Forum News & Help
The latest community news and help topics
Just wanted to say that I love the new format. So easy to use, great visual. Thank you for the hard work.
It depends on the dog and your situation. I have never and will never allow my dogs to be outside when no one is home. A concrete fence would probably solve most of my issues (snakes, tree limb breaking fence, neighbor kids harassing or even poisoning). I'm almost 60, have had exactly zero dogs who loved being in their crate (except my first rottie who wanted it for sleeping in, gate open.. she didn't NEED a crate from the time she was about 6 mos old). But if you give them good quality toys and chews, dogs generally chill out. They sleep up to 18 hrs a day so I consider a crate a good safe haven. My basenji is fine left in my bedroom now that she's grown. My 2nd basenji didn't destroy things, she'd pee on my bed.. so she got crated. My first was incredibly dog aggressive, so the rotties and chow ran free, she was crated when I was out, slept with me at night (as did/do the other 2).
Here is the place to discuss training your Basenji (housebreaking, lure coursing, agility…).
My first basenji was fine when left home alone but he was a shy flower anyway. My second basenji did $1000 damage to the previous owner's house but was okay in mine. A foster basenji had separation anxiety and did about $300 damage to my kitchen. My third basenji had the run of the house until she began to pee on my bed while i was gone. My current two basenjis were left home unpenned while I went to the store. I came back to one dripping blood from neck bites and stuff knocked around the house. So bottom line - don't just get one because s/he looks cute. Ask the breeder about the temperment and ask to watch the dog while s/he interacts with others. Personally I'd suggest getting a seasoned one that needs a new home. Once you become comfortable with their personality, then you can move to a puppy. Just my opinion.
We rescued our current B from Medfly - just north of LA. Karen at Medfly was wonderful to work with and we love our little girl!
Obviously I agree that a vet check for a medical issue is first and foremost. The dramatic increase is a signal that something medically is off-- could be urinary track, hell could be crystal or thyroid or many things. A full evaluation is called for anytime your dog has a sudden change or increase in a behavior.
However, >>We've always had a bit of difficulty getting her entirely housebroken - she messes in the house every once in a while, but had a months long streak of being good.<< is not a great sign. Even if she has a medical issue, you still have a problem because you have a dog that is not housebroken and it is so much better to spend the next 3 or 4 months really addressing this than spend the next 8 to 10 yrs living with it.
Housebreaking is a bit like being pregnant... you are or you aren't. Sure, a sick dog doesn't count. But unless sick, or some crisis leaving a dog so long it has no option, pottying in the house is simply not okay.
So once you get the medical checked out, go back in time, and retrain as if a puppy. It's a little easier since she already knows to go out when you are home... but a whole LOT harder because when she does potty, you generally aren't. I see no way to do it without returning to crate training, not just when you are gone, but home also. Basically you are going to have to go out with her to potty, sing her praise, give her a treat. Take her out when she gets up in the morning, every 3 or 4 hours during the day, after meals, before bedtime. If she doesn't ever potty in the house at night, great. If she does, then her new sleeping zone is a crate. It helps if you have one where she generally sleeps and a 2nd on near the main action for during the day... because you need to start putting her in the crate when you cannot actively watch her even when you are HOME until you get 100 percent no house accidents. I'll put a couple of links with clear instructions.
Since this mostly is if left alone, separation anxiety might be the stimulus. Sometimes medications for a while, plus really good toys they only get when left alone (especially mind stimulating ones like Shirley suggested), Kongs with some smeared cream cheese or peanut butter (don't use a lot!! Keep a couple in the freezer!), safe chew toys, can help get the dog over the anxiety. Talk to your vet, because you can't effectively do housetraining while not helping with the separation issues.
@Baba-Bamidele I change kibble so that no matter where I am, where I go, if I need food for the girls, I have a number of different choices. Do not have to rely on just one. And I don't have to worry about the standard "change food slowly".... they are used to many, many changes
Lost and Found Dogs
MISSING SINCE APRIL 1 – Please repost to any folks or groups who might be able to spread the word about Sam. She was featured in this news story.
Basenji Puppy Pen
Post here tips on raising young Basenji.
Reading through all the posts has been interesting. It seems that each has found their own individual way. Each dog is different also, my first B was a very confident alpha type. My second is a fearful agressive, what worked with the first does not work with the second at all. The third is very easy going and confident with me and familiar surroundings but becomes freaked out with new things.
Each needs their own unique training. the only two things which I can say are mostly consistent are stubbornness and redirection.
When a Basenji refuses or does not want to do something which is important I become more stubborn than the dog. it may take me an hour or two but I do not move on until I have achieved the goal.
Once they understand that we don't move on until they comply, then it becomes easy to train them.
Grinding nails, giving pills, checking for tics, checking teeth, baths, muzzling at the vets and even giving injections and testing blood sugar for my diabetic dog. All these things can be done without a problem once the dog understands that it is going to happen first before we move on. Calm, patient, assertive and stubborn. One note is you have to be very calm, you can not get upset, frustrated or angry at all. Some exceptions do apply, never get stubborn that they must eat For instance.
Redirection works well which is why many advocate clicker training, I have never used a clicker but when a B starts behaviour you do not want redirection is the way to go.
One more thing is that a puppy will need a lot of treats, praise and rewards for training. Once they become four or five years old then they will not need them so much. An older dog who has bonded to you will want to please you even without a reward every time.
I look at their thoughts much and read them, very subtle signs give them away. We have a running joke in our house that to Basenji's we are just stupid monkeys. I believe basenjis are very challenging dogs to train and understand however when you do they are the most rewarding.
It depends on the cat just as much as it depends on the dog. Does your cat run "prey-like" when frightened? I have 2 cats that have lived with 3 different basenjis. My male cat and my first basenji were pals and often cuddled together. They would wrestle and when the dog got too unruly he'd (the cat) nip him to keep him in line. My female cat ran every time she saw my dog. She was fun to chase and like most basenjis: "thing move, I chase thing!" Cody never ever hurt them and recognized that they were part of his "pack" (for lack of a better term). Cat outside? FORGET IT! He never caught one but boy did he try!
My cats no longer live with my dogs (I moved and the cats stayed with my parents) and I know my female cat is much happier. Elliot my 3yr old is OK with my cats but Morgan my 1yr old chases them. Neither try to hurt them but the stress of being chased is a lot for a 15 year old cat to handle.
Good luck with her. Sounds like you are working on things … hopefully she'll come around.
Basenjis For Sale or Wanted
Talk about other pets you may have or want and questions about them
Yes, I'm glad to hear differing opinions! We're keeping our options open but leaning toward a purebred waterdog of some sort. I'm sure I'll be back later with questions about how to integrate a new puppy in to a home life ruled by a cat (and with an African basenji in the mix)... :)