Last year, I adopted a 9 month old basenji/whippet (?) from a rescue. I had no idea what I was in for. I know dogs - have had jack russells, rat terriers, German Shepherd, fostered a Jindo and dog sat pit bulls long term. But this little dog was something else - and she is not purebred basenji!
She was more dominant than anything I had ever run into, dog-wise. In the first couple of weeks:
She humped and peed on - by lifting her leg - a female pit bull that luckily had a sense of humor. She terrorized a older border collie by leading a bunch of dogs that she had just met into attacking said border collie - in the BC's own yard. Food and resource guarding deluxe. Fought with my older dog who is the most dog savvy, easy going dog on the planet.
She is much better now about this kind of thing as (I think) she has conceded that she is not top of the household and we (my other dog and I) have been working on her. Basically we have no real issues now but the first months were a little rough.
Here are some of what I think of her more Basenji-like habits
- Jumped 6 ft + from doorway to the middle of my landlady's kitchen table. I have no idea why - there was nothing on the table.
- Escape - She was definitely a flight risk when she first came. Longest Escape - 2 hrs of pure terror. I found her on the bike path jumping out of the bushes to chase down bicycles.
- Hates tricks such as "paw" I really think she thinks this is beneath her. She will do it, in a very begrudging way, on command. But she will try ignoring you and pointedly look in another direction first.
- Housebroken with 1 mistake. Btw - she did not pee or anything for at least the first 24 hours that I had her. Not outside on long walks or indoors. This was freaky to me - but I understand from reading some of your posts that this is not uncommon.
- Noises. Yes - she can bark. But there is also a whole variety of growly noises, this chicken cluck noise, a weird huffing noise that she makes while playing, and some other interesting sounds that I did not know dogs could make.
Some random things that seem Basenji like - Boxes with her paws, has a lovely B500, not very interested in strangers, very sloppy, leaning sit, likes to sleep on me or my other dog. The sleeping on is reason 4773 that I think that my older dog is going to be up for sainthood. Older dog is 14lb, Basenji-x is 20+ lbs. When the basenji sits on or lies on the older dog, you can't really even see the older dog.
Random things that I am not sure are basenji-like:
- will often play on her back and use her legs to wrestle with toys or the other dog
- likes to crouch down slowly and then "pounce" on things/other dog (reason 319 for older dog probable sainthood)
- sleeps on her back often
My knowledge of basenjis before last year = pretty much the Westminster dog show commentary - doesn't bark, curly tail and something about africa. So in other words - nothing that would be helpful in dealing with the wild child.
This forum has been really helpful in understanding basenjis - so thank you all. There is nothing like hearing from people with real life experience!