I am so happy and impressed that you are reaching out to Basenji owners to research this unique and quirky and oftentimes, difficult, breed.
The Basenji is a pip and not meant
for the faint of heart. YES, they are destructive--extremely so; and YES, they are escape artists--extremely so (at least in their early years.)
I actually coexist with a now 10-year old female rescued Basenji Mix (3/4 Basenji, 1/4 Min Pin, and the latter share several characteristics with the B's, such as prey instinct and escape artistry).
In the early days, my husband had to resort to extreme measures to secure the fencing in our yard: giant rocks and wire mesh to cover up and fill in the gaps under the fence where the little brat dug and dug and dug her way to China, or wherever. On one epic escape, I--at an advanced age--chased Izzy-Bella on foot
through the neighborhood and eventually literally tackled and body slammed her to the ground to catch her. Pathetic.
However, I am happy to report that she has mellowed enormously. She obeys us (mostly, sort of); there have been no escapes in years; she has gotten smarter and more intuitive each year and amazingly reads our behaviors so perfectly; and she is the best most fun and funny intelligent observant dog ever. BUT, the destructive instinct is slow to die. I suspect it is a hunting instinct thing, And this notion that massive amounts of daily exercise will dampen that instinct is just plain balderdash! When they get all hyped up with play fever and excitement, their jaws just start going into overload. Blankets, afghans, throw pillows, socks, tissues, the sweaters and blouses you are wearing--yum yum. When my granddaughters come to visit and bring their precious favorite stuffed animal friends, they make a big point of putting the stuffies way up high and out of Basenji harm's way. 'Cause, vad
He's a real cute boy, to be sure. I would suggest doing one of the DNA tests. Basenji mixes can look so vastly and unbelievably different from each other. And their peculiarities also encompass other breeds, sometimes. My mix is obsessed with facial tissues, preferably
used, but she also loves cardboard.
Basenjis are famously destructive, but whole bunches of other breeds--and mutts--are as well. Do the DNA testing; it's a fun revelation.
And love that little cutie!
There are Basenji owners in the Reading, PA area who show their dogs and make a point to appear at various dog events in order to showcase the breed and introduce it to the public. Some searching on the Net might yield some results. I opted out of all things Facebook and Internet-related years ago, so I can't offer exact contacts. But, check out Reading Basenjis. And good luck. Be aware that B's are unique and special and more challenging than a
typical two-year old child. But, my Basenji mix is the best dog EVER.
Well, interesting thoughts and opinions here. First of all, that is a very handsome and obvious Basenji mix. Lots of Basenji DNA in that cutey. And the behaviors are pretty spot on. I have a 3/4 Basenji mix, a rescue, who is the most delightful dog ever, in life. I don't know her history (somewhere in Iowa) but I am forever thankful that she ultimately landed in our home.
It's a unique breed that is not far removed from its origins in Africa. I totally support the idea of sustaining the purity of the breed. But I suspect these many mixes are the result of escape accidents or ignorant irresponsible back-yard breeders. And those people are LEGION, across America, working with all breeds. But, you know, mixes are not a bad thing. I had the opportunity to engage with a Basenji group, and almost all of those dogs were grumpy grouchy and anti-social. My mix was the friendliest dog in the house. Izzy absolutely loves everything and everybody. Purity can have some drawbacks, and that's a fact.
BUT, whatever, I positively adore my Basenji mix, Izzy-Bella, smartest, funniest, best dog ever. Thank you, careless breeder/owner/whatever for
providing the opportunity for this little canine treasure to become part of our family.
Gosh, Basenjis. Possibly the "ne plus ultra" of dogs. We co-habit with (ha! More like daily defer to) a 10- year old 3/4 Basenji rescue named Izzy-Bella from a shelter in Iowa. Ten years old, really? Does she know she is a senior dog citizen?? Nope, no way no how. True, the early toddler pre-teen destruction genes have largely subsided, and escape artistry has dissipated, due to highly focused parental restraints; but the basic demented Basenji-ness still flourishes. For which we are thankful, as she makes us laugh at and love her every single day.
Well, maybe not when she still pees in totally inappropriate places. My oriental bedroom rug is NOT a Congolese forest floor, Izzy. You get massive numbers of walkies every single day, so what's up? And do not even TRY to blame the cat. Trevor is a saint. Well, except maybe when he throws up breakfast every other day. . .
I love animals. Do goldfish have bad habits??
I am pretty sure you can't just look at a mix and declare what it is. Scientific studies have debunked that over and over. Best to do a DNA test, in my opinion. I have a mix who was advertised as a Basenji Mix, and her DNA results confirmed it. If you just looked at her and made a judgement, it would be mixed: her color was all askew, her tail was half-curled, she was smaller and featured more slender face and feet than a pure-bred B.
But, apparently, the 1/4 Min Pin (the ONLY other DNA in her sample) contributed some significant traits. Behavior and personality wise, Basenji rules the day. Again, I recommend a DNA test, and they improve by the day.
What is this other B identity thing that is mentioned in this thread? Is it also a DNA test, or something else?
Oh, and hey, your baby is way cute!
Oh gosh, these are wonderful and too funny stories. Basenjis are just simply the "ne plus ultra" best.
My Izzy-Bella was pretty ornery early on, after being adopted at 18 months. She was a pip, destroying many minor items and one major item: the den window blinds and window sill. She was always "on point" high alert for squirrels in the back yard, and she hurled herself from the back of the couch into the windows.
Over the years, she has mellowed, and destruction is confined to tissues, preferably used ones. I think tissues and other forms of paper are sort of a special food treat for Basenjis. Strange and weird, but it's Basenjis, who are the epitome of strange and weird. AND--THE
BEST. Why would you want a boring dog when you could have a Basenji??
Rooing: Izzy does a beautiful expressive Roo when I initiate it. It is truly sublime. (Hers, not mine). We are pursuing a record contract.
I think the more important issue about adopting a Basenji revolves around their unique personalities, not their possible (and spurious) non-allergenic characteristics. Basenjis are indescribably UNIQUE. I have a 3/4 Basenji, but she is a total Basenji, through and through. To the potential adopter: are you prepared for unbridled destruction, an independent personality, the need to RUN (we B owners acknowledge the Basenji 500, an indoor Olympic-style run around and around and around the house, over beds and chairs and couches and tables and cats. It's pretty funny and totally delightful, but it emphasizes the need for Basenjis to run, like they're chasing prey in Africa.
Basenjis are notoriously destructive. I was associated with a group of B owners who regaled in the destruction wrought by their dogs and awarded ribbons for the best destructive Basenjis. (My Izzy has several ribbons--she was SO bad, early on). The point here is, it's a special person who adopts and embraces a Basenji. You can't zero in on allergy issues, because those are the least of your worries. These dogs are independent-minded, therefore, not easy to train; they are escape artists and should not be off of the leash; they are totally stupid when it comes to traffic ; they are hunters in Africa, so they are all about chasing the prey, and that's why you keep them close by and tied tight.
You need to research this very special and unique breed in depth before bringing one into your home.
My 3/4 Basenji Izzy-Bella is a TOTAL all-out lap dog, bar none. My lap has never, in 8 1/2 years, EVER been my own. It belongs to Izzy, who also claims the space between my legs, UNDER the bed covers, every single night. And based on my years of communication with a Basenji owners website, these are both totally Basenji behaviors. Think about the origin of these dogs: living outdoors in the Congo among a "clan/pack" of hunting dogs. They sleep together in a cluster, much like puppies, kittens, mice, gerbils, and other small animals. Your single Basenji claims it's people as its clan/pack, hence the sleeping and lap- claiming behaviors. It is most certainly a Basenji "thing."