I must agree that naive, first-time wanne-be owners need to do deep, extensive research. Basenjis are supremely unique and definitely not a good choice for a "beginner."
I adopted an 18-month old 3/4 Basenji (other 1/4 is Min Pin, yet another quirky little breed, with some "bad" similarities to B's). I was somewhat familiar with B's, but not even a little bit of "enough!!" Gosh, Izzy-Bella was a piperoo!! A little 18 pound bundle of energy, destruction, and escapism. BUT, I have always loved bad boys (9 years working in a high school), so a little bad girl was a sort of delight. But, again, it takes many years before these dogs mellow out and mature and maximize their amazing intelligence. Izzy is SO SO smart: her early unbridled destructiveness has pretty much ended, and now, at ten years old, she amazes us every day with her intelligence, innate understanding, observational skills, language acumen, and comedic skills. And at ten years old, she acts like a three year old! I hope this means she will live forever.
Once you have bonded with a Basenji, you are probably done and gone. But
first-timers REALLY need to do their research and homework.
Someone referred to entrusting their dog
to a family member. I would entrust my B to nobody except a bona fide Vet hospital/kennel, with big-time fences and enclosures, B's are exceptional diggers-under-fences and escape artists. And a Number One cause of
death for them is traffic. Their prey instinct sends them careening into
traffic. Dumber than deer.
But, bottom line: do your due diligence Basenji research, and understand early on that these dogs are singularly unique: indescribably destructive; escape artists; independent thinkers and behaviorists; smarter than you can even begin to imagine (I swear my Izzy understands everything I say and reads my mind!); and prepare to have lots of tissues on hand as auxiliary food, because apparently, Basenjis require wood pulp
projects to prosper!! I don't get it.