The Basenji is a medium sized, clean lined, unexaggerated type of dog. He is also reputed to be odourless (or at least not have the usual doggy odour) and doesn’t bark! He makes a strange yodelling noise instead. He is normally inquisitive, confident, friendly and loyal. He has a short coat which is very easy to manage and needs regular daily exercise.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 2.1% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- Eye disease: Persistent pupillary membrane (PPM) (litter screening) (developmental abnormality where the iris membrane does not form properly)
- Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints) breed mean score 8.5
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD) (a deficiency of a specific red blood cell enzyme, causing haemolytic anaemia)
- Fanconi syndrome (a kidney tubular dysfunction which leads to glycosuria – glucose in the urine)
- PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) (causes blindness)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Immunoproliferative enteropathy (inflammatory bowel disease – causes severe intestinal malabsorbtion, chronic diarrhoea and loss of protein)
- Urolithiasis (linked to Fanconi syndrome – stone formation in urinary system)
- Autoimmune hypothyroiditis
- Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia
- Patellar luxation
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: