The Basenji is an African hound that is used for hunting small game. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depict a kind of dog that was used for the same purpose many thousands of years ago. It bears a striking resemblance to the Basenji and may very well be its predecessor. With the appropriate training this breed of dog can make a fine companion, though it is still an uncommon species to find in Europe and America. For that reason here is a guide on how to identify a Basenji should you see one.
Identifying A Basenji
Look at the dogs overall shape and size. For a hound, this is a small breed that rarely grows over 17 inches at the shoulder. They are elegant and have a good upright posture, being straight backed and long legged. They also have short tails that curl up so the tip touches the base of the spine. If you get the opportunity, watch how the dog runs. They have a very distinctive horse-like gait.2
Examine the dogs coat. They have very sleek, short fur that comes in only a few colored patterns. These colors are red, black, copper, and tan. Each of these colors will be accompanied by white feet, a white chest and underbelly. Some also have white collars and white spots on the face and bridge of the nose.3
Look at the dogs head. It should have a thick neck leading to a flat skull and furrowed brow that makes the dog look worried or nervous. They have tall, triangular, forward facing ears. Its eyes are small and almond shaped which seem to be hooded or squinted rather than fully open. The Basenji will also have a long snout, but a narrow under slung jaw giving it the impression of an under bite. If the dog matches this description then youre looking at a Basenji.