When Do Basenjis Go Into Heat? + Basenji Litter Size

Have you ever wondered when Basenjis give birth? When do Basenjis go into heat? Do you know the expected litter size or their gestation period? You’re not alone. Basenji puppies are rare and expensive, so knowing these statistics gives prospective dog owners more information about the breed.

Basenji puppies are born at different times of the year. Due to their reproductive cycle, Basenjis (like some other dogs) give birth at different times of the year, so it is very important if you want to purchase one to know what season you should go in for buying it.

three colors of Basenji puppies
Three different colored Basenji puppies from the same litter. Tri color, black and white, and red and white.

When Are Basenjis Born? How Often do Basenjis Breed?

Basenjis are seasonal breeders, so they will only come into heat one or two times a year. Heat lasts for about three weeks, with the female-only receptive for about half of that time. You can expect your female Basenji to mature around 15 months and will be ready to breed within 18 months.

The best age for her first litter is between two and three years after she has finished growing. How often does a Basenji come in heat? Basenjis typically come into season twice a year, although some females may only come in heat once per year.

Their cycles are usually 12 months apart but can vary by several months either way. How long is a Basenji in heat? A female’s heat cycle lasts 21 days, but she will only be receptive to breeding for approximately 10 days during that time.

What Age Does a Basenji go into Heat?

Your Basenji’s heat cycle normally lasts between 2-3 weeks. The timing of your Basenji’s heat cycle depends on how old she is. She may experience shorter heat cycles early in life, but as she gets older, her cycle will typically last longer.

patting a happy red basenji on the head
Have you ever seen a happier red Basenji?

Another thing to consider is that female dogs do not necessarily have a season or a time of the year when they come into heat. Female dogs can go into heat at any time and sometimes twice a year. When this is the case, you may be able to predict the seasons that your dog will come into heat by looking at her physical appearance.

Your Basenji will likely begin to show signs of being in heat 9-18 days before she actually comes into estrus (heat). Your Basenji’s vulva will become swollen and enlarged, her vaginal discharge will become clear and stretchy, and she’ll start to attract male dogs from far away with her pheromone scent.

When your dog’s behaviour changes, her appetite decreases, she becomes more affectionate towards people, and she seems restless and nervous, she may be going through hormonal changes and it’s likely that she’ll come into heat soon.

How Many Puppies do Basenjis Have?

Basenji’s normally have 3-5 puppies in a litter. Basenjis have average-sized litters like these most of the time. Sometimes known to have as many as eight or nine puppies in a single litter.

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

How Long are Basenjis Pregnant?

Basenji pups are usually born at the end of a 58-day gestation period. That’s about 12 weeks long, give or take a day or two. The average litter size for Basenjis is about three pups, although there could be as many as six or as few as one pup.

Tiny, fuzzy and adorable as they may be, baby Basenjis can also be very difficult to raise. They’re not just a handful; they’re an emotional handful. Most people aren’t prepared for the intense bonding Basenjis have with their human families.

They’re not just pets; they’re family members in every sense of the word. Because of this, more than 20% of all Basenjis in the United States are surrendered to shelters or rescue groups each year, according to the American Kennel Club. If you decide to bring one into your home, be prepared for a long-term commitment that could last 15 years or more.

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

When Should a Basenji be Neutered?

The best age to neuter a Basenji is typically around six months old. However, some veterinarians may recommend waiting until the dog is a little older or a little younger, depending on the breed and size of the dog.

Smaller dogs *can* be neutered earlier – but you need to seek Vet specific advice.

However, if you are planning on breeding your dog it is best to have her spayed during the first heat cycle. This will ensure she will not develop any health issues during her pregnancy or when she gives birth.

How Do you Get a Basenji Puppy?

You can adopt a Basenji dog from a rescue group or animal shelter. You can also find Basenji for sale from a private breeder. Or, you can save money by purchasing a Basenji from an online site like PuppyFinder. Search on Facebook for “Basenji Your State” and you will likely find groups that can help you find a decent and humane breeder.

Make sure that you research the health records of any Basenji puppy before you buy it so that you know what to expect from your puppy as it grows up.