Pooping in the Bush
First Basenji's

When my wife and I got Cosette in Bénin, getting her to pee wasn't an issue; she quickly learned to pee on dirt or in grass (but not in the house). But she refused to poop unless she could find a nice patch of bush (tall grass, weeds, thickets, etc.) to burrow into first.

Even now that she's in the U.S., she almost exclusively poops in stands of tall grass or thick bunches of weeds. She'll sometimes settle for a lawn that needs a good mowing, but even that is a last resort.

It makes sense that a dog used to African forests (and, nowadays, motorcycle-clogged roads) would prefer the relative safety of a thicket rather than being indisposed in a more public setting. But then again, there could be snakes in that bush!

So is this pooping in the weeds typical basenji behavior or a quirk unique to our dog?

My lab-sharpi mix was a privacy please while I poop type. He would even turn his backside to me in an exposed area. He also would let out a gentle woof as if asking for privacy. I just learned to find similar places that he was comfortable and made the best of it.

I think the tall grass/bush thing is about keeping their space clean. Cain would only poop in a certain area if inside his fenced yard.

~Sunny

Perhaps you can build him an enclosed area , let the grass grow a bit longer in there. Pick up each time so it stays clean.

Not typical Basenji behavior.... Each are different.... and I think many breed of dogs and/or mixes prefer a slightly secluded place

last edited by tanza
First Basenji's

Thanks for the replies. It doesn't bother me so much (if I'm getting impatient, I can just find the nearest yard that needs to be mowed). I was just curious!

I am dealing with the same issue with our adopted rescue dog Rosie. She was billed as a terrier mix but since having her, we really believe that she as a good deal of Basenji in her. After only two weeks of owning her, she's really bonded with me and howls when I'm away (while my husband is sitting with her). Her coloration is very Basenji like. Will do a DNA test one day. Meanwhile, she is very driven to do her business in the weeds. I've gotten her to pee in the yard but she just refuses to go if she can't get into something resembling knee high weeds. Ticks are a big issue right now (she does have her Lyme vaccination and we have flea/tick drops on her). Plus we will travel with her, where choices of weed plots may be non-existent. I'm hoping over time to get her transitions into using a lawn or berm of the road. Rosie is fastidious about stepping in areas previous used. She's even refusing to walk on my left side when we go past the fence line where she previously did several pees and poops. When she does go in an area of weeds where she has gone before, she twists herself into a knot and leaps out when she's done. Anything to avoid walking through that area. Ewww! Anyone have an idea as to how to transition her into using less secluded spots? I've seen her really hold it in to avoid using the lawn.

@baba-bamidele My "doodleBUG" prefers Monkey Grass, even if it's wet. It's rather prolific (in the SouthEast corner of NC, USA) and grows about a foot high with the leaves softly bending over. It will overcrowd the planting bed and need to be thinned out every 5 years or so. It also seems to be adaptable to a wide range of lighting variables.

Monkey Grass

@baba-bamidele said in Pooping in the Bush:

So is this pooping in the weeds typical basenji behavior or a quirk unique to our dog?

Our female B would always find high grass to do her business. Her brother was a spinner--always a challenge to get the Flexi-lead out of the way in time. 🙂

I hope that this perceived antic is past the worrying time. Most dogs will dump where they feel the need to leave their mark. Not a Basenji! No, no. The bitches will not crap in the open, so they always leave the patch and "go bush", making sure they do not leave their craps in the open, for anyone to find. If there is a thicket, all the better. The boys have similar behaviour, but every B is different. Some circle the wagon, some walk in a circle, and some take forever to find the right exact spot to have a crap. It is normal behaviour, so cater for their needs and your B will respect your thoughtfulness.

Redial I've had 3 bitches and have fostered both males and females. Absolutely zero wanted bushes or high grass. I wonder if it's your environment?

Our Samoyed male, however, WANTS to use bushes. As we have a serious snake issue, we just don't let him. He eventually gives in.

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