She is so bored. How do you keep them entertained?

My girl is a rescue and I have bought several toys, even a treat ball that you put the treats in and they have to roll it around to get the treats out. She wants nothing to do with any of it. I threw a stick, she went and picked it up and then wanted nothing more to do with it. I threw a ball, nothing.
All she wants to do is go for walks, ALL the time. And she throws a fit at the end of the walk because she wants to walk some more. We walk over 3 miles a day. Yesterday I took her for two walks, the second one a mile, and she did the stop and freeze thing and would not move when she figured out we were heading home.
She is constantly looking for something to "hunt" she takes off after birds, rabbits etc.
Any ideas?
As a puppy I dont think she ever got to play, and so I just don't think she knows how.

last edited by FernRN1

You need to also work their minds.... do obedience work at home... sit, down, stay, come, etc.... How long have you had her?

@tanza I have had her 3 months, and we do that, she knows a few commands already. She wants my attention all the time, she needs something to entertain herself, so that when I am busy she isnt bored

last edited by FernRN1

Most Basenjis will not fetch.... you throw, they look at you and "say" Get if yourself....LOL
Do you give her bones to chew? I give mine Best Bully Sticks https://www.bestbullysticks.com and use the bully sticks, 12" long jumbo size. The Antlers are a good choice also along with the bones....

Yes she has a big ham bone to chew, and it keeps her busy for a few minutes. For example, yesterday as soon as I got out of bed she was begging.... begging equals bumping me, the basenji squeal, .... to go for a walk, I took her for one. Usually we walk in the afternoon, but I thought maybe I would try it in the morning to see if that helped. It didn't, she is constantly following me around all day, wanting my attention, which I give her intermittently...but the laundry doesnt do itself lol. I have to be careful as I will be cleaning and turn around and fall over the top of her. Took her for another walk in the afternoon and as I said she wasnt happy because it wasnt long enough. Came home, she is begging to go again. In the evening I am sitting on the couch, she goes and lays on her bed, but every ten minutes or so she comes back wanting my attention. I sat on the floor with her for 20 minutes petting her... till she walked away.. a few minutes later she is back wanting my attention. As I type this she is bumping me.... wanting attention.

last edited by FernRN1

Try the find it game, Thor is up to three different smelling treats and I put them all over the lanai also inside the house....he finds them lick a dee split.... but it is something he enjoying doing...strengthening his mind and his sense of smell
He has favorite toys in a toy box, each day he will pick out something different have that we toss about and he will retrieve show his trophy and we are working on drop on command. Not there yet..but it is a daily activity about 4 p....
your pup is new to you, you guys hang in their. Thor is 2.5y/o and I am still learning about him and all of his idiosyncratic behaviors. Your dog can be so much fun....( staying a half step ahead of him is the key). LOL Congrats and good luck.

last edited by Sandy Hovis

@sandy-hovis What is this find it game? I have tried placing treats, but she doesnt get them...is there certain "smelly" treats you use? how did you get your dog started? DO you drag the treat to give them a path to follow? I would like to try it, can you tell me more

@tanza Thanks for the link, I will get some, so afraid these days on that kind of stuff ...have read horrible stories about it causing health issues

I take Thor out of the area I am going to hide treats. Hide them at first in site and pretty obvious. I have a a few in my hand, I do not give him the treat out of my hand, I tell him to “go find it”.....I only let him smell it. I guess the first few times I would stand in the general area (saying find it). Coached him a bit, he was young when we started. I use fuitables this is not a promotion, just saying what I use. I break them in half....so he doesn’t get overly full on treats. They come in a variety of flavors.... I have increased the amount of hiding place, and even had three different smells and more difficult hiding spots.... if you are an apartment dweller it’s a great indoor activity .....you build up slowly how many hiding spots for treats you want him to find. ....their sense of smell is uncanny... keeps um busy for a bit. The mental stimulation is tiring as well. I don’t do it every day, and you can also use, toys when the pup learns the names of their the toys.

@sandy-hovis Thank you, ordered some, will definitely try it!!

@fernrn1 - That is why I use Best Bully Sticks... and have for 30+yrs... these do not cause health issues

@Sandy-Hovis , sounds like "nosework" which is a competitive sport, like agility. The dog has to search for specific scents and indicate when it finds them. You might want to check it out.

@FernRN1 One problem I see here is that rewarding attention seeking means you will see more of it. You want to be the one making the decisions about when and how you play, not the dog. There are many, many ways to engage with your dog. It's limited only by your imagination. You can teach her many things. If she is food motivated it is a big help, but if not you just need to identify what is rewarding for her, in this case probably your attention, so make her earn it. Don't give it away for free.

Basenjis like to be challenged by things. They like to figure them out. One thing I have done with my dogs is to teach them the names of various things, particularly their toys. Then if one hides those toys, one can ask for them by name and the dog can go and look for them. Yes, Basenjis can be taught to retrieve, but throwing something for them is not the way. Teach "pick it up" as a generic command, so that you can point to anything and the dog will get it. Once picking it up is on cue it is pretty easy to build the retrieve, starting with putting your hand under the object in the dog's mouth to receive it, then moving further away as they learn you want it brought to you.

I also taught my boy to bring the roller ball to me, and his reward would be to have it filled with treats. This was a more difficult thing for him, since he couldn't pick it up and had to figure out how to push it in the right direction.

I have a short video here that shows some of the things I did with my boy Perry. Not the best quality video, but it should give you an idea....

last edited by eeeefarm

@FernRN1 - I mostly agree with eeeefarm.... but I would also suggest that you need to at times just ignore her when you have other things to do... tell her NO... go away... and don't give in to her, it does work if you are consistent... if she has other things to do/chew/play with or just sleep she will figure it out. If you continue to play into to her it will continue. My Basenjis were used to us being gone much of the day... and when it was the weekends they would just go and do what dogs do... sleep all day... or chase squirrels in the yard. I know that not everyone has a yard for their pups, but if so they find ways to entertain themselves... and most of the time after a 3 day weekend they would look at me and say "seriously, could you go away so we can just sleep?".... This idea of pushing her away and telling her no is really no different than human children... and when she does even for 30 minutes, reward her for good behavior... if she wants to be close to you that is fine but to push you to only pay attention to her, when you do it will encourage her to think that is the appropriate thing to do.... again, just my opinion

last edited by tanza

Trigger needs frequent stimulation and goes to doggie day care 2 - 3 days a week. He comes homes completely exhausted from playing all day and acts like a normal dog for a day or so after. During the shelter in place we have hit the trail for 3-4 mile hikes once or twice a week. For us, it’s finding the right amount of stimulation.

Yes Basenjis will not fetch. We had one that sort of did, she'd bring back a stuffed toy a few times, but that was about it. Maybe they'll chase a tennis ball for a bit, but not likely to bring it back. Someone told me the thought process was: "I'm not going to keep bringing this back if you keep losing it!!!" LOL

You seem to have gotten a Bobs-A-Lot for her. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JQLNB4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Sorry if that's not working. It's the only toy we've found that works, and it seems to work very well and very consistently. The problem of course is that you can't use it for very long since they'd eat themselves to death.

We've also found this toy seems to work. It emits something of a dying noise which seems to entertain. Perhaps because it seems like prey. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054C9B1I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 But these are games, and generally Basenjis like to hunt and chase prey. The best toy we ever had was a wind up little ball of fluff that moved very fast.. That really got them excited. However it was destroyed in no time and wasn't really safe. RIP.

My advice would be to second what others have said and get some weave poles and a jump, maybe even a tunnel, and do some agility training. It will tire her out, teach her how to work with you, and teach you how to shape her behavior.

@donc said in She is so bored. How do you keep them entertained?:

Yes Basenjis will not fetch.

Beg to differ. They absolutely will if you teach them. The trick is to know how to engage them in this activity. Tip: don't just throw a ball or a stick. Educate them in what you would like them to do!

(did you see the link in my post above?)

@eeeefarm said in She is so bored. How do you keep them entertained?:

(did you see the link in my post above?)
Actually I have to admit I didn't realize there was a link. Usually it's a longer string and I thought you had just omitted it.

Love the video BTW. In my experience the move with the green ball is pretty common. Sort of a snazzy push more than a fetch! Did love how beautifully he moved on the jump. Nice.

last edited by DonC

@eeeefarm Thank you for the input!! She is food motivated for sure, loves treats. I did get one of the roller balls you fill with treats, and they have to roll it to get the treats out. She watched me roll it around so the treats would come out...it is still sitting there with treats in it, she is not interested. I did learn today she has buried some of her treats in the sand by the pool, thought about putting some in for her to "uncover" but I really do not want to teach her she gets rewarded for digging.

Thank you all so much. I have gotten some good ideas and great advice!!

@fernrn1 - Not sure I understand the "pool"...

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