How we got through the first years of "whacko dog" and some tips for you

@harold Your Harry has Separation Anxiety. That is part of the Breed profile. RAW food is bad for Dogs because they are Omnivores. Unless you raise your own Bovine and slaughter it yourself the Flesh from those animals is full of Steroids to make them grow fatter. When my little girl had Cancer at the age of 12 I had to Tumor removed and fed her Vegetarian Dog Food. She ate everything except Raisins and Milk Chocolate. She knew not to eat that stuff. I had her until she was 16 years old. Kudos for getting through it all!

@harold said in How we got through the first years of "whacko dog" and some tips for you:

autism which is recognized in dogs

Harold, it isn't recognized in dogs. It is theorized, but predominately find it is other issues, bad training, fear, anxiety, OCD etc.

Nothing you described in your dog doesn't fit other issues. (( So to boil it down: he chewed everything except food. he pooped everywhere except outside. he was standoffish. could not hug him. scared of everything. acted autistic. )) He acted like a totally untrained, fearful, unsocialized puppy. Your home-diagnosis of "autistic" when you have almost no background in canine evaluation and behaviorism doesn't equal your dog really being autistic.

Your dog staring is more like a seizure, btw.

If your choice is to feed food that is unhealthy. But you could also soak kibble and spoon feed him. It isn't hard, taked 3 or 4 mins to give 10 spoons of mushed dog food. Do twice a day. Or ask the vet for appetite stimulants so he eats. For me, I couldn't bear to give my dog junk that would eventually affect his health.

@debradownsouth I too do research and dogs are Omnivores. As I said unless you raise the Bovine yourself and slaughter it yourself then there are not any steroids or antibiotics in the Flesh. Have you not seen that the overuse of antibiotics due to use in Farm Animals is causing a massive problem because we are becoming Immune to these Drugs. The FDA has a Rule about using antibiotics to feed Livestock but they made it VOLUNTARY.

I would not feed Raw anything for that reason. Farmed Salmon us not good because investigations have shown Algae Blooms which is a sign of improper maintenance of the Tanks.

Most of the women in my family are Nurses. I took the route my late Father did. I went to Law School at NYU. I follow the USDA and the DOI because I despise what they are doing to our Animals. USDA has scrubbed its site so there is not a single reference to Horses being Slaughtered in Mexico or Canada. How you could be so lax as to advise feeding RAW Meat is beyond me.

Harry's attitude to his food - first eating and then refusing is very similar to my Basenji who has kidney failure - I'm not saying that he has actual kidney disease but other health matters could cause him to be fussy. Have you consulted your vet about his eating habits? I appreciate that you might have already done this and there is no health problem. I hope not anyway.

@antigone I note what you say about feeding Basenjis raw and beg to differ. Obviously to each his own and if you believe that meat is dangerous that is your choice. Being omnivores certainly doesn't preclude them from eating their meat raw. I 'm sure that Debra like me is experienced in giving her Basenji raw meat.
I've owned and bred Basenjis for more than 40 years and fostered them for many, many more. I have always fed them a raw diet (including raw eggs)and have had very few health problems. I am careful to research what I buy. Being a natural primitive breed I am of the strong opinion that they should be fed naturally.
I'm concerned that people who read what you post take it as fact and feel extremely worried and guilty.

my vet has advised the starve until he eats diet which was tried...and why he eats what he eats now. he will not eat if you attempt to force food in his mouth...which has been tried also.

From petmd:
Has Autism been Diagnosed in Dogs?
As early as 1966, veterinarians were talking about the occurrence of autism-like symptoms in dogs. More recently, a presentation at the 2015 American College of Veterinary Behaviorists reported on investigations into tail chasing behavior in Bull Terriers and a possible link to autism

and please stop talking about autism like it is something that shouldn't be spoken of in public. there is nothing wrong with me saying i think my dog has autism. That is like me not being able to talk about my dog being blind because there might be a sight impaired person reading the Basenji Forum. There is actually no definitive laboratory tests to prove someone (a human or dog) has autism but rather it is through a subjective diagnosis is made based on the examination of behavioral characteristics. They are people like every other people. They just have autism No, I am not saying dogs and people are the same, but the behavioral characteristics can be looked at to compare and see if the dog exhibits signs of autism and not just bad training and fear. As I have stated earlier, I have been a dog owner since I was a child and am now almost 60 years old. Harry is the only dog that I have not been able to train within 30 days. He has been with us 4 years and still exhibits the same traits he did when we first got him except for he has chilled a bit, but the things he does are just too strange. After 4 years you think he would become normalized to my wife's and my routine. I'm just sayin!

@harold said in How we got through the first years of "whacko dog" and some tips for you:

my vet has advised the starve until he eats diet which was tried...and why he eats what he eats now. he will not eat if you attempt to force food in his mouth...which has been tried also.

You need a new vet.

From petmd: blah blah blah... <

As I said, talked about, not diagnosed, period. Not one single study, not one authoritative research calling it "autism". It's a response to people saying "they act like"... and THEN vets/behaviorists pointing out hat the behaviors are better defined as OCD and other issues. You aren't a behaviorist, so lumping your dogs behavior into "autistic" with severe behavior issues is derogatory... that kind of labeling is something the Autistic groups have tried to fight for a very long time. It is derogatory and dehumanizing.

and please stop talking about autism like it is something that shouldn't be spoken of in public.<

There is nothing wrong with talking about autism. There is something wrong with someone taking bad behaviors in a dog and calling them autistic. Fighting stereotypes is the opposite of what you did. But go ahead,

As I have stated earlier, I have been a dog owner since I was a child and am now almost 60 years old. Harry is the only dog that I have not been able to train within 30 days. <

Actually, you said you went 15 years with no dog, just your wife's bird. You also talked about yelling at the dog. ( You couldn't yell or scream or raise your voice at him.) You also said you got a dog from craig's list ... and took a mixed dog as a chihuahua. IF you had taken that poor baby to a vet immediately, they'd have known if 8 weeks old or, as you probably guessed right, considerably younger. So owning dogs can be like chewing gum, the more you do it doesn't necessarily confer any type of expertise or even much common sense. Who knows how a person with real experience may have made the dog much more secure, using calming signals, widening exposure to new things. You can't fix a fearful temperament, but a knowledgeable dog owner can improve it tremendously.

Biting isn't uncommon with puppies taken from their litter too young. Fearful behavior is generally genetic. Not knowing how to train a dog who is fearful often feeds into their fears and makes them worse. But whatever.

last edited by DebraDownSouth


LOL so now you are a lawyer? Okay then. That makes you an expert on what? Nothing to do with dogs.

Even if you feed what you grow, rain and pollution makes it also contaminated. Feed what you want, but calling me "lax" about my food choices for my dogs, or other people their feeding choice, is uncalled for and says far more about your own insecurities than anything.

Raw isn't proven to be any better than cooked, but it also isn't poison.

And in case you missed it, you keep saying dogs are omnivores. First, that means meat and plant, not just plant.

Even as an "omnivore", experts always said more on meat eating end. And for several years now, actual experts debate if they are even omnivores.

Still want to know why you say this is a Basenji? 4lb at 8 wks is NOT normal for a Basenji pup.

In the early days in the UK many breeders (certainly not all) tried to train Basenjis as they would have other dogs in those days. This did indeed lead to behavioural problems and Basenjis were believed to be an aggressive breed because of developed traits. I have heard this repeated so many times when referring to early imports. It wasn't really true. Have you consulted a behaviourist well versed in knowledge of Basenjis? She/he could possibly help you with Harry's behaviours. Possibly you are happy with him as you obviously have learnt to live satisfactorily with him so then please ignore my suggestion.
Another suggestion about his eating - have you tried leaving him without food once a week on a regular basis? This is quite normal practice amongst natural feeding advocates.

@debradownsouth I have never claimed to be an expert at anything. As I have said I would only feed RAW Meat if I bred and raised the animal and slaughtered it myself. If you check out the PEW Research site this week they are discussing the overuse of Antibiotics in Livestock. There are other articles about the use of Steroids in Livestock.

Yes, I know what an Omnivore is and before my Dog got Cancer at the age of 12 I fed her IAMS both canned and dry. She got the Vegetarian Dog food after she had the Cancer and she lived for 4 more years.

My point is that the crap they are feeding the Livestock is putting Human Health at risk. We are becoming immune to Antibiotics and Superbugs such as MERSA is not easily cured. My Uncle got that at the Gym where he works out (it thrives in water) and he was on a Pic Line for 3 Months and then they amputated his big toe.

THAT is the main reason I would not feed Raw anything to my Dog. Also, nobody can claim to be an expert at anything. I find it odd that the Alpha Females of this forum toss that word around so frequently. Experience is one thing but Expertise is another thing entirely. Expertise is not just eons of experience but a quantifiable claim.

@patty As I have said I would only feed my Canines, Lupines or Felines RAW anything if, and only if, I raised the animal myself and slaughtered it myself. Yes, you can raise a Bovine and when it is mature you can have it slaughtered professionally. There is just too much crap that goes into the Livestock diet that now Humans are becoming immune to Antibiotics. Steroids are causing 'Precocious Puberty' in little girls.

Once again Experience is one thing and Expertise is another. I do not claim to be an Expert at anything. Expertise is quantifiable and eons of Experience does not qualify anyone to call themselves an expert. In some cases years of experience makes us hold on to the same ideas and never grow.

Careful sourcing of RAW anything is required. Basenjis are an Ancient Breed and they are Hounds and they will eat ANYTHING. There can be no question that Dogs and Wolves are omnivores, and these links to dubious places does not prove otherwise. What have you pulled out of your Dogs' mouths in the 40+ years you have been breeding them? Plenty of stuff that could harm them if they ingested it.

Experience can be respected to a point. Different Cultures - even in the same Country - impacts how we take care of our Animals.

Continued good luck with Breeding these lovely little homewreckers! Since you have so much experience you should author a Book. Peer-reviewed Books that are Published shows expertise.

Experts are people with degrees doing research and proving their ideas.
Experience counts if done repeatedly with good results, it doesn't make it fact/science/applicable to others.

And here you go with "alpha females". done. removing all comments to you. Disruptive to forum, waste of energy.

@debradownsouth You are so dominant that people here are afraid to post what they are thinking due to your attitude. It is sad that ONE person who does not OWN this forum can create a climate that is so toxic to new Dog owners that they are afraid to speak as they fear humiliation by you.

Think about it. I am not an Expert at anything as I have stated before. I gave the definition of 'Expert' which you clearly disliked because you do not meet the Criterion of an 'Expert'.

As I have said in the past we are always disagreeing about something or other and to want to not read what I say is your choice. But to remove my Posts is a Violation of my First Amendment Rights. I have been correct about many things and have stated that feeding raw meat to any Animal is dangerous unless you know for sure that the animal has not had Antibiotics and Steroids. Did you bother to read the Pew Research Center about Antibiotic and Steroid use in Livestock?

Abusive attack.
Paranoid nonsense about me removing your posts and first amendment. Try rereading, slowly. I removed mine, not yours.

Then take a look at your posts battering your opinion over and over and over, much nonsense, calling people names. Get over yourself.

@antigone The original posts gave opinions that not everybody agrees with and we are trying to help him with experience and knowledge of Basenjis. You disagree with some of us and Harold must be totally confused - however, he has found a way to live with Harry which is satisfactory for him.
Debra is an experienced and devoted Basenji owner and naturally was worried about the dog. There is no need to attack her for that surely?
No why should I write a book? - for one thing, I don't have the time and for another, there are plenty of good books about Basenjis already.
You have a bee in your bonnet it seems about raw meat. However, there is no need to scare people with your opinion. I do advocate raw feeding but also there are some good kibbles already - it seems that a new feed company starts up regularly so there is obviously plenty of choices. Even the better ones may contain premix vitamins which are mainly sourced from China which doesn't exactly have a good record on producing dog foods.
It is certainly untrue that Basenjis will eat anything and most of the rubbish goes through anyway, I can rely on mine not to eat anything that is poisonous to them - they are discerning in many ways. Harry has proved that they don't eat just anything too!
Speaking of crap - have you seen the amount of excrement that a dog fed on kibble generates?!!
I'm sure you speak out because you love dogs but 'methinks you protest too much'.
I have never claimed to be an expert but I do have some knowledge about Basenjis. However, I strongly believe that one can always learn from other people - no matter how much knowledge a person has there is always more to learn. I no longer breed as I stopped when I realised that I'm too old to do so.
This is normally a friendly forum and I hope Harry hasn't been put off because of your antagonism.
Please let's agree to differ?

-i had a cockapoo "DOG" not a bird. a cockapoo is a dog that is a mix of cockerspaniel and poodle. maybe you are thinking of a "kakapo"
which is a large flightless bird also known as an "owl parrot". Never owned a bird.

  • When I said (You couldn't yell or scream or raise your voice at him) I was just saying that he responded to reason and calm discussion and not loud commands, but I never yelled or screamed at Harry.. But sometimes he would go into like a trance and would sit and stare at a spot on the wall or just into space for minutes and no amount of calling his name would phase him. I was not yelling at him because he was doing something bad, I was yelling at him because he was in a trance and was just trying to get his attention. ( such as you would yell at someone if they were standing in the road and were about to get hit by a car)I have never screamed or yelled at Harry. My experience with dogs has always been that they do not respond well to screaming (as neither do humans) and I just talk with him in a calm voice. Please try not to take my comments out of context.
    -also, I am not taking "bad" behaviors in Harry and calling them autistic. I was taking strange behaviors and saying he exhibits the characteristics of an autistic person.
    Here is from Mayo Clinic: (now they are talking about humans, but it is amazing that when I look at these traits, Harry exhibits so many:
    What is Autism?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in people is based on two key criteria:

  1. Impairments in social communication and social interaction. For example:
    -Fails to respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times
    (i mentioned Harry does this)
    -Resists cuddling and holding and seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her own world
    (Harry still after 4 years resists cuddling)
    -Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression
    (Harry gets scared if you look him in the eyes and will run away)
    -Doesn't speak or has delayed speech, or may lose previous ability to say words or sentences
    (Harry did no make a sound (bark)for almost a year)
    -Can't start a conversation or keep one going, or may only start a conversation to make requests or label items
    -Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
    (Harry doesn't bark like most dogs. When he does it is one bark at a time)
    -May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn't understand how to use them
    -Doesn't appear to understand simple questions or directions
    (It took Harry years to understand basic commands that I have taught every other dog in days!)
    -Doesn't express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others' feelings
    (that is Harry)
    -Doesn't point at or bring objects to share interest
    -Inappropriately approaches a social interaction by being passive, aggressive, or disruptive
    (He is aggressive to any person or dog he sees except us)
    -Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, such as:
    Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning, or hand-flapping, or may perform activities that could cause harm, such as head-banging

    (beleive it or not....only getting hairballs from cleaning himself all over)
    -Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change
    (Harry has a routine for everyhing and gets upset if his routines are disturbed)
    -Moves constantly
    Harry never stops moving. He is either sleeping or moving. He can't seem to sit in one spot for more than a few moments before he gets up and walks around and then sits back down somewhere else and goes on
    -May be uncooperative or resistant to change
    (This is an understatement as you cannot make any changes, in his food, his enviroment anything. It scares the you know what out of him. Even slight changes he can sense and will become upset)
    -Has problems with coordination or has odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes, and has odd, stiff, or exaggerated body language
    (gotta say no to this)
    -May be fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but doesn't understand the "big picture" of the subject
    (Harry is both fascinated and scared of "everything")
    -May be unusually sensitive to light, sound, and touch, and yet oblivious to pain
    (Harry is extremely sensitive to touch. You can see his muscles jumping under his skin when you touch him. Even if you are petting him for awhile, it is almost as if every touch is a surprise and tickle to him.)
    -Does not engage in imitative or make-believe play
    (Harry is the only dog I have had that does not like to play)
    -May become fixated on an object or activity with abnormal intensity or focus
    (Harry gets fixated on things that I have no idea what they are...and he will just stare at something, sometimes for 3 to 5 minutes)
    -May have odd food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or eating only foods with a certain texture
    (As I said earlier, Harry eats only specific things. Duck Jerky, vanilla nutritional drink, iced tea, peanut butter. He will occasionally take a bite of something we are eating but becomes disinterested almost immediately.)
    I know some of you reading this last part will think I am a bad parent but let me tell you it has taken us 4 years to get him to eats this. Our last dog who passed away at home after 15 years from heart failure had his food made by us. We would cook a beef roast and add all kinds of vegetables and fruits and vitamins. Cody CocaCola Boy (our cockapoo) loved his food. It was labor intensive but we knew what was in his food because we made it and he loved it. We tried this with Harry and Harry would not look twice at any food we made for him. Believe you me I wish Harry would eat food that is better for him, but he will not.

Harry exhibits almost every characteristic. That is why I say he acts autistic. Am saying nothing bad about autistic persons or dogs.

It is nice to give helpful opinions, but really not the place to try to force your opinions on everyone else or be rude because someone does things differently than you would do them.
This forum seems like it should be a friendly exchange of ideas and suggestions for owners on how to better care for their basenjis and for just passing on little stories and such.
But anyway, This is the last post i will make as this has turned nasty and all I was doing was just trying to let people who had similar dogs know what I had done to make life easier for both Harry and us. I wasn't trying to create a row between frequent posters, so I apologize for that.

Thank you everyone who made nice comments and gave me helpful feeding tips. I will look into all of the suggestions.


ps: i am sorry...there is also a cockaToo that is the white parrot with long plumatge

last edited by harold

@patty We do not really differ. I am only trying to get others to understand the Risks of feeding RAW anything am well aware that a lot of B Owners like to feed RAW meat. As I have said ad nauseum it is best to source the Origin of the Meat. I know the USDA, FDA, DOI are violating food safety laws constantly. This has been going on for years.

I just want to elevate the importance of sourcing the RAW meat because the Grocery Store is NOT the best place to buy Raw Meat. In order to be safe, you must buy grass-fed beef that is guaranteed by the Farmer to be antibiotic and Steroid-free.

As I was doing research for a Legal case I came across a fact that the Chinese were putting Melamine in the Grain Dogs and Cats were dying and the FDA investigated and determined this building material was in the Grain that was going into the Pet Food

Forgive me for wanting people who may or may not follow what the Feds do to our Food Supply, how they illegally Slaughter Horses and their Cousins, and they are discussing creating Dog Slaughterhouses in Iowa

As if there are not enough Dog eaters on the Planet. No breed is immune from being eaten The Swiss eat their famed Mountain Rescue Dogs the Saint Bernard, Korea has dog slaughterhouses and China has Dog and Cat slaughterhouses

I know what I post is not comfortable to read but ignorance is not bliss and ignorance of the Law is no excuse There are plenty of groups Worldwide that are working to stop the vile practice of Dog and Cat Slaughter. I have the NGO Status and I work with other people in other Countries to support the end of this repulsive practice.

I do not see myself as differing, rather I see myself as very cautious when it comes to feeding my animals and myself BTW, after the Melamine scare I cooked for my Dogs, Wolves and Cats I went to a Farm near where my Mom lives and bought fresh drug and steriod free Beef. I never fed it Raw but every few days I would buy fresh meat. My B ate everything except things she knew not to eat. Raisins, Prunes, Milk Chocolate, Almonds and a few other things that are toxic to Dogs. Bs are the most intelligent of the Hounds in my opinion. I just adore them and their stubborn personality.

I suggested you author a book since there are so many out there and maybe what you have to say is better than the rest! I had no idea you are retired from Breeding; something tells me that is a loss for the Breed.



@debradownsouth As far as I know to call someone an Alpa anything is not an insult. You do not like what I say as it runs counter to what you believe. Nothing I have ever posted would put any dog or other animals in danger. People will do what they want no matter what you or I say.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.