Basenji Jack Russell Mix Guide! (2024)


Mixed dogs are growing in popularity across the United States, and there’s a good reason for that. Their genetics mean they are often spared the health problems that inbreeding may cause.

Their temperaments often combine the best aspects of their parents’ breeds too.  

An emerging mix whose popularity is increasing is the combination of the Basenji and the Jack Russell. Both are great dogs in their own right that combine their best traits in this growing mixed breed. 

Like any breed, challenges can emerge in the Basenji Jack Russell mix.

So, if you are asking yourself if this hound-terrier mix is the right dog for you or your family, or if you’re considering a Basenji or Jack Russell on their own, you will find your answers here. 

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Basenji Jack Russell Mix Traits


To understand the health and temperament of the Basenji Jack Russell mix, you’ll want to examine its inherited traits. Learn about how those translate into this mixed breed below. 

History and Traits of Basenji


The Basenji, also known as the African Barkless Dog, is originally a sighthound and one of the oldest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

These intelligent, compact, and athletic hounds are enjoying growing popularity for many reasons. 

Though from the Congo River Valley, Ancient Egyptians and Medieval African kingdoms fostered and developed this dog for several purposes. 

Their lean build made them perfect for hunting small game and checking the growth of rodent populations, while their medium size made them a great companion dog for aristocrats.

They typically reach a maximum height of 16-17 inches and a healthy weight of 22 pounds– a size sometimes replicated in the Jack Russell Basenji mix. 

Their sleek fur, typically brown and white, also means they are hypoallergenic and shed rarely.

Another plus to the Basenji is their voices: they cannot bark and instead make a sound closer to a yodel, which is less jarring than barking and can be adorable.

They are typically athletic, healthy dogs, a trait often on display in the Jack Russell Basenji mix. The Jack Russell Basenji mix also rarely suffers from the sole disease that typically plagues Basenjis: Fanconi Syndrome. 

Challenges of Basenji

The Basenji presents challenges that the Basenji Jack Russell mix often inherits. As intelligent dogs bred to hunt, they can be extremely stubborn and need a composed, firm owner.

Without such a balance to the Basenji’s temperament, this dog will believe its owner is unfit to lead it. Their athleticism also translates to a high need for exercise and good training, without which they will become bored and destructive. 

As independent dogs needing a firm hand, Basenjis often do not get along well with toddlers or small children, though they are an excellent family dog for families with teenage children. 

History and Traits of Jack Russell


Much like the Basenji, Jack Russell terriers were bred for small game hunting, although in a completely different part of the world: England.

Jack Russell terriers, also known as Parson Russell terriers, were bred to be low-to-the-ground, fast, and athletic – the perfect traits for fox hunting and ones they share with their relative, the Fox terrier. 

These terriers make up for their small stature with personality, affection, and intellect. Their curiosity often outsizes their height and weight, which reaches its maximum at around 13-14 inches and 13-17 pounds. 

Jack Russells live to please their families and pick up patterns quickly due to their instincts and high intelligence, which makes them a delight to train.

Their drive to please their owner also makes them great companions, as does their limited shedding due to their wiry coats. 

The dogs often fit in well in any family with their friendly disposition, and their loyalty can make them a good watchdog.

Jack Russells are the picture of canine health, though some suffer from patella problems and even deafness later in life. Inadequate information exists to determine the level of heredity for these traits in the Basenji Jack Russell terrier mix. 

Challenges of Jack Russell

The challenges of owning a Jack Russell are similar to those of owning a Basenji. Thus, these difficulties reflect many challenges you will encounter with a Basenji Jack Russell terrier mix. 

Jack Russells are among the highest energy dog breeds and consequently need regular exercise.

Their hunting instincts can also interfere with their attention span, make them even more energetic, and make them less prone to friendliness with other dogs.

This energy begets a need for consistent mental stimulation, which will prevent boredom and destruction. 

Basenji Jack Russell Information


Now, let’s explore the characteristics of the Basenji Jack Russel mix in detail.

Basenji Jack Russell Mix Life Span

The breed is a mix of two different dogs with long lifespans. You can expect a Basenji Jack Russell to live for up to 13 years. 

Basenji Jack Russell Mix Appearance

The combination of the Jack Russell and Basenji creates a small or medium-sized dog, but that is one of the few uniform appearances of this hybrid.

Each mix inherits a unique combo from their parents, possibly having the stubbier legs of the Jack Russell or the longer, more athletic legs of the Basenji. 

Due to both dogs’ short coats, their fur is also close to the skin and tends to require less maintenance.

Their shorter coats only need brushing once per week to remove dead hairs. It will keep them happy and healthy and save you the need to clean up shedding in the future. 

Their small size makes them an excellent, adaptable dog for several living environments, including apartments. 

Basenji Jack Russell Mix Personality

The Basenji Jack Russell mix gets a nice balance of intelligence, independence, and sociability from its parents.

The intelligence from both the hound and terrier side and balance of self-will with a willingness to please makes the Jack Russell Basenji mix enjoyable to train. 

They occasionally act stubbornly due to the Basenji’s high self-will but make great companions and pick up commands quickly. 

They also take an affectionate disposition from their terrier side, and as a result, they make lovely lap dogs.

Basenji Jack Russell Mix Temperament

With proper training and fostering, the Basenji Jack Russell terrier mix has the ideal temperament for a companion dog.

Socialization with other dogs and younger children at a young age virtually guarantees this mix will be an entertaining, sweet friend for life. 

They love to cuddle and play and are always happy to meet new people. They are good with children and are very watchful of their family once they have built a bond. 

That watchfulness can come out at some inopportune times, though, because they do not get along very well with other pets. 

Basenji Jack Russell Mix Challenges


While the pros of a Jack Russell terrier Basenji mix may outweigh their cons, the challenges of raising this hybrid designer dog mean this breed is not for some owners. 

These challenges are not uniform or apply to every Basenji Jack Russell, but you should prepare for them if you think this breed is for you. 

Potential for Barking

Basenjis are typically quiet dogs. Jack Russells, however, can be less subdued, meaning the mix between the two may result in a very vocal dog.

You may luck out and have a dog that inherits more of the Basenji’s tendencies, but the Russell side makes significant barking possible. 


As mentioned before, this mix handles people wonderfully. But its Jack Russell terrier side tends to dominate its Basenji side around other animals.

Where Basenjis are relatively indifferent, Jack Russell terriers are territorial. Socialization as a puppy may limit this problem, but do not expect this mix to be overly friendly with other dogs. 

Energy and Excercise

While happy to cuddle, the Jack Russell and Basenji mix is only willing to do so after exercising and given tasks.

They need at least one hour of exertion a day, if not more. If they do not get their needed exercise, it can result in boredom and anxiety, leading these dogs to begin chewing and destroying things. 

Additionally, they cannot handle long periods alone without stimuli. Toys should keep them occupied if no one can be home.

If they do not receive such entertainment, their boredom will transform into separation anxiety, which will also translate into destruction and difficulty for you as the owner. 


While the Basenji Jack Russell terrier mix may be simpler to train than the Basenji on its own, its intelligence still means the dog can be stubborn. The owner must assert authority when training this mix to avoid future problems. 

Conclusion For “Basenji Jack Russell Mix Guide”


If you are ready for the challenges of a Basenji Jack Russell, then you are more than prepared for the positive aspects of this dog. With proper training, a Jack Russell Basenji mix is one of the best mixed-breed dogs you could choose. 

This hybrid brings the best of two very different types of dogs into one package, giving you an affectionate, loving, and small companion who is relatively low maintenance and entertaining. 

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