New to the Forum from Bucks County, PA

  • My name is Deborah, Pixi is my second B. She is a 14 months old Black and White petite. She is sweeter than honey but has her moments that are quite obnoxious. Wait, did I just tell a huge population of B owners that my sweet B is obnoxious? My husband did not want another B, we lost our last B at 17 to Lymphoma March 2012 he was so well behaved and had the freedom of the whole house, he had a charmed life, he did not want to push our luck. Pixi was stuck at a Pet store from the age of 2 months until I rescued her at 6 months. She was hard to house train but after 6 weeks successful almost completely. She was crated until she was 9 months and given the freedom of our family room and Kitchen, no destruction. She has a thing with biting socks with feet in them and pulling stuffing out of pillows and quilts and now the couch but only when we are home. Nipping relentlessly on extremities, nothing deters her. I have leash trained her, used bitter apple, used quit it spray, distract her with toys and it seems like she laughs at me and continues without fear in fact I think it is just all a big game to her. I walk her 30 minutes to an hour, play with her and cuddle with her. I have read with B's you should try not to react because they just get more excited. We have tried putting her on a leash, gently holding her down, lifting her off her feet but I think we failed at being her Alpha. I am hoping she will settle down.
    I am going to admit I spoiled her by giving her so much freedom. I need to work on this before my husband wants to find her another home.
    I don't want to give her up and know there is much room for progress but unsure what to do.
    Thanks for listening,
    Pixi's Mom

  • Hi, Deborah! I am very surprised that no one has yet answered you….I am so sorry that you lost your first B - but what a life you must have given him to live to 17! It is very difficult if you can't refer back to your breeder. I applaud you for rescuing her from a Pet Shop. Some people will not. I am sure (with a B that lived to 17) you are aware of health issues that can affect our dogs and have had all possible ones checked. I am not nearly as knowledgeable as some on here, but I would suggest bringing the crate back and making it a pleasant place..give her stuffed animals in her crate that she can disembowel happily, feed her and/or give her treats in there. This gives you options for using it for 'time outs' when her behaviour gets too much....sorry, it's very late in UK. Talk tomorrow, welcome and piccies, please!

  • you need to find a gentle, positive trainer to help you with this handful, er, i mean little darling. Basenjis, contrary to what some believe, love to learn. And clicker training is a great way to get the best out of them. It's very likely that your little girl missed out on some key socialization. Here's a good place to start your search on a good trainer:

    be sure to ask to sit in on a class your prospective trainer will be teaching before committing.

    I also highly recommend the Relaxation Protocol:

    as well as the book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDivett.

  • Keep in mind that she came from a Pet Store, meaning Puppymill Puppy…. she was taken way to early from both her Mom and her littermates before she had time to learn many things from them... number one being bite inhibition, critical early development from adults and littermates, mouthing is normal learning for puppies... and if they miss that early socialization it makes it twice as difficult when they are older.... I agree with agilebasenji about finding a trainer ... but also try working her mind.... with sits, downs, stay, hide and seek, all kinds of things that you can do. When she becomes over excited, revert to working her mind. She doesn't have to do them perfect... but make her mind work for treats/pets.
    Old school was the "power play"... over used and not really effective... as if there is a real struggle, for sure you will lose.... being Alpha is not based on who is stronger, because the dog will always win, if they want.

    ps... welcome to the forum... while I live in California now, I was born and raised in Bucks County!

  • @tanza:

    but also try working her mind…. with sits, downs, stay, hide and seek, all kinds of things that you can do. When she becomes over excited, revert to working her mind. She doesn't have to do them perfect... but make her mind work for treats/pets.

    I use food dispensing toys for my dogs' meals to help exercise their problem solving brain cells. (well, not the 16 year old) This is what the girls got for xmas:

    the small size is sufficient for the basenji. I have several different kinds so I rotate, but the Kong brand one is not too difficult for the dogs, easy to fill, easy to wash.

  • Hi Deborah. I used to live in Bucks County. You ever need a new vet, try Pets Best Friends. My friend Brenda works there as a vet tech and might be able to help you find a positive trainer.

    Sometimes very mouthy dogs can be taught to have soft mouths and learn no teeth, but it does seem for some the putting of human parts in mouth is almost irresistible.

    Kathy Davis' article for no bite works, but forget the yelping advice… many B's consider that the equivalent of a squeak toy and do it more.

    For lessons in all obedience, but a truly positive trainer, try this site.

    Mary is down in Delaware, but you can contact her also for advice. She is superb.

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