Please help!

Hello everyone,

We have just received pippa (1 week ago), our 4 months old basenji, and things are getting out of control. She comes from a very reputable breeder in France along with her sister Laika (adopted by my fried Sam also member in this forum) and was raised in a very healthy environment. At first things were amazing until she gained confidence.

At first I tried to crate her but it was impossible as she was crying and screaming and started hurting herself. so she started sleeping in my room in her bed on the floor. Then progressively, day after day, i pushed her bed until it was outside of my room which was the objective. However it is still impossible for me to close the door as she starts screaming. Given the fact that I am a very light sleeper, she wakes me up very early and starts being destructive before anyone else is awake. It was never the case before with Biggy my french bulldog who died a year ago and use to wait in his bed calmly before all the members of the family wake up.

On another hand, when she arrived she seemed to be very clean, only doing her needs outside. Today, despite the fact that someone take her outside every 2 hours, she keeps on peeing and pooping everywhere!

Please help as she is getting more troublesome day after day!

Why are you trying to remove her from your room? Basenjis do not like being left alone, and they do not like being separated from their people. It sounds like she is becoming insecure and anxious. Don't expect her to behave like your bulldog. She is a Basenji.

@eeeefarm You are right she is totally different from Biggy. However I prefer for her to get used to sleeping between the rooms rather than in the rooms. That way she can start her day earlier interacting with other members of the family 🙂

In my opinion, she should be sleeping in the same room. I don't really understand why you want to not have her in the same room, especially since she seems to be fine in her bed on the floor? And as far as house training, kind of sounds to me like she is getting stressed out. Always of course make sure that there is nothing going on with her health such as a UTI...

@cherif basenjis have thousands of years of instinct. In the wild, the alone basenji becomes a lions snack. They have to be with their pack or they die. A basenji will eat through a wall, or a door to be with their pack mates. You are way better off to give it a bed near you.

Mines eaten two giant holes in a wall and several doorjambs when separated.

Still the best companions I have ever had.

Why have a dog if you won't love it? Dogs are pack animals and need to sleep with their master, the top dog. What a heartbreaking welcome to her new home your little girl has experienced. I hope you re-consider letting her sleep with you. You will be greatly rewarded by showing some compassion.

@cherif said in Please help!:

@eeeefarm You are right she is totally different from Biggy. However I prefer for her to get used to sleeping between the rooms rather than in the rooms. That way she can start her day earlier interacting with other members of the family 🙂

She needs reassurance at night, and if you sleep in later than other members of your family, in my experience she won't care about that. Every Basenji I have owned loved to sleep in with my husband when I was up early doing chores! Basenjis are not like most other dogs. If their personalities do not suit your lifestyle, maybe it is time to rethink your decision to have one and see if you can place Laika in a home that will appreciate her needs. I don't mean this to sound harsh, but sometimes a dog is just not a good fit with a family, and in my experience if you are not committed to making things work with a Basenji, then it isn't fair to anyone to try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

@cherif sleeping in a crate next to your bed should help. I have always had mine sleep n the bed. Also, expect accidents with a pup, training pads can help. Once they are potty trained basenjis are usually the cleanest of dogs in my experience.

Basenjis bond deeply and hate to be left alone, probably because in the wild they are pack animals so it is not natural for them.

I kept Moko in a crate right next to my bed, then slowly moved his crate against the wall, but still in my room so if he did cry I was close enough to let him know I was there. After a while he would go into crate at bedtime without much fuss. Eventually he got to sleep in the bed with me and now has option of that or his new bed next to ours, but still in my room.

@nancylemler maybe she wants to fuck her husband without the dog all up in their business. Nothing about her seeking help insinuated a lack of love for her pet. I thought this forum was about being able to reach out NOT being judged... go fuck yourself Nancy

last edited by dexen1120

Dexen. Your language only shows your lack of understanding the english language. Please refrain from spilling filth on the board. It really isn't necessary. Nancy your response was also uncalled for. This person is asking for assistance. Needing only help in rethinking her expectations from her puppy. Indeed she seems to be comparing last dog to basenji. Anyone who really cares about basenjis , understands the new comer to be exasperated with a puppy. To suggest she lacks love is so out of line. What she lacks is understanding of our breed. There is more than sufficient nastiness in the world today without adding to it with vile language and accusations. I suggest both of you retire from the conversation and allow those who maybe able to help be heard

I assume you're in France too. Remember too that some Basenjis will never be crated even though every method has been used to train them. If she is happy there, a bed on the floor of your room is ideal. Although you have explained why you are trying to move her I don't understand your reasoning. Let her sleep where she is happy and not distressed, please. When she is older she may accept being moved. You say that you've been moving her bed gradually hasn't been successful. If I'm correct in my understanding you've only had he a week so I would say that your attempts to move her are too quick. Please give her more time to work out that that it could be just as good. Personally, if it were me I'd give her much more time to adjust between each small movement of her bed., say every three weeks or even more.
Again with her toilet training - a Basenji may be perfectly clean indoors when she leaves her previous owner or breeder and relapse for a while until she gets used to routines. If she doesn't improve take her back to basics. One can never compare one Basenji with another and particularly with another breed. Most primitive dogs are far removed in their instincts from more man-made breeds.
Please don't say that she's getting more troublesome day after day, she's a baby remember -she may need you to adapt to her. I don't mean spoil her by any means. Be firm but very kind.
It may be that you didn't do enough research before you decided to have a Basenji, discuss her with her breeder and I hope she may be able to give more advice than you get here because she knows her own puppies better than any of us.

Since 1995, I have had 10 - 15 adult basenjis - sorry, can't remember the exact figure - not all at once of course.
I had 2 lines - one was calmer, another having various degrees of emotional expression.
One line started with a girl that was the most demonstrative of her emotions, and sometimes it would take the slightest things to get her going.

I honestly think the calmer line was rather embarassed of the other, "could they really be basenjis?' Those 2 girls hated each other, and any female related to them, hated each other too. Even today.
When it got to the point that I could let the girl loose in the family room, that really helped. She was not destructive, one of the most loving of all my basenjis, just very needy.
Sorry, but I could never get her over this, we really thought she was obsessive-compulsive, and once we realized this, that is was a medical problem, we just let some things go. Just like if it had been one of our kids.

She put 100% of herself into whatever she was doing at the time. This meant, she was a WONDERFUL mother. When I bred her, she was bred to dogs who were not like her, and all the pups seemed to have her endearing charm, but without the ocd. I did show her, and the judge must have been able to see how enthusiastic (yet controlled) she was. When it was her turn to go around the ring, he said "Let's see the little handful do it"

Having basenjis in our lives, meant we wanted them to be HAPPY. We called her 'the problem child we never had.' I still have the collie sized wire crate she used. All the wires on the side she pinched together with her mouth, and even the top!

When we got her as a puppy, she did ok in her crate, with all the other dogs in the same room. It worked, until it didn't. All I can suggest is take each thing as it comes, right now, I suggest letting her sleep in your room.

One thing I've learned about this breed, don't let them do something once, that they're not going to be allowed to do later. You started putting your pup in your bedroom, and moving it away from you is like taking something away from her that was better. Sorry, she will probably 'never' forget.

A couple of things that made us suspect obsessive-compulsiveness:
One night, she got all the loose things in the room and stuffed them into a crate. That thing was packed! She had never done it before, and never did it again.
I had some pots and chairs on our deck and she had a path she took when she was coming in the house. EVERY TIME One time I changed the set up on the deck - the poor thing was so confused! I kind of felt sorry for her, and moved things back to the way they were.

IMHO, basenjis are like people - they are all different. Different personalities, different needs, wants. Sure, some of this can be trained out of them, but you really have to work with the dog you have.

Best of luck with your baby. We miss Ibis the most.

@cherif

You've only had Pippa 1 week. That's a VERY short amout of time. You are expecting way too much too soon. If this pup is making you crazy after only a week, maybe it's not the right breed for you.

First: Pippa will not be like Biggy. Ever. It sounds like you miss Biggie. It's not good to compare.
Second: Pippa is a puppy. Puppies are notoriously difficult. Especially basenjis.
Third: You just got her only a week ago! Give her time!!! She's a baby and her whole world has been set upside down. Now she's dealing with an owner with unrealistic expectations. I'm sure she senses your anxiety.

Take a week to study all you can about crate training - put something really yummy inside and lock her outside of it! Make her want to go in. Then, try out the other hundreds of tips for crate training that are available online and in books. Ask her breeder for suggestions.

Take a month to work with her on potty training (sounds like it's a bother after only one day!!!) Again, read all you can on the sugject and reach out to the breeder for help. Umbilical cord her if you can't figure out how to make it work.

As for her waking up early and being destructive, She's a puppy and she's only been with you for a week - where's your resolve to make this work??? Get up when she gets up and tough it out for a couple of months. It won't kill you. Get creative and think of what you can do to give her something to keep her safely and quietly occupied while you put in earplugs and return to your dreams. Or, make a deal with a family member who can take her out to potty and play with her until you are finally ready to make an appearance. If you can't make some concessions for your brand new puppy, then maybe you should exchange her for a stuffed animal or a senior dog.

I apologize for being short with you, but I believe you are being very unrealistic with Pippa and it is unfair to her. If you want to be owned by a basenji, you have to be wicked smart to figure out how to make it work. Think of this as Basenji Bootcamp - it will only last about a year 🙂 and if you survive, you will be richly rewarded.

Good luck.

@dexen1120, there are ways to resolve this problem, if indeed it is one. In my experience the bitches really don't care what you are doing unless it disturbs their sleep. The dogs are more curious and may need to be excluded from the bedroom at times, but certainly not all night (unless you have a lot more endurance than I do!) 😉

Hi Pippa, as you can read in most of these posts here, Basenjis are quite different to the 'normal' domesticated dog. You need to accomodate their behaviours and train yourself rather than train the animal. Our Pippi sleeps with us every night, under the blankets and we all have a great sleep (they are very clean dogs with no dog odour). Once she feels safe again she'll start peeing outside because they are fastidious dogs. As mentioned above, if you aren't in a position to accomodate these particular needs of the basenji then it will be best for Pippa to find a new home. That will be the best outcome for both parties as much as you love her.
Alison
🐾

Hello, I’ve been leading a basenji-Mom life with Arlo for 3 years and our new love since January, little 5 year old Tully. I’ve always had dogs in my life but basenjis were new to me. I have the advantage of being retired so I do have the extra time a working person doesn’t. But I started reading about them quite a while before adopting one which I think helped me so much. Read everything you can get your hands on. (If you haven’t. ) The more I read the more fascinated I became. So I had the advantage of never expecting Arlo to be like any other breed. I loved the whole idea of the basenji. However, even given all I just said, I happened to read an entry in a journal written when we had probably had Arlo a couple of months. I was shocked to read how frustrated I was and actually angry with myself for starting over with a puppy. Arlo was driving me nuts. Peeing and pooping as soon as we came in the house from a long walk. Stealing my daughter’s underwear and destroying it. Stealing anything he could get his teeth into and running away at 90 miles an hour. Flip-flops were his specialty. I’m not sure how many, but we lost quite a few to his razor sharp teeth. He even bit my husband! And here 3years later I had forgotten all that bad stuff until I read it. My own little testimony to basenji puppy craziness. Here’s the thing. They are a lot of work. All puppies are, but it’s exponential with basenjis. They are just too damn smart. Basenjis are a bigger challenge.So, I reached out to the breeder, I read and read, I worked with our trainer and loved and loved that dog. My husband and I love how basenjis are different. We probably bore people to death with our stories and photos. What happens, I think, is that the basenji changes you. You become part of the crazy and exotic basenji world until you'd never settle for any other breed. Ever. So: my advice is to give little Pippa all the love you can. hold her. cuddle her. Find out what she likes. And yes, be firm. She needs to know you’re the boss. (Well Arlo is so full of himself he probably still thinks he’s the boss, just like my cats do). Pippa needs to be the biggest thing in your life right now. She is your little baby. Yeah, she’s going to make you crazy and you will wonder what in the world you were thinking when you adopted her. BUT: Like me, all this stuff passes in time if you just give it time and do the work and do the research and get support. And like everyone says, the rewards will be beyond your expectations. And remember, she is a Basenji. A dog like no other. You did right to reach out to this forum. Please ignore the people who say mean things. There are way more people here who will befriend you and support you. As long as you do what you need to do to love and raise your Pippa. Also, I’d give that crate another try, and put up with the screaming. It’s awful, but each night it got a little bit less horrible until the screaming stopped. The crate will keep her safe and keep your home from being destroyed. I would not leave my guys unsupervised with the run of the house. If they’re crated I know they’re safe. Best of luck to you and keep us up-dated.

@cherif Hi. You need to know that the Basenji tends to become emotionally attached, thus you can't keep her away from you, specially at night. (They were developed to fear the dark, and this is an inherited trait that’s difficult to break.)

regarding her "peeing" issue, you need to figure out what is the cause. In my opinion, she is doing so because you are away... but with time she will get used to your absence during the day. Here is a tip: Get her a Kong, and everyday, before going out to work, put some Peanut butter inside the Kong and it will distract her for a long time.

PS: share pics of Pipa:)

Cheers mate,
Sam

@Aileen Thank you for your constructive answer. First of all I thought this forum was a support forum not a judgement one and I am surprised and shocked at some of the answer.
Indeed, before adopting Pippa, my wife and I did a lot of research and chose to adopt her knowing all the responsibility that would come with her. We really love her and will do everything to make this adaptation period a very joyful experience.

Yes it is true, it is our first basenji and the comparison with Biggy is inevitable. Anyway @Aileen you are the only one who got back to me constructively and I will update you on our day to day life with Pippa (last night was amazing by the way).

You are right, she still have some accidents because this environment is still new for her. Based on your advice I will start back crate training today (not for sleeping she loves her bed 🙂 )but for her to have her own special place during the day.

Thank you again for your support. I hope this group will be less judgemental and more constructive in the future.

Have a good day everyone!

Cherif, Ask Sam if you can read the private email I wrote to him. If not email me privately.

Peeing and pooping as you describe is just an expression of her feeling of insecurity - my pups always left me almost potty trained but I always told new owners that they were likely to revert for a couple of weeks until they settled to a new life and a different routine. You need to build Pippa's confidence, it'll be well worth your while, honestly !

Don't expect a Basenji to behave like ANY other dog, even another Basenji ! They are complete individuals - but they need an Alpha (and if you don't fill this role yourself, Pippa will !)

You mention your family - does this mean you have kids ? cos perhaps Pippa would settle in their room at night on her bed (or theirs !) cos she really does need the assurance of her 'pack' at night.

last edited by Zande

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