• Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the advice and he is getting better. My basenji is from abroad and it is from a trusted breeder. Unfortunately, our breeder is not supporting us much with traning so it's pretty much us figuring it out on our own.

    I think its all about patience and providing the correct traning with love and care.

    I have managed to nail the potty training but now just working on the leash pulling which is so painful. I tried the opti halti but it didn't work out. Everytime I put it on he would refuse to walk or budge and then try and take it off. I tried distracting him with treats which worked for a bit but then he stopped responding to that. When I took it off he looked really traumatised by it and I didn't proceed further with it at all.

    I am now thinking of no pull harness and it would be great to get views on if its worked for you guys? People say its not ideal as the force of the body will have more power when the pup or dog contracts their muscles whilst walking and it could potentially discolate your shoulder but not sure if this is true?

    Apart from that we have had a change in behaviour today and I am very annoyed with myself. I told my basenji "no" very firmly and looked into his eyes whilst saying this. He was on a sofa where he wasn't supposed to sit and he full well knows not to sit there. I told him "off" and he jumped from one sofa to another until he smashed something and I shouted ( I am not proud of myself at all and I feel awful about this). Anyways, I tried to gently take him off to put him in a safe place so he doesn't hurt himself from the glass, and he attempted to bite me numerous of times, every time I touched him or tried to move him. He has done this previously and we made a point and said "no" firmly not to do this.

    I am now trying to work out if he is play biting or is this aggressions and testing how far he can push boundaries? I am not going to lie, I did feel a little scared when he tried to bite me and now I can only think when he gets older he might get worse :(.

    I will be going to puppy classes very soon as I think and feel I am not being s great parent to him at all and I need to work on myself as an owner and get some help on how to train my basenji.


  • He is testing the limits with you. If he finds that threatening to bite or actually biting gets him his way, that would be a very bad thing. Do not put yourself in that position unless you are prepared to follow through whether or not he elects to bite. Backing off only encourages this behaviour, so don't command something you can't or are not willing to enforce. If you are afraid to deal with this behaviour, hang a leash on him so you can make him move without having to physically handle him, or else find a way to distract or redirect him. Do not issue orders you can't enforce. Basenjis can be difficult to move without resistance when they have found a comfortable spot or if they are sleeping or dozing. Not unusual. If he respects you, a command to get down should be all you need. If he declines, you have some work to do! My boy would snark if we moved him from a comfortable spot. My husband would laugh and pick him up and walk off with him while he was snarling fiercely, but he never bit, probably because my husband was so casual and matter of fact and confident. If you are not confident he will know it instantly! Generally I would finesse it if possible, but if push comes to shove you are the boss and he is the dog.


  • Thanks @eeeefarm, the half of the battle was in my head fighting why is he doing that.

    I have been told to hold his muzzle down if he attempts to bite.

    I think it's time to take hold of the reigns properly and stop thinking I am being mean!


  • @little_t said in Basenji help and advice:

    I am now thinking of no pull harness

    NO ! Not a No-Pull, get a Gentle Leader. Much easier as a training aid and more comfortable for the dog.

    As for the biting, it is probably attention seeking. Don't let it work. Ignore, walk away, no more attention until he stops THAT sort of nonsense.

    As for objecting to being moved from a chair - approaching talking gently to him and be very firm and positive. Pick him up and remove him. Hesitation - he'll think he has won.


  • @little_t Just a further note. What you want to avoid is turning "I don't want to and you can't make me" into a fear reaction because you come down too hard on him. You need to be firm and matter of fact without doing something he perceives as a threat, so your goal is to enforce your rules but not to punish for the disobedience. Also, you need to be consistent. If the couch is off limits it is off limits. Be clear about what you allow and what you don't, and make sure everyone in the household is on the same page.

    OTOH, if he is normally allowed the couch and for whatever reason you want to move him from his comfortable spot, best to finesse it rather than turn it into a confrontation, but if it becomes one you must follow through. The fastest way to create a biting dog is to show him he can get his way through a growl or threatening to bite. BTW, this is how he would treat another pup, not how he would act toward his mother. She would not put up with it!

    Just to add, I am with Zande on the harness issue. Personally I like a martingale collar, but if the issue is pulling then you need to work on loose leash walking. Basically you don't proceed when the leash is tight. He will learn.


  • Re grass eating, is he being sick afterwards? There is a difference between grazing on grass (normal) and purposely eating enough to vomit. My 12 month old was doing the latter daily and it turned out to be undiagnosed worms, as she has stopped doing it since treatment.


  • @jkent Basenjis will eat grass and just throw up bile (or bile and grass). Basically there is an itch or some discomfort in the stomach that they want to scratch or clear up. It is normal.


  • Thank you @Zande and @eeeefarm for your advice.

    The other issue is he only listens when I raise my voice or he will just not give crap! I started with firmness but can't get his attention but if you raise your voice he is all ears.

    How do you know if he is scared and fears as this is the last thing I want!


  • @little_t Think teenage humans (or for that matter younger kids). They will tune you out until they think you "mean it". Ditto issuing a command multiple times. If it is something he understands then tell him once, if no response then you either need to go get him and gently persuade him to do what was asked, or wait for him to respond if he is just a bit slow, in which case a treat when he does as asked may motivate him to do it sooner next time. Ignoring you should not be an option. You do need to be sure he understands what you want.

    Try this: say his name very quietly, without any command attached. If he looks at you the treats come out. If he ignores you, make a point of letting him see you had something for him and put it away. Rinse, repeat. You may find him more attentive if there is "something in it for him", and you can also turn it into a game. If he responds to a whisper, the reward is larger.


  • @zande agree it's probably normal in most cases, but in some cases it might be due to upset stomach and in our case it was because she had worms, as she has stopped doing it daily since she's been treated.


  • @jkent Oh indeed yes. My Hoover did it because she had IBS sort of thing. She was fine on Budesonide 3 times a week, but the minute I saw her eating grass again - she went back on it daily for a couple of weeks. It can indicate something is wrong in the tum.


  • @little_t said in Basenji help and advice:

    I told my basenji "no" very firmly and looked into his eyes whilst saying this.

    If your B is on the couch and you say, "no", your B will not understand why you are saying that word. If your B is jumping onto the couch and you say, "no", your B will learn that he is not allowed to jump onto the couch. You have to correct the behavior as it is happening, otherwise the dog will not understand what you mean.

    @little_t said in Basenji help and advice:

    he only listens when I raise my voice or he will just not give crap!

    You should not need to raise your voice or repeat the command. I suspect that either your dog isn't aware that you are talking to him, or your dog does not understand what the command word means. Which basically boils down to more training.


  • Cause and effect. Elbrant has the right of it. You have to say NO as he jumps up, not while he is lying comfy. Its similar to never saying BAD dog when your pet runs away and comes back to you. The animal will think the crime lies in coming back to master. Any verbal admonishment (scream !) must be instantaneous so the dog relates. I do that = he/she screams


  • @little_t said in Basenji help and advice:

    Thank you @Zande and @eeeefarm for your advice.

    The other issue is he only listens when I raise my voice or he will just not give crap! I started with firmness but can't get his attention but if you raise your voice he is all ears.

    How do you know if he is scared and fears as this is the last thing I want!

    Count yourself lucky if he's listening to you at all! 😁 They're really good at being selectively deaf.

    But yes @elbrant and @Zande are right that you need to "catch them in the act" so to speak. Ditto with rewards BTW. Speaking of which, if you don't want him on the sofa, you can use rewards to get him wanting to lounge in his dog bed.

    I've never experienced a Basenji getting afraid of a correction so I don't think you need worry too much about that.


  • Thanks everyone for your advice.

    I know my basenji understands and he does listen to me but he has selective hearing. We are traning on it and he is getting better each day.

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