@crazysenji I’m from Indiana. There’s a breeder nearby that I’ve been thinking of messaging to ask if I could just come and meet her dogs to get a first-hand impression of them, but that feels so forward—there don’t seem to be any basenji clubs within driving distance or I’d do that.
I’m honestly more of a cat person than a dog person, usually, but I’m allergic to cats and so are most of my friends. It seems like with any breed that has unusual traits or care requirements, people want to make sure that new owners aren’t irresponsibly getting impulse pets they won’t be able to care for... and do so by talking about them like they’re the worst pets ever, only for masochists with advanced degrees in dog psychology. Even “so you think you want a tarantula” advice makes them out to be intimidating and difficult pets.
I’ve been thinking about getting a dog for a couple of years now and almost got a poodle mix before I was talked out of it by some experienced dog owners. A ton of people have suggested I look into getting a basenji, but each time I do research on them, I only seem to encounter neutral to negative feedback about them. I understand they’re clever, highly active, and willful, but that also describes my family’s GSP.
I’ve read through some posts on this forum and asked around in other forums and even people who seem to like this breed don’t seem to have anything terribly nice to say about them. They go on and on about how owning a basenji means constant household destruction, aggression, separation anxiety, aloofness, and the impossibility of training... but what are the upsides, beyond being pretty? Why own a basenji and not any other dog? Is it the same reason people keep high-content wolfdogs—for the challenge of it?
I consider myself a responsible and adaptable person, but it seems like every basenji resource and anecdote is about how unmanageable and difficult and unpredictable they are, even from breeders! I’d like to hear from people whose basenji ownership has been rewarding in ways other than the challenge of it. I can’t tell when people are being truthful and realistic about a difficult breed, and when they’re exaggerating about challenges to boast about their incredible wolf-taming skills. What do people actually like about their pets?