Sorry if this is repetative- housebreaking
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  • This is my first post! My fiance and I are new Basenji owners- we got our little red and white pup Dexter just today actually! He is 8 weeks old. I read "Housetraining for Dummies", and spoke to a few friends who have housetrained dogs, but I really don't feel like I know exactly what to do yet because much of the advice is conflicting. I know I am always worrying myself about everything, but I really just want to get this right without confusing the poor guy. So here is what we have been doing today:

    -On the ride home (a 4.5 hour ride) we stopped once every hour, and he pottied each time. We made sure to announce that it was "potty time".
    -Upon arriving home, we brought him to the place that we had decided would be his potty area announced "potty time" and waited for him to go, but he didn't (Question 1- How long do I give him before I bring him back inside if he isn't pottying?)

    -We brought him inside and let him explore our apartment and introduced him to his new crate. We let him sniff the crate and then put small bits of a treat inside it, he willingly went in and stayed for a few seconds with the door closed. We let him out and brought him back to his potty spot. He didn't go.
    -We brought him back in and played with him for 20 minutes and then returned him to the potty place, we did this several times with no luck, and then he pottied in his crate.

    -After that (and after eating and drinking, as well as a little more playing), we continued to bring him out at regular intervals, and after a while (and two crate accidents and one floor accident) he finally decided to potty outside, in an area that he chose himself, a ways off from where we had been trying to get him to go. (QUESTION 2-I noticed that the place that we were bringing him was where our neighbor's dog used to potty before he got stolen- is that why he didn't want to potty there? because it has another doggie's smell?? idk)

    -Then, the main issue and source of my worrying came from the issue of: When do I crate him for how long and things of that sort. From taking in information from several people/sources, we have come up with the idea that in the beginning, we will be leaving his crate open during the day and putting treats in it so that he will associate his crate with good things, and that throughout his first couple of days home we will try to leave him in with the door closed for increasing amounts of time until he can stay in for a while without whining. We will just watch for signs that he has to potty and take him outside. (QUESTION 3-How long before he should stop whining in the crate? I know that we are supposed to be building his tolerance for it by putting him in for increasing intervals, but I don't know when I will see the effects of this.)

    ALSO: We are bringing his crate to out bedside at night for bedtime. He is sleeping in there right now, my fiance is sleeping near him. He seemed to only whine for a few seconds before falling asleep. (QUESTION 5- Should Dexter go to bed when we do, as we rarely follow a schedule ourselves, so he may not want to be sleeping without us there? Also, do we continue moving his crate from bedroom to living-room and back each day for good?)

    FINALLY: The whole point of getting Dex accustomed to his crate slowly and comfortably is so that he will not despise being in it when we are not able to be home with him and he will not potty in his crate (as long as we let him out in time for a bathroom break), so that means that at some point during his "getting used to the crate" process, we will need to leave him in there for a while when we are home as part of the process, but if he is crying to get out- do I leave him in? Take him out because I read in the book that if he whines in the crate that we are moving too fast with him? And if he is crying not because he has to potty but because he wants out, but it IS potty time, do I take him out to potty and risk him thinking that it was the crying that freed him?

    I am SO SORRY for this HUUUGE passage, I doubt anyone will read all of this, especially since this was probably covered in parts elsewhere, but I want to get Dex started right with this and I just feel like I need direct and detailed instructions. Please feel free to not only answer the questions, but also comment on anything I said that may be right or wrong…

    Even now, I feel as though I probably left some things out of my questions (hard to believe, right? haha)... Help.

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  • ALSO I WANT TO MENTION: that the crate accidents were caused because we put him in his crate, closed the door, and he FREAKED out and had the accidents mid frenzy of yowling and sticking his arms out of the bars (up to the shoulder haha, too cute although I felt bad for him), and biting the bars- which worried me…
    Also, He keeps on chewing on his puppy bed that we had in his crate- before he peed on it.
    AND I do have the crate in a place where he can easily see us on the couch when it is in the living room.

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  • First, welcome to the basenji forum! You'll find that, just like raising kids… everyone here approaches basenji training a little differently.

    As you pointed out, your lifestyle is unstructured (so is mine :)), so if you are trying to apply a schedule to Dexter, and if it's not in your nature to follow a schedule... then you may end up being inconsistent in your approach.

    In my opinion, consistency is more important than following a set schedule. Having a designated word/phrase to get him used to going potty on demand is important. The other thing important to basenjis is HIGH PRAISES when they've done the deed. Again, you want to reinforce the positive and ignore the negative. Negative reinforcement when accidents happen is the worst thing you can do to Dexter! When puppies potty in the house, it's not because they are being spiteful, it's because they are excited/overstimulated/or they just simply have to go. :)

    @DexterDex:

    (Question 1- How long do I give him before I bring him back inside if he isn't pottying?)

    My advice: be patient…. if you've read his body language and you think he has to go potty, stay outside for as long as it takes. Keep repeating "go potty", and when he does, lots of high praises and excitement.

    @DexterDex:

    (QUESTION 2-I noticed that the place that we were bringing him was where our neighbor's dog used to potty before he got stolen- is that why he didn't want to potty there? because it has another doggie's smell?? idk)

    Basenjis love to sniff, sniff, sniff. Is there a reason why you want to pick out his potty spot? I'd let him sniff and find his own spot.
    @DexterDex:

    (QUESTION 3-How long before he should stop whining in the crate? I know that we are supposed to be building his tolerance for it by putting him in for increasing intervals, but I don't know when I will see the effects of this.)

    Crate training is fickle, and has to be done in the right way…. again, according to his style. You don't want the crate to be a prison, but a place he wants to go to. If you read some of the threads on here, you'll find some great advice on how to get Dexter used to the crate.
    @DexterDex:

    ALSO: We are bringing his crate to out bedside at night for bedtime. He is sleeping in there right now, my fiance is sleeping near him. He seemed to only whine for a few seconds before falling asleep. (QUESTION 5- Should Dexter go to bed when we do, as we rarely follow a schedule ourselves, so he may not want to be sleeping without us there? Also, do we continue moving his crate from bedroom to living-room and back each day for good?)

    Some people don't want dogs sleeping in their beds, but basenjis love to cuddle. Many people on here sleep with their dogs, but I'm sure there are many on here who keep them kenneled at night. My thought is… if he is kenneled all day, let out when you get home, and then kenneled again at night... that might be a lot of kennel time for the little tyke. You'll have to decide.

    I also wouldn't move the crate around. Just leave it in one place, with the door open, so he can visit when he wants to.

    @DexterDex:

    FINALLY: The whole point of getting Dex accustomed to his crate slowly and comfortably is so that he will not despise being in it when we are not able to be home with him and he will not potty in his crate (as long as we let him out in time for a bathroom break), so that means that at some point during his "getting used to the crate" process, we will need to leave him in there for a while when we are home as part of the process, but if he is crying to get out- do I leave him in? Take him out because I read in the book that if he whines in the crate that we are moving too fast with him? And if he is crying not because he has to potty but because he wants out, but it IS potty time, do I take him out to potty and risk him thinking that it was the crying that freed him?

    Lastly, basenjis can't read. :) Dexter doesn't know what how he is supposed to act! They are social creatures and often want to be where you are, so being locked in a crate for training purposes may feel like punishment to him. I don't use a crate, but there are lots of threads on here that may point you in the right direction. :) However, you want the crate to be his cave-home, not a punishment cell.

    Again, there are no right and wrong answers… you, your fiance, and Dexter will learn together! :) Remember to be consistent, with lots of positive reinforcement... and to enjoy! They grow into their wrinkles so quickly!:)

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  • Welcome… Many of us are related by our Basenjis, care to share Dexter's breeder and pedigree?

    Usually your breeder discusses many of your questions before taking your puppy home?

    As far as bed time, my B's crates are in the bedroom, they have always gone to bed when we do... once they figure out crate = bedroom = sleep, if they don't want to wait for us... many times they will just go get in their crates.

    They are also fed in their crates. I do not have more then one set of crates, that said if I had two floors in the house, I would consider one set in the bedroom and one in the kitchen area.

    I do not crate my Basenjis (not even as puppies) when we are home. Takes a lot more time to get things done, with one eye on the pup and one on what you are trying to do...ggg

    A 8 wk old puppy pees... ALL THE TIME.... so they almost always need to go out... and I agree, unless there is a reason you have to use a certain spot, let him find his own spot... AND, you don't go back in till he has gone potty...

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    Pats advice is good. Let us know how it goes please.

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  • -Well, the reason that we tried to "chose" his potty place is because the book "Housetraining for Dummies" suggests doing so. We didn't try to make him go in one exact spot, just that we tried to get him to go within a certain perimeter of our side yard because it was more private than taking him to the front, which we liked, but he never pottied there and instead decided that he liked toe front yard better, so he has been pottying there consistently and hasn't had any accidents since we let him start going there.

    -We definitely are consistent with announcing "potty time" when we bring him out, and we don't scold him for accidents- we know that the accidents are more our fault, not his.

    -And about the amount of time that he is kenneled, I only have class twice a week, so those are the only two days that he will be kenneled during the day. I also will be coming home on lunch break to take him out and check up on him, so I hope that isn't too bad for him. My fiance works offshore and is gone 14 days at a time and then is home for 14 days at a time. So technically, there will only be about 2 days per month when no one will be home with him.

    -I am feeling MUCH better, and so is Dexter just since last night! Now that he has found a spot that he liked to potty, everything has been running smoothly.

    -We have been moving the crate back and fourth though because we want to keep it in the living room during the day because we are in here ALL DAY long, and we don't really want him wandering off to the opposite end of the house to find his crate in our room quite yet. So me will probably move it at night when we go to bed. He did fine sleeping in it all night last night.

    -We have still been taking him out every so often to potty, and sometimes, when he isn't ready to go- he just lays down in the grass. So we take him in and then bring him back out a while later and he usually goes.

    But, overall, we are feeling much better already and we are thinking that what we are doing is working for all of us. So all smiles!! :)

    -Thanks so much for the help and interest everyone! It's good to know that I have a place to turn for quick and caring advice!

    -(About the Breeder and Pedigree Question- The paper that we have says "Sue Underwood" as the breeder, and next to Sire it says "Nala Matadi's Mameluke of Lazy K" and next to Dam it says "Princess Gotto Zimba Linlos Stripe"
    Sounds like gibberish to me, I'm not sure if it's bad of me to admit that haha, but I don't really understand it…

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  • ONE more question. Someone told me that while he is being pottytrained that outside time should ONLY be for potty time until he is completely housebroken. So, I can't walk him until then? :(

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    Welcome to the fiorum, it sounds a sthough you are doing greart. Patty M and Pat have givenn you good advice and you are obviously finding out what works well for you and Dexter.

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  • @DexterDex:

    ONE more question. Someone told me that while he is being pottytrained that outside time should ONLY be for potty time until he is completely housebroken. So, I can't walk him until then? :(

    I totally disagree with that…. however, since he is so young, you need to be careful until he has all his shots... things like "smelling" other dogs poop that is not picked up is a big no, no..... as if that dog is not up to date on shots, the virus sheds in the poop.... just common sense when walking.

    Sorry to say but your puppy came from a less then responsible breeder, the sire and dam are fulll brother and sister, while accidents happen, this fact should have been made very clear to you. There can be health concerns with a breeding with littermates. I would highly recommend that you do the DNA test for Fanconi asap... that way you know the status.

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  • @DexterDex:

    ONE more question. Someone told me that while he is being pottytrained that outside time should ONLY be for potty time until he is completely housebroken. So, I can't walk him until then? :(

    No…rubbish...He needs exercise and socialization while he is learning house training.

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  • Now I'm worried!! Fanconi? How can you tell that they are brother and sister??? Is there anything else regarding that issue that I should be concerned with?

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  • @DexterDex:

    Now I'm worried!! Fanconi? How can you tell that they are brother and sister??? Is there anything else regarding that issue that I should be concerned with?

    OK, deep breath… relax... I don't know any more than you do... facts are facts. I think you should research here:

    http://www.pedigrees.zandebasenjis.com/

    Whatever you find out… and again, I'm a dog owner, not a breeder, so I would be upset if I found in-breeding too! The little wrinkled wonderful bundle of joy is supposed to be perfect, and he is expecting you (and fiance) to teach him what life is about. Dexter didn't read AKC books. He doesn't know what fanconi is, or isn't. And if you find out that he has three kidneys instead of two... will you put him down? (NO!)...

    Again, deep breath. He's learning the pee'ing rules... and you are too, lol!

    Reference moving the kennel around... if it's OK for him to be out of the crate at one time (versus the other), then can I suggest a big pillow/dog bed in that strategic location? :)

    It's encouraging to read about your progress... he will be fine!!! :) :)

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  • @tanza:

    Sorry to say but your puppy came from a less then responsible breeder, the sire and dam are fulll brother and sister, while accidents happen, this fact should have been made very clear to you. There can be health concerns with a breeding with littermates. I would highly recommend that you do the DNA test for Fanconi asap… that way you know the status.

    Pat, how did you look this up? Do you know the breeder, or is there a database that you have access to? What type of health concerns can happen if the parents are full brother and sister?

    The zandebasenji database has two names as females, or am I reading it wrong?:confused::confused:
    Not an exact match:
    Congo Matadi's Mameluke Of Lazy K
    Brindle & White
    F
    HP274753/01 USA
    25 Dec 2006

    and

    Princess Gotto Zimba Linlos Stripe
    F
    HP274753/02 USA
    25 Dec 2006

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  • Thanks Patty M for the link and for encouraging me to stay calm. I also looked up the names on the link that you posted, and saw the same as you- not an exact match. What does this mean that the actual name is not in the database? I really know nothing about this topic, unfortunately. We will be bringing Dex to the vet and I will mention the fanconi issue; I don't know if that is something that they would normally test for? I will try to stay calm till then. sigh I'm SO glad to have found this site! :)

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  • @DexterDex:

    We will be bringing Dex to the vet and I will mention the fanconi issue; I don't know if that is something that they would normally test for? I will try to stay calm till then. sigh I'm SO glad to have found this site! :)

    VETS do not do the test for Fanconi, it is done with a Cheek Swab that you order yourself. You will find that many Vets don't even know what Fanconi is… or how it is treated. You really should read up at www.basenjihealth.org about health concerns in our breed.

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  • @Patty:

    Pat, how did you look this up? Do you know the breeder, or is there a database that you have access to? What type of health concerns can happen if the parents are full brother and sister?

    The zandebasenji database has two names as females, or am I reading it wrong?:confused::confused:
    Not an exact match:
    Congo Matadi's Mameluke Of Lazy K
    Brindle & White
    F
    HP274753/01 USA
    25 Dec 2006

    and

    Princess Gotto Zimba Linlos Stripe
    F
    HP274753/02 USA
    25 Dec 2006

    You know, I didn't even notice that both were bitches…

    I wonder if the sire could be Chief Nala Rondo of Lazy K? On Sally's site it shows Mameluke of Lazy K being bred in 2008... But regardless I am willing to bet that they are closely inbred... with no health testing done on anything.

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  • Nala Matadi's Mameluke of Lazy K, HP32581902, Dec 13, 2008, Br/W, Male

    He is the nephew of the bitch he was bred to, to produce your puppy.

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  • @lvoss:

    Nala Matadi's Mameluke of Lazy K, HP32581902, Dec 13, 2008, Br/W, Male

    He is the nephew of the bitch he was bred to, to produce your puppy.

    So, not in Sally's database…. Sire of the above Chief Nala Rondo of Lazy K and dam of the above is Congo Matadi's Mameluke of Lazy K.

    And curious? Where is the Brindle color coming from? There are dogs in the pedigrees that have produced Fanconi. This is why any dogs that would be bred should be tested first.

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  • I read the health information from the link that was provided as well as some from others as soon as fanconi was mentioned. My fiance and I were ignorant in our search for a breeder and for Dexter, an issue that I'm sure many people have unfortunately. We were told that if a breeder has a license and is registered with the AKC that they must be good enough, and I see that this is not true. I was nervous and mentioned to my fiance several times that I didn't know how a breeder should act, but that I was unsure of the fat that Dex's breeder didn't ask us any questions other than "Will you be breeding him?", but as I said, we were ignorant, and we did not know what to expect or do. I hope no one will look down on us for that, and all I can say is that I will do what I can for him and that now I know better.

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  • It's wonderful you found the site. Don't beat yourself up about the puppy, you have him now - and you will know better for next time because if you have one Basenji you will want two. We will be happy to help in all ways that we can. =)

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  • I agree with Shouiffy - don't beat yourself up now. Just make a pact with yourself that you will do research on anything in the future to do with Dexter.

    I would send away for the cheek swab test. Knowing your dog's health is better than not knowing. If Dexter tests positive, we are all here to help support you and Dexter.

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