Whippet Basenji Mix: Comprehensive Guide

The whippet basenji mix is an affectionate and highly agile dog born from Whippet and Basenji parents. This Whippet mix tends to have a Basenji-like coat that sheds lightly, and most of them have rose-shaped ears common in the Whippet breed.

This canine has a life expectancy of around 12-15 years, and like most crossbreeds, it is less likely to suffer from inherited diseases than purebred Whippets or Basenjis. The Whippet Basenji hybrid is intelligent and is always willing to please its owners.

If you are planning to own a Whippenji, here is a comprehensive guide on this Whippet mix.

By reading this guide, you’ll get unmatched accurate information on the Whippet Basenji crossbreed, its history, temperament, appearance, health, and caring needs.

What Is A Whippet Basenji Mix?

The Whippet Basenji crossbreed, commonly known as Whippenji, is a crossbreed between the Whippet and the short elegant Basenji dog breed.

The Whippet Basenji mix is a loving and relatively quiet dog with a hound temperament, meaning it is an intelligent, curious, and an independent dog.

Also, this mix is quite agile and athletic since it inherits the athletic abilities of the Whippet and Basenji parent breeds.

This Whippet mix is an excellent family pet due to its affectionate nature, but it cannot serve as a guard dog because it rarely barks, a trait that is also common in both parents.

The History Of The Whippet Basenji Mix

Like other designer dogs, it is tough to know precisely when the breeding processes for this Whippet mix began.

However, many individuals believe that breeders began crossbreeding Whippets and Basenjis during the late 1980s and early 1990s during the designer dog craze.

For this reason, this article will look at the history of the two-parent dogs so that you can better understand the rich history associated with this Whippet mix.

If you wish to own a Whippenji, kindly consider buying one from a reputable and trusted breeder.

History Of The Whippet

The Whippet traces its origins several hundred years back, and Whippet-like dogs widely appear in sculptures and other artworks dating back to the Middle Ages.

However, the purebred Whippets you know today were recognised as a dog breed in the mid-1800s, and they appeared in their first dog show in 1884 in the US.

The Whippet initially served as a hunting companion as it could quickly identify and chase down hares and other small game by relying on its agility and speed rather than scent.

In the 19th century, the Whippet started participating in rabbit coursing and flat-out races where it gained its renowned nickname; the poor man’s greyhound.

Later on, after governments abolished hare coursing, the Whippet continued racing in rag races by chasing a fluttering hare-skin. As the Whippet continued to compete, it gained popularity in England, Europe, and America.

History Of The Basenji

Many people consider the Basenji among the oldest dog breeds on the planet. Cave paintings dating back to 3000BC depict the Basenji as companions of ancient Egyptians, and their characteristic curled tails and prick ears appear clearly in these depictions.

In 1868, Dr. Schweinfurth, a German ethnologist, wrote about the Basenji as a domesticated animal that African hunters owned. He found the Basenjis in the Congo, where they served as hunting dogs where they hunted independently and drove prey into nets.

The Basenji migrated to Europe in the 1880s; however, most of the early imported Basenji died due to distemper infections and lack of vaccinations.

Nonetheless, in 1936 Olivia Burns began breeding this dog breed, and a year later, the Basenji started becoming a popular breed that people called the African Bush Terrier.

The US imported its first Basenjis in 1937 from England, where breeders refined and developed it to the dog you see today.

The AKC recognised it in 1943, and nowadays, the Basenji is a working dog that is affectionate and loyal to its family.

The Whippet Basenji Mixes Temperament

Since this Whippet mix inherits traits from both the Whippet and Basenji parents, it portrays a mixture of the parent’s temperaments.

The whippet basenji mix typically has a graceful, friendly, and quiet disposition. The Whippenji has a curious nature and can have a high prey drive inherited from both parents.

Additionally, the Whippenji is highly intelligent, independent and sometimes it can be a bit manipulative. Hence, you’ll need to stay one step ahead of the Whippenji and provide consistent leadership so that your canine remains loyal and obedient.

Whippenji puppies are rather playful, they love exploring their environments, and love socialising with people and other pets. This trait makes them excellent family pets, especially if you have young kids.

Early socialisation is critical for your whippet basenji mix; otherwise, you’ll face behavioural disorders later, such as wariness towards strangers and shyness.

The whippet Basenji hybrid will hardly bark, but this doesn’t mean it will be completely silent. You should expect to hear some growls, whines, and yodels every once in a while.

The Whippenji is an alert canine that relies on its sight and hearing and can act as a watchdog. However, it cannot serve as a guard dog.

The Whippet Basenji Mixes Appearance

The Whippet is a medium-sized hound measuring approximately 19-23 inches at the shoulder level, whereas the basenji stands at 15-17. When you cross breed these two hounds, you’ll get a dog that measures approximately 17-21 inches at the shoulder.

When it comes to weight, the whippet basenji mix weighs 22-40 pounds, and this low weight helps to boosts its agility.

The Whippenji typically has a brown coat with a white colour that extends from the prosternum to the belly and forearms. Additionally, it may have white markings on the snout and forehead.

The whippet basenji hybrid can also have a brown coat with black markings throughout the body and a black mask. This hound has a narrow snout similar to that of a whippet but slightly wider.

The Whippenji can have prick ears or rose-shaped ears depending on which parental gene the puppy inherits.

This dog has a furry tail that is longer than a Basenjis tail, and it curves upwards. However, this tail only bends slightly and not to the extent observed in purebred Basenjis.

The Whippet Basenji Mixes Health

As mentioned earlier, hybrid canines are less likely to suffer from inheritable and other diseases. This characteristic is due to the increased gene diversity created by crossbreeding two different dog breeds.

However, hybrid dogs can also suffer from ailments that their parents are predisposed to, and therefore you should know such conditions before owing a designer dog.

The whippet basenji mix is typically a healthy dog that can live up to 15 years and is only affected by a few ailments that affect its parents. On top of joint dysplasia, a Whippenji can also suffer from:

Fanconi Syndrome

Fanconi syndrome is a kidney ailment that affects Basenjis and can also affect the whippet basenji hybrid.

It prevents the kidneys from adequately reabsorbing nutrients, and it leads to muscle wearing and acidosis. Nonetheless, early and proper treatment can ensure your hound lives a long healthy life.

Eye Problems

Whippets tend to develop cataracts as they age, and this issue can also affect the Whippenji, ultimately leading to blindness. This ailment can affect your hound’s quality of life and needs surgery to correct.


Both whippets and Basenjis are susceptible to viral and bacterial infections such as distemper and Staphylococcal Infections, meaning their mix is also vulnerable.

You can avoid such canine diseases by properly vaccinating your Whippet Basenji mix.

Caring For The Whippet Basenji Mix

The whippet basenji mix requires proper grooming, exercise, training, and feeding.

Here is how you should care for this whippet mix’s needs:


The Whippenji tends to shed lightly, so having a vacuum cleaner can help with removing unwanted hair.

Ideally, it would be best if you groomed your whippet basenji hybrid every 4-8 weeks by cleaning its ears, checking its coat and skin health, as well as clipping its nails.

Additionally, you need to bathe your hound with a moisturising shampoo and water every 4-6 weeks.


The Whippet Basenji hybrid is highly energetic, so you’ll need to provide adequate physical and mental stimulation.

Ensure you go for lengthy dog walks for at least 30 minutes daily with your Whippenji and consider stopping from time to time so that the hound can explore around and satisfy its curiosity.


Like other dogs, a Whippenji needs proper training such as housebreaking, crate training, and obedience training.

During training, you can use reward-based techniques as this intelligent canine responds more positively to such learning. Training should ideally begin at the puppy stage.


Whippet basenji hybrid needs a proper diet so that it can stay healthy and active. You should consider buying dry and raw dog foods as they are best for this whippet mix.

You can feed your hound 2-4 times a day depending on its age; younger dogs typically need more nutrition.

Final Thoughts

The whippet basenji mix is a loving and intelligent dog. It is a highly energetic and agile hound, and it is an excellent family pet. The Whippenji doesn’t have many health issues and complex needs.

If you want an affectionate and independent companion, this is an ideal dog for you.

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