Having and caring for a pet is not as simple as it seems. There are many aspects and factors that we must take into account when living with a dog, cat, bird, snake, rodent, etc. Each one presents different characteristics and care needs that will be covered depending on the family to which it belongs.
As we all know, dogs are the most popular and common pets in many homes. Canines are amazing animals that we can spend a lot of time playing, having fun, and exercising with. Some stand out more for their physical appearance, temperament, and personality, while others do so for their skills.
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 family.
However, they are a little more reserved with children, strangers, and other animals. In fact, they may not be the best option for families with young children.
This dog has been characterized from its origin for being a hunter. For this reason, many people who acquire this canine want to know the type of animals that it can hunt.
What Do Basenjis hunt?
For many years, these animals have been bred for hunting. Generally, this breed of dog was bred to hunt lions in Central Africa. However, they were also used to remove animals from their hiding places and guide them into the traps of hunters.
The Basenjis were always excellent at hunting the rodents that roamed the villages. They were also very skilled at finding caches of eggs.
Hunting dogs are those canines used to assist or help humans when hunting other animals. These are generally divided into three main categories:
- Retriever dog.
- Hound dog.
- Pointer dog.
There are breeds of dogs that specialize in hunting using their sight, such as sighthounds, while there are others that do better through their smell, such as Beagles, which are hounds. In this case, Basenjis excel at finding their prey using both sight and smell.
These dogs are known for their great utility when hunting lions. Masai hunters are characterized by using several dogs of this type to find lions hidden in caves and make them go outside. In this way, the hunters will be able to form a circle around this wild animal.
What Other Types of Animals Can a Basenji Hunt?
We have mentioned that these dogs are used to track lions and rodents. However, they could be very useful in helping hunters to catch other types of prey. It should be noted that Basenjis must be trained to hunt different types of animals since we have to remember that not all have the same appearance, size, and smell.
How Can I Train My Basenji Dog for Hunting?
The first thing to keep in mind is that these animals need to be domesticated, socialized with other people and animals, and specifically trained in this activity.
Before training a Basenji, you have to know more about hunting the type of prey you want to catch. Remember that not all dogs of this type chase the same target. In this case, we have already mentioned that Basenjis are mostly used when hunting rodents or lions, but they can adapt to other types of prey with good training.
We do not recommend that you train your Basenji if it is not trained enough to control itself in the environment around it. Dogs must know how to live and hunt together and attend the hunter’s call when he needs it.
All dogs that hunt close to the hunter must know how to follow the basic commands of their owner. The most common thing a Basenji must learn is to know how to go, sit, lie down, and walk alongside the guide when ordered.
When to Start Training a Basenji?
Generally, any breed of dog, especially the Basenji, should begin to be trained as a puppy since their natural hunting behaviors can be more easily shaped at that age. That is especially important in this breed of dog, which is often difficult to teach.
Throughout this process, it is important that you have taught your pet other skills that can facilitate and accelerate hunting training. Obedience and socialization are two pillars that any dog of this type must know. Also, it is normal for the hunter to use a gun during the hunt, so the Basenji must be previously trained to get used to a shot’s sound.
Adaptation to the Scent and Appearance of the Prey
The Basenji is one of the most difficult dog breeds to teach, so patience and perseverance will be required during the process. The best way to teach such a dog to hunt is through the scent and appearance of the prey. We have already commented that this canine is able to use both sight and smell during this activity.
Basenjis have an excellent sense of smell, but that does not mean they can recognize an animal through its essence without having trained in this aspect. The first thing we have to do is look for a prey previously hunted in order to familiarize your Basenji with its smell and appearance.
You can start training using already hunted animals so that your Basenji becomes familiar with their appearance and smell. It is advisable to use only one animal of a specific type, and as your dog improves, you can incorporate other species.
Obviously, your dog will want to get close to the prey due to the natural hunting instinct that it presents. The most advisable thing is to drag the animal along the ground so that your canine follows the scent trail.
You can use any type of prey to train your Basenji. That will depend on the type of animal you want to hunt. If this prey is a lion, you will have to hire expert trainers since it is not easy to get a lion for your training.