How to train a dog to go outside by himself
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    So Basil is completely house trained as far as letting me know when he has to go out, then we go out and he goes. The only problem that I can't get passed is he has to have me out there with him. If I just open the door and he goes out then he'll stay right by the door and then he'll incessantly scratch at the door. I can get him to sit through the door but he won't go pee if I'm not outside. I've tried going out with him and when he's far out in the backyard and then I go inside but he'll see me shortly after and will bolt to the door and will scratch at the door. I've been training him to sit before we go inside every time so he knows that's what he does when he gets to the door.. but why can't I get him to go to the bathroom without having to go out with him? Any advice?

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  • First Basenji's

    How important is it to you that he goes without you? I mean, does he not go right away? If he is just 'browsing' and sniffing and doesn't go withing 45 seconds, then maybe he didn't really have to relieve himself…and he has you trained to open the door to go out and explore the yard with him:D So, if he does not 'go' right away, then go back inside. Let him know you are not falling for the 'trick' and the outside part stops if he didn't do his business right away. But do not ignore the signal, because if he has been letting you know that he has to relieve himself, then don't extinguish this behavior. The behavior you do want to extinguish is him just opening the door to go and play (or whatever, is he bored inside?) Also, Since our B's are so dependent and bonded to us, they feel safer if you are 'watching their back' while out in the wilderness doing their thing! rather than being all along for those big Basenji eating monsters! Just be mindful of fulfilling all our dogs' needs: other than food, water, there is relieving, socialization(his ploy for you to go out and play?), household (his reward for doing IT quickly and to be back with you on a cold/wet day), and physical/mental exercises. Remember if it is cold out there, he does not like it, so you should suffer with him!!! :D Hope this helps!

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  • I guess if you just leave the door open, sooner or later he will just go outside by himself. For now, he propably associates going outside alone, with being alone and not being able to get inside again when he wants.
    You can try to give him a big bone or something like that while the 2 of you are sitting outside, and when he is really occupied with the bone, going in for a few seconds. By the time he has noticed you where gone, you are allready back, so nothing he has to worry about.
    Do things like that more often and go inside for longer times. But make sure being outside is allways rewarding for him. So a big bone, some of his favorite toys, hidden biscuits… He will then soon learn that being outside can be fun and rewarding for him. And he will have to pee at one time, so as soon as he has done that a couple of times and has found a good spot to do that (a pole somewhere might help so he does it where you want it), he will after some time know to do that outside.

    Just give it some time and make being outside fun for him and it will all work out.

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    I usually either go out with mine or stand just inside the door especially when its dark just to make sure that they go. I find tha tBasenjis are great at pretending they've been, coming back indoors and then asking to go out again soon after. Is it important to you that he goes out alone?

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    I take my b's out and watch them "go"..if not, I know there will be a surprise in the house.

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    I would like to be able to open the door for him and watch him from just inside the door to make sure he goes… I just don't like to have to put on boots, jacket, warm pants come winter time... maybe that sounds whiney and maybe basenji's are just really different... but I do kind of envy the fact that my lab mutt will just wait by the door, we let her out.. she goes and then waits by the door until she's let in. I guess i'll see what I can do... but it's not a huge deal... I just assumed if they were house trained and people had backyards that they went out alone.. no? lol

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    suki goes outside on her own. it was after she had been potty trained for quite a few months before i trusted her to go out and actually go, and i'd watch from the window to be sure. there haven't been any issues with it since, and she now goes out on her own just fine. can you see if he goes if you put him out on his own? if so, for how long have you left him out?

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    My b's don't like to "dirty" their backyard. So, we do 3 walks a day.

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    @tlish:

    suki goes outside on her own. it was after she had been potty trained for quite a few months before i trusted her to go out and actually go, and i'd watch from the window to be sure. there haven't been any issues with it since, and she now goes out on her own just fine. can you see if he goes if you put him out on his own? if so, for how long have you left him out?

    Well during the summer warm months he was put on a tie down in the backyard where he spent as much time as possible when I was home. He had some outdoor furniture he loved to bask on and his water dish and toys.. he was happy and didn't whine. But if I let him out without tying him down (which I want to be able to do now because our yard is now secure for him…he used to be able to slip under our chain link fence) then he just whines at the door and scratches at it... I don't know why this is and why he doesn't want to stay out there if he can be near the door... any ideas?

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    if you walk away from the door to where he can't see you, how long will he stay at the door? maybe if you wait a little while, he'll get bored and go check out the yard (maybe go out alone and hide some treats in the yard before you let him out there, so he'll be rewarded for wandering around and sniffing). at that point he'll probably sniff his 'spot' and go to the bathroom. hopefully.

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  • You might try teaching him an obedience "go out", and hope he will do his business on the way back after you release him. :) I used to put my current guy in the dog run and he would do a circle and come back to the gate, sometimes doing his business but often not. He has never been happy to stay out in the run alone, and he is a climber so I don't push it. Since he is now an off leash dog, I just boot him out the door and wait for him…....works for pee, for anything else I have to take him for a short run......in the field in summer, in the hay shed in winter......to do his business.

    My previous Basenjis would stay out happily all day in nice weather, but they always had each other and/or my Border Collie for company.....

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    You tie the dog out when your home? By himself? I guess I am asking why. If you do that when your home, why would he want to be outside as he is outside most of the time anyway?
    Maybe I am misreading this, but my dogs are inside when I am home and only out on leashes to walk so, I just don't get it.

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    @sharronhurlbut:

    You tie the dog out when your home? By himself? I guess I am asking why. If you do that when your home, why would he want to be outside as he is outside most of the time anyway?
    Maybe I am misreading this, but my dogs are inside when I am home and only out on leashes to walk so, I just don't get it.

    In the summer time my family spends a lot of time outside, along with my 13 year old lab mutt. So say if I was home on a Saturday the dogs would be outside in the backyard hanging out from maybe 12-3 or something like that… Often I would be outside reading or working out. He was outside for that time sometimes by himself because he loved it... He was only tied down because he was so small that he could crawl under our chain link fence... near the end of summer we put some wooden fencing to block under the chain link. He's not always outside when we're home by any means... just when it's a nice warm summer afternoon. I'm not punishing my dog or ignoring him. He's not an outside dog at all... he just loved basking in the sun on our outdoor furniture. I don't know what it is not to get. I don't think it's a negative thing to have your dogs outside on a nice day for a couple hours... he's not out there when it's raining or cold and is not left out there all day and ignored....

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    @tlish:

    if you walk away from the door to where he can't see you, how long will he stay at the door? maybe if you wait a little while, he'll get bored and go check out the yard (maybe go out alone and hide some treats in the yard before you let him out there, so he'll be rewarded for wandering around and sniffing). at that point he'll probably sniff his 'spot' and go to the bathroom. hopefully.

    I'll try this.. I like the idea of hiding treats outside as we do that inside all the time :) thanks

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    When you say tie, that makes me think the dog is outside. YOU can come and go, and there he is. I do rescue. Most dogs who are tied outside are biters, because the family isn't around and they can't get away from dangers they are afraid of..so they bite.
    Sorry if that isn't you, but in my world, staking a dog where it can't get away from trouble isn't a good thing.

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    @sharronhurlbut:

    When you say tie, that makes me think the dog is outside. YOU can come and go, and there he is. I do rescue. Most dogs who are tied outside are biters, because the family isn't around and they can't get away from dangers they are afraid of..so they bite.
    Sorry if that isn't you, but in my world, staking a dog where it can't get away from trouble isn't a good thing.

    The "tie down" is long.. he can go to all parts of the back yard except he's about a foot away from the chain link fence and about two feet from the back door. Again, he isn't "left" out there. It was simply when we had a warm summer day and he was relaxed out there… if he didn't like it then I wouldn't have had him out there. He's not treated like an outside dog. There is no trouble where I am. No animals that prey on him.. in our yard we get squirrels, birds and the occasional rabbit. No animal can get to him and he's out there with my lab mutt or with me. I'm not punishing my dog. You sound very very snippy. Just because you do something your way... doesn't mean it's the ONLY way. Again, he was ONLY tied down because he could get under the fence and run away.. I'm sorry.. is it better to have a dog run over by a car? I think it's actually more beneficial for a dog to have the freedom to roam his own backyard, explore and play and enjoy the sun then to be stuck inside all day and ONLY allowed outside if he's TIED to you. Thank you for your helpful advice.

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    I was not going to respond to you, but will give it one more try, for your dog. If your dog isn't safe in your backyard because of the fence, fix it. If he can get out, other animals can get in. Simple. Re this tie down. Ok, its long you say, dog can pull it all over the yard. got it. How often do you p/u your dogs waste? Lets say daily, still there is a chance you don't see a pile and the line is pulled through it. The dog isn't able to get away from his own waste smell. Even if you p/u the waste, there is still the smell there to him. Dogs like to live in clean areas, if they have the chance. How would you like to have to live in that? If he is out even 1/2 the day, and I suspect it's more..HE is living in that. To me that isn't the way someone keeps a beloved pet. No need to respond. SIGH.

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    @sharronhurlbut:

    I was not going to respond to you, but will give it one more try, for your dog. If your dog isn't safe in your backyard because of the fence, fix it. If he can get out, other animals can get in. Simple. Re this tie down. Ok, its long you say, dog can pull it all over the yard. got it. How often do you p/u your dogs waste? Lets say daily, still there is a chance you don't see a pile and the line is pulled through it. The dog isn't able to get away from his own waste smell. Even if you p/u the waste, there is still the smell there to him. Dogs like to live in clean areas, if they have the chance. How would you like to have to live in that? If he is out even 1/2 the day, and I suspect it's more..HE is living in that. To me that isn't the way someone keeps a beloved pet. No need to respond. SIGH.

    If you actually read my post… I FIXED THE FENCE IN AUGUST which is why i would like to train him to go outside on his own.. because now he can. STOP being so goddamn rude. You're not being helpful at all. Now I'm leaving this thread. WE ALL GET IT... YOU'RE BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE. CONGRATS. I DONT CARE WHAT YOU THINK OR YOUR STUPID OPINION. GET A JOB OR A HOBBY YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A SAD INTERNET BULLY. HAVE A WONDERFUL ****ING DAY.

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  • Whoa.

    There is NO REASON to be rude.

    Let's remember that sometimes the written word comes across differently in this method of conversation (on-line). Sharron is one of the kindest people I know. She works with rescue and has no doubt seen some very sad things. Her comments are coming from a caring place for the welfare of the dog. Kipawa is 13 months old now, and since we received him (even before) Sharron has given me many wonderful ideas and tips.

    P.S. Sharron has a full time job, works basenji rescue and also has hobbies.

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  • I forgot to mention a couple of ideas that have helped us and others:

    1. Using a consistent phrase to tell your dog you want him to pee/poop works quite well. Our breeder uses the words "hurry hurry". When we got Kipawa, I started doing that with him in the backyard and it worked - but it takes time, patience, a few treats and TONS of love and praise when he does it right. Kipawa does tend to not want to pee in his back yard, but has no problem pooping. Funny little character!

    2. Just recently we bought Poochie Bells. We hang them on the back patio door. Kipawa has started to figure out that if he rings those bells we are right there to open the door for him.

    I also wonder if it is a confidence issue for some basenjis (that they want their peeps with them when they pee). Maybe they feel vulnerable when they are out there doing their business. Kipawa and I have a tight bond, and I know he feels more comfortable if I am there or at least if I am watching him from the kitchen window.

    Hope some of these ideas help.

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  • @Kipawa:

    1. Using a consistent phrase to tell your dog you want him to pee/poop works quite well. Our breeder uses the words "hurry hurry". When we got Kipawa, I started doing that with him in the backyard and it worked - but it takes time, patience, a few treats and TONS of love and praise when he does it right..

    I use "go pee" and "poop, poop, poop". Peeing isn't usually an issue, but I feel like an idiot when I am out in the hay shed in winter yelling "poop, poop, poop" as if I am cheering on a sports team. It usually works eventually! He knows what I want, but like most Basenjis, it can take some time…...and in my case, cheer leading.......to get him "in the mood."

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