• Great to be part of the Basenji Forum! After doing some preliminary research my partner and I decided to get a Basenji pup - next litters in Australia will start to appear around April. With some time to deepen our understanding I chanced upon you Forum. Rather than feeling confirmed in our choice of breed I am now feeling concerned about how difficult it appears to socialize these independent, willful, energetic but adorable creatures. Do you have any advice on how one might prepare for the arrival of a basenji and what you would need to do in order to train him or her so that they don’t get too wild? Are there any gender difference in terms of behaviour? Best wishes

  • Welcome to the forum!!!

    IMO its not really difficult to socialize a basenji as long as your are consistent with it. My pup was shy at first when meeting new people and would hide behind my boxer, so I started taking him out without the boxer, he has gained the confidence and he LOVES people and animals.

    If you can take the pup to obedience school as soon as age permits. This is a great tool for socialization with other animals, new surroundings and people.

    Training a basenji- Food!!! LOL Pretty much all basenjis are food driven, so treats are great.

    Squirt bottles, a wonderful thing, basenjis generally do not like water, so squirt bottles work WONDERS in deterring a basenji away from an action that it shouldn't be doing.

    As for preparing for them, best bet is get down on your hands and knees or belly and look at your home from that point of view. You are able to see things that you might not notice from higher that a curious puppy might find entertaining. Paper and tissue, keep put up out of the way, basenji's LOVE paper.

    I only have a male so I can't speak first hand as far as gender differences between males and females. As for my boy, he is very loving and an absolute sweetheart that loves to give kisses and snuggle up on the couch.

  • @Flash:

    Do you have any advice on how one might prepare for the arrival of a basenji and what you would need to do in order to train him or her so that they don’t get too wild? Are there any gender difference in terms of behaviour? Best wishes

    First of all…welcome to the group! As long as you keep a good sense of humor, you should really enjoy your basenji. They are mischievous but are so endearing so it is difficult to stay too angry. WBL pretty much said the most important things you need to do. We find the spray bottle invaluable. Cory hates to be sprayed and now all I have to do is show her the bottle. Sometimes she gets so annoyed that she stands on both legs and boxes at the bottle and grumbles. Look at your house from a toddler's point of view and, if you have a fenced yard, look very critically at the fence for gaps. If a basenji's head can fit through, the rest of the body can follow...and usually does! 😃 We have a wooden fence and DH even put a clasp at the bottom of the gate as well as the top to keep the closure secure. We have a little picket style fence around our storage shed in the back yard within our fenced yard. The picket fence was just meant to be decorative and to keep any dog we owned from going behind the shed where is tends to get muddy. We discovered with Cory that she could run between the picket fence slats! Now we have chicken wire behind the picket fence. The same shed is slightly raised and we had to put wooden landscaping boards around the bottom after we had to grab her as she tried to follow a critter under the shed! :eek: (I visualized having to call the fire department if she managed to get under it.) So look for basenji head sized openings! And each individual basenji has particular things they love...besides the tissue which they all love to shred. Cory loves ballpoint pens and we have to be extra vigilant about where we lay those down. And, like a toddler, if you don't know for certain your basenji is asleep and he is too quiet.......you better go see what heis into because he will be into something. :eek:

    There are several threads (one is current) discussing gender preference. We have a little girl and she is also a real snuggler and very affectionate. There are pros and cons to each and I can't speak as to which is best. As others have mentioned in those threads, your breeder can probably help you with that.

    Just wait until you have your legs dried by a little B's tongue! That is just wierd feeling!

    We look forward to seeing pictures when you get your puppy.


  • Welcome! All puppies are a challenge, basenjis really aren't that much worse, they are just smarter (for their age) than some other dogs, and their little brains are always on the look-out for something new to experience. (wonder what's inside that couch?) They are Curious with a "capital C", ha.ha and can find and do things you can't begin to think of. They will keep you on your toes, crying and laughing all at the same time. They are especially endearing, thank goodness, as they are also especially challenging. Everyone has given you excellent advice, it is like having a 2 year old human ….for 15 years!
    Basenjis are dogs for secure people who don't need to feel superior to "the dog", and a good sense of humor really helps. We get to laugh at ourselves a lot, and have a sort of inverse pride in being out-smarted by our basenjis!
    My husband says they are the opposite of German Shepherds, who are blindly obedient. Basenjis will obey...but they think about it! If it's fun and it benefits them in some way (treat, pet) they will gladly do what you want, they work with you, not for you!
    You are very wise to join this forum and read, chat and get advice and opinions. Realize that we are all brainwashed by our little curly tailed angels/devils and do think these are the best dogs in the world...but not for everyone.

    Welcome to the Forum!

    Anne in Tampa, FL

  • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and anecdotes. I loved reading your responses. Even so I am wobbling on my decision to get a basenji - this year, at any rate - although, thanks to your comments and this Forum, I am utterly convinced that this is the dog for me!

    However, I am concerned that working on completing a doctorate and running a business might make it hard to put the necessary time into looking after the little creature - it will be mainly my responsibility and they seem to be all consuming! But there would be times throughout the day and in the evenings when I can spend time with him and could crate him when he's not with someone. Do you think that would work?

  • Have you thought about a young adult? Maybe a rescue or one that a breeder has decided to place? Puppies take up so much time. A young adult usually (hopefully) has some manners and has been socialized and won't be quite as time-consuming as a puppy. Of course if you're able to take your pup with you to work, a puppy might be a great fit.

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