Thought I had it all figured out…

Hello Basenji Forum Gang!

I thought I had life with my furry friends figured out, until I met a Basenji at a friends house and I became obsessed with learning more about the breed. You folks have some pretty cool dogs!

Back story: I love and have been "owned" by one or more German Shepards for the last thirty years of my life, and thought there were never be another breed for me until I met Jinx, the basenji a couple months ago. I had just lost my precious boy Max to bloat a few months prior so I probably really needed some doggie cheering up and Jinx was more happy to oblige, he jumped right into my arms to greet me. Its been almost a year since my Max has been gone I'm feeling like it's time start to consider bringing a new friend into the home and I'd like to know more about your little guys to see if the breed is right for me. Looking forward to getting to know you and your "babies"

In my 70 plus years on this earth I have been posessed by many different breeds of dogs, from Toy Poodles to GSD's and Malamutes. About 5 years ago , totally by accident, I saw an ad in the Sunday paper that said, " Free to a good home, 2yo female Basenji." I called and spoke with the wife and she said that they just couldn't cope with 'her'. The wife and I drove over to look at 'her. My wife had been a Basenji lover when she was young and her first comment when the husband brought the dog out of the house was, " that is the ugliest Basenji I have ever seen". Which maeant that I fell in love with her on the spot. After a short negotiation we took, 'Casey' home, and found that she would not answer to her name, was very hand shy, which told me that one of her people was hitting her, and loved to chew holes in any clothing that was left within her reach. Because she was really quite small for a 2yo I nicknamed her 'itty bitty Basenji' and Bitty just seemed to fit. It took about 2 months for her to stop chewing clothes, but only one night for her to let me know that she intended to sleep under the covers of my bed whenever I was in it. In the 5 years we have had Bitty, we have adopted Mr Baroo, a beautiful r/w, who is now almost 5, and last August we adopted Baroo's Buddy a handsome r/w brindle, thus making us died in the wool B people. Whenever I am asked why we have adopted 3 B's I tell the asker that Basenji's are like Lay's Potato Chips, you cant just have one.

That's such a cool story, thanks for sharing it. I guess sometimes the best discoveries are by accident 🙂 I'm so happy that Bitty was lucky enough to have you find her!

Still looking around at breeders and I've been thinking about getting my B from one that does agility or lure courses with their dogs. My children are getting older and are going to spend more time building their own lives so I figured where I used to go to ball games and dance competitions with them, that time will now go towards having fun with "the new kid" at his sporting events.

If Bitty is the same one as in your albums…the wife must have been joking about her being an ugly basenji? Cause she is adorable. But it's funny....when I brought Beo home as a puppy the first words out of my sister's mouth "ew...what an ugly dog".........!?

I couldn't even conceptualize what she didn't find "cute" about his little bat ears, or wrinkled face. But I think it's the way they look compared to other dogs throws people off sometimes.

And to Bewonderaar....

I was never a dog person, but something drew me to look for a dog after I returned home from a year in another country. When I first learned about basenjis and their "cat like" personality something just clicked. Made a believer out of me. They are amazing; I was so grateful to my breeder for showing me her entire pack, because that's when you can really see a basenji in motion. I remember sitting on the couch and hiding my coat into the couch cushion behind me (so the puppies wouldn't get it). One of the female pups saw me hiding this jacket, stopped playing with her litter mates, gave me the once over look, hopped up behind me and started removing my coat from inside the couch. It was hilarious..... so many stories on here from various people about the rewards of having a basenji.

In short? They're worth it.

The one thing I'm really glad I did is go with a breeder - one who helped match me up with the right personality; at least for a first basenji. It's important that they be well socialized, as....so many kids and people in general want to pet/ get to know 'your cool dog' and it's nice to be able to accommodate them in some way. Not to devalue rescue dogs in any way.

@bewonderaar:

Still looking around at breeders and I've been thinking about getting my B from one that does agility or lure courses with their dogs. My children are getting older and are going to spend more time building their own lives so I figured where I used to go to ball games and dance competitions with them, that time will now go towards having fun with "the new kid" at his sporting events.

To my knowledge, none of my breeders have done anything other than conformation with their dogs, but I've been quite successful with agility, coursing, therapy, rally and, yes, conformation. So don't discount a good breeder just because she doesn't do performance sports with their dogs. My first competition dog achieved over 30 titles to his name (that was Digital the brindlewonderkid who just recently passed away, but if you search the archives, you can find out about many of his titles). He was a very accomplished dog. Jet the trying has titles in conformation, agility, rally and coursing. And my current competition dog, Zest! the superstar in training has titles in conformation, coursing and agility. All have been certified and working therapy dogs. Z! and I will probably also try freestyle obedience and maybe some scent work.

I am a big dog person. Really. LOL. I didn't want a basenji, I wanted a much smaller dog breed for my tiny child (she's 22 now and still only 5 ft), without a coat needing grooming. Guess who is utterly hooked? Yeah, me. We are, 13 yrs later, on our 3rd.

I've also "been" a big dog lover and had them in my whole childhood and adult life until Zsa Zsa came into our lives a little over 3 months ago. All small breeds I've met, seen and "heard" prior to her, were none stop "yappers" and I would have never contemplated to bring one into my home. I'm not putting all small dogs in the same boat but 99% of those I've met have a "napoleon" complex 🙂

I had also communicated with various breeders within a 200km radius of my home and everyone was very helpful with my questions concerning if the breed would be a good fit in my household with my 2 other dogs and rescue cats. I was also very concerned with genetic problems (i.e. Fanconi) since I learnt the hard was with my poorly breed ridgeback (4 dermoids removed at 6 months). I made sure that I was able to verify prior to me making the final decision if she was going to be part of our family, that the Fanconi test results of both parents were done and any others tests since she was listed as a purebred with papers. Also the funny thing about my rescue girl, is that prior to me getting her from her owner, I had scheduled an appointment to visit her breeder the following week without knowing the association between both.

All this to say, that I'm a novice with the breed and that if you like a dog with personality, that pushes your buttons, drives you nuts, a challenge to train and acts like a clown to diffuse a situation (that means divert your attention from getting a correction-usually water sprayed on her or time out in crate ) then this is the breed for you. I've never had to put so much effort to keep calm and to see the humor in situations as with Zsa Zsa. It's a breed that pushes all your buttons and I thank everyday that I have a crate to give her time outs for her own good, a breather to the rest of my guys and myself. She gets tones of exercise and playtime with the big boys and still she is like the energy bunny, she keeps on going & going… So please do your research, talk to breeders and ask questions on this forum and you will learn a lot on them. This will help you make an informative decision if this is a breed for you.

Good luck and be forewarned you will be addicted to the breed. I'm hooked and will more than likely have another one within the next 10 years 🙂

@agilebasenji - thank you for the advice. I'm actually not looking for a "super athlete" of a dog, just a healthy one with a good temperament, maybe just a breeder that encourages sports.

Congratulations on your dog's accomplishments! I would love to share notes about your experience when I'm ready.

It's kind of funny how the breed attracts big dog people. I never thought I would ever consider a small dog, but here I am, maybe its the intelligences that we find attractive?

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and insights everyone 🙂

@bewonderaar:

Congratulations on your dog's accomplishments! I would love to share notes about your experience when I'm ready.

Any time. And it does seem like new dogsports are cropping up all the time. So there's something for everyone.

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