older just a stern "LEAVE IT USUALLY WORKS"
  • LEAVE IT: Anytime I do not want them to touch something I use "Leave it". If we are walking past a neighbor's dog and they start to pull, I say "Leave it". If there is a squirrel on the walk, I say "Leave it". This is my catch all for behaviors that are not acceptable.
  • SOCIALIZATION: It is imperative to socialize your puppy early. I do not like to take young dogs to Pet stores, there are just too many diseases that they can get exposed to. I usually, go to Home Depot or Tractor Supply to get them out and about. They should be transported in a crate and not allowed to roam in the car. I take my dogs to Macy's & Bloomingdales and Home Goods, these stores are busy and crowded and that is exactly what you want.

    Crowds and confusion perfect place to get your dog to focus!

    Do not let your puppy jump on people. Make the puppy either sit or stand and then let someone approach. I put a belly band on my male dog, especially if the dog is intact and hasn't been neutered. Keep the dogs on a short lease so they can't get into trouble.  Carry a few paper towels and a poop bag just in case. You should also try to find a puppy group or dog park but go easy and remember to make sure your dog has all it shots. Doggy Day cares can also be a good place to socialize your dog but make sure you investigate the place don't just assume! There are also puppy classes for obedience at Pet Smart and other places to consider.

  • FENCING: Basenjis are climbers and escape artists. Some have incredibly strong hunting drives. I will now tell you the story of my Kholiwe. I have a large yard with a 5 foot fence that is metal with slats. The slats are the standard width and if I had to do it over, I would have installed one with tighter slats. We didn't want a solid fence because we have open space by our property. We had to put wire fencing around the fence so the young dogs could not get between the fence. All was good and then Kholiwe figured out that if she went to the corner she could climb out. Then she would go up to my neighbor's house who had goats, chickens and rabbits.  I guess you can figure out the mayhem she created. So we ended up getting an electric fence around the other fence. This worked perfectly.  A few years later after Kholiwe had her both litters, my daughter's 18 year old basenji passed away and so she took Kholiwe, Scarlet and Sir to her house. We installed a solid PVC 5ft fence at her home with the fence going down tight to the ground.  In that yard there was an apple tree that critters including deer, rabbits and such would feast on. Now that the fence was in they couldn't do this anymore.  Well one early evening when Monica was away for the night a ground hog dug under the fence and Kholiwe, who is small cased it out and was hit by a car and had to be put to down. I tell this story because even a experienced basenji owner can't always think of everything. Basenjis can be escape artists!  When Kholiwe was a not even a year old we had her in our basement where we built a room that we call the Red Tent.  The walls were 4ft high with plywood. I came home from work and she was sitting on the couch!  Kholiwe is on the extreme of the bell curve but you need to be prepared because you do not know what your puppy is capable of doing until they Do IT!

2004 Dog World "Meet the Basenji"

2004 Dog world THE BASENJI

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Basenji Owners Manual


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Suggested Items for your new Puppy or Dog

Suggest Items for your new Dog and or Puppy

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How Colors are Determined

Basenji Color Genetics

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Rule of 3 when adopting an Adult dog or Rescue


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Puppy Deposit and Contract

Available upon request