I'm seriously Considering a Basenji … BUT:
I'm concerned about some traits that I've read. I'd like Basenji owners to comment on them:
- Dislikes being alone so much that it will trash the house unless crated.
- NEVER allow off the leash if there's risk of dog sensing some critter nearby.
- An escape artist. A) Can/will climb chain link fence. Will bolt out open/ajar door.
- Doesn't play well with other dogs. Not likely to be popular at a dog park.
- Training is not easy at all. Actually, basenji has a lot of in common with a cat - nature and behavior
Okay, I have the world's best basenji ever. I am, of course, referring to Digital the brindlewonderkid who is now almost 14.5 years old and almost deaf. He also has 29 titles to his name, if my counting is correct. Most of those titles are agility related titles, but he also has coursing, conformation, rally and therapy titles. He was my first rally dog and he got his RN with 2 first places (beating Rotts, goldens, shelties and other more traditional breeds) and one second place. His high score was 99 out of 100 points. He was a brilliant worker with a total novice handler. (He was my first competition dog of any sort in everything we did.) He was nationally ranked in the top 3 agility basenjis in the nation for 7 or 8 years running. Now I'm not telling you all of that to just brag about my dog, because, gosh knows I hate doing that :rolleyes:, but I want you to realize how much training this individual dog has had. Two years ago, when his hearing was better, if he saw a rabbit, he was chasing that rabbit. And if I were to call his name, he was chasing that rabbit. And if a car came, he was chasing that rabbit. Today, he saw a rabbit and if I had dropped his leash, he would have chasing that rabbit, although at a reduced speed. That should answer #2.
#1 is more of an individual thing. Digital has NEVER destroyed anything in anybody's house from the time he was less than a year old. Jet the trying, who is still intact, might pee on something, but probaby would not destroy much, but he's 13.5 years. (He only has around a dozen titles, so his education is lacking a bit.) My first basenji pulled a blanket into her crate to destroy it when she was over 8 years old.
#3 also more individual thing. Digital has gotten out of an xpen at an agility trial to come looking for me, but otherwise won't. Zest! the supestar in training, LOVES to figure out puzzles. How to get out of something is a grand puzzle! And loves to climb things. Of course in all fairness I did pick her out to be my next great agility dog, so I got what I got. As long as I am in the yard with the dogs, they are content to stay in the yard. Bolting out the door - not so much in my experience, but this is probably due somewhat to training.
#4 Mine do fine with most dogs as long as the dogs are not pushy or rude. That may or may not have something to do with early socialization. Pushy or rude dogs may start a fight; little dogs may kick in prey drive.
#5 Easy as pie and a blast to train. Difficult to motivate and that "distraction" of the 3D's is a killer.
Basenjis are NOT just a different packaging of dog when compared to labs. (I've had a lab too, b's are way different.) Personally, I don't think a basenji is a good fit for you unless you change what you want/expect. They aren't going to change.