Is your dog red and white and weird all over? Here are just ten of the many thoughts that you’ll only ever have if you’re the proud parent of a Basenji.
1. This dog does not respect fences.
Every dog parent is grateful when they’re able to live in a home with a fenced-in yard. When you have a Basenji, you have to take it a step further. A Basenji will endlessly challenge any barrier, climbing over or digging under to get to the other side, especially if there’s a small, furry animal darting across the way. When you have this type of dog, you stop looking into fences and begin to consider military-grade barricades.
2. Who cares what the neighbors think anymore?
Though a Basenji does not bark, they do make a variety of sounds that will make your neighbors truly believe that you are keeping a deranged gnome hostage in your home and torturing it every so often. The yelps, yodels, rumbles and screams are sure to evoke the curiosity of anyone who lives within 100 yards. At first, you’ll try to explain that your dog is no ordinary dog, but there comes a point in which your dog is an enigma beyond explanation.
3. What’s a dog park?
Basenjis are not known to be friendly towards other dogs, though they can have a few playmates if they are socialized with careful consideration. This dog runs circles around others, and can be pushy. They tend to have trouble bouncing back after minor altercations with other dogs, and overall seem to prefer human company.
4. It’s a proud moment when your Basenji comes back the first time you call them.
When you call a Basenji when they’re busily exploring outside, they’ll take your call into consideration – you’ll see an ear twitch or two – but they’ll most likely come when they’re ready. If your dog is staring up at a squirrel in a tree, you might as well wait until they give up. Being independent is a sign that your dog is intelligent, though that means you’ll always have to be two steps ahead of them, and find out what really motivates them.
5. Everyone thinks they know more about your dog than you.
People will constantly let you know that they think your dog is a Jack Russell Terrier, Beagle mix or really any crazy, totally wrong idea. Most of the public has never heard of a Basenji, and if they have, they will immediately tell you that you’re lucky that your dog is totally silent – which is, of course, also totally wrong.
6. Those forehead wrinkles, though.
The Basenji’s cutest feature just might be those adorable wrinkles on their forehead. That expressive little face always lets you know how they are feeling. This dog is an excellent communicator, using their body language, eye contact and a certain level of mind-bending to get you to do whatever they desire. And how could you possibly resist?
7. What’s a groomer?
Your Basenji isn’t the only one that spends hours vainly licking themselves clean like a cat while they bask in the nearest ray of sun. These dogs are very clean and don’t shed much. You can easily get away with very little brushing just to keep their fur soft and shiny. Most Basenjis do not need to go to the groomer, except for a quick bath or nail clip.
8. Boredom? What is that?
These high-energy dogs will always keep you on your toes. You’ll find yourself going to the park multiple times each week, and taking long jogs instead of walks. A Basenji is always on the move, and you’ll do your best try to keep up, but they’re incredibly fast. Once they get on the trail of an interesting prey animal, they’ll tirelessly pursuit it with amazing determination.
9. Is this actually a dog?
Sometimes, you might wonder if you may have accidentally adopted a tiny human wearing a fox suit. A Basenji is intelligent in ways that you would never expect a dog to be. It’s expected for a smart dog to find creative ways to steal food. It’s not expected for them to be able to listen to conversations and pick up on words that you’ve never taught them. A Basenji will be, oddly enough, smarter than some of your human friends, and twice as cuddly.
10. How did I ever live without this little dog?
A Basenji becomes as essential to your life as any of your limbs, as just as firmly attached. Though they are independent, they are absolute mushes by the time night comes. Some people will find your bond kind of weird, but you don’t need those people in your life.