When people in Central Africa brought gifts to the Egyptian Pharaohs, the offerings often included Basenji dogs. Carvings of these dogs have even been found in Egyptian tombs. The name Basenji descends from the African Bantu word meaning "native." Over the years, they have worked as pointers, retrievers and hunters "even dispatching toothy, twenty pound rats".
Mid-sized dogs with a silky copper coat, they have no bark but yodel when happy. For many people, their alert, playful, gentle and obedient temperaments make them ideal pets. Basenji dogs even clean themselves by licking their coats.
Size: Males ideally 17 inches, Females ideally 16 inches (at the withers).
Appearance: Balanced, muscular body with level, smooth motion.
Coat and Color: Short, fine, soft coat. Brownish red, black, brindle or black and red color with white feet, chest and tail tip; optional white marks on legs, chest, neck and face.
Head: Flat skull with a short, rounded muzzle; dark hazel to dark brown, almond shaped eyes; small, erect, triangular ears.
Tail: Tightly curled, set high.