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

-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.

@harold just to say I'm so sorry that you've had any bad reactions to your post which indeed raised lots of healthy questions. However, that's your choice and I'm only contacting you now to say that I hope I haven't been rude in any way. This is a good and helpful forum so please reconsider if you wish to raise any queries. Best wishes to you and Harry.

@antigone - I do understand what you are saying. We are fortunate in the UK because meat free of steroids and antibiotics is more easily available. I know too how one can get into campaigning mode about issues they feel strongly about. However, like Harold I'm leaving this post now -we seem to have wandered a bit from his original post. Best wishes.

@harold >


-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.

Okay, I cannot believe I read cockatoo instead of cockapoo. My apologies.

Last I'll say on autism. I have worked with people with it, with parents of autistic children, on state associations for mh/mr. Casual labeling is derogatory. In the old days, people who were differently abled were called "retarded" and it became a hurtful mean slur. Autistic is going the same route. I understand you didn't mean it that way, so again, we can simply agree to disagree that people who are not actual behaviorist or psychologists/psychiatrists for people, should be putting such a label.

There are ways to work with your dog to instill more confidence and make it's like better. Please stick around. Try to at least understand the dismay at the diet is because people see it as so unhealthy. You get to say buzz off and do what you want, but please recognize the concern from others.

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

I am only trying to get others to understand the Risks of feeding RAW

The stop ambusing everyone's posts and make your own thread. Eating dog meat, rants about raw food, etc isn't the topic. Eating dog meat isn't a basenji board topic period.

As for saying I don't like what you say... I don't like with you give false information as facts. But I'm going to work hard at ignoring it and trust others to check your info.

I hope that you noticed, @Antigone that the original poster has left the "building" due to his post being hijacked...... yet again. Could you please stop doing that?

last edited by tanza

@tanza The Original poster contacted me via email. He left because he AGREED with me about Sourcing the Raw meat. He knew about the USDA and THE FDA making a Rule regarding Antibiotic and Steroid use in Animals that was Voluntary. He himself has health issues and he had problems with an injury that became infected and it took a long time to get something to resolve it.

He did not have a problem with me.

@debradownsouth I am not ambushing posts. Basenjis are being slaughtered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. THAT is a valid topic for this Forum. I am working to stop it but you prefer to ignore the reality. No breed is immune from being eaten. ISIL is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and they are eating the Basenjis.


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

@debradownsouth I am not ambushing posts. Basenjis are being slaughtered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. THAT is a valid topic for this Forum. I am working to stop it but you prefer to ignore the reality. No breed is immune from being eaten. ISIL is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and they are eating the Basenjis.

@Antigone, please start your own thread if you want to talk about this, valid or not it DOES NOT BELONG on someone else's thread.

@tanza I guess I will never understand why the ways these Dogs, and all Dogs, being eaten is not a valid topic. I am disgusted at the thought and am working with others to stop it. I guess even if I gave a link to a petition that nobody here would sign it. That is just sad.

Harold is one lucky pup to have found you and your wife!! Sounds like a wonderful family. Thanks for sharing the story with us!!!!

@antigone - Seriously? No one said that it was not a valid topic... just don't hijack someone's post. Start your own

@patty and others that reference a responsible breeder: I got my Jessey (my friend dubbed him the Jester because of his loveable zaniness) - who is my second Basenji - from a responsible breeder and he was well socialized by her and then me. I took him to the dog park which he loved at first, but then after many visits, he became scared. He used to walk the neighborhood, but then became scared. Any boom/bang/bounce - he bolts home. My other Basenji was nothing like this. Jessey has his pack of BFF's but is usually snarky to other dogs (typical B!). My point is, it's not always the breeder. Dogs - like humans - can develop "head issues". It has been very frustrating for me having a neurotic dog, but I've come to accept that's him and would never love him any less! The vet gave me Solliquin to try, but I've been hesitant. Anyone out there tried it?

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