Shiba owners added a Basenji
First Basenji's

Hi everyone. It's finally time for me to add an official introduction.

My partner and I have been owners of a male Shiba Inu for the past five years. We've been looking to integrate a second dog into our family for about a year and a half now, and the opportunity finally came up with a 4-5 year old female Basenji. I'm writing this post flanked on either side by sleeping dogs. It's only been the first day so far, but I can't believe how well this is going! Yikes! I feel like I should be more concerned about this (or our sanity, for bringing in two 'difficult' breeds under one roof), but we're committed to making this work, and so far, so good.

So a little more about the two dogs… Bowdu the Shiba is our spoiled baby. He's neutered. He's quite dominant, but sometimes an insecure alpha -- needs to be reminded that he's top dog, and that we don't forget he's top dog. He's done well with an older, mellow Welsh Terrier that we've frequently dogsat in the past, so we were looking specifically for a non-reactive or submissive female, and NOT a puppy.

The new Basenji came with a name, but we'd like to rename her... tossing around some ideas at the moment that I won't reveal yet. She's about 4-5 years old, spayed, came from a woman who obviously cared about her but had to keep her crated for most of the night and day due to her work schedule. She's been around other, mostly bossier and more dominant dogs her whole life; there's been no problem with our Shiba thus far.

Of course, this is only the first day. So while I still consider this a 'trial' period, things look really good! We're going to run a Fanconi DNA test for her (I assume this can be done without knowing her parents?), as she's never been tested and her pedigree is unknown (she's been through at least one other owner). At any rate, I look forward to learning from everyone's collective wisdom, as I'm sure we're all in for lots of surprises and wonders.

Attached is a picture taken within the first... well, 4 hours of her moving in. So we're not all as relaxed as we could be yet, but it's looking good.
attachment_t_8630_0_img_5412.jpg

Congratulations on a successful first day integrating your new Basenji with your Shiba! Will be watching with interest as a 3 yo male Basenji will be joining our 11yo B girl at Easter. It'll be almost six months since we lost our 11yo B boy so we are hoping for a great first day as well and will be reading up on all the advice!

First Basenji's

Ha, well I don't particularly have any advice to give at the moment. We're kind of newbies ourselves. My boyfriend's grown up with dogs all his life (one at a time), whereas I grew up with cats. Bowdu is our first pet.

We just went into this with a mellow attitude and a resolve to do it right. I admit to being somewhat fatalist in that I believe if it's meant to be, things will resolve themselves somehow (not saying that I don't need to do anything, but working to make this successful should not and will not cause any misery).

I do basenji rescue, so you might be in the "honeymoon" period.
Re who is alpha, usually the females are. So, if there is a bit of squabbling, its best you let the dogs decide who is the top dog.
often, the dogs are happy with the arrangement
Things like feeding, treats, and guarding a human can be an issue.
But if you use common sense, it should be fine.
Lots of help here to make your pack work.
Yes, get the fanconi test done…its good to know.
Thank you for taking this girl into your home and hearts.

Congratulations, they are both lovely. That the first day went well is a good sign, but they will probably have to test each other a bit. They do sound like a perfect match, they do look good together too!

How wonderful of you to give this basenji the hope of a forever home. I look forward to more pictures and hearing about how things progress.

First Basenji's

Thanks everyone!

RE: dominant females.
I've definitely heard that one before! I've spoken to some other Basenji owners too who confirmed the same thing, and many non-Basenji owners will say that about females in general, too. This is definitely something that we're keeping in mind, at the same time we're approaching this from the standpoint of 'every dog is different.'

While this new gal's body posture doesn't suggest that she's totally submissive, she did play it really cool when Bowdu flashed his teeth during a treat-distributing session. That is, she just turned away, and his bared teeth immediately went away. As I was told, she's never been the dominant one in her previous packs of 1 to 2 other dogs, so hopefully that's one thing that won't change!

We'll see how it shakes down once they get more comfortable with each other and this environment. Thanks everyone for the support.

Welcome to the forum, you have two lovely looking Dogs. Looking foward to hearing more about them.

Congrats with your Basenji! Welcome to the forum!

First Basenji's

Congrats and welcome to the forum! Both your B and shiba are beautiful!

I've been thinking about adopting a shiba inu at the end of the summer… but I'm torn between a shiba or another B. So I'll probably be following your posts to see how it's going.

I hope all continues to go well!

Welcome to the forum! Both dogs look lovely 🙂

Welcome to the forum - What a beautiful girl, I hope that the good things between her and the Shiba continue. I haven't had much to do with Shibas but the Aka Inus (is that how its spelt?!) I've met have wonderful temperaments and have always got on well with my Basenjis. I assume the temperaments are similar? Mind you, I've always found that big dogs of whatever breed, do have good temperaments on the whole.

Houston

Welcome onboard..can't wait to see your dogs grow up together.

First Basenji's

Hi Patty, do you mean Akita Inu? They're basically like a giant version of the Shiba – American Akitas also come in different colors. That's great that you and your Basenjis have had good experiences with Akitas. Our Shiba has not liked the Akitas he's met! He also doesn't get along with larger spitz-type dogs, like Huskies and Malamutes. It's a pity, because they're gorgeous as well. Anyway, I think the Akita actually has a reputation for being aggressive, at least here in the US. They're among the breeds considered a 'liability' (i.e., some home insurers will charge more or deny your application if you own one), though again, I think it varies regionally and ultimately, dog by dog.

From everything we've read and seen, the Basenji temperament is actually quite similar to the Shiba's. Bowdu baroo-roos to greet us at the door. He does indeed bark, primarily at pesky squirrels that attempt to invade his backyard. He's fastidious and clean, grooming himself like a cat. It's funny - while other dogs will just splash through mucky puddles, Bowdu will leap over or go around them, even when he's in full chase or play mode. He's aloof with strangers, but quite loyal with those he loves and is familiar with. He was very destructive and difficult to train as a puppy, but now that he's mellowing out, I feel like we've gone through the worst and I'm prepared for almost any other 'difficult' dog! (Or so I think, haha!)

Our Shiba has reacted very badly with larger dogs that have been guests in our home (a female pit bull, a large male lab). Yet he seems to recognize and get along well with other Shibas, and has even shown more than typical interest in Basenjis we've met at the parks. For all these reasons and more, B's were on our shortlist of dog breeds to consider.

And I'm happy to report that 24 hours later, the new gal is still a gem. She's spent much of the time sleeping, or just curled up on the couch with her new peoples. She doesn't seem to want to lounge around in the backyard or the sun like our Shiba, but she goes out to do her business quite expertly. We left her crate door open last night, and she was free to go in and out as she pleased, but she decided to stay out on the living room couch snuggled on a pile of pillows and blankets. Bowdu slept in the bedroom in his bed at the foot of the human bed. I crated her to feed her, because that's what she's used to and otherwise she didn't seem to want to eat at all. Occasionally, noises outside the house will pique her interest, like she's waiting for her previous owner to come back. But she hasn't been crying or destructive and is just surprisingly mellow and laid back...

So again, so far, so good. We're taking this one day at a time.

My Shiba is 11 years old and I got her in March 11 years ago. I can more than likely tell you anything you want to know. I will say you cannot and do not trust them out unless you have a leash or fenced yard. The Akita I can more than likely tell you all you want to know since I have been owner of akita's since 1989. I also can tell you what the akita is for what they can and will not do. I do not only have experience but my mother-in-law is from Japan and I have learned vey well from her. You have two really great dogs and they should be the best of friends. Anything I can tell ya just ask. I wish you the best as you have the best in your two dog's.

Rita Jean

Welcome to the Forum! I 'm curious to know how your two get along since I always thought Shibu's were basically Basenji's with more fur (or the other way around 😉 ) These two are my favorite breeds and I've often thought about sharing my home with a few of each.

Keep the pictures coming! I just lost my Max and enjoy very much seeing everyone else's B's and hearing good stories about them.

First Basenji's

Rita Jean, so where can we see pictures of your Basenjis + Shiba?? 🙂

I hear what you're saying about Shibas that are not to be trusted off leash (the same goes for Basenji too, right?). But I count ourselves lucky to be living in such a great part of the US (if not the world) where safe, off-leash dog parks are very common. The funny thing is that just last weekend, Bowdu and I went walking around at a large off-leash dog park, and we walked right into the middle of a Shiba family reunion. Suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by a throng of Shiba owners who were shocked to see Bowdu walking around off leash and wanted to know how I did it. We never trained him specially. At certain places like parks with clearly-marked hiking trails, he just knows to keep us in sight, and has never dashed off in pursuit of critters, despite many a temptation that has presented itself. I do, however, have to leash him back up well before any parking lot comes into sight, and I would never walk him around off-leash in my neighborhood along the sidewalks or in anywhere close to streets.

It's weird, but I can't tell you the number of times we've seen off-leash Shiba in Taiwan, where we were originally living when we got Bowdu. It's a popular breed there, as it is in Japan. I was always shocked to see Shiba walking so comfortably alongside their owners in some of the most congested cities and sidewalks, where people are often very careless with driving scooters up on the sidewalk, etc. Bowdu NEVER got used to it – he'd be quaking uncontrollably, tail tucked between his legs, despite daily walks and all our attempts to get him accustomed to the urban environment. He was so nervous to the extent that he NEVER peed on three legs until we moved to the United States, believe it or not. We came here about four years ago, and it's been a good doggy life ever since.

We wanted to open up our home to a second dog because we know we can provide a good life. I think it's suddenly hit the new girl that her previous owner's not coming back anytime soon, and she seems a little down. She spent almost all of yesterday sleeping or curled up in a donut-ring on the couch. We all spent a couple hours outside at a little dog park, and at the pet store to buy some treats and new supplies -- she loved that, and rode very well in the car. But as soon as we came home, she just returned to her position on the couch and stayed there. She wasn't interested in hanging out in the backyard either, like our Shiba loves to do. I left the living room to enter my den at one point, wondering if she would join me, but she didn't come looking. There's a whole half of the house (the bedroom, the den) that she doesn't seem willing to explore very much, even though she's allowed.

I wonder if this is because she's used to spending most of the day crated, and so she is pretty low-energy in general. Or she just hasn't come out of her shell yet.

Bowdu, meanwhile, has been behaving as he is wont to do as if very little has changed. He mostly ignores her, though I found them both curled up on the couch (at opposite ends) this morning. It only gets tense when food is present, which is to be expected. So we're working on that, but taking it easy with treats and whatnot as it seems to be a stress factor especially for Bowdu.

I have another food-related issue that I'll take to another forum, as this entry is getting VERY long.

New dogs to a family can act in a lot of different ways. This dog sounds like she is a bit "shut" down. I would go about your dog, wait for her to interact with you, and just talk to her in a normal voice when your in the room with her.
I have more info I can send you, if your interested.

First Basenji's

Sharron, I would appreciate more info. Thanks!

I will be happy to send them to you next week. We are on vacation, and I don't have those files in this laptop.

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