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BASENJIS

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Description:
The Basenji is a high-spirited, playful, and curious dog. These dogs are small in size, usually under 25 pounds, and have a soft coat that is brindle, chestnut, black-and-tan, or black in color. They always have white feet, a white chest, and a white tip to their tail. Occasionally they will have white legs, a white face blaze, and a white neck collar. Their ears prick up, and they have dark hazel eyes and a black nose. Their tail curls tightly up on either side of their back.

These dogs are very high-spirited and playful. They cannot bark, and instead make a curious chortling and yodeling sounds when they are happy. They are very clean dogs, and wash themselves in a manner similar to a cat. They are very active dogs as well, and require lots of exercise.

History:
The Basenji developed in Zaire, Africa, and has its origins with the ancient Ibizan hounds. They were used primarily for hunting, being very shrewd and catlike in their character. They were once called the Congo Dog and, because they are unable to bark, wore wooden rattles or a bell to indicate their whereabouts. These dogs would dash through the African woods to drive small game into the nets of the tribal hunters.
Fun things to do:
Aggressive games like wrestling and tug-of-war are not recommended for this breed. Instead, these dogs should be given an outdoor area that is extremely secure where they can run and explore. Another possibility would be a nice digging area that a leashed Basenji could explore - they may even help you revamp your landscape or garden!

Basenjis have taken part in a variety of activities; lure coursing, conformation, tracking, agility, and obedience.

Since they are hounds that can chase by sight, lure coursing is a good sport for this breed. A lure is dragged along the ground at high speeds and those dogs that are the fastest, the most agile, and have the most endurance will do well at this doggy sport.

Obedience type competitions and classes are becoming more and more popular for Basenjis, especially since many owners have adopted training methods based on praise and reinforcement, not punishment.

Health Risks:
The Basenji is susceptible to hernias, fanconi (severe kidney disorder), some eye problems, and digestive upsets. In addition, unlike other breeds, the female Basenji comes into heat once a year.
Things to watch out for with this breed:
The Basenji can escape some of the most secure areas, included fenced-in yards. In addition, these dogs are extremely fast and agile, able to scale fences and even trees. Special caution must be taken when owning a Basenji to insure that it does not escape your yard in an attempt to explore the area and hunt for prey. These dogs can become bored very quickly, and will chew up your home if left along too much. They tend to be reserved with strangers, and scrappy with other dogs. They are recommended for experienced owners only, who can provide the necessary rigorous and strict obedience training. This breed needs a lot of human contact and exercise, if these needs are not met many behavior problems can arise.

Mwanamatapa Basenjis

 

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