Indeed, why a basenji? I had a mental check list; hypo-allergenic, less than 40 pounds, personality...serval breeds fit this. I was doing research on other breeds when I came across this book about basenjis. In that moment, I was a goner. I LOVE the way they look. I didn't have dogs growing up, so I did a LOT of research. We got Rory, in March 1996, our very first basenji. She was such an easy basenji, so easy we decided lets get another! So in December of that same year we welcomed Tim her brother, who could not have been more different than night and day!! Honestly, had we gotten Tim first, I don't know that we would have been a 2 basenji home EVER, but for as much trouble as he was, he brought that much joy into our lives. We have 2 different basenjis now, 2 different personalities, and I wouldn't change any one of them. We adopted older dogs second time around, one with biting issues that were so bad we are his 4th home. Not everyone is equipped to deal with some issues. I'm not some miracle worker dog whisperer, it took years, of patience, reapatitve behavior modification on our part, some on his, and to be perfectly honest, my husband was afraid of the dog for the first 2 years we had him, but he didn't give up on him. We are now bonded as a pack. I would never not have 2 basenjis. I love how I feel when they are with me! Plus they are the coolest looking dogs!!
It's a slow process, be patient and consistent with her. We adopted Bolt 6 years ago, he's 12 y/o and 3/4 Africain. We don't know his history, but at some point he got into a dog fight. He has the scars to prove it. When we walk, there are certain dogs that will trigger a violent reaction from him. Over the years I've gotten very good at reading other people, and how they walk their dogs, plus reading their dog's body language. A high straight up tail tightly wagging will send him off the rails. I've worked extensively with him to the point that he is manageable when he sees other dogs. I usually make him sit, or give as wide a distance as I can allow. BUT, he is a biter, so I'm extremely cautious when I'm around other people. All bets are off if that other dog is not leashed!! It does get better, and yes you can teach an older dog new behaviors, I certainly did.
@reddie we don't have a pet menagerie like you do, but we did get 2 older dogs from Eldorado Basenjis. They spent time with us getting to know us and our situation, at the time we had a 14 1/2 y/o male who had just lost his sister and was simply lost. They did a fabulous job matching us with a former show dog who was 8, she's now 15 1/2. And when our male passed at 16, and I was inconsolable, I called them, and again they had the perfect match for us. They did their job, and very well, they take back their dogs if it doesn't work out, but part of their job is making sure that the right dog goes to the right home. Basenjis aren't easy, if they were, everyone would have them, but if you ARE a basenji person and you make THAT basenji connection, you're hooked for life! You have to have a sense of humor when owning a basenji, it's a must, just saying...
Your dog can be allergic to anything that it is exposed to, wether it is environmental, or ingested. It only needs to happen once for the body to have a histamine (h2) response to it. That h2 response known, as the allergic reaction, can happen in various degrees and stages. The problem arises when the dog has a fast immediate reaction and the airway begins to close, this being worse case, many owners keep Benadryl (diphenhydramine hcl) on hand for this very reason. Most allergic reactions start with itching as the body realeses histamine, generally it will begin in the more tender areas, ears, between pads of their feet, belly, and groin area. They can start off small, but with continued exposure, can begin to look like welts. In worst cases, the face will swell as will the throat, and eventual airway will close if immediate intervention is not given. Basenjis often have food allergies, mostly to grains. I recently bought new salmon treats and about 30 minutes after giving it to our male, he became very restless, then he started licking his feet, then he started chewing between the pads of his feet. I gave him some Benadryl and kept an eye on him the rest of the night, but 45 minutes later he was sleeping just fine, but no more salmon anything for him. Once the dog is exposed to an allergen, every time they are exposed, you risk more histamine being released into the blood stream which could result in a bigger allergic reaction than the first time. It's best to check with your vet for the correct dosage you should give your basenji in that 'just in case' moment, and how often. Hope this helps.
This behavior could also be resource guarding. We adopted a dog that had this issue. He is a great dog, he just bites. I've worked with him extensively, but just the other night my husband went to put the leash on our female to take her out and our male lunged at him as they were in the bed with me, but I had fallen asleep. As far as Bolt, our male, was concerned, he was doing his job, guarding, I was asleep, so he was protecting, I am alpha, and my husband didn't have my permission to take the female out. Of course the rauchus that ensued woke me up and things were sorted, my husband took our female out, without getting bitten, he's fast on his feet, but he knew to look for the body language that means the dog would strike out. It's very suttle, but it is there. We got him at 6 years old, he's 3/4 African, and we've had him 6 years. When he's bitten me, he's always pulled his bite, my husband has not been so lucky, or some of our other family members. When I walk him I must be very careful that if anyone approaches me, I use my feet and legs to gently keep the dog behind me and away from the person coming near me. I am alpha, and aware, not afraid, but in control of the situation, and will react accordingly in a safe manner for myself, my dog, and the person. If you are afraid, your dog will know it, and it defeats the purpose. There are some great articles on resource guarding. I would post a link, but I don't know how. Perhaps one of the other members might. It's a common behavior in basenjis as they tend to be a 1 person dog. I would also suggest giving your dog a job to help tire him out. I back packed our first male and weighted it with water bottles gradually increasing the volume as he became stronger over time. A tired basenji is a good basenji!
Ahhh, the question, to crate or not?? You will get a varying degree of opinions here. I've owed 4 basenjis over the last 30 years. They were all crate trained, but, and this is a big BUT, they were allowed free roam of the house, bedroom & bathroom doors closed, after they proved trust worthy. This is NOT to say there was not destruction. There was on occasion. I was okay with that. When Delli chewed and destroyed my $80 earbuds, was I upset? Sure, but, hey, I left them out where she could get ahold of them, my fault, NOT hers. Crate training is great for vet visits, traveling, and when they need quiet time if they choose. Although Tim was crate trained, he did not like being left alone. When he had a bout of pancreatitis, and we had to leave him overnight, he was such a stinker, making art with the newspaper and dog food in the crate and making a huge fuss, they resorted to putting him in the clear plexiglass, iron lung so he felt less confined!! Tim was my clown, and too smart for his own good.
I guess what I'm trying to say, and what most of us say, is best they are crate trained for if the time ever comes that you need it. AND leaving them out depends on the dog, and his/her personality. Our first basenji was a dream, easy, independent, very low maintence, so much so, I decided another would be so much better an experience! Joke was on me...Tim was well, Tim. He was an imp, a monkey, he just needed the foam red nose. He put high in high maintenance!! He was so different than our female, like night and day! A tired Tim was a good Tim. And I had to backpack him on our walks to wear him out, he was so high energy. At around 8 years old we started leaving them out for short periods of time, but it was only after I had read an article about a family that last their beloved basenjis in a fire because they couldn't get out of their crates.
It's a personal choice, however, you should put your dog's needs/protection first. Some basenjis are determined chewers. This can be dangerous for the dog, as well as, expensive trips to the vet for surgery for a ripped stomach from a shard of bone. We all have horror stories, or battle stories, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Tim was a counter sufer, this meant EVERYTHING on the counter have to be pushed back exactly 11 inches, because he could work that paw like a friggin human hand determined to get whatever it was he wanted off the counter.
I'm sorry there is no standard yes/no answer here, but like I've stated best be prepared and have the dog crate trained. I can also tell you this, I've had to reupholster my couch twice, and we had to get a new living room set, 3 new living room rugs. If you value your stuff, put it away, otherwise it's fair game! And you must have a sense of humor....