First time Basenji owner with new puppy

Hello,

My name is Jerome. I'm located in Essex county, New Jersey. I just got my puppy this past Saturday. He is a Basenji and his name is Kane. He is 10 weeks old today and was born on December 18, 2019. I think he is having separation anxiety from his litter mates and now myself. I'm sure the change of homes doesn't help either. I thought I was prepared but I'm realizing that I was sadly mistaking. I've had dogs growing up but I was not the one who trained/socialized/desensitized them so this is my first time. I would love to enroll he and myself in puppy classes and would also like some info on puppy kindergarten as I do work 8-10 hours per day. I'm open to an in home trainer as well. I'm out of the house from 6 am to 430 or 630 pm for work. My mother does live with me so she has no problem looking after Kane so long as she doesn't have work. I would prefer he be at "school" though to lay down some base training and proper socialization/desensitization. I tried crating him at night but gave up on that since one of the major reasons I got a dog was to have by my side whenever I'm home. Aside from the screaming for over an hour (enough to make me cringe and my neighbors to think I'm sacrificing animals) I think being in the crate at night is too much with him also spending time in the crate when no one is home. During the day I'm doing one to two hour incriments (with toys and treats) starting today. He was on 3 meals per day from the breeder and she said that he was a fussy eater from the get go. I got him home and he would only eat two meals for two days. The past two days he only ate dinner. I'm fine with one meal per day as long as he is getting the proper nutrients. He doesn't have any interest in toys or treats, only humans. All he wants to do is sit with you and sleep. If he isn't sitting next to you, he's whining at your feet. All insight is greatly appreciated. I hope I'm in the right place and look forward to hearing back from everyone.

Thank you,
Jerome Mascari Jr.

I find the lack of interest in food and toys a bit concerning. Of course he will be missing his litter mates and adjusting to the change in his living arrangements and pups do sleep a lot, but when awake they are usually quite active. I would get this pup to the vet and see if anything is wrong. Are you still feeding the same food as the breeder? And yes, too much crate time is not a good thing. He should not be in a crate when someone is available to supervise him.

No I changed his food because I couldn't get a straight answer from the breeder about what she was feeding him. He is eating fromm duck a la veg and honest kitchen turkey recipe dehydrated. I have a vet appointment Monday at 8 am. I'm also on the cancelation list for the remainder of this week.

last edited by Jerome_inya_home

I'm sure we would all love to see a picture of Kane (so we can oooo and ahhhh). Let's see if I can hit on your main points:

  • yes, your puppy realizes that he left his littermates/mom behind. He misses them, which is normal, that's why he is crying at your feet. Pick him up and hold him. Let him sit with you while you watch TV. After he has had all his shots, you can visit dog parks and begin socializing him with other puppies and people.

  • puppy/dog training classes train you how to teach your dog to behave the way you want/expect them to. They do not train your dog, you learn how to train your dog. I find the key to be positive praise.

  • at 10 weeks old, his belly is still quite small, 2 small meals/day is fine. Don't try to switch to one meal a day until he reaches adulthood.

  • if you want your dog to sleep in a crate, drape a blanket or towel over it so that it becomes a dark cavelike den. A ticking clock nearby is said to simulate a heartbeat and may help. Personally, I prefer to have my B on my bed.

  • train Kane to associate pleasant things with his crate: feed him inside his crate... give him dog bones there... put a blanket or dog bed in it to make it comfortable... avoid putting him into an empty crate (it's not supposed to be punishment).

  • do not expect him to be fully potty trained until he is at least 6 months old. His body needs time to mature and develop before you can rely on him "holding it in" until you get home from work. Also note, pups will often times get so excited that you are home that they have an "accident". Avoid punishing your dog for being excited to see you.

  • he will learn to enjoy toys his own way. If he his mouthing your hand, offer a toy to chew on instead (so he doesn't become a nipper or biter). At this age, a frozen washcloth can be a wonderful toy. Soak a clean washcloth, twist it into a rope, toss it in the freezer. Your puppy is teething and will need to chew on things to satisfy the pain. That frozen washcloth will numb his gums so they don't hurt and give you a game of tug at the same time. He is a baby, teach him how to play.

You will need to learn to think from Kane's point of view in order to understand what he wants. Remember, right now he is a baby. He doesn't know the difference between safety and danger. You are supposed to always be aware of what is in his environment that could hurt him. He is relying on you to keep him safe.

Jerome, who did you get your pup from? I'm concerned that you couldn't get a straight answer about the food, and the breeder should usually be your most important source of information about your pup. I'm glad you have made an appointment with your vet, and that you are trying to get in sooner. You might try small portions of food more often and warm the food up a bit, the dehydrated might work well as once rehydrated it will be a moist food, and if the Fromm is dry, you might try moistening it with some warm water before feeding. If his appetite doesn't pick up and if he seems lethargic I would try to get him in to see the vet ASAP. Has he had puppy shots recently? Could be reacting to them, or it could be something else. How is his stool? Normal or loose? Does he urinate whenever he wakes up?

At night I would either sleep with the pup or have him within arm's reach of your bed, so you can reassure him or take him out if he needs to go, whenever he gets restless.

Let us know how things are going!

last edited by eeeefarm

I do pick him up and let him sit with me. That's not an issue. Training is most definitely more for me lol I have been trying to feed him 2 meals but what do I do if he doesn't want to eat in the morning? Today with my new crate training schedule, he hasn't cried more than a minute or two once he's left alone which is great. He's eaten some treats left in the cage each time he's crated. I do want him to sleep with me, for the duration of his whole life so I'm axing the night crating. He holds his bladder all night long and pees as soon as I get up, wake him up and take him out. He's had a couple accidents which is fine. I do not repremand him as I have read a good bit about the breed over the past year or so. Just about my whole house has been puppy proofed so I'm not worried about safety so much but he can't go down stairs yet, only up so that's a worry for now. I have a "cuddle buddy" heart beat simulator stuffed animal to leave with him when he's in the crate. It also holds hand warmers inside which is nice. He tore the tongue off of it last night. I was kind of happy about that. I'm leaning towards him just not adjusting very quickly and getting used to his new dad's schedule.
Also, I do not feel comfortable with revealing the name of the breeder I dealt with (snitches get stitches) but I will say that I do have a very experienced breeder that I've been dealing with as far as using her as a wealth of knowledge. She's been great and said most of the same things you guys did. I just wanted to get some insight from more Basenji owners. Two heads are better than one. I do not care whatsoever for the breeder I got my puppy from but I wasn't able to grt one from the breeder of my choice since one of her dogs didn't get pregnant. I opted to go with a different breeder she told me about who had what I was looking for (tricolor male). This is more of an emotional support animal for me than anything. Hence why I jumped the gun instead of waiting a year for a puppy I wasn't guaranteed to get. His last shots were on the 20th, I picked him up on the 22nd. His stool is loose but he has had firm poops too.

last edited by Jerome_inya_home

Hey, Jerome, looks like you are on the right track! Do be careful with a pup (or any dog for that matter) when they tear up toys that they don't ingest something potentially harmful. Otherwise it is normal for them to chew on things, but if you start early by removing something they are ripping up and replacing it immediately with something that is meant to be chewed it will help the pup distinguish the "legal" chews from things you don't want destroyed. Spend as much time as you can with your pup when he is awake, and give him lots of snuggle time with you when he is sleepy. It will build the bond between you. Do try to be consistent with any "house rules", what is allowed and what is not, so there is no confusion. I agree, don't chastise him when he has an "accident", but if you are observant you can keep these to a minimum and he should soon understand that outside is where to relieve himself.

With feeding, put a small quantity out for him and if he doesn't consume it in a short time, take it away. Stale food can be off putting and it's better if he learns to eat promptly when food is available. All the Basenjis I have owned have had good appetites, but I have heard there may be picky eaters out there, I just have not ever seen it myself.

@jerome_inya_home What you describe is fairly normal for a pup from my experience. Basenjis like to be with their owner or another basenji, they do not like being alone. Crates are useful but many don’t do well for more than a few hours a day alone.

Basenji pups are very demanding and can be hell for the first year. If possible I would free feed him and Fromm puppy food would be a good choice or another puppy food. Puppy foods are different from regular foods I believe. My advice would also be to not let him have items he can ingest when unmonitored. The dangers, medical bills and stress of an operation are something to be avoided at all costs.

Basenjis are a dog, however they should be classed as something else, Because nothing prepares you for them lol. Whatever you can do to minimize or break up the crate time will help I am sure.

@jerome_inya_home
OMGJerome! Your Basenji is absolutelyADORABLE! He looks so sweet and innocent. Good luck with your new baby - it is always an adjustment with a new pup. You’ll get a lot of support from this forum. BTW - what’s his name?

OMG! Such a handsome boy!!

Jerome, I think you're going to be fine. But honestly 10 weeks is too young to be placed. I know people do it at 8 weeks but people do a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense. So yes, things are scary for your little guy at the moment and you're both paying a price for that.

Leaving him out of the crate is fine. Some dogs like crates. Some don't. You CAN get them to like their crates. I'm sure you can find some YouTube videos on the games you can play. Doesn't have to be long. In fact short sessions are better. Maybe 5 minutes or less. I would NOT be concerned about his lack of interest in treats or toys or treats. I'm sure an interest in treats will appear! LOL Haven't found Basenjis puppies to be that interested in toys unless they're destroying it or taking it from another puppy. Having him interested in humans is actually a good trait which not a lot of Basenjis have.

As you shape his behavior keep in mind that negative reinforcement generally doesn't work well with dogs, and less well in Basenjis than most dogs. Always try to come up with a positive way to get the behavior you want. (This is easy to say and not so easy to do, so you may need to put your thinking hat on).

This brings us back to the first point: his age. Honestly I don't think training at this point would be very useful. He's just too young to make sense out of it. Wait a few weeks. In fact I don't think reputable places will let you bring your puppy to training until they've gotten all their shots.

Hi Jerome,
Kane is adorable! All I can say is lots of love and patience. I find that my two Bs understand English perfectly and are excellent at communicating. Keep an open mind and build the bond when your home. Definitely let him sleep with you. They love to cuddle and feel secure. My Bs always sleep with someone in the family. There is no other place they’ll rather be but close to their human. Take him everywhere you can with you so he can experience the world. Enjoy every puppy day as they grow up fast. Good Luck! We’re in Morris County, NJ.

@elbrant said in First time Basenji owner with new puppy:

at 10 weeks old, his belly is still quite small, 2 small meals/day is fine. Don't try to switch to one meal a day until he reaches adulthood.

At 10 weeks of age, the puppy should be on 4 meals a day, decreasing to three and then two over the next couple of months. I am collecting a 9 week old in two days time. He is on 5 meals a day, with supplements from a helpfully lactating grandmother. I will alter the times of day he gets fed and also decrease the number of meals while increasing the quantity - but slowly - gradually !

Ours have always had two meals a day - makes it easier to control their weight and gives them two major points of interest in 24 hours !

@eeeefarm said in First time Basenji owner with new puppy:

who did you get your pup from? I'm concerned that you couldn't get a straight answer about the food, and the breeder should usually be your most important source of information about your pup.

Yes - the breeder should be your first port of call for whatever reason. It worries me that you aren't getting enough help and advice, especially with regard to food.

What is Kane's registered name - who are his parents ?

Many of the comments are spot on.... And yes too much crate time is not a good thing. As noted if someone is there then he needs not be crated. At this age, 3 times a day for feeding at least. At 12 wks you can go to 2 feedings (at least that is what I do and recommend to new Basenji parents). It is a concern that the breeders didn't or wouldn't tell you exactly what he had been eating? I find that really odd. When I send new puppies home, they are sent to a small bag of food that they have been eating along with toys and something that has the litter's smell on it... (blanket/towel, etc). Also before you picked him up he would have had his first shots... therefore had a Vet check up? Where is his crate during the day? At night where is the crate? What kind of crate are you using? Not sure that I understand what this comment means? During the day I'm doing one to two hour incriments (with toys and treats) starting today could you explain? He is too young for doggy day care, but that is an option when he is older. I am one that never uses dog parks.... I find them more of a hazzard then help.

@zande said in First time Basenji owner with new puppy:

At 10 weeks of age, the puppy should be on 4 meals a day

Thank you for correcting me! Breeders have such a wealth of knowledge!

@tanza Yes, he's had some shots. His crate is in the living room and stays there since I'm opting to let him sleep with me. I have two crates, one from my previous toy fox terriers which is about the same size as my bigger crate with the divider in. He seemed to like the little crate better currently. I mean I'm paying someone to come by for an hour every other hour to let him out and play with him while no one is home.

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