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Oh, I’ve been asked if I’ve spoken with the breeder about her behavior, which I have. And I’ve kinda just got the generic “she’s a puppy and needs training” or “these dogs need stimulation to not get bored otherwise they get into trouble”

Other than walks, playing with other dogs, what other things can I do for stimulation to keep her entertained while I’m gone so that she isn’t getting into trouble?

Thanks everyone!

@abrunelle 20 years ago when I got my little girl I left her at the Horse Farm where she packed with older well trained Doga. She modeled her behavior after theirs and it was the easiest Puppy training I ever did.You do have to be the Alpha but that does not mean doing anything harsh. These Dogs cannot stand being ignored! When my Dog did something that was not good I ignored her. Sometimes for a few minutes sometimes for an Hour. That is what I mean about being the Alpha. Nothing more and nothing less.

My Cat would pop the closet door open and assist my dog with the process of Clothing Destruction! When I had that Cat, my B and my Wolf the Cat was the Alpha! He would trap them at the bottom of the Stairs and sit in the middle of the Staircase flicking his tail. My B did not make that much noise when he did that and the Wolf was always quiet, he Howled when he was dreaming.

I never let her have access to the Litter Box so that was never a problem.

Hang in!!!


last edited by Antigone

@abrunelle - You don't seriously believe that she knows the difference between her toys and your stuff, do you? You are giving the dog way to much credit. If you leave it where she can get it, if it gets chewed it is "your fault" in my opinion, period.

And it sounds like you for sure have a resource guarding issue and this you need to have addressed ASAP, as it will only get worse.

I have to agree with Tanza here, your dog is definitely resource guarding. This behavior is unwanted, and can be disastrous if left unaddressed, or not properly handled. I had the same issue with our Bolt when he first came to live with us at 6 1/2 y/o. We have had him now for 6 years. I have worked extensively with him, but it is an issue we have to continue to deal with on a daily basis with training. I believe he had to be rehomed because of this issue. When he first got here, he thought sleeping in bed with me was his right, not a privilege that I gave him. He would not allow my husband to get into bed without charging/snapping at him. Clearly this was not acceptable behavior. If we were in bed, Bolt and I, and my husband then came to bed a while later, Bolt and I got out of bed, let my husband get into bed. Husband would then call Bolt up onto the bed tapping the mattress saying 'big bed'. Once the dog was in the bed my husband would have a few small treats and would work a little obedience with him before bed. Now when Bolt sees my husband coming to bed, he knows he's going to get a treat and do a little obedience. BUT even after all this time, if I'm asleep and the light is off, Bolt will growl at my husband. If the light is on, however, and I'm asleep, there is much less chance that he will growl at my husband. My husband watches his body language very carefully.

As far as chewing things....our first pair of basenjis were crated until they were 8 years old when we left the house. I had to remove a chair to a back room because Tim liked the cherry wood! Our female does not like to be left alone, although she has Bolt with her, she wants us to stay home. She will show her displeasure by chewing something of mine, glasses, ear buds, or will move my shoes to the middle of the living room. I try to keep all items out of harms way. It comes with experience and training you. Don't leave stuff out that she can get into, or chew. They have no trouble finding stuff on their own. Some basenji owners will give cream cheese frozen in a Kong for their basenji to chew. Ours just thought it was this weird thing, licked out the yummy stuff and ignored the Kong. It's frustrating, we all know, we have all been there, but be patient, and above all consistent. They are independent thinkers, what works for one doesn't mean it will work for yours, sometimes you need to try different things. Hang in there, it's so worth the reward!


You mentioned you created your B for years; if I keep Lily crated for even 30 minutes she is howling non stop like it’s bloody murder. Living in an apartment, I’m concerned with her “noise level”. It’s really the only time she speaks out, when she’s crated.

Put ALL items valuable to you out of reach! It's YOUR fault if anything gets destroyed. I would get frustrated at myself - not the basenji.

Have you tried puzzles? There are wooden boxes (or plastic) with little drawers or hidden doors where you hide treats and the dog has to figure out how to get the treat out. I used to trade puzzles with other b owners - like a lending library - to keep the challenge "fresh". (The commercially made puzzles are not cheap.) There are hard plastic bottles where you put in treats and the dog has to fiture out how to get the treat out. (DO NOT use plastic water bottles unless you are absolutely certain your b will not chew off and eat pieces of plastic which could cause major tummy issues.) I put treats in toilet paper or paper towel rolls, bend the ends inward to seal off the ends and give them to my b when I leave - he gets to destroy something, get a treat and it's easy to clean up. If you don't mind a bigger mess, you could put treats in an empty tissue box. Antlers cut lengthwise to expose the hard "marrow" are great for strong chewers and keep them busy for quite awhile. When the marrow gets worn down, I smear cream cheeze on them and freeze them (to make it last longer - especially in the summer). I fostered many, many basenjis when I was involved in rescue and not one of them would look twice at a Kong unless it had treats, cheese or cream cheese inside.
Whenever I leave my b alone, he gets various high value treats as I'm walking out. He gets so excited when he knows I'm leaving - it's like the welcome home happy dance but in reverse!
Hope this helps.

@abrunelle said in New to the Forum:


You mentioned you created your B for years; if I keep Lily crated for even 30 minutes she is howling non stop like it’s bloody murder. Living in an apartment, I’m concerned with her “noise level”. It’s really the only time she speaks out, when she’s crated.

I thought you said you don't crate her anymore?


For that reason, we’ll one of them, of her howling and being loud that I don’t crate her anymore.

@abrunelle...yes, our Tim was an imp, and got into EVERYTHING! We had an extra large wire crate in the kitchen that Rory and Tim fit into nicely. They were crated together once Tim outgrew his small crate, and we knew Rory would not hurt him. My husband worked from home so for that first year they weren't crated all that much. But we tried to leave the house every day for at least 15 minutes with them crated so they knew we would return. The only reason I stopped crating them was Rory was starting to refuse to go in the crate, AND I had read this tragic story that broke my heart how someone had lost their Bs in a horrible house fire and the dogs couldn't get out because they were crated. You can get stickers for your house that lets firefighters know you have crated pets in your home. I just can't remember who made them or carried them. We don't currently crate our 2. Bolt would never dream of destroying anything, could be because he's the laziest basenji. But, Delli, she does not like it when we leave, but at 15 if she gets something, it's my fault, I left it out! I ought to know better!

Sounds like your pup may be getting separation anxiety in the crate, hence the protesting noise. We got another b to help Rory with her separation anxiety, plus I really wanted anther one! Some basenjis really hate the crate, some don't mind. You have to find what works for yours. Perhaps a gated room might be the answer.

@rgk9ruler My B detested her Crate unless we were in the car going someplace. They must get into the Crate for Vets, etc. Give them something to chew on and put the Crate so they can see you. Practice taking short trips so they will get used to it. These Dogs are so curious that they like new things! It worked for my Dog because I always want all of my Animals to be safe! 🙂


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