One of the first, most intriguing, native African stories about Basenjis for me was how their people would sometimes carry a weary Basenji home from the hunt on their shoulders.
For some reason the idea facinated me. I thought to myself, wow how valuable of a dog would that be that you would carry it? It was such an important part of your life and so valuable to you that you would carry it home after a hard day hunting. You have to understand, I was raised with working cattle dogs. We never carried them anywhere and they certainly were important and necessary to our survival as ranchers.
Then we got our first Basenji. My whole attitude changed. First of all, I couldn't imagine Libby being willing to be carried. I couldn't imagine her being tired enough to be carried. I couldn't imagine her being willing to sacrifice her independance enough to be carried. We still tried and just for the fun of it, Libby occasionally consented to let us pack her on our shoulders. After one particularly long day of backpacking, she even enjoyed the ride... for about five minutes.
When we got our second Basenji, Reno, we learned that temperament had a lot to do with the whole business about being willing to be carried. We also learned that Basenjis are smart about the whole thing... If you give them a good enough reason and they trust you enough, your shoulders are a very nice place to be. Reno WANTS to be on shoulders if:
2) It gets him closer to the squirrels
3) it lets him see over the fence to where something interesting is happening
The bad part about some of these reasons for being on your shoulders is that nothing much prevents you from being a handy lauching pad to where your Basenji REALLY wants to be.
Not much else entices a Basenji to spend much time on top. Our continued facination with the effort is still that it looks cool to see a dog actually at home on your shoulders and hey, how valuable is that dog? After all, YOU are willing to carry HIM. Good luck with your attempts!