A Few Questions

Hello to everyone–

I'm new to this site, and actually to Basenji's in general. I'm currently a college student in Eastern Washington--and now that I can finally get off campus, the next important thing in my life is finding the right dog.

I've grown up my entire life with dogs. From a ****er spaniel, an Irish Setter/German Shepard mix, and two feisty German Short haired Pointers--dogs are something that have always been around.

I was turned onto Basenji's a few years ago when I saw someone walking their's in a neighborhood close to my campus. I immediately fell in love and have been determined to find one of my own someday. Also, I'm living with 4 other people in my house who, while fine with me having a dog have certain stipulations. Namely they want something relatively small and a dog that doesn't shed. I feel like Basenji's meet that.

My question is though--how well would a Basenji do living with five university students? I've dealt with high maintenance dogs before (note my GSP's) so certain traits that I've heard are common with Basenjis don't really worry me--I've done it before. Also--my worry is that in looking up breeders, the only ones are on the western side of the state. I'm afraid that if I where to settle on a Basenji now--that the 5.5 hour drive back might be a bit much. Is there anyone who has had to deal with transportation like this? Also--would it be better to try and find a basenji that is already a year or two old, rather than getting a puppy?

I really enjoy high energy dogs as well as dogs that can be affectionate--from everything I've read about Basenjis they sound like wonderful dogs. However, I would love any advice from other--more seasoned Basenji owners.

Welcome to the site… glad to have you here....

First... one rumor to discredit... Basenji do shed.. they just don't shed as much as other dogs and typically only once a year.. but they do shed.... so if that is a deal breaker... then a Basenji is not for you.

A Basenji would, IMO, have a ball with 5... ggg... and I am sure that another forum member will chime in here that placed a pup with a college student that lived with other housemates... and did just fine. Of course you and your housemates need to understand that a Basenji is a hound that hunts by sight... what they see they chase so things like keeping doors closed and watching when you go out the door that the Basenji doesn't get there first because very important. And picking up after themselves is important too... a Basenji have no respect for what might be left around that they can steal and chew up... especially underwear... or anything with a crotch... gggg... So if they have things that are important to them... they need to keep them picked up, put away... doors closed to rooms they don't want the Basenji to get into.

As far as traveling... 5.5 is nothing... you just need to stop on the way to potty them... should not be a problem at all...

Thanks for your response!

I did know that they had a tendency to shed–just not as much. I've learned it's impossible to get an almost completely unsheddable dog.

Next to the transportation issue, the sight hunting is something I am also concerned about. I've dealt with hunting dogs before--but they've always been more scent oriented dogs. I think my one last concern is the fact that it would be a single dog (with only the company of my housemate's rats...which will be kept FAR out of reach of any dog regardless of the breed). Is that okay--for the puppy to not have another dog? It will have plenty of human interaction but I'm worried that outside of obedience classes and trips to the dogs parks it will have little socialization with other dogs. It doesn't sound like that's a problem with Basenji's but I've simply never had just one dog before and I'm worried that if for some reason it gets lonely there could be problems.

Thanks again tanza for answering my previous questions!

@tueurose:

Thanks for your response!

I did know that they had a tendency to shed–just not as much. I've learned it's impossible to get an almost completely unsheddable dog.

Next to the transportation issue, the sight hunting is something I am also concerned about. I've dealt with hunting dogs before--but they've always been more scent oriented dogs. I think my one last concern is the fact that it would be a single dog (with only the company of my housemate's rats...which will be kept FAR out of reach of any dog regardless of the breed). Is that okay--for the puppy to not have another dog? It will have plenty of human interaction but I'm worried that outside of obedience classes and trips to the dogs parks it will have little socialization with other dogs. It doesn't sound like that's a problem with Basenji's but I've simply never had just one dog before and I'm worried that if for some reason it gets lonely there could be problems.

Thanks again tanza for answering my previous questions!

For some reasons my posts are showing up really delayed… so the first was answered twice... opps....

As far as the situation you describe.. doesn't sound like a problem for me... while Basenji do great with a companion.. they do just as well as an only dog.. IMO.... and as far as the rats... you know introducing them early on... will reduce the "hunt" factor... so I would not worry about that either....

Lots of Basenjis - and others - live quite happily as single dogs. Some even prefer to have all the human attention to themselves <g>Going to classes and dog parks will be great chances to interact with other dogs.

Some dogs do experience separation anxiety and do better with another dog in the house. It seems to me that this is an issue that is seen more often in rescues. (there are also certain breeds that are more prone to it). Based on what I've read: Some people set themselves up for separation anxiety by taking a week or more off work when they bring a new dog home. So the dog gets used to a new environment where it's new human is around 24 hours a day, and then all of a sudden they start disappearing for long periods and the dog is suddenly all alone… It's much easier on a dog if then routine you establish when you first bring him/her home is your normal routine.
Of course, with 5 students, chances are there's going to be somebody around most of the time, anyway.</g>

I placed a pup from my first litter with a college student. Ramses is a very well adjusted, well socialized dog. He has also transitioned well into the post college lifestyle. It is important that all of the roommates are on board with bringing home a new dog. John made at least 4 trips to my house during the screening process so that I could meet with all of his roommates and they could meet my dogs and see what basenjis were really like. If everyone agrees, then it can work out great.

As for being the only dog, I have several that are only dogs and do very well. Some have play groups, some don't. Be sure that you tell the breeder what traits you are looking for. That will help them to match you with the right puppy.

First off…welcome to the forum and kudos to you for doing research and asking questions ahead of actually getting a basenji. 😃

lvoss brings up a good point about making sure to visit with breeders and spend some time around basenjis before making your final decision. I've been at visits at my b-kids breeder when people are first checking out basenjis...the things I find endearing and I love about basenjis are definitely not for everyone as I've seen from these visits. By spending time with the breeder and their dogs, you'll get to experience them in a home situation.

IMHO, I DO think a basenji would be in heaven with all those people around...it would be a lot of fun I think...for the dog AND for you and your roommates. 😃

Oh, and Tanza's comment about underwear or anything with a crotch is sooooo right on the money:D:D:D. We had a basenji when I was 15yo and I can't tell you how many times Zeke ate my underwear :eek::D...eventually I learned to pick up after myself.

Now I have 3 basenjis...2 adults (4yo now - adopted at 2yo retired show dogs) and one puppy. Only one of my b-kids doesn't do well as an only dog...she (4yo) was never without another dog until I originally adopted her. She needs another dog around. The other 2 - no problems being without another dog. I also agree with what Miloki said about people making the mistake of being with a new pup 24/7 for a week or 2 and then all of a sudden, return to work or school and the dog is alone. Already having a dog with slight separation anxiety, I didn't want the new pup to have the same sorts of issues so I've been very conscious of how I give my attention and how many different situations I can put her in so she could be confident without me.

Like lvoss says, if you tell the breeder about what traits you need for your home, the breeder will pick the perfect pup for you. And I don't know if anyone said anything about this, but if you go the puppy route, PLEASE pick a responsible breeder that fully health tests their dogs. A good place to start is the Basenji Club of America website. http://www.basenji.org/PUBLIC/BreederDirectory.htm

I have had three basenjis now and each time they were the only dog in the house and all managed to live with my being gone for work 8-9 hours every day. My most recent one goes to doggy day care only once a week and has shown a marked improvement in terms of socialization to other dogs and to people so I don't think an occasional dog park visit will be a problem. What you do at home with her/him is more important.

Sight hounds, though hunters, are different from hunting dog breeds such as labs and pointers and such. Basenjis (and other sight hounds) are extremely quick on the pickup (meaning they are gone before you realize it) and very fast runners when they see what they perceive as prey (sight hounds are the racing hounds). And when on the trail of prey they often don't respond to you unless exceptionally extremely well trained.

You will need to make sure that ALL your roommates are on the same page as you regarding the dog's training and home habits. If a door is left open only a crack, the dog will be gone. If dirty underclothes are left out they will become practise prey. Toilet paper and paper towels are always fair game.

With so many roommates, I might suggest that you consider getting an older dog - perhaps one of the breeders you're considering has an older dog that needs rehoming (not necessarily a rescue). That way the dog will probably have had at least some good manners. Be sure to check on the health issues with any dog that chooses you - there are several genetic disorders and predispositions that can be expensive to control.

Good luck in your search and feel free to ask more questions. We on this forum have eons worth of collective experience.

Ditto to most of above and I'm going to add the one factor that may be an issue - room-mates mean more people to leave the door open or not close it fast enough. They will bolt quickly and don't do the 'come' stuff very well when bunnies and outdoor smells call them.

Visitors and beverages - for some reason college students dogs and beer always seem to get mixed up - these folks may be ok but if you ever have social gatherings with beverages - that could be an issue that could also lead to careless door issues.

(while it has been a 'few' years since I was a college student - I think I remember it pretty well)

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