Benji is a mixed breed dog, also known as a mutt. As of 2014, four dogs have played the role, the most recent of which is a female mixed breed. According to Benji's creator, Joe Camp, the current Benji displays characteristics indicating she has some Tibetan Terrier and some spaniel in her lineage.
The original Benji was a male dog whose off-camera name was Higgins. He was adopted from the Burbank Animal Shelter in Burbank, Calif. The current Benji was adopted from the Human Society of Southern Mississippi after a nationwide search through shelters for a new star. The American Humane Association has reported that because the original Benji came from a shelter, more than 1 million dogs were adopted nationally.