New puppy?

Hello,
My name is Corey and I have been researching basenjis now for about 2 years making sure I have a decent understanding of the breed and have decided it is a breed I am interested in looking after. I am currently 23 years old, I just finished my business degree and am currently working from home and expect to do so for the next several years. I spent some time in the military so I like to be active. I have had a black lab for 9 years until her passing when I was 16. my parents got a yellow lab soon after he recieved 4 walks a day approx. 2.5 km each and usually played fetch for about 30 minutes. I have an Apartment about 1500 square feet with another 150 square feet of balcony space. The apartment building also has a dog care service which has dog walking and can come in to feed your dog they also have dedicated relief areas. My issue is that I live alone without a roommate, until my girlfriend moves in next spring assuming everything goes to plan.

My questions are,

  1. do you think I will be able to handle a basenji puppy on my own for that period of time? Or should a wait for my girlfriend to move in?
  2. would you be able to get a basenji to pee on an outdoor fake grass patch?
  3. tips for taking care of a basenji in Canada? (All I could really find was to our a jacket on them)
  4. does anybody take their basenji camping? I know they can't be trusted off lead with their recall.

Thank you to anybody who can offer any guidance or help in this potential adventure, all suggestions and criticisms are welcome. I haven't owned a dog on my own before and a basenji seems to be a challenging breed but I am confident I can overcome any difficulties.
Corey
P.S. I might be under the wrong category and if I am I'm sorry I wasn't sure which category to be under.

Hi and welcome to the forum. Working from home is good, you should have time for your dog. Whether you wait for the girlfriend sort of depends on if you think that will mean there will be fewer times you will have to leave your pup alone. It could also be good to start the way you mean to continue instead of introducing a new person after the pup is used to your routine.

You can probably get the pup to use a pee pad. I've never done it but know people who have. With an apartment it would make it easier, at least in the beginning.

I live in Canada and have had five Basenjis over the years. Winter can be a bit tough for them, and a coat is a good idea for very cold weather, but IMO boots are even more important if it is snowy and icy and very cold. A dog can only hold up so many feet at once! It's a good idea to get boots and get the dog familiar with them. Most do not like them but can learn, but will probably try to get them off, so having the dog on leash and making sure it doesn't bite at the boots is important. When you get your pup, make sure to get it used to being handled all over, including the feet (you will probably need to trim toenails unless all your walking is done on pavement). My boy with his boots.
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Camping shouldn't be a problem. And some Basenjis do learn a reliable recall, but you should likely assume you will need to keep the dog leashed. And likely have it in your sleeping bag with you at night. 🙂

last edited by eeeefarm

@eeeefarm
I love the photo of your Basenji with his BOOTS! I live in Massachusetts, where is is also very cold and snowy in the winter. I could never get my Basenji to wear her boots. It was hilarious to watch her try to walk in them. I’ll have to give it a try again this winter - maybe I’ll get her to wear them now that she’s older.

@kembe said in New puppy?:

@eeeefarm
I love the photo of your Basenji with his BOOTS! I live in Massachusetts, where is is also very cold and snowy in the winter. I could never get my Basenji to wear her boots. It was hilarious to watch her try to walk in them. I’ll have to give it a try again this winter - maybe I’ll get her to wear them now that she’s older.

Most do not like boots. You have to insist, and overcome the resistance, hoping the dog will realize their feet are no longer so painfully cold. If you have ever had horses, you know how many take exaggerated steps the first few after having leg wraps put on. Dogs tend to do the same with boots!

With a bit of work and patience you can usually get a Basenji to cooperate, e.g. when I broke my ankle I had to get Perry ready for my dog walker, which involved getting him to stand on a footstool while I put on his boots from my wheelchair. He was more helpful than he ever was before my injury, patiently staying put while I struggled to suit him up for his walk.

last edited by eeeefarm

@corey_hebb - Many responsible breeders litter train their pups so in an apartment easy to continue that practice. When you talk to breeders ask if they do that. Much cleaner then using pee pads or newspaper.

@eeeefarm thank you for the reply. I definitely plan to get a coat for him and boots is a good suggestion! Thank you

@tanza okay thank you I will definitely inquire about that 🙂

@kembe
Hello I’m in MA, I have a Basenji almost 6 months old. Do you know of any good trainer? Or Basenji play groups? Is hard to socialize them during COVID...

@corey_hebb said in New puppy?:

My questions are,
do you think I will be able to handle a basenji puppy on my own for that period of time? Or should a wait for my girlfriend to move in?

You can do it on your own.

would you be able to get a basenji to pee on an outdoor fake grass patch?

Yes, but you have to be consistent

tips for taking care of a basenji in Canada? (All I could really find was to our a jacket on them)

sweaters and boots. Try to find a mall or indoor walking facility, Basenjis need lots of exercise.

does anybody take their basenji camping? I know they can't be trusted off lead with their recall.

I don’t trust my Basenji off leash yet, but he has been camping and does very well. Get a long leash so your puppy can explore under supervision.

last edited by elbrant

After reading all these good responses, one thing came to mind- if you get a basenji before your girlfriend moves in, make sure she can handle all the 'basenji-ness.'
If you wait until she moves in, make sure she is in agreement of what has to be done with a basenji puppy.
It would be almost unbearable to get rid of one because they can't live with the other.

Corey, you sound like a really, really nice and thoughtful person. I think you will make a wonderful basenji owner, but there are some things I think you should consider.

You mention that your girlfriend will move in later. What if your girlfriend does not like your basenji after she moves in? What if she cannot tolerate the b chewing up her underwear, clothes or shoes? Is she as into being owned by a basenji as you are?

Since you are young, I am guessing you will likely get married and have a baby. I'm not saying b's can't coexist with babies, but I can't tell you how many b's I've seen come into rescue (including my current b) around the age of 4 or 5 because the dog was the "first baby" and then a human baby arrived. You will absolutely love your basenji, but the powerful feeling of love and protectiveness you will have for your child will absolutely blow you away. A baby is pretty easy - eat, sleep, repeat. But a toddler is another story. A basenji might growl at a toddler as it becomes more mobile. If your basenji growled at your toddler, what would you or the mother of your child do? Chances are, she'll want the dog gone - why take the chance of a bite? It's exhausting to chase after the average toddler who wants to get into everything, but having a b complicates it by a factor of at least 1,000x because they are like toddlers too.

Personally, I think it is better for the b to come into a family already formed - when the kids are 4+ yrs old. Perhaps you and your girlfriend do not plan to have kids - that plan could change as the biological clock advances.

I am sorry to be so negative about this, but I have seen so many b's given up by well meaning and loving owners. Some people can make it work, but you should be aware of how hard it can be and think long and hard about this aspect of ownership. Go in with your eyes wide open.

I am sure there are members here who will disagree with me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Not every basenji will growl at a baby. Some basenjis are wonderful with kids. Until you get there, you won't know. It's up to you whether or not you want to take that chance.

@kylo
Where in MA are you located?

@eeeefarm said in New puppy?:

He was more helpful than he ever was before my injury, patiently staying put while I struggled to suit him up for his walk.

Isn't that always the way with Basenjis ! Once you are incapacitated in any way, they really rally around and HELP ! Sometimes the help is not actually what you want or need, but the thought is in the right place.

Pawla rightly asks : What if your girlfriend does not like your basenji after she moves in? What if she cannot tolerate the b chewing up her underwear, clothes or shoes? Is she as into being owned by a basenji as you are?

But also supposing the Basenji takes a dislike to the girl-friend. Resents her, for instance. I'd wait until the household is settled and then bring the Basenji in. They are worth waiting for !

last edited by Zande

@corey_hebb - In regards to the comments about starting a family and babies, you need to start to prepare your Basenji early in the process, not after the baby is born. Consider getting a behaviorist before a new baby to help you with the process. A well socialized Basenji from a responsible breeder can do fine with a baby. That said you can't just ignore the Basenji when the baby comes, they must be included at part of the family. I have a family the is on their 2nd Basenji from me. The first they got when they were first married. He was about 4 when the children came. They have 2 boys and the Basenji and the kids were the best of friends. After he passed at age 15 the got a new pup from me.... He loves the boys, but the boys know exactly how to interact with the Basenji. Same goes for your girl friend when she moves in... however I would believe that she will be well familiar with the Basenji before living in the household. If nothing else a Basenji will teach anyone in the household to pick up after themselves... otherwise everything is fair game ..... As long as you think ahead and prepare I think you would do just fine. That said, as you know Basenjis are typically born in the Fall/Winter 90% of the time as they mostly only come in season once a year so in reality, I would say that you need to get on a breeders reservation list now and since responsible breeders have reservation list you may be looking at next year for a puppy. So sounds to me like your girlfriend will have already moved in.

@kylo
I live in Western, MA - Chicopee

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