What Is a Basenji?
Hole?? What hole?? Who's digging???
I've got the cat treed Mum! Now what??
The Basenji, at 40-43 cms,
is just the right size for the average back yard.
His short,sleek coat in brindle and white,
black and white, red and white,
and black,tan and white gleams in the sun.
And his neat and tidy tail curls over one hip or the other.
He floats effortlessly along beside his companion
(Basenjis don't have Masters!),
quite sure that the world is at his feet.
He has survived so many thousands of years
just as he is today.
A living, animated part of the history of the ages.
ears moving gently to hear all the sounds of his environment.
Was that a bird, a cat, or a child?
Or perhaps something more dangerous that needs attention.
Not only is he smart and neat to look at,
he is very smart and intelligent.
This may not always be a good thing!
He is past master at getting just what he wants.
This is, of course, why he has survived for so long.
The Basenji will (usually) oblige his companions
with reasonable obedience,
if they can answer his question "What's in it for me?"
This makes clicker training a blessing.
So elegant, self-assured and streamlined.
Fine coat and smart colours accentuated with more or less white
around his neck, on his feet, legs and chest,
show off his efficient body structure.
His tireless gait and proud carriage
showing just how he became the hunter favoured by the African tribes
that depended on his help in their hunting expeditions.
Oh yes, the Basenji can be very naughty!
This is actually one of the traits that Basenji fans come to love.
When he yodels at you after taking the washing off the line,
or totally ignores you when you want him to come inside,
or looks at you as if to say
Never heard of the word"
he can usually make you laugh so much
that you try to hide this from him.
He knows that a laugh from you means
that he has won your forgiveness, and the day.
keeping one step ahead of him all the time becomes a game.
After all, you are smarter than the dog.
Watching Basenjis play is a marvellous thing.
Darting, rolling, chasing,
running flat out and then changing direction just like a flock of birds.
How do they always know just what the other dogs will do ?
One will drop and the other sail over the top, yodelling in triumph.
Their greeting yodel is a wonderful tonic when you return from work.
Of course it could mean that your favourite shoes are no longer.
But that is really your fault
for not making sure he was occupied in acceptable doggy ways
when you were out.
Basenjis enjoy life!
The Basenji has survived from pre-history to the modern day
because he has a remarkable intelligence.
He is able to reason out things that would stump a lesser dog.
He knows what you want him to do,
but if that doesn't fit in with his ideas at the time,
you are going to have to convince him
that it will benefit him to comply.
Food is always a compelling reason and so is his comfort.
The middle of an innerspring mattress,
or the best position on the couch in front of the telly,
are looked on with favour!
He hates being separated from his pack
( and that includes you).
So make sure he is occupied and comfortable
when you leave him.
You have a part of man's history at your side.
A part that will love you, play with you,
and teach you that sometimes questioning an order is not a bad thing.
by Beth Canavan (who sold me my first Basenji bitch).