Chisenji: Basenji And Chihuahua Mix A Complete Guide

Basenjis are an ancient Central African spitz dog breed known for their athleticism, loyalty, and intelligence. These qualities are what make them an exceptional choice of dog for various mixed breeds too.

Among the different hybrid species that abound in the dog world today, one of the most fascinating combinations is, without a doubt, the Basenji Chihuahua mix.

Also affectionately referred to as the Chisenji or Basenji Chi, these dogs are small, with short legs, big heads, and sharp ears. They have big, soulful round eyes and are usually brown and white or tan and white in color.

WeightHeightColorCoatTemperamentLifespan
Chisenji10 to 22 pounds8 to 16 inchesBrown, white, black, tanShort-hairedCourageous, intelligent, gentle, alert, loyal14 to 18 years
Chihuahua3.5 to 6.5 pounds6 to 10 inchesBrown, white, black, tanShort-haired or long-hairedDevoted, quick, energetic, aggressive12 to 18 years
Basenji20 to 26 pounds15 to 17 inchesBrown, white, tanShort-haired, hypoallergenicCurious, quiet, intelligent, confident, alert12 to 16 years

In this post, we’ll look at everything there is to know about the Chisenji dog. From how they are bred to their temperaments, training regimes, and diets.

Breeding Chisenji Dogs

The Basenji Chihuahua mix is by no means a new hybrid. These dogs have been around for hundreds of years and are well-loved for their small size and big personalities.

When it comes to breeding Chisenjis, parentage plays a huge role. The size of each parent, as well as their temperaments, needs to be considered in order to end up with a desirable litter.

Standard Chisenjis are usually 10 to 22 pounds (4.5 to 10 kilograms) in weight and only around 8 to 16 inches tall (20 to 40 centimeters).

It is their small stature that makes them perfect candidates for indoor living and easy travel.

Generally speaking, Chisenjis are bred across multiple generations, and it is unusual to find puppies that are pure 50% Basenji and 50% Chihuahua.

Instead, breeders will sire litters from existing Chisenji dogs with strong existing characteristics from both breeds.

Chisenji Temperaments

Chisenjis are wonderful pets for people living independently without other pets. They don’t fare very well with children or families and don’t get along well with other dogs unless they are other Chisenjis.

While this may make them sound aloof, it is, in fact, the opposite. Chisenjis are exceptionally loyal to their owners and will bond best with one or two people they consistently spend time with.

While they can be friendly with strangers, they are also remarkably adept guard dogs, despite their small size.

They derive their gentleness from their Chihuahua genes, but this is paired with their Basenji ancestry’s fierce bravery and intelligence.

Their intelligence, too, makes them excellent candidates for training.

If they are to be around other animals, they need to be socialized from a young age.

Training Chisenji Dogs

Chisenji dogs are relatively easy to train so long as their owner is consistent and they receive plenty of positive reinforcement.

As they are gentle dogs, they don’t respond well to being scolded or reprimanded. Instead, they should be rewarded for good behavior and ignored if they misbehave. Treats are a good way to go if you want your Chisenji to know they’ve done a good job.

Because they are so intelligent, they will quickly learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Caring for Chisenji Dogs

These beautiful pups are small in size, and for this reason, will need a little extra care. They should not be outside off-leash, as they can be easily hurt. In vast open spaces, they may be a target for predators, so it’s best not to let them roam alone.

In suburban areas, they will make fantastic pets. They are perfect travel companions and can be taught from a young age to travel in vehicles.

Chisenjis don’t require complex food regimes from a dietary perspective, and a vet-approved commercial dog food interspersed with the occasional treat will suit them perfectly.

In terms of their exercise needs, they are energetic and require a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity per day, be that walking or playing.

However, with that being said, too much strenuous walking can tire them out, as they are small and get fatigued faster than larger breeds.

Chisenji Dog Health Issues

Chisenji dogs are known to be healthy dogs. They may develop waxy ears that will require cleaning and some dental issues. These can easily be seen to with regular vet visits

From their Basenji parents, they may tend toward hip dysplasia (in rare cases) and kidney problems. Needless to say, keeping a close eye on their health and regular checkups will alert you to any potential issues timeously.  

Adopting a Chisenji Dog

Chisenjis are not a particularly rare breed and are often advertised through adoption agencies and sold at pet shops. However, if you are seeking a true Chisenji with traceable lineage and medical background, it’s best to work through a reputable breeder.

Before adopting a Chisenji, you should also consider if your property and lifestyle will be suitable for them. Introducing a Chisenji to an existing pack of bigger dogs can be disastrous. They are also at risk of being hurt by boisterous small children.

Should you feel your home is suitable for a Chisenji, you won’t regret adopting one. They have big, bold personalities belied by their small size, and they make exceptional pets.

Chisenji Lifespan

Chisenjis live for quite a few years longer than their purebred parents. With proper care and regular health checkups, they can live for up to 18 years.

This is another reason it is important to make sure you’re ready to commit to a Chisenji dog. They are a companion that will lovingly and loyally be by your side for many years. Indeed, they will not do well if separated from their owners.

Closing Thoughts

The Chisenji is a truly unique and incomparably lovely mix-breed. They will be your fiercest protector while remaining a pocket-sized bundle of affection. You won’t regret spending part of your life with a Chisenji, so long as you are prepared to look after their needs.

We love dogs for their loyalty and commitment, and these qualities are especially evident in Chisenjis.

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