10 Dog Breeds Similar to the Basenji


Known as the “African dog,” the basenji is originally from the Central African country of Congo. Basenjis were originally bred as working dogs and helped their owners to hunt by pointing and retrieving, and even flushing game into nets, carrying goods, and being watchdogs. Basenjis are highly intelligent, athletic dogs that have a stubborn streak. They are also quite famous for being quiet dogs.

Owners might even forget that their basenji exists because once the dog finds a comfortable spot, he will not utter a word unless he needs to. That does not mean that he is silent. He will let out a scream, a yodel, growl, whine, or whimper when the need arises. Basenji owners have to learn to pick up after themselves. Otherwise, the dogs will do it for you. Their inquisitive nature makes them notorious for biting, tearing, and chewing anything within their reach. These dogs are also amazing escape artists. Leaving your Basenji alone for some time can lead to losing your pet, even in a fenced yard.

Basenjis love to play and make great family dogs. They are gentle with children, get along with other pets, and make great watchdogs. Their medium size of between 16 to 17 inches and 22 to 24 pounds makes them a less effective guard dog than other breeds. Although Basenjis are the most common dog breed throughout Africa, it is less common in America. People looking to add a basenji to their family might have difficulty finding one. Other dog breeds resemble the Basenji and share some of the breed’s characteristics. Here are ten dog breeds similar to the Basenji.

Boston Terrier

10. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier is a small dog from the United States. Coachmen who started interbreeding their bosses’ best dogs created the breed in Boston, the U.S.A., around 1865. They crossed an English Terrier and a Bulldog, which laid the foundation for the Boston terrier. By the 1900s, the Boston Terrier had become one of America’s favorite breeds. Although they were initially bred to fight, Boston Terriers are very affectionate dogs. According to the AKC, the breed was nicknamed the ‘American Gentleman’ because of his coat markings, and they live up to their nickname. The dogs are lively and loving, which makes them easily lovable. Don’t be fooled by their affectionate nature, though, as they can be stubborn, especially when not trained early.

Boston terriers are also very intelligent, and their endearing nature makes them great family pets. They are great with children and companions for the elderly but might occasionally show off their terrier side, especially when they feel threatened. Boston Terriers adapt well to living in an apartment because they are not very high-energy dogs. They do need to be exercised daily, though, to avoid obesity. Boston Terriers enjoy walks and are good playful companions for kids.

spanish greyhound

9. Greyhound

Greyhounds are tall sighthound dogs from North Africa and the Middle East. They were originally bred for chasing game and as racing dogs. They have been very popular among many cultures for centuries. They appear to have existed in many cultures, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They are also the only breed to have scored a mention in the Bible. Greyhounds became popular in Europe because of their coursing (chasing prey) prowess, and their agility made them great racers. The tall, majestic dogs are also very friendly and affectionate, especially with family members.

Their affectionate side makes them great family pets, as they are good with children and get along with other family pets. Although Greyhounds are good watchdogs, they are not the most protective breed, as they are also friendly with strangers. Even though they are known to have a lot of energy, they also love to sleep and can be quite laid back. Greyhounds make fantastic companions for people who love jogging and running, but they are also okay with a walk every day. They are not particularly fussy or destructive, so they are all right, living in apartments and houses with tiny yards.

8. Azawakh

Azawakh is a tall sighthound breed from Western Africa. The dogs are named after the Azawakh valley, where it originates from, and the dog has been part of numerous tribes in the region, including countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The dog was used by different ethnic African communities, such as the Tuaregs, the Hausa, and the Bella, for hunting and guarding them and for companionship. Azawakh dogs have slender and elegant bodies that show muscle and bones through the skin. They also have short fur coats suitable for hot environments that do not shed.

According to Spruce Pets, Azawakh dogs are loyal, calm territorial dogs that get super protective of their home and family. They make great companion dogs and excellent guards with proper training and socialization. They like chasing after children and animals and essentially any moving things, and this is because of their sighthound characteristics. These hunting dogs make fantastic running companions and must be exercised daily. Other than that, Azawakhs will find a comfortable spot in the house and are happy to sleep for long periods.

Ibizan Hound

7. Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound is a tall, agile hunting dog from Ibiza. The elegant and athletic breed dates back to ancient Egypt. In 1922, a lifesize statue of a dog that looked very similar to the Ibizan Hound was found in King Tut’s tomb. Other artifacts and carvings of Ibizan Hound look-alikes also led people to believe that the dog breed has existed for thousands of years. The stories are just rumors, though. Ibizan Hounds adapted to living a harsh island life, making them skilled and patient hunters. These beautiful dogs have excellent personalities to accompany their looks.

They are playful dogs that are great family additions. They are affectionate dogs and love a few cuddles, but they are not overly touchy. Ibizan Hounds can be aloof with strangers and protective of their homes and family, so they need to be trained and socialized early. Because the breed was used for hunting small game such as rabbits, they are fast and agile and pack a lot of stamina and determination. Nowadays, Ibizan Hounds are excellent competitors in agility games. Even though their exercise needs are moderate and they are comfortable sleeping and relaxing, owners must exercise their Ibizan Hounds daily.


6. Africanis

Africanis are medium-sized dogs that are native to South Africa. The dog usually has a long thin muzzle and a short coat of fur, as the dog is native to the tropical and hot African climate. Africanis look like a cross between Terriers, greyhounds, and Dingo breeds. According to SouthAfrica Gateway, these breeds of dogs may be descendants of Egyptian dogs that existed along the Nile Delta over 5,000 years ago. People believe that descendants of ancient Egyptian dogs moved across the continent, settled throughout Africa, and finally reached South Africa centuries ago.

Africanis dogs are now seen in South Africa, from cities to town centers, especially in the villages. They were used in Precolonial South Africa as hunting dogs because of their agility, intelligence, and loyalty. Africanis are loving, affectionate dogs with their family members. They are quite playful and get along with children and other animals. They are gentle-natured but can become territorial and quite protective of their homes.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

5. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are relatively large-sized scenthound and sighthound dogs from Southern Africa. Also dubbed the African Lion Hound, created by Boer farmers in South Africa. They bred it as a hunting dog adapted to the hot African weather. The Rhodesian Ridgeback adapted well to the South African terrain and could survive on low water rations. The dog protected its owner’s property and was a great family companion. The most noticeable thing about these dogs is the unique ridge that runs down their back. They were bred to hunt and corner big game like lions and bears. Nowadays, the dog is still used as a hunting dog in several regions. Rhodesian Ridgedogs also make excellent sporting animals and are good in agility, obedience, and tracking competitions.

These dogs are highly intelligent and loyal but can also be stubborn. Their background makes them great family dogs, as they are good with kids and get along with other domestic animals. Although they are energetic and active as puppies, they become more laid back in adulthood and only need moderate exercise. Rhodesian Ridgebacks might not be the best option for new dog owners. Like the Basenji, they are excellent escape artists, especially when left alone in the yard for a long time.

Canaan Dog

4. Canaan Dog

Canaan dogs are medium-sized pariah dogs from the middle east. It was created in the 1940s by an Israeli professor called Rudolphina Menzel. The Canaan dog is also known as the Palestinian Pariah dog or the Bedouin Sheepdog. The dog’s ancestors lived in the Middle East for centuries before Dr. Menzel got a few of them and started breeding them. Ancient Canaan dogs were great herding dogs. They were used as watchdogs and shepherds and protected the flock from thieves and predators. Ancient Canaan dogs retreated to the hills after the roman invasion. They lived in the wild before becoming domesticated again in 1935 when Jewish communities needed guard dogs.

Canaan dogs are alert dogs that are also intelligent and independent. They can be stubborn, so they must be trained and socialized early. Canaan dogs are very loyal dogs that are devoted to their owners. They are friendly with kids and other pets but can also be quite protective of their families. The good thing about Canaan dogs is that they are territorial and unlikely to run away from home. Canaan dogs adapt well to apartments and big houses because they are not overly active dogs. Even though they are not high-energy dogs, owners must exercise them daily. Because of their stubborn streak, they might not be the best choice for first-time dog owners.


3. Beagles

Beagles are small-sized scent dogs from England that look like a smaller version of the American Foxhound. Although their origin story is quite cloudy, they are believed to have originated in England in the 1800s. They are crossbreeds of several types of dogs, including the North Country Beagle, the Talbot Hound, the Southern Hound, and maybe even the Harrier. Beagles were bred to hunt small game like hares and rabbits. The most important thing about the breed is that they are scent hounds. Beagles can smell anything from a mile away, and their heads always face the ground looking for intriguing scents to follow. The United States even used them a few decades back to sniff out contraband in an airport.

Beagles weigh between 20 to 25 pounds and 13 and 16 inches depending on the dog’s sex. These muscular dogs have wide noses, long floppy ears, and short, dense coats. They have a very soft gaze and beautiful brown eyes, which makes them almost irresistible. Beagles are excellent family dogs as they get along with kids and other pets. Although they are cute, gentle, and funny dogs, they are also quite naughty and will cause trouble, especially if left alone for too long. They can adapt well to an apartment as long as the owner takes them on daily walks to exercise.

American Foxhound

2. American Foxhound

American Foxhounds are medium-sized scent dogs. They are cousins to the English Foxhound and were bred as hunting dogs to help owners catch game through scent. American Foxhounds come from English settlers who arrived in America with their hounds. American breeders then started crossing them with other Irish and French hounds to breed a more adaptable dog to the American territories and terrain. Now, there are four American Foxhounds types: field trial hounds, slow trailing hounds, drag hounds, and pack hounds.

American Foxhounds are calm-natured, sweet, and affectionate dogs that make excellent family additions. These dogs weigh between 40 and 60 pounds and are between 21 and 25 inches tall. They are high-energy dogs and must be exercised daily, so they do not become destructive. They especially love running, which makes them great jogging partners. Even though they are affectionate dogs, American Foxhounds can be quite stubborn and independent, so they need to be trained early. They are noise makers as they are quite vocal about their needs and are therefore not suitable for city living.


1. Harrier

A Harrier is a medium-sized dog from England originally bred for hunting foxes and hares. Although its exact origin is unknown, the term “harrier” is a Norman French word meaning hound or dog. So we can assume that these dogs are crossbreeds of different hound dogs like the Talbot hounds, Bloodhounds, or even Basset hounds which originate from France and Belgium. These medium-sized dogs weigh between 45 and 60 pounds and are between 19 to 21 inches tall. Because they were bred as pack dogs, they are very friendly with other dogs. Harriers have an excellent sense of smell, making them great companions for hunters.

Harriers, which look like beagles, often exhibit the characteristics of beagles on steroids. They are very active and playful dogs, and despite their medium size, they are not suited for an apartment. Due to their high energy, they need a lot of space to run around and exhaust themselves. Harrier’s friendly and playful personality makes the dogs great additions to the family as they are good with children and other pets. Like the Basenji, they have short beautiful coats, which makes them pretty easy to groom.

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