New member, new basenji owner as of yesterday!

Hello all!

I recently lost my beloved American Staffordshire Terrier due to age related liver and kidney failure at the age of 12, and realized he would likely be my last Am Staff. The breeder from whom I had gotten 3 dogs over the past 25 years had stopped breading after 50+ years and I decided to go with another opinionated, independent minded breed but without having to deal with the ignorant folk trying to ban the breed.

My new buddy, a red & white 13 year old male, had owners who both worked and realized too late they did not have the time to properly raise and socialize a young dog. I work from home, and he is napping at my feet as I right this from my desk.

I am still working on a name for him. He hadn't been registered yet, but the owners called him Mickey. He didn't respond to it, so won't be a problem re-naming him.

He is clueless on the leash, but we're working on it. Its been over a decade since I had a puppy in the house, and I had forgotten how much joy they bring. Am loving the new experience of Basenjis and am thrilled to have this wisdom base available to help breed newbies like myself.

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@Lmaris:

Hello all!

I recently lost my beloved American Staffordshire Terrier due to age related liver and kidney failure at the age of 12, and realized he would likely be my last Am Staff. The breeder from whom I had gotten 3 dogs over the past 25 years had stopped breading after 50+ years and I decided to go with another opinionated, independent minded breed but without having to deal with the ignorant folk trying to ban the breed.

My new buddy, a red & white 13 year old male, had owners who both worked and realized too late they did not have the time to properly raise and socialize a young dog. I work from home, and he is napping at my feet as I right this from my desk.

I am still working on a name for him. He hadn't been registered yet, but the owners called him Mickey. He didn't respond to it, so won't be a problem re-naming him.

He is clueless on the leash, but we're working on it. Its been over a decade since I had a puppy in the house, and I had forgotten how much joy they bring. Am loving the new experience of Basenjis and am thrilled to have this wisdom base available to help breed newbies like myself.

Welcome….Do you mean 13 week? Who did they get him from? Many of us are related by our Basenjis.

Oh yes, 13 WEEKS.

The family I got him from only had him 5 weeks. His breeder is Mary Beth Weiss from Seabrook TX. His sire is carrier but dam tested clear. I plan to have my boy tested even though he will be neutered soon.

Glad to hear you are going to have him tested as the breeder doesn't have the best track record for responsible testing. If I remember correctly, her Basenjis have only been tested with Linkage test and not the direct DNA test. You can seach the Forums for more information about this breeder

Again, welcome to the forums….

Welcome to the forum…

...sorry to hear of your loss. It is always so sad when they leave us.

Congratulations on joining the ranks of those owned by a basenji 😃 Your boy is adorable!

Condolences, ….and congratulations on your new pup! Welcome to the wild and wacky world of basenjis.

@tanza:

Glad to hear you are going to have him tested as the breeder doesn't have the best track record for responsible testing. If I remember correctly, her Basenjis have only been tested with Linkage test and not the direct DNA test. You can seach the Forums for more information about this breeder

Again, welcome to the forums….

I have copies of the OFA certificates issued for both parents, and confirmed the results with OFA. They were DNA tests. Will check her out though. I didn't get the feeling she was anything other than a backyard "make a buck" breeder since the parents' names carried her surname as a surname, and not a kennel name. Original purchaser signed no contract either. I've never gotten an AKC dog without at least a pet contract.

Congratulations on your new little guy and welcome. Don't give up on the leash business, it is a real chore to get them to walk well - I've got a 3 1/2 year old female who still thinks she needs to pull most of the time. The one thing that solved the problem for me was a head collar - she doesn't like it, but if you started your little guy off right away with it, he may get used to it. My B mix walks nicely with hers, and it doesn't seeem to bother her a bit. Of course, basenjis naturally rebel against anything that smacks of "restraint!"

Oh I won't give up. I found with young Am Staff's a martingale style collar works best for me, but the local pet stores didn't have the style I like in his size so had to order it. In the mean time making do with just convincing him its fun to come along with me and getting him used to me. The living room becomes the Basenji 500 and he does corner well. Yes, his automatic response to restraint is to rebel, but the light bulb comes on his his eyes far quicker than the Am Staffs I've raised. Similar stubbornness, but Basenjis are wilier. I'm beginning to believe they're "George" to the AmStaff's "Lenny".

Welcome. So wonderful that you found the forum!

I am sorry for your loss. Our fur friends leave big holes in our hearts when they cross over the bridge. But a basenji will fill a good portion of that hole. Trust me.

Please let us know when you find the right name for your new baby!

Am Staffs are lovely dogs. I think you'll find you new badsenji will keep you on your toes. People often ask me if they are smart. I reply "they are very clever" That seems to get their intelligence across.

@Kipawa:

Welcome. So wonderful that you found the forum!

I am sorry for your loss. Our fur friends leave big holes in our hearts when they cross over the bridge. But a basenji will fill a good portion of that hole. Trust me.

Please let us know when you find the right name for your new baby!

Thank you for your kind words, but our pets don't cross the bridge while we live. They wait on this side until we get there, but there is a liver chestnut mare I know who I suspect crossed over the bridge just to get a first peek.

His name is Thabo. Pronounced Tah-bo. Means "happiness" or "Joyful" in the Sesotho language.

My partner JaBok pulled like a freight train locomotive when he was a puppy. I really believe it was because he liked pulling against the resistance of my weight but it could be that he was just eager to get there. Early on a chest harness was purchased so that he would not choke himself I rather prefer the jacket types. I never let the pulling bother me as it encouraged me to keep going and it was good for both of us. As for JaBok he grew up very buffed and could, when set free on the beach, run tirelessly like the wind. Now we live on a ranch in the mountains and we go out and have no need of the leash but when we do he is content to walk by my side unless he sees something he wants to investigate. The other thing I would like to add is that people especially those that are Basenji knowledgeable always comment on how muscular JaBok is. My recommendation is let him pull all he wants that is unless you want him to look dainty on the show room floor. In that Case make sure you find a rare Beta animal. To do this when looking at puppy's pick them up and turn them upside down. If they remain content in that posture they are Beta if they vigorously resist they are Alpha. The Beta will always be more docile and easy to get along with. The Alfa dog will be more independent and sometimes difficult they will also be more athletic and investigative IE. better hunters.

@ElfinSailor:

In that Case make sure you find a rare Beta animal. To do this when looking at puppy's pick them up and turn them upside down. If they remain content in that posture they are Beta if they vigorously resist they are Alpha. The Beta will always be more docile and easy to get along with. The Alfa dog will be more independent and sometimes difficult they will also be more athletic and investigative IE. better hunters.

Therese and Kevin mentioned to make sure he is fine to lay on his back. I started this when we got him and I still hold him on his back sometimes in bed or on the couch or when I am standing, except that is a big job because he is a big boy in both size and weight at 26 lbs. 🙂 What I find interesting is that Kipawa stays in that position for awhile and then wiggles a little to get right side up. In my view this corresponds to how he is in his life. I call him a 'switch hitter'. He knows when to be alpha but also knows when it is in his best interest not to be (e.g. around an intact male Irish Wolfhound the other day or around me). Around me, he tests being alpha sometimes, but he knows he does not get away with it for very long. I'm firm, but fair, and he understands the tone of voice I use when I won't accept him pushing the limits. He is excellent at sizing up other dogs. He will crouch down and look at them as we approach (he would be offleash in this situation), and then goes to them when he sees they will be fine with him. I did not teach him this, but I think it might be a thing that many dogs do. He is pretty well 100% on understanding other dogs' body language. Great comment, thank you!

Welcome to the Forum he looks a handsome boy. I'm sure he'll soon convey a suitable name to you!

Originally Posted by ElfinSailor
In that Case make sure you find a rare Beta animal. To do this when looking at puppy's pick them up and turn them upside down. If they remain content in that posture they are Beta if they vigorously resist they are Alpha. The Beta will always be more docile and easy to get along with. The Alfa dog will be more independent and sometimes difficult they will also be more athletic and investigative IE. better hunters.

Wow, ElfinSailor - wish I had known that when I picked my Shaye! I tried laying both the pups left out of the litter on their backs on my lap just to se their bellies, and one was still, but the other kicked her legs and squirmed all over the place. I thought that was really cute, and I picked the squirmy one! Had I known I was picking the Alpha, I would probably have chosen the quiet one. Too late now, after 3+ years of her squirming, kicking, pulling and generally being totally disobedient, we love her too much, and she is queen of our pack.

JaBok was chosen because he is Alpha. There are many desirable qualities in the dominant animals. They tend to be stronger, healthier and more aggressive in the field. They do require a strong willed individual as a human companion. Once they hit a mature age (3-4 yr) they will come to accept the human domination and once this occurs I think the dominant dog makes for the best companion. It is said that a Basenji is a big dog in a Little package. If your un-neutered male is alpha you must be particularly observant when in the company of bigger dogs as his diminutive size puts him at a extrema disadvantage. With his wild sent bigger alpha dogs will instantly want to kill him. I have experienced this to many times. and Jabok has the scars to prove it. It is not such a problem with females. I know I will catch flak in this forum for saying this but feel I must anyway. The majority of Basenji breeders in this country are people who show dogs and breed for show dogs. Most dogs are usually shown when they are young. The young alpha animal is difficult to control in the arena resulting in the need for beta personalitied dogs. Resulting in breeders using successful show dogs for their breeding stock. The problem with doing this is the health vitality of the beta tends to be a little lacking. Over a period of many years of this practice the Chi of the breed is diminished. I do sincerely believe that the high rate of Fanconie in this country is the end result of this practice. That is why they have been introducing fresh African stock stock to the breeding pool in an attempt to diminish the condition. I also predict that Fanconie will persist as long as the emphasis is on producing the more docile beta animal.

I do not believe what you are saying is true ElfinSailor. I have a male Basenji who was shown to his Canadian Championship and he is a very Alpha male. It took me about the same time to championship both my female and male and yes my male was way harder to handle in the ring, but we did it and will continue to show. He is just over two years old now. As for the fanconi issue with the new DNA test there is no reason for basenji's to be bred and dogs to show up with fanconi anymore. Alpha's in my opinion are easier to show in a ring because they have that attitude that the judge is looking for. If you have a dog with their head down that you have to drag around the ring you will never get the points to championship the dog. You need that gung-ho attitude and a dog that is assertive and sure of themselves as well as being conformationally sound. That is the best attitude for a dog to have in a show ring.

@ElfinSailor:

I know I will catch flak in this forum for saying this but feel I must anyway. The majority of Basenji breeders in this country are people who show dogs and breed for show dogs. Most dogs are usually shown when they are young. The young alpha animal is difficult to control in the arena resulting in the need for beta personalitied dogs. Resulting in breeders using successful show dogs for their breeding stock. The problem with doing this is the health vitality of the beta tends to be a little lacking. Over a period of many years of this practice the Chi of the breed is diminished. I do sincerely believe that the high rate of Fanconie in this country is the end result of this practice. That is why they have been introducing fresh African stock stock to the breeding pool in an attempt to diminish the condition. I also predict that Fanconie will persist as long as the emphasis is on producing the more docile beta animal.

Yes, you will catch flack, because pretty well all of your statements are way off base.

1. The responsible basenji breeders (not sure which breeders you know) are not breeding just for show dogs. They are breeding to promote the breed. Period. Be it a show dog or a companion dog, responsible breeders concern themselves with overall soundness of the animal and the animal's temperament.
2. I would say that the majority of show dogs are NOT young (as in under a year of age). Yes, there are some very special young dogs out there that are doing well in the show ring, but the shows I have been to are not dominated by young dogs.
3. Fanconi rates increase when unresponsible breeders breed dogs without health testing. Plain and simple. Do not group responsible breeders in with your comment. The knowledgeable people on this forum work hard to ensure those who are new to the forum take fanconi status seriously before acquiring a basenji.
4. Fanconi has nothing to do with a dog being alpha or beta, or breeders trying to produce a 'more docile beta animal'. Where in the world have you picked this information up from!

That's my reply - the owner of a companion basenji who would have been great in the show ring. Now wait for the breeders to respond to you. Should be fun to watch. Your comments have really ired me.

Lmaris, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Congrats on your new puppy!

Yes, the light bulb goes on really fast, but then it becomes their 'game'. If I want to I will, If I don't, I won't!

As to Elfinsailor-It has been proven in recent studies that, in wolf packs, there is no true 'alpha' dog. They work together and the most dominant one will approach the food first and the other will join in. The dominant bitch is more of a true 'alpha' dog. I've always turned mine on their back since they were puppies. Johnny, is dominant male in the house, since Shadow really doesn't care. But, I can still pick Johnny up and put him on his back without a struggle. He can still try to show he doesn't want anything to do with me at times, mostly by ignoring me, but he is not aggressive at all, or 'dominant' with me.

As to showing dogs, Johnny is over 2 and has not completed his CA Ch simply because I choose not to push him and his line develops soooo slowly. Johnny will probably be about 4 before he starts to fill out. And, more the reason in Canada, and probably in the US as well, shows are expensive. It costs approximately $30 to enter one dog in one show. Then add in travelling costs, hotels, meal, time away from home (maybe kennel help) and that is my real reason for not getting out there everyweekend to every show to earn points for a CH. Also, there are a lot of judges that I won't show to because they look at "faces" rather than the dog. So there are a number of reasons why young dogs are not CH. Not because they are not good dogs.

And Fran is right on in regards to Fanconi. Fanconi is a genetic defect (that is why we have a test and have worked on getting a DNA test for years) and while I breed for temperment and confomation, I do test and take everything into consideration. I have a lovely, lovely temperment in my youngest girl. She is good with dogs and people. That DOES NOT mean I simply looked around and decided I was going to breed to a certain male simply because of great temperment. She actually will be an all around Basenji. And yes, she is the most dominant in the house with 5 dogs. No, I don't breed all the time to have puppies available to the public and just to show. I won't be breeding for another 2-3 years at least. My last litter was 1 year and a half ago. And, further to that, I have placed some great looking 'show' dogs in homes as pets, simply because it was better for them. My main concern is a good home. If I'm that interested in showing a certain dog, I will keep it.

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