Potty Training Difficulty - 12-15 mo old Basenji


  • Hey all - I recently adopted a rescue basenji. He's a great dog, but I am running into real difficulty with potty training. I'm concerned that he was a stray; I hope he can be taught to potty train. He's had a few mistakes; however, he usually is fine as long as I keep taking him outside and asking if he needs to go potty. I'm trying to train him to ring a bell to inform me that he needs to go potty and nothing is working, I keep trying. When he has gone potty it seems it's invariably due to stomach upset, he has a very sensitive stomach and I am trying to get the food "just right" as I transition him from Sojo's chicken to lamb; I have concerns about raw chicken. To compound matters I live in a city in an apartment; I have been taking him to go potty to the same place. *** Any ideas about how I can effectively potty train him? ***


  • Short of taking him out after meals, after playtime and when he wakes up, just as you would a puppy, you seem to be doing the right things. I think you do need to get his diet right and then to build up his confidence.

    Once he is sure of you and that you will always be there for him, he will relax and you will find things get easier.

    Good luck,


  • Yep. I decided to be consistent with the "touch" command, I want to get this down and then use it to get him to touch a bell to notify me to go potty. He's very very playful with other dogs, he likes to wrestle and jump around. He's got a great personality, but, as others write about here: he's very clingy with me. My goal is to get him used to me being away, starting with 15 min at a time in his crate. He sleeps in the bed with me and follows me religiously. It can be a bit intense. I'm trying to work on it so we don't have an overly intense bond.
    I read about Faconi Syndrome and I am having him tested so I can know early on if I have to take precautionary measures. I read from the Basenji Society that he should get dog vitamins daily, and amino acids once a week along with once a week human strength vitamin. I feed him pea free Annamaet Encore Kibble, mixed with Sojos raw lamb half of each at each meal. I decided to get his feeding times set to a religious schedule, and space his 2 feedings 10 hours apart. The sensitive stomach is a challenge, however, if I can get some veggies in there slowly I'd like that.


  • @SeattleBasenji
    I had a basenji who had an extremely sensitive stomach. It took time for him to settle into a routine and then once the routine didn't change, he had far less tummy troubles. Be patient. Have you heard of the umbilical cord method? Keep him tied to you when you are home so you can get him outside or to a potty place as soon as you notice he's going to go. Don't worry about him being too bonded to you - it's not something you can control or want to discourage. If he was a stray, he's going to be needy/clingy if he bonds with you - get used to it and use it to your advantage! I'm glad you will get him tested for fanconi and that you will keep a schedule. Has he been tested for things that could cause gastric distress (worms, giardia, etc.)? You've got a rescue who had a rough start. If he already shows he loves you, you've won more than half the battle. Give him time. He's going to be great!


  • @seattlebasenji
    Sorry if I've misread: was your dog tested for allergies, as you seem to have specific ideas of what to feed him?
    If not, instead of guess-work or ("Dr. Google")suggestions, you can get a scientific read out and analysis from
    Dr. Jean Dodds @ Hemopet.

    Having had one B. with consistent soft stool, the tests revealed she was allergic to chicken, turkey and white fish, along with a few veggies! Another B. is unable to handle lamb - no expensive test needed there!

    As mentioned by Pawla, it will take a bit of time. Good luck!


  • @seattlebasenji said in Potty Training Difficulty - 12-15 mo old Basenji:

    *** Any ideas about how I can effectively potty train him? ***

    You mention that you take your dog to the same area when you take him out to 'toilet', I suppose thinking that he'll associate that spot as his bathroom(?). But I think you would be more successful if you took your dog out for long walks.

    Your dog needs exercise anyway, and movement begets movement (if you know what I mean). Besides, walking is a very social activity for dogs. They walk in packs and when you walk with your dog, you become part of their pack. Some people like two half hour walks each day. Personally, I try to get one really long walk in every day (weather permitting), typically 3 miles or 90 minutes. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. (I got bored walking the same route. Now we go different places (local dog parks, woods, and such) and explore new routes. Mix it up a little.

    The walk provides time for the two of you to bond. It's an opportunity for you to reinforce training, provide encouragement (and praise). And it allows your dog to eliminate (or toilet), naturally, without pressure.

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