1 Basenji were used for hunting lions, people killed the lions. The dogs would systematically run confusion patterns around the cat teasing and frustrating them. At a given opportunity the man would jump out from hiding and stick a spear into the lion.
2. Basenji's will learn behaviors with positive reinforcements. They for the most part will never stand up to a Border Collie or a Poodle as far as precise behavior.
3. When JaBok was a puppy, while sitting on the sofa I could throw a stuffed toy to the floor and he would jump down and get it kill it by shaking it and then jump back up onto the sofa with it. As he grew if I threw something for him on the beach he would chase it down shake it to death put it on the sand and look expectantly at me as if to say I did my part now come get it but never bring it back and now that he is an old man he is not even interested in that game. If we are out walking and encounter a bunny he nails it shakes it and eats it so fast that there is nothing I can do to stop it.
4. The Basenji is the first dog in recorded history to have a relationship with man. (AKC) Carbon dated cave paintings Zaire 6,000BC depicting small dogs with curly tails, stick up ears and four white feet. Earley Egyptian Hieroglyphics depicting Nubian Slaves in retinue leading a pair of Basenji following chieftains wearing caftans arriving from the east bering gifts for Pharo.
5. It seems to be a general consensus they do not like to be in the water. After much fighting at first JaBok will now tolerate an occasional bath when he roles in horse puckey, he now avoids horse puckey. When it is really hot out he will wade in the water up to his belly to cool off. If I take him into deep water he swims quite expertly straight to shore and looks at me with disgust.
7. See above.
8. They can definitely be trusted to do whatever pleases them.
9. I have seen JaBok chew on a marrow bone for hours with extrem vigor.
10. It is pretty safe to say this is true.
12. Basenji's do have the glottal mechanisms to bark. There are no natural occurring wild K9 that bark.
13. If you believe this you have never heard the bone chilling howl that they can make. JaBok is very communicative with a really broad spectrum of quiet vocalizations. Feed yours something a little warm some time and listen to him complain.
14. Basenji's may not require a lot of attention but JaBok definitely demands it. Though he seems to resent most attempts at physical care.
15. Come on where did you get an idea like that? At 11 years JaBok can easily standing hop 3' to his window seat. He will show caution now if he is unsure as to his landing spot. I think that shows extreme intelligence. Once as a pup he jumped onto a coffee table and landed smack in the middle of a blackberry pie. He has always shown some discretion since.
16. What do you consider intelligent? Is doing everything someone tells you intelligence? I personally consider questioning authority a sign of extreme intelligence. I have always thought that easily trained dogs are extremely lacking in natural intelligence.
17. Basenji's can climb trees but not like a cat.
18. For the most part Basenjis are pretty fearless but also intelligent enough to know when they should proceed with caution except around moving cars and trucks.
19. JaBok definitely covets as much lap time as he can get especially if it is cold and is under his blanket.
20. The only thing that can be be said to this is the opposite is the rule.
22. All living creatures experience health problems.
23. I suspect that in primitive cultures Basenji are as respected and cared about as they are in ours. Pit Bulls that do not fight well are destroyed in ours. During times of extreme famine they may end up in the stew pot but only in extreme situations. I suspect the ones that do not hunt well were left home to entertain the children. I can't imagine a Basenji that does not hunt well.
24. Though I have never seen a flea on JaBok and we have lived in SanFracisco for a while I cannot imagine that the Basenji is impervious to fleas. Their close coats do no provide good shelter for them though.
25. Haven't' a clue. Basic biology says all K9 are color blind.
26. Much can be gleaned from the internet but living with a Basenji will teach you more.
27. What difference does it make?
JaBok is a sugar foot He doesn't even want to get his feet wet If it is raining it is a war to get him out to do his important business. Than the first thing he does when back in is lick his feet dry. If I take him out in the water he will resist with all his ferocity and when I let him go he swims straight to shore really well. He gets out shakes and the looks at me as if I were crazy for being in the water. When it is hot he will go in the water up to his chest voluntarily though. When it comes to baths it is war again. For the most part I only bath him when he roles in the horses droppings. After a couple of baths for this deed he has stopped rolling in the clods. He actually hasn't had a bath in years and he seems to keep himself really clean. So clean that when asked for a cleaning fee at motels I say no way that he is much cleaner than me and if they insist I find another motel.
eeeefarm I assume you went tilt at my opening statement and were unable to read anything else I said fallowing that. Most people I know consider a dog that follows directions and obeys commands a trained animal. The definition of biddable, if not playing cards, is following directions or obeying commands. Something you agree is is not particularly Basenji like. Positive Punishment? Now that is a curious phrase. I am certain if you try using it on my very Alpha partner JaBok You would be unable to be in the same county with him unless you kept him tied up. I do agree with the cat in a dogs body analogy. Cats are also pretty much un-trainable. If you are able to get them to bond with you they will learn to adapt to your wants, needs and desires. Most people seem seem to think that a dog that learns to do everything you tell it is smart. I have always felt that dogs that do everything you tell it are kinda dumb and are unable to think for themselves. When JaBok and I go out to move the horses from one pasture to another He is right there and knows just what to do. He once saw what I was doing and because of his bond with me he wants to engage and assist. I never taught him any of it. Than I am unable to stop him when he sees a deer and he will chase it until it disappears That is instinct and he does not understand why I don't help him catch it. I would really like it if I could train him not to chase them. It has been ten years now and I have had no success. I am 70 And have worked with lots of dogs and horses with a reasonable degree of success. JaBok is a different story. We do everything together he comes when I call him he usually gets into the truck when I tell him. If he does not want to go he won't get in. I am completely unable to catch him if he really does not want to be caught. He will run to the house though and that tells me he wants to stay home so I let him in. Does he have me trained? If you re-read my previous statement I think you will see that I was attempting to explain how to get that which is Basenji to live in co-existence with you.
JaBok was chosen because he is Alpha. There are many desirable qualities in the dominant animals. They tend to be stronger, healthier and more aggressive in the field. They do require a strong willed individual as a human companion. Once they hit a mature age (3-4 yr) they will come to accept the human domination and once this occurs I think the dominant dog makes for the best companion. It is said that a Basenji is a big dog in a Little package. If your un-neutered male is alpha you must be particularly observant when in the company of bigger dogs as his diminutive size puts him at a extrema disadvantage. With his wild sent bigger alpha dogs will instantly want to kill him. I have experienced this to many times. and Jabok has the scars to prove it. It is not such a problem with females. I know I will catch flak in this forum for saying this but feel I must anyway. The majority of Basenji breeders in this country are people who show dogs and breed for show dogs. Most dogs are usually shown when they are young. The young alpha animal is difficult to control in the arena resulting in the need for beta personalitied dogs. Resulting in breeders using successful show dogs for their breeding stock. The problem with doing this is the health vitality of the beta tends to be a little lacking. Over a period of many years of this practice the Chi of the breed is diminished. I do sincerely believe that the high rate of Fanconie in this country is the end result of this practice. That is why they have been introducing fresh African stock stock to the breeding pool in an attempt to diminish the condition. I also predict that Fanconie will persist as long as the emphasis is on producing the more docile beta animal.
My partner JaBok pulled like a freight train locomotive when he was a puppy. I really believe it was because he liked pulling against the resistance of my weight but it could be that he was just eager to get there. Early on a chest harness was purchased so that he would not choke himself I rather prefer the jacket types. I never let the pulling bother me as it encouraged me to keep going and it was good for both of us. As for JaBok he grew up very buffed and could, when set free on the beach, run tirelessly like the wind. Now we live on a ranch in the mountains and we go out and have no need of the leash but when we do he is content to walk by my side unless he sees something he wants to investigate. The other thing I would like to add is that people especially those that are Basenji knowledgeable always comment on how muscular JaBok is. My recommendation is let him pull all he wants that is unless you want him to look dainty on the show room floor. In that Case make sure you find a rare Beta animal. To do this when looking at puppy's pick them up and turn them upside down. If they remain content in that posture they are Beta if they vigorously resist they are Alpha. The Beta will always be more docile and easy to get along with. The Alfa dog will be more independent and sometimes difficult they will also be more athletic and investigative IE. better hunters.
Basically basenji are un-trainable. That being said, to assist you with the Psychology of raising your young Basenji you must keep in mind that they are essentially wild dogs. Early on, most likely due to their diminutive size, they formed a symbiotic relationship with man. Even after thousands of years of living in a close relationship with man the primordial instinct's of the wild creature are very strong in the puppy. Proof of the wild dog is the reality that they do not bark. All domesticated breeds of dogs have that bark gene, wear as all wild K9 are bark free as barking is a dead give away as to their location, it must be coded into their genes. So in respect to this you must be very patient and understanding and always try to think as a wild dog remembering that many of the bazaar tricks your Basenji will show you are really the basic instincts given to the wild creature that they are. As he matures, if you are always fair and not to demanding, he will form a strong bond with you that cannot be broken. This in the end will become a tremendous responsibility to you and this responsibility must always be kept in the back of your mind. Professional dog trainers rating the trainability of dogs in general put Basenji down at the bottom of their list of trainable dogs. In that they cannot be tricked or coerced into accepting behavioral habits and that is because they are instinctualy too intelligent and logical to adopt those behavior habits. As your Basenji matures he will teach you as to his needs and if you respond in kind he will adopt to the behaviors you desire. Remember it just takes time. Make sure he always has an oportunity to sit in the morning sun.
Jennifer I sometimes eat food that is past its expiration date and have never had a problem even though I have sever digestive sensitivities from past Viet Nam injuries. In this case I did not even look before I feed it to him. So I personally accept the blame and have attempted to explain that to him, He is very much attached to me so I assume he will eventually forgive me. As far as my friend Barb is concerned she was just trying to be nice in giving it to someone who could use it. As to the food bank it is business as usual. Different businesses regularly "donate" their outdated merchandise that they are unable to sell because it is outdated. For doing so they are able to get a healthy tax write off for their generosity. A situation that has for some time given me complexities so much so that I do not accept their hand outs.