Poll: Where Did You Get Your Basenji?

  • How did you become owned by your Basenji? Share some stories with the everyone. Please do not post breeder names or personal contact info.

  • Three years ago after I had f-i-n-a-l-l-y gotten Dh to consider the possibility of getting another dog sometime in the future after Gypsy is gone. He was hoping for a dog-free retirement, but has a hard time telling me "No", so
    did agree that we could talk about another dog "later".
    I took that as my cue and started researching dogs that I wanted – Doberman Pincer, bloodhound, weimereiner {sp}, rhodesian ridgeback -- and they were all nixed as being "too big" "too much poop", "will bark too much", "too much shedding" etc. sigh.
    So, I moved to looking toward smaller dogs that I could still tolerate, and that he could live with {he likes little pookie dogs,of which I am no fan}.
    I found the Basenji -- smaller, quiet, don't shed much, etc. but with attitude! Ah ha!!!
    He agreed to look into them. I had read they could be challenging and that you should meet a few before getting one, so I searched for breeders in our area and set up appointments to meet with three of them.
    The first meeting was a wash-out -- dirty house, over 20 dogs, mess and disorganization everywhere. The puppies were cute as could be, AKC registered, parents were show dogs, but ugh!! we were totally turned off.

    People at work told Dh horror stories they'd heard about this crazy breed, the breeders place was disgusting! OH no!! Dh was beginning to turn away from the idea.
    Fortunately, somehow, I still don't know the story but unbeknownst to me he'd been in touch with Sharron Hurlburt, who was encouraging and had mentioned by name one of the breeders I had on my list. Dh reluctantly agreed, since I already had the appt., to visit the next two breeders.

    The first one we visited was in the middle of a house remodel, but the house was clean -- Dh is really into construction/remodel projects AND into clean houses, so this was a huge plus! 🙂 The breeder kept his puppy area clean, he answered every question I had prepared extensively and offered more information than I would have known to ask for. He had about 20 yrs experience, and his wife was also a breeder. The puppies were to die for!!

    The second breeder we visited had a lovely home, clean and bright. The puppies were sweet, the adult dogs were friendly. We had a very nice visit.

    Bear in mind, I thought we were just out to "meet the breed" so to speak, not actually "puppy shopping" because I was supposed to have to wait until Gypsy died to get another dog.
    That night the kids asked, "Are we getting a puppy?", and DH said, "I don't know; your mom hasn't said anything yet."
    Oh yay!! Oh yay!! I learned my birthday present could be a puppy!!

    It didn't take long to decide to go with the more experienced, knowledgeable breeder -- a decision I have never regretted. They have been an awesome support system for me as I blundered my way through Basenji ownership!

    THAT was how I got Jazzy.
    Keoki was an even bigger surprise, because Dh was DONE WITH DOGS. Then we went to pick Jazzy up at her final show after she'd won her CH., and the breeder was there with last Winter's puppies. Dh got sucked into "the puppy vortex" and we came home with Keoki.

    Whew! That was hard to get through w/out mentioning our breeder's names. LOL

  • We got Tosca at a humane society in Dubuque. My husband wanted a dog, something I was very opposed to. He finally brought it up enough, though, and I gave in. So we looked for a smaller dog that could be a compromise. H wanted something small, he didn't want a "girly" dog. We also liked that the basenji seemed to be relatively hypoallergenic. I did read and learn that they can be challenging, but they seemed like such a perfect breed in other ways that I was willing to try it. We were going to get a puppy from a breeder, and started looking around online. We called a few places and were going to have one shipped to us. I knew nothing about dogs or choosing a responsible breeder, so I have no idea if the people we called were repuatable or not. It seemed very expensive, especially since we would have to have one sent to us, plus I wasn't sure I was up for my first dog experience being with a little puppy, so we decided to look for a rescue adult. My husband looked on petfinder and found Tosca in the Dubque shelter. This was on a Saturday. We called on Sunday, and they said she was still there, but that they were only open until noon (a 4 hr drive for us). We knew we couldn't make it so we took our chances and hoped she would be there next weekend when we could go down. Well, we are both teachers, and it was February, so luckily it was like -50 on Monday, and school was cancelled. So my husband and I got in the car and drove to Iowa. Once we got there, I was pleasantly surprised by how small, cute, and friendly she was. However, I was REALLY nervous to take her because she was shedding A LOT (prob stress) and had several accidents while there…but we took her anyway.
    Luckily once we got her home, she adjusted very quickly and probably only had about 2 accidents in the house. At first I didn't warm up to her right away, I wanted her to sleep in her crate, and didn't get too close, but she wormed her way right into my heart in no time. Now I am absolutely addicted to her, and wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. On a typical night you can find her cuddled up under the covers, snuggling against my legs. If I am watching tv, she is right on my lap 90% of the time 🙂 If I would ever get another basenji I would definitely do more research into where the dog came from, since its hard to not know much about her history, but it did feel very good to rescue her from the humane society, and I know that going with an adult dog was the right thing for us. Now she is great, is a typical mischevious basenji, but we love her and she fits in great with our family!

  • Well, it all started in a used bookstore in Davis, CA. That is where I picked up a copy of the AKC breed book to page through while killing time before a movie. While I was paging through the book, the picture of the basenji caught my eye so I started reading about the breed. I was attracted to the very cat like description and when I got hom I decided to search the internet to learn more. That is when I saw my first black and white and decided that, that was what I wanted. I wanted a black and white male. At the time I was in graduate school and my boyfriend, now my husband, was still finishing up his undergrad work. I told him that I wasn't seriously looking at getting a dog and that it would be a couple of years when we were ready to move into a house before I got a dog.

    So, I decided to continue to research the breed to see if it was what I really wanted. I joined Basenji-L, an email list, and sat back and enjoyed all the stories about life with a basenji. All those reality tales that probably should have sent me running the other direction if I was at all sane only made the breed more endearing to me. October rolled around and the BCONC Specialty was taking place so I talked Sam into going with me. It was the first time I got to see the breed in person. His response, "They are so small. I thought they would be bigger." We stayed the whole day and someone's basenji curled up in my lap and napped most of the afternoon. At that point, Sam knew we would end up with a basenji. I swore to him that it would be at least a year before we would get one.

    Puppy season arrived and the B-List was filled with stories of puppies. One breeder not only shared regular updates on the B-List about "The Brady Bunch", a litter of 3 boys and 3 girls, she also posted pictures weekly on her website so we could all follow the litter as they grew. Watching the pups grow, I became very attached to them. When she announced that one was available, I told Sam that I wanted to call and talk to the breeder even though she was in Georgia and I was in California. He told me I should do whatever I thought was best. Shortly before I started to talk with the breeder, I went to my first lure trial and knew that what I wanted was a dog that I could lure course with. So I started to talk to the breeder and told her that this would be my first dog since moving out on my own. I had never owned a purebred dog and wanted one that I could try everything with and really wanted to try coursing. We talked about the health of the dogs in the pedigree and finally she agreed that she had a dog that she thought would be right for me. The only hitch was getting him to me. She had never shipped a dog but after much planning Nicky was finally on his way to me. His trip did not go smoothly, he was put on the wrong plane, his 5 hour direct flight turned into a 12 hour ordeal. But when he finally arrived and saw me, he knew he was home and that he was mine. He made it quite clear that he knew he was mine and specifically not Sam's. Sam was OK but not his owner. To this day that is Nicky's opinion, Sam is fine and definately has his purpose but he is not Nicky's person.

    So that is how I ended up with Nicky but if you go back to the beginning you will see that what I originally wanted was a black and white male. Well, Nicky is male but he wasn't the black and white that I wanted. After about a year and half, I started thinking that it would be nice to have a playmate for Nicky and I would really like it to be black and white. This was also about the time that I tried my first show match with Nicky and Nicky first "discovered" the lure after 12 months of attending lure trials. So for awhile I had my hands full with trying out showing and coursing but started to talk with Nicky's breeder about adding another dog. That is when she told me that she was planning a litter for the following year and had narrowed the possible sires down to either a black or a brindle. The final decision was the black and white and I got my name on the waiting list. Sam was at this point my fiancee and we the wedding was planned for the October before the litter was due. We talked about whether we should add a boy or a girl and everyone counselled us that a girl would be the best choice since we already had a boy. We had agreed that we would show the new pup too, we figured we would hopefully get Nicky finished before we would have to separate the house. So then the waiting came in. We waited and waited. The breeder sent updates, so we knew when the litter was expected, when it was due I checked my email frequently. Got the email that the first pup was born, black and white male. Next email, red and white girl. Then the last email, black and white girl. Yay! The only catch was that the co-breeder might want to keep the black and white girl. So we followed the litter growing up. This time I planned to fly out and pick up the pup so there was no repeat of Nicky's experience. When the time finally came, the black and white girl was available and that is what I came home with. Even though, many people thought I was nuts for getting a black and white as my second show dog. So that is how Rally joined us. She settled into the family immediately and is very bonded to both of us but is Sam's special girl.

    I think how we ended up with the next two are off limits since who their breeder is, is sort of obvious.

  • "One year old male basenji, free to good home" was the add in the paper back in aprox. 1973. Pete taught us everything about basenjis. A year later we added Cindy, "5 years old, free to good home"…..now 30 + years later we are owned by Topper, Nicky and Fast Eddie, all rescues. 10 total, though it seems like so many more, seldom less than 2 at a time, and never more than 5. Life with basenjis totally ROCKS !

    Anne in Tampa

  • Did a breed recommender quiz on yahoo pets. It shot out Basenji. Didn't know what it was- did some research, visited multiple breeders in many different states. Drove 5 hours each way to the breeder in Phoenix City, AL/Columbus, GA area. Picked up our sweet Lexi. I remembered how soft her feet were and how cute she was all curled up on me during the ride home.

    Six years later, I searched for a companion for Lexi for months. Exhausted efforts with BRAT and explored some retired show dog possibilities before finding Miles's little mugshot on Petfinder. Asked another forum member to check him out for me– THANK YOU BASENJI BOY!!-- and drove 100 miles to rescue Miles from the pound. I would definitely like to say because of this forum, I have Miles in my life. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • I don't remember how we first heard about basenjis but about 15 years ago we decided we were definitely interested in the breed. Our much loved boxer had just had died and we decided we wanted a basenji. We somehow learned of a breeder in Kentucky who had a female who was approximately 5 yrs old. He had bred her a couple of times and now wanted to retire her to a home as a family pet. After a lengthy telephone conversation during which he was very honest about the breed quirks, we decided the time was not right for a basenji. We had 3 children and the boys had a tendency to not close the front door securely. I had to search the neighborhood for our boxer many times because she had taken advantage of the ajar door. So, instead of a basenji, we opted for a dog I could catch if it got loose…....a basset hound rescue! A couple of years later we added a psychotic rescued chocolate lab to our household. The basset died in 2003 and we had to put our lab to sleep last August due to old age. At that point, DH announced that the time was right for a basenji. Most of our previous dogs had been from backyard breeders or were rescues. The rescues were also probably from BYBs. All the dogs, with the exception of the lab (who stayed healthy until the last year but was crazy...seriously crazy) had significant and expensive medical problems. We had dealt with heart problems, renal disease, a slipped disc, glaucoma, eczema, chronic ear infections, hypothyroid, and megaesophagus. So this time we decided we were going to go to a good breeder in an effort to tip the odds of a healthy dog a little more in our favor. We knew we didn't really want to get a little puppy and we found then 9 month old Cory in the Atlanta area. You know how it goes...Basenjis are like potato chips and within just a few months we just knew Cory needed a playmate to chase and play with. So we called her breeder and she had a male that she thought would be easy-going enough to tolerate Cory's princess ways. The first week we had Jayden, we were about 99% sure getting him was a BAD idea. Everytime Cory looked at him she threatened to gut him on the spot. Then one day she looked at him and seemed to say "Okay. You can stay but I'm the boss and you'll do as I say! Remember that rule and we'll get along just fine!" Now they hate to be apart even briefly! They chase each other around the house and when they spot a squirrel through the window, they look like basenji Keystone Cops trying to get out the door at the same time!

    We don't even slightly regret our decision to get our two little brats! And I say that as I sit on about 3 inches of computer chair because Cory has taken the rest of it.


  • Crazy as it sounds, I was born into Basenjis. My mother bred and showed them before I was born. I grew up sleeping with a Basenji at the foot of my bed. When it came time for a dog for my own family, nothing else could have fit. I wanted to adopt a BRAT dog, by was told they did not place in homes with small children. I met some of the local breeders and made some phone calls and emails to other breeders I knew from the east coast…Eventually I found Fender and he has been a joy and terror all at the same time! I wouldnt trade him for the world. 🙂

  • I too was born into Basenjis as my parents, well my mum really had had them before I was born.

    I decided that as I knew and liked the breed that that was the breed for me really once in my own home. It helped that my husband also liked them.

    I obtained Cali from a breeder friend then once old enough decided to have a litter from her and then kept Kwame.
    Once I started to show over here in Germany it gave me a chance to have a look around at the shows at the various types and decided I liked one particular kennel so then Belle joined the household.

    I don't think I could have another breed though I certainly admire a few but none come close to a B.

  • I saw my first basenji in high school (mega-eons ago) when I was working at a vet's office (instead of being a burgerflipper) but it wasn't until my "mid-life crisis" that I acquired my first. I was actually looking for a small dog, did my research on various breeds, and had decided on basenji, It.greyhound, or whippet. There was an add for a basenji in the paper and I went and saw and bought (sorry to say it was a byb/pmb but I didn't know that at the time). After many years together, last summer he was hit by a car and I began looking for a new one. I hadn't intended to get another one quite so quickly (within a month) but I met this great breeder who had one coming back because he was too destructive. So I tried him, with some trepidation, but "we fell in love" and the rest is EL D! 🙂

  • 1 from rescue - one from Breeder

  • One of my students gave us our Basenji mix. We had no idea of what she was, and didn't know until fairly recently. I sure wouldn't describe her as "quiet", since she has the loudest bark I've ever heard!! Maybe that's the heeler in her. Anyway, after puppy school was a bust, we just tried to socialize her at home. Now that she's a year old she's much better, keeps us running, and is a pure joy for our family.

  • My first Basenjis came from two different local breeders (IMO, responsible ones at the time).. I had gone and talked to both of them in April/May of 1991 and got on their reservation list for a male from one and a bitch from another… Believe me... I was "grilled" about wanting a male and bitch.. (big smile)... as their first thought was "BYB" in the making!!!! Both were co-owned by the breeders and both were my mentors..... That is my OJ and Maggii (now hopefully both will be 17 in August & September)... I was interested in showing and at some point breeding... My intention was to breed OJ to Maggii at some point... both finished their show championship fairly easy.. however along the way it was clear that a cross between OJ and Maggii would not give me what I was looking for... I then had the opportunity to add a 3rd to the mix, a Tri Bitch, Mickii joined the group.. she fit like a "glove"... With her, along with the show ring, we got into coursing... and in 1994 I bred my first litter with Maggii. And so it began... from then till now I have bred 3 litters myself and co-bred 2 litters with plans for another co-breeding this fall.
    I can say that from then to now there have been such great strides in health in our breed and the importance of testing before breeding. Seeing dogs with Fanconi, eye problems (as in blind from PRA)... and having both of them effect my breeding program has really made that important, along with temperaments. Our breed has come a long way in temperaments of Basenjis.. 40yrs ago they would "eat" you as quick as look at you....

    We are so lucky in Basenjis that most of the Fancy is open and honest compared to other breeds about health. The fact that the DNA Fanconi Database is open to the public is just on indication. The fact that we have a way to stop this horrible, horrible affliction is so wonderful. The fact that there are BYB's and PM's that do not test is sad, very, very sad.

  • It started for me in May of 1975 when a friend of my mothers stopped by with this 6 month old tri color and asked if I wanted her. A Basenji? What's a Basenji? Here it is 33 years and 3 basenjis later and I'm still owned.

  • I have always had more than one dog. So when my boxer was about 7 1/2 I started researching what kind of dog I wanted next. I knew I wanted something easier to keep. I narrowed it down to 4 breeds, the beauceron, the Pharoah hound, the Basenji, and the Canaan. When I researched further, for any of the breeds, I knew I would have to travel further. I wanted a reputable breeder. I was searching around, and decided to start talking with breeders. For the approx. 50 breeders total I e-mailed, less than half returned my queries. Of those, I started looking and researching the breeders. The pictures of the puppies were priceless. I also saw pictures of the destruction caused by the Basenji, knew they didn't bark (supposedly), and was hooked. The breeder conversed with me, but was very hesitant. She didn't want to ship, (I don't blame her Lisa) so I said I would come down to Georgia. She also had never sold to anyone in Canada before. She took a chance and I became the proud owner of a bouncing baby boy (Shadow)! By this time, my boxer was 8 1/2 and had to be put down because (I believe) of leukemia. I received my second Basenji (Sugar) from the same breeder two years later. I sincerely am glad that the breeder took a chance on me.

  • I wanted a basenji so I emailed BRAT. They said 'Here ya go' and handed me one. Now I have a Basenji. 😃

  • Took a year to find the right breeder, but in the end it wa all worth it. I didn't even get to Choose Zaire. Katie chose her for me based on our conversations as to what kind of a dog I needed for Charlie. And let me tell you, even with my years of dog experience I couldn't have made a better choice.

  • Almost two years ago I found Samantha on this very website! There was a family that was having problems with her and their new baby. So the owner posted a message on this forum just days after I had began searching for one. Having had two B's before I knew I was late in the season to find a puppy, and my wife wasn't crazy about the puppy idea anyway.

    After some arranging, I found a flight for her and fortunately the temperatures cooperated so that she could fly from Dallas, TX to Salt Lake City, UT. When we first got her the sweet girl had a rough coat, was a little under weight (due to poor quality canned dog food), had long untrimmed nails, and after our first trip to the vet we found that she had 6 broken teeth. After $600 worth of vet dentistry (including the "friend of the vet" discount) and another $150 or so to get her spayed, we had a sweetheart of a dog! She is the best B I've ever had!

  • Well, it started when I was out with my 22yr. old son at the mall. He said, "Hey, Mom lets look at the dogs in the petstore ", I replied, "I don't have time besides your Dad has too many ideas what a dog has to be like for us to get one", I'll never find a dog like he wants". That was 3 yrs. ago this Jan., and I had never heard of a Basenji. I called DH about 3 times the night I found Sahara to persuade him we needed this dog, but she was very expensive so it took some work talking him into me buying her. She is owned by my son, me and my husband, she lives with my husband and I. She is the best dog I have ever owned, and I have had many through my lifetime. I would never get another dog from a pet store (didn't know about puppy mills)but I would have not known of this breed if I hadn't stopped and looked that night. My husband loves this dog so very much, he buys her whatever she wants or needs. I love her also, she is my joy and I can't stand to be from her for very long, we just got back from a trip and it was so hard missing her. My son said that she didn't eat very good while we were gone and was very destructive in the house. Guess she missed us as well!

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