Can I Leave My Basenji Home Alone?

Pets belong to a special part of many people’s lives. They provide all kinds of emotional benefits regardless of whether it is a dog, cat, rodent, bird, snake, etc. In addition, each of these animals has distinctive characteristics that allow them to adapt to certain families better. The most common are usually canines. 

These animals not only stand out for their physical appearance but also for their ability, personality, behavior, and temperament. There is a wide variety of dog breeds that differ from each other due to their distinctive characteristics. In this article, we will talk about the Basenjis. 

The Basenji is one of the oldest dogs in the world, originally from Africa. It is characterized by being an elegant and athletic canine of small size. The dogs of this breed are known to be curious, independent, and affectionate, especially with their owners and members of their human families. Also, they are very active, playful, and mischievous.  

Many people in the world feel alone living at home without the company of a loved one, while others have the privilege of having family members with them but still feel empty. Whatever the case, most of them decide to adopt or buy a dog.

However, there are also people who acquire an animal of this type but have to go to work every day and have no other option but to leave their pet alone at home. 

Basenji dogs can develop destructive behaviors if you don’t provide them with daily exercise (for short periods). However, these canines can also show this type of behavior if it is left alone at home since, like many breeds, they can suffer from separation anxiety. 

Separation Anxiety in Basenjis 

It is essential to know about this disorder before determining if these types of dogs can be left alone. Separation anxiety is a behavioral problem suffered by some dogs’ breeds when they are left alone at home or separated from their owners for long periods.

In fact, some canines become anxious simply by losing eye contact with their loved ones. However, that will depend exclusively on each dog’s specific personality, in this case, Basenjis. 

Basenjis are canines that suffer from this disorder. That’s because they are loyal and friendly dogs to their owners and members of their human family, so when they are left alone, it is normal for them to feel sad and anxious. 

It is also vital that we know a little about some of the causes that generate separation anxiety in dogs. One of them occurs when the canine is left alone at home (or anywhere else) for several hours.

Traumatic situations and experiences can also generate a state of anxiety in this breed. Another common cause is the change in family routine which often affects the emotional state of these canines. 

Can a Basenji Really Be Left Home Alone? 

Basenjis are excellent dogs for owners with no previous experience. These canines can be happy living together with their loved ones in a house, apartment, field, etc. 

Although they are dogs that prefer the company of their owners or members of their human family on many occasions, they can be left alone as long as they are properly trained. Generally, they could be alone for up to 8 hours. 

The most recommended is to provide a Basenji with different types of training to cope with this situation. Obedience training is something that all dogs should receive. However, potty training is one of the most important in these cases.

It is normal for you to leave your dog indoors when you go to work, so you will need to train it so that it can urinate or defecate somewhere while you are away. 

If you live with several members of your family, you can leave your canine with one of them while you go to work or study. In the same way, you can ask a neighbor to help you take care of your Basenji while you are away, although this option is not recommended if you work every day. 

It is important to keep in mind that Basenjis are animals that get bored quickly so if we leave them alone they will make a mess in the house. These dogs can become frustrated and destructive if they are alone and are not entertained through games or training. 

Basenjis need exercise and training every day as they can easily get bored. You could take them out for a walk 2 or 3 times a day as that will allow them to live a healthy and happy life. 

Consequences of Leaving Your Basenji Alone for Many Hours 

When a dog of this type is left alone and away from its loved ones for a long time, it is normal for them to develop inappropriate behaviors: 

Basenji Destructive Behavior 

Generally, this behavior occurs in dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. As we have indicated above, Basenjis do not suffer from this disorder, but they can still feel sad or angry when left home alone for several hours. 

We have to bear in mind that these dogs tend to get bored easily since they are energetic and require a lot of exercise daily. Therefore, it is best to provide 1 hour or more of training.  

Basenji Erratic Behavior When It Sees You 

After so many hours of waiting, your Basenji could feel very excited to see you, leading it to show erratic behavior. Your pet may start to jump on you looking for affection, which could be a bit annoying for you. 

Basenji Urine and Feces Accidents 

Like humans, animals also need to relieve themselves. Unfortunately, when you are not at home, they cannot go out on their own to urinate or defecate.

That is a problem since if your Basenji has been holding the urge to relieve itself for several hours, that feeling will intensify, and it will be more impatient. In the end, the canine will end up expelling everything inside the house. 

Things to Avoid When Leaving Your Basenji Alone 

When you leave your Basenji alone, you need to consider spending time with it before you go. The absence of the owner causes sadness and anxiety in dogs. So if you leave without saying goodbye, they will feel vulnerable and depressed. 

It is recommended that before going to work, you take your Basenji for a long walk, whether on a beach or in a park. It will make the dog feel satisfied and tired, so you can go home with it and leave it there. That way, you can go quietly to fulfill your work hours. 

Be sure to leave your pet several toys, a bowl of water, food, and its bed. While waiting, the Basenji will play until it gets tired and can even eat and nap. 

Training to Reduce Separation Anxiety 

We have already discussed that these dogs can adapt to being alone at home for 8 hours while you are working or studying.

However, this is only possible through proper training, which can take a long time. The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you must train your Basenji while it is a puppy since when it becomes an adult, it will be more challenging to teach it. 

One of the most effective ways to gradually accustom our Basenji to being alone in our absence is through the method of immediately exiting and entering the door. 

This method consists of a series of steps that involve certain variations and a single constant which is “walking out the door.” This process should be done several times a day so that your Basenji gradually gets used to it. 

The first step is to go out the door, walk 1 or 2 meters and go back inside. You must increase the difficulty as it progresses. For example, now you can walk out the door and go to your car. At that moment, open the vehicle door, close it, and go back into the house. Now you must do the same, but this time you have to get in the car. 

The next step is to drive around the block for a few minutes and then go back to the house. Each day you can increase the time of absence so that your dog gets used to being alone longer. This training will let you pet it know that you will be coming home soon. 

We can complement the previous method using the following two types of training. 

  • Obedience training. 
  • Crate training. 

Basenji Obedience Training 

Teaching your dog the basic commands (“Sit”, “Stay”, “Lie down”) will allow it to build good habits progressively. That means that it will be difficult to engage in unwanted behaviors outside the range of what you have taught it. 

You have to teach your dog to be respectful and polite to you, the members of its human family, and even the guests who come to your house. Never pet or praise it when it does something that may be annoying to other people. All this will allow your dog to be more independent and have confidence in itself. 

Basenji Crate Training 

Place the crate in a suitable place in the house for your Basenji. Of course, this space has to be where family members spend time.  

The training consists of accustoming your pet to stay inside the crate for short periods and, little by little, increase that time. Place inside the crate things that make your canine happy such as its favorite toy, a bed or blanket, treats, etc. 

Once your Basenji is used to entering the crate, you can start giving it its favorite foods. In this way, it will begin to relate the crate to a place where it spent a happy moment. 

If your dog has already gotten used to eating inside the crate, you can close the door. Every time it finishes eating, open the door, so your pet can come out with complete confidence.