Lurked around here for a couple of weeks, but now I'm joined and posting because I get the feeling that my newest addition to the family is part-Basenji. He's our third dog, but first possible basenji. Previously we had a border collie/labrador cross while I was growing up, and more recently a purebred Weimaraner who sadly had to be put to sleep in 2005 after suffering brain damage following a very sudden and unexpected series of seizures.
Meet Rocky, or 'Rocket' as he's properly known. He was named for his ability to jump vertically and launch himself around the garden in a mad run going after anything that moves.
Anyway! We adopted him from the local RSPCA shelter at 9 weeks of age. The shelter took in the pregnant bitch and all the pups were born there, no one ever knew what the father was or even looked like. The mother is black and white, and believed to be some kind of Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross (plausible from the picture they showed us of her, and Rocky seems to have a fairly wide face, afterall). The shelter were at a bit of a loss as to what to describe the puppies as, so they were just called 'terrier crosses'. The rest of the litter were either the same pattern/colouring as Rocky, same pattern in black and white, or mostly brown with black noses and the odd patch of white.
We believe he is part Basenji. His colouring seems spot on (right down to the black nose and white-tipped tail), along with those ears (which everyone comments on when we meet people out walking!), his curled tail (which I sadly haven't got a picture of yet), and his voice. Probably shouldn't forget to mention that he is a massive handful, and I've never known such a wilful and downright cheeky dog in all my life 🙂 Wouldn't change him for the world, though, he's a great personality.
He is a very vocal boy, he makes the most bizarre noises, it was so weird the first time he sang to us - we never expected a dog to make that kind of sound! It was the singing that prompted me to read up on Basenjis, as I had heard in the past that they are renowned for 'yodelling'. He also does a really funny noise I can only describe as 'grumbling' and I've got him sort-of trained to say 'blah blah blah' back at me, and, if he's in a cheeky mood and being told off, he'll yell 'No!' right back at us 🙂 I've poked around and listened to various sound samples and it's so strange, he does sound like a younger version of the recorded dogs!
…and yes, that is a cat's bell on his collar. He loves nothing more than to disappear into the bushes in our garden trying to chase birds and squirrels. The bell scares them off and helps us find him 🙂
So, what do you think? I'd love to hear some opinions from basenji owners who think, from the photos and my description, that he's really got some of that in him.