I've always wanted a basenji since reading a story about one as a child. After meeting a few I became a true fan!
I don't own one. I have two rat terriers and a dobe but I have a question/observation my hubby and I have pondered for a while now and this seems to be the best place to get a few opinions.
When we go our first rat terrier I was initially drawn to her because I thought she was a basenji. She was a just weaned pup and looked like the basenjis I've met. My hubby at that time was reluctant to adopt a basenji because he quite rightly stated a super intelligent dog may not be the best first time pet for a family traveling a lot as we were then. I'm not sure how I talked him into a 'ankle biter' instead, but I knew when I saw my Sandi she was a newly found member of the family.
Sandi is 5 now and the best dog I have ever known. She is a 'pureblood rat terrier' but I swear she was a basenji in another life (or a cat, lol). Let me describe her a bit.
She's between 15 and 20 pounds. White with apricot/red facial markings, one single spot on her back the same. A couple of darker skin freckles, smooth hairless stomach, and a red/brown nose. Short hair, pink skin, very smooth, always clean and almost never sheds. She never smells.
Her temperment though- that's the thing! She's a true genius dog. She understands our conversations. She follows complex commands- if she's walking to one area of the house and I say- "Sandi, you should go check on my daughter"- she will turn around and do just that. If I tell her to do something she really doesn't want to do- she gives me 'the look'. I tell her 'don't give me that look- do such-and-such'. She sighs and then follows the command. She amazed our current Vet by behaving the way she does. The vet even asked if she was a basenji!
She rarely barks. If she does bark, it's a one time bark to get attention. If we come home, let her out but don't talk to her, we get the one-time bark.
She purrs. She rarely barks, but 'talks' all the time. She has a definite vocabulary in that her 'words' are consistent. Her yawn is distinctive. She cleans herself like a cat. She loves all people, but she definately has her favorites in regards to our human friends. She is curious and attentive. If there is a stranger (human or animal) outside she walks to the door and waits. If we don't pay attention, she makes us pay attention. When she wants us to play she has a distinctive 'let's play' dance.
Our other rat terrier is nothing like this. In fact, no other dog I've met is like Sandi except for the basenji. I don't think she's a mislabeled breed- she came from a reputable breeder near the end of his retirement. He'd been breeding ratties for years.
I still want a basenji some day though for now our family is complete. I was just curious if anyone else has noticed a rat terrier that acts like a basenji. I suppose she could have a basenji in her family tree- but I've not come across any references to basenjis being added in the rat terrier mix.
I apologize if this question is too off-topic. It's just something my hubby and I have found interesting.