Sunday, September 27, 2009

Running with Basenjis

Why basenjis are my chosen breed?
Because they love to run as much as I do. And they must, as I must, otherwise, they have naughty behaviors.

Although I won’t chew the house up, nor tear up anything within reach when I haven’t run (although I’ve thought about it), this breed and I are very similar in our energy levels and need an outlet. I have 2 B’s and a terrier mix. We all run nearly every day. If they don’t, one will create a not so lovely lacey pattern in my originally, non lacey bedskirt. The other will pick fights with my other two or meet the challenge of my large 12 pound male cat who adores tormenting the dogs. I won’t go into what I do, except to state that I spaz out. Besides, those bedskirts are expensive.

The dogs, cats and I live out in the woods in Indiana, near a large state park and many fantastic hiking trails. I run the trails with my dogs, off lead (they are off lead too, as well as myself). I would never recommend this to anyone else, unless they know their dogs well, and have an established leadership relationship with them. In the 25 years I've had basenjis, they stay with me. I have many friends who could never let their labs or other breed of dog go free, but my guys can. The areas we run are more or less enclosed, safe, have well marked trails, free of cars and hunters most of the year (we stay away and run on lead in an athletic park during hunting season). Before I let them run with me off lead, however, we have gone 4 to 6 months onlead, taking the same 3 trails over and over; running a minimum of 3 miles, and usually 5 or more. The more, the better. In addition, the dogs have always been older (over 3 years). These must be the keys. Those and the treats I keep with me. I also keep the leads on me as well, should we need them. We usually do. The dogs always wait for me when I state wait (this took a while!), so I can put the leads on; they get the occasional treat for this. I don’t think I would do the same with a pup or a dog much under 3 years old. I don’t think I could.

My friends all tell me that they are the most well behaved dogs they’ve ever seen! Little do they know….

Anyway, they are the most loving, devoted, quirky, proud, athletic and energetic dog I’ve ever known. Our temperaments and energy levels seem to mix well. They meet my needs as companion and animal friend; and I hope I meet theirs as an owner, leader, friend, etc. We live well together.


  1. Yay Tania! So glad your blog worked :) I agree with you about running with the basenjis - if I don't run with my two nearly every day, all 3 of us get rather antsy! I envy your trails; I wish I had such a wonderful thing close by! I guess we'll have to just stick to the sidewalks here in NJ.

    -Kristen Ayres

  2. Thanks for your patience and your help! So, you're a runner too. Great! These dogs are sooo beautiful on the move. I love watching them.