Is Basenji Separation Anxiety Normal? (How to TEll)

Do Basenjis suffer from separation anxiety? Being separated from a loved one or a place one has grown fond of is something that can have certain effects on their well-being. The same applies to the animals we have as pets.

With time, bonds and affection grow between pet and owner or the place they relate to as home. Separation anxiety is when someone is afraid to be away from a particular person or a space.

Yes, Basenjis, to some degree do suffer from separation anxiety. This usually manifests as destructive chewing, loud continuous barking, or peeing “accidents” indoors. Though most owners may resort to crating their Basenji, doing so for long hours can make the situation worse.

An owner sits with her larger red and white Basenji. Not so small!
An owner sits with her larger red and white Basenji. Not so small!

Basenjis are quite intelligent and able to pick up on certain things. They quickly learn to associate certain actions with outcomes. For example, putting on our shoes will signal to them that we are about to leave the house.

This action can cause your Basenji to be anxious. It is important for owners or those wanting to get one to know how to identify the symptoms and find solutions to them.

What are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Basenjis?

As an owner of a B, you need to be able to be able to distinguish their behavior. When treating separation anxiety in Basenjis, the goal is to teach your B to be okay with being left alone. The training needs to be set up in a way that allows them to be in a situation without anxiety or fear.

If you are considering bringing a Basenji into your home, you may need to take note of the following behaviors:

A full grown Black and White Basenji sits on the grass
A full grown Black and White Basenji sits on the grass

Chewing, Digging, and Destruction

Basenjis with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames, or window sills. They also dig at doors or destroy household objects when left alone.

Urinating and Defecating

Your Basenji will either urinate or defecate anywhere when left alone.

Barking and Howling

Like any dog with separation anxiety, Basenjis might bark or howl when left alone. This behavior is so persistent and it’s only triggered by the owner’s absence.

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


Your Basenji can try to escape from an area where he’s confined when he’s left alone or separated from his guardian. This does not happen when the owner is present.


Some Basenjis walk a specific path in a fixed pattern when left alone. It can be in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines.

All the above don’t happen when the owner is around. Most of these behaviors can result in self-injury, such as cuts and scraped paws.

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

How Can Help a Basenji Suffering from Separation Anxiety?

After identifying symptoms such as those stated above in your Basenji, the next step is to try and help them. In as much as there are many recommended ways to deal with it, you can use the following effective ways:

In training any dog, it is important to start small and take it step by step. The same applies in helping a Basenji suffering from separation anxiety. Owners can start out by leaving them for a few minutes and observing their reactions.

patting a Basenji on the head
Patting a happy red and white Basenji

Every relationship’s success is based on good communication. When leaving the house, be calm and avoid any display of affection towards the dog. Make your departure seem like a casual/no big deal thing. This allows the dogs to feel and know that they are okay even in your absence.

It is also helpful to take your Basenji out for walks early before you leave the house. Saying goodbye to your Basenji way before leaving is also helpful.

Taking your Basenji for early walks, keeping them fed, and hydrated tends to help. By the time you leave the house, your Basenji will be worn out a bit and in rest mode. The time needed for Basenjis to be okay with being left alone differs. The difference is due to how serious the separation anxiety is and also the method of treatment used.

training a tricolor Basenji puppy
In the process of training a tricolor Basenji puppy

How Long can you Leave your Basenji at Home Alone?

You can leave your Basenji at home for several hours may be up to 8 hours. This can happen when they are well trained.

The training includes, crate training where you teach your Basenji to stay at home in their crate. This crate allows your Basenji to sleep whilst you are gone. For you to leave them in there, provide food, toys, blankets so that they can be able to play and eat.