Do Basenjis Like Water?

By Abigail Bodeley on Jan 4, 2024 Reviewed by Mick Ford

Do Basenjis like water?

Do Basenjis Like Water

Table of Contents

Can Basenjis swim?

Although some sources go as far as saying that they can’t swim entirely, which is a bit of a stretch, most Basenjis don’t like to swim. All dogs naturally know how to to swim, but expect high reluctance to swimming with this breed. Basenjis will try their best to avoid water.

Do Basenjis like rain?


A walk in the rain will be frowned upon but after a walk in the rain, Basenjis seem to will particularly enjoy drying each other off, sometimes using their front paws!

Do Basenjis shed a lot?

Basenjis are low shedding dogs. They have a have a very pliant skin, covered in a coat which requires minimal maintenance as it is short, sleek and close with smooth dense hair.

However, one must not be fooled into thinking that Basenjis do not shed their coats.

Some shedding is inevitable, although this breeds tends to keep itself as clean as it possibly can using it’s own personal grooming methods. That means they need little grooming and are virtually free from doggy odors. Even though a little grooming is appropriate some owners prefer not to do any at all.

Do Basenjis need baths?

In general, dogs need to be bathed only a few times a year, possibly more if your dog often gets into something messy or develops doggy odors.

The Basenji is a particularly clean breed, one that grooms itself thoroughly in the manner of a cat. In fact, one of many reasons a Basenji is said to be like a cat trapped in a dog’s body is the obsessive self-grooming.

Bathing too frequently can have negative effects on the skin and coat, removing natural oils and causing dryness.

Bathing is only needed ocassionally and remember Basenjis have sensitive skin so mild shampoos and conditioners are most suitable. If a product causes their skin to become raw, stop using it.

How do you clean a Basenji?

If you accustom your Basenji to baths while he is young, baths will be much easier for everyone involved. Wrestling a dog into the tub or chasing a freshly shampooed dog is no fun.

Like most dogs, Basenjis don’t naturally enjoy baths.

Here are a few things you can do to make your Basenji co-operate during bath time:

#1 — Have everything you’ll need for the bath close at hand

Before starting to bath your Basenji, have all the items you’ll need close at hand.

For this, you’ll first need to decide where you want to bath your dog. Ideally, you want a tub or basin with a non-slip surface. Puppies can even be bathed in a sink.

At the very least, you will need a hose or shower spray to wet the coat thoroughly, a shampoo formulated for dogs some absorbent towels. Human shampoos are too dry for dogs’ coats and will dry them out.

#2 — In warm weather, use a portable bath in the yard

IN warm weather, using a portable pool in the yard is a good idea to calm your Basenji down. Although you need to watch out so they don’t head for the nearest dirt pile immediately after the bath!

#3 — Make sure he is at ease and the water temperature is comfortable

Before wetting the dog, give them a brush-through to remove any dead hair, dirt and mats. Then make sure the water is at a comfortable temperature.

Begin wetting the coat all the way down to the skin.

#4 — Keep the shampoo away from the dogs face and eyes

Massage the shampoo keeping it away from their face and eyes. Then rinse him thoroughly, again avoiding their eyes and ears, as you don’t to get water into the ear canals.

A thorough rising is important as shampoo residue is drying and itchy to the dog.

After rinsing, wrap them in a towel to absorb the initial moisture. You can finish drying with a fresh dry towel and then keep them indoors until they are completely dry.

What if your Basenji refuses to cooperate?

Taking a bath is always a big ask especially for the water-hating Basenji, no matter how well behaved. While there is no substitute for a good warm bath, you can give your Basenji a “dry” bath using various ways.


First, pet shops have excellent products (both powder and spray form) designed to spot-clean your dog. These dry shampoos are convenient halfway solution for when a traditional bath is not entirely possible.

Pre-moistened wet wipes

Muddy feet, messy behinds and smelly coats can all be spot-cleaned by pre-moistened, deodorized, wet wipes. These will ordinarily save the day with grooming needs such wiping faces, ears, eyes and freshening those tails and behinds.