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How Many Basenjis is Too Many?

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Tags: Basenji, Behavior, Socialization, Lifestyle

Puppies / Sire Imported From England



Lebanon, PA

Labrador Retriever

The Basenji is a dog with a reputation for having a catlike demeanor. Considering a cat has a strong lean towards autonomy and many expect dogs to be somewhat the opposite, it can leave one wondering how the two balance out. Many take on the Basenji assuming that their new pet will make the necessary adjustments to their new living arrangement. The best type of home and owner for a Basenji is one that can keep all expectations to a minimum and consistently enforce boundaries from the start. The Basenji owner who decides to wait until negative behaviors rear their head to invest in proper training is the one who often gives up in frustration.

That being said, usually one Basenji is enough for most people. This dog, whose instincts and traits carry over from thousands of years of hunting in the African bush, simply does not require its owner's approval to exist. Surviving in the wilds of Africa requires a high level of intelligence and the Basenji is one with a strong sense of self. Like a cat, they can be loving and paw for attention but also know when they want to be left alone. A Basenji will flourish in a home with an owner that not only knows how to impose boundaries but respect them as well.

If an owner can recognize and respect the Basenji's need for space, both physically and psychologically, then two Basenjis will not be a problem. As Basenjis are largely territorial, keeping conflict to a minimum means having a male and female as a pair. This breed carries a strong pack order mentality, meaning there must be a dominate male and female. It is a throwback to a survival mechanism that simply cannot be trained out by any measure. With one dominate male in the house and one dominate female, there is no need to prove who is in charge as males and females rarely fight each other in the wild. Having two Basenjis in the house also means they have someone of their own energy level to stay busy with.

The now domesticated Basenji also does quite well with other animals and children as long as they are socialized with such regularly and from the very beginning. Older Basenjis introduced into new environments may have difficulty as they have already developed certain habits and expectations. It is actually quite common for Basenji owners to have other breeds of dog in their home that have no problem getting along. It should be noted that small animals can trigger a Basenji's deep seated hunting tendency and should be kept out of sight. No matter how many Basenjis are in the house, children should be taught to respect any animal's boundaries.

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How Many Basenjis is Too Many?
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