I am so sorry to read that your basenji is not well and perhaps nearing the end of his life. I've known so many pet owners who, after their pet passed away, said "I waited too long." I had three basenjis; they were all 15-17 years old when they went to the rainbow bridge. I almost didn't get any more dogs after they died because those decisions were so difficult. I think that using eating as the marker is not enough. What I think about first is DIGNITY. Human beings who are nearing the end can think about dignity but our pets can't. I think it is up to us to let our pets go before they are peeing and pooping everywhere or acting confused. Surely something must tell them that this is not their normal behavior.
I have a wonderful article written by Dr.Marc Bekoff, an animal behaviorist, who wrote about how difficult it was to make the decision. Unfortunately I don't have a link; I just have the article. He talks about having to make the decision about his 12-year-old dog. Please forgive me for including so much of what he said in this response, but I couldn't have said it any better, and each time I have had to say goodbye to one of my pets I have turned to this article for comfort and understanding and knowing that I am doing the right thing . I recently had to say goodbye to my 16-year-old cat and it wasn't any easier than the last time but Dr. Bekoff's words comforted me:
Jethro knew I’d do what’s best for him and I came to feel that often he’d look at me and say, “It’s OK. Please take me out of my misery and lessen your burden. Let me have a dignified ending to what was a great life. Neither of us feels better letting me go on like this.” And I feel he told me that the moral dilemma I faced was no predicament at all; that I had done all I could and that his trust in me was not compromised one bit — but, perhaps, strengthened; that I had made the right choice; that I could go on with no remorse or apologies.....Our companions are counting on us to be for them in all situations, to let them go and not to let their lives deteriorate into undignified humiliation while we ponder our own needs in lieu of theirs. We are obliged to do so. We can do no less.
Your basenji will thank you, and you will be at peace, knowing that you made the right decision.
I could use stronger language, but will stick with "pity the poor basenji who is left in a large cage alone during the day. " We had neighbors who left their basenji in a small cage in the basement while they were at work, and she chewed through the wiring. She also managed to chew through a couple of padlocks. Fortunately for her, they found her another home. Where do people get the idea that there is nothing wrong with keeping a dog in a cage for eight hours?
How old was your dog when you acquired him? Did he have any training either from you from the previous owner?
Do you have someone who could take him out for a couple of walks while you are at work? If that big cage is your only solution, please do a kind deed and let someone else adopt him.
Hi, Yes, basenjis are fascinating, aren't they? And that's why we love them. I am writing to comment about basenjis and inclement weather/snow. We must never forget that on the whole they are very adaptable. We lived in Stockholm for 12 years. That is where I got my first two basenjis. In November and December and part of January, the sun rises at 9 AM and sets of 3 PM in Stockholm. Further north, the days are even shorter. Sweden is home to many basenjis. I can assure you that the dogs adapt to the dark AND the cold, with the appropriate outerwear, just as they adapt to hours and hours of sunshine in the summer. They may not look like a hearty breed, but they are. I have Swedish friends who take mile-long hikes in the hills and in the woods with their basenjis. these dogs are tireless if there enjoying what they're doing. I've never known a basenji that didn't enjoy snow. Rain is something else altogether. However there too, one cannot generalize. Two of my basenjis went out in the rain to do their business. The third one= no way!
I guess my point is that we can't generalize about all basenjis doing X and never doing Y. I also think that with a little bit of patience from their guardians ( I live in Boulder; that's what were supposed to call ourselves :-), they can be taught just about anything. Note that I said "just about".
Good luck, roguecoyote
I think that a basenji puppy and a two-year-old is a recipe for disaster for many reasons. Both require and crave lots of attention, neither one can be reasoned with, both will want to play with the same toy, both can be stubborn, and the list goes. It is far too much to expect a two-year-old to understand how to get along with any puppy, especially a basenji puppy. If your heart is set on a basenji puppy, then I think you should wait until your child is at least five or six years old.Children that age understand what you are saying about the puppy and you can explain to them why you are saying it. I agree with the person who suggested getting an older basenji or how about a puppy of another breed? t one time in my life I had a basenji and a mixed breed, and they got along beautifully.
You may love all the traits of this breed but I was suggest that you talk to owners and their experiences with the basenjis and young children. One cannot count on even the best breeders to give you the full story. Please don't get me wrong. I've had three basenjis and adored them all. I got the first one when my youngest daughter was seven. You don't have to wait that long but two years old is too young, imho. Good luck.
I agree with what the other guardians have said about basenjis; just want to add that I don't think any dogs, unless they are relatively inactive seniors, should be left alone for ten hours.
One can't put a time limit on how long it will take to acclimate a puppy to new surroundings and to get it to understand its place in your home. You have to keep in mind that basenjis can live many years so this is a long commitment, not one to be taken lightly. I've had three basenjis and they lived to be 14, 15, and almost 17.
They are absolutely wonderful dogs, unique in so many ways but, as the saying goes, they are not for everyone, and that's okay imho. My basenjis have always had a companion, and most of the people that I knew in Sweden, where I acquired my first two, had two dogs, not always two basenjis or one basenji and another breed.
Apparently, because of the pandemic, puppies and kittens are in short supply everywhere, and since female basenjis generally only have one litter a year, you might have to wait even longer. The theory behind the shortage of puppies and kittens (and even older dogs and cats) is that because of lockdowns, etc people are lonely for companionship.