Blue Buffalo is hosting a Halloween photo contest, and the winner gets a year's supply of Blue Buffalo. If my picture wins, I will donate the food to a shelter.
I wanted to thank everybody for their input. At first, I was extremely disappointed. Part of me was hoping for even one or two positive experiences to make myself feel better about my only option. However, I think the overwhelmingly negative opinions worked in my favor. The boyfriend is coming around… last night we discussed options. He said, "We can have a fence, but you're not going to like what I want." I said "As long as it is a basenji proof physical barrier, I don't care if you put brown and pink lacquered (suggestively shaped boards) all around our yard!"
So it will still be another year before I save up the money, at least, but I wore him down much more quickly than I had hoped!!! Thank you all so much for your help!
Thank you all for your input. This is pretty much exactly what I expected. I am completely dead set against an invisible fence alone, and I think an invisible fence paired with a nice, quality picket fence would be very nice. My boyfriend is a commitment phobe when it comes to big, expensive decisions, so I think he is dragging his feet on the issue. I'm hoping to wear him down, and will be showing him the deer fence, etc.
Thanks all. Please keep my basenjis in your thoughts and cross your fingers that they get a fence, sooner rather than later.
Why not a physical, visual barrier with a shock device on it? Like they use with horses and such? There are devices that don't have that much wattage, so only small chocks that 'suprise' the dog. Used one with my racoondogs and worked perfect. They ran against it twice and then allways stayd at a little distance from it.
The whole reason for this discussion is that my boyfriend is opposed to a physical, visual barrier. He will only allow an invisible fence unless I can convince him otherwise.
I really appreciate all of the feedback…. these were all concerns of mine. I don't worry so much about the children aspect as we live on the end of a quiet street. The children around us are all teens, and there are a lot of dogs around so they all seem pretty dog savvy. I wouldn't be leaving them out unattended, but we have a HUGE yard, so it would be impossible for me to beat my dogs from one end to another if something happened. Also concerned because we have a lot of deer. If its baby season, I know deer can be extremely protective.
My biggest concern is prey drive, and there is a LOT of very interesting prey on our street. Unfortunately, our across the street neighbors have an invisible fence for their two mixed breed dogs. My boyfriend talked to them, and now he is sold on an invisible fence. Their dogs don't seem too driven to go after anything, human, prey or otherwise, and they seem pretty well socialized (they let Callie & Lola cross their invisible fence when they were supervised by myself and their own owners and mine were on leash).
I'll just use all of this in my argument.... I'd really like a physical barrier AND invisible fence combination.
Just bumping this back to the top. I have a hard time believing not one person on this forum has any input at all on health testing….
I'd really appreciate any and all help. This is for an article to help others understand the importance of health testing in the breed.
So I moved in with my boyfriend 2 months ago. We have a lovely house with, more importantly to me, a HUGE, mostly flat backyard with lots of fun wildlife. Since I first got basenjis about 4 years ago, all I've ever wanted is a big, SAFELY FENCED, back yard for them to run and chase squirrels and be silly and play.
Of course, the boyfriend has a bulldog, who hates any form of exercise, and does not run or chase things. He does not have much of a need for a fence.
We're butting heads on fencing. Neither one of us wants to break up the view or the flow of the backyard; none of our neighbors have fences. I was hoping for an invisible fence/picket fence combo to contain my two basenjis. However, he doesn't even want a picket fence. He says I can have an invisible fence and nothing more.
I will say this: this is my boyfriend's house. He is on the mortgage, and if we break up, he has to live with anything I've changed. He is very tolerant of basenjis although he is a bulldog guy, and we agree on virtually everything else. So breaking up with him over the fence and the bulldog is not a possibility I just want to know if anybody else has had success with basenjis and invisible fences. I know they are not ideal, and I don't worry about Lola. Lola is very eager to please, and follows boundaries set for her (ie: although she can, she won't jump over a baby gate put up in a doorway because she knows she's not supposed to.) However, Callie can and will jump over baby gates, and one of her littermates discovered she could run the battery down on an invisible fence collar by standing close enough to set off the warning beep and then simply walk away.
It seems to be my only option at this point; I'd just feel more comfortable with hearing some success stories or advice. I would not be leaving them unattended outside and would exercise more caution with an invisible fence than I would with a full privacy fence.
Any words of wisdom, consolation, or advice?
Hey all: I recently took on the project of writing an article for The Wrinkler on health testing & CHIC numbers. I posted the following on facebook, and would like input from everybody here as well. I would love input from EVERYBODY, from the novice to the breeder who has been in the breed for 30 years. The pet owner who does nothing more than spoil and love their pet every day, to the breeder/shower/courser/etc. I appreciate all of your help….
Dear basenji/sighthound owner/breeder/competitor/rescuer/friend,
I am researching health testing both for my own knowledge and also for an article I will be writing for The Wrinkler, specifically on CHIC numbers. If you would be so kind as t...o take some time out of your busy day to help educate somebody still pretty new to sighthound and basenjis, I would really really appreciate it. I do have a slightly more than rudimentary knowledge and understanding of health testing, however, please feel free to assume I know nothing when you are writing to me. Although I am writing this mostly for basenji people, I am also interested in gaining perspective from other sighthound owners, people involved in rescue, people involved in any form of activity (agility, coursing, comformation, racing, therapy work etc).
I am particularly interested in hearing the following:
- Which health tests do you feel are most important for basenjis, both for general breed welfare and for individual owners as their dogs age?
- How have specific tests helped the gene pool and the breed in the past?
- What, if any, new issues do you see appearing in the breed that you think responsible breeders should be testing for?
- What is a CHIC number? How important is this tool to you? How many of your breedable dogs have CHIC numbers?
- Why is health testing important to you?
- Rank the following in importance when considering a particular basenji for breeding: a) health b) temperament c) conformation d) athletic prowess/ability (ie: agility, coursing, rally, racing, etc)
- If you do any kind of activity with your dog outside of your home (agility, coursing, rally, racing, conformation, therapy work, dock diving, anything at all), please state why health testing is important in any of these contexts.
- If you rescue or foster, please feel free to give your perspective on the importance on health testing.
I know I have not covered everything of importance, so please feel free to add nything else at all that you feel is pertinent. I know there are a lot of strong opinions on health testing out there; feel free to say as much or as little as you like. Your answers will NOT be taken out of context, passed along as gossip, or anything else negative. This is strictly for learning purposes. If I want to use a direct quote, I will ask your permission to attach your name to it before I do so. Otherwise, comments that I use will be anonymous so that things can not be taken out of context or used in the rumor mill.
I have tagged every person I could think of on my facebook friends list who might have a valuable opinion to share. Not only am I certain I missed at least one or two people, but I am also sure that I am not friends with everybody who could provide valuable insight or information. Please feel free to tag others or pass along this information to anybody you think would be willing and able to help me out.
Thank you in advance for your time and help; I appreciate any and all input.
Please send all responses to my e-mail at Carriesquires at gmail dot com
Thanks for all of the encouragement & kind words guys.
I am in the Dayton, OH area. There is lure coursing in Sagamore Hills and I believe the next time is in September by the club LARK. You can go to www.asfa.org for information. I do not know if any Basenjis will be there though but I take my rescue Bs to lure coursing events for socializing.
Thanks for letting me know Jennifer. I was actually just in Dayton last week. The women who co-bred my Callie's mom have a vet practice down there, and I took Callie in for their yearly exams and some health testing.
There aren't many people I can share this with who would be excited for Lola and me, but I know I can count on my basenji stranger friends on the forum to understand and share in the happiness and excitement.
Lola is a BYB dog, and I brought her home at 5 1/2 weeks old. I didn't know a whole lot about socializing dogs, and she didn't get the greatest start in life. I took her to dog parks from a young age, so she's pretty good with dogs usually. However, she is wary of new people. She refuses to let strangers touch her, whereas Callie will walk up to anybody and allow them to not only pet her but even pick her up. Lola has a process through which she will smell a person, reject them and back away if they try to pet her. After they have given her a treat, and after she is comfortable with them, they are her best friend for life. However, this usually takes some time.
Since we have moved to Ohio (about 6 months ago), she has met many strangers in a short amount of time. I have noticed the last several weeks that she has been more friendly with strangers. At the dog park, she recently jumped onto a stranger's lap. At the vet this week, a new place she has never been to with people she doesn't know, she was outgoing and friendly with the staff. And today, the boyfriend's uncle came into town and stopped by for a visit. Lola approached him, happy-wagging her tail, friendly and open to being pet. It hit me then that several times over the past several weeks, I have said to people, "Wow. Lola must really like you. She is NEVER that friendly with strangers."
My standoffish, mistrusting little girl has become friendlier and more outgoing with strangers. I am so proud of her achievement.
I have purchased 3 collars in the past from http://northwindcatalog.com/. They are made by a whippet owner/breeder, they are very sturdy and durable and long lasting, and there are many colors, styles and thicknesses to choose from (though I don't think they have leather). Lola has had her northwind catalog for 2.5 years now, and it is in near perfect condition.
Callie used a northwind catalog collar, too, until she won a Nick Russel collar at the National 2 years ago. The color suits her better than the northwind collar, so that is her daily collar now. Her Nick Russell collar is 1.5 years old & in great condition.
It definitely felt like I aged 10 years in a few minutes this am. I must have looked like a complete crazy person. My neighbors don't know me because I moved up here mid-winter, and only recently has it warmed up enough for chance encounters with neighbors outside. I went running outside at 10:30 am with 2 leashes, 1 dog, a sample bag of cat food, wearing Christmas themed pj pants, a bright yellow Georgia Tech hoodie sweatshirt, no glasses so i can't see, randomly shouting "HAVE YOU SEEN A LITTLE DOG RUNNING AROUND!" at my neighbors.
Both of my girls are microchipped. I know there is a lot of debate about collars. I fear, especially with the martingale style, that mine will strangle themselves if they get caught on something when I'm not around. In this case, I'm glad Callie didn't have a collar on because the rungs on the porch are so close together, she may have caught the collar without realizing it & jumped & hung herself. I do worry that they will get out & somebody will find them but not know to check for a microchip, but even dogs with collars can lose them while running around loose. So I don't think there is a right or wrong answer for when to collar them. Mine don't usually dart out of doors, so I don't worry about it too often.
As for the porch; that will not be accessible to them if I can not supervise them from now on. Fortunately I will only be here for a couple more weeks, so I won't worry about adding chicken wire or anything. I'm already saving up for a basenji proof fence for the new house though. Callie is quite the escape artist when she has motivation (clearly!)
I left the door to my 2nd story porch open last night to get some air flow in the house. Callie & Lola woke up this morning, excited about something outside. It really irritated me because they kept waking me up. After a while, Lola returned to bed & whimpered a couple of times & never settled down again. Callie didn't come back to bed so I assumed she was watching squirrels from the porch.
I woke up at 10:30 & Callie was gone. I don't keep collars on them in the house, and she had either jumped or fallen off the porch, either onto soft muddy grass or the driveway so there was the possibility of injury. Paniced, I leashed Lola & headed outside. First I looked around the sides of the house to make sure she wasn't laying there injured or dead.
Then I started walking up the street. My next door neighbor was out watering his lawn & had not seen her. 2 neighbors sitting on their front porch 2 doors down said she was right down the street & had been out chasing squirrels for about an hour!!!!
I started in the direction they pointed & called her name a few times. I was trying to call work & let them know I'd be late, and trying to decide if I should get in my car or keep walking. Within about 5 minutes, the neighbors on their porch said "Oh there she is!!" I turned around & she was running back towards my house, away from me. She went straight to the guy watering his lawn & he bent down & scooped her up.
She doesn't have a scratch on her, just damp feet from running through wet grass. It sounds like she stayed mostly on the sidewalk & close to the house THANK GOD!
This is the 2nd basenji I've had fall or jump off of a 2nd story porch & carouse around the neighborhood on their own. Lesson learned. And just so everybody on here is clear, basenjis can and will survive a 2nd story jump/fall in order to go chase something good.
Callie is a very quiet dog. I've never heard a baroo, yodel or yip from her. The ONLY sounds she makes are growls, screams and burps, burping being the single most common noise she makes. It is extremely loud & unladylike, and she often does it right in my face. Several times a day.
Lola almost never burps.
I'm seriously Considering a Basenji … BUT:
I'm concerned about some traits that I've read. I'd like Basenji owners to comment on them:
- Dislikes being alone so much that it will trash the house unless crated.
- NEVER allow off the leash if there's risk of dog sensing some critter nearby.
- An escape artist. A) Can/will climb chain link fence. Will bolt out open/ajar door.
- Doesn't play well with other dogs. Not likely to be popular at a dog park.
- Training is not easy at all. Actually, basenji has a lot of in common with a cat - nature and behavior
No matter what breed you decide on, it sounds like you are going into this the right way: research, asking questions, realistic expectations, etc.
I will say this: my ex got me into basenjis. I wanted a lab or a weimeraner or a golden retriever. The more research we did, the less I wanted one of these "willfull, stubborn, destructive, escape artist" dogs. We went to see puppies & who can resist a puppy of any breed?
I resented the beast for the first 6 months until I discovered the dog park. What a great way to release some energy and have some fun! We bonded over that, and by the time he was 7 months old, I was talking about adding another basenji to the family. Now I'm a "breed snob" and wouldn't consider anything else.
Every dog is an individual. I have 2 girls that are within 2 weeks of age. Most people can't tell them apart & everywhere we go, strangers call them twins. But to me, they are like night & day. They both respond to different commands & different situations differently. One of them I can trust in safe (no cars around) situations off leash, the other I can't. Neither one of them has awesome recall; one just doesn't like to be too far away from me. The other could care less where I'm at if there are animals to chase.
It sounds like you are more than willing to put in the time and energy necessary to train a dog, and if you can find the proper motivation, basenjis can learn absolutely anything at all. But like others said, there is a "What's in it for me?" attitude that makes their response to commands unreliable. I find that the more time I invest in training, the better my basenjis respond to commands. If I'm taking them to classes & working on training every day, they are very responsive and eager to please when I have treats.
To address your specific concerns:
- Mine actually do pretty well when not crated. I expect to find stuff torn up occasionally, and if I do I don't get mad because its nobody's fault but my own for leaving them loose. They are better in the evenings and at night than during the day when they are more active & more likely to get bored. I don't think its so much that they hate being alone as they just get bored easily. And long periods of time alone=boredom & they WILL find a way to entertain themselves. Entertainment may include digging to find out just what exactly is in the middle of the couch cushion. I leave the blinds open so they can watch the world go by & make sure they have newspaper or something they can shred if they feel naughty.
- Again, every dog is different. I let Lola off leash in my neighborhood late at night knowing she won't stray too far from me. BUT it is a calculated risk. She could bolt after a skunk & come back smelling horrible. She could get hit by a car. She may get scared & bolt. Its a huge risk I'm taking. Callie is NEVER allowed off leash in an unsecured area unless we're at least 5 miles from a road. They will both come back, but on their own terms (ie: nothing better to do & I have a treat).
- Definitely true & varies by dog. Mine have never climbed chain link fences, but Callie has gotten her head stuck in the gap of the gate before trying to get out. Callie's littermate learned to stand just inside the electric fence border, where the collar would beep but not shock, until the battery ran down & then would dash. Both of mine can clear a standard baby gate with no trouble, and Callie can get out of most crates. I just find better crates, buy taller baby gates, and make sure the fence is secure. Neither of mine have ever been door bolters. I have taught them to stay at the door; however, they have both slipped out once or twice when I wasn't being diligent enough.
- Again, depends on the dog & their experience. When I was taking Lola to the dog park a few times a week, I never had many problems. But when I added Callie & started going less frequently, it became more of an issue. They are a little dynamic duo & can be intense & gang up on other dogs. Its not the end of the world. I still take them to the dog park, but if they are being jerks, we leave.
- Basenjis ARE very cat like, but training is easy if you find what motivates them. They are extremely intelligent & can learn anything you can think of to teach them. However, they do not like blind, mindless repetition. Lola gets easily bored in agility class if we work on the same thing too many times because she gets it, I get that she gets it, and she sees no point in doing it 50 times when she's already proven 5 times that she can do it.
I think you should try to meet some basenjis, especially if you can find a local breeder or owner that does obedience, rally, agility, etc. You may be surprised.
One of my favorite traits is that they aren't clingy. They are always happy to see me, enjoy cuddle time and attention, but don't need to be pet constantly. They are just fine sleeping on a comfy couch or bed in the sunlight in another room. Its the perfect mix of affection without annoying me to death with neediness.
Good luck with your search, no matter what breed you decide!