Exercising Your BasenjiGood Exercises For Your Basenji

The Basenji is a descendant of the earliest pariah dogs (a type of wild dog or dog that may be of another subspecies) and used as hunters as long as 3600 BC. The Basenji originates from Central Africa (the Zaire [Congo] region] and sometimes are referred to as Congo Terriers. Legend has it that these dogs were brought from Central Africa to Egyptian pharaohs as gifts. Many were brought to England in the 1900’s where they were used as hunting and pointing dogs.

Breed Type

Sighthound and Pariah

Physical Characteristics

  • smooth, muscular, athletic dog
  • a medium-sized dog but on the small side
  • tail is set high and curled
  • does not bark, but rather makes a yodel noise called a “barroo”
  • graceful, confident gait (like a trotting horse)


  • alert, energetic and curious
  • affectionate with family but protective and wary with strangers
  • gets along with other dogs especially its own breed, may be aggressive with non-dog animals
  • loves to play and likes to climb
  • intelligent and takes to training easily
  • speedy, frisky, tireless at play

Best Exercises

The Basenji is a high-energy breed and needs daily physical and mental stimulation.

  • Walks – Long walks (45+ minutes)
  • Hikes – A great mental and physical activity for this breed
  • Dog Parks – if socialized or if you have more than one dog
  • Running – great running partners, especially for distance runs (more than 1 hour)
  • Dog Sports training:
    • Agility – excellent for Basenji
    • Tracking
    • Competition obedience
    • Flyball
  • Chasing games: Fetch, fetch pole, tag
  • Running games

Suggested Exercise Plan

You should try to spend an hour a day giving this dog a workout for mental and physical exertion. Two 30 minute sessions are fine. Long walks are will do, but as much as possible include playful games.

Things To Note

They tend to dislike wet weather and cold weather. These dogs are great in hot weather. This breed has a tendency for developing hip dysplasia and certain hereditary eye problems that can lead to a loss of vision.