Basenji and Lab Mix A Complete Guide

Basenji and Lab Mix

Are you looking to buy a medium-sized family dog? If so, a Basenji/Labrador may be a good choice for you!

To find out if one of these dogs (or a mix of both) is right for your family, we’ll analyze the differences between the two breeds. 

We’ll break down key factors for both breeds, like size, intelligence, shedding level, and more.

Finally, we’ll introduce you to the unique Basenji/Lab mix. This is a truly special breed of dog, so we’ll help you decide if it’s right for you.

Keep reading to learn more about this mix!

About Basenji Dogs

The Basenji is a smaller-sized dog from the Congo of Africa. They were originally bred and trained for hunting. 

Because of their high prey drive, they tend to have lots of energy and are thus best for families who can give them exercise a few times per day.

They also require quite a bit of positive reinforcement in order to be trained, since they can be stubborn at times.

Basenjis are pretty small dogs, usually about 17 inches tall at the shoulders. They also have short, fine hair that doesn’t shed very much, a curly, skinny tail, and an expressive face. 

Interestingly, they’re sometimes called the ‘Barkless dog’ because, well, they don’t bark! Instead, they make out a strange sound that’s like a cross between a howl and the crow of a rooster.

To add to their unique traits, a Basenji will tend to clean themself like a cat and trot like a horse.

In general, Basenjis live around to be about 14-16 years old.

About Labs (Labrador Retrievers)

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. 

A lab is recognizable to everyone, even those who aren’t familiar with different dog breeds. They’re known for being friendly and loyal companions to their owners. 

Since they were designed as work dogs, labs are muscular and athletic, although they love to eat and may become obese if overfed. Labs also have a short coat that’s easy to maintain.

Labs are also pretty smart and social dogs. 

The breed comes from Canada’s Newfoundland province, where they were used (and are still used) to help fishermen and duck hunters.

Most Labs nowadays aren’t put to work and are instead pampered and loved by their families thanks to the fact that they make such great companion dogs. 

A Lab’s kind, gentle temperament, and obedience make them great therapy dogs, and companions for children and the elderly. However, their sweet nature also makes them poor guard dogs. 

Labrador Retrievers usually live 10-12 years.

What’s a Basenji/Lab Mix?

Mixing a Basenji with a Labrador Retriever results in a Labrasenji. It’s not the easiest name to say, but this dog breed is really special! 

Since this is a new designer breed, its history is a bit unclear. 

In different places, you’ll see this mixed breed spelled as either Laborsenji, Laborsenjie, or Labrasenji. 

What Does a Labrasenji Look Like?

A Labrasenji’s coat tends to be short and straight and can be red, black, or brown. It can also come in a combination. They have big eyes that are usually a shade of brown, black, or cream.

Their body shape can vary depending on which of their parents’ genes they inherit more of. Usually, though, they have long legs, pointy ears, and a curly tail. 

How Big are Labrasenjis?

Since the parent breeds of this mix are varied, so is the average size of a Labrasenji. A Lab is a larger dog, while a Basenji is smaller. 

In general, a Labrasenji can be between 20-25 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 30-70 pounds depending on their sex and genes.

What is a Labrasenji’s Temperament Like?

Because of the Lab in them, they’re very loyal and make for great family dogs. 

In general, Labrasenjis are great family pets and very affectionate. They’re normally good with children and other animals; however, they might get too rowdy for small children and other pets.

A Labrasenji may also get snappy and defensive if they’re bothered, so don’t leave children under five to play with them unattended.  

Besides this, they’re a loving breed and can easily be socialized early on. 

Interestingly, since a Basenji can’t bark, but a Lab can, you may end up with a Labrasenji that either barks or yodels!

Do Labrasenjis Need a Lot of Exercise?

In short – yes. 

If you want to get a Labrasenji, plan on taking time out of your day to walk and exercise them. They need a lot of exercises because both of their parent breeds are hunters, so they have high energy levels.

If you can’t devote 60-90 minutes per day to exercising your Labrasenji, consider another dog breed. Without the right exercise, their energy levels will be high, and they may become destructive out of boredom. 

Since they’re hunters, they’ll chase any smaller animals like rabbits or squirrels. For this reason, you should always keep them on a leash and only let them free in a fenced backyard or dog park. 

Are Labrasenjis Hard to Groom?

A Labrasenji isn’t too hard to care for. Their coat is relatively easy to maintain, only needing to be brushed once or twice per week. 

You’ll only have to give them baths when needed, but not often enough to dry out their skin. You should, however, clean their ears regularly with a wet cotton ball to prevent infection. 

Also, make sure to brush their teeth at least once per week with dog toothpaste. Their nails will need to be clipped every 6-8 weeks.

Are Labrasenjis Easy to Train?

Labrasenjis can become a bit stubborn, which might make training frustrating. We recommend training classes for these dogs while they’re still puppies.

They’re smart dogs, though; so with enough positive reinforcement, they’ll learn what you teach them.

How Long Do Labrasenjis Live?

Lab/Basenji mix dogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

Labrador Retriever, Basenji, and Labrasenji Comparison Table

  Labrador Retriever Basenji Labrasenji
Average Weight 55-80 pounds 22-24 pounds 30-70 pounds
Average Height 21-25” tall 16-17” tall 20-25” tall
Grooming Difficulty Medium. They need to be brushed a few times per week. Easy. They only need to be brushed about once per week.  Relatively easy. Brush their fur and teeth twice per week.
Shedding Level Moderate and seasonal Low Seasonal
Temperament Outgoing, sweet, intelligent Hyper, smart, inquisitive Affectionate, playful, loving
Exercise Needs 30-60 minutes per day Since they’re small, they need about an hour of exercise per day High. Needs about 60-90 minutes of exercise per day.
Intelligence Pretty sharp Highly intelligent  High
Trainability  High; responds best to positive reinforcement Stubborn and sometimes hard to train Stubborn, but smart. Will take some patience.
Friendliness to Strangers Very friendly with strangers Normally open to strangers Generally social, but may benefit from socializing early on.
Friendliness With Other Dogs Very friendly with other dogs Usually friendly with other dogs Friendly with other dogs, but may chase cats and smaller animals
Life Expectancy 10-12 years 13-14 years 10-14 years
Common health Issues Elbow and Hip Dysplasia, Heart Problems, Muscle Weakness), Retinal Atrophy Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), Corneal Dystrophy,  Patellar Luxation Basenji Enteropathy, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, PK Deficiency
Labrador Retriever, Basenji, and Labrasenji Comparison Table

In Conclusion: Adopting a Basenji/Lab Mix

A Basenji/Lab mix makes for a great family dog. If you plan on adopting one, make sure you take all of the above factors into account before making your decision.

Remember that this dog breed needs a lot of exercise to prevent destructive behavior. While a Labrasenji can be stubborn at times, they’re a loving and smart breed that will learn with the right training. 

Make sure to socialize them while they’re young if possible. This will ensure your Labrasenji gets along well with other dogs and people.

We hope this article has helped you learn about this unique dog breed!