Are Basenjis Good with Other Dogs

Infamous for their independent attitude and aggression, are Basenjis good with other dogs? We are going to tackle this question in this article and find out just how well your B will interact with other dogs.

Basenjis are known to be aggressive with other dogs outside of their pack. This largely depends on the individual personality of your Basenji. They can behave well around other breeds but be aggressive towards other Basenjis or males/females. Others behave well around other dogs without any issues at all.

It really all comes down to the individual Basenji. Much like humans, they have different personality traits that cause them to act in an individual manner. Having said that, you will also discover that Basenjis generally have a reputation for being a little difficult.

It is true that Basenjis tend to be a little more of a handful than most dog breeds but this is linked to their high level of intelligence and independence. They tend to be more free thinkers when compared to their counterparts.

a small basenji looks a an all white husky
A small Basenji looks at a white Husky. What a mix!

How Good are Basenjis with Other Dogs?

Let’s take a look at this closely. Basenjis, in general, tend to be quite good with dogs within their pack. It doesn’t matter whether they are Basenjis or other breeds. Basenjis possess a strong pack mentality and will generally show affection towards dogs in the same household.

You may have issues when introducing the Basenji to your family which already has another dog or when introducing a new dog to your Basenji. This, to a large degree, will gain depend on the personality of that particular Basenji.

basenji pack dog

They have been known to exhibit aggressive behaviour when they meet other dogs while out on a walk or at a social gathering. One of the best ways to make sure to minimise the risk of aggressive behaviour towards other dogs is to socialise your Basenji while they are still puppies.

If they get used to being around other dogs early on, they have a higher likelihood of behaving well around other dogs. You can organise play dates with friends and family who have tolerant dogs or puppies of their own.

This only counts if you get the Basenji as a pup. If you got yours as an adult, you could also try to implement this approach but make sure to keep a close eye on things. If they show aggressive behaviour, you may need to consider training or getting a behavioural expert to work with.

Are Basenjis Protective?

red and white basenji puppies
Two Basenji puppies are playbiting each other.

One of the reasons that Basenjis may show aggression towards other dogs is because they are very protective. This usually happens when they feel that they are the alpha in the situation. Basenjis, like other dogs respect the pack hierarchy.

They will challenge you from time to time to see who is the boss. You need to exert authority in such situations and show them that you are in charge. When they think that they are, they may show aggressive behaviour as a way of protecting you from danger.

They will only be taking up their responsibility as the alpha of the pack. This will happen often if you have small children who they feel the need to protect.

If you notice that your Basenji is showing aggression in these types of situations, you need to take the relevant corrective behaviour. The correct route is to have an experienced dog trainer work with you and your Basenji in order to ensure that they do not act out around other dogs.

How are Basenjis with Cats?

Basenjis can get along with cats in the family but don’t trust them with other cats. They can tend to be aggressive and have been known to kill cats. This is due to the fact that they have a strong prey drive.

If you have a pet cat in your house, always make sure that you lock them in different parts of the house whenever you leave the house. There have been incidences of Basenjis killing the family cat even when there were no prior signs of aggression towards them.

How to Know a Basenji behaves Well around Other Dogs

If you are considering getting an adult Basenji and are not sure if they will conduct themselves well around other dogs, you may consider fostering them for a few weeks first before taking them on first time.

a Basenji doing the dance trick
A Basenji does a dance trick. Easy to teach!

The level of attention needed in caring for a Basenji may prove to be too much if you have one that exhibits problematic aggressive behaviour. By fostering them, you can get a clear understanding of them before committing to them for the long term.

During this period, make sure that you expose them to different scenarios so you have a clear understanding of their behaviour. There are a lot of instances where a Basenji is fine around other dogs but may act up when with other Basenjis.

You may also have a situation where they only show aggression against male Basenjis but not female ones. I good idea is to seek guidance from an experienced breeder. They will have a better understanding of them and will be able to highlight some issues which you may not have considered.


The long and short of it is that Basenjis have different temperaments based on their individual character traits. You will have to invest the necessary time in researching before committing to getting one.