New to the basenji world, need HELP!

I have a 16 week old Basenji, named Remington. I did alot of research on the breed itself but learning things now i had no idea what i was getting myself into. He chews EVERYTHING even the corners of my walls, i tried buying him chew stick things with meat flavor on the inside .. that only makes stains on my couch and carpet. he has SEVERAL toys of all differents types and yet still finds a pencil or underwear or chair to chew on… the only time he is sweet is when he is tired meaning he also chews on ME. I dont know how to get him to quit, i say NO with a deep toned voice but then he runs around like its a game. it doesnt faze him at all.
Also i am crate training him. At night... no problem sleeps well through the night, no noise or yodel or howl. but during work hours i have to crate him up too 6 hours.. i work a good twenty thirty min depending on traffic from my home. in the morning before i leave for work he usually urinates twice and has one bowel movement... after peeing for the last time before i leave i limit his water intake, but when i get home he has peed more then once in his crate and then shreds his sheet.
so basically dont get me wrong i LOVE my basenji to death but someone please give me advice on chewing and crate training him ?!?!?

I would get him signed up for puppy obedience IMMEDIATELY.
Secondly, I would contact his breeder and tell them you need help.
They should be helping you…
but they can't if they are not made aware of the situation at hand.

Several folks on here will mention some good manners training for dogs, so I will leave that to them since I can never remember it 🙂

He is a puppy... give him time to get potty trained.
Make sure you DO NOT put water in the crate when you leave.
If he takes water in, water must come out.
Buy bedding from the thrift store... so what if he shreds it...
it is HIS bed.
Several toys... not enough IMO. I have a basket of about 20 items [chew bones and toys] in the dining room where the pups sleep. I have TWO baskets with about 30 items each in them in the living room.
My dogs rarely chew on stuff… but they always have good stuff to chew on from me... so my things are safe... 'cept dirty undies left on the bathroom floor... so sad to be my daughter 🙂 lol

Good luck... and hopefully he takes to puppy obedience quickly 🙂

DO NOT use towels for his bedding, will tear into strips and eat and then to the vet for surgery to clear a blocked bowel!! Use felt, if it tears it is in small pieces. I watch the fabric bends at WalMart to buy marked down felt or fleece material or cheap fleece blankets. Any material that cannot be torn into strips is best. Good Luck, I ended up buying Critter Cord to cover all electric & phone cords when Kell came to us at 4 months, he was a non stop chewer also, have to watch, watch, keep him on a leash tied to you while he is in the house, walk him till he (or you) can't walk anymore. Best wishes. kell is much better now at 17 months, but we have around 30 toes in the house and kongs we fill with treats when he starts wanting to chew again. Dawn

the above posts are great and hopefully you can find a good puppy class to go to. In addition, you might want to try to find someone to take him out 1/2 way through the day and exercise/play with him. It's coming up to summer so maybe you could find a responsible teen or even teacher to do this for a little extra money.
As far as staining chew product you can (1) not get those again or (2) get him to chew on them only on a sheet or blanket. If he takes it off the blanket, tell him "take that to your place" and pick it up and put it back on the blanket. Consistancy and Patience. (repeat as needed, which is often with a b puppy.)

Line his crate with newspaper. If chews and eats it there's no harm. How much exercise is he getting everyday? Take him for a 30 minute walk before you leave then another for 45-60 minutes when you get home. He sleeps all night then into a crate for 6 hours is too much rest/confinement so he's all wound up and frustrated.

Also, don't forget the mental stimulation. Feed him from puzzle toys like the Kong Wobbler, Kong, Squirrel Dude, Busy Buddy, etc.

Training classes will help you relationship build while also giving you more tools to help communicate expectations as well as provide mental stimulation. You can also try Its Yer Choice with him,

IMO, he is in a crate too much. If you have to crate him during the day then he should be out at night. So you should consider letting him sleep with you.

And as Kathy remarked, have you talked to his breeder?

As far as what he chews, he doesn't know that the pencil, underwear, etc are not his…if left in a place he can get to them... it is "free" game. Remember, most all those items have your human scent on them as noted by a favorite of all dogs are glasses.. as the ear pieces have your scent on them... which equals "chewing".

I always tell potential Basenji owners, if they teach you nothing else it will be to pick up after yourself!

Hi there,

I just got my basenji puppy Watson about a week ago. He is about 5 months. The first thing we did was get him into a obedience class. I work with him every day at least twice a day on obedience exercises and we do attention and name games on walks. It helps immensely when I have to work with him in the naughty moments.

When he grabs something inappropriate to chew on or play with I go and exchange with him for an appropriate toy after giving verbal correction…if he gives up the "bad" toy he gets something better.

I agree with the "if they teach you nothing else it will be to pick up after yourself" comment. One of the best ways to safeguard the pup and your things is to try and ensure to keep things you do not want him to have out of reach (which what I already learned is harder than it seems with a basenji 🙂 ).

Spending a large part of his day in a crate means that your guy stores up a lot of energy... I think the best thing to do when you get home is to get him out for a long walk or play some games with him to alleviate his boredom and dissipate some of the energy.

He is a puppy...and a tired puppy is a good puppy.

All good advice above.

@Moth:

When he grabs something inappropriate to chew on or play with I go and exchange with him for an appropriate toy after giving verbal correction…if he gives up the "bad" toy he gets something better.

I agree with the "if they teach you nothing else it will be to pick up after yourself" comment. One of the best ways to safeguard the pup and your things is to try and ensure to keep things you do not want him to have out of reach (which what I already learned is harder than it seems with a basenji 🙂 ).

Spending a large part of his day in a crate means that your guy stores up a lot of energy... I think the best thing to do when you get home is to get him out for a long walk or play some games with him to alleviate his boredom and dissipate some of the energy.

He is a puppy...and a tired puppy is a good puppy.

Good suggestions. The only one I wonder about is giving him a 'good' toy when he leaves a 'bad' one alone. Yes, you need to distract when they are with something they are not allowed to be with, but I wonder if your basenji is going to catch on to this pattern and use it to his advantage. Just a thought.

@Kipawa:

Good suggestions. The only one I wonder about is giving him a 'good' toy when he leaves a 'bad' one alone. Yes, you need to distract when they are with something they are not allowed to be with, but I wonder if your basenji is going to catch on to this pattern and use it to his advantage. Just a thought.

It is usually a toy from his current toy rotation…not something new, I try to make it more exciting than what he has his eye on that he shouldn't have by engaging in play and praise. Should I be doing something different?

@Kipawa:

Good suggestions. The only one I wonder about is giving him a 'good' toy when he leaves a 'bad' one alone. Yes, you need to distract when they are with something they are not allowed to be with, but I wonder if your basenji is going to catch on to this pattern and use it to his advantage. Just a thought.

I've often exchanged up with Z when she was younger. As a result, she has brought me all sorts of "treasures" in hopes of getting a cookie. In one case she brought a meat wrapper that blew into the yard and in another very memorable event she brought me a 1/2 dead rabbit (well, twice actually).

Sadly, in other news, several basenjis later and I still haven't learned to pick up after myself. And yes, my basenjis leave my stuff alone. Please don't come over to my house un-announced. :o

I definitely trade "up", particularly while teaching trade. You're actually supposed to start teaching trade with something they are hardly interested in at all (like a cardboard tube) and trade it for something great.

You WANT them to think they're tricking you 🙂 Later "trade" becomes nicely ingrained.

Excellent… He likes to trade for toys or for treats 😉

A bored dog is a destructive dog. Tire him out so when you do leave him he will sleep.

No means nothing to a basenji, or at least they can view it as a challenge or confrontation at times. Don't leave it to them for when they need to go potty. Do it immediately before & after his crating. Also they can only hold it so long.

Positive reward training works best.

@tanza:

IMO, he is in a crate too much. If you have to crate him during the day then he should be out at night. So you should consider letting him sleep with you.

I totally agree with that advice. Since he is good all night, it would make him very happy (and you too by extension) to let him sleep with you. I cannot comment on the chewing problem, except that it sounds very much like he is frustrated by being crated so much. We give ours Dentastix and other treats which are specificallly made to take a long time to chew through to satisfy that need; although the destructive side stopped for us when we got our first Basenji a companion. Neither of them are crated. Just sayin'

@red:

he has SEVERAL toys of all differents types and yet still finds a pencil or underwear or chair to chew on…

Manage his environment better. If he's getting pencils, etc, it is because you left them within reach. Of course he's interested! He's only been alive 16 weeks. THE WORLD is interesting!! Just take the offending item gently (I always thank my dog for finding such neat things!) and offer him a "legal" toy instead. Praise, praise, praise!

the only time he is sweet is when he is tired meaning he also chews on ME.

Hooray! You want him to chew on you! You have 2 weeks left to develop his ABI (acquired bite inhibition - how hard he bites when he bites). After 18wks of age, ABI is "set" for the most part. A dog MUST be allowed to bite humans if it is supposed to learn to do so gently and about 9 out of 10 dogs will, at some point, put it's teeth on a human for some reason. Knowing how to do so using minimal jaw force is a learned skill. If your puppy's bite hurts, YELP and get up and leave for 15 seconds. When you come back, if he doesn't bite more softly, YELP and end the play session. Over the next two weeks expect softer and softer bites.

Once our puppy is 18wks old, that is the time to start teaching him, you know, really, you shouldn't bite. If he puts his mouth on you or your clothes just tell him (in a normal tone), "Too bad" and leave the area. Play time is over. Too bad, so sad.

Also i am crate training him. At night… no problem sleeps well through the night, no noise or yodel or howl. but during work hours i have to crate him up too 6 hours.. [snip] but when i get home he has peed more then once in his crate and then shreds his sheet.

That is too much crate time for a 16wk old puppy. Average ability to "hold it" is 15min per week of age. That means your puppy should not be crated (during the day, night is different) more than 4hrs. You need to have a long term confinement area that includes a puppy toilet.

See Before You Get Your Puppy for more info.

Get into Puppy PreSchool right away with a qualified trainer ASAP. This is all normal puppy stuff. 🙂

Great post, Andrea.

i agree with the biting you part that Andrea mentions, we done this heaps with Hope when she was a pup and now she is the best to play with as she mouths so gently!

its their way of playing, Hope loves it when we play rough with her and we can still play rough with her cos she knows her boundaries. I know plenty of dogs that their human hasnt taught about mouthing and now have issues when the dog does play and gets too aggressive with the mouthing, yet doesnt know he is doing wrong.

p.s. if i rouse on Hope when shes doing something naughty - its a big game. I find using "ahh" at a grumble works best, otherwise we go B500 lets play! (this was when she was a pup, now we just need to go 'ah' and she'll quit it). Also neat trick - if you can read your basenji's body language and know what they are about to do something naughty - beat them to it (example: hope goes to scratch at door, i know shes going to by her body language, i say ah and she veers off and she knows EXACTLY what i meant). I guess this just comes when you get to know you B 🙂

Andrea.
Are you the GREAT trainer I know??

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