• First Basenji's

    When I take Cody out for walks, rides, or just out in public for whatever reason (he just likes to GO places, and I like to take him), I get lots of different reactions because most of the people in my area have never even heard of a basenji. Usually they think he is a Jack Russell mix, but yesterday a man said he looked like a fox mix 😃 . I always get a good chuckle from their comments. I think in the 2 1/2 months that I've had him, only 2 people knew that he was a basenji (one was a vet visiting the beach with his family, and the other was a woman we met at the beach whos sister breeds basenjis), even our vet thought he was a Jack Russell mix.

    So what has your B been mistaken for or what kinds of reactions do you get to them?

  • We get similar reactions with Milo. Here in Scotland, there are next to no Basenjis so very few people actually know what a Basenji is. Even some folk who have heard of Basenjis have never seen a real one 🙂

    When walking our two ridgebacks and Milo it's quite amusing to see people's faces. They're in awe at the two big ridgebacks and their small, smart brother with the curley tail…..


  • Houston

    I get a lot of comments too, mainly because the breed is so striking, never have I heard a specific breed mentioned though, just.."what kind of dog is that?" or "His tail, does is stay like that all the time?" or "they don't bark..are you kidding me?" that one is my favorite…very few people actually know of basenjis here, and I am in Houston, Tx, you think more people would know...but I am down in Labrador country...a lot of hunters here..in Otis obedience class of 8 young dogs, all of 5 are labs..
    Your vet even thought he was a jack russell mix...that is too funny..maybe even a little scary..LOL

  • We also get lots of questions and comments when we are out with Shaye - at the dog park the other day someone asked if they are "show dogs." I told her they do indeed show them, but mine is just to love. Some people ask if it is a rat terrier mix, a Jack Russell mix, but most people recognize this is a breed apart, and ask lots of questions, so most people we meet are getting educated. We were in a store over the weekend and one little girl asked if she could take her picture because she wanted to tell her Dad she wanted one of "those kinds of dogs." B's are definitely conversation starters.

  • jack russell, jack russell/ stafford mix, fox terrier, boerenfox ( check google for that one ) mini dobermanns, pinscher mixes, they even think they are all pups from my ibizan hounds ( which have been called jack russell ( yes I know hahaha ) and white dobermanns and then they say "how odd that those ears keepn on standing erect now they are not allowed to crop them anymore" ) hahahahaha

  • I've been told Ruby looks like a dingo and fox/deer and that Brando looks like a wild dog and so powerful (he IS ripped). Of the 3, everyone always comments that their favourite is Liyah because they love her coat - her coat is very dark red and brindled.

    We get a lot of thru traffic on our country road and have had people drive by and then turn around to ask about the dogs. I had one man (50ish) and his 80ish mother turn back around and say "OMG, you have basenjis…we've never seen them in person." And that his wife was going to be so jealous.

    One of the funniest things that happened comment wise, happened at my b's breeder's house when Ruby was about a 2 weeks away from having her pups. There was a prospective puppy buyer family visiting to see adults and adolescents and see if basenjis were right for them. The breeder showed the familiy a couple of brindles, a couple tris and black and whites - all different sexes and ages. The breeder was talking about how some red & whites were expected and there had been one cancellation and the father said he hadn't ever seen a red & white. Well, they brought Ruby out. The father's reaction was "oh my God, look at that one." :D:D The 3 little girls all said, "we want that one." :D:D Now, I will say, Ruby does have an amazing coat (very deep red), and she is very pretty and graceful (although that day she looked like a deep red pygmy goat :D). Anyway, my brother and I always jokingly say (when Ruby comes up to us to be loved on)..."oh my God, look at that one.":D:D

  • It's the tail thing too though! How many people just have to uncurl the tail or touch it! I mean vets, people at ringcraft, even judges at small shows..

    I've even told some that i put hair grips in Milo's tail at night and they believed me!!! I did own up before they went off and told others that story though hee hee :-):D

  • Lol i just made a thread almost exactly the same as this, oops!!

    But yeah, Maya gets called a long legged jack russell 😞 But she always, always attracts attention when we go out, even if its just for a walk to the park. People just seem to want to make a fuss of her cos she's unusual looking.

  • First Basenji's

    LOL, too funny!

    You're right about the tail thing. My roommate also had to unravel his tail. It was a game to her to see how long it would stay semi-straight, which was not very long at all unless he was tired. And people are always fascinated when I tell them they don't bark, and then I have to explain that while Cody doesn't make much noise (he mostly grunts but also yodels a little and screams when he's upset), other basenjis make lots of different noises, and can bark a little. Shaye's Mom, I always end up doing the same thing, it's like a little lesson on basenjis as well as their history (I'm an anthropology/archaeology major trying to go to graduate school for archaeology, so I think their ancient history is cool).

    I forgot about the Dingo comments! My cousin actually calls him Dingo instead of Cody, to which Cody just wrinkles his forehead and walks away 🙂 .

    Basenjimama, it was a little scary/funny that the vet didn't know what he was, but she had never actually seen one. Fortunately, I only went to her for his shots and initial check up when I first got him. My vet here has a little experience with basenjis, but said that he hadn't treated one in quite a while.

  • Houston

    I have a friend who lived in Ghana last year for about 7 months (she ended up not liking it, because she was the only red headed person they had ever seen, so they constantly had to touch her..lol) and when I told her that I was getting a Basenji she was like "what is that, never head of it?" I told her it was a dog breed from Africa and maybe you saw some when you were there, "she said, nope, never seen a Basenji".

    A few weeks later we got Otis and when I showed him to her and her kids, they were screaming in delight…" he looks like an african dog mom, here in houston, just like they look in africa". I thought that was interesting. Apperantly the Basenji look is very common on dogs roaming the dirt roads in Ghana. Just alittle side note.

    On the tail, yes I have lots of people try to unravel Otis' tail, and it makes me mad...if there is any reason for a dog to get upset with strangers, unraveling their tail would be one. We don't come up and play with strange people's hair, that would be a little weird, right?

  • People can't help but unwind the tails. I unwind tail starting as pups because I know people will do it and I tell all my puppy buyers to do it so they get used to being touched that way. Nicky's reaction is the best though. When some unwinds his tail he just drops it like he is saying, "Oh look, your toy broke. Now you can leave me alone."

  • Houston

    Your right. Otis will let people touch him anywhere but I always feel as though his space is violated. He is a champ though. His tail won't go straight, it has a slight permanent bend to it towards the tip, at least I haven't tried, I don't want to break the toy.

  • @lvoss:

    People can't help but unwind the tails. I unwind tail starting as pups because I know people will do it and I tell all my puppy buyers to do it so they get used to being touched that way. Nicky's reaction is the best though. When some unwinds his tail he just drops it like he is saying, "Oh look, your toy broke. Now you can leave me alone."

    Such good advice. I remember you writing this a while ago (before I had Liyah), and since I brought Liyah home as a baby I've been unrolling her tail. Both Ruby and Brando turn around and look right at you if you as much as touch their tails…they let you unroll them, but they look at you as if to say, "really, must you?" 😃

  • First Basenji's

    Cody doesn't mind people uncurling his tail, mostly because he just likes to be petted by people he knows, but after a few minutes he gets grumbly.

    He was so cute yesterday, though. I took him for a walk to the river, and there was a man with two kids there. The little boy had to be about 2 years old and the girl was about 6, and since I've had Cody, he hasn't been around kids, so I wasn't sure how he'd react to them, and I was a little worried. After his initial sniff, he let the little boy pet him, hug him, and play with his tail, and he did the same with the little girl. He didn't even grmuble once. They were very gentle with him though. When it was time for them to leave, he wanted to follow the little girl into their car, lol.

  • Mine have some permanent kinks in them but people don't try to force those they just unwind the majority of the curl.

    What is really funny is what people will believe if you can tell it with a straight face about why their tails are curly. My husband convinced one lady that Nicky was a genetically engineered dog with a pig gene inserted to curl his tail. Usually he just tells people we have to use curlers every morning to make sure they stay curly all day.

  • i hate it when people try to uncurl the tail!! and my basenjis dont like it either, I always have to watch out when strangers touch my basenjis and ask them stricktly not to touch the tail!

    about the african stories: we had this refugee camp here in our village and there were some refugees from africa, I only had my oldest basenji and my oldest ibizan at that time, and these africans recognized my basenji!! and they were so exited about it!
    that was something different then the people here thinking it is a boerenfox ( by now you know what that is hahahaha ), but actually when I think about it the basenji IS the boerenfox from africa…..

  • I've noticed a lot of people uncurl Maya's tail as well.. to be honest, its never bothered me as Maya doesnt mind in the slightest, i never even thought about it being an issue. I LOVE curly tails, and just like i do with my pugs, if we're on the sofa watching a movie in the evening with Maya on my lap i do tend to sit there uncurling her tail, i must be weird… I find it very relaxing lol!!

  • Houston

    We like to "play" with Otis' tail as well, it just strikes me as weird when strangers go up and uncurl it before they even accknowledged Otis with a pat..I too, find uncurling the tail or scratching him above the tail very relaxing..

  • @Basenjimamma:

    We like to "play" with Otis' tail as well, it just strikes me as weird when strangers go up and uncurl it before they even accknowledged Otis with a pat..I too, find uncurling the tail or scratching him above the tail very relaxing..

    Oh, yeah, i wouldnt like someone just coming up and doing that, would probably scare Maya 😃 But most people in the course of making a fuss of her do uncurl the tail, usually if they're stroking her back or something and i dont mind that 🙂

    Glad im not the only weird tail uncurler :o :p

  • Usually people ask me "What kind of dog is that?" but more often people think that they are sibs :), it is really funny when I go for a walk with Geasy and Masai (Geasy over 8yrs and Masai 8mon) and someone stay and ask me "Are they brothers?". They didnt mind that every one of dogs were differently old and large 😃 But this folks are nonspecialist and I comprehend them :).

    PS: At this situation you can see how good Geasy looks at his age 😃

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