My basenji is a mix but I would say 90 percent basenji. She is beautiful and we love her. We are a family of five. We have 3 older children (11 and 14) and have waited a long time since we had to put our beagle of 15 years down to get a dog. We were determined to rescue or adopt in lieu of getting something in particular. I ran across a girl in my area that had an 8 week old puppy she needed to rehome. She said she thought it was a beagle/Chihuahua mix. I did tons of research on that breed and determined it would work for our family. We are extremely busy; my husband and I both work and the kids have busy schedules but we have so much love to give a dog when we are at home so we decided to take the plunge. This dog was one of the cutest puppies I have ever laid my eyes on. It didn't take long once this puppy began to grow for us to determine that this was by no means a Chihuahua beagle mix. After a few vaccinations with the vet and getting an obedience trainer, we determined what we had was a Basenji.
We have had biting problems with her from the beginning. My research and advice from the dog trainer and the vet said to not allow the biting (yelp loudly, "ouch", turn your back, clamp her muzzle and say firmly "NO BITE" etc. etc. etc.) all the ways you read about but none of that worked. I was so happy when her baby teeth fell out because I thought "finally, we can stop suffering from those razor sharp punctures to our skin." But guess what? Now that those baby teeth are gone, it's just big teeth biting all of us. And also….......it hurts and it hurts really badly. She will bite the kids more than she bites us but make no mistake, she always has that mouth open. She bit one of my children last week because he took away something she was chewing on she wasn't supposed to have. She has also been aggressive when the kids have had friends over to the house. It worries me sick. I am literally almost sick about all of this because I don't know what to do. We get so frustrated with it. She has torn clothes, ripped holes.............the damage with a puppy is to be expected to some degree but we have plenty. She has gnawed chairs, coffee table, ripped the carpet............if you take your eyes off of this dog, she is destroying something and that is no exaggeration. What people say is true; you have to have a crate. We have a crate and a big dog pen in the yard. Everything I have read about basenjis is true of ours. The good and the bad. I have never seen a dog run like that; we love to watch her run and just be free but if you don't have a fence, where is she supposed to do that? And if she doesn't get to do that enough, what you have is a bored aggressive dog. We walk her several times a day; it's not enough.
We are not the kind of people that get dogs and then get rid of them. She has been spayed and micro-chipped; she is our baby. She sleeps with us; such a precious sound sleeper and sometimes when she sleeps in her crate, i go to get her out and she lazily stretches her arms and is so sweet and precious. She lays in the sun and closes her eyes and you can tell she loves that. She can have some absolutely sweet and precious moments. In the right context, she will gently take a treat right out of my mouth and would never hurt me. But the fact of the matter is, meaning to or not, she is hurting us and it happens often. Not to mention that when I try to take her for walks, if she sees a squirrel, I have literally thought I was going to get whiplash she has pulled so hard on the leash. I have a huge leash burn on my right arm where she tried to get to a squirrel and I was caught off guard and it ran across my arm.
She is also a huge flight risk. When people say don't let them off of their leash, they mean it. She has darted out of our garage several times and we are so fearful she is going to get hit by a car. Our subdivision isn't overly busy but there is NO CATCHING her. She's too fast and too smart. You have to get her back with a treat or something and that's while you are holding your breath and praying it will work.
I don't know if I have explained this well enough but I am in this forum because I am extremely concerned and quite frankly at the end of my rope on this situation. I don't know what to do but I do know I can't continue this for the duration of this dogs life. I cannot. Any advice that is constructive and positive would be appreciated. Please, no judging because you will never find a more loving and devoted family to a dog; however, had I known she was a basenji puppy and had read the characteristics, I never would have gotten one. She wasn't the right dog for the time we have and our resources. I don't know what to do. If we could just get her to stop biting.............................