I'm going to describe how a crate is used around here, maybe you can get something from it:
My basenjis have always been in wire crates, the size made for a collie. A plastic crate was only used in the car. They are in them at night, and used to be in them when we aren't home, but they're older now (13,14,15,16), they are loose when we're gone now.
They were never put in for a punishment, or what they thought was a punishment. I might say@#$#@$%, but in a very happy voice.
Our goal was to be sure they thought of the crate as a good thing, sort of like a kid's bedroom.
EVERY SINGLE TIME they went into their crate, they got a 'biscuit', with me saying "Let's get a biscuit" Happy dogs going in the crate, and getting a treat! The biscuits are now a couple pieces of dry puppy food, they don't care, to them it's a biscuit. Someone told me years ago that using treats to get a dog to do something you want should not be used past 6 mos, EXCEPT WITH BASENJIS. Please do not resist using bribes!
In fact, one time 4 got out, the leader started walking down the sidewalk, with them following. I yelled "Spicer, want a biscuit?" He turned around, they all followed him home. (We never use the word biscuit for anything else)
They ate their meals in their crates
When we come home, the dogs are the first thing we deal with.
All of the above never worked for our Ibis. I honestly think she had some sort of brain problem that is medicated in humans. I could never get her comfortable in a crate, or even in a room by herself. I just treated her the way I would treat a child with a problem - made everyone's life more enjoyable. I called her 'the problem child I never had.'
As for the aggression, she should never learn that aggression works. I'm sure there are many posts in this forum about stopping aggression in basenjis. (I a not qualified to offer advice.)
Have a good day everyone!
I think there are many constructive things here. Anyone who has lived with a basenji, and has given their opinion, has written a constructive post.
Forums general rule: take what you can use, forget the rest
I'm glad last night was better, and perhaps with a good nights sleep, you can read the posts a bit more objectively?
Since 1995, I have had 10 - 15 adult basenjis - sorry, can't remember the exact figure - not all at once of course.
I had 2 lines - one was calmer, another having various degrees of emotional expression.
One line started with a girl that was the most demonstrative of her emotions, and sometimes it would take the slightest things to get her going.
I honestly think the calmer line was rather embarassed of the other, "could they really be basenjis?' Those 2 girls hated each other, and any female related to them, hated each other too. Even today.
When it got to the point that I could let the girl loose in the family room, that really helped. She was not destructive, one of the most loving of all my basenjis, just very needy.
Sorry, but I could never get her over this, we really thought she was obsessive-compulsive, and once we realized this, that is was a medical problem, we just let some things go. Just like if it had been one of our kids.
She put 100% of herself into whatever she was doing at the time. This meant, she was a WONDERFUL mother. When I bred her, she was bred to dogs who were not like her, and all the pups seemed to have her endearing charm, but without the ocd. I did show her, and the judge must have been able to see how enthusiastic (yet controlled) she was. When it was her turn to go around the ring, he said "Let's see the little handful do it"
Having basenjis in our lives, meant we wanted them to be HAPPY. We called her 'the problem child we never had.' I still have the collie sized wire crate she used. All the wires on the side she pinched together with her mouth, and even the top!
When we got her as a puppy, she did ok in her crate, with all the other dogs in the same room. It worked, until it didn't. All I can suggest is take each thing as it comes, right now, I suggest letting her sleep in your room.
One thing I've learned about this breed, don't let them do something once, that they're not going to be allowed to do later. You started putting your pup in your bedroom, and moving it away from you is like taking something away from her that was better. Sorry, she will probably 'never' forget.
A couple of things that made us suspect obsessive-compulsiveness:
One night, she got all the loose things in the room and stuffed them into a crate. That thing was packed! She had never done it before, and never did it again.
I had some pots and chairs on our deck and she had a path she took when she was coming in the house. EVERY TIME One time I changed the set up on the deck - the poor thing was so confused! I kind of felt sorry for her, and moved things back to the way they were.
IMHO, basenjis are like people - they are all different. Different personalities, different needs, wants. Sure, some of this can be trained out of them, but you really have to work with the dog you have.
Best of luck with your baby. We miss Ibis the most.
We got our first basenji 23 years ago, a pet. I loved her dearly (I was 40 and had wanted one since second grade!).
I don't think she actually had separation anxiety, I called it 'Play with MEEEEE!' syndrome. I was home all day, as were our kids, and she just did things constantly that got our attention if we weren't paying attention to her. Some of the things were destructive.
When we were all gone, she went into her crate, and was no problem there, as there was no one home to pay attention to her.
When she was 2, we decided maybe another would help get her attention away from us.
It was the perfect solution, it took care of almost all her destructiveness. I guess she just needed someone, dog or human, to play with her. Sugar and Spicer!
I've said since then that she was the perfect 'first' basenji and taught us what we thought, not only how bad a baasenji could be, but also how endearing.
Then there was Ibis, who made Sugar look boring. She had separation anxiety, plenty of dogs to keep her busy, and all methods of dealing with her SA did not work. Oh well, she is the one basenji my husband and I cried as she was put down, at 16. After her, my life is so much easier.
I guess I should also add I do currently have a basenji! He is a yearish old, two this spring. He is intact (but we are soon clipping him I think)
Thank you for the advice! I will look into the club in my area. Missouri (St Louis area) btw
I assumed she meant neutering
Looking back to when I got my very first basenji, a pet, the one thing I remember is that she taught us to never let a basenji do something that you are going to disallow in the future. Of course not everything can be planned ahead.
I bough her a pig ear' to chomp, kept it in a lower kitchen cabinet. Not long after, I learned this was NOT a healthy treat so threw it away. Until the day she died, 10-12 years later, she'd sit by that cabinet and whine, until I opened it to show her there were no pig ears in there.
This was really no big deal, but I imagine if it had been a chair that she was not allowed on. They just do not forget. Anything.
I have found that if a basenji is left alone for long periods, it will FIND something to do, many times not what we would call good dog behavior. In a crate, in my experience, that has been screaming (sometimes I\we wish they would just bark!) One can only imagine how it will find something to do if left alone in a home.
That being said, I think it's FANTASTIC that you are asking this question now. If asked AFTER you got a basenji, it would probably result in an unhappy basenji.
I would not rule out a B forever, but maybe someday your life will accommodate the quirks of the breed better, and you and the B will spend many many, happy years together.
2 thoughts, just things I thought of while reading this:
What you described (I think) as disorientation, that was what my Gretchen did for a couple of years before she started having real, can't deny it, seizures. When she did have them the first thing I thought of was how she just stood and stared for a few seconds before. I concluded they were related. Nothing like that has happened since she started taking the seizure medicine.
My husband was frying eggs 20 years ago, and I saw him just stand real still, shake for a minute, then fall. It looked like a seizure to me. The EMTs took him to the hospital, the doctors did whatever drs do, and said he had low blood sugar, and nothing like that has happened again.
(totally not basenji related, but gives us a laugh when we think of it now - my son Nick was about 6, was right there and saw it too, and while I was down on the floor said "You think maybe we should turn off the stove?" I had always thought he was born a little adult)
To me, definitely a basenji mix. I have seen registered basenjis who are not square, 'curvy' topline. She is not as refined as a female basenji but that might be the mix showing up.
The howling noises are very basenji to me.
A few basenji characteristics she may/may not have:
Licks herself when wet, like a cat, does not have a doggy odor when wet, picks a particular time of day, and goes nuts, consistent with the time of day. Has a hard time controlling herself when a small critter, especially a rabbit is near.
Thinking she is part basenji will buy her a few 'oh well, that's the basenji part showing up' when she does something that a regular dog will get reprimanded for. With Lexi, roll up a newspaper and swat YOURSELF for not giving her a baseni proof environment!
Your life with Lexi will never be boring!