I think I have a Basenji!

Two months ago, we adopted a dog from our local animal control
facility. She was identified as part rat terrier and part chihuahua.
The rat terrier part I think we can see, but she is nothing like a
chihuahua in appearance or personality.

We have been trying to find her a friend, searching for other part
rat terriers and chihuahuas, but have not yet found a good match as
all of these dogs seem too small and not similar in personality. We
were discussing this with our dog trainer and she said that she thought
the problem was that we were looking for the wrong breed, that what
she thought we have is basenji mixed with rat terrier.

We had never heard of basenjis, but after reading up on them and looking
at photos I am convinced the trainer is right. We are now thinking that we
need to look for another basenji mix, but I have some concerns.

The dog we have is very sweet, gets along with the cat, loves to play with other dogs, likes children once she gets to know them and has been fairly easy to train using treats as rewards. She also loves to chase squirrels and birds and has lots of energy.

I have the impression from what I have read that basenjis generally do not do well with cats, children or other dogs and can be very difficult to train.
Do you all find this to be true with your basenjis? Also, does anyone have
a mix and, if so, mixed with what?

Thanks!

You should refer to the thread we have about Rat Terriers, http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=7083

Basenjis were used in the development of the rat terrier breed so there are many rat terriers that share traits with basenjis.

Houston

Post some pictures and let us see, maybe we can narrow it down a little..

@janica:

I have the impression from what I have read that basenjis generally do not do well with cats, children or other dogs and can be very difficult to train. Do you all find this to be true with your basenjis? Also, does anyone have a mix and, if so, mixed with what?

How your basenji deals with the above has a lot to do with how it was bred and raised. It also depends a lot on the training methods you use. Basenjis respond wonderfully to positive reinforcement training. They are thinking dogs and like figuring out how to earn their next reward. On the other hand, they are thinking dogs so if you don't provide enough stimulation they will find their own problems to solve and that is almost always not going to make their owners happy. My boy Nicky taught himself to open the fridge and help himself to various roasts.

Basenjis can be good with cats. It depends on the cat.

Basenjis can be good with other dogs and many have other dog friends.

Basenjis can be good with kids with good supervision and redirection as necessary for both kids and basenjis.

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Houston

I would like all the websites that states "basenjis are difficult to train" to change their verbage..they are more difficult then a Labrador by all means, but that does not mean impossible nor that they are stupid..
Otis is doing very well with other dogs, I think most dogs have problems with him (because he is very paws on..LOL) and not the other way around, my kids have gotten growls, but not only from our B but also from our other dogs..that is after all the way dogs say no, (for the 53 time), Otis is 8 mo. has been trained to sit, stay, down, handshake, high five and so on, just as easily as the 5 lab/labmixes in the class..he just didn't feel the urge to show it when he was told to..but he learned it noneless.

Having volunteered many hours at my local shelter and working with many breeds of dogs including labs, basenjis are not harder to train than other breeds. Basenjis are less tolerant of outdated techniques that depend on coersion and force to get compliance. Basenjis IME do very well with positive reinforcement techniques and can be quite successful with these programs.

I agree. They can be very quick at learning new things.

It didn't take long for Kananga to learn "off" when he stands on the top of the ouch. I just have to say "off" while looking at him and he jumps down (of course with a big grin).

We also use the word OFF with Jaycee. I think she has learned very nice she has her time when she does what she wants but then so do I. Jaycee is almost 9 months old.

Rita Jean

@Kananga:

I agree. They can be very quick at learning new things.

It didn't take long for Kananga to learn "off" when he stands on the top of the ouch. I just have to say "off" while looking at him and he jumps down (of course with a big grin).

I would get "off" if I was on top of the "ouch" too. lol.

@Nemo:

I would get "off" if I was on top of the "ouch" too. lol.

Too funny!!! lol!

@Nemo:

I would get "off" if I was on top of the "ouch" too. lol.

Missed that one. :o

Houston

I missed it too, funny..

@Rita:

We also use the word OFF with Jaycee. I think she has learned very nice she has her time when she does what she wants but then so do I. Jaycee is almost 9 months old.

Rita Jean

Shaye, who is 9 months, also did very well in obedience class with sit, stay, drop it, down, crawl (a trick), come. She also responds to "off" - but - outside of class, she will sit, down and stay for treats or if we are very stern when we say it, she gets "off" after staring at us and testing if we really mean it, will "drop it" just so we'll throw it again or after we take it in our hands and pull a little, depending on what it is. She knows quite well, learned very well, but has decided it's only worth it if there's something in it for her - I think this is a B trait - they are very smart - and very stubborn. Positive always works better than negative reinforcement.:rolleyes:

Houston

Shaye, who is 9 months, also did very well in obedience class with sit, stay, drop it, down, crawl (a trick), come. She also responds to "off" - but - outside of class, she will sit, down and stay for treats or if we are very stern when we say it, she gets "off" after staring at us and testing if we really mean it, will "drop it" just so we'll throw it again or after we take it in our hands and pull a little, depending on what it is. She knows quite well, learned very well, but has decided it's only worth it if there's something in it for her - I think this is a B trait - they are very smart - and very stubborn. Positive always works better than negative reinforcement.

I thought you were describing Otis there for a minute..they are probably basenji twins..virtual if nothing else, although Otis just turned 8 mo..

I taught rally obedience at a summer camp for kids. One of the things I noticed when teaching the class was how infrequently the rewarded their dogs compared to how often I was clicking and treating my dogs. They would also get frustrated that their dogs weren't doing what they wanted. So I told them, I click and treat in practice ALOT because it is like putting money in a bank. If I reward them lots in practice when I really need them to do it, they will even if I don't have a treat with me, like making a withdrawl from the bank. But just like a bank account, if you want to keep making withdrawls you need to make more deposits. Basically, my dogs need to know there is a reasonably good chance they will be rewarded. The more the are rewarded the more likely they will do the behavior, even when a reward isn't given. But you have to maintain a healthy bank account.

Jaycee gets Lean Treats not just just when we ask her to do something. Sometimes just because she has really been good. Off just is the word for her like when she sits on my desk and is eating all my papers I just say off and down and away she goes. Now when we first started that it was treat, treat and then she would look at us like just maybe well if I have it I will.

Rita Jean

I have never tried to post photos to a forum before. Here is one, I'm not
sure where the others went.

The pound said she's part rat terrier, part chihuahua.
The trainer says she's part rat terrier, part basenji.
What do you all think? I would appreciate your opinions.
I realize the photo is small and it may be hard to tell. She has really big ears, white feet, a white chest and, at times, depending on her expression, a slightly wrinkled face. She does not have a white tipped tail. She has a pointed snout with a slightly squared jaw. She has long, slender legs. She is about 21 lbs. She does bark. She loves to run and is very fast. She loves to chase squirrels and birds, play with toys, and has lots of energy. Despite her energy, she is not hyper and is a calm dog.
She is very intelligent and easy to train with treats. She has a regal or
dignified air about her. She is, at times, dainty and ladylike and at other times, tough and strong. She doesn't shed much, her hair is very short, and
she gets cold easy. The hair on her underside is thin and she has some spots
on her belly. She has a problem with submissive peeing and we suspect that
she was mistreated by her previous owner.

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Could be I am not sure but those darn traveling salesmen never come back and check on there babies so we know who the father is.
Yes there are things you have said like Basenji but any way welcome.

Rita Jean

Do rat terriers usually have that hair ridge down the side of the neck like Basenji's? That's what caught my attention when I viewed the pic.

I do not know your correct it does stand out is a good looking dog and looks to be very thick.

Rita Jean

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