FAQs continued (page 2)
4) Are Basenjis easy to train?
The quick answer is "not really." Basenjis aren't hardwired like Golden Retrievers or some other breeds whose purpose is to please the human. They are negotiators. "Hmm, and if I do this, what's in it for me?" They tend to get bored with repetitive activities and change things up to suit their mood. They certainly can be trained; there are a number of Basenjis with Obedience and Rally titles! They respond best to positive training methods, particularly if treats are involved, and respond very poorly to negative methods. In fact, negative methods will tend to backfire, your Basenji will resent it and be even more difficult to train.
5) I want to get an "Invisible Fence" for my Basenji. Isn't that a good way to keep him home?
Probably NOT. First of all, the Basenji's strong prey drive may override common sense. If he sees it, and it moves, it needs to be stalked and/or chased, whether it's a leaf, a squirrel, a car, or the neighbor's cat. The Basenji quickly figures out that the pain/shock is fleeting and for many, the hunt or even the neighborhood walkabout is definitely worth it. The other problem with these fences is that while they MAY keep the Basenji in, they don't keep anything else out! Stray dogs, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, foxes and skunks can all enter your yard, posing a risk to your Basenji and your family.
6) Should I crate train my Basenji?
Responsible breeders will have begun crate training with your Basenji from puppyhood. While it's not necessary or desirable for the dog to be crated for long periods of time, the crate provides a safe 'den' for your Basenji when you can't supervise him. Crate training should always be positive, never a punishment. And it is especially important that the Basenji become used to riding in a crate. An unrestrained dog in a car can prove deadly for the animal and the people. And Basenjis eat seatbelts!
7) How do I find a responsible Basenji breeder?
The Basenji Club of America has a breeder referral list on its website. This is often a good place to start your search. Even if the breeders listed don't have dogs available, they usually will be able to refer you to other breeders in your area who may not have chosen to be listed on the website. Please research and meet with the breeders; once you get a Basenji, you also become a member of the breeder's extended Basenji family, and it's a lifelong committment!
One thing that many people find is that Basenjis are like the old potato chip commercial - you can't have just one! You may find yourself wanting to add another Basenji to your household, and your breeder can be an invaluable resource to help you find the second Basenji. But even if you just have one, a good breeder will be your friend and mentor for the life of your Basenji.