Any advice to get started on the right foot?
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    First Basenji's

    Hello! I just adopted Moxie the other day. She's a Basenji mix, I think with border collie, between 1-2 years old. I've had border collie mixes in the past, so I know a bit about that part of her, but the Basenji part is new to me. You all look like the experts, so I'm hoping you could offer any advice you think a first-timer!

    What I know so far is that she's got a lot of energy (!), has good dog-park manners with other dogs of all sizes, is super curious, and likes to chew on things. She's a little shy of new people, jumps up a lot, and is still using her teeth when she plays. So far (24 hours in), she's learned to get out of the kitchen (she won't stay out, but she will go out of the room), and she was willing to sit and wait until i put her dinner down and released her - so i have hopes for her train-ability.

    Any advice you have is welcomed, but in particular I'd love some ideas about:

    1. Crate training - I've always had dogs who were able to have the run of the house, but my gut says that might be asking for trouble with this one. Any tips on this? Also - type of crate? My neighbor lent me a collapsible canvas one, but I worry she might chew through it. Would a metal one be best?

    2. Chewing - what kinds of chew toys do your dogs like and what have you found hold up best? None of my past dogs where big chewers, so I don't have any old chew toys to try out with her and I can already tell I'll need some to use to redirect her.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your insight - I appreciate it.

    Karen and Moxie
    attachment_t_15890_0_moxie.jpg

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  • She sure is a cutie pie. Try Bullysticks for the chewing. They usually last a while. Or a Kong stuffed with goodies. Crate training is definitely a good idea. Good luck with your girl, there is a lot of knowledge on this site.

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  • With that cross, you should have a smart dog. Whether she will be biddable like a Border Collie or an independent thinker like a Basenji will be interesting to find out. Great that she is good at the dog park, that should help with the physical exercise, but I would also challenge her mentally as much as I could. Keep her brain busy and she will be less likely to get into trouble. I recommend clicker training, and teaching her whatever things your imagination can come up with. I agree with crate training, at least until you have a handle on how trustworthy she will be.

    You can train an incompatible behaviour to help with the jumping up, and if she is as smart as I think she is, it shouldn't be too hard to persuade her that using teeth when playing is a "no no". You can object verbally and cease the play whenever she does that, and see how she responds. If you are lucky that is all it will take, assuming you are consistent. I have some Border Collie experience, and they are 180 degrees different from Basenjis, so it will be interesting to see which traits are dominant! :)

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  • Q

    A very interesting mix! I agree with all above…just as a pointer, my boy adores natural fabrics (to eat!) so cotton, denim etc. should be kept well out of the way...

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  • K

    She's a lovely girl.
    When we got Lela as a put we crate trained her. Now we have her sister Binti too, and when we leave the house we leave them sleeping on the coach - 4 hours max. We never leave them for a full day - a basenji needs company!
    As to chewing: we use rawhide rolls of 8 or 10 inches long. They love it.
    Have fun!

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  • how adorable!

    yes crate train. even if you don't "need" it, it's nice to have a dog that will be content in a crate in case you have to stay in a hotel or a friend's house or even in an emergency situation. Garrett's dvd "Crate Games" is a good place to start.

    Nylabones, kongs, interactive food dispensing toys are good things.

    i think you need to find an agility class - you'll both have fun.

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  • ?

    Definitely crate train, comes in handy in lot's of ways, we took our boy away with us on holiday for the first time and he had his crate which he loves and it helped him have something from home which helped him settle in a strange place, we use a collapsible metal one and he sleeps/eats in it, as a puppy it was used for time out to calm him down but never as a punishment, goes in it only after exercise if we go out shopping/visiting . Kaiser has had a Kong that you stuff and a nylabone and what lasts the longest is Deer antler, he gets dried venison tendon but it doesn't last very long at all now. She is oh so cute, what a lovely mix. Good luck with Moxie.

    Jolanda and Kaiser

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  • M
    First Basenji's

    Thanks for the tips everyone! She's doing great so far and jumping up/ biting less as she decompresses from being at the shelter. I'll look for bullysticks, antlers, etc. as suggested since she seems game to trade out inappropriate chewies for more appropriate ones - so finding ones that last longer will be great. Thanks again!

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  • Antlers last much longer than bully sticks but both are good distractions. I used to use them as a way to feet stuff done around the house without worrying "where is he, what is he into, am ignoring to step on him?" Bully sticks have me a half hour of uninterrupted chore time! Antlers tend to last much longer but each are great. Also, get a black kong and fill it with mashed dry food, wet food or bananas, peanut butter etc..and then freeze it..that's another great way to get them focused on something.

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  • D

    We approve of the flossing string toys.
    We learned the hard way it was a BIG mistake to give our B the cheap plastic toys. Basenji's are very smart and she has graduated to Vitamin bottles and plastic pill containers because the soft plastic smells similar and she see us "Playing" with them.

    Helpful trick, I use one half of a jelly bean to get our B into the crate. I eat half and she has to go in to get the other half. Same is true when I need her to stay still to get a leash on her at walk time. This is the most food driven dog I've ever trained.

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  • M
    First Basenji's

    Moxie is in love with her new antler! Thanks everyone for all the great tips. I'll look for the flossing string toys DogGoneCrazy; and I really love the jelly bean trick! Her new crate is due to arrive tomorrow and we'll start working in earnest on the crate training then. In the meantime, she's expending a lot of energy wrestling with the neighbor's new puppy - a lot :)

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  • Awesome.. Antlers are great, work hard on crate training because it's super important…I had an awful awful time with separation anxiety and it was horrendous to get through crate training but we have made great progress.

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