How Fast Can a Basenji Run? (Basenji Running Partner?)

So, how fast can basenji run? Are they fast enough to compete with greyhounds, for example? Just like greyhounds, Basenjis are also part of the hound family and their long legs, when compared to body size, make it possible to be able to run fast.

How fast can a basenji run then? A basenji can run at 30 miles per hour or 48.3km per hour. This is for your normal family pet Basenji. Basenjis which are sprint trained have been known to go as fast as 35 miles per hour. To bring this into context, greyhounds run at around the same speeds.

How Fast Can Basenji Run

This is relatively fast, especially when compared against other dog breeds. Because the Basenji has been bred from the stock of African Basenjis which are hunting dogs, they traditionally have a really good genetic history to pull from.

How Far Can a Basenji Run?

So, what distance can a basenji cover while running? The recommended distance that a basenji can cover is five miles. This is a recommended distance but a well-conditioned basenji can cover longer distances of up to eight miles or more.

They gradually have to be worked up to that distance though. Don’t expect to jog or ride your bike for eight miles without any prior history of doing this. You need to be able to work them up to that level otherwise you could pose some health risks.

Basenji Running Away

When Should a Basenji Start Running Long Distances

When is it safe to start your basenji running longer distances? There are a lot of people who have taken their Bs running at seven or eight months. This is not recommended though because you can over-train them which can lead to Hip Dysplasia. We will get into that a bit later in the article.

Are Basenjis Good Jogging Partners?

A question that a lot of people ask when it comes to their Basenjis is if they are good jogging partners. The answer o this is that it all depends on the particular Basenji. Some have no problem at all with jogging and actually love it.

Many Basenji owners have reported that their Bs go jogging with them all the time. Some have reported that they stop enjoying it the older they get (around the 12-year mark) while others have reported that their Bs still love jogging with them at 14 years.

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

Since Basenjis are hyperactive dogs with almost boundless energy, they need to be exercised frequently and jogging is a great way to get them to do that. One of the reported benefits is that, after the runs, the Basenjis are pretty tired and easier to deal with.

You know what they say; a tired Basenji is a good Basenji .

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have owners of Bs who say that it’s very difficult to go jogging with their Basenjis. They usually want to run in front of the owner or criss-cross in front of them thereby being a tripping risk.

One owner with two Basenjis reported that he has no problem if he takes one at a time for jogs.  They usually run beside him without any issues whatsoever. It is when he takes them both out that the problems arise.

They tend to criss-cross in front of them. He has resolved to now take one at a time going forward.

A good thing to do is to wet their coats before going out for the jog especially in hot weather. This helps keep them cool on long jogs.

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

Leash or No Leash When Jogging With Basenji?

The jury is out on this one as different owners have different experiences. Some prefer to keep their Basenjis leashed when they go out for jogs while others let them roam freely. They discovered that they tend to be a lot easier to handle and don’t focus on other dogs at all when they are jogging.

Precautions to Take Before Taking Your Basenji Jogging

Before you take your B out for a jog, you need to take some precautions to make sure that your Basenji is able to handle the long jogs. Take them to the vet so that they are checked for Hip Dysplasia which is a medical condition that affects the joints.

When your dog has it, jogging can become a very painful activity for them especially if they have to go for long distances with few to no breaks. When left untreated, it can lead to arthritis in your Basenji which is something that you would want to avoid by all means.

Hip Dysplasia is a condition that not only affects Basenji’s but all dog breeds. It is also a hereditary condition and dogs that have one or both parents who suffered from the condition have a higher chance of getting it.

If your dog was a rescue, you need to get this information from the centre that you got them from because this history can help establish whether or not they are prone to succumbing to it.

The only known way to diagnose it is to have x-rays taken then have these x-rays assessed by a professional. There are treatments available for this condition.

basenji dog with a simple harness
A Basenji dog wearing a simple restraint harness.

Take Some Poop Bags When Jogging

When you go out jogging, your Bs will want to take bathroom breaks. Make sure you allow them to take these necessary breaks. When this happens, stop, let them do their business, clean p then continue with your jog.

Don’t be the jogger who ignores your dogs and keeps on going when nature calls. Not only is this unfair to your dogs, but it also doesn’t paint a good picture of you to those watching you.


A healthy Basenji is capable of reaching a top speed of between 30 to 35 miles per hour. They can run about five miles but are also capable of doing longer distances. They are also great jogging partners if you manage to get them to enjoy it.

Make sure that before you take them out on a jog, you have them checked out by a vet to make sure that there are no underlying medical conditions that prevent them from jogging long distances.