First Time Owner Of A Basenji
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  • Hi! My name is Jodie. I recently adopted a one year old female Basenji from a rescue shelter in Long Island, New York. I was just getting over relinquishing my 14 month old sheltie/shepherd mix male dog after he bit everyone in my family on numerous occasions. I saw "Charlie" who I thought was a male (based on her name) and she was very quiet, which interested me. After she was taken out of the crate I realized "Charlie" was a female and have since changed her name to Lilly. It has been 4 weeks since she became part of our family. This is the first time I have owned a basenji. I have always had a dog (mixed breed, dalmatian, lab mix). Lilly is definitely different than the other dogs I have had. Are basenjis affectionate? She is not very affectionate, although I do see her tail move alittle when I come in the door. She also stands on her hind legs and does a little dance.
    She has run out of my house on 2 occasions to look for another dog in my neighborhood. Is this typical of a basenji? I don't know if it is because her previous owner was a truck driver and she lived with him in his truck and allowed her to run free and do her business.
    Any help would be most appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Jodie
    PS I do admit that she is very funny and has brought me alot of happiness in the last four weeks.

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  • Hi Jodie,
    and welcome.

    You haven't had Lilly very long, and I suspect it won't be too much longer before you are greeted with a silly wagging tail and maybe a few "grr-oos" to go with it. Not all B's wag or talk, though so don't be too disappointed if you are not.
    You will probably also see an increase in affection. Seems most love to be cuddled a lot. Not knowing how affectionate her previous owner was makes it tough to tell how loving she'll be.

    Yes! Basenjis WILL run outside, and are very often killed by cars because they focus on what they are after, not on what is around them. You really need to make sure she is secured before opening your door, and if you have a fence you need to make sure it is secure, or you will probably wind up losing Lilly.

    Take some time to go over the posts on this forum and you'll pick up a lot of information about how to live happily ever after with your new girl.

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  • V

    I strongly encourage you to go to this site: http://basenjicompanions.com/

    It has a lot of worthwhile info, and will answer many of your questions.

    Basenjis are a pack animal, and once she has settled in with you as her "pack", she will count on you to be there for her happiness, and security.

    First basenjis are tough to take care of at first. Many owners don't ever make it to a year, hence why you have her now. Stick it out. She will calm down in the next year, and she will hold a special place in your heart that is reserved for basenjis.

    Good luck. If you're having any other behavior problems, you should ask about them here. We can probably name most of them off for you already(thief, food theif, trouble-maker when when ignored, bolts out the door, eats plastic, q-tips, underwear, gets angry when you leave, etc.)

    We have proven tips for both correcting these traits, preventing them, and living with them.

    Vegas

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  • Basenji Mix

    @JazzysMom:

    Yes! Basenjis WILL run outside, and are very often killed by cars because they focus on what they are after, not on what is around them. You really need to make sure she is secured before opening your door, and if you have a fence you need to make sure it is secure, or you will probably wind up losing Lilly.

    Take some time to go over the posts on this forum and you'll pick up a lot of information about how to live happily ever after with your new girl.

    Welcome to the Basenji Forum! This is a great place for get suggestions with training too. As JazzysMom posted above, please secure Lilly before opening your doors. If you read posts in the Rainbow Bridge section, you'll find a couple sad threads related with escaped Basenjis. Also, there is a new topic Basenji Escape Preventions under training that give suggestions and bring awareness of this very scary quirk.
    http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?p=8268#post8268
    I am sure Lilly will steal your heart like my little guy did me. Duke definately brings life to our party here at home. :)

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  • V

    Another impotant point that I forgot to make is that basenjis do well with positive reinforcement(praise/treats). On the other hand, negative reinforment(beating/choking to death) almost always will set you back in your training process. If you do use negative reinforcement the preferred method is a water bottle(squirted, not thrown), which usually will get the immediate attention of your basenji so that it will take a command.

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  • Thank you for all your responses. I had a good laugh reading them.:) So far Lilly has ripped my foam mattress pad and goes after all of our clothes and then runs with them until I can catch her. She jumps on my dining room table so I now have only a tablecloth on there. My dining room looks bare!
    She will even do this when I am home. I think she likes looking out the window as I live on a corner. Should I get her a perch or put a chair near the window so she can look out? Currently she stands on her hind legs and looks out my front window and also my sliding doors in my kitchen. I must confess that I have left her out in my yard (always when I am home) but will not do that any longer. She loves when I sit next to her and pet her and loves to sleep nuzzled up to me on my bed. I do hope within time she will calm down some. Thanks again for all the suggestions. I will look into the other forums for ideas.
    Jodie

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  • Jodie,

    I would recommend a postive reinforcement training class. This little girl needs some gentle, consistant boundaries.

    Welcome to the forum, and the the basenji community :)

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  • Hi Jodie,
    Congradulations on your new addition :)
    You will see…very soon that your little girl is unlike any other dog. They are wonderful and so loving.
    One thing you may want to consider when she gets into something you do not want her into, Apple Bitter spray. Some people say it works while others differ in opinion. When I first purchased it, I sprayed a small amount in our puppys mouth to make him really dislike it. Now I spray it on the wires, doors, clothes, shoes...basically everything! :)
    This has kept him away from stuff but I was told to keep toys, treats with you and if you see her getting into something she shouldn't..offer a toy instead. This works really well with us.
    Good luck!

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  • @Jodie:

    I think she likes looking out the window as I live on a corner. Should I get her a perch or put a chair near the window so she can look out? Currently she stands on her hind legs and looks out my front window and also my sliding doors in my kitchen.Jodie

    I think it would be a great idea for you to make some sort of perch, chair, or something for her to comfortably look out the window. My Bella loves to sit on the back of my couch and look out the bay window. She could spend hours doing this! Basenjis do get bored easily, as they are very smart. I think watching what goes on outside is good mental stimulation!

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  • aww, im a first ime owner too, and my Jackers has ran past me several times and took off down the road!! they are SNEEKY!!! and SOOO smart!! but trust me, ur not alone there!! lol

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  • Welcome!! I would also add that Basenjis are high energy dogs…umm so good luck having them "calm" down :) But if you exercise them often they will come home to sleep! Which is great down time for you.

    They will also do these wild sprints around your house/yard/wherver there's space!! We call it the "Basenji 500" because it's JUST as fast as the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500 :)

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