Is a Basenji Right for Me?

Hello everyone!
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!

IMO Chi's and Basenji's would not mix. Take a look at the way my 12 week olds play at http://s540.photobucket.com/albums/gg329/shadow_brat/

I personally think they would see the Chi as a toy to be thrown around-but that my opinion. As for noise, each dog has their own level. Two of mine are quite vocal, while I never hear the other one.

Throwing the ball down the hallway is not enough exercise for these dogs. These are active dogs. Crate training is generally a must for these guys.

Your Ollie is adorable!!

The thing about ball throwing for my B's is they become bored with it within the first 5 minutes. As for the cold, my 2 don't stay out long after the temp drops below 20, but they love to run in the snow regardless of the temp.

As far as how a B and a Chi would get along, I'm clueless. But bear in mind, a B is a medium sized dog with a very large dog's mindset:D.

Good luck in your search for a companion, and welcome to this forum.

Thanks for the replies so far 🙂

The ball throwing was just an example, and only a last resort for if it was absolutely freezing outside (Canadian winter, lol), of course we could do something else… I guess what I really meant was- if it's unbearably cold outside, and we have a large apartment, is there something we can do inside to keep her from going crazy? 😛 My chi even gets bored with ball throwing, lol. I'm a little nervous to have a dog who will make me tear my hair out because she couldn't get exercise just here and there, but if she could manage, then that's better.

Big welcome to the forum! Your Chi is a real cutie!!

You have lots of questions 😃 I think it's great you are willing to research the breed before getting one that fits your Chi in looks 😉

I don't really see a problem in your living space, your time away from home or your Chi 🙂
And my B was almost fully potty trained when I got him at 10 weeks. He peed in the house maybe twice.. He's very clean!
B's are pretty destructive, but when you make sure your B gets enough excersice and there isn't a lot of stuff laying around… It's not too bad. 🙂

Hope you will enjoy this forum!

@3l3ctric:

Thanks for the replies so far 🙂

The ball throwing was just an example, and only a last resort for if it was absolutely freezing outside (Canadian winter, lol), of course we could do something else… I guess what I really meant was- if it's unbearably cold outside, and we have a large apartment, is there something we can do inside to keep her from going crazy? 😛 My chi even gets bored with ball throwing, lol. I'm a little nervous to have a dog who will make me tear my hair out because she couldn't get exercise just here and there, but if she could manage, then that's better.

Both my B's are quite content when the weather is bad with one or two B-500 runs around the house. They {mine, not all} don't require a great deal of exercise in Winter as they are quite content to sleep the day away near the fire or in their crates.
I can always tell when Spring is in the air because that is when they begin to act "antsy" and as if they NEED more exercise, which is convenient because that is when they get more exercise, LOL.

Welcome to the forum and good on you to do research before getting a b. Regarding playing ball…while it isn't typical, I have a 4yo basenji boy that LOVES to play ball...he is easy to tire out because of it. My 4yo basenji girl never liked ball until Brando came, now she loves it. My 14wk basenji puppy loves ball too...as much as Brando at this point.

I would tend to agree with what Jazzy's Mom said about exercise...my kids chase each other inside (b-500) in the winter...and run around a bit in the snow. But otherwise, they prefer to lie in front of the fire in the winter. Oh, and I live in Maine, so I hear you about the cold.

I am new to the forum but not B's. I've lived in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida. I agree about cold winters. My 11 yr old B loves the fire or the warm sunshine. She's only vocal when startled by a stranger or I try very hard to get her to yodel. Mostly I never here anything but snorring!! I've stayed at home all of her life. I wanted a B most of my life, I knew however that by working full time I couldn't devote the time needed for good puppy training. I do believe that early socializing helped both of us alot. I've taken her everywhere with me all these years. I had a very young cat when she entered my home. It took a great deal of time with her to teach her not to chase the cat. 11 years later she is still jealous but loves the cat. She generally does not like small dogs. She thinks they are prey. Your home is fine. I too believe she would accept other animals. I just don't think the time sounds right somehow. Something I can't really put into words. I once got another B to enjoy. He let me know early on that my home was not right for him. He displyed his unhappiness early on. He is now very happy in his new home. It was very evident on his initial visit to the new home. Even though I would like another one at this time. I know it's best for me to wait. For all it's worth. It takes a lot of devotion in training, and socializing. If you really want one, I suggest a rescue that maybe came from an enviroment like yours or one that another person recommends would be good with you. Your research will go very far. I agree with everything else written to you as well….Good luck in your research.

Some basenjis can be destructive if left to their own devices, they need excercise to stimulate their minds imo, I have found that they are less destructive with age, Fiji is now 5yrs and is 98% trustworthy, Kia is 3yrs and is 80% trustworthy however her litter brothers Rufus and Chico are not at all trustworthy yet, nothing is safe from them and they only have the run of the house when I am about to watch them. I don't personally crate my dogs unless we are travelling or at a show but know that others do, thats a personal choice.

Why do you want another dog? What are you planning to do after you have finished university, will your circumstances change? You are only 20yrs old, I would say don't rush into anything. When my dogs play they are very rough with each other, there is often yelps when they play bite, it hurts, would your poor Chi be happy with that?

Oliver is very cute by the way.

Have you read any of the put offs that people put on their websites, best to know the worst before you make a final decision.

Having said that I wouldn't want to be without one, but they are not a dog for everyone.

Welcome on the forum!!

You chi is veru cute…

I think every Basenji is different, as example, Our Buana (a male) would play with a chi, but our Chafuko... (also a male) would see him as some nice hunting toy and see him as a prey.

I think when you introduce a Basenji as a puppy, they get to know eachother as friends.

Good luck with finding a second companion!

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