Are Basenji's really destructive?

Hello everyone

I have admired the Basenji for years and I would adore one, but wanted to know apart from how gorgeous and stunning they are what there are like to live with?

I have been researching on the internet about them and keep reading they can be very destructive, but after chatting to a Basenji breeder at ring craft training (I have Shar Pei and love showing) I was told this is scaremongering to put potentially wrong people off.

I walk my Shar Pei about 45min a day and then loooong treks at weekends and I work mornings only, would this be OK for a Basenji?

I would love to hear from people who really have this breed in their lives, I expect a puppy to chew (they all do) but is he really going to eat the sofa and the door frame (well whats left of it anyway) the minute I walk out the house? lol

Thank you.

I think it depends on the personality of the said Basenji.

I have read plenty of stories about how destructive Basenjis can be. My little guy has actually been quite an angel. Some furniture chewing, but I have since corrected it. Naturally (when he is not anxious) he has absolutely no motivation to destroy anything. Not all Basenjis are like this though. I remember the breeder told me he simply wasn't the destructive type, and that was indeed true. Others can easily be destructive though.

I have read about Basenjis tearing apart couches and chewing on drywall, etc. It all depends on the environment, the personality of the dog, and the general obedience. Some owners have to crate their dogs during the day, others (like myself) leave our basenjis in our homes during the day where they can roam around without any destruction. It can simply vary.

To give you an idea of what can work, I am gone from about 8am-4pm during the week. Kananga gets a 15 min walk in the morning and a longer walk in the evenings. Usually 4-8 miles worth of walking on the weekends if the weather permits. He does fine during the week. I think he sleeps all day while i'm gone. His weight is good, he's happy, and he sleeps well every night.

In all honesty, out of the handful of dogs I have lived with at one time or another, he's been the easiest. But, again, it can vary. 🙂

He's too lazy to be destructive. Especially after 10 miles of walking this memorial day weekend. 😃

Thank you for your reply.

I been reading through posts and I am getting more convinced, I want one!

I have three Shar Pei and they are wonderful to live with, they have the run of the house when I am out but pretty much do this all day…

They are bunny watching….dogs will be dogs 🙂

I think as long as they all get along with the Basenji(s), you shouldn't have too many problems.

Keep in mind I have only one Basenji. It seems that when Basenjis have company, they have a better chance of not being destructive.

Kananga, wounderful photo. I am so jealous x x x

@Kananga:

It seems that when Basenjis have company, they have a better chance of not being destructive.

I have 3 (2 adults and a puppy) and I don't necessarily agree with this statement…in my case, if one gets into something, there is a better than average chance that the other 2 will become willing participants in the crime...:eek: 😃

@renaultf1:

I have 3 (2 adults and a puppy) and I don't necessarily agree with this statement…in my case, if one gets into something, there is a better than average chance that the other 3 will become willing participants in the crime...:eek: 😃

Oh I agree with you totally…:eek:

And I would also add that they are no more destructive then other breeds... they may however be more determined

ok well let me tell you what can happen during bunny or squirrel watching - sometimes the basenji just HAS to get at it - they are very focused on their prey and purpose - different than Sharpei's. I have one old guy that I just put down and his first family gave me pics of what was left of the couch that he ate all the stuffing out of. I know someone else who had a hole dug through her carpet and into the wood subfloor because the dog had to get out of behind the door. through screens, and my personal favorite was my own foundation bitch who was as sweet as could be - but she loved to chew the top edges of kids jackets - one year I replaced 14 neighborhood jackets. 😞

It is not a myth and it so depends on the dog - and what they see and how strong their prey drive is. I think walking for a long time is a good idea - not sure 45 min is enough for a B. You need to be adaptable and I think until you are certain that all will get along and that the B won't eat your couch - crate training is a very good idea.

My beagle destroyed much more than my basenjis have. Although, it seems like the basenjis are considerably faster at doing it.

When I moved in with my husband, his doberman was left uncrated during the day and was fine. My basenji had always been crated. But we decided since they were so good together that we'd take a chance and see how things went when we went to the grocery store. We left them uncrated together in the house.

What a mistake.

I actually found my dog INSIDE the sofa going nuts in the fluff. We also found that she had pulled all of the blinds from the windows and shredded them. She had torn a hole in the duvet and also chewed an expensive leather belt.

She obviously does not like being separated from her human pack. And I will never, ever try that again. Sadly. I think it's great that others have had good experiences– but my dog I know is destructive when left alone.

When we are home, she is not destructive in the least though-- not a chewer or a paper-thief. Does not raid trashcans or really even counter-surf. She is an angel so long as we're together. 🙂

Digging in things like the couch is pretty typical for Basenjis as they love to "nest"… BUT if they get a hole started in the couch fabric... you will come back to a "unstuffed" piece of furniture.. just like they do with stuffed toys...

"must unstuff... must unstuff.... must unstuff"....

And blinds... well, we must see what is on the otherside?... and if critter or dog walking by... we MUST try and get to it...

It was more than that– If you put Lexi on the other side of a sliding glass door and shut it... Well... She stands on her back two legs and uses her front two to "dig" a hole through the glass to get back inside with you. She does not like to be separated.

She once jumped off the second story deck because I was walking around in the backyard at my parents house and had left her up there with the gate latched.

I know when she's at home, calm, or playing she digs to nest or to de-fluff the babies. But this look comes into her eyes when she is separated. :eek:

We got our first B on March 7th this year and they are great. We have a ten year old Shiba (Spice) also. I beleive that Spice got into more things but Jaycee gets into things also like clothes and get up ontop of my desk and sits and looks out window. If you do not get a B I can now say you have missed out on life. We are so happy we got ours and she is very spoiled but we do crate at night. Take her in car and every were to see people lots of fun. Go for it and lets us know.

Rita Jean

ok well let me tell you what can happen during bunny or squirrel watching - sometimes the basenji just HAS to get at it - they are very focused on their prey and purpose - different than Sharpei's.

This made me smile, Shar Pei have very strong prey drives, mine are obsessed with 'hunting'. Only one of mine can go off lead the other two would be off up the fields even if it meant running 5 miles to get there. Are Basenji's the same, if they see something are they are totally fixated on it, nothing else matters, totally selective hearing when it suits them?

I know someone else who had a hole dug through her carpet and into the wood subfloor because the dog had to get out of behind the door.

I had a rescue Fell Hound years ago that in the space of 4 hours, dug through the middle of the kitchen door, then dug a hole in the hall way carpet down to some gorgeous Victorian tiles I never new I had 🙂 I almost thanked him for revealing the tiles! lol

@tanza:

Digging in things like the couch is pretty typical for Basenjis as they love to "nest"… BUT if they get a hole started in the couch fabric... you will come back to a "unstuffed" piece of furniture.. just like they do with stuffed toys...

"must unstuff... must unstuff.... must unstuff"....

.

Too Right! - most of my dogs sleep on fleecy vetbeds, but i have been buying big padded beds for my old girl (13.5) - Tilly disappears inside the bed to get all the stuffing out - i have went through about 4 ?40 beds in the past 6 months. Now i just keep the toughest covers, and buy cheap quilts from the supermarket to stuff them with - at least they are easy to wash, and cheap enough that i dont have a breakdown when i find tilly and old tess (tess still sound asleep) surrounded by white fluff…..

Well, my basenji is only 5 months old but so far she has been MUCH less destructive than any labrador puppies i've had over the years 🙂 Maya has the run of the kitchen/dining room in the daytime while i am at work and she has managed to resist the temptation to destroy it!! The only things she has chewed, and it was entirely my fault for leaving it within reach, was my digital camera and my phone. But on the whole, she is pretty good in the house.

Though, i've heard horror stories (with photos to accompany lol) of basenjis eating whole sofas and stuff!

My first two basenjis were not destructive at all (except to their stuffed toys). Gossy, on the other hand, likes to chew plastic lamp shade knobs, lawn sprinklers, etc. She did chew on the couch arms when I first got her but she is has stopped that now that she realizes I always come back after disappearing out the door.
It really does depend on the personality but also on how you treat your pup when leaving her to be on her own.

@Charlie:

This made me smile, Shar Pei have very strong prey drives, mine are obsessed with 'hunting'. Only one of mine can go off lead the other two would be off up the fields even if it meant running 5 miles to get there. Are Basenji's the same, if they see something are they are totally fixated on it, nothing else matters, totally selective hearing when it suits them?

Oh yes. At least my B is. If he sees a Rabbit running across the road he will try his hardest to run after it. He'll usually look back at me with a sad face after he attempts to get free wondering why I held him back. Cars, leaves, branches, etc. If it moves he will want to chase it.

I could never have him off-leash out in the open.

Thank you so much everyone, they don't sound much different from many other breeds when it comes to chewing. I have had a Shar Pei who ripped a door frame from the wall and others that would never dream of chewing the furniture, just toilet rolls, socks and soft toy de-stuffing.

I don't think the chewing will be a issue for me, most of my furniture is now metal and glass anyway 🙂

Nothing seems to be holding me back now! 😃

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