Puppy training tips…
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  • I learned a lot of training tips when I took Caesar through Basic training back when he was 7 months old. I took the class because he was driving me crazy. I have continued with the training in the home casually over the last 5 years.

    Cairo is 11 weeks and a bundle of energy and teeth. I was tickeled to catch myself training him with my command "words" to help me gain some peace in the house.

    Here are a few tips for those out there with crazy basenji puppys without any training experience. It is a great way to use up their energy and will add confidence when you see the ability of your basenji to learn.

    The first thing Cairo did was shake his toys like wild game and want to tug pull them out of my hands. I dont like to promote this type of play in case I have small children in my home.

    This behavior is easy to turn into fetch. My little guy narturally brought it back to me but didnt want to release the toy. I would hold the toy locked in his jaws and look him in the eye with a loving word "give" until he let go, and a gentle tone. No tugging on my part, just waiting. WHen the toy is released, lots of "good Cairo" and then I would throw it and he would fetch it again.

    This is a great way to get that energy lowered a bit, lots of running.
    The give command is great with a puppy becuase they begin to chew on everything and you have to establish what is okay to chew on and what is off limits (furniture etc).

    A water bottle is a great way to deter bad puppy habits. I dont acknowledge bad behavior with "no" screaming. This is a natural thing to say, but it is negative attention. I just spray and look surprised when Cairo looks at me, totally silent. He is so cute, because when he starts chewing on the kitchen floor mat and gets a spray he just runs away, on to the next toy. It is a great challenge to learn to not use "no" during training, but if you think about it, it shouldnt be harder than your little kid learning.

    I am sure we all use some type of repetative words during potty training and then praise when the deed is done. If your puppy is pooping and peeing all over the house, make the house smaller. Close the doors to other rooms, add a puppy pad and start the "go potty" and praises there, slowly moving it to the door or adding space. Caesar didnt use puppy pads when he was training, but mom was worried about accidents enough that I took him out every 2 hours and after he played a lot and was really excited.

    A fun training tool for settling a small crazy puppy down is teaching the SIT command. Show your puppy the treat and hold it in your closed fist. Keep the puppy's attention and hold your hand above his head (hiding the treat in your fist saying SIT) until he plops his butt down trying to keep his focus on that hand. Once he/she goes into the sit position, give the treat (make it small) and say GOOD SIT and praise that kiddo. When you feel confident your basenji gets the drill, do the same thing without a treat! Show the closed fist and say SIT. Now you have a silent command and an oral one. This is a great way to establish the communication with your little guy and is super easy and can be used all the time….for play, for needed control at ackward moment, and even during leash training.

    Cairo screamed when I put a harness on him. I didnt use a collar at first because it was too big and didnt want to pull on his neck. He refused to move when in the harness! Mom, the nerve! I dont like it!! Or the sweater (in my defense, it was cold outside). He basically became used to it when he was distracted with play.

    Then attach that leash and let him walk you everywhere. Then you begin to coax him to go potty or call his name or use those parent sounds to get him to go the way you are going.

    Cairo at first was soooooo crazy awake and asleep every two hours that I was struggling to sleep. I put him in his harness and leash and we went to Petsmart.

    Lots of noise, smells, and light. I let him walk through all the isles, wherever he wanted to go. If he would stop and smell an area that i didnt want him in, well a little tug and some verbal coaxing was all that was needed to move to the next exciting thing to see.

    I even took puppy pads and when he began to sniff the floor, put him on the puppy pad, with my "go potty" and he did his thing. Unfortunately he only needed 3 hours of sleep to recoup from that venture, but it was fun to be out of the house.

    This leash walking is part of socialization. The lights and sounds of Petsmart were a great way for him to become comfortable with his surroundings, carts and people who wanted to meet him.

    I would suggest going late in the evening so it isnt too busy. I was a little embarrased potty training him in an isle. But hey, I see the sniffing signs and beat him to an accident!

    What else is fun to train? Cairo knows his name and will come when called or he hears his mommy whistle to come in. The repetition is what works, and they are sooooo smart that it doesnt take a lot. I do have to tell my boyfriend to use the same command words I am using during play which is important, IMO.

    Having a basenji puppy who sits on command is like meeting a talking baby. People are usually in awe but dont realize how smart they really are at that age.

    I know I have been really worn out with Cairo and the training has helped me burn his energy a bit. For those of you with this puppy as your only pet, well this will only slow them down!LOL, having a boyfriend in the home and Caesar really makes life easy. This is where I insert the great basenji proverb , "Basenjis are happier in numbers".

    Good Luck and stick to it! Puppy crazy days only last to 7months!! After that the mellowing begins!! Just a bit though! And the teething stops!! LOL, please post your training tips here!!

    I would love to hear what other puppy parents are going through!!

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    These are great tips. I have an older dog (not a basenji) and that does help to tire the little one out. My puppy is sitting on command but so far that is about it. We are walking him alot and he is very social so far seems to like everyone. I took him to my work where there are lots of kids cause when he gets older I want to take him with me. The puppy is now going outside unattended to go to the bathroom and has not made any mistakes in weeks. I have been working on getting him to sit on the rug so I can take him to work and he will sit quietly while I work. Sometimes I have success and other times its a bust. I am planning on starting some training soon. He is going to be 5 months old mid march. Any recommendations on a good time to start?

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  • I chose to do the Basic Training at Petsmart after my last shots and after he was fixed at 7months.

    I can tell with Cairo that he is capable of learning the same things at a much younger age and would suggest early puppy training.

    From what I have seen there is a class for puppys to 6 months and then 7 months to any age for the beginning classes.

    I didnt take Caesar to the dog park until he finished the Basic training so I could communicate in a public area and not be so timid about his every move. It worked out great for me.

    Plus the training was about $100 and with all of the shots and fixing, I needed to wait with him.

    The basic commands I learned at Petsmart:

    Sit
    Lie Down
    Stay
    In
    Out
    Up
    Down
    Give
    Leave It
    Loose Leash walking
    Avoiding negative attention
    Not using "no" in your daily vocabulary
    How the use of tone matters
    socializing
    in the basket (i use my laundry baskets which is pretty funny)
    potty training
    kennel training

    I suppose that is worth the $100 for the class. Our class was with treat training and I would not recommend that with any basenji that might be food aggressive.

    My tip about Basic training? Get very stinky treats if you want your basenji to pay attention. I used hot dogs cut up…..boiled chicken didnt work for me

    The classes are one day once a week for 9 weeks, I think. 1 hour. If you have a partner in the home, I would strongly advise you go together.

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  • I would recommend getting him into a class as soon as possible. I try to have my puppies enrolled in class by 12 weeks old. Early socialization with people and other dogs helps them develop into more social adults.

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  • I want to do puppy classes with Bindi but I don't have the spare $100
    I am doing 'ok' on my own right now
    she sits and understands out for the most part, though I do catch myself saying 'no! stop it' etc. :x I got water bottles and also this Bitter Barrier stuff to spray on things so she doesn't chew on them when I'm not home

    (I would have her in the crate while I'm at work, except my roommate is home all day and can't stand her whining in the crate and lets her roam unattended sigh) so I think this will help, it's saved my rug so far LOL

    also, she would whine to get out of the crate, I find; if I make her sit, which makes her quite, I give her the treat and say good girl and open the gate door she's fine and actually sleeps all night in the crate (well for one whole night so far, we are trying for two right now <3)

    also placing a blanket or sheet over the crate at night helps, she feels more like she's in a 'den' and it also doubles to keep her warm as well as take away distractions (i.e. my cat running by or me walking around)

    ~Kat

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  • also, she would whine to get out of the crate, I find; if I make her sit, which makes her quite, I give her the treat and say good girl and open the gate door she's fine and actually sleeps all night in the crate (well for one whole night so far, we are trying for two right now <3)

    when Cairo cries in his kennel ( in there with Caesar) it means he has to go to the bathroom….i have found that immediate potty once out of the kennel is a great way to help with the potty training....

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  • @Mantis:

    when Cairo cries in his kennel ( in there with Caesar) it means he has to go to the bathroom….i have found that immediate potty once out of the kennel is a great way to help with the potty training....

    yes I take her out after sleeping in the crate and when ever she has a nap it helps

    ~Kat

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