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Is A Basenji Border Collie Mix The Right Dog For You?

If you’re looking for a smart, energetic breed that can keep up with anything, a basenji/border collie mix may be the right dog for you. While this blend of two working breeds is uncommon, they are showing up with more regularity as basenjis become more popular around the world.

Most people are familiar with border collies, a popular herding dog breed that gets its name from where it originated along the border between Scotland and England.

Basenjis are less well-known, but they’re growing in popularity due to their stunning good looks and great working ability. However, in some ways this African hunting dog couldn’t be more different than a typical border collie.

Despite their differences, these two breeds also have many similarities that are likely to come across in basenji/border collie mix puppies. While there’s never a guarantee of what traits will come out in mixed-breed dogs, there are some things owners can expect.

What Is A Basenji Border Collie Mix Like As A Pet?

Basenjis and border collies are both high-energy breeds, so one of the biggest things owners of basenji/border collie mixes need to be prepared for is a lot of exercise. These dogs tend to be highly adaptable to a variety of living situations, but they definitely need an active owner.

Since they’re both working breeds, these dogs tend to be healthy and low maintenance when it comes to grooming and feeding.

Some puppies may inherit the longer border collie coat, which requires a bit more brushing than the short basenji coat. Short-coated dogs may need a sweater to stay warm in cold climates.

In general, these dogs are affectionate, intelligent and playful. They make great pets for active individuals, busy families and people interested in activities like agility or trick training.

They’re also great hiking and running companions, although it’s important to let them grow and develop fully before starting on a strenuous exercise routine.

What Should You Feed A Basenji Border Collie Mix?

Basenji/border collie mixes are hardy, medium-sized dogs, so it’s important to refrain from overfeeding them. They do well on a variety of foods, but can become overweight easily if given too much.

Whatever diet you choose, start by using a veterinarian’s or manufacturer’s recommendations based on weight and adjust the amount as needed to keep your dog in good condition.

One of the most popular ways to keep them healthy is to feed a high-quality kibble. Good-quality foods are designed to taste good to dogs while meeting all their nutritional needs.

There are a variety of options on the market, but one reliable and wildly available one is Taste of the Wild.

Many owners are also switching to non-kibble diets, which these dogs also tend to do well on. Raw and custom-cooked diets are a great choice, but it’s important to make sure that the meals are nutritionally balanced.

If you want to go this route, consider consulting with an expert on custom dog food to make sure you’re meeting your dog’s nutritional needs.

Is It Easy To Train A Basenji Border Collie Mix?

Basenji/border collie mixes are smart and self-motivated, which can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to training.

These dogs tend to learn quickly and easily, but that means they can pick up bad habits as well. If they take after their border collie side they will tend to be biddable and eager to please, but basenjis can be stubborn and independent.

One big problem owners run into with these dogs is excessive chewing or other problem behaviors in the home.

These often stem from boredom, so providing plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment can help prevent those problems. They tend to be easy to house train and typically learn the rules of the house quickly.

Due to their smart and sensitive natures, basenji/border collie mixes do best with positive reinforcement and reward-based training.

They are highly trainable in general, but many owners benefit from a dog training course to learn the best ways to manage them and keep from accidentally teaching bad habits. This is especially true for new dog owners or people who have never owned such a high-energy, intelligent breed before.

Basenji Border Collie Mix Temperament!

One of the defining features of the basenji/border collie mix temperament is their intelligence. These dogs need some kind of job and tend to do well with sports, such as agility, nosework or lure coursing.

When they get enough exercise and stimulation, they tend to be calm and happy companion dogs who enjoy relaxing with their owners. However, if they are chronically bored, they may become anxious or destructive.

Basenji/border collie mixes tend to be friendly towards people and other dogs, although dogs that take after their basenji side may be somewhat aloof towards strangers while still being affectionate towards their owners.

Some can also be a little aggressive towards towards strangers or unfamiliar dogs if they’re not socialized well from a young age, since both basenjis and border collies also traditionally served a protective function.

However, well-socialized basenji/border collie mixes are generally friendly and outgoing.

These dogs tend not to bark much, which makes them a good choice for apartment or condo living. However, basenjis are known for their odd vocalizations, which some basenji/border collie mixes do as well.

Just because your dog doesn’t bark doesn’t mean he or she will be quiet, so be prepared for some noise.

Basenji Border Collie Mix Exercise Requirements!

These dogs are high-energy dogs, but they also tend to have what dog trainers refer to as “a good off-switch.” This means that if they get sufficient exercise, they shouldn’t need to run all day or constantly be active. However, they do need significant exercise each day.

Ideally, a basenji/border collie mix should get one to two hours of fairly intense exercise each day. This doesn’t necessarily require them to be running the whole time, but it should be something that is engaging mentally while tiring them out physically.

Long walks or hikes where they’re allowed to sniff as well as sports, running, or playing with other dogs are all good options.

For puppies and young dogs, it’s important to build up gradually. Exercising a growing dog too much can cause bone and joint problems in the future. For developing dogs, puzzle games or trick training are a great substitute for long walks or runs.

Is A Basenji Border Collie Mix A Good Family Dog?

Whether a basenji/border collie mix is a good family dog or not depends on the family. In general, these dogs need a lot of attention and activity, so they can be a great fit for an active family that likes to bring the dog along while they’re out and about.

However, families that are busy with work and activities that aren’t dog-friendly may struggle to keep up with them.

Basenji/border collie mixes are usually good with children, although those border collie herding instincts may come out and lead to them herding the children a bit. Most of them can easily learn not to herd people with a little time and patience, however.

These dogs are generally highly affectionate towards their owners, even if they can be aloof towards strangers.

Sometimes this can veer into being overprotective, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for that when you first get a new basenji/border collie mix. Overall, they make excellent family companions.


If you’re looking for an active, affectionate companion who can keep up with your active lifestyle, a basenji/border collie mix may be the perfect dog for you. These dogs have it all, with a good temperament, striking good looks and enough intelligence to keep you on your toes. While they may be a little too clever and energetic for some people, they’re great for people who want a fun, sporty dog that provides a bit of a challenge.