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.
I find most problems like this are avoided if you tell visitors to ignore the dogs completely. I have had an assertive dog and a fearful aggressive dog. With both the answer was to ignore them and not try to pet them at all. Usually the dogs will become curious sooner or later and then they can pet them.
@basenji_life hips and eyes should have records too. Other breeders on here will let you know the sites. I think it’s OFA? Orthopedic Animal foundation or something. You want a well tested and healthy dog from a good breeder, not all are of the same standards. I found that out with my first basenji, he was from a pet store and was not very healthy throughout his life. I learned you do a little more research, find a good breeder and pay a little more at the start. Or you will likely pay much more when they are older and have health problems. At that stage, when you are attached to the dog, if you are like me...then you will pay and do whatever is necessary. In my case it ran over $10,000 so it makes the start look cheap and very wise.
So sorry for your loss and I know it is a deep one, I feel your pain. We lost our basenji Suzy of nearly 12 years last Wednesday. Our other Basenji is missing her but adjusting better than we are. I lost my original Basenji in 2013 and it took a long time before anything felt normal again. People tell me I did a wonderful job of giving her a great life and I believe it. Yet somehow, no matter what you do for these furry little friends, it is never enough to repay the love and bond they give you.
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.
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.
Another thing I always put on is “REWARD”, some engraved tags have both front and back engraving. I also bought a really nice leather branded one with my dogs name and phone number worked into it, really awesome quality off an eBay seller, there are lots, here is one listing. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-Saddle-Tan-Leather-Dog-Collar-Your-Dogs-Name-1-wide-Hand-Tooled-G-E/381520270584?hash=item58d46154f8:g:R4YAAOSwux5YP46M
@basenji_life Sounds like you are well prepared and on the right track. Welcome to hell! Lol. Remember this, no matter how bad that puppy is and no matter what challenges you face as it gets older and tests you, never lose patience or give up. By the time it is time to say goodbye many years from now, I guarantee you will wish the time had not passed so quickly. Basenjis are smart and will teach you and give you way more love than you can ever repay. Savor every moment, it is worth it!
@debradownsouth I would also add, that just as within the breed there are variations / personalities (just as there are amongst different breeds), their environment also makes a huge difference. Ultimately my dogs share some traits and habits, no doubt because they adapt to me and my environment. The greatest Basenji compliment ever was when my breeder Jean Martin came to my house to check out the new puppy’s home when I had Suzy for a few months. I used freeze dried liver treats and we were in the back yard. I commanded both dogs sit and then lay down for them, which they did perfectly. Jean said “my goodness you do have them both well trained”.
@giza1 frankly I would argue that it is less to do with experience and more to do with the person. Reading and education are good, so is meeting one and spending time with one. However the most important thing is whether the person is a “Basenji person”. Hard to characterize, but you need to be patient, determined (maybe even tenacious) and most importantly have a good sense of humor. I bet that if you got all the successful, experienced Basenji owners together, you would find they all have many of the same character traits. To own a Basenji you also need to be at least half as smart as the dog.