Do Basenjis Shed? [How Much?]

You’ve probably gotten or are considering getting a Basenji and are wondering how much Basenjis shed. In this article, we are going to take a deeper look into this question and hopefully give you an answer that is to your satisfaction.

A happy full grown Basenji wearing a no pull harness
A happy full grown Basenji wearing a no pull harness

Basenjis, just like other dogs, will shed their fur. They originate from Africa where the temperatures are generally higher than in other parts of the world. They, therefore, have very short fur and you usually won’t notice it when they do shed.

Basenjis are also meticulous groomers and keep themselves very clean. They have been compared to cats in this respect. You will only need to give them a bath once every few months. It’s a good thing too because they are not particularly fond of water.

A disclaimer though is that this applies to most Basenjis but not all. There is a considerable number of Basenji parents whose Bs love the water.

Do Basenjis shed a lot?

Because Basenjis have very short fur, you will hardly notice it, for the large part, when they shed. You will most likely see a bit of hair on their favorite blankie or on your furniture but negligible amounts when compared to other breeds.

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

This is the general consensus among the majority of Basenji owners. A few though have noted that their Basenjis shed a lot. They highlight how their B will leave fur on just about everything they brush against.

Again, this is the exception rather than the rule. What you will hear from most Basenji owners is that they don’t shed that much.  A major reason why this may happen is due to the environment that they live in.

If your Basenji lives in a place where the winters can get cold, it can develop a heavier undercoat than one that lives in warmer environments. Another contributing factor is how much time your Basenji spends outdoors.

A red and white Basenji wearing a snow coat.
A red and white Basenji wearing a snow coat.

If they spend a lot of outdoors, their undercoat will get a bit longer than if they spent most of their time indoors.

Ultimately what this means is that your Basenji will shed much more if it has a heavier undercoat and will shed less with a shorter undercoat. This will explain why there are differences in opinions between owners on whether or not a Basenji sheds.

Why is my Basenji shedding?

Basenjis typically shed twice a year. This is a normal cycle that they go through all the time and not something you naturally need to be worried about if you are first-time Basenji owner. Your concern may arise from hearing that Basenjis actually don’t shed. They actually do but it’s usually not as noticeable as with other dog breeds.

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

As already mentioned before, some will shed more than others mainly based on the length of their undercoat. Historically, the Basenji is from Africa where the climate is very hot. For this reason, they have very thin coats.

It took a number of tries to breed Basenjis in the northern hemisphere as they kept dying. Eventually, there was a breakthrough in Britain and now we have Basenjis in North America. Over time, the Basenji has evolved to adapt to its environment.

This is why we have varying lengths of undercoats. If you live in a generally cold environment but your Basenji spends most of its time indoors, they will have a shorter undercoat.

How to Stop my Basenji Shedding

Is there actually something that you can do to stop your Basenji from shedding or at least minimize the shedding? There actually is, believe it or not. This is a trick used by professional dog groomers which is somewhat of a closely guarded secret despite its simplicity.

The first thing you need to do is to shampoo your Basenji. Depending on the temperament of your Basenji, this can be an easy task or a difficult one. This is because most Basenjis actually hate water. There are some accounts and a lot of video evidence n YouTube of Basenjis that do like water but just know that most Bs don’t.

Basenjis are also generally clean dogs who groom themselves like cats so they generally don’t need that many baths. Most Basenjis need a bath once every 3 months or so unless they get really muddy playing outside.

For this to work best, you need to use an organic soap that is not harmful to them. There a lot of these products out there so you can really take your pick. Bath them as you would normally do. Once you are done, you need to blow dry them.

This is the secret step that professional dog groomers use. When you blow-dry them, you blow away any loose hairs that will be on them. This means that once you’re done, you will have a really clean coat that won’t shed. Try this out with your Basenji and see if the results are as advertised.

an owner kisses a tiny Basenji puppy
Kissing an incredibly small Basenji puppy!

Do Basenji Dogs Smell?

Basenjis do not smell when compared to other dogs. This is partly due to the fact that they keep themselves clean by licking themselves. Their short undercoat is also another reason that this is.

Is Basenji Hypoallergenic?

This is probably the biggest issue when people ask about whether or not a Basenji sheds. They want to know if they or someone they love will get an allergic reaction from them. A Basenji is one of the dogs considered to be hypoallergenic though this is relative to the individual.

There are people whose allergies are not triggered by Basenjis or the hairs that they shed. On the other hand, you will get some who do suffer from Basenji allergies. If you are considering getting a Basenji and this is a concern for you, you can visit a friend, breeder, or shelter where you can find Basenjis.

See whether or not your allergies flare up. If they do, don’t despair just yet, you may need to go back again at some other time. This is because sometimes people with allergies can build up resistance with multiple exposures.

A tri color Basenji gazes lovingly at its owner.
A tri color Basenji gazes lovingly at its owner. The feeling is mutual!


Basenjis are known not to shed but this is not quite accurate. They do shed but how much they shed depends on the length of their coat, their environment and sometimes it just comes down to genetics.

If you are considering getting a Basenji and you have allergies, consider spending some time around one before you make the final decision to get one.