Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?

@eeeefarm I don’t mind, and actually prefer, a dog that demands attention from time to time. I think if you all new how much ‘velcro’ my current dog is you would understand a bit more. Independent is not in her vocabulary. I love her and do let her constantly lean on me, lay on me too. Nothing like a 75lb lap dog! I’m not saying I want a 100% independent dog. Why get a dog if that was the case? Basenji’s sound wonderful the more I read. I’m like get how you all are stating they do demand attention sometimes and do love their owners. Honestly, from reading other posts and articles about them I was under the impression that they are not that loving and just wanted to be left alone most of the time. But watching videos of them I felt that must not be true. I do plan on meeting a few before I make my decision.

@hazyj Personally I would always keep them on a leash. They have recall right up to the point when they see “prey” and then they are gone. Much like leaving them uncrated, it works until it doesn’t and then the consequences can be death, so to me it is never worth the risk.

Two mile walks twice a day would be fine if you could do it. I would not get a basenji if I did not have the time or capability to walk them enough. Sure they can survive but it doesn’t fulfill their natural desires and needs. I use extension leashes so for the 3-5 miles we do, they do about 6-7 lol. Although it takes time and concentration to use them safely.

Most of the people who come on here with problems and looking for advice, generally can be helped just by increasing the walks. Even taking them to the same park gets boring for a basenji, unless maybe it’s a dog park but they have their own problems.

From my own experience, during winter I walk them as much as possible but they are more stressed, have more problems with behavior etc. in the summer with 4-5 walks a day including one good two mile walk, they just want to come home, sleep and then get back out there. A tired basenji is a happy, good, well behaved basenji. In the wild dogs migrate as a pack, the more you emulate that, the better it is for the dogs health and well-being.

The walks are the key to everything. The reason I keep them is intelligence, they will keep you on your toes constantly and will outwit you. To keep a basenji you must be half as smart as the dog lol.

Recall and off leash are debatable subjects. Of five I have owned, my first was solid on recall, my last also was good but I did use an e-collar to ensure it, which is frowned upon on this forum, my second girl was good out in the wild, not so much in familiar territory, and the other two were unreliable. I wouldn't count on reliability off leash. Depends on the individual dog, and even more so on your relationship with said dog! On the beach or woods can be doable.

With my first Basenji I treated her like any other dog, walking her off leash in the city of Toronto! She was trained (as were my other dogs) never to go on the road unless at heel. Seems incredible looking back, but at the time I didn't know you can't do that with a Basenji, and apparently neither did she!

@hazyj - Basenjis and Whippets are hounds... they are a "thinking" breed... as in request them to do something their immediate response is "What's in it for me?" They are not in my opinion stubborn...

I only know one other person in this country who regularly lets her Basenji (singular) off leash - but in all my years I have been able to let my pack off and they come back. I live out in the countryside and don't let them off except in the woods where they are far from any roads or cars. And they are always friendly with other dogs we meet. I get to know the names of the dogs who frequent our forest far quicker than I ever do the owners.

I am getting very intermittent internet connection at the moment. Gales and heavy rain. I just refilled the generator in case we lose power. Internet is spasmodic. . .

last edited by Zande

@elbrant I guess the whole “this makes me cringe” made me think otherwise. I was saying I wouldn’t be able to give strenuous exercise daily such as long hikes but as I stated, walks I can most definitely provide. And to add mental stimulation I can provide too.

Does anyone have a whippet as well and can give some input on the differences between them? Characteristics that may make me prefer one breed over the other. Or I just might have to get one of each! 😆

last edited by hazyJ

@hazyj - If you contact me via email, I will connect you with her... she has Basenjis and Whippets... and has for years (

@elbrant said in Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?:

This kind of made me cringe.

Don't cringe, HazyJ. All Basenjis are different (and how !?!) and are differently reared to live in different situations and conditions. Things that work for one owner may well be anathema to another.

You have to weigh up all the pros and cons and see how things relate to your own circumstances.

For instance, I have a big garden, and throwing a Frisbie for a while often has to stand in for a walk. On the other hand, I never leave my Basenjis alone for more than 4 hours, absolute maximum. Even when I had 8 in the house.

Hoover went for a hour to the forest yesterday and then came with me in her car-crate on the trip to see my new puppy. A friend with her Labrador and a Bichon came with us. All the dogs are used to travelling and we stopped off for a free run and a chance to stretch legs on the way.

Before anyone shouts, NO they didn't visit with the puppies, they stayed in the car - I have too much respect for young Moms !

So just take it all on board and see if you have the time to work with a Basenji or if too much makes you cringe. But there is no need, no need at all.

@zande said in Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?:

“All Basenjis are different (and how !?!) and are differently reared to live in different situations and conditions. Things that work for one owner may well be anathema to another.“

Exactly and there are exceptions / outliers in the breed. Also, each dog will adapt to each owner individually. I have never had problems with discipline or training, yet they try to manipulate me with “goodness” lol because they know it works. With my wife, they never try to manipulate her because they know it doesn’t work, yet they will not listen to her sometimes when being disciplined and told no.

@tanza said in Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?:

they are a "thinking" breed

❤ this! I watch doodle think things through all the time and then make a decision about it. The only thing she doesn't really seem to get is the "wind", especially when a random plastic grocery bag catches a breeze and starts dancing about. She knows the bag isn't alive... but it's moving(!), what's up with that? LOL I don't really know how to explain it to her, but I can tell she's a little spooked by it. Such an incredibly smart breed!

@hazyj said in Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?:

“this makes me cringe” made me think otherwise.

If you thought cringing was harsh, I apologize. We know very little about new members, so there isn't any reference for (your definition of) a "walk". Your walks might be as long as 5 miles, or as short as 5 minutes... Cringing was more because, well, it could have gone either way. I hope that makes more sense now.

IMHO, a lengthy daily walk strengthens the dog/owner bond and prevents doggie boredom. Overall, it does a doggie good.

last edited by elbrant

@tanza said in Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?:

they are a "thinking" breed...

thinking, yes, but also scheming, planning strategists, who will outwit all but the most vigilant. Lovely creatures !!!!

@elbrant said in Basenji or whippet? Anyone have both?:

She knows the bag isn't alive

You are is clearly a squirrel.....until investigated lol

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