Thinking about a Basenji

Hey Guys

I'm sure similar topics have been posted a few times before but I was looking for some unbiased feedback from Basenji owners before I make a final decision

I began the process of looking for a breed that is right for me a few weeks ago and came across the Basenji. I really like what I've read and researched all of the pros/cons and health issues and I just have a couple concerns so here goes 🙂

  1. I'm 28, live alone and do the typical 9-5. Should I be concerned about leaving a Basenji alone during the day most days of the week? Evenings and Weekends I am always either home or somewhere the dog would be able to accompany me. I'm not concerned about damage/trouble they might get into at home… more just if they will go insane being cooped up alone all day and if its unfair to the dog. I'm fully expecting a short walk in the morning before I go to work and a longer one when I get home to keep him/her active. I'm also not opposed to getting another down the road but don't want to overwhelm myself at this point for obvious reasons.

  2. I own a condo that is not on the ground floor, thus no yard... should this be much of a concern provided the dog gets daily walks? Aside from having to carry a poop scooper with me everywhere I go :|

  3. Growing up I always had a dog but I've never owned one on my own. Is the Basenji a poor choice for a first time dog owner due to their stubbornness?

  4. I've spoken to a local breeder and this person is very established. Good standing with all relevant clubs, dogs are champions and all have had necessary health/genetic tests and passed with flying colors.... my only concern is the asking price which is ~$1100 US. Is this unusual? The information I've found suggests anywhere from $500-850 but I wasn't sure if those numbers were a bit outdated or not.

Thanks! Glad I stumbled across these forums, lots of good information on here 🙂

Welcome to the forum!

I'll try to answer some of the questions and I'm sure others will chime in. I'm not too concerned with the 9-5 thing. Everyone has to work. When you're not home the crate will be your best friend.

I also have no problem with a condo. While these dogs do require a lot of activity, it can be done in an apartment or condo provided You are prepared to be very active when you're at home.

I have a problem with 'stubborness'. These dogs are far more intelligent than stubborn. I think this truly depends on your attitude, lifestyle, commitment, more than whether you are a first time owner. Your breeder, whomever you should pick and if they pick you, should be available to help you.

I find $1100 US VERY escessive. I'm in the Niagara Region of Canada, I don't know where you are located, but anyone I know from London, Windsor, Niagara, Toronto, definitely (as far as I know) doesn't charge $1100! I am also the editor of the Basenji Club of Canada Newsletter, so if you need some individual questions you can always private mail me.

first, welcome to the Forum.

I think it is very good that you ask questions BEFORE you get a Basenji or whatever else breed.

As you have visited a breeder already, you might have found out, that Basenjis are very vivid and full of temperament. I think it should be not a problem of having a dog, while you work from 9-5. But you maybe should think about a dog sitter or dog walker during daytime.

A Basenji is not satisfied with 30 Minute walkies twice a day and beeing left alone the rest of the day except for the evenings. Especially not a Puppy or Youngster, as far as I understood, this is what you are thinking about.

Not having a garden is not a problem unless the Basenji is able to spend time running in another safe area for example dog parcs. Would you be able to spend time with your dog doing some kind of sports? Obidience, Agility, Disc Dogging, Dog Dancing, Trickdogging or Coursing? Because this is, what a Basenji needs, he needs to have the possibility to run and think and have fun.

If you are not sure if a Basenji is the right breed for you, you should try to spend more time with the breeder you have visited before. Ask him, if you might join him/her when he goes to walk his dogs, goes to Shows or whatever he is doing with his dogs. Try to spend as many time possible with these dogs, so you might find out, that they are very demanding and it can be not so easy to get along with them.

Did you maybe think also about a older Basenji? Maybe one that needs a new home and already knows that sometimes he has to stay alone?

I am sure that if you never had a own dog before, it would not be a problem, because there might a few points where you cannot compare with other dogs and this might even be a advantage. Basenjis are very intelligent and know exactely how to get what they want. Some people call it stubborn, I would not. It is like with donkeys, they are not stupid, they are carefull due to their lifestyle.

About the prices for Basenjis from responsible breeders in the USA I cannot help you with that, I know in Europe it is common to pay about +/-1000 Euro for a Basenji puppy with FCI registered pedigrees and health tested parents.

Regards,

Esther

I am going to offer another suggestion - consider an adult rather than a puppy and that may reduce the issues that you are concerned about - long day, no direct access to outside etc.

An adult has settled in a bit and you would be better able to gage if they are going to be able to be along for that length of time.

Let me know if you are interested in this concept.

+1 on going the adult route if you are concerned about leaving the dog when you work. I have 2 retired show dogs…Ruby was 2 when I got her last year. I added Brando this spring and he is 3 years old. Many consider retired show dogs golden opportunity dogs. Check with breeders, because some also have ones that are younger that didn't make it as show prospects.

Oh and regarding the price...here on the east coast of the US, at the dog show I went to this weekend, some of the breeders were talking pricing for the upcoming season and they said around $1000 this year.

Welcome! This is my experience. We never owned a dog before and stumbled upon our B in a pet store. We fell in love and bought him. We NEVER heard of a Basenji before. The adjustment was unimaginable. I cried a lot. I felt like my little family of four was completely disrupted. We learned quickly how much attention and care they need and how destructive they are. Then comes the health issues. We have no idea if he is healthy or not. We are currently in the process of all the tests. Luckily you won't have to go through that with a good breeder. Having said all this, I would NOT change a thing. We have grown to love and adore our boy more than words can say. Best of Luck with your decision. I hope you find the perfect companion.

Older b's are often the way to go for a first time basenji owner.
Rescue is one way to find one, also some times breeders have show dogs that they retire that need homes.
Those are lovely dogs who will make basenji ownership easier.
But they don't come along that often.
Doing your homework now will save you lots of trouble later.
IMO, a dog 3+ would be better than a puppy.

MEGA Kudos for researching the breed first!!!

so in my opinion:

  1. Most Basenjis deal with a 9 to 5 job person, that's just life. My B is ok with this schedule as long as her excercise before and after is sufficant to make her genuinely tired. I would make sure you have a dog park or something to release all the energy these dogs have. That being said, most B's crash for most of the day, like normal dogs. The are the most active in the mornings and evenings. I agree that a buddy basenji might even be better in this situation. You can almost always find pairs of Basenjis on BRAT most of them have already had basic training are house broken etc - and since you are gone at work all day, the can amuse themselves while you are absent. Last point to this: Tanza always makes the point that if you crate your dogs/leave them in the day - they should be able to be "bed dogs" and sleep with you at night. I completely agree with this… these dogs are cleaner than most people you would share a bed with otherwise. 🙂

  2. My 2 Basenjis have flourished in Condos/Apparts again as long as they get sufficient play time out side. As to the pooper scooper - I would suggest for the fun and class of having something more "fun" order a "Bon Ton" they are super cute and come in mini sizes. You can even get little poop baggies that are colorful and decorated.. way better than a old Safeway bag. 🙂 and their bags are biodegradable.

  3. Basenjis were the very first breed my family had when I was a child, and it was my first dog on my own. No problems there! nomrbddgs has a point when "stubbornness" is more like, calculated dismissal of your commands. 🙂 Basnejis can be willful, but when you have a proper respectful rapport with them you don't run into problems because you understand each other. You develop a kind of give and take relationship with them, for me personally it's way more rewarding then a dog who lives and breathes at my whim.

  4. I would say 500 for a Basenji is extremely low and outdated. I live in Switzerland and I bought my puppy for about $1300, which is very fair because reputable Basenji breeders are rare here. Back in the states I hear $800-$1000 is the going price right now.. But you might want to wait till one of the breeders comment (which they will!) You can search for the costs of raising a Basenji litter (it's a thread in breeding topics) here on the forums and the price will make much more sense once you crunch the numbers.

As far as price, I think again to BRAT rescue where you won't pay $1000 for a dog, and if you really wanted a puppy, there are a few puppies available. Even adult Basenjis will really bond to you, they tend to understand you have taken them into your pack and they appreciate it.

For me, this is a breed that gets under your skin. I couldn't imagine living with out one.. and the no barking, light shedding, no doggie smell, independence, are excellent perks. 🙂

Good luck! and welcome to the group 🙂

I agree with everyone who has suggested an adult. There are SO MANY good Basenjis in rescue that would love a good home.
Here is BRAT's (Basenji Rescue And Transport) webpage if you are interested http://basenjirescue.org

Also in regards to the cost for a pup. I think it is on the high side of acceptable. My little girl was $1000.00 as a pup, and I was more than willing to pay that for the bloodlines as well as all the support my girls breeder has and continues to give me. It really depends on what area you are in as to how much pups will cost you.

@Cosmo:

  1. I'm 28, live alone and do the typical 9-5. Should I be concerned about leaving a Basenji alone during the day most days of the week? Evenings and Weekends I am always either home or somewhere the dog would be able to accompany me. I'm not concerned about damage/trouble they might get into at home… more just if they will go insane being cooped up alone all day and if its unfair to the dog. I'm fully expecting a short walk in the morning before I go to work and a longer one when I get home to keep him/her active. I'm also not opposed to getting another down the road but don't want to overwhelm myself at this point for obvious reasons.

This shouldn't be a problem for an adult but if getting a puppy you will want to get a petwalker who can come in and give the pup a potty break about halfway through the day. Keep in mind the rule of thumb is that a puppy can "hold it" 1 hour for every month old it is plus one. Example: A 2 month old puppy can "hold it" for 3 hours, a 3 month old puppy can "hold it" for 4 hours, etc.
@Cosmo:

  1. I own a condo that is not on the ground floor, thus no yard… should this be much of a concern provided the dog gets daily walks? Aside from having to carry a poop scooper with me everywhere I go :|

This should not be a problem. I got my first basenji while living on the second floor of an apartment complex. Nicky did well with a 20 minute walk in morning, 1 hour walk in the evening and participation in activities like obedience class and lure coursing.
@Cosmo:

  1. Growing up I always had a dog but I've never owned one on my own. Is the Basenji a poor choice for a first time dog owner due to their stubbornness?

Basenjis can be fine for first time dog owners as long as you are willing to do your homework on trainers and find a good positive reinforcement trainer to help build your relationship with your dog and find a breeder you can work with that will help match you to a puppy or dog that will fit with your expectations.
@Cosmo:

  1. I've spoken to a local breeder and this person is very established. Good standing with all relevant clubs, dogs are champions and all have had necessary health/genetic tests and passed with flying colors…. my only concern is the asking price which is ~$1100 US. Is this unusual? The information I've found suggests anywhere from $500-850 but I wasn't sure if those numbers were a bit outdated or not.

I would say that $500 is a bit low and most breeders seem to be more in the $700-$1000 range. Have you talked with other breeders in the area?

Hey Cosmo, I had to chime in here becuase the way you describe your situation sounds exactly like mine when I got my first B. I was 28, lived alone, did the typical 9-5, lived in a condo w/ no yard AND had a dog growing up that was not exactly "mine" to take care of.

My first B (I have 2 now) was a 2 year old female, and after some initial adjustments to my home, i.e… destroying the crate she was in while I was gone at work, she was just fine and dandy. I think it was more a matter of being in a new home, without her former pack. I had a lot to learn about caring for dogs in general, and the special requirements of Basenjis in particular. But really, it was all worth it and i ended up getting another B about a year later. This time a 14 week old male puppy! Puppies are a lot of work, particularly since I lived alone, I would actually drive home from work in the middle of the day to check on them (40 minutes each way) and multiple trips out to potty in the middle of the night.

Looking back, I'm kind of glad my first B was not a puppy, although lots of people do it, I think it was easier for me to adjust - with all of the main concerns already taken care of - she was potty trained, was not a big chewer (although that is probably just a trait of hers, I think some B's never outgrow the chewing stage), and already trained to walk on leash.

There are others on here that can probably answer better your question about cost. I can tell you I got my 2 year old female for $400 and she was already spayed. I got the 14 week old puppy for $600... and then had to do the remainder of the puppy shots. From what I've seen on here, that may be a little on the low side, but it was the first litter for my breeders puppy... she may have been trying to feel out the pricing situation...

Good luck! Basenjis are great, but they can certainly be a handful...

As far as price, I think that the range, depending on the part of the US is 850.00 to 1000.00. Under 850.00 is pretty low, from a responsible breeder, in my opinion.

I know that you also said that they had all the "necessary" health/genetic tests, but have you checked it out for yourself on line at www.offa.org to see if they are posted there. It is always best to make sure by doing your own research. What some breeders consider "necessary" others to not…

Welcome to the forum!

My first B was older and I was very happy with that decision. It's a good thing that you found this community BEFORE possibly getting a basenji, it's going to be a great resource as you adjust to living with one. One thing that I think is applicable to all dogs but particularly so with basenjis is the importance of creating the conditions for your B to do well (behave). This was brought up in another thread recently. I mention this because you said this is your first dog of your own. This might mean simply putting the trash behind a closed door or some adjustments that you have to make in your day to day life. An open door and anything on the floor is fair game….someone creates the opportunity for the dog to be naughty. Always have something acceptable to chew (this has been particularly important with our 10 month old pup). Thinking about these small ways to help especially a puppy succeed will definitely be starting off on the right foot.

We lived in an apt with no yard for 6 months when we got our first B and it was just fine. There was also a dog park right across the street and she got a lot of walks. You will likely come up with creative ways to burn energy inside as well. And the B will probably sleep most of the day when you're away (what a tough life!). Keep us updated on your search!

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I think this couldn't be said better, or be a more important aspect of 'is a basenji right for me'. People who do great with Bs are usually willing to rearrange their houses, their schedules, and their lives to share with their dogs. People who want the dog to fit in with no changes to the household will not want a Basenji.
Most of us learn that we CANNOT have an open garbage can in the house, nor an box of kleenex on the coffee table, or underwear on the floor, or a meal left on a table unsupervised...if you don't mind changing these habits, then it could be a good match.....
Kudos to the original poster for doing your homework before jumping in...that is a good sign that Bs would be a good match for you too...simply because you are thinking ahead.
And in our area puppy Bs are between $600-$800. And yes, that is with full genetic testing, and lifelong "tech" support for you and the puppy 🙂

@Quercus:

<>
I think this couldn't be said better, or be a more important aspect of 'is a basenji right for me'. People who do great with Bs are usually willing to rearrange their houses, their schedules, and their lives to share with their dogs. People who want the dog to fit in with no changes to the household will not want a Basenji.
Most of us learn that we CANNOT have an open garbage can in the house, nor an box of kleenex on the coffee table, or underwear on the floor, or a meal left on a table unsupervised...if you don't mind changing these habits, then it could be a good match.....
Kudos to the original poster for doing your homework before jumping in...that is a good sign that Bs would be a good match for you too...simply because you are thinking ahead.
And in our area puppy Bs are between $600-$800. And yes, that is with full genetic testing, and lifelong "tech" support for you and the puppy 🙂

Your vet costs must be really low.... to be able to even think about breaking even with a litter at 600.00?... wow.....

@tanza:

Your vet costs must be really low…. to be able to even think about breaking even with a litter at 600.00?... wow.....

Well, that would only be breaking even if there were more than two puppies in the litter, I suppose. And depending on what the stud fee was…whether it was cash, plus a puppy, or just one or the other. And most likely $600 would be on a co-ownership. I think most people I know are charging around $700-$750?

And, yeah...I think our vet costs are WAY lower than yours...at least for reproductive stuff. And of course, that is assuming there is no emergency vet care needed.

I think more of what drives the cost is what people in your area are willing to pay...and people in the midwest simply won't pay $1000 for a dog, for the most part...nor will they pay almost five bucks for a cup of coffee...which explains why I have to drive 30 minutes to get a frappucino. And they are closing one of our three Starbucks in a 50 mile radius :p

Hey- I kind of am in the same situation on a lot of these questions. See the answers below.

@Cosmo:

Hey Guys

  1. I'm 28, live alone and do the typical 9-5. Should I be concerned about leaving a Basenji alone during the day most days of the week? Evenings and Weekends I am always either home or somewhere the dog would be able to accompany me. I'm not concerned about damage/trouble they might get into at home… more just if they will go insane being cooped up alone all day and if its unfair to the dog. I'm fully expecting a short walk in the morning before I go to work and a longer one when I get home to keep him/her active. I'm also not opposed to getting another down the road but don't want to overwhelm myself at this point for obvious reasons.

I am 28, and my husband is gone about 80% of the time, so I basically live alone, and I also do the 9-5 (and sometimes 9-6, 7, or 10). The crate will be your best friend. Don't feel bad about it. Jack loves his crate- it is his "room" and he takes great pride in setting up the blankets exactly how he wants them. A short walk in the morning is fine, and a walk at night. Sometimes I change it up and throw balls around the house for him.

  1. I own a condo that is not on the ground floor, thus no yard… should this be much of a concern provided the dog gets daily walks? Aside from having to carry a poop scooper with me everywhere I go :|

I rented a condo last year, on the 6th floor. Jack didn't mind one bit. I think he liked seeing the other dogs in the building. I also think he thought of it as a hotel room that we were staying in for a long period of time. The only thing that sucked for him was that we had quite a few fire alarms, where he was stuck inside during the loud screeching and wailing. Especially during the cold months of the year, Jack was not at all interested in being outside any longer than it took him to do his business.

  1. Growing up I always had a dog but I've never owned one on my own. Is the Basenji a poor choice for a first time dog owner due to their stubbornness?
    Jack is my first dog on my own. I had to learn quite a bit, but at the same time, I think he was the perfect breed for me. He definitely has his own mind about everything…..he is more like a cat than a dog. In some ways, he probably has me trained. I think you will do fine. Get in an obedience class- that was the best thing I did.

  2. I've spoken to a local breeder and this person is very established. Good standing with all relevant clubs, dogs are champions and all have had necessary health/genetic tests and passed with flying colors…. my only concern is the asking price which is ~$1100 US. Is this unusual? The information I've found suggests anywhere from $500-850 but I wasn't sure if those numbers were a bit outdated or not.
    This I know nothing about- I adopted a rescue B.

Just to add another comment about the cost of the puppy, since I've been dealing with this stuff recently - $600, $800, $1000… for a puppy... the difference is really insignificant when you take into account the amount of money spent at the vet over the life of the dog.... I've paid almost $4000 to the vet just this year on one of my dogs who cracked a tooth, got neutered, had an intestinal obstruction, and (just yesterday) got into a fight with a cat.

It's tough on the pocket book, but worth it to make sure they stay healthy. It breaks my heart when a necessary trip to the vet is bypassed for financial reasons that ends up putting the dogs life in real danger. Not that financial worries are not a REAL concern, but I guess what I'm saying is to make sure to take into account that on any given day, you could be at the vet dropping over $1000 for the health of your pet.

@Tayda_Lenny:

Just to add another comment about the cost of the puppy, since I've been dealing with this stuff recently - $600, $800, $1000… for a puppy... the difference is really insignificant when you take into account the amount of money spent at the vet over the life of the dog.... I've paid almost $4000 to the vet just this year on one of my dogs who cracked a tooth, got neutered, had an intestinal obstruction, and (just yesterday) got into a fight with a cat.

It's tough on the pocket book, but worth it to make sure they stay healthy. It breaks my heart when a necessary trip to the vet is bypassed for financial reasons that ends up putting the dogs life in real danger. Not that financial worries are not a REAL concern, but I guess what I'm saying is to make sure to take into account that on any given day, you could be at the vet dropping over $1000 for the health of your pet.

Great post and sooo true!!!!

Hey guys,

Really appreciate all the quick replies, I had no idea there was such an active Basenji community and glad I came across these forums!

You've given me a lot to think about and I have also considered getting an older dog but I'm not sure. I actually have looked into rescue options and there really aren't many in my area. I'm definitely not opposed to an older dog, however I don't really want a rescue dog I know nothing about. Also looked into retired dogs and there simply don't seem to be many breeders in my area (bc, canada), at least not on the internet =).

Also wanted to add I absolutely agree 110% that a extra few hundred dollars for the adoption is a drop in the bucket compared to what I will pay during the dogs lifetime and its not about the money to me… I just felt if a breeder is asking significantly more than others its a bit of a red flag.

Going to look into older dogs a bit more now. Again, really appreciate the feedback!

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