My husband and I would like to add another member to our pack so we were looking at and researching different breeds. We came across Basenji's and fell in love.
After reading as much information as we could on these amazing dogs we want to make certain that we would be a good match for a new Basenji.
I hope some of you can offer some advice and words of wisdom before I commit to adding a new breed to the family.
I've read TONS of information on Basenji's but I think it's best to consult with actual owners and lover's of Basenjis.
First off, I will tell you our current situation. We are the proud parents of a 14 year old spayed female Beagle named Belle and a soon to be 3 year old neutered male Chihuahua named Cooper. Belle is getting older and we realize that we can love her forever, but unfortunately she will not be with us forever. This is why we want to introduce a new friend into our pack. We are thinking that the transition would be much smoother while Belle is still with us. Belle can show the new pup the ropes, and Cooper can keep her occupied. And when Belle leaves us I want Cooper to have a buddy. Our dogs get along extremely well and Cooper is so playful that he helps to retain Belle's young spirit. Cooper is a larger sized chihuahua and I know he'd love to have someone to play with that wouldn't get tired after 10 minutes like our old gal Belle does. When she doesn't want to play he happily plays by himself with his toys.
We live in the city of Green Bay in a two story home with a large fenced in yard. The yard is my main concern. While it is very large and fenced in, the only 6 foot high portion is running along the back. All of the rest of the fence is 4 feet high…and the side to the rear-left of the garage is 4 foot chain-link. I read that Basenjis can jump up to six feet vertically and are able to climb a chain-link fence. I'd like to know of your experience with this. We never keep our dogs alone outside for extended periods of time, but I want to make sure that they are safe. Can they be trained not to jump and climb? What is your opinion or suggestion? I should also point out that on the opposite side of the chain-link fence lives 5 Dachshunds. On the other side of the 4 foot wooden fence children often play. Would this encourage the dog to want to get out?
I also read that they are chewers. Has anyone been able to curtail this behavior with proper training or by using bitter spray? We don't have children, so it is easy for us to make sure items are picked up and not left out. I'm concerned for furniture and things like that. Our beagle used to chew (shoes, underwear, bras, towels, etc.) but she grew out of it eventually. We trained her and watched her as closely as we could, but she still found ways to get into things. After about a year she mellowed and was happy enough with her toys. We never had a problem with the chihuahua chewing...he does like to grab our socks from the bathroom when we are showering from time to time. He just wrestles around with them and has never destroyed anything.
I am able to provide a lot of attention and care for my dogs since I work from my home office for only 5 hours a day...the rest of the time I make myself totally available. I love to let the dogs have a great time playing outside in the yard and I don't really wish to resort to chaining them up to prevent escape. I would absolutely be willing to hang out in the yard with the dogs until they are ready to go back inside, but realize that this may not always be possible.
Do you see any other potential issues we would have to consider before finalizing our decision on a Basenji?
Sorry this is so wordy, but we want to be very sure to provide a good, safe environment for a new dog. I've just fallen so in love with this breed that I don't want that to blind me of the fact that we might have problems. We are committed dog owners and by no means are we careless...but I want to make absolutely sure that our yard will be suitable.
Any advice would be appreciated.
I look SO forward to hearing from you and thank you for loving, raising and caring for such amazing creatures.