Walking Basenji
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  • K

    Hey Everyone,

    My mix is very prey driven. When taking him on a walk he has started to go crazy when a squirel is in his site. He doesn't usually pull but when he sees a squirrell he will try to go after it. Sometime if I don't see the squirrell first it will catch me off guard. Do you have any advice on how to work with him on this? Or since they are high prey dogs is he always going to be this way. I have him on a regular collar and leesh. I haven't tried a martingale or harness.

    any advice would be great!

    thank you in advance!

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  • I have one P/B basenji and one mix - one nearly three and the other three and a couple months. Although they will walk pretty well with no distraction, a cat, squirrel, duck, ground birds, or anything else "prey-ish" will mean they both totally go crazy trying to get at it. All the usual commands don't get through, they really really want the prey. I pull them up close and walk faster, telling them to "leave it" and eventually they come back down - I do think it's to be expected of these prey-driven hunters.

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  • PS: Doesn't matter if they are on modified choke collars, Easy Walk harnesses, regular martingales - they still go for the prey.

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  • @Shaye's:

    PS: Doesn't matter if they are on modified choke collars, Easy Walk harnesses, regular martingales - they still go for the prey.

    I agree. Anything prey-ish that catches their attention will result in pulling. I use a harness when Kipawa and I do neighbourhood walks where we often come across squirrels. I then have to control his pulling, but I also redirect him - either turn around and go in a different direction for a couple of minutes, or I will get him to face a different direction, sit, stay and offer him one of his favourite treats. Kipawa is more food oriented than prey driven :). I always use a calm, quieter, matter of fact voice when I redirect him at these times. That and his treats seem to work pretty well, but I admit I scan all the time during our walks to anticipate what might happen next.

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  • I don't walk with treats, but I do scan ahead. Walking 3, it can be quite exciting if I don't see a cat or squirrel ahead. I can usually redirect, cross the road, or just get them to 'hurry along' but occasionally a cat will be under a car and dart right in front of us…owww, sore shoulder!

    Nicky doesn't see well and really is not prey driven, so the boys are my main hunters.

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  • When I used to walk my girls together, it was always trouble if another dog barked at them. Wanting to get at the other dog, and unable to do so, they would attack each other (transferred aggression). It was never serious, but certainly was a nuisance! Most Basenjis I have had are a pain when they see something interesting, although when I bike Perry I find I can usually just speed him past any distraction. (if other bicycles pass us, boy does he go! Gives me quite a quick ride!)

    I find it so much more relaxing to take him in the fields loose. When a dog is on a leash, he knows exactly where you are and doesn't pay you much attention. Off leash, I find Perry keeps an eye on me and isn't comfortable getting too far away. I reinforce this by hiding on him if he is distracted. It's a good game, and results in him watching me more closely, to the point where it has become difficult for me to escape his attention. If I do manage to hide, he checks the area where I was last seen and once he spots me he comes like a bullet! Great to improve his recall. :)

    It is certainly possible, with training and practice, to obtain a loose leash walk from a Basenji. But it's a lot of work!

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  • I too think it is something all Basenjis do. We work very hard with our two on loose lead walking and a lot of the time we do get it. However if something comes along that's interesting to them all the training seems to be completely forgotten. On a lead walk i find that you do have to concentrate very hard on the Basenjis, you can't seem to walk and have a conversation with the other person you are walking with.
    I wish we had Dog parks over here as off lead excercise is more relaxing (ish) ;)
    I have found this thread a useful reminder that ours are not the only two who are hard work :D

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  • K

    I have 3 off leesh dog parks around me which helps. But walking him can be a pain. I am glad I don't share this trait by myself.

    Can any lend some tips how start to teach them while on lead they don't go after prey? I have been getting him to sit and turning him around. If i keep doing this will he understand?

    thanks!

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  • @KMac:

    Can any lend some tips how start to teach them while on lead they don't go after prey? I have been getting him to sit and turning him around. If i keep doing this will he understand?

    thanks!

    I think you are on the right track. Redirecting his attention to you and rewarding him for it should (eventually) result in him looking to you when prey appears. Stay consistent!

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  • Keep in mind, the prey instinct is nature for them….. While I do not encourage it when walking, I consider it part of a Basenji.... therefore accept that it will happen. If you can redirect 50% of the time, I would consider that a success....

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  • P

    I have recently recovered from a broken ankle caused by three of mine trying to take off after a rabbit - so it's no use me offering advice!

    Would a Basenji be a Basenji if he didn't do what comes naturally!!!?

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  • K

    Patty I just thought I broke my ankle from Kentucky but I actually just sprained it becaue of the same thing.

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  • i walk the lab and isis at the same time one on hand and one on the other, the lab seem to have a major drive to sniff out anything and track blindly and of course isis will be doing the same, the b is easier to control cause she lighter but the m1 tank of the lab well.. we've came across little furry friends on our nitely walks i need to stay very focus on my surroundings, one thing the b does if theres someone walking behind us doesnt matter how far , she walk ahead stop and turn to look back, she'll keep doing this repeatedly like she warning me these something there,im sure its instinct on her end to,of course i confirm whats shes doing but yeah those b's dont miss a trick

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