Hello, I’ve been leading a basenji-Mom life with Arlo for 3 years and our new love since January, little 5 year old Tully. I’ve always had dogs in my life but basenjis were new to me. I have the advantage of being retired so I do have the extra time a working person doesn’t. But I started reading about them quite a while before adopting one which I think helped me so much. Read everything you can get your hands on. (If you haven’t. ) The more I read the more fascinated I became. So I had the advantage of never expecting Arlo to be like any other breed. I loved the whole idea of the basenji. However, even given all I just said, I happened to read an entry in a journal written when we had probably had Arlo a couple of months. I was shocked to read how frustrated I was and actually angry with myself for starting over with a puppy. Arlo was driving me nuts. Peeing and pooping as soon as we came in the house from a long walk. Stealing my daughter’s underwear and destroying it. Stealing anything he could get his teeth into and running away at 90 miles an hour. Flip-flops were his specialty. I’m not sure how many, but we lost quite a few to his razor sharp teeth. He even bit my husband! And here 3years later I had forgotten all that bad stuff until I read it. My own little testimony to basenji puppy craziness. Here’s the thing. They are a lot of work. All puppies are, but it’s exponential with basenjis. They are just too damn smart. Basenjis are a bigger challenge.So, I reached out to the breeder, I read and read, I worked with our trainer and loved and loved that dog. My husband and I love how basenjis are different. We probably bore people to death with our stories and photos. What happens, I think, is that the basenji changes you. You become part of the crazy and exotic basenji world until you'd never settle for any other breed. Ever. So: my advice is to give little Pippa all the love you can. hold her. cuddle her. Find out what she likes. And yes, be firm. She needs to know you’re the boss. (Well Arlo is so full of himself he probably still thinks he’s the boss, just like my cats do). Pippa needs to be the biggest thing in your life right now. She is your little baby. Yeah, she’s going to make you crazy and you will wonder what in the world you were thinking when you adopted her. BUT: Like me, all this stuff passes in time if you just give it time and do the work and do the research and get support. And like everyone says, the rewards will be beyond your expectations. And remember, she is a Basenji. A dog like no other. You did right to reach out to this forum. Please ignore the people who say mean things. There are way more people here who will befriend you and support you. As long as you do what you need to do to love and raise your Pippa. Also, I’d give that crate another try, and put up with the screaming. It’s awful, but each night it got a little bit less horrible until the screaming stopped. The crate will keep her safe and keep your home from being destroyed. I would not leave my guys unsupervised with the run of the house. If they’re crated I know they’re safe. Best of luck to you and keep us up-dated.
Dear friends, I so enjoyed reading this conversation and I learned so much. I’m a beginner, (adopted my first at 12 weeks after he was rejected by his first owner and sent back to the breeder on an airplane. He was said to be too aggressive). He has had some issues with aggression but certainly not too bad. Now we have adopted a 5 year old female who had had puppies twice. She is more fearful and nervous. My heart goes out to you for giving your boy a new start in a forever home, and I love you for all the care and attention you are giving him to help him through these early fearful times. Those of you who gave advice are helping me me as well with new ideas for my little girl. They certainly are a breed of their own and I appreciate hearing from people who understand that and know what they’re doing. Thanks to you all.
Oh I can certainly identify with the toddler thing. How true! My son is a grown man now but as a little boy he shared many personality traits with my boy basenji. Sounds terrible but too true. Defiant, independent, bored by any of my attempts to teach him anything, fast as hell and agile, absolutely show stopping cute, too smart for his own good, escape artist, afraid of nothing, small but thought he was pretty big stuff, I’m sure you get the picture. There have been quite a few times of utter exasperation when my basenji boy is just driving me nuts and I have unthinkingly yelled out, “MATT STOP IT”. Matt is my son, not my dog.
I was just reading an article from BRAT that was published in a dog magazine, I don’t remember the name. The article tells the story of the basenjis roots in Africa, the early struggles of the European and American breeders and so on. It gives all the warnings one should take very seriously before choosing a basenji because so many of them are relinquished or abused and neglected.
Then the article describes the beauty, speed, agility and grace of the basenji. It’s charm, the bizarre noises they make, their intelligence and their wild dog intuition and their independence, and best of all what wonderful friends they become.
I read things like this and rejoice in how lucky I am. Having basenjis is like a dream come true. My pups, age 5 and 3, are more precious to me than any diamond or to own a Ferrari or live on the sea coast. They are my everyday treasure. I think they are the most beautiful creature on the planet. So, when one of them puts his soft little nose into the palm of my hand looking for his long luxurious back rub, I am filled with joy. Here I am at 66 years old embarking on this wonderful adventure. Anyone else feel this way and just want to share the joy, excitement, warmth, hilarity of being a lucky basenji mom or dad? “Every walk is a safari. “
Thank you all. I will know how to field questions now (it’s not like it was anyone’s business but it was making me feel uncomfortable. I felt people were looking at my beautiful girl like there was something wrong with her!) I love her so much and she truly is beautiful as are all basenjis. Now I know what to say. “Her nipples are proud nipples as yours would be if you had nursed 10 babies twice in your life. “ lol! Thank you all.
Everyone reading this is probably bored to tears hearing the same old same old question. But perhaps some kind soul will be patient and give some advice. My 3 year old neutered boy pulls and pulls on his leash. I have tried just not moving ahead until he stops pulling. I have tried leading him around with a high value treat which will work only with generous treat giving. Maybe I just don’t try hard enough. I would love to walk with him but he’s so nose-brained and criss crosses in front of me the whole time tugging and Bolting right and left. When we get home I’m exhausted and frustrated. I don’t need him to heel. What fun is in that for him? I’d just be so happy if he would be less in a hurry and treat my shoulders better. Anyone?
I have recently adopted the loveliest sweetest little retired breeding female basenji. I am told she was bred this last fall but “missed” making her available for adoption at 5 yrs. old. Her nipples are still very prominent and people have been asking about it including the vet tech. Can anyone shed any light on this?
I see your post was back in Jan. so I hope you have your new basenji settled in. I also adopted a beasenji in Jan. She is my second. I adopted a 5 year old to be with my 3 yr. old, who had had 2 litters in the past and was bred for a 3rd one, but didn’t get pregnant. So the breeder, the same breeder our boy came from, decided to let her go to a forever home. I had to wait quite a while for her to be ready and I felt just like you. I couldn’t wait! I kept texting the breeder questions, request for photos, etc. When we picked her up she seemed comfortable with us right from the start. She has been a wonderful addition to our family, a good match for our 3yr. old boy. He’s a toughie but I think he’s met his match with her. He’s so much happier with his own friend. They love to be together. I hope your new pup is adjusting just as well as mine. Have fun. I think they make us laugh every day. Yes, you have to be on your toes with these guys, you have to make them a big part of your life. They can never just be a fixture. They are work but it’s worth it all. 3 years ago I was a newbie but not anymore, and I’m loving this wild ride.