(Vengeful?) Pottying On The Couch!


  • Meet Wilomena Bar-Ba-Loots, Willy for short ( and when she is NOT misbehaving! ) Born 8/15/20, we drove 500 miles (one way) to get her, she was 9 weeks old. I had been searching for over 2 years, and have owned Basenji's for 17 years in the past, with a 15 year dog-less time in between then and now.
    When we brought her home, I thought we quite possibly had a Unicorn!
    She was asking to go out by day 2, of course when arriving outside, and being so small, the typical basenji-ism of wet grass touching her was overcome by using the flowerbed, as she grew taller, it became a non-issue.
    She learned SIT in one day, at only 9 weeks old - now, re-call and stay, we are still working on, which I fully expect to do for the next 2 years of adolescence, and only HOPE to completely achieve even after that! My best defense for re-call at the moment is a Replacement Distraction, usually " I have cookies here" works, if that fails, the rattle /waving of a plastic bag or anything that squeaks or clicks will get her within range of grabbing her when she is not inclined to comply verbally. She is NEVER off lead if not inside or in the yard. I will NEVER completely TRUST ANY B to be compliant, the wind may blow a blade of grass, and then, IT'S ON! As we all know!
    I am fortunate to be able to take her with me to work at both my jobs, so she goes everywhere with me / us, and has the opportunity to be well socialized as one of my jobs is at a bar, (where I have for nearly 20 years worked at) which is also dog friendly, so she gets to meet dogs and people.
    Being 'Senji Savvy, I was aware ( fearful! ) of the Unicorn being a "Dragon-In Waiting", but as time has passed, she is still more Unicorn than Dragon. For example: she loves her toys, and has NOT done the normal "Squeaky-dectomy" on a single one! She will also play fetch and RETURN to me, and WILLINGLY let go of the item in play, be it ball or toy - NONE of my 5 previous would do this! The return, IF there were such a miracle, resulted in tug-of-war to retrieve the item to be thrown again, typical! Though she will get and play with household slippers, furry or not, she does NOT chew to destroy them, she has destroyed NOTHING, not a lamp cord, a furniture leg, a crate blanky - all the things we KNOW to be aware of and prepared for ... toilet paper stealing has been the furthest infraction, and even THAT has been few and far between, happening mostly when in the throes of the nightly 500, which she performs like clockwork on her own, amusing us while we eat our dinner.
    Sounds amazing, right?! BUT! ... She has recently, in the last 4 days, been doing a VERY disturbing thing! She has been getting on the couch (which we rarely sit on, and has had no previous pet exposure) and has twice peed on it, once while looking me straight in the eye! And three times POOPED on! She still has an in-house potty pad, which she will use in case of rain/cold weather or immediate need when waking at night.
    This NEW behavior seems to be a bit vengeful, for lack of a better word - my first Basenji would in fact sometimes pee on my bed, usually in retaliation to his feeling he had been in some way "wronged", but in the 11 years I had him ( he was 5 when I got him - retired champion) this occurred only a few times, always in my presence and eye to eye. I understood completely this expression of his displeasure, which was the message he was sending, but still resulted in Crate Time Out.
    I am completely perplexed by WHY Willy is doing this, as she is allowed to be on all the furniture, and treats it nicely, burrowing in the cushions, play digging - without destruction - getting on top of to have the best vantage point, etc., all the normal 'Senj-isims.
    Any advice on this from all y'all sage 'Senji owners is GREATLY appreciated!
    Here is her Info for the database:
    SPRING WILLOW'S WILOMENA LAST OF THE BAR-BA-LOOTS
    SIRE: CH SPRING WILLOW'S RAISE YOUR GLASS
    DAM: GCHB CH KHANNI'S TEASER SILVER LINING AT SPRING WILLOW
    0_1612025288025_willy nov 24-20.jpg
    0_1612025855889_Willy working with mom.jpg
    Note the spray bottle! Best line of defense, go nowhere w/out one for immediate CEASE & DESIST! ... o the tricks we learn with these little demons!
    Looking forward to replies from this DEEP POOL OF WISDOM!


  • I cannot fathom rhyme or reason for her to have done this. Perhaps you missed an earlier signal that she needed to go out? She looks delightfully spirited! Congrats on having another B in your life!


  • No missed signals, and her pad is nearby, which she has no problem going to if in fact a signal is missed or the urge hits her too fast ...
    But, yes, having her in our lives has certainly made it far far more entertaining, active, and enjoyable! - And I am so incredibly impressed that THE MAN, having never had ANY type of dog in his life, has really stepped up and educated himself thru reading and my relating experience to be a wonderful basenji dad! ... He is however forever telling her that "Before you came, this house would NEVER have been allowed to look like this, with toys everywhere, kitchen rugs strewn about from being used for traction during the 500, completely messing up her long hair which you LOVE to chew and paw into a rats nest, sharing her pillow while you lay all up on and as close as you can get to her in the bed... and I STILL am nagged at for wearing shoes in the house... I don't recognize at all the woman YOU brought out in her, you sure have some magic power ... maybe that's why she calls you a Unicorn..."
    As for me, she has filled an empty place in my heart where I was missing the treasured gift of how rewarding it is to live with and be loved by (on her terms, of course!) one of these marvelous, wonderous little demons, THE BASENJI!
    They are not for everyone, are unique in every way, and require the patience of Methuselah & Job, a will of iron, and plenty of distracting trickery, but they develop a bond and awareness of / with their people that is uncannily delightful and rewarding.
    And we will get to the bottom of / over this couch thing one way or another, because as she is told in every type of discipline lecture she gets: "I'm in charge here, and you, little doglett, are smart and you can / will know /do better than that!"
    Thank you all for this great forum, I read it daily!


  • First is to make sure there is no medical reason for peeing, like a UTI.... and dogs do not really do things for spite.... but she may be trying to claim the couch as hers by marking it. I would not let her on the couch... block it off and if needed get an x-pen to block it off. When she peed when you were there did you correct her then and immediately take her outside?


  • I have to disagree with Tanza about the spite thing, as I have experienced it a couple of times and there was no doubt in my mind about what it was! However, more details are needed. What was the situation immediately proceeding the incidents? Is it possible there was a trigger that you missed? Definitely check for a physical reason, as a UTI could indeed be the cause, but if that is ruled out then I think something has occurred that perhaps you missed. In any case, I would agree that couch privileges should be revoked for a time and see how things go. Also, I would forgo the potty pad and insist she go outside. Obviously she didn't choose to use it when she opted for the couch, so I don't think you will be making it any more likely that she will repeat the behaviour, and the absence of the pad can make it a much more firm rule that one does not relieve oneself in the house!


  • Oh Yes! Immediately outside! Perhaps she is claiming, however, having not ever done it in the 2+ months she has been able to get up on it, maybe not. I may not have been clear that she only ONCE peed, but has 4 times pooped, and have everytime caught her doing it, and OUT she goes, as the door (with doggie door, I might add) is only three feet away from said couch, it is a VERY SWIFT out the door she goes! ... as for UTI, possible, but she is not going any more frequently nor has the amount of urine changed (known signs of UTI), she was at the vet a week ago with a glowing health report. No changes in diet or exercise or routine either. It's a mystery as yet to be discovered!


  • @eeeefarm - That is why I raise my litters with a litter box and not the pee pads or newspaper... easy to convert them to outside with a litter box... 1. it is heavy, not like a pee pad... easy to move... I start with one inside and one outside (we do have a porch cover so it will stay dry)... In reality, I have a number of potty boxes when they are 3 to 6wks, LOL. But the one on the porch I will move out to the area I want them to use.... and since the pellets are biodegradable, I can dump the litter on the ground. And eeeefarm, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on "spite" In all the years I have never seen that happen other than when they are marking the item as "theirs". I don't consider that "spite" I consider it trying to raise their standing in the home, like who wants to be top dog. Some might consider that spite, I don't.


  • My 8 month old relieved herself in a couple of places that she wouldn't usually when the house was disrupted. Once when we were having new flooring put in and another time when we all changed bedrooms. I saw it as her being confused and a bit stressed.


  • @jkent - And most likely marking her place in the house... (since you were doing work and changing things). I don't call that "spite" more like confussion... but that is just my opinion


  • My B does things out of spite all the time, he knows what he is doing cause he goes for the things he knows upsets me when he does it. Like scratching my antique footstool, tearing leaves off my bagonia, which i have to have a fence around now. Pulling plastic bags out of the bag basket, throwing coasters off the table next to my husbands chair. I could go on but then you say they don't do things for spite. Oh there is one more thing that is kinda funny he shuts the basement gate on his fur sister so she can't get upstairs.


  • My experiences were both one offs, once when I was exceedingly late coming home while living at my parents' house with my first Basenji. She had been out to relieve herself at her usual time and left in my room, which was normal routine and it was not the first time I had been home after my parents had retired. I climbed into bed to find a wet spot where she had peed. Never did it again. Second time I have related here before, when my husband and I were arguing and my second Basenji jumped onto the bed between us and peed. Maybe not spite, per se, but it certainly broke up the argument! And again, it was the one and only time she relieved herself on furniture.

    My boy Perry defecated on the couch a few times when we were out, in the early days with his separation anxiety issues. I honestly don't think he was deliberate in this, just upset, and I had previously witnessed him pooping when excited and running around, and not apparently even aware he had done it......no hesitation, so squatting, just shot out of him like a horse while running! An upset dog may let go while excited, but otherwise I would wonder why it would be on the couch.


  • @hizbaby Awww Willy is so cute, a few bad choices that’s all.


  • Your little girl is really pretty. She would make my heart melt. Secondly, I feel your pain. My 13 month old male will pee on my bed when he gets angry with me. I have one room in my son's home for us to have to ourselves and share the remainder of the house as we wish with the rest of the family. If Prince feels spiteful, he will pee on my bed, and look me straight in the eye. Usually if I have reprimanded him for something or if he feels like I have not given him enough attention...which sometimes can happen since I am responsible for all household errands and helping with laundry (which responsibility he shares with me) and taking grandsons to appts. So I may be out of house multiple times during the day. I have discovered, for example that he doesn't mind being in his crate for 3 hours at a time, but he draws the line at being there 3 times for 30 min each time. In other words, put there one time for a longer period of time as opposed to multiple times for shorter periods of time. He will mark my bed then or when I have reprimanded him for chewing on my furniture he will mark my bed. I have found I have to say "do not chew" and spray with a non-chewing substance for him not to retaliate. he just marked my bed two days ago, twice within 30 min and I haven't figured that one out yet. I cannot keep him off the bed because of room layout...he does not sleep on my bed, but does jump up easily and loves to sit on it for the height...after all he is the Prince and must survey his realm. He sleeps in his crate beside the bed. He has been neutered.


  • @isabob said in (Vengeful?) Pottying On The Couch!:

    but then you say they don't do things for spite

    Oh yes they do !!!! That is why you make a song and dance, scream and cry when they do something unimportant, like throwing cushions on the floor.

    When they want to punish you, they will have learned what makes you really upset - and they will throw cushions on the floor.

    On the other hand, they chew your only pair of spectacles with very expensive frames and you scarcely react. They know there is no point in eating the replacement pair, it doesn't upset you !


  • @daureen said in (Vengeful?) Pottying On The Couch!:

    he doesn't mind being in his crate for 3 hours at a time, but he draws the line at being there 3 times for 30 min

    Isn't there some way for you to take him with you run a short errand or two?

    My arrangement with doodle: If I'm going to the store, doodle gets her walk first and stays home. If I'm being a taxi (pick up or drop off), she comes with me. And if I have a lot of places where I just run in for one thing, she can wait in the car for me. Weather permitting. She never waits in the car during extreme (hot or cold) days. This way she isn't always left behind.

    At one point I set up a camera to find out what doodle was up to while I was gone. My spy feed showed me that once I left, doodle jumps up onto my bed and goes to sleep. When I slide the key in the lock to open the door, she makes a mad dash to greet me. 🙂 ❤ this girl!!!

    She has me very well trained!


  • @zande said in (Vengeful?) Pottying On The Couch!:

    @isabob said in (Vengeful?) Pottying On The Couch!:

    but then you say they don't do things for spite

    Oh yes they do !!!! That is why you make a song and dance, scream and cry when they do something unimportant, like throwing cushions on the floor.

    When they want to punish you, they will have learned what makes you really upset - and they will throw cushions on the floor.

    You seem to have recovered well from your surgery. Congrats!

    If we can't agree that Basenjis can be "spiteful" then perhaps we can agree that they can engage in "pointed messaging" which can involve behaviors known to "get their owner's attention". LOL

    Never thought of your solution. It's brilliant. Not sure I could pull it off but it is brilliant.


  • We had Cinny for about six months before she stopped going on the furniture (which we had put waterproof covers on). It was maddening, but we just rolled with it and figured it was an adjustment for her as well as for us. I did a lot of laundry during that time. She was either really excited or scared - or both. She also let loose on the floor when I'd come home from shopping. But evntually she stopped doing it. They really do want to please their people, and it was important for me to remember that!


  • @donc ok, maybe spiteful is the wrong word. But they do have a sense of right and wrong and what is fair.

    And sometimes Mom does deserve to be punished. I just give them a way to do it which satisfies their sense of fair play but doesn't do damage !

    Thank you, yes, both eyes have healed well and work well together for things at a distance. Anything closer than about 5 feet is blurry. Makes driving a pleasure but using my phone, reading, eating, cooking, working on the computer etc, all require different strength reading glasses. In 3 weeks I can go and have them tested for prescription glasses to correct the astigmatism.

    And hopefully help me to see close up.


  • I can't take Prince with me as he gets really upset when in the car -- terrible pooping all over. I have used his crate, and this does not help. If I hold him when someone else drives, he just about tears me apart with his tromping and stomping. I have used "thunder shirts' and anti anxiety OTC pills with no relief. The odor is terrible worse than normal "poop". The vet does not want to give him meds for cars; "Zande" how do you allow your pups to "punish Mom"?


  • @daureen First of all, have you tried Rescue Remedy ? It is a herbal which I get from human health food stores. Comes with a dropper in the lid and a dropper full into the side of the mouth about 30 minutes before travelling in the car can work wonders. They don't care for it, some kind of sharp content ? but over the years I have had the occasional Basenji who didn't care for the car (they ALWAYS rode in big crates !) and I've found it works wonders.

    I spaced the whole pack out on it on Bonfire Night each year (5th November here) and no-one ever minded the bangs !

    Mine usually go the shredded newspaper route when I have been particularly mean and deserve punishment. The daily papers tend to get put onto the kitchen table and if there is a bit hanging over they can reach, it gets pulled down to the floor and demolished. But not often, I am a fairly acceptable Mom and don't need punishing very much !

    Now I am with only two - Kito is far too small (10.5 weeks or so) and Mku far too tolerant of both me AND the puppy !

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