Considering a Basenji
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  • G

    Hi,

    I’m interested in a Basenji, but I want to make sure it is the right dog for me. I am looking for a dog that would be willing to run on most days and would do well in an apartment and could potentially be left alone for a full work day (9 hours including drive time) M-F. I live in the city in southern California so I have plenty of access to dog walkers and doggy daycare as necessary, but ideally I would like it if those were more the exception rather than the rule. I have seen information that says Basenjis due to their independence are very good being alone for a time and other anecdotes saying they would be quite destructive. I would be able to devote most of my time when not at work to it. I have also read some horror stories of Basenjis attacking other dogs/people. I would probably prefer getting a puppy in the future so I would have a chance to socialize it at a young age and spend lots of time working on obedience with it. Do you think a Basenji could thrive given the limitations of time and space it would have during the weekdays?

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  • I suggest you contact some local breeders or owners and meet with some basenjis. In fact, you could try fostering a dog and see how that works out while you get an idea.

    As for the rest... most would run with you, and they do well in apartments if they get a lot of exercise.

    Destructiveness... lol depends. I had one that was til she was an adult, then fine. I had one that wasn't destructive, but she'd pee on my bed if I left her... so she got crated. Then there's Cara, who simply chills and does her own thing when I'm not home. On the other hand, if you exercise enough, they'll sleep in the crate and be ready to rock and roll when you get home.

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  • K

    Personally, leaving a dog alone for 9 hours during the week, I find it too much. Basenjis are very attached to their human. As for running, movement is good, but basenjis also need to use their nose to explore their territory - sometimes it takes me 30 minutes to walk 500 yards, because my two sisters are exploring every leave of grass. It tires their brain, which makes for a calm household (no destruction here).

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  • 9 hours a day is way to long for ANY dog- get a cat instead

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  • If you expect to leave your companion for 9hrs a day, M-F, in an apartment, not a good idea.... that should be the exception, not the rule. You need to plan on doggy day care and/or a dog walker.
    I do leave mine for 8 to 10 hours a day, BUT they have their doggy room, access to outdoors, 12ft privacy fences... and the is more than one of them. So all comes down to your situation.

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  • I do believe the original post mentioned readily available dog walkers ;).

    Basenjis do very well with an active lifestyle but also rest as hard as they play. Mine love running, biking or just walks though the neighborhood. If you walked them in the AM, had a walker mid-day and then a walk in the evening I think an adult basenji would do just fine. A puppy might be a challenge though. I'd suggest an adult from a rescue or a retired show dog from a breeder. They are not easy to train as they get bored VERY quickly. However, every dog is different and there are several basenjis with obedience titles. Some are destructive, some aren't. Kennel training is very important!

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  • I have the great fortune to be home or have someone home. But I disagree with the ones saying 9 hours is too much. If you exercise the dog in the morning and give it a lot of exercise in the evening and weekends, most dogs, even basenjis, sleep up to 17 hrs a day. Make them tired, give them interesting toys/games/ frozen low calorie treats stuffed in kongs... they'll do fine.

    Absolutely you need help if you get a puppy. They need to be out at least every 3 to 4 hrs. But, owners have managed longer by having a potty area set up in a large secure playpen or room. Is it ideal? No, but doable. Especially if you can get help most days those first several months... even have a family or friend take the pup during the day.

    It depends on how dedicated you are to making things work. While I'd rule out a home away 12 hours a day, I don't think all working people should be discouraged from owning a dog. People have had them and done well for a very long time. Frankly if we rule out homes where all adults work, we're not going to have many homes that can potentially be fantastic.

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  • G

    Thank you all for your opinions/suggestions. I will consider what i want to do going forward. If i just accept the fact that i will be using walkers/doggy daycare on an everyday basis that does open up the available options of dog breeds to me as well. Traits like 'independent' might become less important relative to 'train ability' or 'people pleasing' since the issue of time by themselves would be largely negated I think? So perhaps i should go do some more research.

    If I were to get a puppy vs. an older dog I would obviously treat that situation drastically different. I have plenty of family/friends help I could get in the area along with professional services as needed and also have plenty of vacation time to burn. That, even if it lasts for a year, I still view as something temporary vs. a permanent lifestyle change.

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