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So you think you want a Basenji?...Here's what you should know...

Now that you've read how I fell in love with Basenjis, let's see if they are the dog for you. I will tell you the good and the bad. 

Basenjis are wonderfully entertaining. one of my favorite things to do is watch them run full speed through the yard and jump and climb over obstacles. That being said, this means that it is a good idea to either have a fenced in yard (preferably a privacy fence or at least a 5ft chain link) or when you take them for walks or runs, they should be on a lead. That doesn't mean that they can't be trained to be off leash, but they do get distracted easily. Remember they are a considered a sighthound. Once a Basenji is on the hunt or has something other than his/her owner on their mind they will run and explore until they are ready to come home.  

A Basenji is a unique dog in the fact that they don't bark, but they are NOT silent. They yodel, howl and on occasion when they feel like they are being punished and tired of being in their crate can sound like they are screaming.  Mine serenade me by howling when they hear my car pull into the drive. (I love it, my husband says it's embarrassing). They will let you know when someone or something is around. 

They are very clean and do not have that "doggy" odor of so many other breeds. They shed very little if kept on a good food and brushed. They do clean themselves (and often each other) like a cat.  They rarely need bathing but when they do they usually do not like it. Mine tend to hear the bath water running and vanish. 

Activity level and Children: They are an active dog and need plenty to do and toys to play with. If not they will find their own toys and they will get into things that are not theirs. They can be very destructive if not happy or occupied. Kids are great for Basenjis because they keep them busy and Basenjis are great for kids because they will help wear them out. My Hogan loves children. When he gets to go to Rural King with me to get supplies, I make him ride in the cart and when he hears a child's voice he starts looking around and that curly tail goes wild. Most of those who have adopted one of my puppies have children and they as you will see in my gallery pictures from them, they fit right in. 

Basenjis are very curious. If you leave something out and they discover it, you can count on them checking out the item and claiming it as theirs. For example, I had laid a small bag of grass seed on a chair by the back door so I would remember to spread it the next day, but in the meantime I had decided to run up to the local store, it was literally 5 minutes from home. I was gone no longer than 20 minutes in which time Whitney and Pakiba had found the bag of seed and decided to plant it for me in the living room. I was vacuuming up seed for weeks. Or the time I left the peanut butter on the kitchen table and Whitney decided she wanted to make her own peanut butter sandwich while sitting on the couch. Nevertheless, I loved them still. They look at you with those wrinkles and innocent eyes and all is forgiven. But lessons learned and so when I leave, my dogs are confined to their own Basenji proofed place. 

I have never raised a Basenji that has been aggressive toward a person. They can be bossy toward other dogs but most will succumb to their charm and let them rule.  Seriously though, this is also, where proper breeding can come into play. My Basenjis bloodlines are researched and chosen for good temperament among other qualities.  

Training and housebreaking: I have always believed that even though some breeds of dogs are known for their intelligence, when it comes to training and housebreaking the dog's owner and family can have the greatest bearing on this subject. It is a must for a family to train themselves as well as the dog as to taking them out consistently and constantly. Repetition and patience are the key. Remember, unless you have a doggie door, they cannot let themselves out and then ask yourself if you can hold "it" for hours until your owner comes home. 

Basenjis and obedience training are another story. Patience is required. Remember you are dealing with a highly intelligent breed of dog that thinks and will try to outsmart you, but it can be done. Proof is in the many shows and videos you can pull up on YouTube.  The first male I had, Pakiba, was trained not to get on furniture and to stand at a doorway until he was told to enter. (I reprogrammed him to snuggle). 

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Basenjis are unique and wonderful dogs. They will bring much joy and laughter to their family for many years. 

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