• Hi All

    New B family. Just got a 9 week old Trip-Color female. We read up a lot before getting her and thought we were prepared. This is not the case. Despite all the reading we've done, in practice, she's kicking our butts.

    Does anyone know of a trainer with Basenji experience in San Diego? It's time to call in the experts. We like it to be someone with B experience, because we've read that many trainers are not prepared for B antics.

    Thanks in advanced!


  • Could you be a little more specific about the problems you are encountering? Also, it would be useful to know if you have raised a puppy before (of any breed).


  • I have raised puppies before. In fact, part of my overconfidence in my preparation before we got her was that I had raised a Jack Russel Terrier. I'm not sure you know the breed but they're more than a handful.

    We're having all sorts of problems. Crate training has been difficult, we're pretty close on that now though. She has separation anxiety. Getting her to take commands is not going well. She's not really treat motivated so it's hard to capture her attention. Potty training has been tough because she tries to avoid going in the same place.

    While, I know this forum does of lot of people helping others with their pups, I'm really more interested in getting information on a trainer, if one exists in my area. I think it will help beyond this issues we're having for many reasons.


  • I'm in San Diego and know some trainers but one with Basenji experience might be hard to find. There aren't that many Basenjis around so the circle of a B and a trainer won/t be that great. I will, however, ask around. In what area are you located?

    You seem to know what you are doing. Basenjis are a little different but the difference can be over emphasized. Perhaps the "ah-ha" moment might be in realizing that as sight hounds they don't respond well to verbal command?. Too bad she is not treat oriented. I've actually never run into a Basenji who isn't. Bummer. Toys usually don't work so I can see the issue.


  • No knowledge of trainers in San Diego, sorry. As far as not being treat driven... I feel ya. Logan will eat just about anything, will do just about anything for anything. Sparkle, on the other hand has been a challenge. I've tried all kinds of treats for her... Nuzzles, Smoochies, Rawbles, Freeze Dried Turkey Giblets, Primal Treats and many more. No of 'em worked. Still, I refused to give up. Every dog is food driven. Just have to find the right one.

    I love @eeeefarm's SIG Line: "In order to get along with a Basenji, you have to be at least half as smart as the dog!" I'd posit that you also need to be at least half as persistent too.

    Basenjis don't give up. Like tuning me out and ignoring me. I needed a way to break that. I kept looking for a treat Sparkle wouldn't be able to resist. Finally found it! I was prepping a Tri Tip and decided to cut the end off, butterfly it, cook it up and slice it into small pieces probably about 1/8" x 1/8" x 1/4". She LOVES them! Finally getting someplace with recall now. Very happy.

    Puppies are different, but my strategy when we brought Sparkle home, and Logan for that matter, was to not push too hard at first and instead focus on gaining trust. I can't begin to train a dog so I can trust it until it trusts me first. I think that's the most important thing to focus on when bringing any new dog home. Establish trust.

    I know you want a trainer and I wish I could help, but I can't. Hope you and your pup train each other and have a great time doing it, together.


  • @donc thanks for the response! I'm hoping maybe I just haven't found the right treat. We've tried a few and most she won't even eat. There is one brand that she eats and that's the one we've been using for potty and other training. But it's just ok for her. She gets a couple small pieces or one big piece and she's content. End of participation!

    We're in Der Mar Heights. You? In terms of the trainer location, we'll drive anywhere reasonable. You're right too. Toys are a giant flop! We've probably spent 100 bucks on toys and she couldn't careless. lol. But shoes. Oh the shoes. Those she loves. Loves them something special!


  • @ntasd - Have you talked to your breeder? What is their suggestion? Remember that things like shoes have your scent on them... so they go for them and glasses also as the ear pieces have your scent on them also.


  • @jengosmonkey thanks for the response! Because she's so small we haven't ventured into people food too much. We read that frozen peanut butter was the golden crate training treat. Yeah, just spent the next day cleaning peanut butter off the sides of the crate. She just let it melt, then sat/laid on it and then spread it everywhere.

    I think one of the other variables is that my wife and step daughter watch her too. I think they are unsure of how to deal with her and give up. Then she runs the roost until I come down from work. Which means that we have to relearn things nightly together. So in part, I hope the trainer can help train us in how to be a united front and give her the best growing experience possible.

    But my secret weapon is that I'm more persistent than the waves. I'll keep at it. We'll get there.


  • @jengosmonkey said in Trainers in San Diego:

    prepping a Tri Tip

    yes... I do tricks for Tri Tip! 😃


  • @tanza I haven't reached out. But that's cause she's across the country. Last year was a tough year to get on the basenji puppy lists. I may reach out and see if she has some insight.


  • @ntasd said in Trainers in San Diego:

    maybe I just haven't found the right treat.

    Have you tried really small cubes of cheese? Don't give too many as the calories add up fast, but sometimes finding the right prize means she only needs a bit at the end (and not for every single "sit").


  • @ntasd said in Trainers in San Diego:

    @jengosmonkey thanks for the response! Because she's so small we haven't ventured into people food too much.

    Good point. Defiantly ask your breeder, but there are several people I'd trust here on this site. When I cooked the Tri Tip end for my dog I did so separately. No oil, seasoning, marinade, salt or pepper. Just naked meat on the grill. I do feed my adults raw meat for breakfast, but I needed the treats cooked for two reasons. One, I don't want raw meat all over my finger tips and then on everything I touch afterwards. Two, I want it to last for several days in the fridge. For my purpose, the cooked meat nibbles are treat. Not a meal. I might only give out 10 to 15 nibbles in a training session. But, listen to your breeder.

    We read that frozen peanut butter was the golden crate training treat. Yeah, just spent the next day cleaning peanut butter off the sides of the crate. She just let it melt, then sat/laid on it and then spread it everywhere.

    I'm sorry, but that's just funny as heck. I don't mean to laugh at you. I hope you're laughing with me. This is a part of your adventure you'll remember long after she's gone. But, cut her some slack. She's been on the planet for 9 weeks...

    I think one of the other variables is that my wife and step daughter watch her too. I think they are unsure of how to deal with her and give up. Then she runs the roost until I come down from work. Which means that we have to relearn things nightly together. So in part, I hope the trainer can help train us in how to be a united front and give her the best growing experience possible.

    But my secret weapon is that I'm more persistent than the waves. I'll keep at it. We'll get there.

    I get where you're coming from now. Everyone is learning together real-time. It's going to take time. Sounds like you're a solid Alpha pack leader though. Better than being Omega!!! My son was 10 or 11 when we got our first Basenji. I had to be patient with him and model how to interact with the dog. How to play, relax, train, sleep together, feed, clean up. I recall training my son how to control his temper when Jengo devoured a third set of headphones that my son had to buy with his own money because the dog had eaten the previous two pair that had been left on his bedroom floor. Guess where the third pair was when Jengo found them? It's a journey, not a race. Pace yourself and enjoy that pup. I gotta tell ya... I'm a little jealous!


  • @elbrant, thanks. I'll keep cheese in mind.


  • I hear a lot about treats, not so much about observing what is going on, being consistent with your responses and reactions to what she does. A trainer can only do so much, and unless he or she is going to move in with you they can only suggest a course of action. It's always problematic when there are multiple people involved, and yes, you need some sort of united front and consistency. You still haven't been particularly specific about what is causing issues for you. Nine weeks is pretty early on in the game to be at an impasse were you are considering outside help. Your Jack Russell experience should inform you as to dealing with the puppy basics, so it leaves me scratching my head about what has become so difficult.

    Sometimes an individual may be particularly difficult because of genetics, or environment as a pup, or whatever. Do you know what her experience has been up until you acquired her? Otherwise, best I can offer is that you need to be very observant and discover what works for your girl. Believe it or not, there was a time when dogs were trained without the use of food rewards, so if that is not "her thing" you may need to find other methods to motivate her.


  • @eeeefarm I initially hesitated to post here, because like a lot of things on the internet, responses can seem judgmental.

    I disagree with you. 9 weeks is early in the pups life, but by 16, you've really got to have things figured out. So I think I'm right on time to start thinking about bolstering my tactics if I'm not getting the desired outcomes.

    You're right, a trainer isn't going to solve all my problems. But if there happened to be a good trainer in San Diego, I don't see how it could hurt. Do you?

    Perhaps one useful thing that I would get out of it would be that a third party would help us come together on a united front and help all of us see the value of staying on the same page. Sometimes, people will listen more to an "expert" than they do to people they know, even if the advise is the same. Kind of like, when my wife says I've been eating to much cholesterol causing foods and I blow her off. Then my Dr. says if I don't stop, I'm going to die. I listen a little more.

    I'm am in fact trying to find those things that work and to be fair to myself, I've found somethings that do. I also know that I don't know everything and that reading and listing to professionals can help. So I've order several books, read several that are available online, and I'm making the best effort I can to pick things up and create a warm, safe, and happy environment for my pup.

    And, if I can find a trainer, that can help guide me, I'll use them. If not, I'll figure it out without them.


  • @ntasd said in Trainers in San Diego:

    @eeeefarm I initially hesitated to post here, because like a lot of things on the internet, responses can seem judgmental.

    I disagree with you. 9 weeks is early in the pups life, but by 16, you've really got to have things figured out.

    From your initial post I understood that you were dealing with a 9 week old pup, sorry if I misinterpreted. In any case, sure, a trainer can be useful and I hear you about family listening better to an outside voice. Trick is to find a trainer who is familiar with the breed and doesn't give you advice that exacerbates the problems. We get a lot of posts here from people having issues with pups or mature dogs, and you will get a variety of responses based on individual experience. I know what works for me, it may not work for you for all kinds of reasons. I find it is always useful to hear another point of view.

    Bear in mind that Basenjis as a breed want to be with their people, and what you may interpret as anger or stubbornness may in reality be a scared pup who just wants to be close to someone. It's entirely possible that the pup will not understand a "time out" and only be confused and upset when separated from her "pack".


  • @eeeefarm Thanks. I'll keep this in mind.


  • @ntasd - reaching out to your breeder should be your first course? Your breeder should be your first course of contact?.....


  • @tanza said in Trainers in San Diego:

    contact?.....

    Maybe I could be of help, there r specific ways to
    Train a B ...I learned the hard way then found the method. Should u wish to chat let me know. I have a B and he was VERY difficult but is a jewel now . My other girl who lived to 19 years was not so difficult. Food is very important and can have a big effect on them. U can email me at my private email address I am in OC


  • @ntasd said in Trainers in San Diego:

    @donc thanks for the response! I'm hoping maybe I just haven't found the right treat. We've tried a few and most she won't even eat. There is one brand that she eats and that's the one we've been using for potty and other training. But it's just ok for her. She gets a couple small pieces or one big piece and she's content. End of participation!

    We're in Der Mar Heights. You? In terms of the trainer location, we'll drive anywhere reasonable. You're right too. Toys are a giant flop! We've probably spent 100 bucks on toys and she couldn't careless. lol. But shoes. Oh the shoes. Those she loves. Loves them something special!

    Also in the Del Mar Heights area. Makes it easier since I have more contacts in North County Coastal, less so in areas downtown. Let me get back to you with some suggestions.

    Now that I think about it, I agree that 9 weeks is young for a lot of training. I'd say a minimum of 12 and more like 16 is when they are ready to start. At nine weeks the litter mates are running around learning how to bite each other. Not really ready to be learning commands. My advice is to relax, love her, and let her get a little older before worrying about training.

    I suspect her age is also the reason why she isn't enticed by treats. She might not be ready for them. To test the theory, offer her some Espilac. If she turns into an eater then that is probably it. Like I said, I've never seen a Basenji who wasn't food driven. I've seen a few puppies that weren't but this was "solved" with age. Not saying they are all insanely food driven, just saying I've never known one who wasn't food driven to some extent. That's good because having something they want is necessary to get them to do what you want!

    I think the only thing better than shoes for these guys when they are young are shoe laces. Walk into a room with a bunch of Basenji puppies with shoes with laces and you'll walk out with shredded laces. They are like mammalian piranha. LOL Laces survive ten seconds top.

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