Basenji sitter urgently needed

I live near Northampton, MA and am going on a trip in early March. My two basenjis cannot be crated and need to be cared for in a home. They are both beautiful and very sweet with humans. However, the male is a consummate escape artist and fence climber who can be destructive if not exercised enough. He is challenging to walk on leash (he pulls/bolts when a squirrel is in view, which is frequently, and chewed through 6-8 leashes). So walking both dogs is a two-person job. They may do fine without walks in a house with a large fenced-in yard, provided the fence is not chain link (the male climbs UP and OVER those, as he did in a dog park one time!). The other basenji, a female, is super sweet with humans but aggressive with other dogs, and for that reason, she cannot be with other dogs. Long story short, they would either need to be cared for in my home with two people for walks, or the only two dogs in another person’s home with a large non-chain link fenced yard! I know this is a tall order but it would be an immense relief to find a good, and safe, solution for my pups.

It's hard to leave your dog(s) in a boarding facility (and it can be expensive), but it might be the best option for your situation, given the specific issues. You just want the best for your pups. Totally understandable. I'm not close enough to offer assistance, but you might consider some other (potential) local resources:

  • Vetarinarians (may be willing to take them 'home' at night )
  • Professional Pet Sitters (pets stay home, sitters come in and out through the day, some even stay at your home while you are gone)
  • Breeder (contact your dogs breeder and see if they could assist you)
  • Friends (someone who is familiar with the dogs)

If you have any questions about training your leash chewing escape artist, or the dog aggressive female, please feel free to ask. We might not be able to give you a quick fix, but I'm certain that we can relate what our experiences have been in resolving similar behaviors.

My solution to a similar problem was to hire dog walkers/sitters for the time I was away. Sometimes you can get a friend or relative, but in my experience it's often better to have paid help, as they should be professional and hopefully reliable. Someone who is doing you a favour may want to do things their way, but someone you are paying should do things the way you want them done. (in theory, anyhow!) Check for references!

I wish I could help you! I live in Chicopee and teach part-time in Northampton. Unfortunately my Basenji is a solo dog and doesn't want other dogs in the house. I’m going to ask around to see what services might be available for your Basenjis.

last edited by Kembe

I would recommend searching for a dog sitter on either Care.com or Rover. I've had great experiences with hiring a dog sitter on Care.com in the Philadelphia area.

Thanks for your replies. Because of the challenging issues I am nervous about hiring a stranger to live in my house, sleep with the dogs, and take them for walks, which are a two-person job. There is a high risk that the male would escape and/or chew through the leash. I did board them with the breeder but they were crated and the male damaged the heavy-duty crate as well as his teeth, so it was a disaster. I’m trying to find a solution where they would be safe and not traumatized/crated.

@rosamunde Is there no way for you to take them on your trip (with you)?

@rosamunde said in Basenji sitter urgently needed:

Thanks for your replies. Because of the challenging issues I am nervous about hiring a stranger to live in my house, sleep with the dogs, and take them for walks, which are a two-person job. There is a high risk that the male would escape and/or chew through the leash. I did board them with the breeder but they were crated and the male damaged the heavy-duty crate as well as his teeth, so it was a disaster. I’m trying to find a solution where they would be safe and not traumatized/crated.

If I was in this situation I would investigate professionals in my area and get them familiar with my dogs and routine, by walking the dogs with me and spending time in my house. Most professional dog sitters are bonded, so the security risks are less, but they need to know the dogs and the routine and understand thoroughly how they react to situations, and their quirks, such as leash chewing. Even if you don't anticipate having to leave them for a trip, IMO it's good to have someone, either a friend or professional, who could step up and care for them in unexpected circumstances. When I broke my ankle four years ago my dog walker immediately took over while I was in hospital, and I had no worries about my boy.

Unfortunately can’t bring them with me because I’m traveling too far.

@eeeefarm Thanks for the suggestion, great idea. How did you find your sitter/walker?

I found her when I saw her walking dogs down my street, shortly after we moved here, but there are a couple more in my area that advertise. Do an online search and you may turn up some, or ask at your veterinarian's office or local pet food store. Before I moved to my current location I had long time friends and neighbours who would help out in a pinch, and there was also a farm sitter who would deal with the dogs when she came to do the horses. I am guessing if you inquire you will find there are some in your area, and hopefully more than one so you can pick and choose.

@eeeefarm Thank you so much for your advice. You’re very helpful!

@rosamunde said in Basenji sitter urgently needed:

@eeeefarm Thank you so much for your advice. You’re very helpful!

I hope you can find someone reliable. I actually had two women who run their business together. Neither had had a Basenji before, but they got on well with my boy. The first time I asked for overnight sitting I said "I hope you don't mind sleeping with my dog" and the response was laughter and the statement "We sleep with a lot of clients' dogs!" A good dog sitter/walker enjoys the company of all different types of dogs. My boy was popular because of his quirks. He always made them laugh!

@eeeefarm Your story is inspiring and gives me hope! It would be wonderful to find a sitter like the one you describe. With time and patience, I hope to find a good person.

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