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basenji

The Basenji is one of the most ancient dog breeds. Originating on the continent of Africa, it has been venerated by humans for thousands of years. Basenjis can be seen on steles in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, sitting at the feet of their masters, looking just as they do today, with pricked ears and tightly curled tail. The Basenji had almost totally disappeared from the West when Europeans came across it in the Congo in 1895. There, the Basenji was prized by locals for its intelligence, courage, speed, and silence. They were assistants to the hunt, chasing wild game into nets for their masters. The Azande and Mangbetu people from the northeastern Congo region describe Basenjis, in the local Lingala language, as mbwá na bas?´nzi. Translated, this means “dogs of the savages”, or “dogs of the villagers”. In the Congo, the Basenji is also known as "Dog of the Bush." The dogs are also known to the Azande of southern Sudan as Ango Angari. The word bas?´nzi itself is the plural form of mos?´nzi. In Kiswahili, another Bantu language, from East Africa, mbwa shenzi translates to “wild dog”. Another local name is m’bwa m’kube m’bwa wamwitu, or “jumping up and down dog”, a reference to their tendency to jump straight up to spot their quarry. Several attempts were made to bring the breed to England, but the earliest imports succumbed to disease. In 1923, for example, Lady Helen Nutting brought six Basenjis with her from Sudan, but all six died from distemper shots they received in quarantine. It was not until the 1930s that foundation stock was successfully established in England, and thence to the United States by animal importer Henry Trefflich. So it is that nearly all the Basenjis in the Western world are descended from these few original imports. For a fascinating account of the importation of the Basenji from Africa, read "The History of the Breed", a letter to the AKC in support of opening the stud book to admit new African imports. The breed was officially accepted into the AKC in 1943. In 1990 the AKC stud book was reopened to several new imports at the request of the Basenji Club of America. Basenjis are also registered with the UKC

The Basenji is a breed of hunting dog that originates in central Africa. It is considered by some, particularly in North America, to be a member of the sighthound family; most kennel clubs, including the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom classify it as a hound. The Basenji produces an unusual yodel-like sound, due to its unusually shaped larynx. Although Basenjis do not bark per se, they can mimic sounds, and thus are able to mimic barks if raised among barking dogs. In behavior and temperament they have some traits in common with cats.

pets

If you're a fan of the basenji then check out the basenjis below. view all pets >>>

  • Simba
    Simba

    Age: 7Y Sex: M

    United States

  • Tiger
    Tiger

    Age: 12Y Sex: F

    United States

  • Jojo
    Jojo

    Age: 15Y Sex: M

    United States

  • MAX
    MAX

    Age: 9Y Sex: M

    United States

  • Katy
    Katy

    Age: 5Y Sex: F

    United States

  • Dusty
    Dusty

    Age: 16Y Sex: F

    United States

  • Zeus
    Zeus

    Age: 16Y Sex: M

    United States

  • Jeepers
    Jeepers

    Age: 15Y Sex: F

    United States

  • Tiger
    Tiger

    Age: 16Y Sex: M

    United States

  • Fido
    Fido

    Age: 9Y Sex: M

    United States

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pictures

View the many basenji pictures our community has added and feel free to leave a personal comment on photos within our basenji gallery letting the owner know you stopped by. view all pictures >>>

  • This is Max at his perfect weight!
  • The fleece bandanna I made for him!
  • My Pet
  • My Pet
videos

Watching the basenji in action can be an interesting experience. The basenji videos below will be sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you wanting more. view all videos >>>

owners

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Basenji".