The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

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Entries Tagged as 'Living With Basenji'

Cleo Comes to Stay — life with a middleaged Basenji

December 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Live From The Field, Living With Basenji

145_033_cropMy interest in sighthounds was certainly sparked by my contact with a couple of them at the daycare; greyhounds to be precise. Little did I know that I would soon be living with a basenji. It was the usual story, a dog needing to be rehomed came for the weekend and my daughter was smitten and it seemed to me that Cleo would be an interesting addition to our existing pack of two dogs.Her house training was impeccable. When she needed to go out she would begin running in circles at an increasing speed until someone took her outside. She has refined the form of this message. Now she taps on the door with her front claws for in and out.

Basenjis are an ancient race of dogs thought to have originated in the middle east and found their way to central Africa. They have  traditionally been used to hunt in packs their function being to chase small game into nets. During the chase basenjis wear large bells to intimidate their prey because they do not bark. It’s not hard to imagine Cleo avidly engaged in such a pursuit. Some people describe basenjis as cat-like. They are comfort seekers and they can seem aloof. They are extraordinarily clean; they neither shed nor smell. Perhaps most remarkable of all they do not bark. This is not to say that they are silent. Basenjis make an odd yodelling sound and they are also capable of a blood curdling scream when hurt or distraught. They can rightfully be described as a primitive breed which is to say that they are instinct driven dogs whose instinctive behaviour is more difficult to overcome with training than most other breeds. [Read more]

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