New potential Basenji Owner in Wisconsin–-am a little scared!

If you want to know WHY folks are so adamant about making sure you get your upcoming pup from a Fanconi-tested litter [or that the parents – at least one of them -- has tested as Fanconi-clear]….
please go read this thread:

Do note that this is from one of my own dog owners… their boy passed away a few years ago.... after having Fanconi Syndrome for several years.

Now that the testing IS available, there is absolutely NO reason for NOT having any breedings without testing behind them.
As Lisa also mentioned, there is far more to health testing than Fanconi....
hips, eyes, thyroid, etc.
Who would care less if the dog was Fanconi clear if it were blind and/or dysplastic!

There is again, no reason whatsoever, for breeding animals that are untested for any of these issues, or affected, with any of these issues.

Best of luck to you..... do me a favor, count all the dogs/puppies/breeds and let us know how many there are... I am interested in knowing how many breeds she is down/up to these days.

Yes, with this test, no one should have a fanconis affected dog.

Thank you all so much for responding to my questions on the Basenji puppy I may be getting.
I am very disheartened, however by the lack of people eager to tell me more about the dog itself than that of the Faconi Syndrome.
The reason I joined this group was to share stories about the dog…..
maybe a little more enlightening????

I am sorry, but as a first time dog owner and after all the research I have put forth, I am starting to feel more scared now than excited.

I guess I don't understand. You want to hear about having a basenji?
Well, getting a basenji ….anyone can. Getting a healthy basenji, that is something we are all trying to help you with.
You can get a basenji that you love and lose it at the age of 5.
Why would you do that to yourself?
Catherine, maybe I am just not getting what you want us to tell you.
Sorry, If I am just dumb.

What is it that you are asking? Are asking for more information about the breed?

There are plenty of stories about basenjis throughout this forum.

Basenjis are a unique breed, they can at one moment be quite indpendent completely ignoring you in their pursuit of happiness and at the next moment they show they are completely dedicated to you and their human "pack" curling up next to you when you are feeling down or sick. They like to know what is in it for them when doing things like learning basic commands. They will chase anything that moves because they are sighthounds and is part of their hardwiring. They are clowns and require a sense of humor because they can and will TP the house and then yodel at you cheerfully, proud of their accomplishment.

Here are links to litter blogs to see how a litter of puppies develops.

Here's the gist of Fanconi. This is an afflication that will NOT go away-and will only get worse. It is similar to AIDS in humans. There is no cure and only a partial success of management of the afflication. As Kathy said, look into her issues with Fanconi and you will know why we are so passionate about health testing for the Basenji. We are NOT trying to scare you away from getting a Basenji, but are trying to help you. Please, do a search in the search box up top for Fanconi threads. You can ask any question you need to about Fanconi specifically and there are people who will readily answer you. If you would like to talk to me privately, go to the member list, look me up, e-mail me and I will answer any questions I can.

I second Lisa, there are loads of threads about the quarks of our furbabies. I find the breed to be incredibly mentally stimulating, certainly no less work than having a 3 year old toddler all the time. Don't get me wrong, my girls are well behaved - for Basenjis hhehe, but it's no walk in the park by far. My friends however are adamant they would never have a Basenji - because she isn't a dog, and most people want dog dogs the kind that play fetch and do little tricks, "man's best friend" and all that. I think that's what I love about them so much, they are not dogs. They are these little wild wolf/jackals that have some how come to love us and want to be around us. They are quite intense but funny, have a incredibly strong hunt drive but manage to convey affection clearly, clever and goofy all at the same time. They choose to love us, and it's really kinda an odd honor to win the respect and devotion of an animal like that.

Don't be disheartened, people just want to be sure you get what you are desiring, a healthy puppy. Information is power. And honestly it's ok to have a small bit of fear, healthy even, getting a puppy is like bringing a new baby home - it's a lot of hard hard work and you know inside that you are responsible for the outcome of the dog's behavior etc. But excitement and joy are all apart of it too. It's a really wondrous time 🙂

I do understand what you are saying, Catherine. You were hoping for a little more joy and excitement and encouragement, because you mentioned being scared, this being your first basenji. That's understandable. We do not mean to scare you away from the breed at all. They are wonderful dogs. You won't find a more basenji devoted group of people ( we are, after all, all members of this forum).

Our reaction, though disappointing, has more to do with the breeder you mentioned than the breed itself. We want you to begin your basenji experience with someone who cares as much about the breed as we do. We wouldn't wish upon anyone that they make an uninformed choice and end up with a fanconi affected pup or a pup with a variety of other health issues that could have been avoided through health testing and careful breeding.

One of the members here just loss his dog to Fanconi and she was 7.

I cannot overemphasize that our concern is out of care for the breed. That's all. I'm sorry it wasn't quite what you wanted to hear.

Let me ask you a couple of questions - how old are your children? When you think of adding a dog to your life - what do you envision yourselves doing with it. If you hope to play fetch at the park - this is not for you. If you want it to run around after your girls playing in the neighborhood - this is not for you. THey are hounds and if they see it or smell it they are gone. They are not always the best meeting other breeds and can be dog aggressive. They like to meet people on their own terms and that may be unacceptable (although the vision of my first B stopping my father in law at the door is a fond memory of mine) Do your children pick up their clothes - if not they will be eaten. My daughers B just ate her cell phone charger - if you can't laugh at that - not the breed for you. One of my guys, Jacque - chewed off all the wires from the speaker sound system as a puppy. If you can't laugh at that - the breed is not for you. If you cannot keep your trash cans behind a closed door - this breed is not for you. Anything within a foot of the edge of the counter is fair game for a basenji - including birthday cake - BTW it was mine and close by was my sons Graduation Cake ready for the party - that would have been a big issue.

As you consider adding a basenji puppy to your home, ask if the sire and dam were tested in the "LINKAGE TEST". It is new, it is NOT done at a Vet's office although a vet draws the blood sample. There is no other testing that is accurate.

All results are published and anyone you are considering purchasing a puppy from, should give you the link so you can see the results yourself.

Ask yourself:
Are they listed with any of the Basenji Organizations. BCOA, BCOSW. Go to the websites provided and look them up or email the club to ask. Do they trash any of the above organizations - that is telling as well. The organizations above have donated thousands and thousands of dollars for research to develop a variety of health tests for this breed and I guarantee you that is not trash.

If they say they show their dogs. Is is the US AKC, or Canada, or UKC or ARBA - there is a huge difference. Ask to see show pictures or get a couple of AKC numbers and go to the AKC page and check the numbers out. You can get a show record of any dog. Showing may not be everything but in order to be successful you have to do the other stuff well. Health, temperament and breeding that is more than putting parts together.

There is one 'breeder' in Minnesota that had regularly provided a list of champions that she has bred or owned - and that list is from an entirely different kennel in another state and she does not nor did she ever own or show those dogs.

The vet they use is far away. They should be willing to give you the phone number and name of their vet.

Ask if they are USDA inspected or Licensed. Only commercial breeders/puppy mills and people who sell to pet stores are licensed by the USDA. For the USDA you fill out a form and send in a payment - no inspections etc as some might assume.

If they charge more for a certain color or gender they are most likely not a reputable breeder.

Puppies advertised as 'champion lines' but you see only 1 or 2 champions in the pedigree.


YOU DESERVE THE BEST COMPANION! The resources that you have been provided can help you do that.

Here is an exerpt from Natures Masterpiece and some basic info that I have on my website:

The Basenji is a well-defined natural breed. Nothing about him has changed in thousands of years. Not his size, his shape, the color and texture of his coat, his temperament.

Owners can testify to his phenomenal intelligence, inventiveness, curiosity and his sense of humor. He is immaculate and practically odorless. Although known as 'The Barkless Dog' they do posses vocal chords and do have a voice. They have a wonderful endearing yodel, a menacing snarl and a scream of terror. On occasion they will voice a singular bark, usually to make a liar of the owner who has just announced that their dog is barkless.

While the relative lack of odor, silence and immaculate nature may seem to make him the ideal pet for apartment dwellers, nothing could be farther from the truth. They are HOUNDS! They need plenty of exercise in a controlled and safe environment. They must always be behind a fence or on a leash. If left to their own devices, they will hunt. Squirrel, rabbit, birds, your neighbors cat whatever is available.

Inform your self, follow the links provided above to learn more about this breed, it's history and antics. Do your homework about your breeder, make sure that you are prepared to deal with the unique characteristics of this breed.

Remember a Dog is a 12-15 year commitment. If you don't know where you will be in 5 years, getting a dog of any kind may not be for you.

Check out Basenji FAQ at this site:

Go online to Basenji Go online to the Basenji Club of Southeastern Wisconsin and buy their booklet. At Home With Basenjis. Amost every affiliated club with the BCOA has a brochure, pamplet, booklet available and the time to look at that research is before you bring a puppy home.

These dogs are not for everyone - we can tell you cute stories and we can tell you heartbreaking stories.

Here is another link that was part of the MN/WI basenji puppy site a few years ago - you might find some useful information there.

Remember: they can never be off leash, early socialization and training is important, to a basenji NO means try again later, they will unroll toilet paper and eat your underwear - they will run through the house with feminine hygene products in their mouth when you have company, they can climb and they can jump. They will 'bury' Mac in cheese in the corner of the dining room and be made a week later when they look for it and it's gone. They will tolerate well mannered children but young children can ruin a dog very quickly. Uncurling their tail is funny but it can break the tail.

The fact that so many of us are giving you a very large amount of information should be an indicator that you should procede with caution and something that you consider carefully.

Maybe there should be a sticky thread about Fanconi. I do agree people should know about it but it's a little much when you bombard people with questions about it in a forum that supposed to be for introducing your self and your dog, there's already a fanconi forum and it's quite visible why not just let people see it there?


Maybe there should be a sticky thread about Fanconi. I do agree people should know about it but it's a little much when you bombard people with questions about it in a forum that supposed to be for introducing your self and your dog, there's already a fanconi forum and it's quite visible why not just let people see it there?

Because people only read stickies if they are actually looking for them. Most people don't bother to read them even when they say DON'T POST IN THIS THREAD UNTIL YOU'VE READ THIS. Just look at how many dogs/puppies for sale get posted with no regard for the Sticky on how a listing should look.

Exactly… and the main purpose of responsible breeders is education of the public... and that means keeping the fact that health testing is important.. and puppies that come from puppy mills or BYB's do not test... and how important it is... It is hard to tell someone how heartbreaking it is to wind up with a sick dog that could have been prevented... It is sad for the dog that will suffer... and worse yet for the family that purchased what they thought was a healthly dog...
As lvoss said, people don't really read the "stickies"... that has been shown over and over by the number of people that when asked about Fanconi have no idea what it is or if their pup or its parents have been tested... I think yourself included.

Hey DMcarty… I think that Troy's FAQ's link is no longer working


Exactly… and the main purpose of responsible breeders is education of the public... and that means keeping the fact that health testing is important.. and puppies that come from puppy mills or BYB's do not test... and how important it is... It is hard to tell someone how heartbreaking it is to wind up with a sick dog that could have been prevented

By that logic no dog who comes from a breeder who test will have a disease. I was reading the thread on the story of the board, Vanessa got a basenji from Khanis Basenjis whose dogs are tested for everything yet she had a very sick dog who eventually passed. I have many friends with dogs and none of them bought them from a show breeder, and those dogs are healthy and quite old.

I wasn't very happy with the way the whole fanconi thing was broken down to me. No one here ever tells you how little have those test been going on for and actually even why they even started testing dogs in the first place. Check out Pedigree Dogs Exposed to see what I'm talking about.

The one thing that is responsible for all of these genetic diseases is selective breeding, and the blame falls on people like us who knowing that a mixed breed dog is usually healthier than a pure pure breed still decide for the pedigree AKC dog. If you don't want to have to worry about a dogs genetics then get a dog with a wider genetic pool, it's not rocket science.

And how curious that everyone "educating" us about all of these diseases are breeders that look to make profit the same way the BYB they bash so much do, the only difference are a couple of genetic test that call a healthy dog "probably clear".

Give me a break.

I am taking this to another thread because this is definately not what Catherine came here for.

Danny, I think you are upset because you may not be happy with things that you were told on this forum but I think if you read what has been posted everyone has been VERY upfront with the EXACT date when the test was released in many thread and have posted updates as they have been available. The basenji community has worked very hard for years to get this test. The test was released on July 17, 2007 and since that time over 3000 dogs have been tested.

Please see the new thread

That is not what I said… I said that the more health testing that a breeder does reduces the chance of "known" (maybe I should have made that more clear) health concerns in the breed... there are always going to be something that is out of the norm that happens... all animals can and do get sick... doesn't mean that it is genetic... and I totally disagree that "mixed" breeds are healthier... quite the opposite... there are many with hip problems, eye probems, thyroid problems, just to name a few.... If you are talking about "selective" breeding in the wild.. that certainly is different as only the fittest live to breed...

And make a profit... LOL... now that would be a novel idea.. I have never made a profit on a litter and only once broken even... and I consider myself lucky... and I think the 80% of responsible breeders will say the same thing.. we are not in it to sell puppies and make money, but to preserve and improve the breed.

As far as why testing was started and BCOA worked so hard and is still working for the direct test is that it is in our breed, dogs die from it.. and have been around since Basenjis were brought from Africa in the 40's... it was not till the 60's? that it was given a name... only the Basenjis died from it... and no one knew what it was... then at least after that Dr. Gonto developed the protocol that help to keep many alive.. but no cure... At least now with the linkage test we have a pretty darn good idea that the mode is recessive... and for those that have been in the breed for a long time look at the test results and say... "yes" they all make sense.

Yup… good idea lvoss... you were posting as I did this one...

And for Catherine... Basenjis are great dogs and family companions.. but they have their moments... you need to remember they are "hounds" first and they do what comes natural... and that is not being obedient for the most part... give a command like sit/stay... a typical answer might be.. "right after you do"...

1 - hybred vigor has been debunked many times that I don't even need to go into the fallacy of that.
2 - we have been supporting research for fanconi disease an a wide variety of tests and testing for years - it is just that this test - so accurate in getting to know what the likelihood of passing on this disease before dogs are adults so you can NOT breed those affected. Previously we did what we could with pedigree research and sometimes were more successful than others. THere are MANY breeds where people are not as forthright as in basenjis.
3 - Pedigree dogs exposed was a sensationalization for sweeps week - it did not begin to try to portray what those of us who breed quality animals for show and companionship - it is claptrap supported by those groups who would have no dog ownership at all - but all dogs free and unencumbered by human restraint.
4 - All those who have made a profit on one litter or cumulatively on all the litters you have bred - please identify yourselfs because obviously I don't know you. No one that I know - who does it right makes any money on dogs - if you are very very lucky you may break even from time to time.
5 - think about on this list the people who have the longest experience and are the ones that you count on when you have a question. - It's us the breeders that are members of our breed club and are proud to retain our committment and ethics in breeding dogs on a limited and planful basis.

I guess I just don't understand why someone would pay the same amount of $$ or even more to get a dog with NO health testing…when they can get a basenji who will live a long life.
Don't most of us check out "things" that matter...buying a car, go research the site that show safety, gas milage, etc.
But when you get an animal who is a critter who will love you and you will love you just take your chances??

Coming from someone who's Basenji was recently diagnosed with Fanconi - PLEASE do your research and make sure that you will end up with a pup that has the best chance of living a long healthy life! I love my Tayda to bits and will NOT give up on her - but I so wish that this genetic testing information was available when I was researching the breed. I have a cupboard full of pills in my kitchen and hundreds (soon to be thousands) of dollars in vet bills trying to stabilize her on her medications.

I am not a breeder - I get nothing from endorsing what is being said here. I'm just a pet owner that is dealing with exactly what everyone is trying to spare you from. Do your research - verify what the breeder says on the OFA website. People here can help you with that.

Basenjis are fun, energetic, quirky, silly, smart, stubborn and totally different from other dogs. They are not for everyone, but if you can deal with THEM training YOU to be their owner - you will not be able to imagine your life without him.

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