Is Basenji a friendly dog?

Did you know that some dogs actually don’t bark? One of these unique breeds is the Basenji, often referred to as the ‘barkless dog.’ Fascinatingly, instead of barking, they make a distinctive yodelling sound called a ‘barroo.’ Originating from Central Africa, these dogs, known for their shiny short hair, pointed ears, and curious nature, are deeply embedded in African history. But if you’re thinking of adding one to your family, you might be wondering – are Basenjis friendly dogs?

Without beating around the bush, the answer is a resounding yes and no. Confused? Basenjis are amiable dogs, but their friendly nature is served with a larger scoop of independence and intelligence. They are known for their adventurous spirit, and they can be great companions once they form a bond with their family. But, they do not always immediately run up to strangers with wagging tails and puppy-dog eyes. Their aloofness with unfamiliar faces is top-tier, and they’re often compared to cats because of their selective social behavior and cleanliness. Hence, it’s safe to say that the Basenji’s friendliness is conditional and limited to its immediate family circle.

Understanding the temperament of Basenjis can be likened to deciphering Morse code – intriguing but requires attention. They are classified as hounds, particularly sight hounds. Like most sight hounds, they are quick, agile, and driven by an instinct to chase, but unlike their “cousins,” Basenjis use both their sight and scent to hunt, making them a mix between sight hounds and scent hounds.

Possessing the qualities of both types of hounds, their friendliness can be observed through their playful and energetic nature. They love a good game of chase, and when coupled with their high intelligence, you’ve got yourself an entertaining pal. However, like a sight hound, they are aloof and independent. Then the scent hound in them ensures they are easily distracted, especially when they pick up an intriguing scent. Now, imagine having a friend who is friendly, vibrant, fascinated with every new thing, but an introvert at the same time. That’s pretty much a Basenji for you.

Understanding and accepting your Basenji’s character trait is the first step to unlocking their friendly nature. It’s important to remember that these dogs were bred for hunting and not necessarily as cuddly lapdogs. Hence their distinctive personality traits. But don’t let that deter you. Basenjis are incredibly loyal to their families once they form a bond. Your Basenji may not be the life of the party, but they sure will be your exclusive, loyal mate.

So, how do you draw out the friendly side of a Basenji? Socialization and positive reinforcement are your sturdy bridges to a close bond with your Basenji. Starting from when they are puppies, expose them to different environments, people, animals and experiences. Walk them in the park, invite guests over, introduce them to your neighbor’s cats or dogs – it all helps. Over time, their natural curiosity will overcome their initial aloofness, and they’ll become more friendlier pups.

Remember, positive reinforcement is a great training technique, rewarding good behaviour with things they like either through treat, attention or praise. Reward them when they display friendly behavior towards new people and animals, and correct them gently but firmly when they don’t. Consistency is the golden ticket to achieving success.

Another interesting fact you might not have known about Basenjis is their keen problem-solving abilities. They can turn door handles and even climb fences. While this trait can indeed make for some entertaining situations, it also means that as an owner, you must keep them physically and mentally stimulated. A bored Basenji can quickly become a destructive Basenji, rather than the friendly pet you desire.

In conclusion, are Basenjis friendly dogs? Served in the right socialization platter, they can be as friendly as the most amiable of breeds. Their sharp minds and spirited disposition make them charming companions for the right person or family. With love, patience, and understanding, your Basenji can indeed be the friendly, loyal, and interestingly non-barking buddy in your family’s life journey.