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Is Basenji Jack Russell Terrier Mix Right For You?

Is Basenji Jack Russell Terrier Mix Right For You?

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Mixed dog breeds are an embodiment of adorability and good temperament.

 Breeders intentionally breed different dogs to attain certain physical and behavioral characteristics that aren’t found in purebred dogs.

Hybrid dogs are also stronger. They rarely inherit genetic defects from their parents, unlike purebred dogs.

Plus, the combination of different physical traits makes them incredibly cute.

The Basenji Jack Russell Terrier or the Jack Basenji is an amazing hybrid dog.

He combines the Basenji’s good looks and graceful gait with Jack Russell’s affectionate and intelligent demeanor.

Sadly, there’s an ugly side to owning him. Here, we tell you the pros and cons of a Jack Basenji so you can decide whether he is right for you or wrong.

What does a Basenji Jack Russell Terrier look like?

Before we discuss the good and bad of owning a Jack Basenji, a description of what the dog looks like is necessary.

The Basenji or African barkless dog weighs 22-26 pounds while the Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) averages 11-18 pounds in weight. 

Height measurements are 16-17 inches and 8-15 inches respectively.  This means that the African barkless dog is medium-sized while the Jack Russel Terrier is a small dog.

The resulting mix will be either small or medium-sized.

The coat is short and smooth or long and rough depending on which genes are predominant.

Colors include white with orange, black, red and white, black and white, white with fawn patches, or tri-color.

Pros of the Basenji Jack Russell Terrier mix

1. Unique Physical Characteristics

The Basenji is known for his elegant posture and a quizzical expression on his face.

He has a wrinkled head that gives him this unique expression.

 His long sturdy legs make him agile and graceful – both of which dog lovers cannot get enough of.And how about his curled tail and upright ears?

The JRT has good looks as well. His bright dark brown eyes make him appear alert and adorable.

With a docked tail, he has the look of a compact, attractive and neat doggie.

Well, you cannot tell which looks are transferred to your mix but rest assured he will be a dog with looks to die for.

2. Affection and Loyalty

The JRT Basenji mix is high-spirited, happy, playful, and full of personality.

He will warm your heart with his desire for endless cuddles. Because he wants to please and impress you, he will always try to act protective even when he is just a hunting dog.

Sure, he doesn’t like strangers very much but he gets attached to those he knows deeply.

3. Minimal Shedding

Most Jack Basenjis have short and smooth coats. These don’t shed as much as their long-haired varieties.

If you have no time to brush your dog daily and keep up with mats, this one is the right choice for you.

You only need to brush the coat once a week to keep it glossy and remove loose hairs as well.

Else, if you end up with a dog with a rough dense coat, he will need to be brushed more often.

4. Good Family Dog

Besides their stunning looks and low grooming needs, Jack Basenjis are sweet little family dogs.

 JRTs are famous for their love for people. They are cuddle buddies and love playing with kids and adults alike.

If trained and socialized early, they can learn to live with and create strong bonds with all members of the family.

Basenjis are also affectionate and people-oriented. Granted, they can be independent and strong-willed but when they want to, their love will blow your mind.

5. Intelligence

Two of the smartest dog breeds, the African barkless dog and the Jack Russell Terrier can learn new tricks, understand you better, and figure things out with ease.

They are hunting dog breeds with an eagerness to please you. Once they understand what you like and what you hate, communicating with them will be easy.

Training your JRT Basenji dog is easier than most – perhaps even more fun than you expect.

You will love watching him pick up new tricks fast and effectively.

Well, he can be stubborn at times but if you use positive reinforcement and exercise patience, you will emerge victoriously.

6. Does Great in Apartment Settings

Because of his small stature and a love for the family, a Jack Basenji can make for a good apartment dog.

All you have to do is give him enough toys to play with and take him out for his daily dose of activity.

If you do both, he will be happy and content.

Better hope he inherits the quietness of a Basenji, though. If he’s as loud as a typical Jack Russell Terrier, he will get you in trouble with the neighbors


1. Excessive Barking

Basenjis and Jack Russell Terries are the opposite of each other when it comes to vocalization.

 The former is a quieter, calm dog. He is essentially the only dog breed without a bark. He communicates by making a range of yodel-like sounds.

Oppositely, JRTs are as noisy as they come.

 A mix of both can turn out to be vocal or silent. If he is an excessive barker, you have to determine whether you can handle him or not.

2. Aggression

This great hybrid dog is friendly to humans but he may not be the best around other animals. Blame his JRT DNA.

Jack Russell Terriers love to be the only pets at home. They have such a high prey drive that small animals like rabbits, cats, and squirrels don’t stand a chance with him.

This canine is so self-absorbed that even another JRT (male or female) is not invited into his space.

 If you have other pets, be sure to introduce them to the dog as a puppy. He may learn to co-exist peacefully with them.

3. High Exercise Requirements

Before you buy or adopt a Basenji Jack Russell Terrier mix, keep in mind that this is an extremely energetic dog.

 His agile, lean body isn’t maintained by sitting around and eating all day.

This mutt needs at least one hour of physical activity everyday lest he becomes destructive.

If you are an active person yourself, this will be more of a pro than a con.

Else, if you fall into the category of people that prefer low-energy dogs, plan yourself accordingly.

4. Separation Anxiety

The Jack Russell Terrier loves human company too much that he gets bored when left alone.

The Basenji is a bit independent but also needs to be mentally stimulated when no one is home.

 If you intend on getting a Jack Basenji, find ways to keep him entertained and active when you are away.

 Buy enough mental stimulation toys. Let someone stay at home to keep him company.

5. Training Challenges

Intelligent dogs are almost always strong-willed and stubborn.

Our designer dog is no different. He can be independent-minded and too intelligent for your liking.

While he grasps commands easily and has a good understanding level, he often does that on his own terms.

As an alpha, stay confident, assuring, and brave. Use positive reinforcement to your advantage.

Keep training sessions short. You will make it.

Parting Thoughts

The Basenji Jack Russell Terrier mix is ideal for you if you love small, energetic, and intelligent dogs that can fit into apartments and those with low grooming needs.

The challenge of owning one is that he can be stubborn, aggressive, and loud.

He also needs high exercise needs and tends to suffer from separation anxiety.

Where do you draw the line? You make the decision.

Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by