Athletic, intelligent, energetic and playful dogs. Quick learners with reward-based training, which helps them to enjoy dog sports such as lure coursing, agility, tracking, and rally obedience. May be aloof or reserved around strangers. May chase wildlife and climb fences. Although Basenjis don't bark they are capable of making other vocalizations like yodeling and howling in addition to other traditional dog sounds.
The Basenji are descendants of the wild dogs of ancient India. It is possible that the breed was developed in Egypt as companion dogs during the time of the Pharaohs. Drawings found in Egyptian tombs suggest that the Basenji dates back at least five thousand years. The Basenji is a small, lightly-built, short-backed dog, which was appreciated for its ability to hunt vermin. The Basenji has also gained a reputation as excellent guarding, hunting and retrieving dogs. Another unique trait of the Basenji is that they do not bark; although they do make other dog sounds, such as whining, whimpering and growling. The breed was discovered in the late nineteenth century by western explorers who took them back to England. In 1936 the Basenji produced descendants that were called the "Congo Terriers" and in 1937 they were introduced into the United States by English breeders. From that point on, the breed's numbers continued to increase. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Basenji in 1943.