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Basenji German Shepherd Mix: Info, Pictures, Facts & FAQs

Basenji German Shepherd mix

Featured Image Credit: thefourseasonsofviv / Instagram

Height:15 – 21 inches
Weight:22 – 90 pounds
Lifespan:7 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Black, tan, red, cream, mahogany
Temperament:Intelligent, affectionate, loyal, confident, watchful
Suitable for:First-time, active owners; families with older children

Dog lovers who are torn between a Basenji and a German Shepherd should consider getting a Basenji German Shepherd mix. As an even-tempered rare hybrid dog, the Basenji German Shepherd mix is surely a catch!

Though their parent breeds come in different groups, sizes, and personalities, the Basenji Shepherd balances their traits. They’re known to be intelligent, loyal, and energetic, making them great workout buddies. 

All that, yet you’re just seeing the tip of an iceberg. Let’s dig deeper and get to know them, from their unique appearance to their needs. 

What Is a Basenji German Shepherd Mix?

Basenji German Shepherd mix sitting inside a car
Image credit: thefourseasonsofviv / Instagram

The Basenji German Shepherd mix is the offspring of a Basenji and a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). This hybrid dog is known to be even-tempered, friendly to its favorite people, intelligent, and extremely loyal. Basenji German Shepherd mixes are medium- to large-sized dogs with an athletic stance.

Early exposure to new faces and scents helps them mellow down their guarding instincts, especially knowing that their parent breeds are known for their wariness toward people. 

When around their family, this mixed breed is up for games and various activities such as hiking. However, as much as they love having company, these canines also need their alone time. 

On a different note, as they’re not purebred dogs, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize them as an official breed. This means they can’t participate in AKC-held events.

However, they may be registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and the National Hybrid Registry (NHR) since they recognize all hybrid dogs from purebred ancestries. 

Basenji German Shepherd Mix Origin and History

As with several other mixed-breed canines, there need to be more records showing how the Basenji Shepherd mix came about. Whether they resulted due to intentional breeding or by accident is unknown. 

The only clear way to better understand the roots of the Basenji German Shepherd mix is to learn a bit more about its parents. 

For starters, the Basenji is an ancient hunting breed that originates from Central Africa. They closely resembled the dogs depicted in Ancient Egypt and were thought to be offered as gifts to Pharaohs. 

It was in 1941 when the United States had its first glimpse of this yodeling pooch. The Basenji achieved full recognition as an official dog breed three years later.

Meanwhile, as the name suggests, the German Shepherd Dog comes from Germany. Their history and development were largely influenced by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who pursued creating a versatile herding dog. 

Eventually, they were modified from farm dogs to military dogs, especially during World War I. In 1908 they became an official breed in the United States. 

Though there are reasons why Basenjis and GSDs were bred and developed, there’s no clear answer as to why breeders cross the two together. Regardless, the resulting dog is outstanding and worth the effort.

Basenji German Shepherd Mix Appearance

Basenji German Shepherd mixed breed dog outdoors
Image credit: sally_rescue_shepherd / Instagram

The appearance of the Basenji German Shepherd mix can be unpredictable, so there’s no standard look for this mixed breed. 

Often, they resemble a lot like German Shepherds, but taking a closer look will get you to notice the subtle features of a Basenji. 

For starters, this mixed breed’s coat is usually short and coarse. However, this also depends on whether the German Shepherd parent has a short, medium, or long coat. 

In addition, their coat colors depend on the dominant genetic makeup they’re born with. They are mostly solid tan if they’re more like their Basenji parent. 

They can also have the isabella, blue, panda, black, sable, liver, or tri-color pattern of the German Shepherd, albeit rare. A white patch on the chest may also show, along with a few blotches on their belly and legs. 

Other possible colors include red, cream, and mahogany. To further set them apart from their purebred parents, look closely at the Basenji Shepherds’ ears. 

They fall somewhere between the upright ears of the Basenji and the occasional floppy ears of the German Shepherd. 

Have a better grasp on how a Basenji German mix looks like by watching this short video:

Basenji/Shepherd mix with Rover Rescue

Basenji German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight

Depending on which parent genes are dominant, you can expect this canine to weigh 22 to 90 pounds. Their height varies but can be between 15 and 21 inches.

Generally, these canines are predicted to be larger than their typical Basenji parent but smaller than their German Shepherd parent.

It can take them a year or over 14 months to reach their full size, depending on what size they’re predisposed to have. 

Their wider gene pool makes it difficult to predict their specific proportions and how long they will be fully grown. 

Basenji German Shepherd Mix Temperament and Personality

Close up of a German Shepherd Basenji mix lying on bed
Image credit: sally_rescue_shepherd / Instagram

The Basenji German Shepherd mix is a great family dog that can easily form close bonds with friendly people. Their affectionate and loving traits make them naturally protective when there is a need to be. 

When they’re not on guard, this mixed mutt turns into a frisky, laid-back fur ball. While they may have occasional outbursts of energy, Basenji Shepherds may sometimes resort to a corner to recharge.

Generally, adult Basenji Shepherds can be left on their own for at least eight hours, but it’s best if they have someone around them to keep them from getting bored. 

After all, they’re not couch potatoes and would rather do better when they have tasks to fulfill during your absence. 

Long periods of boredom and lack of physical or mental stimulation may lead to separation anxiety and destructive behaviors. 

Basenji German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues

The diversity in the genetic pool of the Basenji German Shepherd mix allows them to live a good lifespan that ranges between 7 and 15 years

This is even more guaranteed, provided they have healthy lifestyles and routine health check-ups. 

Compared to purebred dogs, which have a 42% higher risk of acquiring genetic disorders, mixed breeds have around 4% of developing one disorder, as found by the Institute of Canine Biology.

Still, mixed breeds stay prone to several health problems that their parent breeds are predisposed to. 

The following are the prominent health issues found in the Basenji Shepherd mix:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia occurs more often in dogs with larger proportions. Larger Basenji Shepherds can develop this condition wherein the socket and the ball of their hip joint don’t fit properly. This can lead to pain and dysfunction through arthritis and limited mobility. 
  • Corneal Dystrophy: Common in breeds, such as the German Shepherd, the Basenji German Shepherd mix may also have corneal dystrophy. This occurs in both eyes, with a likelihood of triglycerides and cholesterol deposits forming in the connective tissue of the cornea. The deeper areas it affects, the more swelling and pain can be felt, which may require surgery.
  • Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation may occur as a result of physical injury. This skeletal abnormality involves having their kneecap slip out of its proper place due to a knee injury. In some cases, this condition may also be inherited.

You must know the prominent health problems a Basenji Shepherd is at risk of acquiring or developing. Many of these issues can be prevented early on, diagnosed, and treated before they worsen.

Always take your pooch for regular vet check-ups and pair this with a healthy lifestyle and nurturing environment. Also, invest in pet insurance for unexpected vet bills that may come along the way. 

How to Take Care of Your German Shepherd Basenji Mix

Basenji German Shepherd mix lying on bed
Image credit: thefourseasonsofviv / Instagram

Having learned what a Basenji German Shepherd mix is, it’s time to discuss how to properly take care of them. 

It’s relatively easy to keep up with their needs and requirements, which is why they’re great for first-time dog owners. Read more below to be guided on the basic requirements of a Basenji German Shepherd mix.

Food and Diet

It’s a no-brainer that all dogs should be provided with high-quality food. This means feeding your Basenji Shepherd with food that is free from harmful preservatives.

Typically, they need to be fed 1 to 3.5 cups daily, depending on their size. Meanwhile, at least ten percent of their total calorie intake consists of treats, which can either be frozen fruits, tidbits of meat, or even crackers

They’ll do well with a pure kibble diet, or you can mix vegetables, fruits, rice, and raw or cooked meat. Other owners opt for a raw diet called BARF for their dogs, but there are considerations you have to be aware of. 

Regarding the portions, follow what’s stated in the manufacturer’s feeding guide and ensure that the food is carefully weighed. 

You can also check out our guide on how much food to feed a German Shepherd for more references and helpful tips.

Cleaning and Grooming

The frequency of grooming your Basenji German Shepherd mix depends on their coat type. If they take after their Basenji parent’s coat, they may only need to be brushed sometimes. 

However, if their German Shepherd ancestry is more prominent in their coat, more tedious grooming is required. Baths may be done every 3 to 4 months or whenever necessary.

Take time to assess your dog’s coat type and how thick it is. Ensure they don’t stay wet after getting them washed to avoid inflammation, itchiness, and an unpleasant dog smell. 

In addition, make it a habit to brush their teeth 2 to 3 times a week. Their nails should also be trimmed when long or if you hear clicking noises as they walk on the floor. This helps maintain their good posture. 

Check their ears as well for any signs of infection. Their ear wax color can tell a lot, which may require an emergency visit to the vet. Ear cleaning in dogs must be done with caution by using sanitary materials.

Training and Exercise

The Basenji German Shepherd mix is a fine hybrid dog that’s remarkably smart. This suggests that they need to be mentally stimulated regularly by giving them tasks. 

Teaching them basic commands, obedience, potty training, and other forms of training come off easy with positive reinforcements. Drills must be done consistently, especially while they’re puppies. 

Basenji Shepherds can also participate in lure coursing, dog agility, and rally obedience for advanced training. 

Meanwhile, during playtime, these furry companions can be seen running around the yard or actively participating in the game of fetch. At least 60 minutes of daily exercise is required to keep them fit and happy. 

Divide this period into two shorter sessions. You can take them for walks, jogging, hikes, or runs. This also allows them to explore their outside environment.

How Much Does a German Shepherd Basenji Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

Cute Basenji German Shepherd mix puppy playing tennis ball
Image credit: sally_rescue_shepherd / Instagram

A German Shepherd Basenji mix can cost between $800 and $1,200. This varies depending on the bloodline, location, demand, and breeder’s experience. 

Aside from this one-time payment, there are other recurring expenses you should be prepared for. Puppies require a few essential items, such as a suitable dog bed, treats, water and food bowls, a dog collar, and more. 

The table below shows a list of the initial expenses associated with owning a Basenji German Shepherd mix:

Type of ExpenseCost 
Food and Treats$80 – $120
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $35
Bed$40 – $200
Crate$50 – $500
Leashes and Collars$15 – $50
Toys$30 – $50
Grooming Essentials$40 – $180
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots$75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Dog License$10 – $20
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$605 – $2,445

Aside from these, you also have to allocate a certain amount for emergencies, such as surgeries or when your pooch gets sick. 

For items such as dog beds and bowls, it’s recommended that you buy quality ones so they last a long time.

Places to Find Basenji German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

As the Basenji German Shepherd mix gradually takes the spotlight, more and more dog lovers are showing interest in owning one.

However, there are yet to be breeders who are solely developing the Basenji German Shepherd.

That said, here are some reputable sources where you may find a Basenji Shepherd for sale:

  • Lancaster Puppies – Known to be one of the most reputable online puppy advertising websites, Lancaster Puppies lays out all available mixed breeds, including Basenji and German Shepherd mixes. Most of the pooches are based in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, so it’s advantageous if you live in or around these states. 
  • Greenfield Puppies – Greenfield Puppies ensures that their healthy pups end up in loving families. They promote puppies bred by ethical breeders and ensure that the breeding practices keep up with their set standards in raising puppies. This is the go-to site to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth. 
  • Keystone Puppies – Keystone Puppies is another online advertising platform for legitimate breeders. Every Basenji German Shepherd mix they post comes with a profile. Contact the breeder directly if you want to learn more about their dogs’ health, personality, and price. 

Feel free to check out the best German Shepherd breeders for more options, as well as our puppy buying guide for tips on buying a pup online.

Meanwhile, below is a list of the best rescues you need to consider visiting if you’re planning to adopt a Basenji Shepherd mix:

  • Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue (MAGSR) – MAGSR provides a sanctuary for all unwanted German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes. Since they’re always on the move to rescue dogs, there’s a strong chance that a Basenji Shepherd is waiting for you in this rescue center.
  • Forgotten Friends – Forgotten Friends is a mixed-breed rescue established in 1999. They’re a volunteer-based group that aims to improve the health of all dogs they rescue. There’s no discrimination against any dog that ends up under their care. You might come across your desired Basenji Shepherd if you check their available adoptable dogs. 
  • North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) – NSALA is the world’s largest no-kill rescue that offers pet adoption opportunities. As a large network, they house thousands of animals and send a significant number to warm, loving homes. Their daily hard work transforms the lives of many homeless, abused, and neglected dogs, some of which are potentially Basenji German Shepherd mixes. 

Make sure to scan through the best German Shepherd rescues on our website if you’re still looking for more options.

Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd Basenji Mix

The German Shepherd Basenji mix exudes the qualities of both their parents. As it is with other dogs, owning this mixed breed comes with its pros and cons. After all, no perfect puppy exists. 

To start, here are the pros of having a Basenji Shepherd:

  • Distinct appearance: As a hybrid dog, the Basenji Shepherd exhibits a healthy balance of its parent’s features. More often than not, they’ll look more like a German Shepherd, a Basenji, or somewhere in between. It takes a good eye to identify them among other mixes. Still, you’ll appreciate their physical attributes better once you know where to look. 
  • Easy to train: Basenji German Shepherd mixes are naturally intelligent. As long as they’re introduced to basic training at a young age, these dogs can perform tasks or easily obey commands as adults. 
  • Highly energetic: Families that constantly love outdoor activities are a good match for this canine. This mixed-breed dog loves to waddle around or take part in vigorous activities. Their hunting and herding backgrounds have already dictated that their ideal lifestyle should keep them busy.

Meanwhile, here are the cons of having a Basenji Shepherd:

  • Tends to be stubborn: Smart dogs can also be hard-headed. It takes firm handling to get them to respect and obey you. Patience is also important before they become well-mannered dogs. 
  • Can be food-motivated: This often occurs when they realize that they are rewarded with tasty treats for their good behavior. You must prevent them from strongly associating their good actions with food. You can use other forms of rewards such as pets and praises.
  • Not for laid-back owners: With their energy level, any owner that prefers to sit on the couch for hours won’t be the ideal human companion for this dog. They need to get their vigor drained each day as this also helps prevent the onset of destructive behavior.

Hopefully, this list made it easier for you to know whether or not this mixed breed suits you. Before rushing out to get a Basenji Shepherd mix, make sure to deliberately think it through using the list of pros and cons above.

Frequently Asked Questions

German Shepherd Basenji mix enjoying the beach
Image credit: sally_rescue_shepherd / Instagram

Do Basenji German Shepherd Mixes Shed?

Basenji German Shepherd mixes shed, but the amount varies according to coat type and length. If they have a shorter coat, the fur they shed is too fine to be noticed.

However, if they have that of their German Shepherd parent, they’re likely to shed more continuously. 

Are Basenji German Shepherd Mixes Hypoallergenic?

As a mixed-breed dog, it’s uncertain whether they’re hypoallergenic. Technically though, there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. 

Their Basenji parent, however, is deemed hypoallergenic. On the other hand, it’s the opposite for the German Shepherd parent. 

Hence, depending on which parent’s coat they inherit, Basenji Shepherds may or may not produce a lot of dander.

Do Basenji German Shepherd Mixes Bark a Lot?

The Basenji German Shepherd mix can either yodel like a Basenji or bark like a German Shepherd. It depends on whether they inherit the Basenji’s short larynx or not. 

However, in terms of barking habits, these dogs may bark a lot if they don’t get enough mental stimulation.

Final Thoughts: Is a German Shepherd Basenji Mix the Right Dog for You?

If you’re a first-time dog owner looking for a low-maintenance yet playful dog, the German Shepherd Basenji mix could be the right dog for you. These dogs are up for sharing exciting experiences wherever and whenever. 

However, these dogs require a firm handler during training. They’re intelligent for a reason, so ensure they get the mental exercise they need. 

On top of that, all their basic needs, such as food, grooming, and exercise, must be met to keep them satisfied and at their best.

So, have you decided to bring home this mixed-breed dog? Let us know your thoughts about the Basenji German Shepherd mix by leaving a comment below!