Just like any other domesticated dog, the Basenji is greatly loyal, adores its owner and loves spending time outside. For those unfamiliar with the breed, the look of a Basenji is somewhat curious. Their characteristic wrinkled brow and extra large, stand at attention ears remind one of wild dogs often found in the untouched spaces of the globe. This is because the ancient breed is actually the result of a four thousand year old African bloodline. Throughout its history, a number of wild African dogs were incorporated into it development; so much so that the dog's metabolism is more canid than domesticated dog.
When looking for a breed of dog that is anything but average the Basenji definitely fits the bill. Owners of this breed wholeheartedly agree that it is always necessary to keep its need for independence in mind. Though domesticated, their background ensures there will be certain natural traits that other dogs do not have. These qualities cannot be ignored and can never be trained out. The Basenji is a self governed breed that needs to keep its sense of freedom in order to stay healthy. Individuals who only know how to deal with a dog through dominance will have a run for their money with the Basenji.
The most commonly noted trait for the Basenji is its bark, or lack thereof. The Basenji is more known for its distinctive yodels and howls. On top of that, those looking for a partner to go for a swim with should probably stick with Labrador Retrievers. The catlike Basenji despises water and will do what it has to to keep from getting wet. They will also, just like a cat, spend hours cleaning themselves and have been known to climb fences, trees and other barriers regardless of height. While a good companion animal, the Basenji is not one with a personality that avidly seeks out its owner's approval.
At the same time, the Basenji never shies away from being the center of attention. In fact, many owners opt for a male and female pair to keep each other company throughout the day. A secure enclosure or large safe space to run is a best bet for this breed as the wild dog in them is given to roaming. When out and about, the scurrying of a small animal across its path often prompts a Basenji to give chase after what it sees as prey. Many an owner has given chase as well of their Basenji who will not stop unless and until the animal is treed; and even then, the Basenji may also climb up the tree in pursuit. The Basenji is one that expects to rove about at will, making a leash an utter requirement at all times.