• Hi,

    I got a couple of questions about crate and potty training for a basenji puppy i am going to be getting soon I hope someone can answer.

    Crate Training~

    I have never crate trained a dog before and know through reading that the crate is supposed to be a den for basenji's. How do I get the pup to enjoy going there. My neighbor has a dog who is crated and it doesn't seem to be working. The dog screems and scratches the crate as though he hates it. He also has accidents in his crate. I want my pup to enjoy its crate not think of it as jail or a place to go potty.

    Potty Training~

    How long on average does it take to potty train a Basenji. Most websites and books I read did not give a timeframe. I plan on taking my pup to the office with me during the day but would rather have him pottytrained beforehand.

    Thanks for any advice!

  • Crate Training:
    I think that it is important that you plan to bring your puppy home when you can have a few days at home with it. During those days home with the puppy you can work on crate training. Reward the puppy for investigating its crate and choosing to go into it. Use a "special" treat, like a stuffed Kong, that they only get in the crate to make it a positive place. Your puppy may already have positive associations with the crate when they come home depending on their experiences at their breeders.
    As for pottying in the crate, many people forgot how small those puppy bladders are. It is important that you make sure your puppy gets taken out often enough. The general rule of thumb is you take how many months old the puppy is and add 1 and that is maximum number of hours between potty breaks. If you bring home your pup at 8 weeks old that means it will need to be out every 3 hours.

    The length of time it takes to housebreak a dog depends a little on the dog and a lot on the consistency of the owner. It is very important that you get the puppy out often enough when they are young. You must be prepared to take the puppy out when it first wakes up, after it eats, when it plays. You also have to be attentive so you pick up on the puppy's signals that it needs to go out, which could be a simple glance at the door before they pee.

  • Thank you for the information Lvoss! I like your rule of thumb on how many hours before taking the pup out. Thank you! I will use the kong as a positive reward to going into the crate but what about when the crate is closed. How will I be able to minimize the screeming. I would like to have a dog that can be created while I am at home if need be. How to you keep that a positive thing in the pupps eyes?

  • Don't try to rush crate training. By feeding dinner in the crate and giving special treats when you put your dog in the crate you are making the crate a positive place. Make the crate times short and work up to longer times. If the puppy is eagerly going in the crate for its dinner then close the door while it eats. Do short household chores, like the dishes, while it is eating so you are not right there watching. Build to longer times.


  • Regarding crate size…I’ve read in websites that a basenji will not potty where he sleeps. A trainer told me to buy a small crate. A crate the size for the pup to only turn around. No extra room. Others say a large crate so they have a place to potty if necessary...away from their bed. What do you suggest? I am aware that a lot of this will be trial and error on my part. A huge learning experience but If I can receive knowledgeable information in advance this will make my pup much happier.
    Again Lisa, thank you for your advice. It is hard to find good advice on basenji's.

    I want my new pup to be as comfortable as possible. I know that there will be much stress in the beginning. I will be traveling out of state to bring him home so the plane ride I am sure will not be pleasurable. Luckely, I have researched an airline that will allow me to have him with me flight w/ me.

    Do your Basenji's Yodel? I was able to download some sounds. Do your neighbors complane. I read once that pupps sound like screeming children. Is that true? Will I be needing earplugs? 🙂

  • I have a medium VariKennel for all of my dogs. These fit nicely in the car and we use them for traveling. They are also a good size to start puppies. As they grow I use larger crates in house. I have larger wire crates for my girls and my male prefers an Intermediate VariKennel.

    I have flown with a puppy in cabin in a Sherpa bag and a couple of times with a young adult in a Sherpa bag. Both dogs did very well. The take-off is the part they liked least. It is pretty funny to see my girls when I get out the sherpa, they both try to squeeze into it together 🙂

    My girls are yodelers. I have never had anyone complain about their yodeling. When I stayed in a hotel in Monterey, CA with my male, before I got the girls, I did have the person next door say that when we went out for dinner they thought that we were watching some murder mystery with a woman screaming in it and then realized it was our dog. They had a very good sense of humor about it once they realized it was a dog and said he settled down quickly. He has since stayed at many hotels and we have never had another complaint.

  • Watching the girls try to squeeze in the sharpa bag would be a sight to see 🙂

    I think I will need to invest in some earplugs. As for my neighbors…I don't think they will have a good sense of humor about a screeming puppy. 😉

    How did you first hear about Basenji's? What made you decide to raise them?
    Was it challenging?

  • I first read about the breed while thumbing through a AKC dog breed book at a local used book store. I thought the description of the breed was interesting and went home and looked the breed up on the internet. I joined the mail lists and attended a conformation show and a lure trial. Even with the description of the breed as stubborn, destructive, and independent, I found myself drawn to them. About a year after I first read about the breed, I got my first basenji, Nicky. That was about 8 years ago. I was living in an apartment at the time. Nicky only ever had a couple of accidents inside and has never been too destructive except when it comes to dog beds and comforters. But Nicky screamed in his crate for 20 minutes at a time when we left the house. We never got any complaints and that probably had a lot to do with it being a college town and our always being on time with our rent. Nicky was a great introduction into the basenji world. He has always been game to give things a try with me. He has earned his AKC Championship, his AKC Field Championship, an ASFA Lure Courser of Merit, has given straight line and oval racing a try and just this April finished his AKC Rally Novice title. 3 years after getting Nicky, we brought home Rally and we realized there was still a whole lot more for us to learn. Rally took a little longer to housebreak, mostly because we were slow to pick up on her signals that she needed to go out. She would fall asleep with her head on the rungs of our dining chairs and end up mouthing them in her sleep. She has never had a problem with her crate, wagging her tail and waiting for her treat. She firmly believes that everyone just naturally loves her and exists to please her. She yodels in joy and after Nicky got over her being the "wrong" color he decided life was much better with her.

    Raising a litter was a whole different experience. I am glad that I have great mentors. Talking to perspective puppy buyers about why I was breeding the litter and why I chose the stud dog that I picked gave me an opportunity to reflect on what I was about to undertake. When the litter actually arrived, it was challenging but rewarding also. It is a lot of responsibility, knowing that how pup is as an adult is so dependent on its early experiences with its littermates and breeder. Rally was an awesome mom and Uncle Nicky did a great job teaching the pups. We worked hard to provide lots of different experiences so the pups would go home well socialized and well on their way to being great family members. Rio, is teaching us all sorts of new lessons.

    That is probably more than you wanted to know but I didn't really know how to shorten it.


  • Just my 2 cents worth - hope this helps! If you survive the first year, you >>will never be happy with another breed again…and you'll find yourself >>thinking, "Well, how much trouble could just one more Basenji be...."

    LOL, how did you know what I have been thinking? The very thought makes my husband cringe {and he loves Jazzy} -- silly man has it in his mind that Jazz is our last dog. And oh! the looks I get when I preface a statement with, "I think I'd like my next basenji to be......."
    I can't be sure I will "win" this battle,

    But it seems Basenjis are like potato chips -- nobody wants to stop at just one. {except, of course, my husband 😞 }.

  • .<< And oh! the looks I get when I preface a statement with, "I think I'd like my next basenji to be…...."
    I can't be sure I will "win" this battle, >>

    Imagine the looks you would get when you say "when we get our sixth basenji" 😉 Actually Tim is incredibly supportive....but there are times when he says "WHY do we have THESE dogs???"...he wanted a nice black lab 😉

  • Andrea,

    I have heard that exact same quote from husband. Usually when the dogs have chewed somthing or are dancing on his head in the morning.:)

  • <<have heard="" that="" exact="" same="" quote="" from="" husband.="" usually="" when="" the="" dogs="" have="" chewed="" somthing="" or="" are="" dancing="" on="" his="" head="" in="" morning="">>

    Yep….two of ours have what we call "extra pokey feet" ....so when you are lying on the couch, and they climb up, they step all over you with their "extra pokey feet"..and it hurts! The others have normal feet, and they never seem to inflict pain with them ;)</have>

  • I relate to the "extra pokey feet". I have to laugh, because every time I'm on the couch, Duke jumps up and begins walking all over me and up to my shoulders. His feet are pokey - kinda hurts! He gets the boot - but he comes right back and does it again. I get bossy the 2nd time and he stops. This is an every day event as it must be his way of greeting me after I get home from work.

  • Hi, just a quick note, about advice on Basenji's, I belong to Basenji Companions, simply because there are many
    B-oldtimers who have been there/done that, and have all kinds of great advice to help Basenji owners who are novices! I know they have been a Heaven sent addition to my household and my rescues!! Carole

  • Yes husbands can be a trial at times. When my Kalya was dying from lymphoma hubby said no dogs for awhile!
    Kalya left on tues. for the bridge, on sat. we got a Basenji/Aussie mix, who was gonna be put down, and then3 months later got Mata Hauri Samuel to co-own. Now hubby is going in sept to the BOCA to see the african exhibit and meet some friends. Said he would love to at least see a tri! ggggg Carole

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