Basenji Puppies — The Singing Dog!
Probably the most notable characteristic of the Basenji puppy, and adult dog, is their inability to bark. Instead, they howl, crow, and yodel. This has given them the nickname of the singing dog. This smaller, athletic little dog has gained much attention by those seeking a companion out of the ordinary, and they can fit in many roles from pet to competitor.
Before you take the leap into Basenji guardianship, first keep in mind their incredible athletic ability. This is a dog that must be housed indoors with his human family, as he is a natural escape artists and will quickly find himself running as a stray if he is left in a fenced in yard to his own vices.
This energetic and curious breed naturally wants to explore his environment. In Africa, where the breed originated, the Basenji was used as an early warning system while in the forests hunting and foraging. The dog would investigate the surroundings of his humans alert to any danger that may cause his human pack harm. Today, the Basenji's athletic and curiosity is used primarily in conformation competition and as a family pet. However, your puppy can be taught to quickly navigate an Agility obstacle course and even bring home titles from your local kennel club from trials and competition.
If your puppy is given rigorous amounts of daily exercise, both physical and mental, he can easily and happily adapt to an apartment life style. Before leaving your pooch home along for the day while you head off to work, though, be sure to provide the exercise first so that he will rest all day instead of getting into trouble! Without exercise it is not uncommon for the Basenji to become lazy and overweight, leading to health problems.
The healthy Basenji
Basenjis are typically a healthy breed. However, when you research breeders to buy your new puppy, make sure that all breeding dogs are first tested for eye complications, such as retinal atrophy. Other health conditions may be tested for such as hip dysplasia and patella health. The testing of these conditions can help prevent the passing of these hereditary health problems that may affect your puppy.
This breed is also prone to kidney problems, though this is not a genetic condition that can be tested for in breeding animals. You can help to reduce to onset of organ disease by providing a proper, species specific diet and keep processed foods to a minimum. Providing adaquate and rigorous exercise will keep blood flowing properly to your dog's organs providing them with the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy.
An inheritable kidney disorder, called the Fanconi syndrome, can be tested for in adult breeding dogs. The DNA of the dog is tested in a specialized laboratory and is rated on a scale from “Probably normal” to “Probably affected.” Breeders can then choose if a dog should or should not be bred and to which other dog it can be bred to help eliminate the passing of this horrible disease.
A rare gem
Consider yourself a very lucky Basenji guardian when you find your perfect pup! The number of breeders for this small athlete are few and far between, and their females will only come into heat once a year instead of twice like most other breeds of domestic dog! This dog has a very rich history, and due to their small numbers have been found to develop health problems after too many closely related pairings of breeding dogs. Currently, further study must be done to determine if this breed is in fact the same subspecies of canine that our domestic pet dogs are, or if they are actually more like the Australian Dingo!
The Basenji has lived with humans for thousands of years as a hunting partner and companion. It is not surprising that in today's society those who are particularly drawn to this unique breed cannot say a single negative thing about them. Your new Basenji puppy can flourish into the greatest pet dog you can ask for if you can meet his instinctual and physical needs of exercise and mental stimulation. While this breed is most definitely not meant for the average pet owner, for those truly dedicated to him he is a rare gem and perfect for for the family!