Mistake getting a Basenji?

Hello everyone,

After months of research and discussion with my better half, we have decided on purchasing a Basenji. There are many traits that attracted us to this breed, such as size, short hair, "barkless", somewhat odorless, high energy (we jog a lot) and I really liked the fact that this breed has been domesticated so long ago.

The more I read the more I'm thinking that we MAYBE making a mistake. For some reason, in the past couple of days all I have been stumbling across online are negatives such as "destructive", "stubborn" , "chews up furniture" and "aggressive towards children"

I figure I'd ask everyone here since you actually own this type of breed. I would hate to not pick one up because of one persons bad experience.

More about us:

We have a 5 year old daughter and we live in a 3 story home with plenty of running space in our fenced back yard. We plan on crate training it and walk it minimum twice daily. The longest it will stay in it's crate on weekdays is 5-6 hours (until fully trained).

Thanks in advance for your help.
Ray

Well Ray any dog can have the above behaviors you listed. Also barkless does not always = quiet. A Basenji can be noisy, not barking but the sounds it makes such as yodeling, baroooing or if really unhappy screaming. All this depends on the particular dog. If you get a puppy from a reputable breeder you have a better chance of a well behaved dog and the breeder will work with you even after you take the puppy home. Contact and talk to a breeder.

@nobarkus:

Well Ray any dog can have the above behaviors you listed. Also barkless does not always = quiet. A Basenji can be noisy, not barking but the sounds it makes such as yodeling, baroooing or if really unhappy screaming. All this depends on the particular dog. If you get a puppy from a reputable breeder you have a better chance of a well behaved dog and the breeder will work with you even after you take the puppy home.

Thank you for the reply nobarkus. I agree that any dog can be destructive to some point. I guess what you are saying is that it's all up to the owner and how the dog is raised? If that is the case I should not have too many problems.

Yes, we are getting it from a breeder. We met with them this past Tuesday and they seem to be very professional and aware of the breed they are selling.

Have you had a chance to meet basenjis in person and visit them in a home? I highly recommend visiting with basenjis. Good breeders welcome potential basenji owners to come and meet the breed and if there aren't any locally but there are basenji owners that they know in the area they are sometimes able to put you in touch with them.

All dogs can be destructive, can seem stubborn, and if not well socialized and of sound temperament can have difficulties with children, elderly, handicapped or any one outside of their normal experience. It is a well known saying around here, "A bored Basenji is a BAD Basenji and a tired Basenji is GOOD Basenji." This is really true, if your basenji is getting enough companionship, mental stimulation, and physical activity then you probably won't see the destructive side but a bored basenji will invent ways to entertain itself. I tell every perspective owner that I can garuntee they will not find those activities nearly as entertaining as the basenji did.

Also, be aware that barkless does not mean silent. My girls love to yodel and sing. My boy is quite capable of sounding like a fire engine. My mom had a neighborhood full of unhappy neighbors on Monday when someone attempted to break into her house through the backyard and her 4 basenjis, pitched a fit until she arrived home to settle them.

@RayF:

Thank you for the reply nobarkus. I agree that any dog can be destructive to some point. I guess what you are saying is that it's all up to the owner and how the dog is raised? If that is the case I should not have too many problems.

Yes, we are getting it from a breeder. We met with them this past Tuesday and they seem to be very professional and aware of the breed they are selling.

Great Ray, you are taking the correct steps.

Great reading about the Basenji the good and the shall we say there way. Yes they can more or less be stubborn. Jaycee has not really chewed up furniture but we are always with her. I could see her having fun with furniture if she got bored or lonesome. Any dog can be destructive. Children need to learn to respect the dog and it is our place as adults to teach our children that. Jaycee is around 5 to 10 children everyday and was 7 months old 26th of July. The children are good with her and she is good with them. No bites from her and no hitting or yelling or kicking from children.

They love to walk and run have fun, play. Must keep them on a leash if not in your yard or in house they can run and I do mean run. See bird or anything they like they are off and gone after it.

When your daughter was 2 did she get into everything well the Basenji is something like that.

I am sure and I hope more on this forum will jump in and tell you more. Please what ever you do please be sure this is the correct dog for you and your family. They are so cool and need homes that will love them and keep them to the end of time.

Thank you for asking for information and I wish you the best of luck. Let us all know what you do.

Rita Jean

Hi Ray, welcome to the forum 🙂

I think it's great that you are trying to find as many information about this breed, before adding a B to your family!

I believe you should choose a dog first of all because it's character appeals to you. I hear you saying: "size, short hair, "barkless", somewhat odorless", and I think there are more breeds around that are that as well (maybe not the barkless part.. ;)).

About the: "destructive", "stubborn" , "chews up furniture" and "aggressive towards children".. I think "stubborn" definitely fits a B.. Big time.. "destructive".. Maybe.. When you say you like to jog and bring the dog so he can loose some of his energy, that's great. This will make sure the pup has less energy to focus on your furniture. I do believe that Basenjis LOVE to defluff things more than other breeds do…... 😃

Aggressive towards children? I don't believe they are when they are well socialized. Your task to find a responsible breeder 🙂

@lvoss:

Have you had a chance to meet basenjis in person and visit them in a home? I highly recommend visiting with basenjis. Good breeders welcome potential basenji owners to come and meet the breed and if there aren't any locally but there are basenji owners that they know in the area they are sometimes able to put you in touch with them .

Yes, the breeder I visited last Tuesday had 2 pairs. I was there for maybe 30 minutes and seemed very well tempered. They showed zero behavior problems.

@lvoss:

All dogs can be destructive, can seem stubborn, and if not well socialized and of sound temperament can have difficulties with children, elderly, handicapped or any one outside of their normal experience. It is a well known saying around here, "A bored Basenji is a BAD Basenji and a tired Basenji is GOOD Basenji." This is really true, if your basenji is getting enough companionship, mental stimulation, and physical activity then you probably won't see the destructive side but a bored basenji will invent ways to entertain itself. I tell every perspective owner that I can garuntee they will not find those activities nearly as entertaining as the basenji did.

Also, be aware that barkless does not mean silent. My girls love to yodel and sing. My boy is quite capable of sounding like a fire engine. My mom had a neighborhood full of unhappy neighbors on Monday when someone attempted to break into her house through the backyard and her 4 basenjis, pitched a fit until she arrived home to settle them.

Thank you very much for the great explanation.

@Rita:

Great reading about the Basenji the good and the shall we say there way. Yes they can more or less be stubborn. Jaycee has not really chewed up furniture but we are always with her. I could see her having fun with furniture if she got bored or lonesome. Any dog can be destructive. Children need to learn to respect the dog and it is our place as adults to teach our children that. Jaycee is around 5 to 10 children everyday and was 7 months old 26th of July. The children are good with her and she is good with them. No bites from her and no hitting or yelling or kicking from children.

They love to walk and run have fun, play. Must keep them on a leash if not in your yard or in house they can run and I do mean run. See bird or anything they like they are off and gone after it.

When your daughter was 2 did she get into everything well the Basenji is something like that.

I am sure and I hope more on this forum will jump in and tell you more. Please what ever you do please be sure this is the correct dog for you and your family. They are so cool and need homes that will love them and keep them to the end of time.

Thank you for asking for information and I wish you the best of luck. Let us all know what you do.

Rita Jean

@Janneke:

Hi Ray, welcome to the forum 🙂

I think it's great that you are trying to find as many information about this breed, before adding a B to your family!

I believe you should choose a dog first of all because it's character appeals to you. I hear you saying: "size, short hair, "barkless", somewhat odorless", and I think there are more breeds around that are that as well (maybe not the barkless part.. ;)).

About the: "destructive", "stubborn" , "chews up furniture" and "aggressive towards children".. I think "stubborn" definitely fits a B.. Big time.. "destructive".. Maybe.. When you say you like to jog and bring the dog so he can loose some of his energy, that's great. This will make sure the pup has less energy to focus on your furniture. I do believe that Basenjis LOVE to defluff things more than other breeds do…... 😃

Aggressive towards children? I don't believe they are when they are well socialized. Your task to find a responsible breeder 🙂

Thank you and thank you. Made me lean more towards yay rather than nay 🙂

You'll need 2 very important things Ray. Patience and a sense of humor.

@nobarkus:

You'll need 2 very important things Ray. Patience and a sense of humor.

Agreed! 😃

Welcome to our group and congrats on doing your homework before you buy (hate to see one of "ours" end up at the dog pound because it wasn't suitable).

Here's my two cents … my first basenji was so mellow he was no trouble at all; loved walks (but didn't like to run along side my bicycle); he was a great hunter (even blind in one eye he still caught rabbits) but when chasing a critter paid no attention to anything else (that included cars). My second basenji had an attitude towards men and would nip at their heels when least expecting; also a great hunter; also a great escape artist. My current basenji is very laid back with other people and dogs but can be destructive (chewed up the stuffing on the couch) if left too long without stimulating toys and sometimes gets back at me for leaving her a second time in one day (pees on my bed); likes short walks but refuses to go any further (screams and tries twisting out of her collar) when she decides it's enough.
So each is an individual and if you are working with a breeder you'll get a pretty good match.
However, just because you like to jog doesn't mean the pup will (and remember a pup gets tired); make sure the daughter learns to put away anything she doesn't want the dog to chew and that she learns about doors and gates and dogs; a fenced yard is great but you still need to be diligent as these are great escape artists and can be so keen on chasing a squirrel that it ignores all other dangers.
Having said all that ... I wouldn't be without one. They are inquisitive and intelligent and will make you laugh and cry and swear all in one day. 😃

Yes i agree with what everyone is saying, they are very very mischevious and will steal things within reach like pens ,combs, tissues and more valuable items like glasses and in our case my mother in laws false teeth 🙂
They like to go on furniture and can be difficult to persuade to get down, they hate to be woken and also if you go to lift them off with your hands. Like nobarkus says you need heaps of patience.
That said they are a wonderful breed, fun to be around, like to cuddle up and make an array of interesting noises. If you fall under their spell you will be under it forever.:)

To add to what others are saying, I have found that Bs that are raised around kids are completely bomb proof, meaning, nothing startles them, or freaks them out…because little kids just make a lot of noise etc, and they become totally habituated to it. Particularly if the Basenji starts off with a sound temperament. You can have a B with a nervous temperament, and try to socialize it perfectly, and still have problems...but most dogs that grow up with kids are VERY sound around people.

It sounds to me like you have thought this out, and are on the right track. You do need to know that no matter how well trained and socialized, a Basenji will always still do things a little differently than other dogs...they will ALWAYS steal toilet paper 😉 and they will ALWAYS seek out the best sunbeam spot to lie in. Think 'do I like cats, but wish they were a little more interested in people, jogging, and learning tricks?'...if so, you would probably do well with a Basenji 🙂

You might want to read "Is a Basenji right for me?" by the Basenji Club of America.

http://www.basenji.org/learn/Index.htm

Welcome to the forum.

First Basenji's

I totally agree with everything said above, especially what Janneke said about basenjis' character.

I am also somewhat new to basenjis, I got Cody in May, but did a lot of research about the breed before deciding whether or not I wanted one, just as you have. It has been rather trying at times; we've been through destruction, separation anxiety, escaping, and many other things, although our circumstances were different than yours, as Cody is about 3 years old and you will be getting a puppy. Even so, I definitely do not regret bringing him home, and I couldn't imagine life without him.

Just continue reading and researching, be prepared, and (at the risk of sounding cliche) expect the unexpected.

What more can I add? All of the above apply!

I can remember having all the same reservations that I'm sure you're having before getting my first basenji about 5 years ago.

I now have 3! 😃 Life is never dull. Just remember every dog is an individual. Each of mine are very different and Elsa has certainly mellowed with age.

Good luck. I'm sure you'll make a great basenji slave.

Keep us all posted.

@thunderbird8588:

Yes i agree with what everyone is saying, they are very very mischevious and will steal things within reach like pens ,combs, tissues and more valuable items like glasses and in our case my mother in laws false teeth 🙂
They like to go on furniture and can be difficult to persuade to get down, they hate to be woken and also if you go to lift them off with your hands. Like nobarkus says you need heaps of patience.
That said they are a wonderful breed, fun to be around, like to cuddle up and make an array of interesting noises. If you fall under their spell you will be under it forever.:)

Yes as Shelly says they will steal small objects like pens, remotes, phones and glasses etc. and chew them up, this is more what I would describe as impish behaviour. They can also be destructive if they are bored or frustrated, both type of behaviour can be controlled easily by removing the possibilities.

They respond well to a lot of love but some need a firm hand. They are very intelligent and they will try to manipulate you if they can.

In my experience they will be fine with young children as long as they are introduced early and well socialised.

I have recently come back to owning B's after some 14 years and even being a seasoned owner in the past, I had doubts reading the put offs. I must say that having recently acquired a puppy who is now 7 months old, the whole experience has been a totally positive one. In my opinion the temperament of the breed is much improved with a few exceptions.

In conclusion with Basenjis it is very easy to describe the bad points, but very difficult to put in words what endears them to us. My only advice is to meet a number of dogs at a large kennel or at a show. I think you will then know if they are for you and visa versa and hopefully you will fully understand why we are so besotted with them.

Steve.

A friend of my Mothers gave me my first Basenji in 1975. "OK, I'll take her and Oh, what's a Basenji"? Had her for 17-1/2 wonderful years.

Glad your doing your homework..
Welcome.

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