I've been reading a lot of posts, and I've learned a lot, but now I just wanted to specifically ask if people think that a basenji could be a good dog for my situation.
The Home: I am 20 years old and live with my longtime boyfriend and our mutual friend in a very large townhouse apartment- top (third) floor. It is pretty open, quite roomy. There is a tiny park only a quarter block away (which is where I take my current dog to do his business), but there is also a giant park only a few blocks away which includes a small fenced in dog park, and we are in a dog-friendly neighbourhood. Barking/too much noise is potentially an issue, since we have close neighbours, however my current dog is quite yappy by nature and we haven't had any complaints.
Work/School: I'm a University student but my program is not very demanding. With occasional exceptions, I am usually only gone for a maximum of 5 hours at a time for class or work, and have quite a bit of free time. In the summer this might change to up to 6-7 hours, but of course I'll also be more than happy with the nice weather to spend the rest of my time running around outside with my canine pals.
The Current Dog: My main concern is that I want a dog who can be buddies with my current pup- his name is Oliver and he is a 10 month old Chihuahua (5.5 - 6lb fully grown). He is extremely social, and I think he could warm up to any dog eventually (he loves my mom's two schnauzer x poodle mixes who are about 15-20lb, but he also grew up with them and they are both girls), but of course the new dog could not be too rough with him. I'm sure he'd love a tug-of-war partner and someone to chase around though. He has tons of energy, especially in the winter when he hated going outside. Would a basenji, gotten as a pup and raised with him, know to be gentle with a smaller dog?
My main concerns with a Basenji: Are they really as destructive as everyone says? Also, I've heard mixed reports about them usually being quiet, and others who howl all the time- what's the norm (if there is one)? I'm also worried about keeping it occupied in the winter. Will it get enough exercise playing with my chihuahua, and with me throwing a ball down the hallway for awhile if it's just too cold outside? How are they for potty training (I crate train)? Any other concerns you can think of?
Why I think I want one: I tend to be a fan of the more cat-like dogs. My chi certainly fits this description. I also like Italian Greyhounds, except for their common potty training problems and tendency to break legs. I think I will enjoy having both a tiny dog (my chi) who can be carried around when I want to, and who is content to stay inside when there is even the slightest breeze outside, and then a basenji, who sounds like she will be more outgoing and big-dog-like, while still small-medium sized. I'm also guilty of really liking their look- a tricolor basenji would actually look like a bigger twin of my chi and I think that would be adorable, haha (but of course this isn't a good enough reason to get one).
Here's a pic of my Oliver so you can see what I mean: http://www.flickr.com/photos/right_on/3205364464/in/set-72157612406709430/
Sorry for the long post!! Thanks for any replies!