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Great Dane and Basenji Mix (Great Dasenji): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Great Dane and Basenji mix

Height: 22-25 inches
Weight: 60-85 pounds
Lifespan: 6-14 years
Colors: Black, white, blue, red, brown, fawn, brindle
Suitable for: Anyone who wants a low-maintenance dog
Temperament: Loving, affectionate, non-demanding, reserved, aloof, curious, low-maintenance, playful, intelligent

Great Danes and Basenjis are two very different breeds. You might even call them opposites. From appearances to personalities, these breeds differ drastically, though they make a desirable designer dog when combined, that shares many of the best traits that both breeds possess.

So, what do you get when you cross a Great Dane and a Basenji? A Great Basenji. These relatively new designer dogs are still rather unknown. They haven’t been around long enough to build up a big following, but with a loving temperament and low maintenance needs, these dogs are likely to grow in popularity very quickly.

Physically, these breeds are a world apart. Basenjis aren’t tiny, but they’re not large by any means. They top out at about 17 inches in height with a max weight of about 24 pounds. On the other hand, Great Danes are massive beasts that can weigh up to 200 pounds; that’s eight times heavier than a large Basenji! And with a max height of about 34 inches, Great Danes are also twice as tall.

Great Dasenjis tend to be medium-sized dogs standing about two feet tall and weighing 60-85 pounds, though the breed is too new for a developed standard.

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Great Dane & Basenji Mix Puppies


Because this designer breed is still so new, there are no set prices and very few breeders who are working specifically on this breed. Still, the breed is out there and there are some people creating these dogs, but finding a breeder can prove difficult and prices can range drastically from breeder to breeder. As such, you’ll need to be careful to avoid backyard breeders and anyone without a good reputation. Otherwise, you might end up with a puppy that has a long list of problems for you to deal with further down the line.

To figure out a fair price for Dasenji puppies, we have to take a look at the parents. Great Danes are very popular; ranked the 16th most popular breed in America, according to the AKC.  Basenjis are not nearly as popular as Great Danes, ranked 87th on the AKC’s most popular breeds list. That doesn’t mean they’re cheaper though. In fact, you’ll likely find cheaper Great Dane specimens than Basenjis. Unlike other breeds, Basenji females only go into heat once a year, so puppies are only born once a year as well, helping to boost the breed’s pricing.

Great Dasenjis can’t be used for show and they don’t enjoy the popularity of both parent breeds, but that doesn’t mean puppies will be cheap. Anyone breeding Great Dasenjis could be breeding Great Danes or Basenjis instead, so they’re still likely to base their pricing off of the parent breeds.

Because this breed is so new and relatively unknown, you’re unlikely to find a Great Dasenji available for adoption.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Great Dane & Basenji Mix

1. Both parent breeds are ancient.

Great Danes are known to be an ancient breed. Depictions of this noble breed have been found in ancient Egypt that are up to 3000 years old. They were later transported and traded all across the world, eventually landing in Germany where the breed developed. Still, their roots reach back to ancient times.

Basenjis are considered one of the oldest domesticated dog breeds on the planet. They weren’t successfully brought to the western world until the 1930s, but that’s far from where their history starts. These dogs were developed in Africa, where they were used to control rodent populations in villages and flush small games into the nets of hunters. They were highly valued by tribes that appreciated their hunting skills and ingenuity.

2. The parent breeds have opposite personalities.

One reason for crossing dog breeds is to combine their personalities, hopefully, taking the best traits from each breed. In the case of the Great Dasenji, both parent breeds have some desirable traits to pass on, though they’re very opposite breeds temperamentally.

Great Danes are known for being highly affectionate and even needy. They want your attention all the time and they want to accompany you everywhere. Moreover, they have a deep desire to please their people, which makes them easy to train when combined with their intelligence.

Basenjis are practically the opposite. They’re very intelligent, but they have no desire to please you. They’re actually extremely stubborn animals that likely won’t do what you ask, even though they know exactly what you want.

Great Danes are also generally low-key dogs that aren’t known for being hyper or overly-energetic. Again, Basenjis are the opposite. These dogs have very outgoing personalities with tons of excess energy. Basenjis need loads of exercise, while Great Danes have minimal exercise needs.

Luckily, combining these breeds also seems to combine their personalities, which results in a playful dog with plenty of energy without being overbearing. Of course, it’s always a gamble what you’ll get when you mix two breeds, so your Great Dasenji might turn out different than expected.

3. Their roots might be from Africa.

As mentioned, 3,000-year-old depictions of Great Danes have been found in Egypt, indicating that this breed was in Africa several millennia ago. The Basenji is also an African breed, originally found in the Congo, though they had already been domesticated for many generations by the time that westerners discovered the breed.

Still, we can look at these histories and see that it’s likely both of these breeds have African roots that they pass on to the Great Dasenji all these centuries later.

The parent breeds of the Great Dasenji
Image Credit: Left – BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock | Right – Verbitskaya Juliya, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Great Dane & Basenji Mix 🧠

There’s no doubt; the Great Dasenji is a highly intelligent breed. They’re also very independent, taking that trait from their Basenji parents. Still, this is tempered by their loving, affectionate side that they get from the Great Dane. Your Great Dasenji will want lots of attention and plenty of your time, though they’ll choose when they want it and when they don’t.

While your Great Dasenji can form strong, lasting bonds with everyone in the immediate family, they may never warm up to outsiders. They tend to be aloof and reserved with anyone they don’t know. It’s possible for them to get used to other people, but don’t count on it.

Great Dasenjis have plenty of energy and love to expend it by being playful. They’ll love to play any games you offer and might become restless or destructive if you don’t give them enough playtime. You’ll want to particularly look for activities that stimulate them mentally since they’re such intelligent dogs.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Great Dasenjis can make excellent family dogs. They’re loving and affectionate without being overly needy. They can also bond with all of the members of the immediate family, though they’re less likely to bond with anyone outside of members of the household.

Much smaller than Great Danes, Great Basenjis aren’t as much of a risk around children. However, they are high energy, which can be a positive and negative trait. Around small children, the Great Dasenji could be potentially dangerous when they’re being particularly hyper. But with bigger kids, these dogs are great family pets that can rival your children for energy and can become close companions with kids in the household.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

If you raise a Great Dasenji with other pets, they might be able to tolerate them. However, this breed has a known prey drive that’s pretty strong. Great Danes were originally bred to hunt boar; a rough and dangerous animal. Basenjis were also bred for hunting and have proven to be very successful at it.

All of that hunting history is still in the Great Basenji’s genes and it won’t go away easily. These dogs are likely to give chase to smaller animals, including cats, other dogs, rodents, and more. However, if they grow up with other animals, particularly other dogs of a similar or larger size, then they should do alright living in the same household.

Great Dane and Basenji
Image Credits: Left: Great Dane, Earl Wilkerson, Shutterstock, Right: Basenji, Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Great Dasenji:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Great Dasenjis don’t have any particular food and diet requirements to worry about. They’re pretty high-energy dogs though, so they’ll likely be eating more food than many breeds of the same size. They’ll do well on a high-quality dry dog food, and will generally eat 3-4 cups per day.

Because they’re susceptible to hip dysplasia, it might be beneficial to offer your dog some joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin as a part of their diet.

Exercise 🐕

Great Danes are big dogs that are known for their low-key personalities. They’re not high-energy and rarely need much exercise. But Basenjis are the opposite. These high-strung dogs need tons of exercise and mental stimulation. Without it, they often turn destructive.

Great Dasenjis fall in the middle. These dogs need plenty of exercise, though not nearly as much as Basenjis. Several long walks through the day will suffice, so long as your Great Dasenji is also given plenty of room to run around and play on their own.

You’ll also need to provide structured playtime for your Great Dasenji. Those walks aren’t quite enough mental stimulation to keep these intelligent dogs satisfied. But these dogs love all sorts of activities, so you can simply include your Great Basenji in whatever activities you prefer.

Great Dane & Basenji Mix (1)
Image Credit | Left: Great Dane (Pixabay); Right: Basenji (Pxhere)

Training 🦮

Most Great Dane mixes are known for being relatively easy to train. But that’s not the case with the Great Basenji. Basenjis are known for being very stubborn; a trait that’s common in Great Dasenjis. This means that even though they’re very smart and almost always understand what you’re asking, they’re just not likely to do it unless they want to.

Still, these are very intelligent animals that can be trained if your persistent and firm. Great Danes are generally easy to train and love to please, so if your Great Dasenji takes after the Great Dane side more, then they might actually be a pleasure to train. It all depends on what your Great Dasenji turns out like.

Grooming ✂️

Great Basenjis are quite low-maintenance dogs. They don’t need much care at all. These dogs only shed lightly and they don’t even require brushing. You can bathe your Great Basenji once a month to prevent them from stinking. Beyond this, all you need to do is brush their teeth regularly, keep their nails trimmed, and check their ears for excessive buildup.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Many pure breeds are susceptible to a wide range of health conditions. Unfortunately, both the Basenji and the Great Dane have a myriad of health concerns to look out for. Thankfully, the likelihood of these problems is reduced by crossing these breeds, though there are still several health problems you’ll need to keep an eye out for, including:

Minor Conditions
  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency
  • Myotonia
  • Persistent Pupillary Membranes
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Entropion
  • Cardiomyopathy
    Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Fanconi Syndrome
  • Hip Dysplasia

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Male vs Female

Male Great Dane and Basenji Mix dogs tend to be taller and heavier than females; however, there is no consensus that there’s any difference between the genders.

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Final Thoughts

When you cross a Great Dane and a Basenji, you truly get the best of both worlds. Great Basenjis are highly intelligent dogs with loving, affectionate temperaments. They have enough energy to make them fun and allow them to accompany you on your outings without becoming overly demanding so you have to spend all of your free time exercising your dog. They’re smart enough to train, though the stubborn streak they inherit from their Basenji parent can prove to make this more difficult than with other Great Dane crosses.

Overall, Great Dasenjis are a low-maintenance breed that require very little care. Mostly, they just need love and attention. They’re great for families and individuals and can even do well with children, though they’re not likely to warm up to anyone outside of your immediate family. They also have a strong prey drive that can be a danger to other pets, though they’re generally ok with larger dogs that they’ve been raised with.

Featured Image Credit: Crystal Alba, Shutterstock

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