New Basenji Lover!
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    Hi my name is Taz. I am a 1 1/2 yr old Basenji/terrier mix. I was just adopted by my mommy 3 weeks ago. the problem is I am a terror and my mommy needs help with me so I am writing to you to get her some help because I love her! hahahahaha

    Hi, I am Terri. I am his mommy and he really isn't a terror, just a bit tazmanian devilish is all, hence the name "Taz". So, here is the thing, I am not a push over by any means, I am the dominant one here in my house. I am currently using a water bottle to curb most of the issues with him and it seems to work. He doesn't like the water.. Yea! I have also started his obedience training and though it is slow it is going. I know, patience is the key. I am learning patience with him more than I ever had to learn with my golden retriever. I knew he was going to be a challange when I decided to adopt him, but I knew I was up for the challange. He tries every day to push his boundries and I reinforce those boundries every day. I would love some training tips for basic obedience for training a basenji and how to get him to quit standing up on his hind legs to get what is on the counters so he can get something and how to stop his chewing on everything except the toys I bought him to chew on and he has plenty of those. I have to put everything I own that he could chew on and damage away from the edges or up higher than he can stand. It wouldn't surprise me to see him start climbing things to get what he wants. I have to keep my bedroom closed off as well as my upstairs bathroom. I don't allow him to sleep with me, and I don't allow him to walk through doors or eat before I do. Those things I already know. I guess I am hoping there are some tricks or tips that might make my training a little bit easier with those issues I discussed earlier as well as some pulling issues I am having because of his constant urge to smell where he is going. Basically I would love to have some insight into and helpfull training tips that are hopefully basenji/stubborn specific.

    Oh btw I said I knew what I was getting into when I got him but that isn't exactly true. I guess I knew he was going to be a little more difficult to train than most of the dogs I have worked with because of his personality but I never bargined for this. You see when I first adopted him I didn't know he was a basenji, heck, I didn't even know what a basenji was until about 2 or 3 days after I took him home. When I adopted him I was just under the assumption he was hound/terrier mix, not realizing the hound they were talking about was the "Basenji Hound". I refuse to give up on this absolutely beautiful creature with the funny bark and quirky growl, not to meantion his furrowed brows that wrinkle as if concerned about everything, and his loving nature and need to touch or be touched. I am truely in love with this dog. He is Basenji all over except for his shedding problem, his tipped ears and his size. He even has the cat like tendencies, like rubbing up against my legs or his love of being caressed, to his obsessive grooming. I love him. PERIOD! I am, however, going to need y'alls help with this.

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  • Very few who get a basenji for the first time are ever truly prepared, no matter how much they read and think they understand! You have already picked up on some the the things you must train yourself to do! Keep bedroom and closet doors closed, put anything you actually want to use again up very high, put shoes away (behind those closed closet doors). Bitter apple or Vicks cap-o-rub is helpful to discourage chewing of wires, etc, but some basenjis acquire a taste for bitter apple! Tobasco also works for some, or tea tree oil.

    Positive reinforcement works best with basenjis, reward the good, ignore, if possible, the bad. They are born counter-surfers, both terriers and hounds have high prey drives and are curious and intelligent and used to 'working alone', unlike a golden or shepherd that is bred to work with humans and please them. Basenjis please themselves and if they also please you with something, reward and praise!

    Not to say they are uncontrollable, but you must outsmart them, offer them something better than what's on the counter (be sure nothing is where he can reach it, he will find it boring soon). Some of the old dominance stuff really doesn't work well with basenjis, you do need to be the pack leader, but pack leaders are often very easy-going about 'the small stuff'. Tire him out with long walks or dog park visits if he is sociable, work on sit-stays, things that keep his mind occupied. A "BusyBall" type treat dispenser can be fun, give part of his meal to him that way, he will have to work for it a kibble at a time.

    My 14 year old basenji girl will STILL steal a leather wallet (or sometimes the entire purse) if I leave it where she can reach it. When that happens, I roll a newspaper and whack myself on the head for being careless!

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  • Welcome!

    The key with Basenji training for me is making things fun. Don't start with boring sit and stay exercises, but start with jumping over and on things on command, and then work in sit or stay. Keep them moving all the time and use lots and lots of yummy food. Don't expect them to be the most obedient dog, but try to work together and anticipate before he will doing that's not in the exercise. For good training results, you first need a good bond. You must learn to know him really good, and so does he. He has to learn that you are allways full of suprises, and that it is more rewarding for him to pay attention to you, then to the things aroudn him. But that all takes a bit of time. So for now, skip the obedience training and start playing with him. And after a while just start involving little obedient exercises into the play.

    For problems in the house, just make him tired every day. Once he knows he can run, play, walk… every day, he will soon be happy to rest while in the house, and save his energy for the fun parts outside. Kong's and busyballs and bones are good ways to give him something to do and to chew on if he would become bored inside. At first, put them down everywhere. So that if he wants to chew something, he will allways come across a bone on his way to chair, table, couch... And with a bit of luck he will decide that a bone is tastier then a tableleg. :p

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    That is some great advice. I have noticed he has boundless energy so I do try to take him out to either the tennis courts or ball fields to chase tennis balls with my golden Levi. He loves to chase balls and if I do it just before I clean house I can have some time to clean without him trying to play with the vacuum cleaner. My bf and I also like to take the dogs on 3 mile hikes in the woods across the street where there is a trail. We can hook the dogs together and let them loose and since my golden won't go anywhere without me then I can be sure he won't run off until I can hopefully wistle train him to come on command. I also have a long hallway that ends at the front door and I throw the ball down that and they chase it or if upstairs I throw the ball down the stairs and make them chase it. He plays well with my golden and gets plenty of exercise romping and playing with him as well. I do have toys all over the house for him to play with or chew as he pleases. I love the nylabones for strong chewers they are a hard plastic bone with flavor in them and it makes them want to chew it. Even my golden likes to chew those. He does eventually get bored with them and will eventually stand up on his hind legs and check out what's on the table, counter, or end tables. Like I said I love the spray bottle, it works quite well, lol. Luckily he hasn't chewed on the table legs yet lol.

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  • @SissyT213:

    Like I said I love the spray bottle, it works quite well, lol.

    Spray bottles are good, water pistols that have a bit of a range are even better! ;) My guy is normally very good, but if I do need to correct him the water pistol works exceedingly well. I know his breeder used it in early training…...and it's interesting that he is the first Basenji I have had that does not rip things up. No, not even tissue. And he has had his plush toys for five years and they are still intact! Score one for water as a deterrent. (of course, you do have to be vigilant for this to work) I am all for positive training, but when the rules are known and understood by the dog there has to be some kind of consequence for ignoring them. Water is harmless, and works well with many Basenjis.

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  • I agree with the water/spray bottle. All I have to do now is point it in Kipawa's direction and he squints his eyes and stops whatever he is doing. Overall, I need to do this rarely now.

    Last night my husband left his wallet on the counter, and well within counter surfing range. I decided to be nice and I pushed it farther back. THAT was a problem waiting to happen.

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  • @Kipawa:

    I agree with the water/spray bottle. All I have to do now is point it in Kipawa's direction and he squints his eyes and stops whatever he is doing.
    Last night my QUOTE]
    HAHA yeah Becca squints her eyes and then paws at her face, even if she doesn't get sprayed. It's like 'GET IT OFF!! GET IT OFF! Don't you know that is WATER!!!'

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  • I just have a Basenji at home…

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    Thanks again for all of your advice. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who is dealing with such a strong willed animal. He is currently laying on the floor chewing on a nylabone as is my golden "Levi". I can't say it often enough "I LOVE NYLABONES!" Well, now he is in my lap chewing his nylabone because Levi thinks that if Taz is chewing on it, it has to be better than the one he has. LOL

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