I've been interested in Basenjis for a really long time and have been doing a lot of research on the breed for several years on and off. I've finally moved to a permanent residence and ready to look for one of my own. I don't know many Basenji owners, actually I don't know any at all, lol. I joined to this forum so I could get some personal experience and more knowledge from Basenji owners and have some questions answered in the future, rather than just reading articles online.
Welcome to the forum, all of us here will be glad to answer your questions, but the best way to learn about Basenjis is in person. You can go to www.basenji.org and then to the breeder listing that is by state and see if there is a breeder near you. Even if not, you can ask breeders if they have ever placed a Basenji in your general area that you might contact. You can look for dog shows in your area and visit/meet Basenjis/owners/breeders there.... There are a number of good articles at www.basenji.org about the breed, especially about health and how to find a responsible breeder.
Just looked at what town you are from, there are no breeders in that general area, closest would be the bay area. But you can still contact breeders and ask if they have placed any Basenjis in that area. I don't know what kind of response you might get, but you can try contacting BRAT (Basenji Rescue www.basenjirescue.org) and ask them if they have placed any Basenjis in that area you might visit to learn about the breed.
I am from the Bay Area, however, I have not placed any Basenjis in your general area. You might also check with the breeders in the PNW and see if they placed any in that general area
Thanks! I was afraid there wouldn't be any local breeders in my area. I'm thinking I'll have to make a drive out to see a local breeder or perhaps a rescue.
I understand Basenjis are for more experienced dog owners, I don't mind adopting an older dog either. We've had several high energy dogs growing up such as a Whippet, collie mixes and a sassy Shiba Inu that was given to us by my grandmother.
I'm currently single and work from home so I don't have much obligations other than my job, though I have a pretty active lifestyle. I enjoy jogging, hiking, climbing, diving, trekking, biking, and camping if weather permits and realize I'd have to watch my dog like a hawk even if on a lead. (I know they can't ever be trusted off lead) A lot of these sports are not safe to bring a dog however, I just wouldn't want to risk it. Are there other sports I can do with a Basenji to help keep him stimulated and exercised, safely?
I also just fixed up my yard, checking the fence for any lose boards or dangerous plants, he would have plenty of room to run. I was thinking of putting a sandbox of some sort in the back so he wouldn't start digging out the plants my parents just put in either since I've also read they have a tendency to try and escape. Has anyone had experience on their Basenjis doing this kind of destruction?
If you have experience with a Shiba Inu you will likely get along with a Basenji. They have some similar traits. Basenjis will enjoy jogging and hiking. I used to bring mine with me bicycling to give him exercise when I didn't have a lot of time. Most of mine were good in my dog run. Some did dig, but not with escape in mind. However, both my boys were climbers. Wooden fences can be good, chain link is considered a ladder! You could back up the fence with invisible fence to keep the dog away from the physical fence, or put some other kind of deterrent if the dog climbs. For instance, slippery PVC pipe at the top may keep a dog from going over a chain link fence.
If you adopt an older dog you have an opportunity to select for the traits you prefer. With a known history you can perhaps avoid the pitfalls and choose a suitable companion for your situation. But dogs do sometimes change their behaviour when they change homes. I would say absolute consistency is your best training tool. A Basenji who understands that the rules of the house don't change from day to day will be much easier to live with than one that is always testing the boundaries!
The fence thing will depend on what individual you get (I have chain link and have no problem but my breeder has one dog that can jump an 8 foot fence!).
As for exercise, I talk mine camping and hiking though the female is pretty choosy about which trails she will walk down and will not budge if she doesn't like it.
However, you should also consider dog games such as rally-obedience, agility, barnhunting, nosework, etc. I know there are such events all over the US.
Additionally you could always take training classes even without competing in any formal games (I've done nosework classes, manners, canine good citizen and others).
Thanks for all the info everyone. I figured hiking and camping would be great, so I'm happy to hear that some of you were able to take their Basenjis along for the ride with no problems! I'll look into the dog sports and definitely try contacting some rescues to get a better feel about what I'm about to get myself into!