to me, the beautiful and positive traits are the the thing you are warned about.
My personality made me want a dog that was a CHALLENGE:
I did not want a dog that stayed in an unfenced yard - I wanted a dog that wanted to explore the world! ( a dog that would enjoy exploring the world with me and my kids)
I did not want a dog that accepted all humans and dogs right away - I wanted a dog that required a human or dog that it met to prove itself worthy of it's attention! ( so we would have that in common)
I wanted a dog with an urge to hunt. In fact one of my goals in breeding was to produce dogs that I could throw out in the woods out back, and know it could survive if it had to.( I never threw them out in the woods, I just wanted them to retain the ability to hunt that their ancestors required to survive)
I wanted a dog that THOUGHT. I wanted a dog that would require me to out think it sometimes. (At times they would do something that we had to figure out WHY they were doing it. It usually came back to their need to hunt)
I wanted a dog that constantly assessed the situation, and decided "What's in it for me?" I probably go through much of life that way, and sometimes, what's in it for me helps me to realize why it was good, or not good, for someone else.
There are a couple of posts mentioning their sounds. I just wanted to explain that all dogs do NOT make these sounds. I had one line, staring with my diva, Rosa, that made NO sounds. I had another that had a most beautiful yodel, and was as different from Rosa in most basenji ways. (In fact, she was an embarrassment to the breed in Rosa's mind). Their kids and grandkids were/are the same. No sounds vs sounds. However the girl I have left from the 'embarrassment to the breed' girl, is so vocal, 3-4 times a day. Every time we make a big deal of it, because it's so beautiful (and we have to decipher what she's trying to say.
Please remember sounds/no sounds is not a reflection of their happiness with you or where they live. Sometimes it is genetics.
And that makes me think of one last thing - basenjis are very good at reading your actions. If you think they're doing something because they love you (and you show it) they will continue to do it, to get the same reaction from you.
Be sure that whatever they are doing gets a positive response from you, you won't mind them doing forever. For instance, sleeping in a special spot - make sure it's ok if you let them do it, only once!
Owning a basenji means that someitimes you just have to let things go, and not sweat the small stuff.
My Gretchen, who turned 15 late last year, started with seizures about a year ago. After each seizure, there were tremors. Meds worked well and controlled the seizures.
A few weeks ago I was having a really hard time getting her to eat, and she started losing control of her back legs. They had lost all muscle tone, I figured because she wasn't eating. We tried some type of medicines to increase her appetite with very little improvement. We took her to the vet, again, and he explained that her brain was dealing with wearing out - old age. A tumor was not mentioned.
He said there really wasn't much to do, and my husband and I decided to euthanize her right there. It helped us to know the night before, we got her to eat a half salmon patty, and half a hamburger.
He said, "If you can imagine being hungry all the time, is that any way to live, it has to be uncomfortable?" Gretchen was always really into her food!
So, she lived, and died of old age. Actually the first I bred, and kept, who died of old age.
I hope Sadiki pulls through this, and you are prepared for whatever comes next.
When we have this kind of trouble, first thing we do is put the tiniest bit of Vicks Vapo rub in where ever the dog is even interested in trying to chew - works every time.
Warning - they are relentless in finding places that do NOT have the Vicks.
I will leave the training advice to others.
It only takes a teeny tiny bit, their nose smells it!
I saw that! I first thought, "Oh, a basenji sighting, but then they kept showing, and talking about basenjis. A very informative show, especially the history of dog domestication. One dog could be identified if someone knew the handler at a show in North Carolina who was showing a tri, looked to be a puppy, the handler wore a pink jacket and skirt.
Rub a tiny bit of Vics Vaporub of your feet. Not enough that you will smell it, but he will.
Then distract him in ways that have been mentioned here.
He is biting your feet because he is getting something - a reaction from you. The Vics will teach him that he doesn't like the reaction at all.
In my years in basenjis, they seem to follow the motto: What's in it for me? Take away what is in it for him, and replace it with something he does not like - the smell.
I learned from my dogs that they can go 3+ days waiting for the coveted 'people food!'
Giver her the dog food in an official 'dog food' bowl and the people food in a different place, different bowl, different time, so she learns there is a difference. She must learn that no matter how long she goes without eating the dog food, people food is only for special rewards
You will have to judge if she is sick or there is something else wrong. It's hard sometimes for me to not give in. It usually ends up that I give in, just a bite, to see if she'll eat anything, then back to the dog food. I go through the get a new bag, get a new brand, etc too.