First post and it's going to be a long one ! But I owned a B for 4 years, and due to a housefire on new years eve one day, I had to let him go back to the breeder. However, our time wasn't perfect together. Yes letting him go absolutely broke my heart and still hurts (4 years ago now but he was MY dog). So Im afraid it's quite a story !
Firstly, I wasn't new to dogs, but it was my first Basenji. Before jumping in, I read a great deal. Then I made contact with owners from the Basenji Breeders club here in the UK. I spoke with a very reputable breeder and agreed to visit her and see her dogs first, have a long chat and go from there.
Many chats later I decided to get a Basenji. My search took a while but I eventually got my little boy, he was from a very reputable breeder and sired from champions. The breeder inspected my home and we were given a puppy, full papers, health checked etc.
My family consisted of two cats and a wife. We had a baby when my B was 1 year old. Never had a problem with the cats or baby.
In the early days, I took him to socialisation events, the local park and trained him regularly. I live next to a forest, and he enjoyed daily runs there. Sure if it was raining he looked at me is if the rain was my fault
But then I started to experience issues with him trying to be the alpha male. Eventually after much training and arguments ! He accepted I was the alpha male and he was second in command with the wife. Still no issues with the kids and by this point we had two. But he got progressively worse and it became a jekyll and hyde syndrome. He was laying between my legs fast asleep one evening then out of absolutely nowhere, he flipped ! That evil look in his eyes, growling, showing teeth !!!
I had spent so much time training him, that he would sit, lie down, stay, walk to heel of the leash and I would let him off in the forest too. He loved it, didn't go far and always came back. I know this isn't normal protocol for a B, but gives you an idea of how much time and effort I had put in with him.
But he still had these scary jekyll and hyde moments, I could no longer trust him around other people.
Then just after christmas one year, the thermostat failed on a three week old dishwasher, it caught fire and I lost the contents of my house. The dog was fine but we lost our cats. We then moved into temporary accomodation and the Basenji went to a friendly kennel I knew. Soon after I spoke with the breeder and she took him back. She knew of the troubles I was having and so being reputable, she collected him.
Anyway, I am now at the point where I am thinking of another dog, and I do so adore the Basenji….but I dont want my heart broken again. I lost all the possessions in my house, yet the only thing I cried over was losing my little boy. Still hurts today.
So I would welcome realistic comments on the Basenji as a breed for family life. I still have two children and two cats. I can give a dog a good home, regular walks in a nice forest, I can take him\her to work etc
I still blame myself for failing with my Basenji, but my wife does feel there was something wrong with him to be so docile one minute and a devil the next. Is this possible ??? I do honestly feel I was responsible and I did everything I could, but who knows.
Any feedback gratefully received.
I still miss you buddy.........:(