Not sure if Basenji or mutt...

Hey there, Basenji lovers!

So I found this website a couple of years ago, when my wife and I were trying to figure out what breed of puppy we wanted to get for our family of 4 young children. At the time, I contacted a well-respected (as far as I could tell) Basenji breeder (I forget her name, but she was in Texas). She encouraged me to wait until my youngest was old enough to play properly with a puppy. Long story short, we found this little guy (Copper) at the local animal control office. They posted him on their Facebook page, and we got him the morning he became available for adoption!

0_1586209713253_Copper 1.jpg

They estimated he was 10 weeks old (that was 3 weeks ago), and he now weighs right around 10 pounds (almost 13 weeks old now). As far as I can tell, he seems to be on track for a Basenji's weight growth for a male at this age (it's a guessing game). His ears almost always stay erect now (this is a 3-week-old picture). He doesn't bark unless he's playing rough with me, and he seems to really enjoy chewing and at first he bit rather hard when he played.

Fortunately, I have some experience with puppies, so the biting and rough play isn't a problem anymore, but it definitely was during the first week or so. He already knows how to sit, and we are working on lying down and letting go of whatever is in his mouth as well. He has an extremely proud gait and stance, and the tail curls like I would expect a Basenji's to curl.

Our dilemma is, we don't know if he has "disallowed" traits for Basenji's. We don't care about showing the dog, and plan to have him neutered in a couple of weeks, so breeding isn't something we're interested in either. However, it would be nice to know what kind of dog we're working with. Of particular interest to me is the spots on his chest and paws. I think he is a Basenji mix, because none of the other breeds with curled tails also have this short and smooth of a coat, but I have no idea what he could be mixed with.

What do you guys think? Do we have a Basenji mix or a mutt? (NOT that we care, we love him regardless!)

Sincerely,

Eledhan

Do you know the breeder? Or where he came from? Basenji mix or Mutt... one in the same... mixed breeds in the end are all mutts... however, he is very cute.

omgosh, he is just adorable!!

@tanza No, we don’t know the breeder. He was picked up by someone when he was running around out in the oil fields of west Texas. They surrendered him to animal control, and we were the first people to visit with him the day he became available.

I am not sure why I said “Basenji mix or mutt?”, lol. I realize if he is mixed, that’s technically a mutt... but in my mind, I was thinking many dogs are known mixes, but not what most people would call a mutt.

Does that make sense? In essence, my first dog was a 75% Rottweiler and 25% St. Bernard. He was a known mix, with a clear Rottweiler dominance. We are thinking our new puppy is primarily Basenji mixed with something else, but we also think it’s possible he is pure Basenji (or overwhelmingly so).

That’s really what I was trying to say... hopefully that makes more sense?

@elbrant I know!!!!!!! It’s cuteness overkill...

@eledhan - understand... but sill a mutt regardless.. but still very cute and thanks for giving him a home. I would not say pure Basenji at any point... he has lots of things that could point to many breeds and/or mixes...

Additional pictures would be helpful. We have a number of members that would be able to visually look at the pups structure and give an "educated guess". For instance: Basenji's have a square appearance, related to the length of their legs in relation to their backs, as well as other traits. You can learn more at the AKC website. Just bear in mind, it would only be a guess. The only way to be certain about your pups heritage will be through a DNA test. (Lots of companies seem to offer them, prices vary.)

Could be a Basenji. If not no problem. He's super adorable no matter what. I can see why you scooped him up. The younger the pup the harder it is to tell. When first born they all look like mole rats! LOL The different shapes and sizes take longer to emerge.

Please don't neuter him. Too young and neutering isn't healthy. In fact there probably isn't any point in neutering him ever. Of course where you live may be different, but where I am dogs do not run free and the idea of needing to spay/neuter is a cultural artifact from a bygone era. I've never heard of an "unwanted" mating. Those seem to be the province of breeders.

In fact some people are just whacky. I've had people tell me I need to be careful because their dog isn't neutered, as if dogs were like people and you could have a mating when the female isn't in season.

Great round eyes..not quite basenji, but dark spots on skin very very common. Soooo very, very handsome. We will all be happy to watch this guy grow. Neuter...ehhhh...maybe not at his tender age. Let him mature for at least a year, then if you still want to ....Well it is your decision after all, but let him get his full body style and musculature. Happy days to you all.
.

A Basenji mix is a wonderful way to ease into the breed. Your pup has enough "look" to be a Fauxsenji aka Beautiful Blend. We have one, Roxy, same color as yours. We took her in at about 7 months because she had no bite inhibition. We got the biting under control and Roxy is a beloved member of the family. She is also great company to our remaining Basenji who is 15 and nearly blind.

Your pup is darling...enjoy! 0_1586297336825_Roxy.jpg

Sorry in advance for the long post... my account is still "baby" status, so I can't post quickly, and I want to respond to each of you! Pics below!

@marcus Yeah, agreed! I know his breed doesn't technically matter (we're going to love him regardless), but it's still a fun exercise!

@elbrant I'm going to TRY... I prefer to upload directly to the post, but if that doesn't work, I'll link to a google drive folder with some pics if you guys are interested. I think I want to leave the mystery intact for a bit... we may try the DNA testing at some point in the future, if we get enough positive feedback on the potential for him being a Basenji from you guys, I guess... I looked up the AKC breed standard, and I think he has an almost box body (a bit long, I think?), but again, he's still a puppy, so I wasn't sure.

@DonC He's definitely super adorable! Sweet as can be, too, which is part of why I think he may not be Basenji... I've heard they have very inquisitive and assertive temperaments, which Copper only seems to exhibit shortly after he wakes up from a good sleep. His size is basically perfect for a Basenji, based on what I have been able to find online (estimated to be 13 weeks tomorrow, and weighs 10 pounds).

I've never heard the strong arguments for NOT spaying/neutering a dog... Could you please help me out with this? I've always heard vets and animal rights activists claim that is the most humane thing to do for animal growth control. I don't think I have a problem with keeping him natural, but I was trying to do some basic stuff that I figured was pretty normal. If I had solid scientific evidence to stand on, I'd never "fix" another animal again.

@joan-duszka Ah, are Basenji's supposed to have almond shaped eyes? If so, maybe the pictures at the bottom of this post will be more indicative for telling that trait... I'd like to see the scientific (non-activist) research on "fixing" pets. If you have a down-to-earth resource, that would be fantastic!

@MrsCastro OMG! If that's how Copper ends up looking, my wife will be super happy! She hasn't been aware of the Basenji breed before this, and she is now fascinated and hopes he turns out to have primarily Basenji traits.

Here's some updated pics... He's tough to keep still! He just woke up from his nap...

0_1586298953136_Copper 3.jpg
0_1586298976932_Copper 5.jpg
0_1586299357476_Copper 6.jpg

Copper is beautiful - doesn’t matter what he is - he’s ADORABLE! He appears to be part basenji to me - especially his face, tail, and coat.
Congratulations on your new pup!! 🐾🐕❤

@kembe Thanks, Kembe! We agree... Super thankful we were able to save him from spending a single moment inside animal control!

Re: neutering. We know more about this than we used to. While more of a problem in large dogs, bone cancer is a concern with neutering. Especially early neutering. You might want to hold off a bit and discuss with your vet. The risk of other cancers such as of the urinary bladder, cutaneous mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcomas may also be higher in neutered dogs. There is some good information here.

last edited by eeeefarm

Copper is SO adorable! I love the last photo of him just sitting. He is so stinkin' cute. Regardless if he is a basenji or a
basenji mix.............at this point, does it really matter? He looks basenji to me, but not a purebred. The only way to know for sure to to do one of those DNA tests. Enjoy him. He looks like he is going to be a whole lot of fun to have around.
As for neutering, some vets usually say 6 months, some will do earlier (I don't recommend that). Like the other's have said, I would hold off on that till he is at least a year or so. Do research on that. Intact male dogs have a tendency to "mark" their territory, and fight with other male dogs. You would want to socialize him as much as possible to other dogs and people once he is done with all his vaccines (usually around the 4 month mark). Play with him and tire him out as much as possible. A quiet basenji is something to be concerned about (what is he into, what's he doing....etc). A tired basenji is a good basenji.............they don't get into trouble.......chewing, etc. Would love to see him grow into the beautiful dog I believe he will be. Hope you keep us all posted on Copper.

@eeeefarm yeah, I did a bit of research and I’m already convinced. Unfortunately, because we rescued him from a animal control, we signed an agreement that we would have him sterilized. I’m going to try to ask if we can just do something like a vasectomy instead of fully neutering.

We may be able to get away without doing any of it if this virus situation continues... but if not, I’m at least going to practically beg them to let it wait til he is much more mature.

@basenjimom2 Thank you so much! (as if I had anything at all to do with his cuteness... lol)

Yeah, he should be super fun! He's already a great puppy, and doesn't have much of an issue with responding well to our leadership, even with our 4 (somewhat) young children.

I'm hoping we won't have to neuter him, but because he was a rescue from animal control, it was part of the agreement (I didn't know that until this evening).

@eledhan said in Not sure if Basenji or mutt...:

it was part of the agreement

Read your adoption contract carefully and make sure you understand what you agreed to. The portion referencing pet nueter/spay agreement may have a specific timeline. Or, it may not. Make sure you find out.

He's adorable and imo, has lots of basenji in him.
I can just see him doing the 'basenji 500!' Hopefully you are already witnessing him all of a sudden getting a burst of energy and running around crazy - the basenji 500!

that's just one pup doing the basenji 500 - if you type in basenji 550 on the youtube site, there are quite a few other examples.

Enjoy him!

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