Loads of thoughts

Our new pup is coming next month and I have been reading reading reading up on basenji and puppy information. I have read so many conflicting stuff though on the basenji. I thought my best bet was to come straight to the source a basenji owner. Could you please give me your thoughts here….

Are basenjis really screamers when they are left alone? I know they aren't silent but I read last night that if you leave them alone they will scream and scream. What can I do to avoid this.

Are they stupid? I have read over and over they are intelligent dogs and I know they do what they want when they want but I read an article a couple days ago that said the are the 3 dumbest dog.

How are they really with cats? Some say they will always have conflicts but just yesterday I saw a posted picture of a basenji and a kitty sleeping together.

Sometimes I wonder if some are just "haters". LOL.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

I read an article a couple days ago that said the are the 3 dumbest dog.

I am SHOCKED & APALLED!! I have never heard of such a thing! My dog is so smart he get's treats out of a buster cube in 30 seconds flat! He turns on stoves…he knows the route home without any human...can open cabinets...and knows to sit exactly next to the cabinet where the treats are. Who's dumb now!?? :mad:

Are basenjis really screamers when they are left alone? I know they aren't silent but I read last night that if you leave them alone they will scream and scream. What can I do to avoid this.

Basenjis can scream for different reasons not just when left alone. Mine have actually never screamed at all.They'll growl, snarl, & do a little yodel but no screaming in our house. It all depends on what's making the dog nervous..or upset & dealing with that situation.

IF they do it when you leave them alone it could be separation anxiety & that can be resolved by conditioning the dog to learn that you will ALWAYS come back…one minute of alone time...5 five minutes...10 minutes..etc.

I'm sure there are a lot of great adive from some MUCH smarter people than me 😃

Hiya Parker!
Congrats on your soon-to-be baby!

I think basenjis are incredibly intelligent - just not in the way a GSD or Border Collie is. A basenji is out to please itself first and foremost - most of the "typically" smart breeds are out to please their humans. The basenji will do something if they know there's something in it for them (yes, I know - they're horrible little extortionists! haha!). They don't see the point of rolling over on command without a yummy morsel in return. They're definitely not blindly obedient dogs. I think of them as hoodlums who make you really work for their obedience! 😃 See - they've outwitted us humans - I do believe this makes them rank above the Border Collie in terms of intelligence! 🙂 😉

My b is silent - he hardly ever makes a sounds unless he's playing with the cats, so I have no ideas about the screaming thing (though I've heard about it from other owners!). As far as cats go, my cats and b get along pretty well. Stormie has learned respect for the cat's claws and gives the kitties their space mostly, anyway (he's a curious basenji so sometimes he can't help pouncing a cat once in awhile! 🙂 ). And sometimes Stormie curls up with Pixie cat and they nap together. All in all, all the furries get along pretty well.

Good luck with your new baby! 🙂

1. "Are basenjis really screamers when they are left alone?"

They can be. Many don't scream at all. Mine does. Or did rather. When I got her as a puppy we diligently tried to crate train her. We put her in her crate and left her knowing she'd cry the first couple nights. What I did not expect was the NOISE that came from that darling little puppy. It was the most shrill, God-awful noise I've ever heard. It was a cross between a seagull and a lady being murdered. Literally. And it was amazing how LOUD it was. Maybe close to putting your ear next to schreeching/screaming brakes on a train? Makes my teeth hurt to think about it. Anyways- I am a patient and determined parent. But I could not tolerate it after the 7th night in a row of CONSTANT screaming. And I mean CONSTANT - as in screamed ALL night. The entire time. No stopping. No tiring herself out and falling asleep like you'd expect to finally happen. I mean, THE ENTIRE night. From then on out she slept in the bed. And was fine. She won. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. I've found that with my Basenji, it's a REAL relationship, so very human. It's like you talk without words and you come to resolutions and comprimises. She now sleeps in the closet on her bed, but will always try to sneak in our bed during the night- funny she always comes to my side (because I will let her in and hubby won't). Back to the question- that's the only time mine has ever screamed.

2. "Are they stupid? I have read over and over they are intelligent dogs and I know they do what they want when they want but I read an article a couple days ago that said the are the 3 dumbest dog."

It depends on your definition of intelligence. Any Basenji owner will of course tell you how brilliant they are. Because, well, they are. 🙂 But many people want a dog that is obedient. And often they confuse obedience with intelligence. Basenji's are very independent and somewhat self-serving. So long as you know that and can use that to your benefit (treat training), you'll be fine. It's almost a game of wits. I swear my dog can read my thoughts. She knows all sorts of tricks and is very keen on hand signals and body language. We play hide and seek all the time. I hide and she seeks. It's hilarious. Basenji's are very curious and eager to figure things out. They are not usually content to just lie on the floor like most dogs. If you do not provide entertainment or healthy outlets, they will get themselves into fun/trouble. 🙂

3. "How are they really with cats? Some say they will always have conflicts but just yesterday I saw a posted picture of a basenji and a kitty sleeping together."

Basenji's are sight and scent hounds; therefore if they see a critter flee, they will pursue and chase. Most cats run from dogs. The bottom line is that you have to have cat-savvy dogs and dog-savvy cats. They can learn to live in harmony if they were raised that way. Mine was not raised with cats. Anytime we visit my parents, she is SO curious of theirs. She ends up getting swatted on the nose and the cat usually ends up under the bed.

Hope that helps. 🙂 You came to the right place for support! 🙂

1. Are Basenjis Screamers?
It really depends on the basenji. My girls are happy talkers and rarely whine or scream. My boy on the other hand will pitch a huge fit if he thinks he has been lost, left alone, or abandoned. In my last litter, I had one that is a screamer. He just hates to be alone.

2. Are Basenjis Intelligent?
The article you read that ranked basenjis so low in intelligence was probably more accurately a test of how willing to please people they are than a true intelligence test. There was an article published in The Basenji magazine some years back about a maze test that basenjis were used in. The experimenters would put the dogs in the maze every day and time how quickly the dogs could complete the maze to see if they would learn to run the maze faster and faster. The basenjis were the fastest through the maze on the first day but the experimenters noted that they quickly learned that as soon as they finished the maze they were returned to their crates, so they would play in the maze seeming to deliberately avoid the finish so they didn't have to go back to the crates.

3. Are Basenjis good with cats?
I believe the picture you saw of the basenji sleeping with the cat is mine. My cat, Spot, has learned not to run around the basenjis. He saunters around the house and is for the most part left alone by the dogs. They will lay with him but for the most part just ignore him.

Great answers BDawg! Your description of the screaming brought back memories of Querk as a baby. We had a tiny car, and his crate was right behind the driver's seat. We tried to drive to Cinncinnati with him screeching his head off…he won! At least that round. When we got a bigger car, he went back to being in the crate in the back of the van 😉

Oh, he also won the sleeping in the bed round. He is rarely in a crate anymore. He completely hates them...he has damaged himself carrying on...but luckily he is completely reliable in the house.

Anyhow...yes...some of the SCREAM...but most of them don't. And it does seem to have some element of inheritability. One of Querk's daughters screams her head off as well.

I just cringe when I read that basenjis are the bottom lowest 3 dogs in intelligence. Obviously whoever writes that has never actually had a basenji! Abbey is incredibly intelligent. She wants what she wants and when she wants it. When she was little–she's 3 now--she would try to get what she wanted by force, the running grab thing. When that didn't work she would formulate a plan and then carry it out when the opportunity arose. She knows a few tricks, but she does them only when she wants to. She has a huge bunch of stuffed animals, like Bunny, Hedgehog, Funny Pig, Moo, Nudder Moo, Racoon, etc., and she can get the right one out of her toy basket when I tell her to. For a dog to be able to remember the names of about 15 different stuffed animals requires some intelligence. The screaming thing, Abbey has only done one time. I was gone for about 30 minutes, and when I got out of the car there was a sound coming from my house like someone was being murdered in my living room. No, it was just Abbey sitting on the window ledge sounding like she was being drawn and quartered!

My B is very intelligent she has done a great job at training my husband. She does what she wants for the most part but I believe she has learned alot from my mix breed dog. She does relentless chase the cats but the cats are smart enough to be able to hide from her, but just remember she is a puppy. My B only screams when I get home she hears me pull into the garage and she gets really excited that I am home or if she is in her kennel and she knows that you are in the house.

My B only screams when… she is in her kennel and she knows that you are in the house.

Same thing here, Bella only screams when she is confined and knows I am near. She wants to be with me and will scream until she gets what she wants. This is the only time she does it!

Oh, yeah, and B's. are smart!!! Bella knows how to open the cabinet with her shirts in it and bring one to me. She knows I will put it on her… so if she is associating that she is cold and needs a shirt (possibly), that would be on the level of genius!

Zahra only screams when she is seperated from Chase. I took Chase out for a walk tonight and left the Princess in the house to finish her dinner since she was taking her sweet time to finish it. When I walked back from the neighbors house I could hear her screaming when I was in my drive way. I have warned my neighbors so they know that it is probably just Zahra unhappy about being left alone.

Such a drama queen.

I have to admit when my husband said he wanted a Basenji I did the research online about them, I was terrified by what I read, Chase was our first dog who we only had about 6 months at that point and he was not too bad but the things I read about the Basenji made it sound like it was this scary creature. Then I saw Zahra for the first time and I was convinced that there was no way this adorable little creature could be as evil as the things that I had read. She seriously hasn't been that bad, she is very different from our Puggle and when I explain to people that the things she does she does because she is a Basenji they try to act like they understand. I think if I would have let all of the scary things keep me scared I would have missed out on a very sweet dog.

Zahra is very smart, obedient is another story but the first few days we had her home she climbed up and down the stairs something that took our Puggle months to master and he still could not come down the stairs on his own until she came and did it her first week here. She has mastered every baby gate we have bought but I am planning on buying a different kind of baby gate on the recommendation of another B owner from this site.

You will just have to find what makes your B happy, I can't seperate Zahra from Chase or else we have her screaming bloody murder. The vet has figured this out, the groomer and the daycare people. I have forgotten to tell them not to seperate them at the Groomers and they actually have had to hear the screaming, guess they know now! LOL! I haven't figured out if she is really attached to Chase or if she just thinks he is getting a better deal. LOL!

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