Chase game

He is an adult person and she is a year old canine Basenji....who do you think should be more responsible for not leaving things lying around where a curious dog can get them? Perhaps he, too, has some annoying traits....will he understand if you sell HIM, too???? I do not mean to be so harsh, but adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment (Sort of like marriage) and you do not give up (or sell) a dog (or a husband) when you hit a bump. you work on it together....and maybe that's exactly what you do two team up to see what works with your little girl....whatever it is, it isn't selling the poor dog!!!!!!!

Though I commend your passion Nancy, and agree with you I will defend my infantile husband to a degree. He was working with the pressure washer and his glasses got fogged up so he took them off and placed them on the picnic table ....Piper was with me in the garden at the time and it did not occur to him the glasses were in danger. But on another point, hehas both personality quirks and health issues and his point to me was that he may have less time left to live than this young dog and he will have to put up with her quirkiness for the rest of his life. So consider that you are never hearing the whole story when you get a question posted. At this point he has agreed to let her stay and I am going to find a behaviorist who can help me train her for more consistent responses. I am kind of the spoiler in this issue because I pushed so hard to get a dog when he was not real enthusiastic about it. I should have waited I guess.

If his health is failing and he expects the Basenji to outlive him, even more reason to keep her. I could not have come through the past year since Marvin died without my support team. They give me a reason (their breakfast !) to get up in the morning, they make me get out and walk in the woods so they get exercise, they sleep in the greenhouse while I prick out seedlings and right now they are curled up - Hoover in Marvin's recliner and Keepurr in another arm chair, keeping me company in the evening. If he is correct then you will need a Basenji. You can forgive them anything - just for their support.

Sorry for your loss. I am so glad the dogs are such comfort. My husband doesn't have cancer but a heart condition that he has predicted will be his undoing in the next few years. But he does love this dog and has spent many hours putting up fencing to protect her. They are both reactionary. I have paid for private training lessons to augment my work with her. She knows he is mad at her and she has been trying to make up to him. It is amazing how smart she is.
I was told that because Basenji are so distractible in the puppy phase that building on the foundation in year two can be effective. I hope that is correct because I am looking forward to more consistency with her listening this year.

@chrisf Excellent point. Posts would never attack a third party.

Also, I would like to say that what I loved most about my B's was their independent spirit and their joie de vivre. I never did much training with my dogs except where their safety was concerned. My husband's personality is completely opposite mine and he is more of a "Lab" or "Golden" man. Lately he's liking standard Poodles! (ugh). Introducing a Basenji into your home IS like having a 2 year old and all the personalities have to have some give and take.

Thanks I did have my first private session tomorrow. I found someone who has owned a Basenji and understands. She is very is very optimistic.

@chrisf said in Chase game:

I was told that because Basenji are so distractible in the puppy phase that building on the foundation in year two can be effective.

The most important weeks in a Basenji puppy's life are weeks 3 - 6 ! But yes, as long as they are well grounded in other directions, I'd be quietly optimistic in her second year. Boys - possibly not, but girls are always aware of your displeasure and appear anxious to please as long as it suits them ! Good luck.

What the heck , I did not even have her at my house until she was almost 9 weeks old. I missed the boat on that time line. The trainer today pointed out that she is so scent driven that the training needs to be geered differently than a non-scent driven dog. And as soon as she pulled out her scent tin Piper was all in and more focused. So I will be using some new approaches and I can already see her responding. Things I never would have thought of and have not seen in any of the training books. She did say that some of the training will be more challenging because of her age and she cautioned me that as she gets older the things that she does not tolerate well now, (vet visits, blood work, nail trimming) she will only dig in and get more reactive to if we do not pull her back from the ledge. So I think I have the right trainer.

My challenge is not to people who purchase a pup at 9 weeks. It is to breeders who need to prepare their puppies for life beyond the nest. I have written several articles on this subject which are still pertinent even if the website they are on needs drastic modernisation !
which, thanks to the on-line pedigree database, I never have time to accomplish -

I'd have even less time if everyone on these forums sent me details of their Basenji - NO show poses, please.

Many years ago, I read about a trainer who came to the conclusion that Basenjis could not be trained WITH other dogs, or AS other dogs. But that training sessions with all Basenjis could get through to them. This is because your average Basenji (ok, that is an impossibility for a start - NO Basenji is average) will follow the routine for a few weeks and then get bored. OK I did this last week, I need something NEW. And the only way to do it is to vary the routine, do things in different order , so the Basenji gets excited - what is coming next ?
I have two Basenjis trying to share my lap with the laptop at the moment - typing is difficult <sigh>

The scent training does not replace conditioning. But when I start with a few scent challenges she seems to stay more focused for other types of requests I make. Having never trained a dog beyond parlar tricks this is new to me. So we are working on scratch board training to avoid the nail grooming issue for a bit, seems to really stress her. And working on more consistency with coming when she is called as well as training her to put her nose in my hand upon request.
Have any of you had the experience as the years go on that the little growl warnings are replaced with more agressiveness, like biting?

@chrisf - Is your pup growling?

She growls when I try to move her after she falls asleep, if she is at the groomer getting nails trimmed, at the vet if they approach her with a needle ...bit generally on a daily basis I don't see her growling. But Sunday I took her on a walk for hunger and there were so me other dogs there. She got along with all but one. An adorable black lab puppy she growled at.

@chrisf said in Chase game:

Have any of you had the experience as the years go on that the little growl warnings

Basenjis (rather like me !) hate to be woken up abruptly from a sound sleep - you need to approach her gently and TALK to her - Mom's voice is the best trainer. Wake her up slowly and let her regain consciousness and then turf her out of your favorite chair, or wherever !
The small preliminary growl is often just a warning. A Basenji will warn often children when it is time to leave him/her alone for a while. Parents should train their kids to respect the Basenji's warning so they give it space. It will come back to playing again in its own time. I have never come across more than this initial warning growl - it is just that, a warning. And when I've explained the need to train the children - there has been no more growling.

And probably its the same thing at the groomer. The dog doesn't want its nails trimmed.

Why not get a dremel and do it yourself ? I get each dog by turn onto my lap, tucked securely under one arm, they get a cuddle and a tummy rub and then I pick up the dremel and in a few minutes all is done - and time for a 'special' biscuit. Nicely trimmed nails, not squashed or cracked, and no hassle (or expense bar the initial cost of the dremel - obtainable in any hard-ware store).

I showed a dog once - he hated cigarette smoke or the smell of it on hands. All too often in those bygone days, judges did have nicotine stained fingers. I learned, as soon as I put the dog on the table and stacked him, to say, say good morning to the judge ! knowing the dog would growl a warning. Judges were always surprised ! How on earth did you train him to do that ? - to which I smiled enigmatically before accepting his first place rosette !

She might have growled only at the black lab puppy cos she sensed it was as young and inexperienced as she was -

@zande - All the same things I would have said! Totally agree!!! ChrisF, have you discussed any of this with her breeder?

Not much to add.. just some comments.

On dremels, for a long time they had warnings not to use on dogs, lol. Then they made one for dogs.

For dogs that hate nails, do one a day, fast, over, no trauma. After a bit, do 2 a day. Eventually they'll adjust to all being done.

As for growling... how else can they tell you they aren't happy? Do dogs that growl then bite? Um, yeah, some do. Usually if you ignore the growl and keep pushing it, especially if you are scaring or hurting them. The smart thing is to figure out why they are growling and either don't do it, or work on helping it be less stressful for them. Some dogs growl over everything because they learn they can intimidate their owners and get their own way. Obviously you want that not to develop. But usually it's a valid form of communicating.

Our current basenji is crabby if you wake her, but using a voice before touching gets an evil look but no growling.

As for training... doesn't matter what you do, the more you work with your dog, the better the relationship, the more they look to you to teach something new and the happier they are. Scent training is really great. I had my child work with our Rottweiler early... the dog bonded with her more than me, and I was fine with that. 🙂

Thanks, I stopped trimming nails because she was so uncooperative with me. It was frustrating me.and my son said they take both of their dogs to the groomer and he suggested I do that. I have taken her 3 times and probably will not go back. The girls all tried very hard to be sweet and gentle, but she was not a happy camper up on the table. My trainer said we will work on desensitizing her to it and I will start doing it with the Dremel tool eventually. I am learning. She told me not to take her back. I am taking her to the vet almost weekly for a visit walk through the waiting area. The vet comes out and throws her a few treats. Trying to reduce the stress of those visits. I don't like medicating her for.every visit.
Yes. I did talk to the breeder and she suggested I not breed her, as I was planning. She said she does not breed any of her dogs that seem to be as growly as mine. That is why I had her spayed last month.

last edited by ChrisF

@chrisf - If that was the breeders only suggestion, I would question if really a responsible breeder..... And I would wonder about the temperament in the pedigree? And the comment "growly as mine" makes me wonder because she bred the darn girl?

It would seem that this was not a breeder who undertook any socialising of the pups - Do as I say not Do as I do (did). This is where my database comes in handy - you can trace pedigrees and maybe get a line of whether this growling is actually inbred or (more likely) comes from a lack of socialising by contacting breeders and owners further back up the line.

@chrisf said in Chase game:

She growls when I try to move her after she falls asleep, if she is at the groomer getting nails trimmed, at the vet if they approach her with a needle ...bit generally on a daily basis I don't see her growling. But Sunday I took her on a walk for hunger and there were so me other dogs there. She got along with all but one. An adorable black lab puppy she growled at.

I would say many (most?) Basenjis take exception to being moved when they are comfy, and many "wake up badly" to the point where it is a question on BRAT's list. Basenjis, like any other dog, may be difficult about nail trimming if they haven't had their feet routinely handled. And dog aggression is also common in the breed, so I don't see anything unusual here. How you respond to it will be key to whether it remains a problem. Once a Basenji perceives that it can back you off by growling, it will take advantage of the situation. If you aren't confident in your ability to respond it would be best to avoid situations that trigger the growling, but when it does occur I find continuing whatever you were planning to do in a very matter of fact manner is generally the best course to take.

My first girl used to snarl fiercely when picked up. I just laughed and walked off with her under my arm, and the "sound effects" eventually went away. There is always the possibility of escalation to a bite, but that is far more likely if they have succeeded in avoiding something they find unpleasant by growling.

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