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The Basenji can definitely be classified as one of the most unique dog breeds out there. While most dogs are renowned for their bark, the Basenji doesnít in fact have one and instead lets out a yodel-like nose called a baroo. This is due to a bizarrely shaped larynx and also means that they possess the nickname of the ďbarkless dogĒ. Another unique feature of the breed is its washing technique that very resembles that of a cat. It originates from Africa, most likely the Democratic Republic of Congo, which probably explains why itís sometimes called the Congo Dog. It is classed as a hunting dog and during its early days in Africa, the breed was used as a guide in the forest to mainly warn of dangerous animals.
In terms of its appearance, the Basenji can be described as an athletic breed that stands between fifteen and seventeen inches tall, weighing at twenty to twenty-six pounds. It has a flat skull with pointed ears, while its back runs flat on straight legs. The breed has a short and shiny coat which can be in a range of colors including black, chestnut red, copper red, brindle and white. The tail is fairly unique and looks quite the feature on the Basenji, set quite high yet curling right the way over and resting on the side.
The qualities of the Basenji make it practically the perfect pet. They are an exceptionally intelligent breed and bond well with mature children. It should be warned however that they may not react well with non-canine animals and any prospective owner should bear this in mind when making their decision. While it is unable to bark, donít mistake this for a lack of activeness as the Basenji still requires plenty of attention and exercise. The breed is extremely affectionate although it can be reserved with strangers. Any potential owner should also know that the Basenji is something of an escapologist and their willingness to climb means that any fences in a yard would have to be extremely secure.
The breed can suffer from a few health problems with one of the most common being Fanconiís syndrome Ė a condition which affects the kidneys. Eye and intestinal problems can also be prominent in the breed and itís worth mentioning that they can be very sensitive to household chemicals. The typical lifespan for the Bansenji is relatively average though and most live around ten to twelve years.
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