Destructive behavior

My girl is 1years old and is starting to destroy everything in sight. I know that destructive behaviors can tend to come out of lack of exercise, trust me she gets plenty. What are some things you have done to prevent destructive behavior. It has gotten to the point where she bit through the cord on a electric blanket and shocked herself.

Could be that she is bored and needs more mental stimulation. How much excercise is part of it, but also the walks need to be structured. A minimum 3-5 miles a day.

My first question would be what has changed? Any significant changes in your day to day routine, any new people or animals in her life, both at home and when out walking or visiting? If not, then her age may be one clue. She is becoming a "teenager". What is your usual routine with her? Crating when you are out, or loose in the house? Is the destruction happening when you are home or only when you aren't present? Much more information is needed in order to give you a useful response.....

She's probably bored. But I agree with eeeefarm that you need to tell us much more about WHEN this destructiveness occurs and if she is alone when it happens, how long you leave her alone for and is she penned or free when she destroys things ?

Personally I would always take care that dogs never had access to electric cables, wires or anything which could damage THEM if they damaged it.

I have never tolerated destructive behaviour but am not sure how I went about actually training my packs. It was simply not acceptable. Period. Not done. If they did something like shredding a newspaper I would scream and cry and make a BIG fuss - so if ever they wanted to punish me, they'd shred papers. They knew that way they'd attract maximum attention. Another breeder I know over-reacted with screams and tears if the dogs threw cushions on the floor. So if they were feeling particularly evil - they threw cushions on the floor. Both methods have the effect of channeling destructive behaviour into a totally benign activity which the dogs rapidly get bored with.

This is another case of 'I'm bigger than they are and it's MY house' -

last edited by Zande

@zande said in Destructive behavior:

She's probably bored. But I agree with eeeefarm that you need to tell us much more about WHEN this destructiveness occurs and if she is alone when it happens, how long you leave her alone for and is she penned or free when she destroys things ?

Personally I would always take care that dogs never had access to electric cables, wires or anything which could damage THEM if they damaged it.

I have never tolerated destructive behaviour but am not sure how I went about actually training my packs. It was simply not acceptable. Period. Not done. If they did something like shredding a newspaper I would scream and cry and make a BIG fuss - so if ever they wanted to punish me, they'd shred papers. They knew that way they'd attract maximum attention..

This is another case of 'I'm bigger than they are and it's MY house' -

Oh, I had a boy who had separation anxiety, and he learned to "get my goat" by shredding papers. I did exactly as you did, made a big deal of it, and my husband thought I had lost my mind. Why was I overreacting? Because, if I don't, he'll escalate. As long as he knows he's getting to me, he has no reason to go further.....and he never did. To be truthful, the "paper only shredding" came after a bit of a showdown over a totally destroyed shoe. I made my displeasure abundantly clear in a way I'm not proud of, but it paid off, as papers were the only thing he ever destroyed after that.

Basenjis have a pretty good sense of justice, and I have found they will accept consequences they know they have earned. The trick is that they must thoroughly understand where the line is, and that they have stepped over it.

@eeeefarm said in Destructive behavior:

Basenjis have a pretty good sense of justice, and I have found they will accept consequences they know they have earned. The trick is that they must thoroughly understand where the line is, and that they have stepped over it.

Well said ! I am so glad I am not the only one to make mountains from molehills where Basenji discipline is concerned ! But you are so right - their sense of fair play is very highly developed.

First Basenji's

*My motto, as an owner of three B’s, a tired basenji is a good basenji, ‘ need exercise, running in particular, I took my three to an enclosed 5 mi wooded dog park twice a day, or they would destroy furniture, unattended glasses, phones, cords, you name it! These dogs are hunters, sniffers and sharp eyesight, you have to wear them out physically and mentally. I work from home so I’ve always had the time to care for them .

If left where they can get to "whatever".... it is not their fault... it is the human's fault...

@eeeefarm My boy would always go into the dining room table and steal something, we used the table for storing things for a long time as we ate at the breakfast bar. Then one day I cleaned off the table. The first time he was annoyed with me, he went to the table and looked up on it, the look on his face was priceless lol, I laughed so hard and he was really mad then lol. They really do have to understand when no means no, electrical leads are one of those. During the summer we go for an early walk, nap time follows. Wake up in time for midday walk, nap time, afternoon walk, nap time, evening walk, nap time. During the winter it’s very different when it’s too cold to walk. Excercise is key, but many think that just letting the dog out in the back yard is excercise.

I think, perhaps naively, that if your relationship with your dog (mature dog, not puppy) is one of respect, they will learn to respect your wishes, at least the ones that are important to you. Not to say that boundaries will not be pushed occasionally. No self respecting Basenji would fail on this count. My dogs and I had an interesting relationship. When something off limits was picked up or appeared to be under scrutiny, I didn't say "no". That word was reserved for really serious infractions (so that it didn't lose its power). I would query, "Is that yours?" My dogs always understood the message and would generally cease and desist. I've pretty much always addressed my dogs in a conversational manner. Commands, such as "come", "leave it" and "no" were kept as important words that must be obeyed. For unimportant things I tended to use suggestions which were presented conversationally. Worked for me, and taught the dog to listen to what I was saying and pick out the relevant information. 🙂

last edited by eeeefarm
First Basenji's

**also punishment is what humans do when they don’t get the behavior they want, dogs need lots of walks, running, playing. We had couch wrestling every night in the wintertime because I couldn’t get out as much.Mine know Stop, Come and Sit and no matter what they are doing , they mind, I’ve never laid a hand on my dogs, my voice tone, and hand jesters. Good luck, it’s hard work being a basenji owner.

@crazybasenjimom said in Destructive behavior:

I ’ve never laid a hand on my dogs, my voice tone

Very well said. I don't lay hand to mine either, never have. Its all done with voice and gestures. And maintaining Alpha status.

@caleb - And remember that you need to exercise their minds along with physical exercise

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