Fostering a Basenji x Cattledog mix….have I lost my marbles?

  • So there's this 6 month old, brown & white, 30 lbs or so female Basenji/Cattledog mix in a Connecticut shelter. (I am in South Dakota.) Chloe. She's an owner-surrender. No training. High energy compounded from being cooped up and stressed. And she's ADORABLE.

    Poor thing has already been pulled once, but the "foster" volunteer who took her turned out to be a TOTAL flake. Kept the poor dog for a few weeks, turned around and dumped her BACK in ANOTHER shelter for reasons unknown. And to top things off….LIED about it to the very people who were initially trying to help this dog and line up a home for her. Told everyone she'd "adopted her out" to some lady she knew but was very vague.

    My friend followed a gut feeling and decided to search Petfinder for "Basenji" after this- sure enough, there she was in another shelter. I'd been following along with this saga on another forum….I even spoke with a BRAT coordinator in the northeast who was aware of this dog but it didn't seem like too many people were lining up for her.

    Not suprising. Simply uttering the breeds..."Basenji Cattledog" in the same sentence like that sends a line of fright down my spine. Still, part of me can't help but think JUST MAYBE this dog happened to inherit the BETTER qualities of both breeds, might be one SHOCKINGLY intelligent animal. All she might need is someone who understands her quirks and can find her motivation to work…..

    And then it just so happens with impeccable timing, I find myself purposefully unemployed BUT not in a financial pinch, at the same time this dog needs help. I half-jokingly make the offer to come get her myself. Friend half-seriously offers to drive her halfway to meet me. Jokes somehow turn into brainstorms.

    I'm not quite sure how it happened, but over the last 24 hours I've made plans to drive to Toledo, Ohio (800+ miles) late next week to pick her up. Unless something changes between now & then, I am actually going to foster this dog. :eek:

    We know for sure she can be crated, doesn't have seperation anxiety and gets along with other dogs about like a Basenji does. (Snarky, but normal). Barring those "dealbreakers" I am pretty confident I can handle her long enough to evaluate, work with her and find her a home....especially considering I'll be home with her all the time.

    To make matters worse, Fred (husband) is actually supportive. It'd be easier to fight the Rescue Bug if he put his foot down and told me I was nuts. But what's he say? "You're at home. You could probably do a good job with her. You'd probably enjoy it. She's probably a neat dog." sigh :rolleyes:

    So....anyone have any advice? Words of wisdom? Last rites?
    I can provide my address to anyone who would like to dispatch the Funny Farm bus to take me away.
    I've only ONCE fostered & rehomed a cute little mutt I picked up in a truckstop....nothing like this. If I'll need guidance with anything, it'll be going about the process of finding a home for her.

    I'll post updates!

    Danielle, Fred
    Jibini & Tana (who patently refuse to clean up the bathroom in preparation for our houseguest)

  • All I can offer is … good luck 🙂

  • I have Calli-who is cattledog and Basenji's. They are very similar in energy levels. Keep her busy. These dogs definitely need a purpose. Start with obedience and then agility. IMO helps her keep her focus. My Calli is also a frisbee dog, drug and weapons detection, therapy dog, etc. The more you can give her the more they like it!

  • As an owner of both these breeds, I am aghast that anyone in their right mind would deliberately/accidently put these 2 breeds together :eek:

    All I can say is Best of Luck, I think you are going to need it ;).

    Totally agree with nomrbddgs, tons of appropriate stimulation, mentally more than physical, IMHO :). Good luck…

  • Two of my favorite breeds! I can't wait to see pictures!

  • Whoa, those are two of the SMARTEST breeds I know! Look out, you WILL be outsmarted many a time!!! I bet this is a beautiful mix, though. Please post some pictures when you get a chance. Keep us posted on the progress, you are wonderful to help this dog! Kudos to you!!!:D:D:D

  • I am not 100% sure how to post pictures here, but let me try this:

    This is a pic from when she was initially pulled out of the shelter by the flaky foster-lady.

    If she's as smart as she LOOKS, I'm in trouble 🙂

  • She is adorable!

  • You are in for ONE BIG CHALLENGE. Look at her eyes. She was looking for direction already at that point-you've got your work cut out, and she's going to be a quick learner.

  • She's a beauty and real winner! I hope she goes to the right home.

  • I think she's gorgeous! Do you enjoy doing agility or herding?

  • Jeez Danielle, be prepared to fail 'fostering 101'! She really is pretty. Wonder how Jibini will like having 2 sisters? Good luck!


  • LOL Anne, the girl who pestered me into fostering Chloe in the first place is making the same type of comments 😃

    I don't know what will happen; I am already planning to enroll her in Obedience classes. I figure that will help me get a very good idea of her temperament & potential so I can know exactly what kind of home she needs, and will also tell me whether or not this is a dog I want to commit to for the next 10-15 years.

    If I decide she is "too much" to be a permanent resident for me, I figure the Obedience classes will go a long way in reining in her behavior and helping her forever home realize her true potential. Aaaaand….if I am totally smitten with her from the get-go, well, the same club that holds the Obed classes also has Agility classes. And trials. And, get the idea :).

    I used to compete in Obed and Agility with a Boxer I had for 14, yeah. I am already having fun thinking of the potential....sigh

    THIS is why I never signed up to foster for BRAT. If I fostered 5 dogs I'd be the OWNER of 5 dogs by now....

  • I think she'd be a great agility dog. The thing that would drive me crazy about many of the cattle dogs on the agility field is that many bark and spin like crazy. Hopefully the basenji genes would dampen that. Spinning is often due to the owner not getting commands out fast enough which causes frustration on the dog's part. But if you're lucky and got the best of both parents, the cattle dog's genes for working with a handler, toughness and drive would be passed on. Of course that's just from my view point and what I would want in a 'gility dog. Good luck! I think you have a superstar in the making. 😉

  • WoW!!! That is one beautiful little girl! Keep us posted on how things go for you…:D

  • you are in for a for a lot of lovin'. 'CAB' my basenji x kelpie x bordercollie is a real character. lots of quirky personality traits a very unique little guy. just make sure you run her alot and plenty of chew toys. they are very intelligent, super quick learners. photo attached

  • oxenburger, that's a beautiful dog you have there!!! i can"t wait to hear all about him!!! welcome to the forum! 🙂

  • what a cuttie, you can see the wheels turning. We have had both breeds ans have loved them.

  • I'm getting off work early today to go and pick up my first adopted pet–a Basenji/Cattle Dog mix. I was told that, though she will require lots of activity, apartment dwelling would suit her just fine. From what I've read, this pooch may need more room to spread her wings (so to speak). 😕

    We're fairly active, so she wouldn't be cooped up all day. However, M-F, we do have work and school. We both go to work/school (respectively) very close to home, so we already have a schedule worked out to take her out at least 3 times per day (for no less than 20 mins each time). Do you think that's enough? Weekends would be far better of course. I want to make sure she's completely happy with us.

    My daughter fell in love with her the moment she saw her, so we're in this for the long run, whatever happens. I'm sure she'll have lots to teach us. :p

  • Sounds like you are committed… Do you have a yard at your house? Do you mean you will have her outside only three times a day or is that how often during work/school??? I wish you good vibes with your new pup. Please keep us posted... I would love to see some pictures when you get a chance!!!:D

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