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The Basenji Price: How Much for the Quiet One?

How tempting does it sound to own a dog who doesn’t bark?

If you’re not looking for a guard dog in a pet, then the Basenji is your guy!

These elegant little dogs will run you between $1,200 and $4,500.

The Basenji price range may sound like it’s a bit high, but this is actually a price for a dog bought from a breeder.

Also, a show dog or high pedigree Basenji price is on the higher end of that range anywhere from $1,800+.

Basenji Cattle Dog Cottage Cute

So…is he worth it?

That’s for you to decide. And the best way to do that is to take a look at this breed’s temperament and other deciding factors, like his history and grooming needs.

Only then can you know for sure whether this breed is the right one for you.

The Basenji, Up Close

You may have seen the Basenji before without even realizing it.

This is because the breed originated in ancient Egypt. Today, you can still see carvings of the Basenji on the stone walls of the tombs of the pharaohs.

Basenji price

Later on, the Basenji became a prolific hunter in Central Africa. Here, it earned the nickname “Congo dog.”

Sometimes a breed’s history is enough to attract you further, like if you’re a sucker for all things Egyptian.

And sometimes a breed’s history can tell you a lot of important information, such as how the Basenji’s hunting background carries over into who he is today.

Basenji Temperament and Personality

Perhaps more than anything, a breed’s temperament can really help you decide whether a particular breed is right for you.

Here are some things to know about the Basenji temperament before diving in headfirst.

He’s a Lovebug

One of the activities the Basenji is best at is cuddling.

So, if you want a live-action stuffed animal, then you’ll just love the Basenji.

And because he’s on the smaller end, if he curls up on your lap to cuddle, you aren’t going to feel like you’re suffocating.

He’s Smart

Intelligent dogs are always bittersweet.

For one thing, because they’re smart, they pick up what you’re trying to train them on right away.

However, for another, their intelligence can also make them stubborn. So, while he knows what you’re trying to teach him, whether he chooses to obey is another story altogether.

He’s Sprightly

This breed needs a lot of exercise, so don’t even consider bringing him home unless you can keep up.

Basenji Cattle Dog Playing Ball

If you don’t help him expend that extra energy, then you’ll be wishing you invested in a cheaper couch because he’ll probably resort to chewing it.

A bored dog is a destructive dog, and you don’t ever want the Basenji to get bored!

He’s Inquisitive

The Basenji is the very definition of “curiosity killed the cat”…err, dog.

He’s always up for an adventure, and if you aren’t presenting him with one, he’ll search out his own.

And, as we all know, this type of situation doesn’t necessarily end happily, so be sure to keep his mind entertained often.

He’s Vigilant

While the Basenji doesn’t bark, you can tell when he’s on high alert just the same.

For one thing, he actually does “talk,” but it’s more similar to that of a coyote or wolf in that it is an unsettling yodel.

This alone may be enough to creep out anyone unwelcome who’s coming to your door.

Additionally, if something catches the Basenji’s attention, his ears will shoot up and his forehead will tighten.

This is a great way to have a guard dog but without all the barking – unless of course you want a barker to scare off unwanted visitors. In that case, the Basenji may not be the right match for you.

Basenji Size

The size of a breed can certainly have a heavy influence on your decision to buy.

For instance, the Basenji grows to a maximum height of 15 to 17 inches tall, and a maximum weight of 20 to 26 lbs.

This is a small breed, bordering on mid-size. If you want something a little larger, then you’ll choose not to invest your money in the Basenji.

And, considering the Basenji isn’t a barker, if you’re looking for a guard dog, you may want a dog who is a little more intimidating in size. This can also influence your decision to buy.

Basenji Price – How Much Do Basenjis Cost?

As mentioned above, the Basenji dog price will run you anywhere from $1,200 to $1,800 on average. This is a pretty reasonable price range for a dog bought from a breeder.

They can go as high as $4000+ for a high-end purebred show dog from breeders.

Basenji price

However, if that price seems steep, you do have options.

You can always save money on the Basenji puppies price by rescuing one of these dogs from a shelter or rescue organization.


The Basenji’s popularity has been on the decline in recent years.

For instance, they dropped from #71 on the AKC’s most popular dog breeds list in 1999 to #93 in 2011.

They had a slight resurgence in 2017 when they rebounded to the 84th spot.

This is both good and bad news. The good news is that there isn’t such a run on this breed that you won’t be able to find one because everyone gobbled them up.

The bad news is that you might still have trouble finding one because if they’re not as in demand, breeders may opt not to make as many of them.

So, the situation is the same. However, when a breed isn’t in demand, so long as it’s not rare, you may be able to pay a lower Basenji average price since the breeder isn’t selling anyway.

Basenji Rescue and Adoption

Rescuing a Basenji can save you upwards of $1,000 since most shelters charge between $150 and $300 as an adoption fee.

This fee goes toward spaying/neutering the dog and providing basic veterinary care, including shots before the dog goes home.

If you choose to adopt a Basenji from a dedicated rescue organization, you may end up paying a few hundred more.

This is because rescue organizations tend to rehabilitate their dogs first by letting them live with foster families.

This gets them ready to go for their future family, and often makes them even more accepting of children, cats, and other dogs.

Basenji Rescue & Transport, for instance, can supply you with more information on how to rescue one of their beautiful Basenjis.

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Basenji Cost of Ownership

The price of a Basenji goes up considerably when you remember all the recurrent costs involved in owning one.

Medical care is your biggest concern, followed by food. You might also need to consider training and grooming costs as well.

Cost of Food

Because the Basenji is a mid-size dog, you shouldn’t have to spend more than $35 a month feeding him.

This also, of course, depends on the quality of the food you buy.

Higher quality dog food will certainly cost more than the cheap stuff on the bottom shelf at the grocery store.

The in-between dog food, however, is the one that will usually run you between $30 and $35 for a large bag. A bag this size should last around a month to a month and a half.

Health Care Expenses

Health expenses…now this is where you can really run into trouble.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the issues that can plague the particular breed in which you’re interested.

That way you know whether issues are long-term or short-term, whether they require medicine or surgery, and whether they may shorten the dog’s life (and, morbidly, your investment).

The health issues common to the Basenji include:

As you can see, some of these conditions are more serious than others and will require more medical care.

However, there is, of course, no guarantee your Basenji will suffer from any of these ailments.

It’s still a good idea, though, to be aware of them so you can watch for symptoms.

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Training Programs

Because the Basenji can be stubborn, you may want to consider investing in a training program for him.

So long as you are persistent and consistent, however, you should be okay on your own.

But every dog is different, so if your Basenji seems more stubborn than most, definitely consider putting him in some kind of doggy training program to help him.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Grooming Costs

Thankfully, grooming isn’t something you really need to factor into the Basenji puppy price.

As for his coat, the Basenji is pretty easygoing, doing well with just regular brushings and a bath when he starts to stink.

A quick bath and an occasional brushing every once in a while should be enough to keep him looking (and smelling) his best.

One area you may have trouble with is cutting his nails, especially if he’s not used to people touching his feet.

If he is, however, then this too becomes something you can do on your own without incurring an extra cost.

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