Considering getting a Basenji

  • After heaving read every piece of information and watched every youtube video I could get hold of, I've grown very keen on getting a Basenji, but there are still a few concerns.

    As I study at unversity during the day (9->15), will a Basenji be able to be without me for this period of time, or do I need to hire someone to take her on a walk while I'm gone? If I choose to hire a "dog-girl", and if she isn't as strict as I am, will my Basenji learn from her that misbehaving is okey or will my B still respect my own rules? Is it totaly unreasonable to get a Basenji if you live in a flat?

    I really want to be able to leave my Basenji outside the cage while I'm gone, as I myself suffer from claustrofobia and would never want my dog to suffer from being caged. I am looking at allowing my dog access to my sofa and my bed. I do however have some quite expensive computer equipment that I need to access daily, and I'm worried about biting on cords - is there any sure way to prevent this? Just to clearify, I'm not worried about my equipment, I'm worried about the dog.

    How do Basenjis handle cold, and especially snow? I live in Finland and it's relatively cold and snowy (and.. wet) a big part of the year. A close friend of mine has a couple of French bulldogs and it's very important for me that my B will be able to socialize with them - at what age should I take her with me on a visit?

    I'm basically the kind of person that wants to have everything prepared and thought out before making this big a decision (consider I'm "only" 22 years old). Except for my studies - I do have the time to care for a dog, and I have friends and family that have already promised to house my Basenji in case I ever need to go away for a few days, or even just an evening. I do understand that a dog is a 15yr+ investment and I know my future job will allow me to work from home. I'm fully prepared to go on a two hour walk with her every day, or more if that's suggested.

  • As a puppy, they will probably need someone to come and give a lunch potty break. As an adult they should do fine with a 9am-3pm schedule.

    Your puppy may learn some bad habits if rules are not consistently enforced but for the most part dogs learn that some people are pushovers and others aren't.

    Crate training is an important part of raising a puppy. It can be an invaluable tool for transportation or recovery from an injury. Some basenjis can be crate phobic but that is not the norm and many basenjis truly love their crate as "their space". For the first year or so, while your puppy is growing up, teething, learning rules, testing boundaries, confining them when you are out is the best way to insure they grow into well behaved dogs. You can use an ex-pen instead of crate but will want to limit their access to things that could hurt them or just plain keeping them from practicing bad behavior.

    Basenjis can do fine in the cold, mine all wear coats in cold weather.

    Early socialization with other dogs is important to help your puppy stay social with other dogs. Mine visit with my friends' vaccinated dogs after their first set of shots (8 weeks old) and start puppy kindergarten after their second set.

  • The general picture I get is that if you want to make sure your Basenji doesn't dislike something (children, guests, other dogs) you make sure she has to interact with them a lot during her puppy times? Reading your last reply I was thinking about trying to keep her caged at night inside my bedroom until she gets used to it. Is there any reason not to keep the cage in my bedroom where she can easily alert me of her needs - I am a little worried about her getting some separation anxiety that will make my neighbours' life a living hell.

    I also called and check different local puppy kindergarten and none of them had experience with Basenjis yet. Reading these forums it seems like the main thing for me to tell them would be not to put my Basenji with too small dogs?

  • Yes, early socialization and positive experiences is the best way to go. I think the most important thing about puppy kindergarten is that it is positive based and focuses on socialization with both people and dogs.

    Some basenji don't necessarily do well with the small dogs and other love them. Sophie was always the best with the new pups of any size in her puppy class, she just had phenomenal dog language and would make herself as small as possible and go at their speed. What you want to be careful about is people who have already formed a preconceived notion of basenji behavior. My mom's first puppy class instructor always expected her boy to be aggressive even though he never showed any aggression and was always very appropriate in his interactions.

    I crate puppies next to the bed while housebreaking and it works fine. I have always used a large stuffed toy in the crate and this year used SnugglePuppies, they were wonderful. The pup snuggled right up to warmth and fell asleep, provided we did a good job of tiring him out for the night.

    I got my first basenji while I was in Grad school and lived in an apartment. It is doable as long as you are willing to make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

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