Basenji Bite Force (Stats) How Strong is a Basenji’s Bite?

Ever wondered what the bite force of a Basenji is? Basenjis come from a lineage of hunting dogs in Africa. They were used in this capacity due to a number of attributes. They are fast, agile, and intelligent.

Hunters used them mainly to flush out prey. They were also used quite often for hunting lions. How much bite force does a Basenji pack though? Though there are no official records available of the bite force of a Basenji, it is estimated to be anywhere between 200 and 300 psi.

To put this into perspective, human beings on average have a bite force of 162 psi (pounds of force per inch). Pit bulls have a bite force of 235 psi. The strongest bite force among dogs is the Kangal dog which has a bite force of 743 psi.

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

With their bite force, Basenjis are quite capable of breaking down bones with relative ease. For their size, they pack quite the punch.

Do Basenjis Bite?

Basenjis have a reputation for being quite aggressive. This claim comes mainly from their strong prey drive. They will chase anything that moves. They are classified as both blood and sight hounds meaning they possess both a keen sense of smell and great eyesight which they use in hunting and tracking prey.

A running Basenji leaping through the air.
A running Basenji leaping through the air. They are FAST!

There are many situations where Basenjis have killed neighborhood cats, birds, squirrels and other animals. They have also been known to kill other pets in the same household such as cats and birds that they have not shown any aggression towards previously.

That’s why you should put them in separate sections of the house blocked off from each other if you have to go out somewhere.

Despite this, they are very gentle dogs, especially with their families. They usually do not exhibit aggressive tendencies. They do not feature in the list of the 30 most vicious dogs in America. They are, however, very protective of their families and are known to bite under those circumstances.

Can a Basenji Be Used as a Guard Dog?

If they pack such a potent bite, can Basenjis be used as guard dogs? The jury is out on that particular issue based on several factors. Firstly, Basenjis do not bark. This is a key attribute of a guard dog as a way of warding off intruders as well as alerting their family of any danger.

a cute basenji with a colorful harness
A cute Basenji with a colorful harness. Good boy!

Though they do not bite, they can growl and use this to good effect when an intruder is present.

The other factor is that each Basenji has very different temperaments and some will actually run away from an intruder. They are much like people in this respect. The good thing about them packing a potent bite force is that it will quickly discourage any intruder when they do bite.

When you take these and other factors into account, the overall conclusion is that Basenjis don’t make the best guard dogs.

a basenji with a small child
A Basenji licks the face of a small dog

How to Deal with Basenji Bite Problems

Now and again, you do get Basenjis that display aggressive tendencies. This will include nipping and biting. This is common in puppies and needs to be dealt with firmly or you may have a big problem on your hands.

Adult Basenjis have been known to bite their owners as well. This is common in situations where you adopt or foster an adult rescue. They may have faced some traumas earlier on in their lives that make them aggressive.

It will take some training and patience to get this tendency out of them. You can check out a more comprehensive article on how to stop a Basenji from biting. When it’s all been said and done, most Basenjis are very gentle with adults as well as children.

They are a bit stubborn and have low attention spans which make them difficult but not impossible to train. This, coupled with their high intelligence gives them a very independent nature as well makes the Basenji one of the most interesting dogs out there.