Yes you can be unlucky with anything, but doing everything you can to ensure a healthy dog should be the top priority.
My girl has had blood work every year just as routine after my firsts problems. She has no symptoms, we just caught it on the yearly two years ago she slightly elevated, last year she was more elevated.
We first started just Nutramax denamarin, three months later it made no difference to her readings.
We switched her to Dr Dobs detox diet and Nutramax denamarin, went back after three months and her levels went up!
So now we have her on regular food, denamarin in the morning, milk thistle in the afternoon and twice daily 1000mg of fish oil.
Due to go back in February and see if that works. If not we will probably have to ultrasound. All her other blood work is normal so that is a good thing.
I had a male when we introduced a female puppy, they got on well. Then the male passed so we had a six year old female and introduced a nine month old male, they get along well.
My best advice would be to introduce them in summer on a nice day, during a long walk. Start by taking you dog for a mile or two, then have the new dog walk along with you for at least a couple more miles before heading home.
That way they will both be tired and used to walking together on neutral ground.
So sorry for your loss, I lost my first buddy four years ago in March and I still miss him. I got a new buddy a month after he died despite reservations over whether it was too soon\the right thing to do. So glad I did, just as my first wriggled his basenji way into our hearts, my new buddy has done the same. I still miss my first and always will, but another basenji knows just how to help you heal, the really are a special breed.
Having been a 'dog person' all my life I decided to get a dog after starting a family with my wife. Tried the local shelters but couldn't find a dog that I felt was 'right'.
My first B came from a pet store, I knew nothing about Basenjis and the owner said they are great dogs, good with kids and very loyal etc, he came with an AKC pedigree. I figured he would be great as he had a pedigree.
Many years later I found out by research he came from a puppy mill in Kansas. His health was problematic after the first two years, he was also prone to pancreatitis. At six years old he developed diabetes, with the constant testing, insulin and needles. It worked out around $2000 a year for five years until he passed at eleven, so around $10,000. Still, I didn't really care so much about the money as he was such a good dog. The constant care was hard, he needed monitoring almost 24/7 as he was a brittle diabetic and his sugar was hard to control. Many late nights staying up late and every morning was early to test him.
He coped with it well although I know he did not like the injections sometimes, we got different size needles which helped and became experts at injections. Still, I would wish no dog to have to go through that.
Our other two Basenjis we got from a reputable breeder, our oldest is ten in a few days and has been very healthy her whole life. She is showing elevated liver enzymes now on routine blood work but shows no other symptoms. Our youngest is three and is also very healthy.
So, to me it seems insane to buy any basenji without full health testing and from a reputable breeder.
Growling is only the first step, if not corrected it will get worse.
I never attempt to touch a dog that is growling, as the top dog you should never do that. Try telling her to get down but do not attempt to touch or grab, it may take a few minutes but is worth it.
The top dog never has to do more than persuade the lower dogs, nor do they try.
If that does not work, leave her collar on with a leash of maybe four to five feet in length. When she settles you can then grab the leash when it is bed time and gently pull her off using the leash.
With Basenjis determination, a positive attitude (you are going to move) and stubbornness work best (you are going to move no matter how long this takes).
At one year she is challenging you somewhat, it is very common once they are adult between one and five years old. Never scold her or get annoyed, just be calm, determined and stubborn.
Also consider more walks, chasing squirrels in your yard is excercise but the walks you take her on should be long (at least two thirty minute walks a day) and structured. When she chases squirrels in the yard she is the leader, when you walk her you are the leader.
It looked even funnier than the photo when she did. It because the nose was snuffling and sniffing through the cover. I have a lot of under the blanket shots from over the years....
Another thing which seems to be a common trait is the basenji back leg stretch off the couch, I am guessing you have seen this one before too?
They are on best behavior here, we have throws which cover the furniture as you can see in the picture. They have a few holes in them as Bandit likes to dig into the couch for reasons known only to him. Usually even with the heat they like to go under the throws and catch a nap. A few days ago I had a glass of milk which Suzy decided was worth investigating but not worth actually coming out from under the covers. This picture is the result..
Then there is Bandit who has a vast array of strange positions...
So as you can see, to snap a near normal photo of them both is an achievement!
Reading through all the posts has been interesting. It seems that each has found their own individual way. Each dog is different also, my first B was a very confident alpha type. My second is a fearful agressive, what worked with the first does not work with the second at all. The third is very easy going and confident with me and familiar surroundings but becomes freaked out with new things.
Each needs their own unique training. the only two things which I can say are mostly consistent are stubbornness and redirection.
When a Basenji refuses or does not want to do something which is important I become more stubborn than the dog. it may take me an hour or two but I do not move on until I have achieved the goal.
Once they understand that we don't move on until they comply, then it becomes easy to train them.
Grinding nails, giving pills, checking for tics, checking teeth, baths, muzzling at the vets and even giving injections and testing blood sugar for my diabetic dog. All these things can be done without a problem once the dog understands that it is going to happen first before we move on. Calm, patient, assertive and stubborn. One note is you have to be very calm, you can not get upset, frustrated or angry at all. Some exceptions do apply, never get stubborn that they must eat For instance.
Redirection works well which is why many advocate clicker training, I have never used a clicker but when a B starts behaviour you do not want redirection is the way to go.
One more thing is that a puppy will need a lot of treats, praise and rewards for training. Once they become four or five years old then they will not need them so much. An older dog who has bonded to you will want to please you even without a reward every time.
I look at their thoughts much and read them, very subtle signs give them away. We have a running joke in our house that to Basenji's we are just stupid monkeys. I believe basenjis are very challenging dogs to train and understand however when you do they are the most rewarding.