Basenji Breed Origins and Caracteristics
This group of primitivelives in a semi-wild state in Africa and Asia and there are a lot of them. Most of the time, nobody takes care of them or feeds them. That is why they are called pariah . In the most recent canine literature, they are classified in the group of primitive . Among them there are only two stable types that have been recognized as autonomous breeds. One of the most typical breeds is the basenji, that comes from the Central Africa (North of Zaire and Southern Sudan). The indigenous population uses these for hunting, to capture different rodents (the aulacode, or African rat of reeds, is the most captured) or to chase small species of antelopes as the Cephalophus.
There are two types of basenjis: the smallest, darkest one which is found in the jungle; the biggest one of lightest color is found in open land, living in the bushes and the savanna. Among the two types there are obviously intermediate forms, for example, thethat live upstream the Uelé River.
After different ups and downs, the basenji was introduced as a curiosity in Europe and America, but it became acclimatized with difficulty and the attempts of reproduction were not satisfactory. That is why until the end of the 1930s these specimens could not be raised and it was then when the basenji started to appear in exhibitions.
Size: forest type 40 cm approximately, savanna type 43 cm. Weight: 9-11 kg. Colors: chestnut brown to black, black with tan patches (1); theof Sudanese savanna are generally light yellow. The big white patch on the chest extends as a collar on the neck. The white feet and the white tip of the tail are typical features. A white star on the forehead is accepted provided that it is not higher than that.
The basenji does not bark, occasionally it only emits a kind of howl. In order to follow its movements when it goes hunting, the indigenous tie a wooden bell to the neck (2). Before the hunting, the bell clapper is wrapped with an herb so that it will not start the hunting earlier. Many tribes believe that these bells protect thefrom the attacks of leopards. In Sudan, the basenji is also called "jumping dog" because it makes big jumps over the tall herds both in order to get orientated and to chase the prey.