• Our basenji is thirteen months. He was neutered at seven months. He's the only indoor pet. I've enrolled him in obedience classes at Petco. Nothing we do seems to work. My mom has had it with him. I don't know what to do.

    He's constantly biting/nipping on hands, legs, and clothes. He's getting into the garbage cans and clothes. He's in your face when you're trying to eat. He doesn't listen 99% of the time. We play with him, he has toys and chew things. He has these 'mood swings' where he goes from being calm to psycho.

    We've sprayed him with water. It's a temporary fix. He constantly comes back. We've tried using treats. Sometimes holding him is the only way to calm him down. He also pees in the crate even though he's crate trained.

    We're at a loss.

  • Have you talked to his breeder? Who was his breeder? There are several really good breeders in Co and I'm sure they could help as good breeders know their line better than outsiders. Google "Overall relaxation protocol". Petco is often not the best place for training, if you let me know where in colorado you are, I could probably be more help for resources. Also, he probably needs more exercise. Young basenjis have LOTS of excess energy.

  • Oops. I need to update my location. I and our basenji moved to Wisconsin since my husband's overseas. He's like this even after he's been outside playing with my dad's Lab. Annandael is his breeder.

  • I don't know where in WI you are, but if you are anywhere near Madison there are much better places to get training for your dog than Petco.

    If you are in the Madison area try the Dog Den or Dog's Best Friend training…I have taken classes with both businesses and liked them. I believe you also can get one on one training at each place to help with things like impulse control and other such problems.

  • If you live in the Fox Valley (per your other post) I can recommend several trainers and places for classes. Once I get to a computer I can give you some suggestions.

  • Have you tried clicker training? It will keep his mind busy and teach him how to cooperate to receive rewards. Good information for starting here:



    Your dog sounds like a typical young Basenji that needs to focus his energy on something positive for a change! 🙂 Whatever method you use for training, consistency is absolutely key. Same as with children. Good luck!

  • My hometown is Neenah :)…. my sister visits Neenah almost every weekend with her basenji, and she's commented that there aren't very many dog parks in the Fox River Valley. However, maybe you can scope one out and help your pup release some positive energy? (Believe it or not, people and dogs will still be congregating at the dog parks in the Wisconsin winter! :))

    I can tell you from my experience that squirting my dogs doesn't go over very well... he won't really associate his behavior with getting squirted, in my opinion. Remember, even at 13 months, he's really still a puppy in a big dog's body :)... I've heard some people on here refer to the next year as the "terrible twos", so I hope you can find a behavior method that works for both you and your pup.

    Good luck!

  • Have you spoken with the breeder? And it sounds to me like he is not getting enough good hard exercise. And do you work with him daily on things like sit, down, stay? Exercise the mind is as important as physical exercise

  • Fox Valley, near Oshkosh.

  • I've heard of clicker training, but have never looked into it.

  • Even when he's been outside playing and running around with the other dog, he's still wound up. Or he'll calm down for a bit and is right back at it. Walking him is somewhat difficult with the roads and weather. We live in a rural area. I walk him around the property.

  • Young Basenjis have so much energy, and you have a teenager! A teenage Basenji needs lots of exercise. I walked Spencer, but that wasn't enough when he was young. I had to take him to the dog park and let him run, run, run offleash. On weekends, I would take him to a nearby school and he would race from one end of the playground to the other again and again and again. (Unfortunately, they now lock the gates, so there goes that great solution.) Exercise is a must. A tired Basenji is a good Basenji.

    Good training will do wonders, too. Spencer did not excel in puppy class. He started puppy kindergarten at four months, and he was by far the unruliest dog in the class. We flunked. He would sit and lie down for treats, but he wouldn't heel or stand quietly by my side. At six months, I got a really good trainer, and it made all the difference. Every dog trains at his or her own pace, so sometimes, you have to respect that.

    Exercise, training, gentle but firm discipline and clear expectations will help a lot, but the biggest help of all is time. Acceptance helps, too. Basenjis have selective hearing and a mind of their own. Sometimes, it's easier to change our behavior than theirs (keep trashcans tightly closed, clothes out of reach, crate him or put him in another room when you're eating). I'm no expert, but my wild puppy grew into an amazing dog, and yours can, too. Good luck to you both!

  • It sounds like he needs more mental stimulation and work on impulse control. I would take Clay up on the offer to send you contact info on good trainers in your area that will help you work on things besides just sit, down, stay and help you get on the right track for having a companion that you enjoy being around.

  • YOur sweet baby has turned into an overactive teen. I agree with all who say exercise, exercise, exercise, both physical and mental. Indoor fetch, hide the treat, a kibble dispensing ball for his meals will keep him busy for a while too. I have a friend with a mix, abut the same age, and the same issues. I keep telling her the same thing, long walks (an hour or more) or dog park if at all possible. A "walky-dog" and a bike if you can do that safely. 'One year old basenji, free to good home' ; we certainly saw that add in the paper many times, and collected several of them ourselves. Others we would call and talk them into keeping the dog another 6 months, telling them they were just experiencing the worst age!

    I'm sorry, I imagine winter up north makes it difficult to get a dog tired out! Mental training, find the toy, find the treat, those things tire them as well so well worth the effort to get him involved. good luck.

  • I can't offer any more advice than that you've been given. A 'basenji-wise' trainer, lots of exercise and 'thinking' games.

    I'd just like to say that he sounds like a normal Basenji who has not been correctly trained (wrong trainer) and a family who were not well advised in the early puppy stages.

    You and he urgently need good training. Be patient and you'll end up with a delightful Basenji!

  • Hey Heinz57,

    I left you some suggestions on your profile page. Let me know if you have any questions.


  • Kipawa went through a rambunctious stage at 13 months - he didn't do anything bad, but he seemed to be 'testing' who the boss was. He was reminded, consistently. (Grin) At 15 months he started to show very nice maturation qualities and a complete understanding of his place in our family pack. Be patient, be consistent, give him lots of exercise and really praise him when he is good.

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