• I'm wondering if not fearing noises is a basenji breed trait. I have two basenjis, and they've never shown fear of loud noises.

    Fireworks in my neighbor's backyard? No reaction.
    Thunder? Not a reason to move.
    Gunfire? No issues (it was 20-30 yards away on a few occasions).

    They do startle (e.g., when they are simply sitting in the kitchen, minding their own business and a dish full of food falls off the counter and breaks). However, it seems more like the motion of a close-passing car or falling object that startles them, because sound alone seems not to. Do you think it is my individual dogs, or the breed generally?

  • I've had five, none have had problems with natural noises, like thunderstorms, and fireworks wasn't an issue either. Or gunfire (we had a gun club just up the road from our farm, Wednesday evenings and Sundays could get a bit loud). So my conclusion is the same as yours. They do not seem to be much bothered by loud noises, unlike herding dogs that often are......

  • I have been in Basenjis for 30+ years and none of mine could care less about things like fireworks. We have county fair grounds less than a mile from our home.... on 4th of July we would sit in the upstairs window and watch the fire works...easy to see. LOL all of us including the Basenjis... they never had an issue. We have very, very few thunder storms here in No. Cal were we are and they were never bothered by them. And on that note even sirens don't bother them.... we have a nursing home behind use and doesn't seem to bother them at all. Things like dishes falling from the kitchen counter only means "food for me"?

  • @tanza HEY! I know right where you live, more or less. Been to that Fair Ground numerous times for all manner of fun... custom car shows, highland games, RV shows, dog shows, etc. 😄 👍

    Neither Jengo, nor Logan seem to get upset by loud noises. But, they both alert to them, which is quite different from fear. They'll let me know if a critter's in the back yard, someone is coming down stairs, the dryer is done and other stuff like. The one that I liked most was when we had company over, the door bell would start ringing repeatedly, Jengo would trot over and stand there looking back at me like "Hear that?" Not a peep. Friends were constantly amazed that the door could be going off like a bomb and... silent dog. 😇

  • @nordic said in Basenjis Don't Fear Noise?:

    They do startle

    I think this is predominately related to their environment. Doodle was largely in the country (or in shows) before I brought her home. She didn't really understand the noises in the city. So she would get startled at loud noises that were unfamiliar. Once she heard them, and understood what caused the noise, she wasn't bothered by it. But she had a lot of firsts when I brought her home. Grocery carts on asphalt (especially with broken wheels). Trucks opening and closing the rear loading door. Now that she's gotten used to the sights and sounds here, she isn't skittish anymore.

    There are still a few things she doesn't really understand. Like grocery bags and the wind. She knows the bags are "not alive", but she doesn't understand that the wind is what's making them "dance around". 😉

  • We have a summer camp on a lake in the Berkshire’s. The storms can be violent due to the moisture that comes in from the Hudson Valley and Adirondacks. One summer night I thought the world was going to end - the thunder and lightning was incredible - I was frightened - Kembe slept like a baby and snored right through it. My mom had a chihuahua that was petrified of thunder and fireworks. She use to shake and pant to the point that her tongue would turn blue. She would also cling to you and wrap herself around your neck.

  • @jengosmonkey - Totally agree with you... And yes, alert to the noise (unless for mine are already sleeping.. LOL). We have a big window next to the front door... they seen to for sure know that someone parking out front are coming to this house... image the persons surprise when they get to the front door and look over and see Basenji faces staring at them..LOL

  • @elbrant - Elbrant... she is just looking to chase them... like bags on the lure course...LOL

  • My first basenji seemed totally unfazed by noise (like fireworks) until she got older (over 10). I fostered about 50 basenjis of all ages over the course of 5 years and most were not very bothered by loud noises. My current b (had him since the age of 4) has always freaked out (like a horse) when there is a sudden unexpected loud noise. He will run like crazy in the opposite direction. If we're walking down the street and there's road construction or a noisy truck, he will turn around and go in the opposite direction. No amount of coaxing or cajoling will get him to walk past the source of the noise. If a particularly noisy truck comes up the road, he will stop and watch it until it passes by. Firetrucks with sirens blasting don't seem to have the same effect. It is very specific.

    Not all basenjis ignore noise. Most are pretty tolerant.

  • We have a house with a front door, a side door, and a back door. We have a 6' wooden fence around the back yard, not affecting the side or front doors.
    Our second pet, Spicer was an inch over standard and used that inch when it served his purpose.

    He was VERY afraid of fireworks, and afraid of thunder, but we think he thought they were from the same thing.

    Once he was still out as the fireworks started (and it was neighbors) he climbed the fence and was jumping at the back door. Such a good boy, he could've run away.

    Captain was afraid of the central vac, I tried to use it when it was nice out and he could run to the way back yard.

    Freida was more jumpy around noises she wasn't expecting. She was born that way and stayed that way her whole life. I figured it was because she had quite a bit of African in her none of the others did), and she would need that trait to survive in Africa - I'm just guessing though.

  • @tanza said in Basenjis Don't Fear Noise?:

    she is just looking to chase them

    omgosh... I took doodle for a bit of off-leash testing at a local park. Off in the distance, a half a football field away, there were some older kids playing with a remote control truck. doodle spotted it and took off after the "squirrel with headlights". I just laughed to myself, but the kids must of have seen her bolting towards the toy. Suddenly the truck was aimed at doodle and heading towards her... the minute she realized it, she turned and ran full speed the other direction! LMAO I had to reassure her that I was "right here" about four times before she stopped to look for me. So funny!!

  • @rugosab said in Basenjis Don't Fear Noise?:

    Captain was afraid of the central vac, I tried to use it when it was nice out and he could run to the way back yard.

    My boy Sunny was afraid of the central vac when I got him. It literally scared the sh*t out of him the first time I ran it when he was around. Not sure it was the loudness, maybe the suction sound, but we worked on it until I could feed him his dinner in his bowl surrounded by the hose of the vac with it running, so we cured that little phobia. Much easier to do with something you can control, unlike thunderstorms.

  • My little guy is not afraid of loud noises, in fact seems to really like them. Absolutely loves a lawn mower and electric drill. However, he will get startled if something is dropped nearby or a quick unexpected sound is nearby...but it is not fear and he goes right on. This has been true for him right from the start at 7 weeks when he came home. Totally fearless of anything.

  • @eeeefarm
    Sounds like your house is kept cleaner than mine!

  • Logan is fearful of "things" in my hand. A screwdriver, a hanger, a tape measure and things like that. At first I ignored it. I mean, I gotta get stuff done. No time to park. Then I rethought that. If I walk in with something that he alerts to I stop, take a knee, set it on the floor, and invite him to come over and sniff it. Then tell him, "See! It's not gonna eat you." He get's better all the time.

  • @nordic said in Basenjis Don't Fear Noise?:

    I have two basenjis, and they've never shown fear of loud noises

    Mine don't either - but that is because they were bomb-proofed from the word go ! From tiny puppies born in the kitchen - saucepans were dropped, radio was permanently on, doors slammed - sometimes deliberately. Anything to accustom puppies to loud bangs.

    It goes along with socialising from the earliest possible moment.

    Responsible breeders will socialise their pups and if possible, bomb-proof them too.

  • @rugosab said in Basenjis Don't Fear Noise?:

    Sounds like your house is kept cleaner than mine!

    Actually, no! I probably did more vacuuming desensitizing Sunny than I ever did before or since! Mostly my Basenjis ignored or were annoyed by the vacuum. Before the central, I used to have an upright, and Tamu would attack the bag when it inflated. Other than that, they would generally find a spot on the couch and survey my efforts with a baleful eye. You are disturbing my nap!

  • When we brought our now 6 month home we were still finishing some building work, so she experienced lots of power tool noises and trades people coming in and out of the house. It was also the summer and we live near a small airport and underneath a flight path so she saw and heard light aircrafts and helicopters very close by several times per day and stopped noticing them.

    As we had mice at the time we needed to hoover every night so she got used to that too, so much so that she enjoys a massage by it, which helps with any shedding!


    She didn't notice the fireworks and I hope it stays that way!

  • I've been involved with Basenjis for many years and can only remember one occasion where one Basenji was startled by one particular noise ( ice cream mixer van starting up), otherwise they seem completely immune to noises even the loudest ones. Of course there will always be the odd exception.

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