How Much Do Basenji Puppies Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

The Basenji is a unique dog breed that was originally developed in Africa for hunting purposes.

Small and elegant, perhaps best known for its lack of barking, this breed will whine and make noises which resemble a yodeling-like sound.

Lhasa alias Lolita delle Caserosse by fugzu, on Flickr
Lhasa alias Lolita delle Caserosse” (CC BY 2.0) by fugzu

How much do Basenji puppies cost?

The cost of Basenji puppies will greatly depend on the breeder, registration, quality and geographical location.  For the most part, the average price can range anywhere from as little as $500 for a puppy with no papers to as much as $1,800+ for a show-quality AKC registered dog with champion line parents., an online puppy classified website, only had less than 15 active listings at the time of this publishing, with most breeders asking for $1,000 on average.

Burke’s Backyard says the average puppy can start at $500, but since puppies are only born once a year, there will often be a waiting list.

What is going to be included in the adoption fee?

A reputable breeder should always include registration paperwork, up-to-date vaccination, deworming, a health guarantee and a vet examination.  If the dog is being shipped, a shipping crate should be included as well.

What are the extra costs?

Due to the rarity of the breed, there’s a good chance you will have to have the dog shipped via an airline.  Most of your major airlines will charge $200 to $400.

To spay or neuter, if your breeder doesn’t include it, can cost $200 to $300.

Recurring costs, as with any dog, needs to be considered.  This will include food, accessories, obedience classes, dog sitting and routine/surprise vet visits.  A healthy dog can easily cost $600 per year, whereas a surprise vet visit could double or even triple this cost.  On a forum thread at, one member claimed she paid $2,617 in her first year taking care of her dog.  This included the purchase price, neutering operation, AKC registration, microchip and other options.

Most reputable breeders won’t include breeding rights, but some may offer this option for an additional $500~.

Obedience classes, as with most puppies, are encouraged at a young age.  These classes can help teach the puppy the basics of sit, stay and lay down and help it with separation anxiety if it were to suffer from it.  As these dogs can be quite destructive, these classes can hopefully teach them what they should and shouldn’t get themselves into.  Being an independent thinker, this “10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get a Basenji” guide says they can be very hard to train.

Tips to know:

This breed is muscular but also quite lean and agile that moves with ease and agility.  Their bodies are lightly built and possess a wedge-shaped face with a wrinkled forehead.  Its almond-shaped eyes should be in dark hazel color with black rims that are set obliquely in the face.  The ears are small and erect, slightly hooded and set well forward on the top of the head.

This medium-sized smooth coated dog breed has a distinctive high, tightly curled tail.  Smooth, glossy hair covers its pliant skin.  The coat color can be chestnut red, pure black, brindle, or a tri-color with white markings on the feet, the tip of the tail, chest, and forehead.

The Basenji averages about 15 inches tall from the shoulder and weighs about 18 to 22 pounds.  Females will be slightly smaller on average.

Basenjis can live up to 14 to 16 years with proper nutrition and care.

Basenjis are considered to be a poised, elegant hunting dog breed from Africa, originating from the pariah dogs.  This breed was most likely bred to be companion dogs for the Pharaohs.  This breed is very intelligent, with a fine trait and curious nature.

The Basenji is commonly referred to as the “barkless dog.”  When excited, as mentioned prior, the dog creates a sound that sounds like a yodel.

They are known to be very suspicious around strangers but can warm up to their families.

Loving the outdoors and highly energetic, it’s highly recommended you have a large yard for the dog to roam for at least 30 minutes per day.

Health concerns for the breed include Fanconi Syndrome, a kidney dystrophy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (an eye disorder) and hip dysplasia.

Is it hypoallergenic? Due to the minimal shedding, it is considered to be hypoallergenic, but while there’s no such thing as an allergy-free dog, the thin coat will produce little dander.

How can I save money?

Consider checking out a local adoption center or rescue group.  While it may be hard to find this breed, there could be a good chance you find a puppy you fall in love with.  Adoption is a great way to support your local organization and help a puppy in need.  Plus, it can save you hundreds, if not a thousand or more dollars. can help you find Basenji dogs ready for adoption in your area.

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