When your Basenji plants its feet

Hello!

I've been reading the posts on here, but I can't seem to find much on when they plant their feet.

I have had my basenji for 4 months now. There are times when we walk where he plants his feet and won't budge. I used to pull him and try and get him to go the direction I wanted (I know, bad mistake). However, I try and not to do that anymore. I struggle with telling difference between him not wanting to go a certain way due to perceived danger and him simply being stubborn/lack of leash training on my part. I worry that I might have given him the lead on our walks and him thinking he can dictate where we go.

Any insight or tips? I carry treats with me in case I ever have to bribe him. (It hasn't happened yet, but better safe than sorry)

last edited by Hamtaro

@hamtaro
Planting their feet is a typical behavior - it’s because they want “their way”. My basenji and I would have a “stand-off” - who was going to “win”? After several minutes if she did not go the way I wanted her to - I would just pick her up - walk a few feet and put her back down to re-direct her. People watching me probably thought I was “crazy”.

last edited by Kembe

@kembe I see. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like me picking him. (Usually goes to bite whenever i attempt to.) Should I try and train him getting used to picking him up first?

@hamtaro - Your pup should never resist to being picked up? And yes bribes work... but it is concerning that he tries to bite when you pick him up?... have you spoken to his breeder? How was he raised...? My litters are used to being picked up from birth

@tanza I actually acquired him from a friend. So I didn’t raise him. He’s about 6-7 years old at this point.

My B will also do this - sometimes he's so set on not going somewhere he'll lay down. I usually give him a moment, then start back in the direction we're going with a really excited voice and a quick step like I'm about to run. I'll give our walking command "Let's go" and he thinks he might miss out on something exciting so he'll come with me.

If your guy nips/bites at being picked up, that's concerning. Firstly, make sure it's not a medical thing and check in with your vet - especially if it's been a while since he's gone to one. Then, you'll want to start positive reinforcement to change that behavior. Even if he doesn't get to the point of loving being picked up, he should tolerate it from you for safety sake.

@hamtaro
When my basenji “planted her feet” - I called it “digging in her heels and putting the brakes on!”

Mine sit on the doormat and refuse to budge if the path outside is at all damp. Mom, we are NOT going swimming ! The mat slides out eventually as I pull with the combined weight of the Basenjis keeping it in check.

Mine only go on the leash as far as the car which is outside the fenced area as I don't want them to have access to the highway from the driveway. Once we get to our destination they leap out and run free.

Yes, I think you need to get your boy used to being handled - somewhere along the line being picked up has become unpleasant. Sit with him and encourage him onto your lap and be gentle. If he wants to jump off, let him, but persist. Over and over again, until he realises a cuddle or being picked up is a pleasant experience.

He'll try to make you go in the direction HE wants to, until the end of his days (have you thought of finding a safe spot and teaching him re-call ?) but Kembe has the right idea, once you can pick him up. . .

Good luck,

last edited by Zande

@phocoenagirl Yeah, I took him to the vet 2-3 months ago and he is cleared. Nothing out of the ordinary. My plan is to eventually do positive reinforcement with him. (I'm in the process of moving, so I haven't had the time to work with him on that one.) I haven't done any research yet beyond stuff that I found for "paw touching", but if you have suggestions, than I'm open to hearing them.

@zande said in When your Basenji plants its feet:

Mine sit on the doormat and refuse to budge if the path outside is at all damp. Mom, we are NOT going swimming ! The mat slides out eventually as I pull with the combined weight of the Basenjis keeping it in check.

Mine only go on the leash as far as the car which is outside the fenced area as I don't want them to have access to the highway from the driveway. Once we get to our destination they leap out and run free.

Yes, I think you need to get your boy used to being handled - somewhere along the line being picked up has become unpleasant. Sit with him and encourage him onto your lap and be gentle. If he wants to jump off, let him, but persist. Over and over again, until he realises a cuddle or being picked up is a pleasant experience.

He'll try to make you go in the direction HE wants to, until the end of his days (have you thought of finding a safe spot and teaching him re-call ?) but Kembe has the right idea, once you can pick him up. . .

Good luck,

I'll definitely try that. With encouraging him on my lap, should I use treats to start it off or just let him make his way over to my lap on his own over time?

I did toy with a recall. I would take him to a dog park (when it was empty) on occasion and work on it for fun here and there. But I would doubt if I have it consistent or if it would even work at this time. I've read on here and other places that they shouldn't be off leash, so I'm kind of nervous to have him off leash in the middle of the field. I live in an apartment next to a major intersection, so trying it at my place is a no-go.

I would have something on your lap that he really wants. A bone, a toy, something so he has to get onto your lap to get it. Once he is there, then talk to him, stroke him, tummy rubs, cuddles. but take is easily, don't overdo it first go.

Don't pick him up to your lap, he will struggle to get away. He has to want to come up. You could try a treat - but then keep very special treats ONLY for on your lap. Probably best if he is on a chair beside you and you let him see the 'special' so he climbs over to you.

<sigh> When I first got Mku, my new puppy back in March, I started him on recall straight away, even before he'd had his shots and could go out in public. We had many a long walk, with Hoover, my old lady, with us of course. Nary a problem.

I am getting a new knee on Saturday and for a couple of months have been unable to walk, even use sticks to get around my own kitchen. My son takes the dogs out to the woods on weekends, and a neighbour takes them a couple of days mid-week. Mku minds both of them. Thank Heavens I DID teach him re-call back then ! Because although I will be able to walk them myself in a few weeks, I would be unhappy about having either of them on a leash for fear of being pulled over.

I'm very lucky, living where I do with a forest not too far away and a decent, really wild, woodland close by the village. I wouldn't be able to do this near a busy intersection, no - but over the almost 40 years I have run a pack of Basenjis - all have been trained to come back when Mom whistles.

So believe me, it is perfectly possible as long as you have the right conditions and frame of mind.

@zande Dear Sally-Good luck with the new knee! I had mine done about 12 years ago and I never have had a moment's problems. Just do the exercises the docs tell you!!! I will keep you in my prayers. Please let us know how you are doing.
Best regards,
Nancy Scott and Binti

@hamtaro you better “nip that in the bud”, the biting gets worse if you do not stand firm. Biting is not acceptable...trust me....it might be up setting now, but an older dog is worse. Get you training in now to prevent problems later.

I chuckled when I saw your post.

All my basenjis did this and my basenji mix does this. We call it "gravity boots"

I have been successful in doing a count down. I say "1-2-3" with at least 5-10 seconds between each number. At 3, we GO.

I start out giving big praise and a treat at "3" the first couple of times we do this. After a while, I don't need to use treats, but it works--my dog has gotten what he wants (to sniff or smell something longer than I'd like and I've gotten what I want (to have him to start walking again).

@hamtaro There's a few other suggestions above that could work - I also imagine that if you've researched how to get your dog to let you touch their paws with positive reinforcement that would be similar to picking up issues.

The biggest thing that I would add is that it doesn't have to be like a big thing. Add little steps here and there throughout your day with him. For example, when you hook him on his leash for a bathroom break, reach out and touch his side his belly whatever he's totally okay with first. Then slowly with each trip outside you move the touch until it is under him. You can reward periodically with treats but not all the time. Then you start with a little lift just enough to put pressure, keep doing this for a week etc. Then move to 2 hands then pick his front half a little off the ground and so on. It doesn't just have to be outside trips either. When you feed him, touch his belly. Whenever you pass him in the room, pet him and touch his belly/do mini lift etc. just so that there is just a lot of little neutral interactions in the direction you want to go throughout his daily life. Combine that with periodically having longer training sessions and you'll desensitize him to whatever was bothering him about being picked up. I hope that makes sense.

@b5004ever This is a clever idea too!

@nancyss Thank you ! I have been waiting for months for this -

@sandy-hovis said in When your Basenji plants its feet:

@hamtaro you better “nip that in the bud”, the biting gets worse if you do not stand firm. Biting is not acceptable...trust me....it might be up setting now, but an older dog is worse. Get you training in now to prevent problems later.

Wouldn’t my dog already be older at 6 years? Or do you mean when he reaches 9-10 years?

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