If you are into dogs with a rich amount of history, then you certainly cannot afford to miss out on the Basenji.
It’s claimed that the Basenji dates back almost a thousand years when they were kept as companions during the Egyptians’ hunting.
In the late 19th century, Basenjis are more commonly found in West Africa, and the dog was brought into European inquisitors because of their high level of intelligence as well as athletic ability.
Of course, the Basenji has another trait that is well-favored by the Europeans which is that the Basenjis can be a very quiet dog.
The apparent lack of barking is probably what turns most people into the Basenji’s direction.
Beware that Basenjis can be quite vocal too, you should never rely on the fact that a silent pup will stay that way all his life.
But while Basenji dogs are initially bred as a hunting companion, they well suited for people who are energetic enough to keep up with the Basenji’s high level of energy.
Among breed enthusiasts, there’s quite the demand for this breed and their availability is constrained by small supply.
Indeed, their demand levels warrant the need to have a club that is solely dedicated to Basenji Dogs in America.
The Basenji Club of America, or otherwise known as the BCOA, is a club that is designed to educate and provide more information about this lovely dog breed, including the list of diseases that might bug the Basenji dog breed.
But what do Basenji puppies actually cost and are the prices sky-high for this relatively rare breed or are they priced like other more common dog breeds?
Basenji Prices – Real Breeders
Generally Basenji prices range from $1,500-$2,000 for healthy puppies.
The problem with Basenji lies with their relative rarity and hence the higher cost when it comes to finding a Basenji puppy.
However, this price range is quite reasonable if you’re considering the rarity of this breed and the work that responsible breeders put into keeping the breed alive.
Indeed, as the popularity of the dog soars, so do the prices as well as the sudden influx of private breeders that might not be breeding the Basenjis ethically.
Due to the highly competitive nature when it comes to breeding of purebreds like the Basenji, unethical breeders will try not to list their prices online, and some of them might even quote you astronomically high prices as the Basenjis, citing their rarity as the reason.
Always make sure that you get the Basenji Puppy from an authorized, legit breeder as you can be sure that their practices and processes in breeding the Basenji Puppy are ethical.
Luckily for us, there are a number of legitimate breeders in America, and you can follow my guide on questions to ask your breeder to sort out the bad eggs.
While there are Basenji puppies for as low as $1,000, you’d be better off calculating with the higher end, so you can find the perfect breeder instead of going with just the cheapest one.
Here is the list of breeders as well as the average prices that you can expect to pay for your pup.
Please note that while these numbers are based on real puppy prices, I’ve removed the actual breeder’s kennel to avoid encouraging irresponsible breeders as I have not personally vetted all of them.
|Location (US)||Basenji Puppy Cost|
Please note that this article revolves around puppies and their cost.
If you’re interested in adopting an adult dog, you should check out your local rescues.
However, it might be necessary for you to extend your search to areas far away because the Basenji is not commonly seen in shelters.
Are Basenjis Rare?
Basenjis are now ranked 87th out of 197 recognized dog breeds as per the AKC’s annual registration numbers.
They were once popular, but their popularity has dwindled down in years.
One of the main reasons why most people consider the Basenji to be rare is because female Basenjis only comes into heat once a year.
When you couple that with the fact that each litter usually produces up to seven puppies, this does mean that the amount of Basenji Puppies you can find amongst the breeders can be hard to come by.
When we tried to contact several of the breeders, most of them are already out of puppies, and those with pregnant Basenjis have their puppies already reserved by people.
Indeed, you can expect yourself to be on a waiting list most of the time.
Because of the limitations as well as the potential profits of being in this business, breeders of Basenji puppies can be hard to come by in some locations.
There are overall lesser private breeders for Basenji dogs as compared to most other dog breeds.
Perhaps all of these reasons help to contribute to the rarity of the Basenji dog breed.
How Basenji Prices Are Influenced
There are several factors that influences the prices of the Basenji. This is very much similar to other dog breeds too.
Here are a couple of the criteria that drive Basenji puppy prices:
- Breeder reputation
- Health testing of parents
- Possible show titles the parents have
- Puppy temperament, socialisation
Typically if the breeder does not have a good reputation, the cost of the Basenji can be as low as $500.
Always remember, if the price is too good to be true, it probably means you are in for a ride.
While rare ancient breeds like this are not a favorite among puppy mills, they do exist to fill in a gap left by the small amount of responsible breeders.
Why are Basenjis not popular in puppy mills?
One major aspect contributing to this fact is that Basenjis only go into heat once a year.
While this heat cycle be normal for a giant breed (even they usually go into heat twice a year), small or medium breeds like usually go into heat every 4-6 months which means more possible pups.
On to health testing.
As part of the club requirements, all Basenji dogs are highly encouraged to go for tests such as:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Fanconi syndrome (kidney disorder)
- Progressive retinal atrophy (eye health)
It is recommended that the dog have DNA tests to check for night blindness as it can potentially affect the dog.
And the price for these tests isn’t exactly cheap, so most breeders will factor this into the price of the puppy when they are selling them.
Never buy a pup whose parents haven’t been health-tested (with proof, of course).
Quality of the parents: If the breeder’s Basenjis are entered for show competitions and their poise as well as gait are highly favored by judges, higher prices might be on the table.
Hence, the quality of the parents will influence the prices of the Basenji puppies. If the parents are past winners of competitions, you can expect the cost of the puppies to rise.
Puppies differ in temperament, coat color, and so on.
While the quality of the parents does play a huge part in the cost, the quality of the puppy himself will be a strong influence too.
Show-worthy lines, working dog lines (rare nowadays), and females for breeding will often cost more than pet dogs.
Basenji Overview: Colors, Size, Temperament
Now that we know the factors that influence the cost of the Basenji dog, let’s dig a little deeper into the Basenji’s traits to find out why it is a dog that is highly sought after by people.
There are various color variants for the Basenji dog.
They can come in black, brindle, tan, red, or it can also come in a combination of the colors too. Black and white combinations are common, while the tri-color Basenji is a little bit rarer.
Most Basenji breeders will deem the tri-color Basenji as a trindle. However, trindles are usually not favored by owners and they do not win the shows as much as the other color variants do.
When measured at the shoulder, males can grow up to 17 inches (43cm), females measure about 14-16 inches (36-41cm).
The weight of the Basenji varies between 22-26 pounds (10-12kg) for males and 20-24 pounds (9-11kg) for females.
Do you know that Basenjis are known to not bark at all?
While it can be rare to find a Basenji that barks often, they definitely can bark so be prepared for that.
In terms of temperament, experienced owners might find it a breeze to care for the Basenji in some aspects since they are sociable and friendly towards humans.
However, their hunting background is not to be ignored. Their level of independence can be hard to deal with for first-time owners.
Note that especially since they’re not big barkers, they do not make good guard dogs.
Since the Basenji is pretty active, you’ll have to exercise them physically as well as mentally.
Intellectual engagement is important so that they can put their high intelligence to use.
With the right training method, this breed can be a well-trained companion but they’re definitely not as easy to train as some other breeds.
How to Find a Good Basenji Breeder
If you have, by now, decided that the Basenji is a good fit for you and your family, it’s time for you to start hunting for good Basenji breeders.
This might seem to be an easy since we are in the information/digital age, but there are still plentiful of pitfalls that you will need to be wary of.
If you’re following my breeder question guide above, you should eliminate the majority of bad breeders out there.
A responsible breeder will answer all your questions, show you the parents, be knowledgable about the breed in general and more.
Once you have shortlisted the breeders, you should proceed to ask questions to the breeder to determine if they are experts in this field or not.
Typical questions that you can ask should be to check the number of years that the breeder is in the business. You will then need to ask the breeder about vaccination details as well as the various health testing since unethical breeders usually skip that step.
Avoid buying puppies with genetic diseases that could’ve been prevented with proper breeding.
To summarise, the Basenji is an ancient breed and the fact that they’re still around nowadays is awesome.
If you’re ready to shell out up to $2,000 for the beautiful Basenji dog breed, you’ll certainly find a great breeder.
Let me know in the comments what your experience with the Basenji and the breeder’s prices is.