"In order to get along with a Basenji, you have to be at least half as smart as the dog!"
We made a gate when we moved to our farm with 2 Basenjis. It was maybe 5 feet tall, just a frame with wire, on hinges, with a hook to close. Installed on the kitchen door, it gave the girls the kitchen, laundry/breakfast room and bathroom to roam in when we couldn't supervise. As time went by and we used it less, eventually we took it down. After we finished our sun porch, they spent more time there than anywhere else!
If he is a purebred and registered, he is likely tattooed. Or microchipped, but I assume the vet checked for that? There are some breed specific rescue associations you could contact. More information would be useful, perhaps a picture? Someone has likely been looking for this dog.
I think, perhaps naively, that if your relationship with your dog (mature dog, not puppy) is one of respect, they will learn to respect your wishes, at least the ones that are important to you. Not to say that boundaries will not be pushed occasionally. No self respecting Basenji would fail on this count. My dogs and I had an interesting relationship. When something off limits was picked up or appeared to be under scrutiny, I didn't say "no". That word was reserved for really serious infractions (so that it didn't lose its power). I would query, "Is that yours?" My dogs always understood the message and would generally cease and desist. I've pretty much always addressed my dogs in a conversational manner. Commands, such as "come", "leave it" and "no" were kept as important words that must be obeyed. For unimportant things I tended to use suggestions which were presented conversationally. Worked for me, and taught the dog to listen to what I was saying and pick out the relevant information.
She's probably bored. But I agree with eeeefarm that you need to tell us much more about WHEN this destructiveness occurs and if she is alone when it happens, how long you leave her alone for and is she penned or free when she destroys things ?
Personally I would always take care that dogs never had access to electric cables, wires or anything which could damage THEM if they damaged it.
I have never tolerated destructive behaviour but am not sure how I went about actually training my packs. It was simply not acceptable. Period. Not done. If they did something like shredding a newspaper I would scream and cry and make a BIG fuss - so if ever they wanted to punish me, they'd shred papers. They knew that way they'd attract maximum attention..
This is another case of 'I'm bigger than they are and it's MY house' -
Oh, I had a boy who had separation anxiety, and he learned to "get my goat" by shredding papers. I did exactly as you did, made a big deal of it, and my husband thought I had lost my mind. Why was I overreacting? Because, if I don't, he'll escalate. As long as he knows he's getting to me, he has no reason to go further.....and he never did. To be truthful, the "paper only shredding" came after a bit of a showdown over a totally destroyed shoe. I made my displeasure abundantly clear in a way I'm not proud of, but it paid off, as papers were the only thing he ever destroyed after that.
Basenjis have a pretty good sense of justice, and I have found they will accept consequences they know they have earned. The trick is that they must thoroughly understand where the line is, and that they have stepped over it.
My first question would be what has changed? Any significant changes in your day to day routine, any new people or animals in her life, both at home and when out walking or visiting? If not, then her age may be one clue. She is becoming a "teenager". What is your usual routine with her? Crating when you are out, or loose in the house? Is the destruction happening when you are home or only when you aren't present? Much more information is needed in order to give you a useful response.....
I just want to be the best parent haha
Thanks again you guys.
What you will need in spades is patience and a sense of humour. But the rewards are great. I had very few days when my Basenji did not make me smile or laugh out loud. If you have any experience with cats, that will come in handy too. Basenjis are far more interested in pleasing themselves than in pleasing you, something to keep in mind when teaching them. And if you can gain their interest and curiousity, you may be surprised at what they will happily do for you.