Basenji German Shepherd Mix: Everything You Should Know

When I first heard about this hybrid dog, I wondered, who would want to cross two dogs with this level of contrasting appearance? What type of dog will the breeder get? Some mixes shouldn’t even be bred.

I mean, give me a break; I love dogs, the Basenji German Shepherd Mix included. But I’ve never imagined this type of breeding will ever be done, considering the differences between the parent breeds.

Although there’s a huge gap in both parent breeds, a Basenji German Shepherd Mix isn’t bad at all. The dog mix is actually fantastic. Come to think of it, both parents are very athletic and intelligent, so you’re definitely getting a smart dog that doesn’t fall short of strength too. 

After meeting one myself, I found out that they are an amazing dog breed.

Trust me; you are on the right page if you’re here to read about this fascinating breed. I’ve put together all you need to know about this lovable designer’s dog. In the end, who knows, maybe you’ll be convinced to buy or adopt one yourself.

What is a Basenji German Shepherd Mix?

A Basenji German Shepherd Mix is an intelligent, warm, and energetic hybrid dog. They’re a product of crossing the elegant German Shepherd and the Basenji dogs. This designer dog breed is also called German Shepenji, a nickname given to them by TeaCupDogDaily.

Basenji German Shepherd Mix,  German Shepherd Basenji Mix
Photo Credit: Instagram @valey.shepherd

Being a designer dog, you’d ideally expect to get something special that’s not with regular dog breeds, and this dog doesn’t disappoint. They can be the friendliest creature you know and can equally display the most aloof behaviour you’ve seen for a pet. But don’t give up on getting one too soon because they play pretty well with young children, and she can be a great addition to your home.

Even though both breeds have a rich history, let’s also acknowledge the sizable gap in popularity between the parent breeds. 

The Basenji’s name is quite significant in the canine world as they’re among the first domestic dogs who are descendants of the grey wolf. However, the German Shepherd is the more popular of both parents as they have the perfect combination of both strength and beauty, which are qualities every dog lover and owner wants to see in abundance in their pet.

While we’re at it, we might as well discuss the history of both parents briefly. It’ll help us get a proper understanding of what’s to expect from the Basenji German Shepherd Mix.

Origin — Overview of the Basenji

This dog breed gets its name from the Congolese, where they were developed into a skillful hunting dogs. The name Basenji means “village dog” in Congolese languages; this explains why these dogs are quite popular in the west and central Africa. They are sometimes called the Congo Dog or the Congo Terrier.

Although the name they are currently being called came from Congo, history suggests that Basenjis were part of the ancient Egyptian civilisation. To this day, dogs with the likeness of Basenjis are seen carved into stones on the tombs of the ancient pharaohs.

Basenji German Shepherd Mix,  German Shepherd Basenji Mix

In the early 20th century, they were brought to Europe and the United States by emigrants. And in 1943, they were described by the American Kennel Club as a lean but muscular and agile dog breed. The basenji breed has really come a long way, from being one of the first descendants of the grey wolf to surviving the ancient Egyptian civilisation and being well known across three continents in the world.

Basenjis belongs to the classification of hunting dogs primarily because of their level of intelligence and agility. They can also be quite the loyal companion if they are well trained from the puppy age. The only flaw is that they’re not barkers. Even though they can help chase vermin in the home, they won’t do well as a burglar alarm dog.

Origin — Overview of the German Shepherd

Well, no awards for guessing; this breed was first noticed in Germany in the late 1800s. Initially, there were just herding and work dogs in Germany. However, in 1899 veterinarian and dog breeder Max von Stephanitz thought of combining strength, elegance, and beauty in a single dog. This led to the breeding of what is now known as the German Sheperd.

During World War 1, their popularity was significantly increased because of the level of performance they had on the battlefield. Since they are loyal, fearless, and easy to train, it didn’t take long before they were spread worldwide.

Basenji German Shepherd Mix,  German Shepherd Basenji Mix

Nowadays, they are more than just work dogs. We don’t just see them serving as security dogs or support animals for the blind or elderly; they’re also made home companions.

The German Shepherd Dog has constantly ranked among the top 10 most popular dogs for good reasons. The dog breed is among the most popular and recognizable breeds of dogs worldwide.
This dog breed is easily trainable, highly intelligent, extremely versatile when performing various duties, and it also makes for an excellent family pet and companion.

Read Also Other Mixes:

The Appearance of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

To many veterinarians and breeders, it’s a fool’s errand to try to pinpoint the physical appearance of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix or any mixed breed for that matter. This is because you should always be ready to expect something special from these designer dogs, and a textbook appearance just doesn’t cut it.

However, we are usually able to get a good idea of what the puppies will look like if we consider the appearance of both parents. This again isn’t entirely guaranteed because there might be certain variations, especially if there’s a significant imbalance in the delivery of physical appearance traits to the pup. This happens when the pup inherits the majority of his physical appearance from one of the parents.

Basenjis by trait usually have a short, smooth single coat that is usually double-coloured or tri-coloured with one of the colors, white. While German Shepherds have medium-long double-coated fur, usually coming in two colours. I guess this pretty much gives us an idea of what to expect from a Basenji German Shepherd Mix.

Other physical appearance traits to also take note of are the tails and shoulder levels. While a Basenji has a semi-curled tail, the German Shepherd is a dog with a low-slung bushy tail. The shoulder levels of a Basenji are level with their long legs; however, German Shepherds usually have broader shoulders with a sloping topline that runs down to the hips.

Coat and Colour of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

Just like we have it in most hybrid dogs, the Basenji German Shepherd Mix is usually born with adorable coat colour combos. It’s reasonable to expect they have nice colours as both parents have got beautiful coloured coats as well.

Although the Basenji is single coated and the German Shepherd a double-coated dog, a Basenji German Shepherd Mix is often double-coated, with longer fur looking much like the German Shepherd parent. However, this is not an absolute coating style of the hybrid as we can also expect the reverse where it’s looking much like the Basenji.

Basenji German Shepherd Mix,  German Shepherd Basenji Mix

In terms of coat colouring, one thing that is almost consistent among all Basenji German Shepherd Mixes is the multi-color coating style. This is because both parents (especially the Basenji) are either double-coloured or tri-coloured. You often see them with colours like black and white, red and white, black, white and tan. The white is usually on the chest and legs, spreading to the neck and face of the dog, a trait common in Basenjis.

Size of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

Again, this is another area where you should expect anything as both parents have a huge difference in their sizes. While Basenjis are small to medium dogs, German Shepherds are medium-to-large size dog breeds.

The Basenji parent usually weighs between 20 to 30 pounds and heights between 16 to 18 inches from the shoulder. However, the German Shepherd parent can weigh as high as 90 pounds with heights ranging from 18 to 25 inches from the shoulder.

We often see most mixes maintaining the physical traits of the German Shepherd parent, so it isn’t uncommon for 7 out of 8 puppies to become a large-sized dog.

The Temperament of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

Much like most characteristics of the Basenji German Shepherd Mix, getting the exact temperament of this dog is pretty much a hit and miss. Their temperaments usually differ across puppies. It may even appear as something new to someone who isn’t used to being with a hybrid dog.

Although their temperament is unpredictable, one noticeable thing is that all puppies from the same parents show similar or the same behaviour. They are very intelligent, athletic, and energetic dogs. And they can be quite loyal and friendly companions too.

Most German Shepherd Basenji Mixes often inherit barking traits from their German Shepherd parents, making them suitable to serve as watchdogs. The hunting instincts of the Basenji and the intuitive behaviour of the German Shepherd make their mixes easily trainable and allow them to pass for pretty much any dog challenge or task.

Like most energetic dogs, they require a lot of attention from the owners to keep them busy. If left alone for too long, they can quickly become restless and become a nuisance in the home. 

Worse cases, this usually develops into separation anxiety and depression, which are mental issues nobody wants their dog to have.

Health Problems of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

Luckily, unlike purebred dogs, these hybrid designer dogs are usually stronger, so you don’t have to worry a lot about severe health problems if you take care of your dog properly in the first place. But to be on the safe side, we will talk about their potential health problems.

Most health issues associated with Basenji German Shepherd Mixes are genetically related. There are health problems that either exist in any of the parent breeds or both. Generically related health issues like these can’t be erased. The best we can do is cater to our pets to avoid any health problems ever happening to them. With a lifespan of 10 to 14 years, it’s normal for the dog not to develop any terminal health issue before they get old.

Below are some of the common health problems associated with the Basenji German Shepherd Mix;

  • Joint dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Progressive retina atrophy
  • Gastric dilation-volvulus
  • Allergies

Grooming Requirements of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

If you want your dog to be the talk of the town, grooming is one thing you have to take very seriously. A perfectly groomed dog is one that every stranger wants to cuddle and play with; they are the envy of many in the park. Every dog owner wants that, and I’m sure you do too. So there should be no slacking when it comes to grooming.

A basenji German Shepherd Mix is not a high-maintenance dog, but you have to take their grooming seriously nonetheless for them to look good. Being a double-coated dog with long fur, you want to be brushing them at least once or twice a week because they’re frequent shedders. Also, always make sure you brush gently in the direction of their fur’s growth to avoid giving your dog unnecessary pains while doing it.

As for bathing, this should be done once a month (twice at most) to avoid excessive shedding or dander forming in their fur. After all, they are low-maintenance dogs, so you have to get proper timing for bathing, so you don’t overdo it. Groom is best started in the puppy stage so that they can quickly get used to it before they become adults.

Dietary Requirements of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

Making sure your dog isn’t with an empty stomach is not enough, but making sure they’re on the proper dietary requirements that’s what counts. Feeding an energetic breed like this one doesn’t come cheap, so you have to be prepared.

You want to be looking for quality feeds, and not just any dog feed out there. Supplements will also go a long way too in taking care of all his nutritional needs. One thing you should avoid at all costs is substituting dog food and trying to give him human food, or even worse, cat food. They can get some allergies that are not pleasant at all.

Exercise and Training Requirements of a Basenji German Shepherd Mix

As said earlier, this dog is quite agile, and they need to be kept busy a lot unless you want to invite trouble. You want to plan a schedule that involves taking your dog for long walks at least twice a week. However, don’t just stop there; if you’ve got time to do more, it’s even better.

In terms of trainability and intelligence, you can count yourself lucky if your dog inherits much of his traits from the German Shepherd parent; it means he’ll be significantly easy to train and learn new things. However, whichever trait he inherits, all dogs can do well when they start training from a young age. Training is essential; it’s one thing that can differentiate a dog that poops on your couch and the one who knows well to go outside to do his business.

Determining if a Basenji German Shepherd Mix is for you

The German Shepherd Basenji Mix is an exceptional hybrid dog. They are lovable, friendly, outgoing; you know… with all the qualities of a great family companion. If you’ve got young children around the house, the dog will do well with them, especially if you get him from the puppy stage.

Although they’re low-maintenance dogs, it’s not advisable to own one in small apartments. They need homes with enough space in the backyard so they can get the freedom to run and play all day.

The majority of Basenji German Shepherd Mixes are good barkers, making them serve as excellent guard dogs. Very few retain the vocal traits of the Basenji, which is not a barking dog. If you need a dog that serves as a companion and a burglar alarm, then a Basenji German Shepherd Mix can be a great option.

Lastly, please understand that these energetic hybrid dogs are usually best for homes where the owners have a lot of time. If you’re the type that’s always out, working two jobs, or very busy most of the time, this pet might not be a great choice.

How Much Does Basenji German Shepherd Mix Puppy Cost?

A puppy from Basenji German Shepherd Mix can cost between $500 to $2000. The puppy’s availability, the residential location, and the quality of the puppy can also influence the price.

Final Takeaway

There you are! All you need to know about the adorable Basenji German Shepherd Mix. Well, unless you’re in vet school and you need more knowledge on their biology and genetics. 

If you’re looking to own one soon, I hope I’ve been able to affirm your choice that this is a lovely dog to have. From my experience, this dog does well with both first-time dog owners and experienced owners, so whichever you are, there’s no problem.

Thanks for reading  

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