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  • Since then, I decided to take in another male Basenji who had a myriad of problems, having come from an abused home
  • A lot of people think that my two dogs are the exception to the breed, but I disagree


    • by Nikki Hanna
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      A friend of mine whom I met upon moving to Michigan nine years ago, was a breeder of Basenjis, which are African hunting dogs. I wasn’t sure, at the time, that I was willing and ready to care for a pet, especially a pet that, according to her, was not necessarily high maintenance, but incredibly stubborn and complete trouble-makers. So, a year or two went by, and I was falling in love watching her dogs play and cuddle and be the cute little dogs they are.

      They are medium-sized dogs, ranging from 20-25lbs, depending on the sex and the line of the dog, and typically have very strict diet requirements. These aren’t the kinds of dogs you can change food on regularly, or add new foods. They are hunting dogs by nature, so if they aren’t kept stimulated they can get into a whole world of trouble if left to their own devices for too long. I finally decided, after


      having spent time with the dogs, that I’d take one on. She had a young three year old female who was almost always crate-bound because she didn’t get along with the other dogs and was bidding too heavily for dominance, and she wasn’t show-worthy, having a smaller than average head, and other things that prevented her from competing. Not to mention that she simply hated the ring and refused to perform. Stubborn indeed.

      So, I brought her home and spent two weeks training her not to eat shoes, underwear, bras, jeans and not to get into the trash every time we turned our backs. But, she WAS suseptible to the training and has been an excellent pet for the past six years. Since then, I decided to take in another male Basenji who had a myriad of problems, having come from an abused home. He was terrified of men (which we eventually overcame), but he was an obsessive chewer and he urinated on everything as part of his marking, which is very much specific to the breed. We sadly, ended up having to return him to his breeder, because he was running for the door every time it was open and we were chasing him up and down the street at least twice a week. In the end, however, I ended up getting another male Basenji, related to the girl I have, and he’s been a complete charm. Stupid as a bucket of rocks, but we’re working through that with continuous training.

      Don’t let anyone tell you differently (and many breeders WILL tell you differently) these dogs CAN BE TRAINED. The male I got was a little over seven years old when we got him and very very set in his ways, but we have still managed to teach him commands. He’s not very good with other dogs (aside from our female) especially not on his own turf, which is ...


      • Basenji
      also common for the breed, who are pack dogs and very territorial. And, he still marks on occassion, though the occurances are less and less.

      A lot of people think that my two dogs are the exception to the breed, but I disagree. They didn’t come to me behaving… they had to be trained and trained consistently. That is the one thing you should remember if you are interested in purchasing this breed for you and your family…. training training training, and don’t get discouraged along the way. They are very suseptible to clicker training, which is very nice since they have a tendency to run off and chase squirrels and rabbits and birds. They are also bark-less dogs, though they can learn to mimick the bark of other dogs living in the home, and they make a sort of howling sound when excited. They can shed pretty heavily after winter, but their hairs are short, and it doesn’t last

      forever. Pure breed basenjis are prone to problems, such as fanconi, so be sure to check the line thoroughly before purchasing. Getting them at a young age is also probably better than getting them older, as they can be properly trained to your standards and requirements.

      But they are cuddly lapdogs and wonderful with kids. They are also really great for families who have allergie problems, as this breed tends not to affect the allergies. If you decide this is the breed for you, just remember to be patient, and enjoy their antics. Also, they like to counter surf, and they are ridiculously intelligent and figure out ways to circumvent obstacles in their way. Make sure backyard fences are high, or they are tied-down, as they have a tendency to jump very high and run very fast when they see something they want to get at. But don’t let this discourage you if you are looking for an intelligent breed with some fantastic personality.




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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in August, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 29608791670531/k2311a086/8.6.09
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