Are Basenjis Smart Dogs? 

The intelligence levels of a dog can be different depending on the breed. Although all animals of this type are intelligent, some are characterized by the ability to quickly

learn commands, while others know how to better understand human emotions. That means that there are several types of intelligence, and we must take them into account when choosing a certain breed of dog.

Let’s talk about the intelligence of the Basenjis. These dogs are characterized by being similar to cats in some aspects.

They have an interesting personality since, on the one hand, they can be independent, but at the same time, they need attention from their loved ones. They are not the best dogs for families with children unless they are properly trained.

Generally speaking, Basenjis are intelligent dogs, although not as smart as other breeds. Next, we will delve a little more into the subject.

Are Basenjis Smart Dogs?

The first thing you have to know is that Basenjis were bred as hunting dogs from their origins. It is for that reason that they are intelligent and independent. In addition, they can be alert all the time to some threats.

According to Coren, Basenjis are considered to be intelligent dogs as they rank 78th among the most intelligent breeds. While that is a good position to say that the Basenji is smart, it is true that it has a lower capacity for learning than other breeds.

It is not a dog that loves to please its loved ones, so it can be a problem to train it at times despite having the ability to understand commands. 

Learning new commands is not the Basenji’s strong point. Its intelligence is more focused on persuading its owners and getting what it wants.

How to Know How Smart Your Basenji Is?

It is possible to test the intelligence of Basenjis through various methods created and tested by experts. Keep in mind that many people use a scoring system that ranks a canine according to how intelligent it is based on its IQ.

Depending on the task and performance of your Basenji, it will receive 1, 2, or 3 points. Those tasks are:

Task 1

You should block your dog’s vision by placing something over its head that covers it. That will assess your Basenji’s ability to solve problems. If a Basenji performs the tasks in the following time frame:

  • Less than 15 seconds: 3 points.
  • Between 15 and 30 seconds: 2 points.
  • More than 30 seconds: 1 point.

Task 2

Place three empty glasses in a row, upside down. Place a treat under one of them while you get your pet’s attention to distract it for a few seconds, and then let it discover the treat. This activity is essential for determining your Basenji’s ability to retain information.

If your Basenji goes directly to the best glass, it will receive 3 points; if it studies one empty glass before finding the ideal cup, it will receive 2 points; and if it analyses both empty cups before identifying the correct cup, it will receive 1 point.

Task 3

Pick a time when you wouldn’t normally take your canine for a walk and grab its leash while it is looking. That will put its ability to make and maintain associations to the test.

If it gets the hint quickly and becomes enthusiastic, it will receive 3 points; if you have to move towards the entrance for it to comprehend, it will receive 2 points; and if it does not seem to know what is going on, it will receive 1 point.

Task 4

Place a reward within reach of your Basenji under furniture that is low enough for only its paws to fit. This practice is ideal for evaluating your Basenji’s ability to analyse a situation and resolve it.

The scoring system for this task should be distributed as follows:

Your Basenji will receive only 1 point if it gives up after trying solving the problem; 2 points if it tries to grab the treat using its head and mouth, and 3 points if your pet manages to grab it using only its paw.

This scoring system tells us how smart your dog is to select the correct option to take the treat.

Basenji IQ Scale

  • Under 3 points: Your Basenji is not very smart.
  • Between 3 and 5 points: Your canine will need help to do certain activities.
  • Between 5 and 8 points: It will have certain difficulties but will solve them well.
  • Between 8 and 10 points: Your Basenji is brilliant.
  • Over 10 points: Your pet is practically a genius.

Is It Possible to Increase the Intelligence of Our Basenji?

Yes, of course! You will only need to follow a few guidelines in order to assist your dog in further developing its intelligence. The first thing you must realize is that you should train your Basenji from puppyhood. 

Any dog, regardless of breed, should be trained while it is a puppy. That will not only facilitate the learning process of your Basenji but will also improve some of their skills and abilities to learn.

Another way to expand your Basenji’s intelligence is to expose it to new situations. If it experiences new interactions with people, animals, and new places, its curiosity will increase and, therefore, its intellect too.

That is why it is important to socialise and provide obedience training to your Basenji while it is a puppy.

You must also teach new instructions and tricks on a regular basis. Teaching your Basenji new commands every day will further develop its learning ability.

Dogs are just like people; the more they practice and try to learn something, the easier it will be for them to learn new things and retain more information in the near future.

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