TWICE today! Grrrrr!
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  • As I've mentioned before, I work at a holistic pet bakery and food store, so Newsom and Shango come to work with me. They're very behaved boys, the customers love them, and they get social interaction with both humans and other dogs.

    Today, a very nice woman came in and met the dogs and was very curious about why they were such friend, well-behaved dogs. She turns to me and says: "You're so lucky! Basenjis are usually very mean, agressive dogs."

    Needless to say, I was pretty taken aback and upset, but brushed it off.

    About an hour later, another customer came in, met the boys, and says to me, word for word, "You must be crazy having two Basenjis. They're such mean dogs."

    WHAT THE HELL!?! WHO says that?!

    Sorry. I just had to tell you guys. I was quite annoyed! Have you guys experienced any of these stupid kind of comments?

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    When I had my first Basenji, Congo, in the early 1990's, we took him fishing/camping.

    We were in our little lake boat and coming into the dock. Congo was perched in his spot, scouting for logs. There was a lady on the dock with, what looked like, her Grand-daughter. The little girl said "puppy" and the lady jerked her back by the collar of her jacket and claimed that it was one of those "biting Benjis!".

    Congo was very confused. He refused to eat spiders, let alone bite anyone….

    Now, when he got older, he got grumpy. He never bit but I wasn't in denial and told people that he was grumpy and that it wasn't a good idea to pet him.

    Imagine having a pit bull? I bet they get it all the time.

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  • @AndrewnShango:

    About an hour later, another customer came in, met the boys, and says to me, word for word, "You must be crazy having two Basenjis. They're such mean dogs."

    WHAT THE HELL!?! WHO says that?!

    Sorry. I just had to tell you guys. I was quite annoyed! Have you guys experienced any of these stupid kind of comments?

    I guess ignoramuses say stuff like that.

    My personal reply would be to feign shock and say "Really? Gosh I hope they're not mean, all three of mine are certified therapy dogs and have been going on visits for years."

    For the people who tell me they can't be trained (which is few who see my dogs) I do something similiar and say "Really? My brindle boy has over 30 titles to his name. How many does your dog have?" And smile sweetly.

    Or you can just ignore them.

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  • love love love it AgileB!!

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    Great reply AgileB!!!

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  • I'd say (because I am me :) ) : Wow I don't know if I am more impressed that you actually know what a basenji IS or your impressive lack of knowledge about the breed. (No, I have not had my coffee yet.)

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  • @agilebasenji:

    I guess ignoramuses say stuff like that.

    My personal reply would be to feign shock and say "Really? Gosh I hope they're not mean, all three of mine are certified therapy dogs and have been going on visits for years."

    For the people who tell me they can't be trained (which is few who see my dogs) I do something similiar and say "Really? My brindle boy has over 30 titles to his name. How many does your dog have?" And smile sweetly.

    Or you can just ignore them.

    After the incident I had with wingnut human at the dog park, I am wondering if he too was also of the 'uneducated/uninformed' about basenjis and felt they were nasty dogs. The high majority of people that approach Kipawa and I and say how beautiful and sweet he is. On the flip side of the coin, I've been told he looks like a fox or a dingo - both of those not being very attractive to humans and children. Yeah, Kipawa is going to grab some child, and kill them. It's more likely he would tickle them to death by licking.

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  • @...Yeah:

    HAHA, you got it! That's especially true with Newsom, as well! Boy is he a KISSER! :-)

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    I'd say (because I am me :) ) : Wow I don't know if I am more impressed that you actually know what a basenji IS or your impressive lack of knowledge about the breed. (No, I have not had my coffee yet.)

    :) I have to admit that I would love to be able to come up with a comment like that in the heat of the moment. The other comments are great too - e.g. 'certified therapy dog'. I've got to store these in my brain somewhere for when I might need them.

    Other than when I freakelled out at the wingnut, I usually remain pretty quiet.

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  • I have gotten the "Aren't Basenji's mean?" thing a few times walking Watson.

    One lady had know a Basenji many years ago that wasn't a very nice dog and based her assumptions on that.

    When most people hear that a breed takes a little more work than a Golden Retriver to handle they like to assume that means all sorts of things ;)

    We know the truth… :D

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  • That's odd, never have had anyone mention to me that Basenjis are mean dogs. I didn't even know they had such a reputation.

    Any breed (or dog) can be "mean". Comes down to the environment they're brought up in and their personality.

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    When I was taking my boy to obediance class the trainer who is a certified animal behaviorialist and trains therapy dogs. She was using my dog to demonstrate something and she dropped the treat she was going to use as a reward. Cody remained in the stay position she had put him in as she bent down to get the treat. She told me she was amazed b/c every other basenji she knew would have bitten her to get the treat. I was thinking WOW what had these poor basenji's been through to make them act that way. She then told me that basenji's have a reputation for being mean. I've never seen it with my two.

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  • Note the other thread on temperament. It was a known fact many years ago that Basenjis would bite first, ask questions later. Even today in the show ring, many judges feel the same way.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I was at a show in OR with a Canadian Judge. I had gone in and put Franie stacked on the table, as the judge approached she ask "Is she OK?", when I looked at her a bit funny and responded "She is fine, might kiss you however", the judge responded with, well not like the Basenjis in Canada, they bite first.

    I was a bit surprised at the comment. I do have to say however that at least she approached the dogs with confidence, nothing bothers a Basenji more then a judge pussing footing around with the air of being scared to death of the dog.

    And many behaviorists really only see the "bad" dogs, the ones that come from BYB that are not well bred, not socialized as pups, not raised by dog savy owners (and a dog savy owner can be one that is new to dogs or the breed, IMO… it is all what they learn and how it is applied).

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  • There are many people who have had bad experiences with basenjis and many who like to tell everyone they know how horrid they are.

    My mom was staying with my aunt recently who was having her house painted. She had 3 of her basenjis out with her to take a walk. The painter came up and asked if he could say hi to the dogs. My mom said no problem, though they might be distracted since they knew they were going for a walk soon. The dogs all eagerly greeted him and basked in the attention. The painter asked what kind of dogs and she told him they were basenjis. The painter then said, "Really, my brother in law insists basenjis would rather eat than look at you and you could never have more than one because they would kill each other." So the painter took lots of pics of the dogs behaving politely and lounging about with each other so he could show his brother in law the "viscious beasts" he met. He visited them each day he came to paint and thoroughly enjoyed them and said his brother in law simply refused to believe him and the photos.

    As for behaviorists and trainers, I have found it really depends just like with vets. Some have had horrible experience that make it so they cannot think of anything but the bad and others who really understand dogs and love the unique traits and challenges each breed possess and each individual possess.

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  • I agree Lisa…... There are a number of Basenjis in the Vet practice I go to... while some are not so well behaved, they love my girls and look forward to their visits...ggg (even if the girls are not so thrilled depending on why we are there)...

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  • The flip side of this thread is that there are several agility people in this area who don't believe me when I say basenjis (badsenjis) have a bad reputation because all they've ever met are my basenjis. :p

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  • I had a dozen people come over to us ringside today and ask to hold Tempest because she wAs being so cute playing with her half sister who she met for the first time today. She was quite happy to give out kisses and snuggles to all. I think a great deal of their temperament has to do with how well socialized a dog is. A dog who is only taken out of it's crate to show, and yes I know some people , where that is the only time their dog is out in public, is more likely to be frightened and snarky

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  • @lisastewart:

    I had a dozen people come over to us ringside today and ask to hold Tempest because she wAs being so cute playing with her half sister who she met for the first time today. She was quite happy to give out kisses and snuggles to all. I think a great deal of their temperament has to do with how well socialized a dog is. A dog who is only taken out of it's crate to show, and yes I know some people , where that is the only time their dog is out in public, is more likely to be frightened and snarky

    Agreed Lisa…. for sure! I think that is why that Basenjis really do not do well with many handlers... they need personal attention from birth..ggg

    I know one handler with a Tri that the owner/breeder is from the Mid West, he shows out here many times on the West Coast. He bitches all the time about how "needy" the bitch is... and how she screams in an xpen, crate, etc... my response... she wants to be "special" and not share time with others... she needs attention between shows, not just when you drag her out and put her in the show ring.

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  • Well, take this comfort. My other breeds are Chows and Rotties.
    I get more grief and ignorance over Chows than I will ever get for Rotties and Basenji's combined and multiplied by 1000000.

    Chows, who bless their hearts simply do not want to be abused and make the greatest of pets in the right home, guardians of children and utter loves. But most people only meet the poorly bred, stupidly owned. Well even poorly bred… honest I have done hundreds of shelter evaluations on Rotties and Chows. Stability wise, the chows are almost always okay, the rotties not so much. But it doesn't matter... we have homes for 10 rotties before one chow. Which is why there are so few chow rescues and why the massive rescue here in GA of nearly 100 chows were transported to a rescue in NY.

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  • Well, on my fifth "B" and only one was mean, not by nature but seems like the treatment he got from his first owner, I ended up being the third thanks to Wanda. She knew I could handle him and it did take some time before he trusted me. He did end up be really a social critter. The people at the kennel never had anything but kind words about any of them. This last one I got six weeks ago is a real sweet heart, most gentle one I've had.
    DaMac

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    Well, take this comfort. My other breeds are Chows and Rotties.
    I get more grief and ignorance over Chows than I will ever get for Rotties and Basenji's combined and multiplied by 1000000.

    Chows, who bless their hearts simply do not want to be abused and make the greatest of pets in the right home, guardians of children and utter loves. But most people only meet the poorly bred, stupidly owned. Well even poorly bred… honest I have done hundreds of shelter evaluations on Rotties and Chows. Stability wise, the chows are almost always okay, the rotties not so much. But it doesn't matter... we have homes for 10 rotties before one chow. Which is why there are so few chow rescues and why the massive rescue here in GA of nearly 100 chows were transported to a rescue in NY.

    My sis has had 2 male chows (those have passed away) and is now on their 3rd chow, a blue female. She is 6 years old now, and she has never been anything but a delight (same as the 2 males were). People are always surprised when they meet Beatrice - comments like "wow, what a mellow chow'. I totally agree about 'poorly bred' and 'stupidly owned', and that applies to any dog, really.

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