Heya, new here with possibly a basenji?/bull terrier mix

  • Hello, I'm Nari and this is Mia. alt text

    My guy and I found her and her sister on a dirt road November 10th right before my birthday. They were tiny and bloated and wouldn't have survived the night if left out there. We assumed someone dumped them. My guy had to hop across a little stream and chase down the sister while I picked Mia up and tried to follow him. Mia put up minimal resistance and didn't run, she was noticably smaller and lighter than her sister but neither were malnourished from what I could tell. It just looked like they ate stuff they shouldn't have and they both had bad poops for the first few days. But once they worked things out they went from little foot balls to normal shaped bellies. We weren't expecting to get a puppy, let alone two so we gave the sister to a local guy we knew. He appropriately named her Shy. Mia got her name because she was Missing in Action. Poor Mia walked around howling for her sister and crying which was adorable but heart breaking. So of course we had to have some play dates while we were still in the area. We guessed they were around 6-8 weeks old and were eating solid food.

    Baby pic~
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    The first few weeks after getting her she would be constantly under foot. Like, really bad to where she would get kicked if we weren't avoiding her. She stuck like glue and was relentless so we put a bell on her which helped. She was and still is a huge cry baby, always quick to whining over everything and getting upset when people leave. That's earned her the nickname Tiny Whiney. And she insists that some part of her is in contact with someone or another dog when it's bed time.
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    But she's becoming surprisingly independent and selectively listening to commands. Her ears went from both pointing to both flopping to one flopping to both pointing again which was interesting. I assumed she'd eventually grow into her ears, but her ears just keep getting bigger. I find them rather endearing. ... Get it? Lol bad pun.

    Other than being adorable, we had no idea what she was for the most part. We assumed she's got a bit of bull terrier because of her nose and size (she's 4 months old and about 22 lbs) but what she was mixed with was anyone's guess. After watching some dog breed videos on YouTube, the basenji popped up. They showed a tri-colored puppy and it was this "Aha!" moment, like maybe we were into something. She has a normal bark but makes these cute noises when she yawns and I've heard her more "talking" than barking. She seems to groom herself fairly often too. I'm using my phone right now so bear with me as I pull a lazy move and link her picture album instead of posting them individually...


    There's oodles of pics and a couple short videos. They should be in order so you can get a feel for how fast she's growing in just 2 months. I'm curious what weight she's going to max out at. She's heavier than she looks. I'm also curious in training tips. She's very food motivated and loves chewing her toys or wood and has been great about not chewing things she shouldn't. But she is becoming a fan of digging. And Little Miss Independent needs to learn to listen better. Especially outside. She'll straight ignore us and turn around doing her own thing more often. We just got her spayed but once that's healed we need to work more on leash training as well. She fights against her harness if she wants to go her own way. I've been bribing her with tiny treats on walks to get her to follow me and calm down when she struggles but I don't wanna spoil her too much. I could use some pointers on how to just get her attention too. She knows her name but often doesn't acknowledge being called. It's getting frustrating, my baby doesn't need me as much anymore 😕 She's good about listening to us telling her no and gets so upset when she's in trouble. It's easy to teach her what is a no-no which I'm thankful for. It probably helps she's around other older dogs of all sizes and an older puppy. She loves all people and goes right up to strangers. We try to take her as many places as we can and a cutie like her gets lots of attention from strangers. She's a grazer though so I always need to make sure she's not picking up something she shouldn't. I joke she's better than the vacuum when it comes to sucking up crumbs. That nose is always to the ground looking for stuff. She is pretty mouthy and licky and gives little grooming nibbles and has gotten a lot better with the puppy play biting. It's more like she wants to reciprocate the attention and pets you give her. She's also handsy and boxes when she plays, usually rolling onto her back. She also HATES baths and cries through them and gets wiggly trying to get out. And she goes around puddles instead of through them. Sorry if I'm rambling, I'm just trying to paint a full picture of her. She's really a joy to have, if she wasn't so awesome I was tempted to find a home for her like I did for her sister. But she won us over without trying. The minute I picked her up off that dirt road, she was our dog. And that was that.

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    Her tail is curled enough to make a loop.

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    I've never heard of the basenji before, so I'm trying to learn what I can about them. From what I can tell, she's definitely not full basenji but it seems hard to deny that she could have a lot in her. I know looks aren't everything, but just going based off her appearance she looks pretty spot on if a little bigger and stalkier with a wider nose and not quite so curly tail. I haven't met a full basenji before but it sounds like she's got the mannerisms and quirks that basenjis do. I hope that's what she is. I've heard people suggest she's everything from Jack Russell to Australian Shepherd to Husky because of her markings. Those eyebrows were a mystery. I was just hoping she would stay under 50lbs, whatever she was. This gives me hope she'll stay a manageable size. She was so teeny as a puppy, she'd walk right under my friends pocket pit and he's a low rider lol. It's crazy how fast she's growing and putting on weight. I was a little concerned I'd end up with a tiny horse.

    It's kinda funny how it seems like the world gave me an amazing dog the day before my birthday. She was the perfect birthday present and I love everything about her. Really, I'm more of a cat person and she is cat-like enough, I was tempted to name her Kitty. Her being low shedding and self grooming and not all drooly or yappy really fits with what I like in a dog. She's cute as a button and such an absolute sweetheart. Like, I can't say enough praise about this puppy. She's been amazing with not chewing and was great with potty training since day 1 except when it was raining. Once when we first got her, she went to the door, saw it was raining, turned right back around and pooped under bed. It was so funny I couldn't stay mad. I'm a little surprised I haven't heard about these dogs before. This really does seem like a breed I can get into.

  • I definitely see Basenji in Mia also! You lucked into a very special dog. Aren't their quirky characteristics so endearing and charming? Looks like you found each other for a reason😊. She needed you and it looks as if she landed herself a loving family and comfortable home. Thanks for saving her and her sister and responsibly spaying her. I enjoyed reading her story. I LOVE the picture of the two sleeping companions. Basenjis can be challenging but they steal your heart!

  • The picture of her licking her hip convinced me that she might have some basenji mixed in her. It's very very hard for me to believe that a lot of the mixes claiming to be part basenji actually ARE part basenji. They aren't that common and aren't running around making mixed pups like you'd see with more common breeds. If it has prick ears and Irish markings it must be a basenji!! Nope! She could also be a standard rat terrier mix. I have a friend with a blue one who looks a lot like your girl and rat terriers are far more common. Her stockiness and head shape do make me think that there is a some bully breed in there as well!

    Regardless, she's beautiful and you are lucky to have her!

  • @CrazySenji said in Heya, new here with possibly a basenji?/bull terrier mix:

    She could also be a standard rat terrier mix. I have a friend with a blue one who looks a lot like your girl and rat terriers are far more common. Her stockiness and head shape do make me think that there is a some bully breed in there as well!

    Regardless, she's beautiful and you are lucky to have her!

    Thank you for the replies~ she does look pretty ratty lol but I thought basenji fit better because of the curled tail. Most of the pictures I could find with rat terriers had short/docked? tails or more straight. Mia's tail makes a perfect loop, tip touching the base. The area we found her at had all kinds of dogs around, all different breeds. I'm assuming it's possible to have basenji in her because people would hunt game up there. We were up in the mountains at the time and a smaller sighthound seems like a good hunting partner. And there were people up there with odd pure breeds I'm not used to seeing in the city. It's just sad people get these awesome dogs and then go and do things like dumping the puppies. It doesn't make sense to me. That's why my guy and I wanted to be responsible since she's getting bigger. Plus not dealing with the bleeding and behavior changes and reducing cancer risks, it was definitely necessary and wasn't expensive at all. To be honest, she's my first puppy because to me, they're usually too much work. Only dog I had so far was an old German Shepard that was used for breeding until she got too old. She got out of her yard and the owners didn't want her back so I had the best dog for a couple years until she had to be put down because of cancer. She had my back and was a great first dog. Really taught me confidence in having this huge animal respect and love me. I've never felt safer than when she was around. Thing is, she was pretty well trained when I got her and it was easy to show her who the boss was. This whole puppy business is tougher. Especially since she's a daddy's girl lol. We really lucked out with Mia, the only behavior issues she has lately is pooping inside when going to strange places. Like we gotta re-potty train her everywhere we go. She doesn't seem to understand that no pooping inside means no pooping anywhere inside. Not just at her house. Maybe it's a stress or territory thing going into a different environment? Other then that she's been a great puppy causing minimal damage to stuff, even her stuffed toys. I tried getting her a toy rubber ball that was all holey and put treats with fleece scraps in the ball. She didn't even want to pull the scraps out at first. All she needs is a stick to be happy, loves chewing on wood.

    Whatever she is mixed with, I'm gonna love her to bits. I was mostly hoping to get some breed specific training tips and to know what to watch out for, if she'll be prone to certain health issues. Plus it'd be nice to finally have a better answer when people ask the ever popular question, "what breed is she?" Usually followed by, "she's adorable/precious" so I guess people generally like whatever she is and wanna know more. She is rather uncommon looking to me. Which is what prompted this research. My favorite reason why I think she's part basenji is her yawn. It's adorably loud and weird and kinda sounds like crowing or something I can't really explain. Like, she makes a sound that you wouldn't expect from a dog. It really surprised me first few times she did it.

    I'm not sure if this is a basenji thing, but she also gets the hiccups a lot. Like, often enough I was concerned when she was tiny, pretty much guaranteed to start hiccuping after she ate. She's getting better with it happening less frequently but it'll still randomly happen more than I think is normal? ...I know I sound kinda paranoid here but that's my baby. I'm a worried new mama lol.

  • Rat Terriers have short tails because they are docked ;). If they had their natural tails some would be curled! Boxers, rottweilers, dobes, etc can have curled tails if left undocked.

    Puppies of all breeds often have hiccups when they eat too quickly taking in excess air. That's actually a common question we get at work.

    Basenjis do have cute yawns. My red boy makes a noise like he's saying "awrf" and my brindle makes a squeaky howl noise.

  • The curled hip licking is very basenji-esque. You could do a wisdom panel and find out, but regardless, what a cutie! Bless you for rescuing her.

  • Thank you~ I'm going to do a little research about how to equip her for the snow. We're planning a trip to Indiana in February and I don't want her to freeze. I'm wondering if dog shoes would be a good thing to get and have her get used to for walking in snow. I know she'll need a new coat since she's outgrown her old one. She gets shivery easily.

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