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 Tamsala Basenjis

Where health testing and excellent temperament are of equal importance.

THE ZANDE PUT-OFF       Written by Sally and Marvin Wallis


The Basenji is a lightly built, short-backed dog which gives the impression of being high on the leg compared to its length. It has been described as a "small deer-like animal". 

It does not bark, but is not mute. It has a variety of sounds, among them growls, chortles, yodels and crows - given in varying volume and stages depending upon its mood. It is extremely alert and able to let its owner know at once if anyone  approaches the house.

If you are looking for  fawning affection then read no further, a Basenji is not for you. They will love you, but on their terms not yours, with an aloofness which has its own peculiar charm. They are lap-dogs, provided that very early​ socialising has taken place, who can out-run a surprising number of other breeds including all but racing-trained Whippets, and can climb chain link fencing quite easily if they so wish. For  sheer variety, Basenjis are wonderful!


The Basenji is basically a very clean dog and (normally) rather easy to house-train. Running back and forth along the wall, pawing at the door , etc.,are signs that it wants to go out. 

It cleans itself in a cat-like way and several dogs coming home wet and muddy will 'group groom' each other until all are dry and clean. There is little , if any, of the wet dog-smell of other breeds. 

A puppy will often have been at least partially house-trained before it leaves the nest.


Grooming normally requires only brushing and nail trimming. Nail trimming should be done weekly at least in order to keep the feet neat and small with arched toes. This should be done even if the dog is not being shown. Long nails can ultimately affect the pasterns which is bad for the animal. Front nails need trimming more often than those on the back feet.

A rubber curry brush , and nail cutters are really all that are needed. Brushing daily helps and nail trimming as needed is about all save for a VERY rare bath.  Since Basenjis do not usually like water (try taking one out in the rain and see what we mean!) this can be quite an experience. A couple of inches of warm water in a bathtub is enough, shampoo and THOROUGHLY rinse out all the soap. Dry and leave alone. Because Basenjis lick themselves, do not use any preparations that can cause harm if swallowed. We prefer to use only items that are marked "  safe for cats and/or puppies"        

A tired Basenji is a good Basenji - if you don't tire me out - this is what I can do for myself!

​​You need to learn how to tidy your stuff - I can wreck anything!

Give me the opportunity and I'll wash the dishes!   

And if I think you need it - I can wash your head for you.

I'm perfectly comfy sitting up here.