Hello from Sorel-Tracy QUEBEC Canada
First Basenji's

We are Sue and Robert the proud owners (first time) of a three months old basenji. Two days and trying hard to be patient. Lol.
We have a six year old Newfie who is helping with his education.

What we see as first challenges is weening away from pee pads and consistent nibbling of everything and everything. :-).

We will keep you posted on our progress.

Well..LOL that Newfie will certainly help with his education

Welcome, I love newfies; such gentle giant love bugs
Hope those updates come with pictures!!

Ohh who did you get your puppy from? There are a couple good breeders out that way! Keep being patient with your baby, they are very trying but sooo worth it. Ahh yes the Basenji nibbling, make sure you have LOTS of chewy things for them, bully sticks work wonders, chewing isnt something that they grow out of.

People have often asked me my secret to such a nice coat on Zest!. I tell them good food, sunshine, exercise and malinois slobber. (the household mali often "chews" on her.) I can only imagine how beautiful your pup's coat will be with all that Newfie slobber.
I will, of course, need to see pics.

Oh, and welcome!

Basically basenji are un-trainable. That being said, to assist you with the Psychology of raising your young Basenji you must keep in mind that they are essentially wild dogs. Early on, most likely due to their diminutive size, they formed a symbiotic relationship with man. Even after thousands of years of living in a close relationship with man the primordial instinct's of the wild creature are very strong in the puppy. Proof of the wild dog is the reality that they do not bark. All domesticated breeds of dogs have that bark gene, wear as all wild K9 are bark free as barking is a dead give away as to their location, it must be coded into their genes. So in respect to this you must be very patient and understanding and always try to think as a wild dog remembering that many of the bazaar tricks your Basenji will show you are really the basic instincts given to the wild creature that they are. As he matures, if you are always fair and not to demanding, he will form a strong bond with you that cannot be broken. This in the end will become a tremendous responsibility to you and this responsibility must always be kept in the back of your mind. Professional dog trainers rating the trainability of dogs in general put Basenji down at the bottom of their list of trainable dogs. In that they cannot be tricked or coerced into accepting behavioral habits and that is because they are instinctualy too intelligent and logical to adopt those behavior habits. As your Basenji matures he will teach you as to his needs and if you respond in kind he will adopt to the behaviors you desire. Remember it just takes time. Make sure he always has an oportunity to sit in the morning sun.

First Basenji's

Hello everyone! Thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

Albert is the small one lol

Shiloh the teddy bear newfie
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@ElfinSailor:

Basically basenji are un-trainable.

Oh, I would strenuously disagree with that assessment! They are very trainable, just not very biddable. There is a huge difference. Basenjis want to please themselves, so the trick is to make your idea their idea. Basenjis will work extremely well for positive reinforcement, assuming you can find something that is salient enough. They will also work to avoid positive punishment, but they have to be absolutely convinced that there is no clever way to escape the consequences. Clicker training a Basenji is loads of fun, and you will end up with a clever dog that will perform many complicated tasks, as long as the reward is sufficiently desirable. 🙂

Do expect those moments when you issue a command only to be met with an expression that conveys complete ignorance of what you are asking for. Think "cat in dog's body", and you have the psychology. 🙂

Welcome to the Forum. I totally agree with eeeefarm, Basenjis are trainable but usually only if they want to. Some learn so much more quickly than others. I've had many experiences of Basenjis being trained by watching other dogs, so if your Newfie is well trained it's highly likely that Albert'straining will be helped by Shiloh.

I think you'll be fine. Have you tried clicker training with your Newfie? It's lots of fun. Basenjis are trainable, but they are very self-serving. All of mine have enjoyed "working" and enjoy figuring things out. But don't expect to be doing lots of reps. Stop while you're ahead. But really, Newfies aren't exactly reputed to be the easiest dogs to train either. Just don't expect your basenji to jump into that water if you're in trouble! (I mean that's why you have the Newf, right?)

Oh yes Newfs are trainable, check this out


Good job, you don't see too many big dogs in freestyle!

that's very impressive! and for the record, I didn't say they weren't trainable, just not reputed to be one of the easier breeds to train.

First Basenji's

The Newfie is not the concern. He has beef adorable all his life and responds well to our commands. He is starting to show some leadership to Albert our new commer.

Robert

PS. I enjoyed the video!

eeeefarm I assume you went tilt at my opening statement and were unable to read anything else I said fallowing that. Most people I know consider a dog that follows directions and obeys commands a trained animal. The definition of biddable, if not playing cards, is following directions or obeying commands. Something you agree is is not particularly Basenji like. Positive Punishment? Now that is a curious phrase. I am certain if you try using it on my very Alpha partner JaBok You would be unable to be in the same county with him unless you kept him tied up. I do agree with the cat in a dogs body analogy. Cats are also pretty much un-trainable. If you are able to get them to bond with you they will learn to adapt to your wants, needs and desires. Most people seem seem to think that a dog that learns to do everything you tell it is smart. I have always felt that dogs that do everything you tell it are kinda dumb and are unable to think for themselves. When JaBok and I go out to move the horses from one pasture to another He is right there and knows just what to do. He once saw what I was doing and because of his bond with me he wants to engage and assist. I never taught him any of it. Than I am unable to stop him when he sees a deer and he will chase it until it disappears That is instinct and he does not understand why I don't help him catch it. I would really like it if I could train him not to chase them. It has been ten years now and I have had no success. I am 70 And have worked with lots of dogs and horses with a reasonable degree of success. JaBok is a different story. We do everything together he comes when I call him he usually gets into the truck when I tell him. If he does not want to go he won't get in. I am completely unable to catch him if he really does not want to be caught. He will run to the house though and that tells me he wants to stay home so I let him in. Does he have me trained? If you re-read my previous statement I think you will see that I was attempting to explain how to get that which is Basenji to live in co-existence with you.

I agree with Elfinsailor in a couple of things. These dogs do learn by observation-Shadow has watched me on different things and knows how to do certain things by watching. He is very intense when watching. You can see the wheels turning in his eyes trying to figure out how he's going to get his little paws around something. Co-existing is really important. If they don't want to do something they won't-period. I always tell my puppy people to pretend they have perpetual two year old afoot. They think, reason somewhat, and throw temper tantrums once in awhile. They will try to push your buttons to get a reaction as well. So if there is something they are doing, it's because they want to do it, not to please you, but to please them. It's the typical 'What's in it for me?' attitude. I still say when the newf has had enough, he will (hopefully) put the puppy in it's place. Big dogs tend to be very, very gentle with puppies. In fact, IMO, Basenji's tend to put up a lot with their puppies until about six-seven months. Then the puppies tend to get a little too irritating and they get reprimanded sharply.

@ElfinSailor:

eeeefarm I assume you went tilt at my opening statement and were unable to read anything else I said fallowing that.

No, I read everything you wrote.

Most people I know consider a dog that follows directions and obeys commands a trained animal. The definition of biddable, if not playing cards, is following directions or obeying commands. Something you agree is is not particularly Basenji like.

With which I totally agree. However, saying they are untrainable is a different thing.

Positive Punishment? Now that is a curious phrase. I am certain if you try using it on my very Alpha partner JaBok You would be unable to be in the same county with him unless you kept him tied up.

Positive punishment, in the Operant vocabulary, simply means something added that tends to diminish the unwanted behaviour. It doesn't have to be severe to be effective, and definitely will work with Basenjis if…...and it is an important "if"......they are absolutely convinced that this consequence will occur every single time they perform the unwanted action. Think horses and electric fence, and you get the picture.

I do agree with the cat in a dogs body analogy. Cats are also pretty much un-trainable.

There are videos on line of cats doing agility obstacles on command. Again, this is using positive reinforcement and will work well for cats…..and Basenjis......if the reinforcement is salient enough.

Most people seem seem to think that a dog that learns to do everything you tell it is smart. I have always felt that dogs that do everything you tell it are kinda dumb and are unable to think for themselves.

There is "smart" (intelligent) and there is "biddable", and it doesn't have to be one or the other. Some dogs…...Border Collies would be a good example......are definitely both. Eager to work with the handler, but capable of working on their own. A good sheepdog is amazing to watch, particularly in a "silent gather', where no help is offered by the handler and the dog must make his own decisions. Basenjis, while not usually biddable, can certainly demonstrate they are intelligent, often while outsmarting their owners! 🙂

When JaBok and I go out to move the horses from one pasture to another He is right there and knows just what to do. He once saw what I was doing and because of his bond with me he wants to engage and assist. I never taught him any of it.

He sounds like an unusual Basenji. None of mine have been the least bit interested in herding, although I believe we have another member on here who does have Basenjis with such an inclination.

Than I am unable to stop him when he sees a deer and he will chase it until it disappears That is instinct and he does not understand why I don't help him catch it. I would really like it if I could train him not to chase them. It has been ten years now and I have had no success.

Doable but not easy, and would definitely involve consistent positive punishment. If chasing them doesn't put him at risk, why bother?

I am 70 And have worked with lots of dogs and horses with a reasonable degree of success. JaBok is a different story. We do everything together he comes when I call him he usually gets into the truck when I tell him. If he does not want to go he won't get in. I am completely unable to catch him if he really does not want to be caught. He will run to the house though and that tells me he wants to stay home so I let him in. Does he have me trained? If you re-read my previous statement I think you will see that I was attempting to explain how to get that which is Basenji to live in co-existence with you.

Yes, I do understand that. I am not a lot younger than you, and have had 5 Basenjis over a span of 40 plus years. My first was the most like your JaBok. She was the most biddable Basenji I have owned. She would come when called quite reliably, and seemed to care about pleasing me. I wrote about her here:

http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?11775-quot-You-can-t-do-that-with-a-Basenji!-quot&highlight=

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