Basenji vs Rat Terrier What’s The Difference

The majority of people keep dogs in their houses merely to have a companion all of the time. Many of them would take any animal as a pet, including dogs, cats, birds, snakes, and other animals. 

Dogs are the most popular and widely accepted pets. The main qualities of these creatures are that they are loyal and obedient to their owners and human family members. Canines are available in a wide range of breeds all around the world. Two of them are the Basenji and the Rat Terrier. 

Because no two dogs are alike, we must learn everything there is to know about these two breeds. Others are distinguished by their physical appearance and size, while others are recognized by their personality and behavior. 

The Basenji is one of the oldest dogs in the world, originally from Africa. It is characterized by being an elegant and athletic canine of small size. The dogs of this breed are known to be curious, independent, active, playful, mischievous, and affectionate, especially with their owners and members of their human families.

However, they are a little more reserved with children, strangers, and other animals. In fact, they may not be the best option for families with young children. 

The Rat Terrier is a rare dog breed that originated in the United States. It was used by farmers as a hunting canine to get rid of rats and other pests on their fields. It’s an intelligent dog that has been employed for pest control as well as household use by families.

The color of its fur varies according to the animal, and it might be tricolor or bicolor. They are intelligent and tenacious dogs who will figure out how to obtain what they want when they want it. 

Basenji vs Rat Terrier Comparison Table 

 Basenji Rat Terrier 
Origin Country Democratic Republic of the Congo United States 
Size Small Small 
Height 38 cm – 43 cm 33 cm – 46 cm 
Weight 9 kg – 12 kg 4.5 kg – 11.5 kg 
Lifespan 10 – 14 years 15 – 18 years 
Energy Level High High 
Coat Types Single Coat Single Coat 
Coat Texture Fine and Short Straight 
Coat Color White, Brindle, Red, Black, Tan Black and White; Black, Tan and White; Blue, White and Tan; Red, White and Sable, etc. 
Hypoallergenic Yes No 
Grooming Minimal Minimal 
Temperament Affectionate, Alert, Intelligent,  Curious, Playful, Energetic Affectionate, Loving, Lively, Inquisitive, Alert 
Shedding Level Low Medium 
Health Problems Kidney or Bowel Problems, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Obesity Eye Problems, Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Heart Problems, Legg-perthes Disease 

Basenji History 

Originating in Africa, Europeans were the first to describe the breed of dog that gave birth to the Basenji in the Congo in 1895. The locals prized these puppies for their intelligence, fearlessness, agility, and silence, and Europeans identified them as a distinct breed and named them “Basenji.” 

Several attempts were made to bring the breed to England, but the initial imports died of illness. Lady Helen Nutting, for example, purchased six Basenjis from Sudan in 1923, but all six died in quarantine due to distemper vaccines.

Henry Trefflich, an animal importer, was the first to successfully develop foundation stock in England and then the United States in the 1930s. 

Almost all Basenjis in the Western world are thought to be descendants of these few early arrivals. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the breed in 1943. In 1990, the AKC breed register was reopened to 14 new imports at the request of the Basenji Club of America. 

The breed registry was reopened to selected imported canines from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2013. In 2010, the United States led an expedition to collect breeding stock in the Basankusu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Basenjis are also registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC). 

Rat Terrier History

Originally, the Rat Terrier was intended to collect animals and hunt vermin and pests on farms. The Fox Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Old English White Terrier, and Bull Terrier were used to create it. 

Rat Terrier breeders tried to promote certain skills throughout the 1910s and 1920s, resulting in numerous new lines in this species.

Rat Terriers were crossed with Italian Greyhounds and Whippets in the Midwest to create fast dogs that may help decrease jackrabbit numbers. They were bred with Beagles in Central and Southwest America to increase their hunting ability and generate more pack-oriented canines. 

Toy Fox Terriers that were too big for their breeding plans were crossed with Rat Terriers in the 1920s, resulting in miniature Rat Terriers. 

The Rat Terrier was once popular on American fields, but as farmers began to employ poison to manage pests and rodents in the 1940s and 1950s, populations began to drop. A tiny number of breeders kept the breed alive until the 1970s when it regained popularity. 

The Decker Rat Terrier and the Hairless Rat Terrier are two more varieties of Rat Terriers that were produced around the same time. The Decker Rat Terrier is a slightly bigger canine that specializes in hunting and can retrieve from water, whereas the Hairless Rat Terrier is a tiny dog that is hairless, as the name suggests. 

Basenji Physical Characteristics 

The Basenji is a small-sized dog that ranges in size from 41 to 43 cm for males and 38 to 41 cm for females. Males weigh about 10 and 12 kilograms, while females weigh between 9 and 11 kilograms.  

Basenjis have an athletic and elegant build. It has a small-sized head that gets smaller as it gets closer to the nostril. This dog has a short, level back and a large chest.

It has a short, dense, fine, and shiny coat that can be black, white, red and white, black and red, brindle, or multicolored (black, white, and red). The almond-shaped eyes of this canine are dark in color and almond-shaped. It has short, pointy ears that are erect. 

Rat Terrier Physical Characteristics 

In the case of a Rat Terrier, it is a small-sized canine that can measure between 33 cm and 46 cm. The average weight of this dog breed varies between 4.5 kg and 11.5 kg. 

The body of a Rat Terrier is small and slender with a short, smooth coat that can be brown, black, chocolate, gray, or apricot in color. Notably, its coat can come in three or two colors.

The head of this canine is small and refined, its snout is thin and not so long, its ears are tilted upward, its eyes are small and black or brown in color, and its nose is black. In addition, its tail curls towards its back. 

Basenji Personality and Behavior 

The Basenji is dedicated and compassionate to its owners or human family members, but it has a difficult time getting along with strangers. It is also not a dog that should be kept in a household with small children and pets.

That is because this breed was bred to hunt, and its hunting instinct could show up at any time. If you start socialization training with your puppy at a young age, it will be able to get along with children and other animals. 

It should be noted that a Basenji can become destructive if left alone for an extended period. The same is true if you do not give them enough exercise daily, since they will rapidly become bored. It’s essential to keep in mind that these dogs are playful, mischievous, and stubborn, so you’ll need to educate them to prevent these situations appropriately. 

Basenjis are an excellent choice for new dog owners. These canines can live contentedly in houses, apartments, fields, or other areas with their owners. 

The Basenji is one of the few dog breeds that does not bark. However, this does not imply that it is a dumb dog. It also has the ability to make sounds that aren’t generally loud. It’s a dog that’s usually calm and quiet, making it perfect for individuals or families living in apartments. 

Rat Terrier Personality and Behavior 

Rat terriers are generally non-aggressive canines who enjoy resting on the couch as well as scraping and digging in the yard. These animals are normally happy, peaceful, and attentive to changes in their surroundings, their family’s moods, and surprising noises and individuals. 

For a canine of this species to be more sociable, it should be exposed to a wide variety of locations and individuals from the time it is a puppy, especially during the first three months of life, as it is not very confident with outsiders.

They will be okay only with their human family members if they are not properly socialized, but they may become distant and distrustful of strangers and other animals. 

Rat terriers make excellent family pets because they crave attention and praise, to the point that they will accompany you around the apartment or house as you indulge and praise them. 

Because these canines have a lot of energy, it is recommended that you take them out for at least 40 minutes of exercise each day; otherwise, the rat terrier may become destructive as a method to release all of its pent-up energy. 

Basenji vs Rat Terrier Life Expectancy 

The Basenji has a life expectancy that can vary between 10 and 14 years. In the case of a Rat Terrier, it can live between 15 and 18 years. It should be noted that the time that either of these two canines can live will depend on food, care, and quality of life in general.