Help! Basenji mix?

I just adopted this dog 3 days ago from a shelter here in SF. He was picked up at kill shelter in Merced County, a rural farming county in the central valley.

I picked him because he is part herding dog, probably border collie, and I wanted a smart active dog, one i could run with and teach tricks. I have been trying to explain his ears. I saw Basenji ears and started reading and recognizing simmilarites….his tail is no guide. At some point someone docked it.

Basenji-like traits Ive noticed in my new dog:
1. Within three hours of being at my house he escaped out two windows. Ive caught him climbing over a large baby gate and watched him figure out the weakness in an iron fence and almost get through it. I have also had to tighten his collar a couple times because he has gotten out it. He is an escape artist.

2. This is the strangest one. He habitually gets up on his hind legs. Whether he hears someone upstairs, or if I am across the room and make noise with a paper bag, he gets up on his hind legs to look and listen. He will sometimes walk on his hind legs. When at the shelter he was always on his hind legs trying to see and hear things. Not alwyas supporting himself either. Just up on his back legs his front paws in the air. He does this a lot.

3. Knows one of my roomates knows nothing about dogs and takes advantage of him. Marks in his room, plops down on his bed, steals his socks. My other roomate came from a family that raised Vizlas, and around him (and I for that matter) he is a very obdient dog who looks up at us wanting to know what we are going to do next (unless we plain ignore him).

4. This dog must be monitored at all times. He doesn't need constant attention but knows when you are "with" him. If you give your full attention to some task , virtually ignoring him, thats when you trun around and find him eating something he shouldn't, etc.

5. He has something of a bark, but when left alone in a room in his kennel for 25-30minutes he lets rip the stangest assortments of sounds I have ever heard come from dog. Whining, strange barking, a sound ive dubbed the "yawp" that sometimes morphs into a howl-like sound.

6. Being alone is this dogs worst nightmare.

7. Learns very fast. will repeat 2 times, maybe 3 and then he will do it when he feels like it.

Herding Traits:

1. Nips heels ( the roomate he is harassing)
2. Watched him subdue the neighbors pitbull puppy, using the dogs harness, deftly flipped him and pinned him down with his butt
3. The classic collie stalk and stare has been observed once.

General:

1. Loves affection
2. food motivated
3. This dogs runs really fast
4. Ok with other dogs, but will bolt at small animals...mainly birds, haven't encountered any cats yet.
5. Does not like loud noises.
6. young 1 year 3 months.
7. willfull dog
8. If your "no" is too firm he becomes frightened.
9. 25 pounds right now but underweight? I can feel his ribs.
10. Velcro dog

My main suspicions regarding Basenji blood is the hind leg standing and his ears. Regardless, I think I'll get him tested, even though opinions on the wisdom panel vary. I would be interested in hearing anybody's opinion as to whether the they think the dog is Basenji. If not he has some simmilar behavior and maybe I should just train like he is? I think I will do training classes, maybe agility? I've never dealt with a dog this smart and complex before, but i'm willing to elevate my game. He is getting a tone of exercise. Frankly its kinda wearing me out! I guess it beats the TV! Any opinions or advice appreciated.

Thanks!
-Steve
attachment_t_15715_0_johann.jpg

I have a basenji mix also from a shelter near Merced (adopted her as a 7-9 month old puppy last August. She has a lot of the same traits you mention. I think there is apparently at least one unsprayed basenji(s) in that area! This adoption was my first time dealing with basenjis in any form and I have to say basenjis are really different.

Not sure what will work for you as far as training goes - but I found a lot of information on these forums was really useful as well as some of the links here - http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?1672-Favorite-Basenji-Sites

I really feel training was difficult until Kanga decided that she wanted to live here and I had proven that I really was the best pack leader. That was when all the training difficulties fell away and she became totally cooperative with pretty much all of my requests. She is now an awesome dog, but the first 2 - 3 months were rough. She had failed out of her first home (maybe the case with your dog as well?) and learned some horrible habits in the process so I had some work to do.

Some other things that helped:

  • Experienced older dog that helped set the expectations
  • Exercising her hard. I tried to run with her, but was not able to run far enough or fast enough. So I bicycle ride with her on a leash. She loves it.
  • Mental stimulation - lots of games and fun stuff every day
  • Respect - I respect her and have high expectations for behavior. The Zande site was helpful - esp this article.
    http://www.zandebasenjis.com/inform.htm
    Select quote from article:

"An idea some people find effective is to make a mountain from a molehill, and create a great fuss over a minor misdemeanour. "WHO threw the cushions on the floor ?? BAD dogs" - so whenever these particular Basenjis wish to be VERY wicked - they throw cushions on the floor. We get into a great state over torn up newspapers. So our home-pack, when punishing us for some imagined misdemeanor, shred the Daily Telegraph."

  • Having a sense of humor!

Good luck!

@kanga:

The Zande site was helpful - esp this article.
http://www.zandebasenjis.com/inform.htm
Select quote from article:

"An idea some people find effective is to make a mountain from a molehill, and create a great fuss over a minor misdemeanour. "WHO threw the cushions on the floor ?? BAD dogs" - so whenever these particular Basenjis wish to be VERY wicked - they throw cushions on the floor. We get into a great state over torn up newspapers. So our home-pack, when punishing us for some imagined misdemeanor, shred the Daily Telegraph."

This is great advice! I had one boy I adopted when he was two years old. He started out being destructive when left alone, until we reached an understanding. After that, he would shred a flyer or other piece of paper, but never anything important. I always chewed him out verbally for his behaviour, which satisfied him that he had gotten my attention, so he didn't feel the need to escalate. Worked well for me! Occasionally I would sneak back and peak through the window after we had left, and often discovered him deliberately choosing something to shred! 🙂

Welcome to the forum.

Certainly looks like a pumped up Basenji.

Basenji-like traits Ive noticed in my new dog:
1. Within three hours of being at my house he escaped out two windows. Ive caught him climbing over a large baby gate and watched him figure out the weakness in an iron fence and almost get through it. I have also had to tighten his collar a couple times because he has gotten out it. He is an escape artist. Sounds like mine

2. This is the strangest one. He habitually gets up on his hind legs. Whether he hears someone upstairs, or if I am across the room and make noise with a paper bag, he gets up on his hind legs to look and listen. He will sometimes walk on his hind legs. When at the shelter he was always on his hind legs trying to see and hear things. Not alwyas supporting himself either. Just up on his back legs his front paws in the air. He does this a lot. Definitely sounds like my Basenjis. My wife and I call it prairie dogging when they sit back on their butts/legs but straight up and down. When they sort of waljk around (usually looking for stuff to get and chew), we call it T-rexing, because they fold their front legs up tight usually

3. Knows one of my roomates knows nothing about dogs and takes advantage of him. Marks in his room, plops down on his bed, steals his socks. My other roomate came from a family that raised Vizlas, and around him (and I for that matter) he is a very obdient dog who looks up at us wanting to know what we are going to do next (unless we plain ignore him).

4. This dog must be monitored at all times. He doesn't need constant attention but knows when you are "with" him. If you give your full attention to some task , virtually ignoring him, thats when you trun around and find him eating something he shouldn't, etc. yep

5. He has something of a bark, but when left alone in a room in his kennel for 25-30minutes he lets rip the stangest assortments of sounds I have ever heard come from dog. Whining, strange barking, a sound ive dubbed the "yawp" that sometimes morphs into a howl-like sound. You will have to go to Basenji.org and find some of the sounds or maybe there are some around here. This sounds just like a typical Basenji from what you're describing

6. Being alone is this dogs worst nightmare. two of mine are fine, the other is OK if we are gone, nut the minute she realizes she is separated from us, but we are still home, instant freak out. She can be laying on the deck and in the yard all day and you go about your business, but go upstairs and shut the door, she instantly knows!

7. Learns very fast. will repeat 2 times, maybe 3 and then he will do it when he feels like it. sounds like a mix of Basenji and border collie to me

Herding Traits:

1. Nips heels ( the roomate he is harassing)
2. Watched him subdue the neighbors pitbull puppy, using the dogs harness, deftly flipped him and pinned him down with his butt
3. The classic collie stalk and stare has been observed once.

General:

1. Loves affection
2. food motivated mine are giant treat whores
3. This dogs runs really fast sounds like a Basenjis, though border collies are no slowpoke
4. Ok with other dogs, but will bolt at small animals…mainly birds, haven't encountered any cats yet. Definitely sounds like a sighthound
5. Does not like loud noises.
6. young 1 year 3 months.
7. willfull dog
8. If your "no" is too firm he becomes frightened.
9. 25 pounds right now but underweight? I can feel his ribs. 25 would be on the big side for a Basenji, but feeling ribs is fine, especially with dogs built like Basenjis, its when they are always visible that they are too thin
10. Velcro dog

Have fun, sounds like this could turn out to be an awesome dog, but given the traits of border collies and Basenjis, can be a real handful!

Forgot to ask, do you live the Central Valley area? I used to work for a company that developed some property in Patterson. Very different out there than back here, that's for sure.

What a cutie, sad such beautiful dogs get put down. To me the ears look Basenji and some of the things he does as well, Kaiser does a wait and stare. Do let us know if you get him tested what the results are. Find Kaiser needs mental exercise more than physical, he is a very good puzzle solver, maybe you can play some mental games and see if that helps to tire him.

Jolanda and Kaiser

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