The Basenji dog breed is, in fact, something like a domesticated wolf. Of course, the wolf and this domesticated dog, animals are different, but very close. After all, the Basenji is a wild dog that is not far from its ancestors, or rather brothers, wolves. Moreover,this breed was domesticated a very long time ago, perhaps several thousand years ago, back in the days of ancient civilizations and the first people.The Basenji breed of dogs was born and developed on the African continent, and the locals tremendously appreciated, and still appreciate, these truly amazing animals. In ancient times, there were special hunters who hunted Basenji.
And in Ancient Egypt, these dogs were brought as a gift to the pharaohs, who greatly revered this breed and considered them a living amulet. This is evidenced by the wall paintings of the Basenji in the tombs of the pharaohs, as well as the found mummies of dogs buried with honors along with their great owners. Basenji-like dogs were common in Nubia (present-day Sudan). In the burials of the ancient Nubian culture of Kerma, archaeologists discovered the grave of a woman, and at her feet – a dog similar to a Basenji.
The aborigines appreciated dogs for their excellent qualities of a hunter, incredible animal instinct, excellent sense of smell and hearing, as well as for an amazing mind, which sometimes shows wonders of ingenuity.
Today the breed is considered rare, and no wonder. After all, when for the first time, at the end of the 19th century, Europeans discovered these dogs in the Congo, then in 1895 the Basenji left the African continent for the first time and were brought to England by seafarers, but those dogs did not survive. They were completely unsuitable for other environmental conditions, climate, ecology, and most importantly – for completely different diseases.
The first dog that was able to survive in a new place appeared only in 1930 in England. Based on this positive experience, the breeders managed to bring in a few more individuals (dogs appeared in both the US and the UK), thanks to which they created a small population, and then founded a club. The Basenji breed club was established in 1942. In 1943 the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.
According to a 2011 study by geneticists, the East Siberian Laika and Basenji from Congo and Sudan belong to the Y-chromosomal haplogroup HG9. Basenji Y-chromosome haplotype belongs to the sister branch in relation to other domestic dogs. Perhaps this indicates an admixture in modern Basenjis from the Middle Eastern and North African wolves. According to the nuclear genome, the Basenji is closely related to the clade of Asiatic Spitz.