• @elbrant thank you so much your response is so helpful!

    I love framing the crazy as “design decisions”. Fantastic reframe and way to adjust expectations.

    Curious if, when your girl was a puppy, did you initially crate her? How did you get her to appreciate your verbal cues? Sounds a bit like the faconian method leaving and always coming back. How long would you say it took for her to get comfortable with that?

    Thank you for your wise and encouraging words!

  • @rubybasenji I don't "do" crates. Primarily because it just wasn't something that was normal for dog owners to do (when I was a young adult). Of course, back then we let the dogs out the back door to roam at their leisure. They always came back and it was never a big deal. We didn't carry plastic baggies to clean up after them. And we didn't see any reason to fence the back yard. The only time you needed a crate was for the airlines if you were flying somewhere. And there was really only one kind that you could buy .Life was just different "back then".

    I missed out on doodle's puppy-hood. I brought her home at 18 months (almost 3 years ago). She was already trained (housebroken, familiar with a leash, etc.). I really only had to accept that she needed to adjust to her new home and family. It took a couple months, but I started to realize that she was trying very hard to tell me what she needed (or wanted). I just had to figure out what she was saying.

    She will stare at the window if it's sunny out and the shades are down. She's telling me to raise them so she can enjoy the warmth of the sunlight.

    She will sit by the door if I am getting ready to leave. She's telling me she wants to go with me. And,

    She will walk back and forth between my office and bedroom to tell me it's time to go to sleep.

    I've opened my home to numerous dogs. Mutts, pure bred, rescues, adoptions, foundlings. They were all great dogs, but doodle is the first dog I've had that "thinks". I swear she does math calculations in her head when she has to jump off the curb, over the puddle, and land on the car seat! She figures things out, she really does. So I can't take any credit for training her... she figured out how to tell me what she needs. She trained me.

    As for the visual cues, it's just something I tried that worked. It took an afternoon and then she was bored with the whole thing. Of course, every day and every time I leave = reinforcement of the lesson. And I think that reading "Inside a Dog", by Alexandra Horowitz, helped me look at her differently.

  • My family fell in love with the basenji as soon as we saw it, but we've been reading a lot about potential "massive destruction" when they are left alone. It definitely intimidated us because we don't want a dog that as soon as we turn our back something gets destroyed. We'd really appreciate talking to someone who owns or owned a basenji, and hear what they have to say in terms of their experience or any training methods that helped.

    Has anyone experienced any difficulties leaving their dog unattended?

  • @mia_at20
    I never had a issue leaving my basenji alone in the house uncrated. She was never destructive. I worked up the time increments over a period of time. I would never leave her more than 4-5 hours and she also has access to a doggie door. Currently I will not leave her alone for more than an hour but that is due to her advanced age.

  • @Kembe thank you so much!

    Have you ever left your dog at a friend's house when going on vacation for example? If so, how did your basenji manage?

  • @mia_at20
    Yes - for extended vacations, I would leave her with one of my brothers. Luckily both were previous basenji owners and she did fine. They said she did seem sad but they would keep her on her daily walking routine and this was a better alternative than a kennel. As long as you have a friend that becomes familiar with your dog’s routine and can understand how a basenji “thinks” (because they are highly intelligent) it shouldn’t be an issue to have someone dog sit.
    As for basenjis being destructive- I think it’s important to establish a routine & keep them well exercised and active to eliminate this potential issue.

  • @mia_at20
    A piece of advice on the crate:
    Important to crate train your dog. My basenji was crate-trained but I think I de-crate trained her. She had free run of the house and did not have to use a crate. I now wish I had maintained the use of her crate in the house because she now has “doggie dementia” and there are now times that the crate would keep her safe. (Hind sight is 20/20 - learn from my mistake).

  • @Kembe thanks for the advice! We do plan to crate train our dog.

  • @mia_at20, any dog left alone in a house has the potential to be destructive. It isn't just a Basenji thing. That said, yes, it can be an issue and Basenjis, because they are curious, will get into things that other dogs might leave alone. Yes, even when you are home! Crate training can be useful, or a "dog proof" room, preferably with windows so the dog can look out. Some Basenjis may have confinement anxiety which makes use of a crate difficult, but usually if you train them as pups and don't use a crate abusively (long hours locked up is abuse, IMO) they will learn to accept it. Every dog is different, partially genetics and partially environment. You do the best you can with the dog you get. With luck and care, you won't have a problem, but there are no guarantees with any dog!

  • As I have said before, I work on the principle that I am bigger than they are and it is MY house. Make a tremendous song and dance about unimportant misdeamours and pretend to ignore the serious infringements.

    Then when the pack wants to punish me they do something which they know will get them the most attention - screaming and tears from me.

    But a bored Basenji will tend to destruction if there is nothing else to do. It needs plenty to hold its interest. Toys, bones, a companion.

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