Basenji digging at doors, corners, etc.


  • My basenji boy seems to have been taken over by a strong desire to find El Dorado which, to my surprise, appears to be buried somewhere in my LA apartment.

    This behavior takes the form of digging furiously at corners, closed doors or cabinets under the sink.

    Perhaps he smells something in these places? Unsure.. sometimes this does appear to be a way of getting attention.. I've noticed he can act kind of nuts if he's hungry or maybe needs to go outside.. Lol, I'm just guessing at this point. I've had him for 4 weeks now so still figuring out his oddities.

    That said, I would love any tips on helping curb his search for the lost city of gold. Very excited at this point to meet the dog trainer this week.


  • @yahtzee92 - How old? And yes they do have a good sense of smell and hearing... my one boy would dig at the dishwasher... and sure enough, we did have mice....


  • My 9 month old female has been doing this a lot recently too!


  • @tanza said in Basenji digging at doors, corners, etc.:

    @yahtzee92 - How old? And yes they do have a good sense of smell and hearing... my one boy would dig at the dishwasher... and sure enough, we did have mice....

    He is 14 weeks old now.

    This place was treated for roaches (noticed a couple small ones but had them come).. perhaps he is sensing there are more....


  • @yahtzee92 - I would say that is a very good possibility!


  • @yahtzee92 I haven't had the roaches issue, thank goodness. But I have seen all three of my doggies do the digging thing from time to time. My experience had been that it's usually because they're bored or they still have too much pent up excess energy. If I take them on a long walk or to the dog park first ting in the morning, they're good to go. But if it's raining or something comes up... it usually starts with digging at a couch, someplace on a carpet or at the back door. With two now... it quickly escalates into the Basenji 500 where they use couch backs as high speed high bank turns. Watching a Basenji run horizontal across a couch back is something I hope all of you get to experience at least once!

    Another member mentioned that anytime a new object arrives in her/his home, their Basenji knows something is different and goes a little nuts. Couldn't agree more. I've seen that with all of mine too. Another thing is that they love routine, and when that routine is disrupted, like today's walk was interrupted, delayed, or cancelled... mine seem to let me know they know it... sometimes by digging.


  • We must have had smarter Basenjis. They have avoided trying to dig through wood and concrete, spending their efforts on digging into bedding!

    At fourteen weeks God knows what they are up to. At sixteen weeks this may have been forgotten for something new and more exciting -- like eating underwear.

    Seriously haven't seen this but your idea of insects -- dead or alive -- is a good one. If so then he'll likely lose interest fairly soon when his efforts don't yield any results.


  • @donc Sparkle decided that Green Paisly wasn't her thing. That bed spread is now dead from digging. I usually catch them in time to get them to knock it off, but she took advantage of me being distracted. She's perfect. Not me. :face_with_stuck-out_tongue_closed_eyes:


  • After my total experience of 5 weeks with a basenji I think lots of these folks have it right - there needs to be TWO Basenjis. My neighbors have a great dog so that will do for now - but yes, these dogs get bored fast. I have him on walks and runs and all that is good - but he is 100% in his favorite place wrestling with other dogs. And then he drops like a rock at home.


  • I think that sometimes they just have extra energy, and digging for nothing gets rid of some (just a little though)


  • Charlie has taken to digging in 1 spot underneath a cabinet upstairs. I have looked a few times just to see if I have missed something, but agree pretty sure he just has extra energy to spend.


  • My Basenji does the same thing. He also does it on my bed and puts holes in my sheets. Maybe it’s a breed trait.


  • @jhickmond said in Basenji digging at doors, corners, etc.:

    holes in my sheets.

    I tend to think they are just making the bed more comfortable. - ? - But yes, my bed linens have holes as well. Doodle grabs them and tries to fluff them up so the linens aren't "flat". And, her teeth rip through fabric. My brother asked me what I was going to do about the holes in my quilt. I shrugged.... quilts are essentially patches, right? Guess I'll just put patches over the holes.


  • My yorkie mix (13 pound dog) did this on a regular basis so not just Basenjis. But only soft surfaces like couches and bed. I have to admit I found it amusing and I watched her with fascination. She was so intent on digging to the center of the earth, or so it seemed. That said she did no damage. I kept her nails short and rounded (no sharp edges via dremel tool).


  • I once saw a basenji clicker trained to scratch at the proper grade sand paper that was glued to a board. The basenji even curled his paw so the pads were not injured. This kept the nails perfectly trimmed. Perhaps the scratching/digging behavior could be re-directed into the more productive behavior and nail clipping would never be an issue!

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