A Basenji, a Volcano & a Clown Car

@tanza Thank you very much for the referral. I'll definitely reach out to Lisa.

@zande I ordered the Gentle Leader. It'll be here Monday. As much as I enjoy watching videos of Lure Coursing and Agility... they scare me. I don't have any confidence that I can control a dog in a situation like that. I envision much ensuing mayhem and the dog shrinking to a dot in the sunset as it disappears forever. I'm just not sure how to train myself to train the dog if that makes sense. Videos will get me started, but I learn much faster through doing and getting feedback. Again, I do appreciate your guidance. πŸ‘

@jengosmonkey said in A Basenji, a Volcano & a Clown Car:

As much as I enjoy watching videos of Lure Coursing and Agility... they scare me. I don't have any confidence that I can control a dog in a situation like that.

Which is why you need to gently build up your confidence. Once you are sure of yourself, the dog will gain confidence in you and you will both be more relaxed.

Start with using the gentle leader around the block. Get him used to it in the way shown on the video. Put it on and off a few times and give him a small piece of kibble as a treat - as I have explained many times, I portion out the day's kibble ration and then use that as well for treats and rewards. This means the dogs get no more than their daily ration of food but think they are getting a treat. . .

Then take him for a short walk, letting the lead go slack when you are not actually steering the Basenji around a corner. As you both gain confidence, go for longer walks and then unhook the nose piece and clip it back. You will still have control of his head because of the configuration of the lead.

Always start each walk with the nose piece on just until you are sure you are in control (of yourself as much as anything else !) and throw away the harness and use a light leather collar with the gentle leader.

I always stress that part of any training exercise is the use of voice. Talk to the dog, encourage him and praise him when it is due.

It needn't be long before you can progress onto a whippet collar, nicely padded in the front of the neck but don't throw the GL away. Use it once in a while to reinforce the training. Keep the boy reminded of what you expect of him.

Next progression will be sauntering nonchalantly around among a pack of other Basenjis at a coursing event, secure in the knowledge that you trust your dog and he trusts you !

last edited by Zande

It takes time. Work with him. I take my rescue b to a dog park where we walk on trails. He was 3.5 yrs old when I adopted him and we worked on recall. After 3 years, we are at the point where he walks well on leash (even a flexi leash!) and off leash (but never in an unfenced area). He stays near me in the park off leash and comes when he is called even when other dogs are getting aggressive. It is such a joy to whistle for him when I can't see him, and he comes racing towards me at full speed! It's beautiful to see.

@tanza I had my wife reach out to Lisa Voss via FB and she responded! Again, thank you for the referral. I will treat your kindness with respect.

@Pawla, @Zande, and @eeeefarm. I tried the slack leash training a bit today. Yes, it will take some patience that's for sure. He responded some, but stimulus sets him off and I like to walk him where there is plenty of that. So for training I'm going to have to change locations that's for sure.

I love the flexi leash because I want my dog to be able to satisfy an urge now and again. What I'd really like is for him to wait for permission to take the line. I'd love for him to walk slack, see a squirrel, look back at me, and wait for me to say go, or not. It's a dream. I like working with him though and he seems to want my praise, so maybe...

Meanwhile, I've noticed the longer the walk, the more confidence he is at home. Noises and people walking into the room don't startle him if he's been on a long walk.

New collar is here Monday. Still, I like that he's happy...
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@jengosmonkey said in A Basenji, a Volcano & a Clown Car:

I love the flexi leash

DO be careful with a flexi. I hate them and will never use them. Too much potential for damage if the dog runs fast out to the limit and is then abruptly brought to a stop.

last edited by Zande

@pawla said in A Basenji, a Volcano & a Clown Car:

It is such a joy to whistle for him when I can't see him, and he comes racing towards me at full speed! It's beautiful to see.

Isn't it though !!! I took Mku out for a proper walk yesterday for the first time since knee replacement surgery.

He met lots of canine friends and escorted them along their journey for a while but as soon as I whistled, back he came, sprinting flat out. Utterly gorgeous sight and well worth all these weeks (pre- and post-op) of pain.

Paul and Sue, a neighbour, have been taking him by turns while I wasn't able to and Paul has him on his own again today (I did a little too much yesterday. I did about 1.5 miles of woodland trails through the forest and over tree-roots - Mku covered much more ground) but from tomorrow I will be walking my own Basenji again - nothing can be nicer !

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@zande I'm glad to hear you're recovering from your surgery and get back to dog walking duties. Don't overdo it!

I realize most people hate flexi leashes, and I understand why. However for me I can make it work. I used to walk 3 basenjis on flexies. If you're not extremely and constantly vigilant, it can be a disaster. It also depends on where you're walking and whether or not you have the kind of flexi that has the thick Ribbon or the tiny, thin leg cutting cord. I have scars behind my knees from when I was a beginner. I'm sure this has already been discussed ad nauseam on this forum and I don't want to beat a dead horse. That being said, most people should not use a Flexi.

@JENGOSMonkey When I first adopted my b, he was super reactive to stimuli like other dogs and animals. He would spin like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. You have to be quick to stop him before he reacts. Even with the Gentle Leader.. Be proactive and anticipate what could happen. Make him look at you, sit or whatever you can do to get his attention off the other thing and on you. Believe it or not, he will improve. It just takes a little time, patience, consistent, gentle leadership and pawsitive reinforcement. Work on the recall. I can't say that enough. If you see a squirrel before he does, head in the other direction, call his name, make him come to you and make a big deal out of how good he was to come to you. When walking past other dogs, make a negative sound like tsch or unh unh and command him to "walk nice". Try to catch him walking nice and tell him what a good boy he is. "What a nice walk!" Try to catch him doing well and praise the desired behavior. My Moj literally strutts when I praise him for walking nice. It's so cute.

@pawla You and I speak the same language ! I too have managed with three dogs on flexis - and even 7 on varying length normal leads (pictures on my website) while progressing down the road and eating an apple. The flexis were short-lived though. I found a rock-solid re-call was much easier on me and on the dogs !

And yes - they positively purr when praised for doing the right thing -

Am just about to put the boots on and take Mku out !!! Whoopeeeee !😁

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The Easy Leader showed up yesterday, a day early, but it was the wrong size. I used their weight based sizing chart, but the nose strap was much too short. Replacement will be here Wednesday.

@Pawla You're coaching tips are great! I really appreciate you including common commands too. For instance, we taught Jengo Pee Pee. Tried that command on Logan, but he just looked at me and whined. "I don't know what you're telling me!" Talked to Stella and she said the command was Potty. Used that and Bam! We're in business, or at least he's doing his, which is what we wanted. I started using "Walk Nice", planting myself when he reaches the end of the lead, and lots of praise. I also found a treat bag with a belt clip that I had tucked away and filled it with some rewards. He really does well with the praise and an occasional treat. I just need to get consistent with the commands and be more clear about what I want him to do. He got keyed up on a squirrel this morning, I reeled him him, put him on a sit and made him look at me. He started to settle so I gave him a treat and then he was fine. Did the same when we came up on another dog. I've got feelers out for some local coaching, but so far this forum is really helping. Thank you!

@jengosmonkey said in A Basenji, a Volcano & a Clown Car:

@Pawla You're coaching tips are great!

Yes, they are ! Try following her advice and don;t listen to too many others - you and Logan will become confused.

Pawla definitely has the right of it. But remember it takes patience and TIME and needs consistency

Astarte, Logan & Moving Forward...

Last week was busy, yet relaxed and ended in happiness. Stella (Astarte) contacted us the week be for last to ask if we'd be open to bringing Logan home for a breeding. In my mind... Of course! He's still her dog. We headed south and stayed for three days in a nearby RV park. I love having an RV during COVID! We got to see all the girls again. There is just something incredibly special about seeing and hanging with a pack. Rowdy mayhem, noses darting here and there, and lotsa climbing and communication. I love it! The girl pup in now named Kaylie (sp?). Super cute. VERY active. She's convinced she's a big dog now and bounds through and over everything like she owns the place. Lotta fun to watch that one! 😍

During the breeding we tried to be helpful, yet stay out the way at the same time. Stella seamed very happy, but that's all I want to say. It's really up to her when it comes details. No. I did not take any pictures. 😜

Stella and I had been communicating continuously since we returned home with the "Loaner Dog", Logan. He was a god send for us. I was able to focus on him rather than on the loss of Jengo, which had been filling my thoughts far too often. Logan proved to be great therapy for the entire family. Stella had been communicating that he might stay with us forever, but I wasn't going to hold her to it. We discussed it over the phone once or twice, but again, in my mind, I wasn't going to hold her to it. Don't get me wrong. I WANTED him BIG time!

The long and short of it is... Stella's gonna let us keep him! We're just blown away. When I set out to find a new dog this past summer I expected to get a rescue with no papers, and no history. When I couldn't find one I was certain that a puppy wouldn't happen until winter of 2021/2022. Never, in my wildest dreams, did it ever occur to me that I'd end up with an absolutely beautiful almost 2yo American champion stud dog. As I keep calling him, my Ferrari dog. I'm just so very grateful to Stella for trusting us with Logan. πŸ™

And, I know it was hard for Stella to let him go. As we were leaving there was long, long pause and gaze between the two of them. We're gonna keep sending pictures and updates about his adventures. We'll get him right back down to her anytime she needs him. We're gonna keep him on the diet Stella pointed us to and watch his weight. But, I'm also going to get him a new dog tag that says "Logan". It's time to put Jengo's tags away, and let him rest.

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Oh, and I had Stella install Laser Eyes before we left. If he can melt a squirrel he doesn't have to chase it! πŸ˜†
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Congratulations! Your family and Logan were meant to be - I feel Jengo had his β€œpaw” involved in this match - he’s watching over you from above. He wants another basenji to experience the same great life he had with you! BTW- Love the β€œLASER EYES”! Lol! 😍

yeah... I suspected Logan would become a permanent family member for you. Congrats all around! ... and good luck with the squirrel theory. Not so sure about that.. πŸ˜‰

That's great news for you both. Well done Stella !

Great thread.

in case anyone does a poll, I hate flexis. I have a Gentle leader. I used it one week. I'm waiting for someone who can use it. It is great for many, just not me.

I love harnesses in the right situation and right dog. I'm sorry, but once trained, I really don't need to control the head of a 20 to even 50 pound dog. Even in my advancing age I can stop or
turn one. I've had rescues that collars loaded them and training with a harness worked well. I slowly reintroduced collars.

I cannot stand pulling. I teach loose leash from the beginning. Pulling equals stopping. Even semi-ferrel dogs learn that fast.

I am not able to let a dog off-leash in an unfenced area. I just can't. I personally know several people who lost and never recovered their dogs. I realized long ago my heart can't take it. I know the odds are low. But I can't.

I hate flexies too which is why I use a gentle leader as a training tool. Mku runs free as all mine have until we are a couple of hundred yards from the carpark.

But I don't trust cars which come in and leave at speed and my new knee is still too new to cope with being pulled.

He is learning and sometimes I get away with just attaching his lead to his collar.

Horses for courses.

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