One of the oldest and most interesting dog breeds known to man is the Basenji. This breed originated in Central Africa. The Basenji is considered to be among the earliest “pure” breeds, dating back over 5000 years, and has been depicted in various drawings carved within the tombs in Ancient Egypt. Basenjis were used by African tribesmen as a hunting dog, forming an interdependent relationship throughout history. Another unique quality of the Basenji is their bark, or lack thereof. Unlike other dogs, Basenjis do not bark; instead, they make a yodel-like noise, known as the “baroo”. This is why the breed earned the moniker “barkless dog”. At present, this smart and active dog breed is popular in the canine sport scene and as an overall home pet.
A canine sport that has been growing in the United States over the past few years is the working trial. Working trials have been around since 1924, with the first event being held in England. Originally, the sport was created to test the basic skills of working class dogs in a natural working environment, thus its name. Working trials are focused on three areas: agility (how well dogs can travel with you), obedience (how they stay relaxed) and scent work (how well dogs can find missing items and persons). While it’s been around in the United Kingdom for a while, the sport has only been occurring for a few years in the USA. But it has gained some popularity among dog owners who want to test out their dog’s abilities. The Basenji is a good fit for this sport because of the breed’s athleticism and excellent sense of smell.
If you have a loving and affectionate dog and you want to put these qualities to good use, the best option would be to turn your furbaby into a therapy dog. Therapy dogs come in all shapes, breeds and sizes as long as they have the right temperament. Basenjis are a great candidate for therapy dogs because of their appearance and compact size. Furthermore, Basenjis love to spend time with their humans for some downtime. With proper training, they can help bring joy to others, too. Different establishments, such as hospitals, schools and nursing homes, have therapy dog programs where your dog can participate in.
Basenjis are an active breed, built to take on athletic tasks. Given their working class background, they need lots of physical stimulation and exercise. This is why the breed is a shoo-in for a variety of canine sports. One of the sports where the Basenji will excel is lure coursing. This canine sport involves dogs going after a mechanical lure, normally in the form of white plastic strips. This lure is usually pulled all over an open field course to test the dog’s speed and focus. Basenjis are great for lure coursing because of their love for chasing and their impressive hunting abilities.
Another simple game that is perfect for a Basenji is soccer. Again, the breed’s knack for chasing is used extensively in this game. Simply get a soccer ball and kick it some distance away and watch as your pooch chases after the ball.
A game of fetch may seem like a basic and unoriginal game but there’s a reason why this game is a favorite among dog owners. It is simple and enjoyed by most dogs, including the Basenji. This game is a great way to stimulate the breed’s natural instinct to chase.
The Basenji is a truly unique dog breed that has certain physical and mental needs which should be met. In doing so, you can keep these dogs happy and content. If you happen to be one of the lucky owners of the lovely Basenji, try out the above mentioned activities to improve your pooch’s life.