Getting a new dog
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  • M

    We are adopting a basenji beagle mix from a rescuer. She's supposed to arrive in few days and I am completely panicking, especially after reading all the posts in this forum. What am I getting myself into!!!! A furniture destroyer, trash eating, squirrel chasing escape artist will definitely turn my life upside down! So any tips for making this transition as smooth as possible are appreciated!

    The dog is about 2 years old (not much known about her past), currently being held in a dog farm where they all love her. Great with people (kids included), walks great on a leash, is house trained. Based on her apperance she seems to be mostly basenji with little beagle mixed in. Anyone ever had a mix like that? What to expect?

    We have two elementary school age kids (which means toys everywhere). I work form home so spend a lot of time in the house but not like I can chase squirrels and chipmunks with her all day long. We have an invisible fence and training sessions lined up but now I'm reading that it really doesn't work with basenjis. Great.

    And this sleeping situation!!! Do they really need to sleep in MY bed???

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  • Hi and welcome.

    First, where are you located? It's always good to have local support! Also, which rescue group? What do you mean by "dog farm"? Do we get to see pictures? We love pictures. :)

    LOL on the panic. You are far better than I was at this point. I had owned Chows and chow mixes most of my life and then in early 30s (age not 1930s :) ) Rottweilers. I wanted a small dog that didn't need grooming (I really believe grooming the chows is why I have carpal tunnel), not yappy, and something my daughter could show. Oh my word. So the breeder tells me that her friends in the basenji world are horrified she would let someone with a chow and Rottweilers have one of her dogs. She also didn't want to sell me Sayblee because she said she was too strong and hard of a dog. I actually laughed at her. I reminded her that your dog will be about 25 pounds... that I did training and aggression rehab with Rottweilers, Chows etc. How hard could a 25 pound dog be.

    I know before bed every night she laughs. I got Sayblee in 2001. I have never loved a dog as much in my life, and never had anything so utterly animal aggressive. She finished her championship and I spayed her. I got a lot of flack, but her aggression didn't need to be passed on. I lost her to lymphoma at 7 yrs old. I still cry when I type her name or look at her pictures. (We got her double niece 2 yrs later and have a wonderful rescue from Camp Basenji (it was originally BRAT, but Pam created her own rescue later).

    So what do you expect? You won't know until she arrives. When you mix any breed, characteristics might or might not be one or the other or even a balanced mix. If the basenji shines through, expect eye contact to be something she likes. Unlike so many breeds who react to looking into their eyes as a challenge, they'll look back, hopefully with love and not with the "you're not the boss of me" look! You can expect to have your heart stolen no matter what she is. As for sleeping in the bed... lol that's preferred, but I can tell you my daughter will never have another in her bed after Cara. So it isn't the only place. However, let us know how long before one or the other kid slip her into their bed if you don't. :)

    Most rescues won't place most dogs with only invisible fencing. I absolutely would not ever. Instead of me going into it.. call about 5 shelters around you and ask what they think of them. They'll tell you how often dogs come in with electric fence collars on. All breeds, not just basenjis, can get excited and run through. Problem is, once out, not likely they'll run back through it. Also, your invisible fence provides NO protection for your dog... other dogs, a variety of larger wildlife that are indigenous to your area, people... walk right in. Ditto on any kind of line tying them out (not to mention basenjis do seem to have razor blades they pop out only for cutting leashes and stuff). If you absolutely cannot put up a fence, then you use your human family resources and take the dog out to potty, out to play, and on walks. If the fence is in place and you have someone out there all the time with her, then if she does charge through, you know hopefully before she gets hit by a car or attacked by another dog.

    As for clutter... not going to lie. Basenjis are the best house keeping trainers around. Your children will learn to put up their toys and easily destroyed items... or put in their bedroom and close the doors.

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  • If at all possible, you should ditch the invisible fence.... while it "might" keep the dog in, an invisible fence does not keep other critters out! If this dog is a Basenji/Beagle mix you have a hound that has hunting written off over.... Basenji is a sight hound, what they see they chase, Beagle is a scent hound meaning they hunt by smell. This is what they were bred to do, it comes natural. Some have a stronger prey drive than others.

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  • O

    I love how helpful everyone is on this forum...!

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  • M

    You're all great! Thanks for helping me out!

    Will post pics once she's arrived. Turns out she's 3-4 years old instead of two (based on their new vet). So instead of a teenager should I expect a mature adult who is not going to destroy my furniture or is it too much to expect from a basenji?

    As for the fence, I don't think we can put up a real one. We have about 2 acres of land and the way landscaping has been done, an actual fence would not look great. All of our neighbors have dogs and invisible fences and only once I have seen one of them escaped (a new dog). That gave me hope that maybe, just maybe the fence will work.

    That was a great point about invisible fence not keeping other animals out. We live in CT near the woods. I see and hear coyotes every night, deer family walks through our backyard etc.

    Would an adult basenji get enought exercise just by going on walks two-three times a day? I don't feel like it's enough. What do other do?

    Also are you keeping your dog in a crate when you're not at home? I would like not to do it but I might be too naive here:)

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  • @Muri - Any dog, not just a Basenji can and DOES destroy things. It is all how they are trained/socialized. If not properly exercised both physically and mentally any dog will find ways to "get" your attention. And with an older dog, they come with a different set of baggage depending on their situation (that they are coming from).

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  • First off, congrats on the new family member! It's so exciting planning for a new dog!
    I wouldn't worry too much about her being destructive simply because she (might) be part basenji. Every dog is different! My basenjis were destructive as puppies (like any puppy can be!) and now as adults only destroy what I give them to destroy. They shred toys and their favorite - paper towel rolls. I don't know why but they love them! I crate them while I'm gone which I HIGHLY recommend with any new dog until you know their habits. I know my dogs would rip down the blinds to see the mail man, get bored and shred their beds, get on the kitchen table (yes they do that), etc. I know they (and my house!) are save when they are in their kennels.

    A lady and her 2 kids came up to me at a dog show interested in a basenji but concerned about the kids and toys, door dashing, etc. I'll tell you what I told her- train your kids! If they are old enough to understand that their toys could be destroyed and/or the dog gets injured they will learn very quickly. Also, BABY GATES! Some will jump them but my current 2 do not and I have one at my front door to keep them in when I need to open it.

    I hate invisible fencing. HATE. A basenji that sees a squirrel may not care one bit about the zap as they run into the street but I know my boys would be terrified to go outside if they knew they could get zapped. Would you want to live in fear that you will get zapped every time you go to the bathroom??? My boys where nearly attacked by a dog that ran though an invisible fence so I'm very hesitant to believe that they actually work 100% of the time. I do not now nor will I ever like them. :(

    Lastly, there is a good chance this baby girl is not a basenji at all. Basenjis are not what I'd consider rare but they are uncommon enough that they aren't found in a lot of mixes. Beagle? yes. Lab? GSD? YES! Basenjis.. not unless a breeder has an oops litter. If you look up basenji on Petfinder you will see a lot of pitts, terrier mixes, etc with erect ears and irish markings that people swear are basenjis. Unless they know for sure (Ie saw the parents) you will never know for sure!

    Good luck with your new baby and don't stress too much! Just by asking these questions I can tell you are ready for a dog and this girl will be lucky to be part of your family! :)

    last edited by CrazySenji
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  • M

    Thanks! The dog has arrived and she's sleeping soundly in her crate (after running around hours and hours). She's such a sweetheart, I'm completely in love. She loves kids and people in general, very curious, checks our everything.

    I couldn't take a good picture - she was way too active - maybe I'll have more luck tomorrow. I think she is basenji - she runs the way they do, has been so quiet, hates getting wet. It's hard to tell on the photo but she does look a lot like basenji (I don't really see any beagle). 0_1482452825080_Photo on 12-22-16 at 6.55 PM #2.jpg

    So far only one hat destroyed, but I've been following her (and vice versa) all the time. She hasn't napped (or even layed down) at all since I picked her up at noon. Is it just her adjusting to the new place or are they really that active? She's been outside for about 2 hours in total.

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  • Her face looks Basenji, maybe not the muzzle however. Are they destructive? Can be, don't have to be. I don't like to crate and I never have, beyond the initial puppy stage or with a rescue until I can get a handle on what to expect. I do restrict access to areas of the house that might be vulnerable until I am sure of the dog. Not all can be trusted to have free rein. Be consistent in what you expect or will tolerate, and be very watchful until you understand what behaviour is "normal" for your new dog.

    Are they really that active? I would say no. She is likely excited to be in a new place and curious about everything. She should settle down. Of course, with a rescue there may well be reasons someone gave up on her, and it's not always immediately apparent if a dog has problems. Hopefully she will fit in well with your family.

    Invisible fence......likely not a good choice for a Basenji, particularly if there are coyotes in your area. You need to protect her. Coyotes will go after a small dog, and sometimes even a not so small one. I know someone who lost a Jack Russell when he was lured by coyotes and then attacked once he was beyond his master's protection.....and Jack Russells are tough little dogs! However, invisible fence can be useful to back up a physical fence if your dog turns out to be an escape artist. Regarding landscaping.....there are some deer fences that blend well and become almost invisible. Perhaps combined with invisible fence that might be a good option. Otherwise, walks or biking your dog should help, and definitely challenge her mentally. Basenjis are clever and I believe they enjoy learning. I taught my boy to retrieve objects by name.....it was fun for both of us.

    Good luck with her.

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