Home > Versus Dog Comparison > Basenji vs German Shepherd  What’s The Difference

Basenji vs German Shepherd  What’s The Difference

A dog is essential for any family as it helps to unite each member. Canines are animals that spread love among all the people who live in a house, generating more interaction between them. That’s mainly because these pets make us feel better emotionally and even physically.

However, you have to keep in mind that not all dog breeds have the same characteristics or benefits. Some canines are not as friendly, while others are not as athletic. Obviously, there are dogs that meet both attributes. 

Basenji vs German Shepherd

Anyway, these things are essential to know before acquiring a dog breed. If you do not know which option to choose between a Basenji and a German Shepherd, then we will talk about each one so that you know their similarities and differences.

The Basenji is an interesting breed that has certain unique characteristics, unlike other dogs. It was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa, as a hunting dog.

That has allowed it to develop throughout history as an athletic and energetic animal. This breed stands out for the beautiful personality it shows to its loved ones but is more cautious with children, animals, and strangers. Basenji is synonymous with mischievous, playful, and stubborn.

On the other hand, the German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds in the world. In fact, it ranks 2 among the most popular dogs according to the AKC.

The main characteristic of this breed is its willingness to perform different tasks, and that is why they are widely used as fire dogs, police dogs, or drug detection dogs.

In addition, the German Shepherd is in the top 3 of the most intelligent dogs, which makes it very easy to train, unlike other breeds.

Basenji vs German Shepherd Comparison Table


BasenjiGerman Shepherd
Origin CountryDemocratic Republic of the CongoGermany
SizeSmallLarge
Height38 cm – 43 cm55 cm – 65 cm
Weight9 kg – 12 kg22 kg –  40 kg
Lifespan10 – 14 years9 – 13 years
Energy LevelHighHigh
Coat TypesSingle CoatDouble Coat
Coat TextureFine and ShortStraight
Coat ColourWhite, Brindle, Red, Black, TanSilver, Red, Tan, Black
HypoallergenicYesNo
GroomingMinimalModerate
TemperamentAffectionate, Alert, Intelligent,  Curious, Playful, EnergeticAlert, Watchful, Obedient, Courageous, Intelligent, Curious, Confident, Loyal
Shedding LevelLowHigh
Health ProblemsKidney or Bowel Problems, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, ObesityAllergies, Heart Disease, Cancer, Blindness, Hip Dysplasia, Bloat, Digestive Problems, Cataracts, Diabetes, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Elbow Dysplasia, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Retinal Dysplasia, etc.
Basenji vs German Shepherd Comparison Table

Basenji vs German Shepherd: History

Basenji History

The history of the Basenjis begins in 1895 in the Congo, Africa. It is one of the oldest domesticated dogs that stood out for its hunting skills.

They were considered semi-wild animals since they lived in remote areas, and for that reason, their hunting instinct was further developed.

Over the years, the Basenjis began to be known in other countries of the world. The first country to which they were exported was England, but unfortunately, some of them died during the journey due to vaccinations against distemper.

Later, they were exported to the United States in the 1930s, where they were officially recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1943.

German Shepherd History

German Shepherd History
German Shepherd History

The German Shepherd was born at the end of the 19th century in Germany from the herding dogs of that time. Several breeds of dogs that used to be obedient, intelligent, and alert were used to give rise to the 2nd most popular breed today.

From their origins, they were trained to be excellent herding dogs, and thanks to their intelligence and skills, they began to stand out in other activities on the farm or related to security.

During World War I, the German Shepherd gained a lot of popularity which allowed other countries to begin to know it. I

n this way, they were gradually exported to other countries, quickly impressing dog lovers thanks to all the skills they presented as well as their loyalty, fidelity, and courage.

Today, German Shepherds are widely used as guard, police, fire, drug detection, or herding dogs. However, due to the evolution of their skills, they can perform well in other tasks.

Basenji vs German Shepherd: Physical Characteristics

Basenji Physical Characteristics

The Basenji is an ideal dog to live in large or small houses and apartments due to its small size. The height and weight of male and female Basenjis are:

  • Females: 38-41 cm and 9-11 kg
  • Males: 41-43 cm and 10-12 kg

Despite being small, Basenjis have compact and energetic bodies. They are characterized by small, moderately wide heads that taper to the nose; dark eyes; pointed, slightly forward-tilting ears; curled tails; deep chests, and level backs.

We can say that the coat of the Basenjis is dense, short, and shiny, and they come in the following colours: red and white, brindle, pure white, black and red, pure black, or multi-coloured.

German Shepherd Physical Characteristics

In the case of a German Shepherd, it is a large-sized canine that can measure between 60 cm and 65 cm in males, while females are between 55 cm and 60 cm. This breed’s male weighs between 30 kg and 40 kg while the female between 22 kg and 32 kg.

The big body and wide head of the German Shepherd are two of its most noticeable physical characteristics. The dog has medium-sized, upright, pointed ears that give it a wolf appearance.

The black eyes, situated obliquely on the head, exude assurance and confidence. It should also be noted that it has powerful teeth that allow it to make a hard and violent scissor bite.

The German Shepherd has a double coat made up of a thick undercoat and a dense outer layer, which is slightly wavy or straight. Its fur is moderate in length and sheds all year. Its colour is usually tan and black, or red and black. Black, white, liver, and blue are other uncommon colour variants.

Basenji vs German Shepherd: Personality and Behaviour

Basenji Personality and Behaviour

Basenji Personality and Behaviour
Basenji Personality and Behaviour

The Basenji is not a dog that gets along with strangers, children, and other animals, especially the smaller ones. This canine prefers to show love to its owners and other family members.

You have to remember that the Basenjis lived through certain specific circumstances that brought out their hunting instincts.

In addition, they were trained and used as hunters, and it is for this reason that they could show certain signs of aggression toward children, small animals, and people who are not part of their families.

For that reason, it’s vital to socialise your canine by exposing it to new people, animals, and places from an early age.

Despite being independent dogs, Basenjis will need to receive enough attention from their owners; otherwise, they may suffer from anxiety, especially when left alone for a long time.

Also, keep in mind that they tend to get bored easily, so they need to be stimulated physically (exercises) and mentally (games and training).

One of the aspects that differentiates a Basenji from most dog breeds is that they do not bark. All dogs bark due to certain circumstances, but Basenjis does not make such a sound.

They prefer to howl, scream or yodel, but keep in mind that these sounds are not loud. That makes them excellent pets to live in apartments or houses surrounded by neighbours.

German Shepherd Personality and Behaviour

The temperament of the German Shepherd is calm, assertive, and trustworthy. Because of their strong defensive instincts and fearlessness, these dogs are among the most popular guard and protection breeds.

While extremely loyal and protective of its home and family, the German Shepherd is wary and distant with strangers. The German Shepherd is not a violent dog by nature, despite its predisposition to being cautious of strangers.

Because no dog’s personality is determined solely by its genes, the socialisation of a German Shepherd puppy is essential to prevent future difficulties.

The German Shepherd is an easy-to-train dog that responds well to a variety of training methods. When trained with the positive reinforcement method, on the other hand, it reaches its full potential.

Basenji vs German Shepherd: Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of each dog varies mainly according to its breed. There are canines that live longer since they are genetically healthier, while there are others that tend to be more prone to health problems throughout their lives and therefore live fewer years.

In this case, the Basenjis can live approximately 10-14 years, thus surpassing the German Shepherds, who have a life expectancy of 9-13 years.

That does not mean that both breeds cannot live longer. They simply must receive a good quality of life for that to be possible.