What did I get myself into?

Hi Everyone,

Well, I saw a post on Craigslist today for a Basenji and I've always wanted one… Read up on them, researched them, etc. Talked to an excellent breeder a while back, but decided at that point in time, I just wasn't ready to take the plunge...

There was a Basenji on CL and I emailed the owner just to see what the deal was... Found out that her pest control man had called her up about three days prior with a dog that was headed towards the pound- she was told it was an adult Shiba Inu, but turns out to be a 10 month old Basenji.

I decided to drive out and meet the pup, but as soon as I got into the house, the lady said, "Look- I don't want an adoption fee or anything- please, take her." :eek: I am sure the fact that Kanga chewed up her recliner yesterday did NOT help.

This pup looks like she spent the first 6 months of her life at a puppy mill/petstore and then went to her new home for two months and then she ended up at this lady's house for three days. She has no socialization, doesn't know anything about a leash, but she likes kids, is afraid of my cats, and is cuddled up to me on the couch.

Please give me all the advice you have! I know I'm starting at Ground Zero as far as potty training goes, I went and bought chewie todays, she has a crate- it came with her. Any other advice that you wish you knew before you took the plunge?

Welcome my daughter said to tell you that you just got a 2 year old toddler put it up put it away. They love trash cans ask Basenjimammma what she just went through with Otis. They love high spots and eat chairs that you all ready know. They counter surf and surf anything else they can.

They you love you tons and love you even more when they get ther way. Great she is cuddled on the couch with you. Lots of love and time with walking the saying a tried Basenji is a good Basenji. Your a super person for taking this gal and so much fun ahead. I am sure everyone on here will help.

Rita Jean

It's been so long since I had a pup I really have nothing to offer except congratulations, you are in for the ride of your life! Sounds like she will take a good bit of work and effort, probably some tears on your part but it will be so worth it! In a few months you will wonder how you ever lived without a basenji!

If she has a crate and is crate trained, use that to help housetrain her (I am NOT the expert here, I have a dog door and only take adults over 2). Use positive reinforcement, ignore the bad or lightly scold if it is a repeated thing, use treats to reward the good, keep her tired with long walks and play. Try and socialize her to other dogs and people, see if there is a good dog park near you. A tired pup is a good pup; a bored pup is a demon from hell!

Keep your shoes, etc picked up (if it's on the floor, it's mine), set her up for success! Feed her a good quality food..(she will probably have an upset stomach at first) and I recommend kongs (stuffed with low fat cream cheese if necessary) and bully sticks rather than rawhides.

Take her out every couple of hours on a leash, praise when she does her business, then watch for cues that she needs to go. Don't turn around and go home as soon as she pees or poops, keep going, or she will learn to not go quickly!

There is a section here on puppies, there is probably lots of info for you there. Love her, ignore her when bad, stop the play if it gets too rough. Love her.

There, after 30 + years with basenjis, that's all I know.

Houston

Welcome to the wonderful world of being owned by a basenji. I would read as much as I can and ask questions galore..Everything you read is true to a certain degree, some B's are more prone to trouble making then others. I have one boy, 9 mo, and one foster girl, we think she is about 7 mo. She is three times worse than Otis, but he is the one who always gets in trouble..go figure..
I would crate train her and make her learn to love it..you will thank yourself in the end if you have a crate to put her in when you are gone or when you need some alone time, like at dinner or when people are over.
Otis was real easy to crate train, we made it very matter of fact, he still sleeps in it, with the door open, but if need be I will close the door and he will stay there quietly 'til I let him out. Dotty, our foster, she does not like her crate, but sleeps in it well at night, no crying, maybe only the first night or so, and I also crate her if we are gone(she will cry and scream for a little while if I crate her in the day time, but I know that she is Ok and safe, so I tough it out, and only for an hour max at a time).
She is very destructive, Otis never was(so far, I probably jinxed myself now..darn..)..he only does toiletpaper or paper of any kind as well as anything even remotely edible, she has gotten ahold of a lot of clothing(out of the laundry basket, mind you), and she digs the trashcans, and she chewed our doorway, when we were home and I guess she just got bored..grr.
How you can get bored with three dog buddies is beyond me, but she does…

All in all, it is very special to be owned by a basenji, I wouldn't trade for the world..my husband has thrown in the towel several times, and always over Otis..until we got Dotty, now he realizes how good Otis really is..lol.

Congratulations and welcome to the forum!

Welcome Kanga's Mom! You'll do just fine. I got my first Basenji in 1975. My Mother's friend gave her to me. She's goes "you want a 6 month old Basenji"? I said a Ba what"?? Never even heard of the breed. No internet, no friends that ever heard of one, nothing. I had that dog for 17-1/2 wonderful years! She was my best bud. I did it and so can you. But this time we're here to help. So as you go along let us know how it's going.

Lots and lots of exercise. Basenji are active dogs and need positive stimulation. Also, they are problem-solvers, much more so than most other breeds. Many can climb trees (a holdover from the African use of sending them after game birds) and chain-link fences are just another exercise toy. AJ can be up and over a 6-foot chain-link fence in a matter of seconds.

The intelligence level of Basenji has been rated as nearly that of a 10-year-old child, so mental stimulation is a great idea, too. Try one of those toys for toddlers that has stuff rolling around inside a clear shell. She'll spend some time trying to get to the stuff inside. I have noticed with AJ that he picks up on words my dad's golden retriever could never understand. (No offense to G-R owners, because they are very intelligent too, but in different ways.) AJ was trained by his previous owner to notify when he is feeling sick to his stomach. He still does this and I almost always have time to get him outside before the whoops happens. I don't know of any other breed that is able to do this. Also, he taught himself how to open a wing-window that was latched and let himself out of my old truck. I found him sitting on my friends' front porch patiently waiting for me to come out.

Since Basenji are pack dogs, they need socialization or they tend to become timid and snippy. Take your little girl to the fair, street markets, around children, other dogs, etc. If she is already a little timid, do it carefully and she will come out of her shell.

Leashes are kind of a joke to them. They know a cloth leash can be chewed within 30 seconds. My grandmother always used those light chain leashes for hers for this very reason. I have to watch AJ and verbally correct him when his mouth just starts for the leash. I couldn't find any chain leashes and can't run as fast as him anyway, so I bought a Flexi for a 110-lb dog. It gives him room to run, but is strong enough and thick enough to handle his energy. This works on a truck, but if you have a yard, set up a zip-line for her with a cable or light chain lead or, best case, your yard is fenced with wood. She will love to lie around in the sunlight "catchin' rays" whenever she's run out of other stuff to do.

Look at your home from a dog's-eye view and try to avoid setting her up to get in trouble. An example: If I have to put the truck in the shop or go into a truck wash or any other type of garage, I crate AJ. He goes nuts when the truck is inside a building and eats everything he can reach, like the microphone cord for the CB. I know this, so I avoid having to get him in trouble by crating him.

You have to set ground rules and enforce them consistently but not cruelly. Basenji will push the limits just to find out exactly what they can get away with. Regardless of what you will hear from some nay-sayers, they are a very trainable breed. When I'm backing the truck and trailer, AJ likes to come see what's going on and where we are. He gets right into the middle of the passenger-side mirror. I just hook my thumb over my shoulder and tell him "Get out of the mirror." and he jumps in the back without hesitation. It only took me two weeks to train him to do that.

You will have a dog who loves you because she wants to, not because she has to. Since she is a rescue dog, like mine, it will be all that much more rewarding for both of you. That is what will make all this worth it. Cheers.

Sounds like you got yourself into an adventure.

Here's a good place to start:
http://www.clickertraining.com/what_is_clicker_training

And you will want to (quickly) learn about crate training.

First Basenji's

I recently found this, and I know it applies to Cody, so it may give you some idea.

Basenji Property Laws
1. If I like it, it's mine
2. If it's in my mouth, it's mine
3. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine
4. If I can take it from you, it's mine
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours
6. If it just looks like mine, it's mine
7. If I saw it first, it's mine
8. If it's edible, it's mine
9. If you have something and put it down, it's mine
10. If I chew something up, all the pieces are mine
11. If I get tired of it, it's yours
12. If I want it back, it's mine

But seriously, have a sense of humor.
I am fairly new to basenjis as well (May 2009), but I wouldn't want to imagine life without Cody. He keeps life interesting!
Congrats, good luck, and welcome to the forum!

Heh- we know about crate training 🙂 She actually came with her crate and was good in it both times we had her in it (to run out to the store and for bedtime). Thank GOODNESS she isn't a screamer!

Okay, well, off to read the puppy forum! Thanks for the congrats and hope to see ya'll around!

Do you know anything about her Sire and Dam? Did you happen to get papers for her? I would suggest that you invest in doing the Fanconi DNA test. You can learn about it and other Basenji health concerns at www.basenjihealth.org

She's puppymill pup, through-and-through. Her registry is ACA- I'm not even sure what that is. I don't think I have her actual 'papers' per se, I'll have to look back through everything, but I know she isn't AKC. So I'm pretty sure her parentage won't help out anyways!

Thanks for the health link- will check it out 🙂

Congratulations, Basenjis are wonderful Dogs. Great that you have rescued Kanga, with some hard work on your families part i'm sure she will be a pleasure.
This forum will be so very helpful to you, i wish it had been available when i got my Basenji.
Take time to study the threads and maybe copy and paste sections such as training etc, i know i could do with doing this before we get our next one,lol.

Bless you for rescuing this girl. Can't add much to what everyone has said, except to reinforce: a tired basenji is a good basenji. As long as ours get their long walks or runs they're dolls. (and if they don't they're still dolls, but more like Chuckie LOL)

"my husband has thrown in the towel several times, and always over Otis..until we got Dotty, now he realizes how good Otis really is..lol."
Had to laugh at that, sort of how my husband felt about Fiji then Bongo.

Oh, and you know we need a photo - she has to be cute, because that's how we all get into this in the beginning!

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