Adolescent howl and behavior changes

  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    Maybe hang a bell or something on him so you know where he is....

    Thanks. In fact, I do have bell on the collar that I use, in addition to the e-collar, when I take him mountain biking with me. It helps. I checked the DNR site and the rules pertain to training dogs for hunting.,4570,7-350-79134_82777-230850--,00.html

    The PDF file is useful. You're right that dogs can't be used for hunting deer. But I also think you are right that I won't have any issues, since I'm not training him, nor hunting, but nevertheless, I should not let him go too far our out of sight since I don't know what he's doing. I guess I'll have to reign that in.

    Thanks for your insights and comments.

  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    Calling them back when it is not necessary is, to my way of thinking, like crying 'wolf' - and as for having a different call when there is no need for them to return to you. . . that would confuse the heck out of me, let alone the dogs. Just let them be unless instant recall is needed and then use just the tried and trusted call, whistle or shout.

    Got to agree to disagree on this one. We live in very different places, and perhaps in the U.K. there are less hazards to be wary of, but I don't like my dog out of my sight or hearing and I don't think it's safe. A "different call" to me would be a "reminder" word that they are ranging further than you like, not hard to teach or apply.

    Asking a dog to stay relatively close is not unreasonable and is something that is done with bird dogs all the time. They need to cover the field within reasonable distance or they are useless. Major Bruan explains this quite nicely in his article in training Basenjis for the field. "If he takes off out of gun range give the hand and whistle commands for come, and when he returns , praise him and send him off again with the verbal command "go on". It won't take him long to learn you want him to course back and forth in front of you, and the limit of the distance he may go."

    I think both of you are right and both accord with my experience. I did not know or plan this in advance, but I have ended up using several related commands for different situations, and he knows them well now.

    When I want him in my vicinity, not at my feet, and he's free to roam nearby.

    Use a lot when mountain biking, and sometimes when in our nearby dog park (a fairly large wooded area)

    If I can't see him, I call his name or whistle, and he invariably returns. But as noted, it's taken longer for him to return because I've let him go further without reigning him in. I've whistled and called for up to 3-4 minutes. I don't like that, so I'm glad to be encouraged to keep him in eyesight. (Learning the ropes folks!)

    This way
    When he's close but I'm going a different direction and I want him to follow me.

    Use when mountain biking mostly, sometimes when walking wooded area.

    When I want him at my feet no matter what he's doing, but I use it when I can see him.

    If he doesn't respond to come, I apply the e-collar. That works invariably, but I may have to crank it up if he's distracted by other dogs.

    Use it mostly when in the dog park, or other park.


    A danger indicator or "don't go there" indicator.

    Use when I want him to stop going in the direction he's going (cars, other dogs, people), or stop doing something he's doing that could harm him, like chewing on an electric cord.

    As I mentioned, he seems to understand and respond to these commands consistently. It's really the "come" command (instant recall) that's the hardest. But I think, as has been observed, he's at that age when he's challenging the boundaries and, at that time of the year when he's seeking females.

    Learning a lot about this breed. Thanks to everyone for their insights! Really lucky you folks take the time to respond. Grateful.

  • @eeeefarm If you are meaning Al Braun, I have to laugh - and take a trip down memory lane. Many years ago, Elspett Ford and I were putting together a newsletter for BOBA (one of the UK Breed Clubs). She found some articles in French about training Basenjis, by Al Braun, and asked me to translate them into English for the newsletter. This I did.

    Some months, it may even have been years, later, someone else showed him my translations - back into English which, of course they had been written in originally.

    He was extremely complimentary !!!!

  • @Zande , yes, that Al Braun. Glad to have sparked the memory!

    @sanjibasenji , something I employed quite a bit with Perry was "wait". If he was proceeding too quickly or in a direction I didn't like, I would use that instead of recalling him. Once I caught up a bit I would say "O.K." so he knew he could continue. I used "wait" a lot in this fashion. It has quite a different meaning than "stay", which means stay right where you are, no moving about, whereas wait just means give me a chance to catch up before you proceed, but you are welcome to sniff around where you are or come back towards me if you wish.

  • @eeeefarm
    I do something that too! Didn't include in the list of commands... Nice to know I'm not alone in this...
    Lots of work training. It can be a struggle.

  • Main thing is that one does communicate with ones Basenjis and that they hear and obey. If not at once, in their own good time - Basenji style. As I am by no means the only person who takes my dogs out to the woods, they have had to learn different calls.

    I normally whistle or call names. My son calls them by name. I don't know what my neighbour, Sue, does. But they come back when she does it !

  • @zande
    Do you let them roam out of sight? I'm wondering if eventually I can do that once I've firmly established the whistle and "come" commands so that he returns from being out of sight quickly. At this point, he eventually comes, but I see him dawdle or continue chasing this or that squirrel. I'd like to see him respond immediately, and I'm thinking that is a personal training choice.

  • @sanjibasenji 'Roam' is hardly the word - sprint, race - disappear like magic. Yes. In the wood I follow narrow paths and they follow wherever a scent leads them. I know the direction they have disappeared in but seldom guess correctly from whence they will emerge. They could have done a complete circuit and come up behind me.

    The important thing is that my whistle is sharp and piercing and they know it means, Mom wants us back.

    If it is raining or desperately muddy (I use a walking pole because I don't want to fall over !) then I may be forced to follow the main trails which are wider and some are even kind of cobble-stones. It is a working forest and there has to be access for huge trucks to bear away the timber - enormous piles of logs by the side of the main routes through.

    Weekends, like this morning, the carpark is full by 10 am but once away from it it is possible to avoid meeting anyone. On weekdays, there are quite a few people we have come to know over the years, 8.30 - 9.00 am walkers. Many of them I know the names of the dogs and have no idea what their owners are called ! My boys love to chase with the ones they know will oblige and we can stand and chat while they race around. I only learned on Thursday, after standing while a man with about a dozen Whippets admired my boys, that one is prohibited from walking more than 6 dogs at a time.

    Didn't know that when Marvin and I walked those same woods back in 1987 after a hurricane decimated woodland in the South East.

    I have been going there for a long, long time - it is entirely safe from traffic, once you are away from the carpark. The wild-life is rabbits, deer, squirrels and birds (Kito would love to fly !) and so yes, the boys know that if Mom sits on a fallen tree or one of the rare benches, they get a treat. 'Biscuit at the Bench' is something they have learned and they foregather and stay close, waiting for me to arrive at these havens !

  • Some thoughts:

    I've been looking at the rules for dogs in the U.K. and they are quite different from those we have here. Off leash is much more accepted there, but it is specified that the dog or dogs must be under the control of the owner and also that they should be in sight of the owner, a stipulation that is likely more honoured in the breach than the observance. Another thing that jumped out at me is that there is a colour (yellow) to indicate a dog that needs space. Excellent idea! There is a prohibition against chasing deer "or other wildlife", and of course livestock. I haven't looked exhaustively at forest sites, but the ones I checked seemed to be in agreement. One interesting suggestion, that you let your dog loose if you are attacked by farm animals, surprised me but is logical. A person could be injured trying to protect a dog from aggressive cattle or horses (both will often go after dogs, or in my area coyotes).

    In Ontario many (most?) forested areas and parks open to the public require dogs to be on leash unless in designated areas (usually fenced, like a dog park), which are rather few and far between. Of course many owners ignore this rule and it is unlikely to be enforced unless there are incidents. When I was young, even the cities didn't have leash laws, but there has always been a requirement for dogs to be under the control of their owner when they are off their own property. These days I find far more people do not have a reliable recall than those who do, which is unfortunate. Nothing worse than someone's out of control pup running towards your dog aggressive animal that you have securely on leash, with the owner coming behind bellowing "It's O.K., he's friendly"! My Perry was seriously dog aggressive, so I would immediately recall him if I saw an approaching dog, but I sometimes had to resort to picking him up so the other dog didn't get in his face. If your dog is loose I think it is only good manners to call him in if you are approaching a dog on leash. Even those that are not aggressive may feel threatened and respond accordingly, because they are not free to stay away from the other dog.

  • @eeeefarm Well done for looking it all up ! Some of the laws are relatively new, brought in by off-shoots of the ban on fox hunting. The law says you may not actively hunt with dogs, which I take to mean, go out specifically with the idea of catching something.

    btw, I reckon my dogs are under control ! Far more so than many, although everyone we meet has their recall pretty solid.

    This is a farming community and also pheasants are bred for the 'gentry' to shoot. No way would I allow my dogs onto farm land with sheep or cattle and while the poults are being reared, Sue doesn't take hers or mine into the woods with the pens. The gamekeeper is very friendly but better safe than sorry.

    The chances of a Basenji actually catching a deer are so slim - although we do come across legs and bits left by something's kill.

    Yes I did know about yellow meaning keep your dog off mine - or else ! and yes, about releasing a dog if it was on a leash when one was attacked. NOT, I hasten to add, that I would take a dog that close. Although during the first lock down when the carparks to all Forestry Commission forests were closed and I was restricted to training Mku on the many Public Footpaths around this village, we did have some hilarious encounters. Hoover was a great help in training him and he has helped me train Kito.

  • @zande said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    I reckon my dogs are under control ! Far more so than many, although everyone we meet has their recall pretty solid.

    Oh, I have no doubt about that! IMO it is too bad that few people take the time to teach their dogs a reliable recall, and that the opportunities to give a dog off leash time is limited where I live. I think a dog that is accustomed to being loose is far less likely to be at risk if he accidentally gets out the door or off the leash. It's the ones that have never been off leash that play "keep away" and scare the daylights out of their frantic owners.

  • @zande said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    yellow meaning keep your dog off mine - or else !

    Explain this a little better for me, please. Are you supposed to use a yellow t-shirt, collar, leash?

  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    I think a dog that is accustomed to being loose is far less likely to be at risk if he accidentally gets out the door or off the leash.


  • @zande Awesome, thank you!

  • I've posted this before, but more than once I had a "senior moment" and opened the door for Perry before putting his e-collar on. Every time all I had to do was say "Perry, you forgot your collar" and he came right back and was happy to have me fix the problem so we could get on with our walk. He associated the collar with being off leash, so he was always happy when I put it on before we went out.

  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    "Perry, you forgot your collar" and he came right back and was happy to have me fix the problem so we could get on with our walk.

    How did you train him to walk off leash (but on collar)? Details, please.... this seems like the best of both worlds!

  • @elbrant said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    How did you train him to walk off leash (but on collar)? Details, please.... this seems like the best of both worlds!

    You might have misunderstood. I was referring to his e-collar which ensured I could "reach out and touch him" at a distance if needed. In practice I used it far more often for "leave it" than for recall, and it was extremely useful when he was ranging upwind and couldn't hear me. It enabled me to get his attention, and then I could use hand signals to tell him what I wanted.

    These collars get a bad rap because they can be abusive if used inappropriately. There is no question you can give the dog a painful correction, but that should be reserved for emergencies and is a lot better than having your dog run out into traffic! (or getting skunked for that matter). For me it was a matter of being able to control my dog at a distance if necessary, and he was never afraid of the collar, despite being well aware that it was the source of those sensations when I did use it.

    As for how to train with an e-collar, the short answer is that you find the dog's working level (the lowest setting at which he notices the stimulation), let him wander around on a long leash, then turn on the collar while reeling him in with the leash, turning the collar off as he nears you. Ten minutes later after a few repeats the dog is coming immediately when you turn it on. I hasten to add, no yelping, no drama, just that he has learned how to turn off the mildly annoying sensation. Pretty quickly the dog learns to generalize the sensation's removal to compliance with what you have asked him to do.

    I am well aware that this is an aversive, and not for everyone, but it did allow my Basenji freedom to run loose in a variety of settings and me to relax with confidence that his recall was solid. My very first Basenji was reliable off leash without any assistance, perhaps because I had confidence from prior experience with a lot of other dogs and she lived up to my expectations. Not all of my others have been so reliable! Obviously Zande has the magic touch with her dogs, but I guess I needed a crutch to reassure me that I wasn't putting my dog at risk by granting him freedom.

  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    t I guess I needed a crutch to reassure me that I wasn't putting my dog at risk by granting him freedom.

    Ok, thank you... doodle comes at a whistle when we are roaming in the woods, but not unless she wants to once we arrive at the parking lot (car park). I had hopes that I could teach doodle to be in a loose heel while we were on a walk without the leash and without worrying about her wandering into traffic.

    Dreaming, I suppose.... I know, I know, she's a Basenji!

  • @elbrant said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    I had hopes that I could teach doodle to be in a loose heel while we were on a walk without the leash

    Absolutely doable with a bit of work. An e-collar would get you there quicker, but if you train her to heel reliably on leash and transition gradually, you should be able to achieve it. One intermediate step you can take is to tie a very light line on her instead of the leash, so you don't completely lose control but she doesn't notice the weight. Another approach would be clicker train her to target. Many roads lead to Rome....

Suggested Topics

  • 13
  • 3
  • 12
  • 8
  • 6
  • 3