PUP Walks

Can any of our breeders suggest guidelines on how much exercise is too much for a puppy? I know the preferred age to take a pup home is around 11-12 weeks, but when should you introduce walking on a leash? And how far is a reasonable distance for a little one to start out with?

I'm not a breeder, but from personal experience the earlier a pup learns leash walking the better, provided it is done in a tactful way. The first difficulty will be wearing a collar, which they will spend time trying to get rid of, usually by scratching, unless the breeder has accustomed the pup to wearing one. Once that is sorted, then letting them chose the direction and just following along is a good initiation. You do not want to be dragging them! This is where another dog comes in handy. My girl Tamu, learning from Lady.....my husband at the "reins"
0_1586891283716_01walkies.jpg

If you don't have another dog to assist, a human can walk ahead to entice the pup. As far as distance, short (maybe five minutes to start) and often will teach the pup to leash walk. Once they learn, you can add gradually add distance and judge whether they are getting tired or bored. If the pup is really tired or not cooperating, they are small enough to just pick up and carry home!

Earlier is better. It's just that there may be a time commitment since, as eeefarm says, it may not be natural for a Basenji puppy to walk on a leash. What is that thing around my neck restricting me? I DON'T LIKE IT AND I'M GOING TO FIGHT IT!!!!! One puppy may not be a big deal but when you have five or six that's a different story. There is also the issue of introducing them to different surfaces and stairs and people. And of course potty training. So it's not as if time is unlimited.

I think most Basenji puppies would go for half a mile or so without a problem. Should be obvious when they have had enough. Note however that a half mile walk might take a while though since there are going to be so many new things to explore!

My pups were always collar and lead trained before they left me. I fitted a crochet-ed wool collar around each one, last thing at night so they wake up in the morning with no memory of life without a collar. A tag - a couple of inches long - means the litter can pull each other around in play and thus get each other used to being pulled by the neck.

Personally I think 11 - 12 weeks is too late. 9 weeks is fine for pups to leave if they have been properly bomb-proofed by their breeder. The sooner they get into their new routine, the better.

No, you don't want them to walk too far at first at 9 - 10 weeks, but by 11 - 12, they should have been properly trained and manage a reasonable time on the run - but only go out in public after their shots.

I carried Mku in a sling in the woods until he was 'protected', so he could socialise with humans and see and hear other dogs. By the time he could actually run free, he only got one run in the forest and a couple over distant fields before the lock-down was imposed. I carried him from time to time so he didn't run too far.

Now he is restricted to our garden, a neighbour's field or some small woodland areas at the other end of the village. But his recall is excellent and if I do a mile or so (I am restricted too) then he does about 4 at the very least ! It is difficult, but we are managing to meet other dogs, if not their owners, so he is getting some friendly socialising.

He is about 17 weeks now and goes beautifully on the lead but I hate to keep a hunting hound from freedom. To finish his lead training - his breeder had started it with collars - I carried him a distance from the house and let him walk back. Four or five times a day and he was soon walking well.

I can't wait until the forest is opened again and Mku and Hoover can be really free to hunt and race !

@zande said in PUP Walks:

I carried Mku in a sling in the woods

I was thinking about that sling, I remember you mentioning it before... Do you remember where you go it, or what it's called?

I just googled 'puppy slings' and 'small animal slings'. Amazon came up with dozens. I used Amazon Prime so it arrived the next day. I went for one of the more expensive slings because it had the features I liked best.

I picked one which had a (removable) hard base for the pup to sit comfortably on, with a draw-string so you can keep him in (very necessary !) and with a clip on the end of a very short line to attach to his collar. The hard base is shaped so it fits beautifully against the wearer's hip or waist so the puppy is not tipped on one side and can sit straight.

One day it poured with rain during the walk and while Mku kept dry, the sling got very wet and I took it indoors to dry it.

Next day I got to the woods and realised to my horror - the sling was still in the kitchen. . . I carried Mku in my arms for the entire walk and one thing is for sure - I never forgot it again. It lived in the car along with my walking pole as long as he needed it !

@zande said in PUP Walks:

I carried Mku in a sling in the woods until he was 'protected', so he could socialise with humans and see and hear other dogs. By the time he could actually run free, he only got one run in the forest and a couple over distant fields before the lock-down was imposed. I carried him from time to time so he didn't run too far.

I don't understand why government officials think keeping people out of large natural areas is a good idea. Where I am all the trails have been shut down. This has forced people from areas with few people and 12 feet wide trails into more crowded areas with four or six feet sidewalks. When asked why, the answer seems to be that social distancing can't be enforced on the trails. But social distancing can't be more easily enforced for sidewalks -- in fact there is no effort to do so -- and ignores the fact that you likely don't need to enforce social distancing in the first place when you have a couple of people per one or more acres.

In any event, hope you can get back to your walks soon. In the meantime keep safe!

@donc said in PUP Walks:

Where I am all the trails have been shut down. This has forced people from areas with few people and 12 feet wide trails into more crowded areas with four or six feet sidewalks.

Mku's breeder emailed me last night - they live near wide open spaces and forests but those places are closed and everyone has been herded into small areas with 4 - 6 foot wide trails, and the police actually ride alongside them on bicycles. It's totally crazy. People walk in both directions, so meet and have to step aside as they pass. She hasn't seen the police stop anyone, they are just omnipresent.

Where they used to walk their Basenjis, they seldom saw anyone at all. All this in the name of social distancing.

The past couple of days I have driven a couple of miles to get to an open space which is also a public right of way. There are quite a few around and now the Government has agreed we can drive to walk as long as the drive is shorter than the walk.

Basenjis need exercise, and that doesn't mean miles of roadwork. Mine are used to running free and I am trying to keep it up for their sakes as well as for mine. Today I managed to negotiate a very heavy, awkward metal farm gate with two dogs on leads. Neighbors told me I'd never manage it - which was enough of a challenge to ensure I did ! But that has opened up another possible walk for us to enjoy as people with Basenjis should.

You keep safe too, DonC, and everyone else.

@donc said in PUP Walks:

I don't understand why government officials think keeping people out of large natural areas is a good idea.

In my area... local teens are boating to the little islands off the coast and not exercising social distancing. They're being teenagers. (shrug) It's not the ones who at least try to maintain social distancing, it's the ones who don't. Of course, if I had a boat I could take my B out there and let her run to her hearts content... maybe I should go buy a kayak...

last edited by elbrant

I remember soon after we got our first basenji pup, we were out walking him and he just sat down at one point and wouldn't budge. We were horrified we had walked him too long. Based on that we halved the time/distance and increased both slowly. I would err on the side of shorter walks when they are pups.

@elbrant
On the flip side of this conversation can the breeders or owners recommend or suggest what they think Is a reasonable distance in walking an older basenji. My B turned 14 this past January. She always loved her walks - in her prime we’d do 4-5 miles a day. This past summer I noticed I had to walk her early in the morning or early evening due to the heat.This past fall we were doing about 2-3 miles per day and she was always eager to walk. Once winter hit, it was very sporadic and limited - depended on the weather. It was the first winter that she would refuse to go for a walk if there was snow out it was too cold. Once weather got better, we started walking again but have only been doing about 1 mile per day. There are many days she stops dead outside the door wanting to go back in if it’s too cold (I always dress her w/ a sweater or jacket if it’s cool). She enjoys her walks and doesn’t have any physical restrictions except for her age. Otherwise, I feel she is still spry, active, alert, and maintains a reasonable weight. I forget that she’s old except for the fact that she has a white face.

last edited by Kembe

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.