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Basenji

Tags: hound, Adaptable to apartment life, Protective guardian, Requires firm, dedicated training

If I resemble dogs depicted in Egyptian pharaohs' tombs, that's because my ancient ancestors are from that neck of the woods -- or at least the head waters of the Nile -- noble canines like the Tesem and the Egyptian Hound. My cousin the Ibizan Hound is bigger (I'm around 16 inches at the shoulders and weigh in at 23 pound), but you can see the family resemblance. Thousands of years later, the Basenji was named for a tribe and imported to England (in the 1930s) and the United States (in the 1940s).

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Even-tempered, good-natured
  • Fastidious, cat-like habits
  • Keen sense of smell and no body odor

Report card

  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Outgoing extrovert
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • No bark, but "yodels" when happy
  • Training must be firm but gentle, patient and consistent

What to expect

I need you to understand that you're getting a somewhat quirky dog -- almost a cat, too, or both rolled into one compact package. My cat-like characteristics include climbing fences (be advised) and trees (where you might find me perched if I go missing). Don't expect me to bark when someone comes to the door (although I regard most strangers with cat-like suspicion). I'm super smart but can be hard to obedience-train. However do start working with me early and try to get me socialized into my human and companion-animal household. But if those other animals include pet rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. remember my rodent-hunting instincts and keep us from crossing paths. I don't always have the best "road sense" so please don't let me wander in traffic. Now the good news: I self-groom like a cat (no 'doggie smell'); I don't bark; and I will keep the premises clear of rodents (though small amounts of regular dog food will be appreciated).

Watch for

Possible predisposition to Fanconi's Syndrome, pyruvate kinase deficiency, anemia, lymph gland disorders, enteritis, and over-sensitivity to flea products.

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