5 PM Tasmanian Devil

Benji (aka..Taz) is unlike any breed of dog I've ever owned. He's 5 months old and this is my first time to be exposed to the breed. He is a not a morning dog and prefers to sleep until 9 or 10 am. He's manageable throughout the day and we have a lot of property for him to run and play. Around 5 pm every evening, he goes into "Taz" mode and bites anything he see's, he literally is like a wild animal running around. I've tried walking him around this time to help him get out the energy but it seems to increase the wildness. (Of course, this is about the time I need to be getting supper ready). I give him an inch; he wants a mile! I've even allow him time to play with our neighbors dog "to get it out" but he still takes a long time to settle down afterwards. By 8:00 pm, he settles down is sleeps throughout the night. CRAZY, but I love him.

Is this typically for the breed?
Will he out grow this?
Any suggestions?

Please explain "he bites anything he sees"? Basenjis typically get into a mood where they run and jump that Basenji owners call the Basenji 500. But bite? Not normal....

Every Basenji I have owned liked to sleep in, so to me that is totally normal. Likewise, having bursts of wild energy. Biting can occur if the dog gets just too wound up, so try to avoid playing with him when he is over threshold. When you say biting, do you mean his toys? Or people? Play biting, or serious grabbing on? I have had an overly excited Basenji tear clothing, and that is more than past time to put an end to playing with him. You do need to discourage anything that reinforces nipping or biting.

When I said bite, I didn't necessarily mean bite with the intent to hurt. The little guy plays and tries to "play bite" us, the sofa, the pillows, the chair, and everything in between. He has lots of toys and chews. He basically attempts to go wild for about an hour around 5 pm ish. Then settles down and is done for the day; one last hurrah before bed. I don't want to kennel him at that time, because obviously, he needs to get it out of his system.

You should try to redirect the biting behaviour to "legal" things, like his toys. Otherwise he may think it is O.K. to bite and perhaps shred pillows or furniture, so I would definitely discourage that, but otherwise letting him get it out of his system is a good idea. As he gets older you may see less of this behaviour. You don't want him to think it is legal to nip you, either, especially if he gets rough at all, because these things can escalate. A gentle, inhibited bite is O.K. but be careful he knows it isn't allowed to go beyond that.

Sounds just like my Sarge. He is super sweet, lovable but he has his wild animal side. We know when he switches into this mode and we are on guard....it is just his play time. He will grab our hands and arms with his mouth but never bite with a hard force. It is like he knows a play bite and a real one. The older "Taz" gets the better he will be with it. Just reinforce with a "NO" when he bites to hard, he will learn. One thing that is true about Basenjis, they all have different personalities...so what works with one may not work with another so you have to modify and experiment until you find what works with your Taz.

We also have a 5 month old. She goes bonkers around the same time every night for about an hour. We call it the Basenji 500 and The Witching Hour. I recall our previous basenji doing the same thing her entire life. Of course, it slowed with age and later became more of a dance than the crazy antics of a puppy.

The crazy "Taz" behavior seems pretty normal. The good (or bad) thing is that he'll slow down as he gets older. As Tanza mentioned this is usually called "The Basenji 500".

The biting is also pretty normal. When they get going they are not what we would say is "situationally aware". LOL Usually it's just a quick bite of a pillow before hauling a$$ to some other destination. If you think this is a problem try something like a Lotus ball. It would be great to have him bring it back to you but that might be difficult.

I like to take them to dog parks when they're younger. Lets them do the Basenji 500 and they get to meet a lot of dogs. You just have to be careful in both picking the park and knowing when not to go and/or when to leave. FWIW I've never had a dog hurt at a dog park but there have been a couple of instances where things were definitely not pleasant. Just remember that food and dog parks don't mix.

Since you have room you can use a tease pole and lure to get them chasing. That's good on a couple of fronts.

The sleeping isn't normal but it's not abnormal. Some love to sleep in. Some love to get up early. And some are in between. Sort of like people! LOL

last edited by DonC

I have no helpful advice, but oh, young basenjis! We had two sofas across from each other, and they would run from one to the other. They'd make the turn practically on the top edge of each sofa. Of course only in cold weather, they were sent outside when the weather cooperated. 3 at a time, without running into each other, I don't know how they did it.
They always ran the same path in the grass, round and round. In fact if we went to the Google earth site, the paths were visible!

Sounds a lot like my Angel. She has a lot of energy just before bedtime ❤

Had same issue.... I would love to see some post on. This as well.

HAPPY HOUR ! Yeah - every evening - you could have set your watch by them over the years.

5 month olds DO nip, it should be frowned upon and stopped but there is another consideration at that age. Is he teething ?

Have a look at his gums, if they are red, he could be nipping to try to cure 'something going on' in his mouth which he doesn't understand.

Your vet will give you something soothing to rub on. Make sure the vet knows it is a Basenji he is dealing with. Have him read up on the breed NOW. i.e. start to train your vet so he grows (in knowledge) with your Basenji.

@cwalker
this is so normal, we let Thor go until he cannot run anymore..... He will even do a bounce off the wall like a flip turn in a pool routine...we keep him safe while he is doing this....
Maybe 6ish for our boy. He seems like he is in another dimension..... we can’t stop him, and we don’t try to stop him...He runs the B500 almost daily.....gonna have to paint the wall soon.
The biting and nipping we are working on.... we just don’t accept it, any more. we are both working very hard to shut it down....
Biting for Thor can go from 0-10 and nothing we did was a deterrent. There are new suggestions I see on this issue, I am gonna incorporate that in our regiment to even further deter ....
As far as pillows and furniture, never had issue with furniture, but pillows we had to removed the pillows, allow him to be around them when we can watch him now even this behavior ceased.....
Cwalker- this B forum is the most open and honest you will find on owning and loving a Basenji.
Thor is one tough little cookie.....but loved beyond words. Hang in there.

last edited by Sandy Hovis

You said this is your first experience with the breed --- get used to it, more to come (Bwa ha ha ha).

Try to stimalte his brain not his inner beast - our Basenji loves smugle Mats and licking Mats. Makes her so carm and relaxed.

I should have written ‘snuffle mat’ and ‘lick mat’. A snuffle mat is like a long haired carpet that you hide food inside, so that your dog has to snif his way to the food - this really stimulates your dogs brains and sences. The Lick mat makes your dog lick it’s food and licking again stimulates brain and sences. There are sooo many og these kinds of activating feeding products. Kongs - are allso amaising. Try youtubing these products. If my dog was Basenji500 I would give her a lick mat with frosen yougurt❤

@iben-nova-rask said in 5 PM Tasmanian Devil:

‘snuffle mat’ and ‘lick mat’.

A word of caution: whatever you entice your dog with should be considered part of their daily calories. It's easy to overlook how much food is offered and consumed as 'treats', and then it becomes a pound. And another pound. And another pound...

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