Teaching your basenji puppy the rules
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    so i am noticing that basenji puppy's are not very good at following the set rules. I'm not even sure if she knows what she can or cannot do. I of course know that physical punishment is prohibited and i have been trying to correct behaviors with loud and strict commands like off, no, " fu" which in Russian is the same as drop it, and leave it. When she gets on the couch for example i will loudly and very strictly say off and take her off the couch. However, in a few seconds she will get on again. Please help me and give suggestions.

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  • I can't imagine not having my dog on my couch, chair, lap at all times, they are snuggle monsters if raised correctly. Is there a reason you can't have her on your couch? Where is your dog supposed to be? Basenjis are not a seen and not heard type of animal, they are social with their family and will want to be with you and doing what you do.

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  • E

    My B boy flunked out of puppy kindergarten twice! LOL! My favorite thing was having him snuggling up next to me on the couch. If I'd move over, he'd immediately scoot over. He HAD to be touching me! He also loved lying across the top of the couch, next to the window. The only time my B liked to be on the floor was if there was a space heater or fireplace there!

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  • Basenjis do like to follow their own rules. She can and will learn what your rules are, but don't be surprised if she ignores them. Honestly though, she hasn't had enough time to learn what the rules are yet. It can take weeks or months for puppies to learn what they are/are not supposed to do. Puppies have a lot of things to learn and there will be ups and downs. At times it will seem like she's doing great, and then she'll backtrack a few steps; completely normal. If you continue to want her off the couch, just keep doing what you're doing and be patient. You could try clicker training or using treats to lure her off the couch after you give the command and gradually phase out the treats. I'd also give her a treat when she does not jump on the couch when she usually would, again phasing out the treats. Any new behavior you try to teach is going to take time for her to reliably perform. Basenjis learn quickly but they don't always choose to do as asked. She may very well stay off the couch when you are watching and then sneak up when able.

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  • Consistency is key. You can't enforce a rule today and let it slide tomorrow, if you want her to learn. Beware of setting up a situation that can be turned against you. e.g. I would be careful about using treats to lure her off the couch, because a smart dog will soon learn to jump on the couch in order to be lured off by treats. I like clicker training, but it isn't always useful for extinguishing behaviour unless you can set things up to train an incompatible behaviour.

    I allow my Basenjis on furniture, but with my first one I was living in my parents' home, and they did not allow it. My girl Val certainly learned to comply when anyone was present, but she would cheat whenever she knew nobody was watching her. She would also misbehave deliberately to entice you to play, or to "pay you back" if you annoyed her. When your dog looks you in the eye, then deliberately jumps onto the forbidden bed, you know the game is on from her point of view! (it's awfully hard to be stern when you are trying not to laugh!)

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  • @eeeefarm:

    I would be careful about using treats to lure her off the couch, because a smart dog will soon learn to jump on the couch in order to be lured off by treats. I like clicker training, but it isn't always useful for extinguishing behaviour unless you can set things up to train an incompatible behaviour.

    Which is why phasing out the treats, as well as rewarding when she does refrain from jumping on the couch is so important. Especially since the op is trying to teach the "off" command, they may find using treats in the beginning useful. Once Lucky knows what off means, treats should be random until eventually stopping altogether. And if she does jump immediately back up, no 2nd reward- a firm off, placing her on the floor and rewarding only once she has stayed down. It would also be helpful to teach something along the lines of "stay", so that when she is about to jump on the couch, give her the command, and when she successfully stays off, reward :)

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  • Agree…. Basenji not on the couch? Your kidding, right? You have only had her what? a week? Way, way to soon to expect they would know/understand the rules.

    And eeeefarm you are exactly right with this statement " misbehave deliberately to entice you to play, or to "pay you back" if you annoyed her. When your dog looks you in the eye, then deliberately jumps onto the forbidden bed, you know the game is on from her point of view! (it's awfully hard to be stern when you are trying not to laugh!)"

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    1. Keeping a B off your couch/bed/chair/lap is a full time occupation. I'd suggest: enjoy them next to/on top of you. We do.
    2. They know exactly what is allowed or not, but they tend to 'forget' very quickly. You just have to keep repeating the rules every day. We learned to see it as a game. Other dogs play with a stick or a ball, a B plays with his/her human's head.

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    OK! Thanks guys! I learned a lot and will use all of your suggestions.

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    @kjdonkers:

    Other dogs play with a stick or a ball, a B plays with his/her human's head.

    II do know what you mean, but I had a horrible thought of Butu as a sort of canine Madame Desfarge sitting at the foot of the guillotine….

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    Not allowed on the couch was the first rule we made and the first we broke, I only made it to please the hubby, but know I wanted snuggles and cuddles so not sad it went out the window. I just wasn't willing to spend sooo much time correcting Kaiser over the rule that I knew he was going to win and seemed to be wrong as he is all about human contact and just glad he loves to sleep in his crate and the bed rule never got broken. Knowing how Kaiser yearns to have human contact and how he likes to be up high I don't think I would have made it a rule in the first place, but if you stick to it and give your puppy a comfy, warm, high, sunny spot and lot's of cuddles it may learn in time to love the spot you have chosen for it, but will say good luck with that.

    Jolanda and Kaiser

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