Looking into Basenjis
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  • L

    Hi there, I just registered, and this looks like a great forum! I'm still several years away from being able to get a second dog, but am starting my research now. I currently have a 9 year old Pug, although he acts more like a 3 year old, lol. I love his comical, mischievous personality, and love how cuddly he is, but for my next dog, I'd really like one that can go running with me, which he can't do, not in summer anyway.

    He currently gets walked at least an hour a day, broken up over 3 walks, I run 3 - 4 times a week, usually about 5 km, but working at increasing that. I work full time, Monday to Friday, but outside of work I spend the majority of my time at home with my pets. I'm far happier hanging out with them than spending a ton of time out socializing with people, lol. I do own 3 snakes and a couple of frogs, but they are securely caged.

    So, long story short, I'm hoping to find a dog that will enjoy going for runs and walks with me, but also enjoy cuddling with me after. Trainability isn't an issue, I own a Pug, lol.

    Does it sound like a Basenji would be a good fit for me?

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  • L

    Forgot to add, I'm also quite interested in lure coursing, and there's a gaze hound association in my province that does it, so I would likely also do that, not sure of the frequency exactly, as I don't know how often they meet, but their training grounds are just under an hour from my place, so I could go at least once a week.

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  • Welcome! You might consider fostering and seeing if the breed is a good match.

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  • L

    Thanks! I thought of that, but unfortunately Basenjis are extremely rare in my province, I've yet to see any in rescue here ever. I do plan to attend some dog shows soon, hopefully there will be some there, as there are breeders in other provinces, but I've yet to see one in mine. Just trying to get an idea whether a Basenji at all matches up with what I'm looking for before going further.

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  • G

    Welcome. What province are you in?
    I'm in Alberta, I'm also one of BRAT's coordinators.
    -Joanne

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  • L

    Thanks! I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba. :)

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  • G

    One of my Basenji rescues is from Winnipeg, there IS a breeder in Winnipeg but she is a little sketchie, her pups sometimes show up on Kijiji. You're right though, there isn't much of a call for Basenji fosters anywhere in Canada, I think BRAT currently has 1 in BC, another in ON,
    -Joanne

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  • L

    Interesting, although I definitely would not want to support anything but a reputable breeder or rescue. I would love to have a chance to meet some Basenjis though.

    When looking at my original post, does it sound like a Basenji might work for me? I'm not looking for definitive answers, just would like to know if it's an obvious no or not, lol. If they're clearly a bad fit, I'll move my focus to a more suitable breed.

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  • G

    Well, a Basenji could be suitable for you, certainly they'd like the running part, and if you're not concerned about the obedience part... ;-)
    As for meeting one, the Northwinds Dog Club show (Winnipeg) is March 25-27; the Assiniboine Kennel Club show (Winnipeg) is April 8-10; Fort Garry Kennel Club (Oakbank) is May 13-15; Manitoba Gazehound Association trial (Oakbank) is June 11-12; Portage Kennel Club (Portage) is July 1-3; Manitoba Canine Association show (St. Paul) is Aug 11-14. I don't know of the Basenji entry in any of these events.
    -Joanne

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  • L

    That's awesome, thank you! And yeah, I own a Pug, lol, I'm very much accustomed to smart, but not so trainable dogs with a distinct "what's in it for me?" attitude towards training, LOL. I love it actually, love animals with attitude, lol.

    I'll definitely check out those shows you mentioned, thank you. I think Basenjis are absolutely gorgeous, but definitely want to make sure they're the right fit for me before taking the plunge and getting one!

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  • @LittleFrog said:

    I'm very much accustomed to smart, but not so trainable dogs with a distinct "what's in it for me?" attitude towards training, LOL. I love it actually, love animals with attitude, lol.

    A Basenji may be perfect for you. That describes them to a T. And yes, they do love to run (and run, and run). They are not happy in rainy weather or when it's very cold, however. Winnipeg winters might be a bit daunting for them.

    last edited by eeeefarm
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  • L

    Thanks! I'm glad to hear that! I know Basenjis aren't fans of wet and cold, but neither are Pugs, lol, and Kuma manages just fine with boots and a jacket, with a sweater added for extremely cold weather. There's Basenji breeders in Ontario and giza said she's from Alberta, and Winnipeg isn't THAT much colder than they are, so it should be manageable.

    But yeah, Kuma is extremely smart, but trainability? LOL. He learns things quickly, as he's extremely food motivated, but skip a food reward more than once in a row and he'll go "screw you lady, I expect to be PAID for my work!", lol. You can literally see him thinking it through, whether it's worth his while to obey or not, lol. And when I taught him the "off" command, as in, he has something he's not supposed to have, I tell him "off", he spits it out and gets a reward? It took him all of 5 seconds after learning it to figure out that the more things he steals, the more rewards he can get, LOL! Now he'll go looking for things to steal so that he can parade them in front of me to blackmail me into rewarding him, lol! He also has no patience for long boring training sessions, you have to keep them short and fun, and switch things up a lot to keep him interested.

    I love it though, it keeps life entertaining, and I wouldn't have it any other way. AI really just don't care about trainability. I'm not going to be competing in obedience trials, and aside from the essential basics, I just don't care that much. I view dog ownership as much more of a partnership than a dictatorship, having a dog that instantly obeys each and every command isn't important to me. My brother and sister-in-laws Black Lab does that, and while he's very sweet and the perfect dog for THEM, I honestly find him rather boring, lol.

    I think the biggest concern I have is how destructive I've read Basenji's can be, I've been spoiled by Kuma, as he doesn't ever destroy anything, but I can adapt, and it'll be good for teaching me to pick up after myself more, lol. I was also concerned that Basenjis might not be as cuddly as I like, but after lurking here and reading a ton of threads, it seems like that shouldn't be a problem, it sounds like most of them are actually quite cuddly with their people, or am I wrong about that?

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  • L

    @LittleFrog said:

    AI really just don't care about trainability.

    Oops, that should read, AND I really just don't care, lol.

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  • I had two Basenjis when I lived in North Bay, Ontario, and it gets pretty cold there, so yes, they can manage, but you will have to protect particularly their feet when the mercury dips. Destructive? Yes, they can be. Control it when they are pups (crate when you can't supervise) and most will be reasonable as adults. You may want to restrict where they have access to in the house. My current boy is perfect, not at all destructive. My previous ones weren't bad, but I did have to pay attention to things like tissues in the garbage, pens, etc. The breeder I got my current Basenji from teaches all her puppies the rules early, and it pays off down the road. Perry still has the plush toys I bought for him when he arrived, and they are in pristine condition, but I will admit that is rare! :)

    Cuddly? Oh yes. But like a cat. On their terms.

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  • L

    @eeeefarm

    Sounds good, I already have boots for Kuma, forgot to mention that was also part of his winter wardrobe, lol. And I'm good with cuddly on their terms, Kuma's very much the same, loves to cuddle, but if I try to cuddle him when he's not ready, he just gets up and walks away, lol.

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  • L

    Yay, going to the Northwinds Dog Show at the end of the month, and there's one Basenji entered, lol. One is better than none though! Can't wait to meet my first Basenji!

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  • L

    Met my first Basenji at the dog show this weekend, and I think I'm in love! He was reserved, but so sweet and polite, and I even got a little Basenji kiss on my hand. :)

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  • W

    My family did that. We've had french bulldogs for 10 years, and when my parents' lost theirs, they got a basenji. French bulldogs and pugs are very similar in more than just looks, as I'm sure you know! There are a lot of differences between those breeds and the basenji, but also a lot of similarities. At least that's my experience, but that's only with one basenji that's a little over 1 year old.

    The cold is not really a problem for Yuna. Rain, on the other hand...that she hates. But cold and snow is pretty much like with all short haired breeds. Put a coat on her, maybe boots/socks, and don't stay still for long. Kinda like with people.

    If I were to name the two biggest differences, it's that my french bulldogs have always been over social with strangers, annoyingly so at times. Yuna is just polite but reserved. The other thing is the range off leash + the hunting instinct. French bulldogs and pugs usually don't have much of that, but it's something you have to expect to find in a basenji.

    Oh, I said two, but I have a third difference that is...tricky sometimes. Yuna is not much taller than a french bulldog, and she weighs less, but her reach is insane in comparison. Not to mention that she's more agile. Meaning that if you have a thieving puppy or young dog (I'm looking at you, Yuna!) it will have easy access to everything. So Yuna and her "big sister" are about the same size, but Yuna has twice the reach... The bonus is that if you're the sloppy type that leaves things out on the table or kitchen counter, you will soon learn not to do that. :wink:

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  • L

    Thank you for your input, that really helps a lot! It sounds from what you've said, Wildberry, that Basenjis are similar in the areas that matter to me, like being affectionate with their people, and where they differ are the areas that are really not important to me, like off leash reliability and being friendly with strangers. I do tend toward being the sloppy sort, leaving stuff around, but I figure a Basenji could be good for me there, teach me to put my stuff away or else! LOL!

    I still have a lot of research to do, and plenty of time in which to do it, but so far, it really seems like they could be a really good fit for me. Super excited about that!

    Oh, and the minimal shedding, while not a requirement for me by any means, is a big bonus. I adore my Pug, Kuma, but ohhh the hair!!!!

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  • W

    Sorry for the late reply, I've been rather busy these last few days.

    I don't have the shedding problem with the bulldogs, but I have heard the pugs can be pretty extreme! Yuna is actually more cuddly than all of the frenchies I've had, as long as it's with her family or a houseguest. With strangers we meet on walks, she will greet them politely and then she's usually done with them.

    Our thinking before we got Yuna was that we wanted a breed that had a lot of the qualities we valued in our french bulldogs (and boxer before that). We wanted a short haired breed of fairly small size without being tiny, we wanted to avoid the worst barking breeds, but we also wanted a breed that didn't have so many health issues and could deal better with heat during the summer.

    Personality-wise, we wanted a independent breed with a lot of personality and quirks. I know that's not for everyone, but we didn't the stereotypical "dog," if you know what I mean. And boy, did we get a strange one! I used to think my bulldogs had a lot of personality, but they fade in comparison to Yuna. She brings so much laugher into our lives. She can be our Red Devil, but also our little Egyptian Queen or our Cuddlebug.

    Here's a picture of random Yuna weirdness.

    0_1460025703250_20150704_143912_001.jpg

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  • L

    Aw, she's gorgeous!!! Thank you so much for replying, it helps do much to hear from someone who has had a breed similar to Pugs and can tell me how they are similar and how they differ! I really think more and more that Basenji's could be a really good fit for me! :)

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