If our dogs got covered in mud or slobbered on in the dog park, we just rinse them off if at all possible; when shampoo is needed we've had luck with an all-natural oatmeal shampoo that is designed for both cats and dogs (an absolute necessity, if you ask me, because of the way our Bs groom themselves; only-ok-for-dogs shampoo will likely have things we don't want them ingesting). Our dogs sleep in our bed with us, so we're pretty sensitive to their level of cleanliness. Even at that, they need an actual bath in the range of once every 3-4 months. Every 4-5 weeks is WAY TOO often for basenjis.
One of our Bs tends towards dry skin, too, so we give her the occasional spoonful of coconut oil to EAT, or even a pat of butter. In our experience, ingesting a bit of fat does wonders for her skin dryness; adding anything to the outside doesn't work for us. Healthy fats, depending on what she's willing to eat, should help a lot.
Is there any chance there's an allergy going on? One of our Bs was born in Washington State, and apparently now that we live in Texas, she's somewhat allergic to the environment. We give her Benedryl somewhat regularly (25 mg every 12 hours, probably just a few times a week) at her vet's instruction and under the vet's supervision. Her most common place for a hot spot is between her toes, because she nibbles at the area, and the Benedryl seems to stop that itching which in turn gets her to leave the spot alone.
Obviously, a photo would be most helpful, but allergies and managing those might be something worth looking into.
I wouldn't bother with the extreme. Our two Bs still use both the puppy kongs and classic Kongs without any problems (although they do chew up/destroy other things). We also have both medium and large and find they both work well, depending on how much food/how many treats we want to give them.
We were living in Salt Lake when we first decided to get a basenji, and while there is at least one sketchy backyard breeder in Ogden, I was glad we went elsewhere. We'd moved to Seattle by the time we actually got a dog (brought home Jan 2017), and so got one there locally from MaryK Quinnett, who isn't actively growing her program right now.
While doing research on the breed, we went to a lure coursing competition and talked to Kevin and Theresa (I think? people names seem to take a back seat to dogs' names) of FoPaws Basenjis, who are located just outside of Portland. http://fopawsbasenjipuppies.com/ We went with a closer breeder, but I wouldn't have hesitated to get any dog they'd have chosen for us, and it's a reasonable drive from (at least northern) Utah. There are several more in that area, I think. Plus a bunch more in Washington State. And in California.
The other thing I might recommend is to take a look everything from the Evergreen Basenji Club (www.evergreenbasenjiclub.org). They seem to be a bit more active than a lot of other clubs and tend to include just about everyone in the northern half of the western United States.
We have since moved to Texas and added a second puppy to our pack this April, and it was kind of a pain to wait after we'd decided--there was really only one legit breeder with litters in Texas this past year--but in the end it was so very worth it. I grew up with cats, so our 11/16 basenji female and 1/18 basenji male were my very first dogs, and I can't imagine how much more difficult things would have been with poor temperament breeding. Basenjis are amazing, but it seems like there just isn't much room for error when it comes to temperament and personality.
Have you met any basenjis? When visiting family in Utah with our dog I was told over and over again that the person speaking had never seen a basenji in real life (including at pet shops and doggy daycare), so I get the impression that the odds of tracking one down locally to meet might be difficult. I wish I were going to be bringing my dogs there soon so you could meet them, but maybe you've already had plenty of experience with the breed? The things I've posted on my Instagram (@zannahdo) is a pretty accurate representation of what life can be like with a basenji, if that's in any way helpful. Feel free to ask us more questions; this is not a breed for an impulse purchase (and, as you've found, supply makes that fairly impossible anyway).
First, she is adorable. Beautiful, even! The curly tail, to me, looks straight off of a shiba inu -- similar in size, also
a an ancient breed with curly tails, but are much bushier compared to the tightly rolled tail and short hair coat of basenjis. The traits you mentioned seem more like a shiba to me, too, with the pouncing esp., but there are many more experienced breeders/owners on here that may have a different take. Regardless, it's pretty obvious Parker is a really amazing, special dog. Thanks for sharing her! primitive
I have to second both @CrazySenji and @dogelover 's comments! I'd never had a dog before we got our little girl a year ago, and I had no idea how MUCH we would love her. Also, we're getting her a puppy, so our second basenji is coming in April. You will LOVE being basenji parents, and (even if you said you never, ever, EVER would) prepare yourself for the (likely?) possibility that your pack will probably grow.
Hi @Destiny-Galimore! I think I know the breeder you're talking about, and unfortunately, he's pretty sketchy. "Backyard Breeder" would probably be a nice term for him. When my husband and I talked to him on the phone, he offered to let us pick up a puppy at 6 weeks, saying we just needed to give it formula, and that it didn't really matter. He has so many litters every year, and he doesn't typically require any of the puppies to be spayed or neutered... Anyway, I hope Grizzly turns out to be a great puppy (despite "basenjicrazy"'s methods, or lack thereof). We just moved to the Dallas area from Seattle, and while we were sad to leave the super-helpful Evergreen basenji community there, we've found a lot of great, responsible breeders here in TX. If you ever decide to add to your pack, definitely check them out! We're anxiously waiting for our reserved puppy to be born and get big enough--April seems like AGES away--but it really is worth it, especially with basenjis.
Definitely wet down the dry food; we used to add water or diluted chicken broth to create what I called "puppy cereal," and that works really well. Plus, once the kibble has soaked up all the liquid, you can shove the extra bits into a puppy Kong, freeze it, and offer that as a treat, especially as Grizzly starts teething.
The other thing you might want to be concerned about is socialization; the 5-8 weeks age is when puppies are learning a LOT about dog manners from their dams and their litter mates. If possible, I'd get him into a puppy preschool of some kind, go to a playgroup that's monitored by dog trainers (so they can stop bad behavior, encourage good behavior, and help you learn what's acceptable and what you need to stop), and try to have visitors and appropriate canine companionship. That will make a huge difference in temperament, which can be a problem area when the breeder isn't as careful.
Regardless, congrats on the new pup! He's super cute, and if the experience we've had with our basenji puppy (born Nov 2016; came home Jan 2017) is any indicator, that cuteness will result in completely falling in love!
ETA: (I clearly need to read better before posting, since a lot of what I said has already been covered. Sorry, and still: he's adorable!)
My husband and I are planning on getting a basenji puppy, but I was hoping to get a bit of advice from the many experts here. I've read that two males and two females are more likely to fight than a male and a female. My husband's parents have a male Australian shepherd and his sister has a male golden. We will be living within a couple of hours of each family, so while it won't be a daily or weekly thing, our pup will likely spend time with the other two dogs, who do get along well.
Should we definitely be looking for a female basenji? Does it really matter? What would you recommend?