Should There Be A Basenji In Your Future? Information and FAQs
Basenjis are not a breed for everyone! They can be difficult to train, especially in 'regular' obedience. They can be escape artists - easily able to scale chain link fences and fit through holes a mouse would have trouble with. They are usually unreliable off lead, particularly if they see something to chase, and will often not respond to a recall. They can be very destructive, especially as puppies. Tissue, magazines, furniture and clothes from the laundry basket are special favorites. They HATE wet weather and have to be coerced to go out in it. While they don't bark, they aren't silent! They can yodel, growl, whine, howl and scream, which may cause your neighbors to call the police in the belief that a murder is occurring!
Basenjis are extremely intelligent; they are problem solvers who think outside the box. They're curious about everything. When they decide to be part of your family, they're incredibly loving dogs, happy to run and yodel and then curl up next to you on the couch to be snuggled and petted. They have a sense of humor and whimsy (somehow, though, it seems the human is usually the butt of Basenji jokes!) They are self cleaning, like cats, and almost never have a doggy odor even when wet. Many people with allergies can tolerate Basenjis better than they can other breeds. They have a short, easy to care for coat and usually shed only once a year, if that. Even though they don't bark, they will alert you if someone is coming to the house, usually by running excitedly from you to the door numerous times.
1) Are Basenjis a healthy breed?
Yes, for the most part. Responsible breeders test for known health issues, primarily Fanconi Syndrome, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Hip Dysplasia.
2) Are they good with children?
Basenjis make excellent family dogs when properly socialized and as long as the children respect the Basenji. Talk to the breeder to make the best choice of dog for your family.
3) How are Basenjis with other pets?
Most Basenjis have a high prey drive. They can live with cats if the cats are dog savvy and have a place to escape when the Basenji gets too pushy. Other small animals such as hamsters or rabbits are not recommended where the Basenji can access them. Birds should be caged and the cage placed where the Basenji can't knock it down. Most Basenjis get along with other dogs, but tend to do better with dogs of the opposite sex.