Basenji Bite Force [Learn More]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

The Basenji is a medium-sized dog that is known as the barkless dog. Yes, it does not bark, but instead makes a sound like yodeling or shrieking.

They are a hunting dog originating from Africa that can be trained to do many different tasks including pointing at prey, retrieving, and chasing small game.

And does its bite pack a punch?

The Basenji has a bite force of between 200 to 400 psi, most likely in the middle or higher end. They possess powerful jaws for its stature and can easily chew through small and large bones.

In this post, let’s learn a bit more about this amazing ‘singing’ dog!

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Dear Dog Owner

Quick background of the Basenji

The name Basenji is derived from the Lingala language which comes from the northeastern Congo region.

They come from Africa and have been around for thousands of years, but they have only been known in Europe since the 1920s, landing in the United States in the 1930s.

Basenjis are famous for their strange and comical sounds and can be very vocal when they bark (yes, it’s true).

Just check it out yourself here:

The Basenji was first used by hunting tribes in Africa to help track prey by barking at prey until they were close enough to catch them with nets or spears.

In popular culture, they have only appeared in one movie, “Good-bye, My Lady” in 1955.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Line Breeding Dogs, How Close is too Close?

How is the bite force of Basenjis compared to other animals?

To get a better understanding of the bite force of the Basenji dog, it might be useful to know about other animals too.

In humans, we typically have a bite force of between 120 to 165 psi (pounds per square inch), averaging out at 162 psi.

There is an outlier though, belonging to Richard Hofmann from the USA who achieved an incredible bite force of 975 lbs.

A Basenji bite force is between 200 to 400 psi, and can be considered to be quite powerful for its size.

In the dog world, big dogs dominate the biting force contest, with the Kangal holding the title of the most powerful dog bite force.

It is capable of 743 psi of biting power.

Across the animal kingdom, the Nile crocodile holds the holds power bite in the world, clocking in at 5,000 psi.

Doggy says, consider reading this next: Japanese Spitz vs American Eskimo Dog [10 FACTORS COMPARED]

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Do Basenji dogs bite?

The likelihood of a Basenji biting you is very low as they are not known to be aggressive dogs.

Some owners do find that they have a tendency to nip and play-bite but this behavior is usually the result of playfulness or excitement, and it can be stopped with proper training.

In general, though, it’s important to remember that no matter what kind of dog you have, they are still animals and not humans.

They have instincts and behaviors that may be foreign to us as humans but are completely normal for them as dogs.

Doggy says, you might like this too: How Many Puppies Can a Miniature Schnauzer Have? [Details]

How to deal with Basenjis biting?

How to deal with Basenjis biting?

Basenji puppies are inquisitive and adventurous, and one way for them to experience the world is by biting (the same could be said for other breeds too).

Although most Basenji puppy biting is not motivated by aggression, it can still cause unintentional harm.

Furthermore, if this behavior continues into adulthood, the biting will become more harmful and dangerous.

Fortunately, there are a few methods for preventing your basenji puppy from biting.

  1. Stop playing with them until they calm down and show that they’re no longer interested in biting you. Then begin playing again at a lower intensity level than before so that they don’t become overexcited again too quickly
  2. Reward your basenji puppy for not biting. Basenjis were bred as hunting dogs and thus thrive on rewards. When your puppy plays without biting, reward it with treats or praise. This will encourage non-biting behavior.
  3. Pull away from your dog and exclaim loudly, “ouch!” Basenji puppies are typically sensitive and intuitive, and they will react when you tell them they have hurt you verbally. If the puppy continues to bite, remove yourself from the situation. The basenji will quickly learn that biting halts play
  4. In a broader sense, you need to assert your dominance and let them know you are the leader. Body language such as looking it in the eye, standing tall, always taking the lead will reinforce this in your dog and prevent destructive behavior

Can Basenjis be aggressive?

Basenjis are a wonderfully affectionate and loyal breed of dog, but they can also be aggressive if they feel threatened or are not properly trained.

Basenjis are naturally curious and playful, which can lead them to act out in ways that might seem aggressive to humans.

You should know that Basenjis are typically less sociable than many other dog breeds, and interaction with strangers should be carefully monitored, especially with kids.

Doggy says, you might want to read this too: Are Aussiedoodles aggressive?

Do Basenjis get along with other dogs?

Basenjis are not known for getting along with other dogs.

They are not typically aggressive, but they do tend to be quite territorial, so if you already have a dog, a Basenji might not be the best add on.

If you do want to get. one, consider having dogs of different genders to lower the chances of conflicts.

Are Basenjis good apartment dogs?

Basenjis are known for their high-pitched sounds that is totally unlike barking.

Some have described it as yodeling, howling, or shrieking, and they can go on and on for a while.

In fact, this is one of the most common complaints about Basenjis—that their ‘singing’ gets too loud or frequent.

But if you understand why your dog barks and how to deal with it, you can avoid giving him a reason to bark in inappropriate situations.

Are Basenjis good guard dogs?

Basenjis are protective of their territory and their owner, but they are not really good guard dogs, especially when you compare them to other breeds such as the German Shepherd, Akita, or Doberman.

Although they are brave and will go up against an intruder, their small size will act as a natural disadvantage.

You can say they are better off as watchdogs instead.

In Conclusion: Basenji Bite Force

Basenjis are lovely independent dogs that can be very loyal and affectionate towards their owners, but will not necessarily do well with other small animals or strangers.

It has a strong bite force but will unlikely use it unless being severely provoked, so there is not much to worry about it.

Read more about other dog breeds topics such as the Pomeranian Chow mix, Vizsla Dachshund mix, are poodles ugly, and many more on our site!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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