• Hello everyone!

    I was new to Basenji parenting, honestly, new to most dog parenting to begin with, and now I have Lily, she’s a TriColor and I adore her and her little quirks. She’s 10 months, had her since she was itty bitty and I’ve read some places that’s considered a puppy and other places an “adult”. To me, that seems like a puppy, especially with her actions sometimes. Training isn’t going so well- any pointers there? I’ve signed her up for obedience training at Petco, hoping that helps. I’ve also noticed that she seems to enjoy poop. Which is disgustingly annoying- to the point that she’ll get aggressive and defensive if I go near her to get her away from eating it (not hers <at least I haven’t noticed that> but while out at a dog park or something). Has anyone had problems with aggression like this, or in general and how do I combat that?

    Thank you everyone, looking forward to all the helpful and wonderful feedback from this group!

    I was going to post a picture of her, but can’t seem to figure out how to....

  • I highly recommend you read Jane Killion’s ‘When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs’. It will help teach you how to handle the poop eating behavior.

  • You may have to get a bit aggressive with her. She needs to know you are the alpha and when you tell her no, you mean it. It's not just the poop, she will defy you at every turn if you don't get a handle on her. The breed is headstrong and that makes them reckless sometimes which will get them hurt or killed. If she is eating other dogs poop you need to get her checked for worms.....

  • Be careful with those trainers at Petsmart. They are only employee's. given basic instructors for training a dog. A basenji DOES NOT fall into the category. They don't like a heavy hand and being jerked around. Petsmart will tell you a choke chain (collar) or a prong collar. Walk away. They both cause more harm than good, especially a choke chain, they can ruin the dogs trachea. Search YouTube for dog training your basenji. Have you talked to your breeder and see what they recommend? Yeah, you don't want Lily (my very first basenji was a black and white named MzLili) to be eating any poop! I've never had that problem, except mine love the cat tootsie rolls (as we call them). Still yucky. Good luck. Yes, 10 months is still considered a puppy. You are going to have to show her that you are boss. I have a tri boy who is now 8 yrs old, and he was rehomed to me at 1 1/2yrs of age. People had no idea of how to handle him, and the only way I got him was that their job transferred them to Brazil, and they decided to rehome him. He tried to rough shod me, and i wouldn't put up with it. He now know who's the boss........but I still have to be careful, as he WILL bite! This my Mr.T

  • @abrunelle - I would say the same about petsmart.... you really need to interview possible trainers as not all know or understand Basenjis. Is she eating her own poop? Or could it be cat poop, which has undigested food and all dogs find it wonderful.... Usually with eating poop they are lacking something in their diet. Have you discussed this with the breeder or your Vet? And as far as getting aggressive/defensive, this is classic resource guarding. There are many articles about this on the web. Here is just one https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/resource-guarding-treatment-and-prevention

  • Hello Abrunelle,
    Welcome to the Forum. You will find lots of great information and much advice here (some you may take and some you may not), but I'm sure you will use it time and time again as we all do.

    Basenjis are very different to 'normal' dogs, that is the first bit of training YOU need. Some people call them the 'untrainable dog'. I never had my dog trained by others coz I think it just confuses them (the dogs that is- although for others maybe too!). She belongs in my pack, I'm the Alpha (female) and she has to learn the rules of the pack (which consist of a husband, a daughter, a cat, and goldfish to boot!). I personally don't seek mainstream trainers and vets because, as mentioned in an above post, these people rarely have basenji experience. The advice on this forum and the weblink that you are advised to read are extremely helpful with your basenji.

    My girl loves to munch our cats treasures (poop) too, so train yourself and don't give her access to any, whether in the park or at home. Quickest way to pick up worms and all sorts of gremlins.

    These little dogs can be hard work at times (especially at the age of yours). Mine has chewed through all sorts of expensive knitting and weaving wools, brought sanitary pads to the feet of guests!!, destroyed the blinker indicator controls in my convertible Audi, shredded fly-screens and chewed through a few leashes. DON'T BE PUT OFF HOWEVER, she is still lots of fun and very precious - it's just normal basenji behaviour!

    They're different and the more you learn about them via this forum and some webpages the better your lives will be together. Enjoy, and welcome to the basenji world! 🐾
    They even sleep funny!

  • @basenjimom2

    Thank you for your information, I will do some further research as well.

    Mr. T looks a lot like Lily, the facial markers any everything. I would post a picture but I can’t fogure out how to use this (not from my phone at least).

  • @tanza

    I agree with searching out a reputable trainer that has worked with Basenjis, as I have heard and noticing first hand, they are head strong. This particular trainer; which I’m doing private lesson, not a group setting has had 3 basenjis before (she has shown my pictures of them) because that’s honestly the first thing I ask people, even my vet- I asked them if they’ve worked in basenjis and know how to deal with them. But thank you so much for your input and time. With Lily, I feel like most days she a wonderful angel and fun to play around and be with but on her off days, she is absolutely terrible. It’s literarily one extreme to the other. It’s those off days that want to make me give up and be done with her, when I say terrible- I mean it. It’s definitely discouraging. But maybe that’s because she’s still a puppy and hopefully will grow out of bad habits as well as with some training. I’m not sure if it makes a difference but Lily is a purebred as well, so I don’t know if that adds to her stubbornness.

  • @dmferrara

    When you say I might have to get a bit aggressive with her, what do you mean by that?

  • @pippi My little girl refused to negotiate. That is how she got her name. Antigone is the Protagonist in the Greek Play by Sophocles. She loved her Cat and both
    Wolves but had zero use for other dogs. I walked her with a Harness so I had control of her Chest but did not ever attach a leash to her Collar. I brought her home at 12 weeks but I saw her every day because I would stop by after work. She was the only Tri in the Litter and she lived the longest of her siblings. The only time she was sick was from Cancer. I had the mass removed and she lived to be 16 years old. I miss her every day and am waiting to get a Puppy until the 15 year old Cat who is a killer passes.

    Patience is the core ingredient and living defensively is best! Exercise is very important because a tired Basenji is a good Basenji! Hounds are known for eating poop that is a behavior that may start when they are Puppies because they will try to eat the Mama's poop. Other animals eat poop including Foals who eat their Dam's poop because it contains nutrients. This is considered a Vice if the behavior carries on into Adulthood but it is also a self comfort mechanism and indicative the the Horse does not feel safe.

    Good luck!

  • Welcome! You have come to the right place! I have had only one Basenji and I had her for 16 years. You have to be the Alpha in your little Pack and yes they are known for being little homewreckers. They also suffer from separation anxiety. 10 months is still considered a Puppy to me. The first heat for females comes when they are about 9 months old and that is what many consider to be the transition from Puppy to and Adult. Their bodies may be maturing but they are still pups who are feeling poorly and anxious and they get nippy.

    This all will pass and I agree with others here Petco is no place to train your dog. Dog Trainers can be certified and sometimes Licensed depending upon where you live. Basenji Trainers are also handlers for the Shows so find one of these people and they will definitely be the best option.

    Welcome again and love your Lily and if she has a Bandit's Mask that is an indicator of what you are up against! Just kidding!


  • Welcome to the forum. You found the right place. You will need it... There will be those days, and we ALL have had them, when you wonder after all the research why you got one, then, they work their special magic, and bam, you fall under the spell again. Each one is different, but I think they fall into 2 categories, high and low maintence, or if you prefer, Angel and imp. Sounds like yours is going from puppy to teenager. It's important that you establish yourself as alpha/pack leader. It's a state of mind, how you carry yourself, and how you expect/command respect. If there is not a strong human pack leader, your basenji will quickly fill that roll and run your house. Basenjis are very smart and catch on quickly. Mine got bored in class and kept causing problems with the other dogs, we were politely asked to leave, (not at PetSmart). I would suggest that you walk the dog for 45 minutes prior to class so she is tired, and less likely to act up. Tim was so high energy, I had to backpack him, and weigh him down with water bottles to tire him out. We had great success with the gentle leader. I made some instructional videos for a friend on how to walk the dog if you need help there.

    It's really important that you use positive reinforcement training. Making a basenji do something he/she doesn't want to do, can be disastrous. Sometimes this requires thinking outside the box on your part to get your basenji to do what you want him/her to do. Bribing, trading, bargaining, all work, but often times I have to let my basenji think it's his idea to do what I want him to do. Choose your battles wisely. I hope this helps, another resource is www.basenjicompanions.org.0_1547540181008_image.jpeg

  • @abrunelle I mean that you may have to get in her face, make her look you in the eye and tell her NO which may require you to physically hold her down until she stops squirming. Don't forget to give her loves after so she understands that it is the behavior you don't like but still love her. She will grow to respect you. I've had my rescue for 3 months now and I can now leave her home, inside the house without supervision or crate and she is just fine. 3 months ago, she chewed all the remote controls, shoes, even the vacuum! Here she is at work with me now! And as someone mentioned earlier exercise is key, they tend to nut up if not let out to run and play.

    0_1547591535947_Willow 3.jpg

  • Welcome to the forum.

    Please ignore anyone suggesting you have to manhandle, "be the alpha", get aggressive, holding them down, alpha rolls or other such outdated abusive training. You need to train smart, not harsh.

    Ditto on being careful about Petsmart "trainers". Double ditto on Patricia McConnel books and work being great. Her article beautifully covers resource guarding. Please read and use her article. People who respond to resource guarding as general or human aggression can make matters far worse. Do it right, and it is not hard to train your pup that yes, even poop in the park is not hers.

    You can do almost all your own training by finding a few trainers online and videos, and working solidly on their lessons. Most dogs can be trained with all the basics at home, then use classes or a trainer to help polish or spot problems. Mary is excellent: http://www.clickerlessons.com/index.htm

    Few handlers have time to be trainers. Look for trainers who belong to a group that does positive training and reinforcement, hopefully, one who has worked with hounds.

    At home, there are ways to stop stool eating as you can put Forbid or other things in their food that makes the feces taste bad. For out walking, it takes several things. First, teach "leave it" command until it is 100 percent solid. Work on it until you can leave a piece of steak and get your pup to not take it. For walks, until you can get "leave it" solid, I strongly suggest either a head halter or basket muzzle. Feces can carry lots of things, from bacteria to parasites. You might try carrying a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the poo, but if your pup grabs it first, the only lesson learned is the need to find fast. Until you get this issue fixed, I'd avoid both dog parts and being unleashed.

    All breeds have some differences, and even larger ones within the breed. I haven't found Basenjis all that different from Chows or Samoyeds or half a dozen others. One disadvantage is they are smarter than it's helpful. You can watch their little brains working and it's rarely for the good. 🙂

    10 months is not a baby, but certainly a puppy. Full mature brain deliveries start coming in small doses and may take 3 or 4 years for you to have a real adult.

    Training is far more than teaching a dog (or owner) how to do something. It really is relationship building. The relationship you develop by gently closing fingers around a muzzle while sternly saying "NO BITE" (or, ick, "NO POOP"), then leading away from temptation is one thing. Firm, consistent, calm ... and a pretty good sense of humor ... will win.

  • As previously mentioned, there is something you can put in the food to make them stop eating poop. Always be the gentle but firm leader. They know the difference between fair and unfair. Going for a long walk before doing anything that requires good behavior is excellent advice - before leaving him/her alone, before an obedience class or going to the vet, etc. Taking an obedience class (look for a local obedience club?) is good training for YOU - not necessarily the b. You might get some ideas on how to work with a dog, but the main idea is to be consistent in the way you make your request. My b is extremely stubborn and often will "pull a mule" if he doesn't want to go in the direction I want - to the point that he will back out of whatever collar or harness he is wearing. My eyes are always on him and I never let him walk behind me. (Ceasar Millan would not approve :->.) Sometimes, I pick him up and carry him a bit, sometimes we just cross the street (and he thinks he won?) I tell people these dogs are not for everyone, they are more primitive than other breeds, and they don't take to training very well, but when they love you, you KNOW it is their idea and not just because you feed them. Keep us posted on how it is going with your little one - what works and what doesn't - it could be helpful to us all.

  • I think basenjis are really "puppies" until about 18 months. It's funny, because they actually look like little adults at 6 months, and yet at 15 years old, people would ask how old my puppy was (I think they age well).

    Please don't give up on Lilly - this too shall pass (eventually...).
    Accentuate the positive, don't focus on the bad. If you can, find a way to take a break once in awhile.

  • You've been given very good advice but some is just not as good. NEVER be aggressive to your Basenji - it'll have the opposite effect and make her really aggressive. Basenjis never forget! Positive training can be more difficult with an older puppy but perseverance and consistency is the key. In my opinion a Basenji isn't naturally an aggressive dog, this has mainly come about by incorrect handling in the early days by ignorance of the breed. A puppy that leaves it's breeder is often 'spoiled' by the owner who doesn't take much notice of advice given by that breeder on socialisation, correction etc. I can't find evidence that you've consulted the breeder on Lily's current behaviour. Apologies if I am mistaken and I'm not criticising you in any way. You've obviously tried so hard with her. So pleased that you've joined this forum where you'll find advice from many experienced Basenji breeders who give excellent advice and help. I'm sure you'll find that you'll have great success. The other matter of them eating their own poo can mean that she is deficient in some of her nutrirional needs so check this before trying other methods. Eating other animal's poo is quite common and actually, I've never been able to stop this except that some later do. I have sheep with mine and have had little success in stopping my Basenjis eating their poo. I find that some never do it and some keep on until old age! My current remaining dog rarely does this. I wish you the very best for your happy future with Lily. She's lovely.

  • I think grangersmom's suggestion of When Pigs Fly is excellent. Also, you haven't responded about what poop she's after. Cat poop is always a treat, which is too bad because it's how people and animals get infected with Toxoplasma gondii (which is likely why it's there).

  • @patty - Being aggressive to ANY dogs is a no no, not just a Basenji

  • I totally agree, Pat.

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