• This is Scout, my Red and White beautiful girl! She is just under 4 months old and an amazing dog! She has finally started to get the hang of going to the bathroom outside, except for the occasional accident if she gets too excited. I am from the Westchester, NY area, and I am looking for basic obediance trainers. I am having some small issues with play fighting that turns a little too rough, as well as biting walls. She is also starting to growl and get aggressive when she is being held, any assistance is greatly appreciated!

    • Julian

  • She is adorable! Very sweet looking girl. O.K. the problems. If play fighting leads to rough play, best to stop that activity for awhile. Certainly it should stop immediately if she is getting wound up. Find other things to interest and distract her. Biting walls I would handle with distraction as well, and prevention if she persists. (remove her to a safe place where she can't indulge in the behaviour). Growling when held, do not put her down when she does this. Release her immediately when she is quiet. She needs to learn that growling and aggressive behaviour never gets her what she wants, but being cooperative is the key that opens the door.

    I don't know your area, so I can't recommend anyone. Are there classes near you? There is lots of information on line about how to proceed with training at home, teaching the basics, etc. but classes are good for socialization. Remember that whenever you interact you are teaching her something, for better or worse. Treat her with respect but insist that she do likewise with you. Clicker training works well with Basenjis. When you aren't doing formal training you can still think of ways to keep her engaged and interested. Lots of physical exercise (walks, playing) is good, but mental exercise will help a lot. A tired Basenji is a good Basenji!

  • Very cute girl, who is her breeder? And that is the place you should start with discussions on a trainer (however a puppy class is also a good place to start)... and with behavior issues.

  • @tanza, thank you very much for your reply. Her breeder is Lisa Simmons, from Albany, NY. I will reach out to her, Lisa is always very helpful, I just thought I would see what people suggested on this forum. I am currently looking for puppy classes and basic obedience classes. Thank you for your help!

  • @eeeefarm, thank you so much for your response! That is what I am currently working on, distraction with either her favorite toy or bone. It seems to be working. I also removed her toys from her so that when she does get it, she sees it as a reward, do you think that is a good idea? Regarding the growling, very good idea, and it makes sense. I don't want her to realize that she is dominant because then that will be an issue. I will try your idea and continue holding her. I will post a reply after about a week to let you know the results. Once again, thank you!

  • @jamato said in Scout:

    I also removed her toys from her so that when she does get it, she sees it as a reward, do you think that is a good idea?

    Yes. It's generally a good idea to ration access to toys rather than leaving them lying around, and using them as rewards is a great idea. It shows her you have control of the "good things" and that she can earn them by pleasing you. Toys are an alternative to food rewards and can work very well depending on the dog. If she is particularly possessive of a favourite toy you might want to avoid confrontation regarding its removal and use distraction instead, so you can put it away when she isn't looking.

    Toys are also a great way to teach her useful things, such as understanding the names of items. I like to teach "pick it up" as a non specific action, so I can ask the dog to pick things up by name or just by pointing to the object. This is something that works very well with clicker training. Start with a favourite toy, and once she reliably picks that up when you request it, name the item. Then replace it with another item and go through the same procedure with the different name. Then the two items together, with a reward only when she chooses correctly. You can gradually add items to the mix. Makes a good party trick and also a more useful dog!

    Have fun, and most important, make sure she is having fun too! Quit before she gets bored, but always quit on a good note with something she understands and that you can reward her for. Some dogs really enjoy puzzling out what you want them to do, others not so much, but puppies are generally very eager to learn.

  • @jamato - Were her sire/dam tested for fanconi? And many of us are related by our Basenjis. Care to share the names of her sire/dam?

  • I'm not in the Westchester area either and if your breeder doesn't know anyone either, search for "dog training in Weschester NY" and you'll find several dog schools. To choose one, ask what their training philosophy is - if use prong collars I'd say no; if pattern after Ceasar Milan's dominance training I'd absolutely say no; if they say clicker training or positive reinforcement say okay. Then ask to see the facility and maybe see a class in action. If the facility is clean, well-lit, bigger than a closet, smells nice, etc. then watch a class and see how the instructor interacts with the students. If they offer classes other than obedience (such as agility, nosework, other games) that's often a plus because then they'll have all kinds of breeds attending and the instructors most likely can deal with a basenji. I add that last item because one of my early instructors had no clue how to train anything other than an aussie (I'm always amazed that I managed to persevere but very glad I did).

  • @tanza, her sire/dam had negative results for fanconi.

    Sire: Mibre's Ebb Magic Man to Ahmahr Nahr
    Dam: Kenja Queen of Hegaman

  • @jamato said in Scout:

    @tanza, her sire/dam had negative results for fanconi.

    Sire: Mibre's Ebb Magic Man to Ahmahr Nahr
    Dam: Kenja Queen of Hegaman

    Oh dear. You may want to read this thread, and actually look for proof of them being clear, not just the breeder's word:


  • @jamato - Neither her sire or dam have been DNA tested for Fanconi. All that are tested are on a public data base www.offa.org that anyone can access. The sire of your pup had his sire and dam tested back when the linkage (not direct DNA) test came out. His sire/dam are listed at pCL (probably clear) however went the direct test came out it was suggest that all be retested as there were false readings with the linkage test. One of the littermates to the sire of Scout was tested as Carrier. The Dam of your pup was not tested and her sire was not tested, her Dam was tested with the linkage test as pCL (probably clear).

    To be sure you should have your pup tested. You can order the test at https://secure.ofa.org/cart.html scroll down and order the Fanconi test. It is a cheek swab that you do at home. 65.00 and well worth the cost for peace of mind.

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