• ancientbasenji.jpg

    I don't know if you have access, but if you do, see:


    Image is at 25:35

    Goes on to say, Basenji is the "grand dad of ancient dogs" and "not that trainable"

    UPDATE: Created a clip of the relevant segment

  • They are very trainable.... but it is on their terms. And it takes time...

  • @tanza

    Yes, and I can say from experience now that that is a gross exaggeration.

  • I suppose it's more of a value judgement than statement of fact.

    I'm sure for some people, they're not that trainable. I also think this is true with every other breed as well. For a certain kind of person, any dog is untrainable. My experience has been that most pet dog owners and show people, have no clue on how to train dogs, of any breed.

  • @scagnetti said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    that most pet dog owners ... have no clue on how to train dogs, of any breed.

    I feel that way too these days, or that perhaps some do know, but they don't put the work in that is required. I suppose the proof is in the pudding. If a hunting dog trainer is winning awards, I'm guessing they may be doing something right. From my experience, my hunting dog trainer's skills fit a basenji's temperament better than the trainer I studied with who opposes ecollar and uses primarily treats. That worked for about 6 months, until he no longer was interested in treats.

    In the end, I think it's an empirical question. If someone has trained a basenji, then a basenji can be trained.

  • They are not trainable if you have 0 clue on how to train a dog or working with such primitive breeds.

    I think new people to the breed will have a default mindset or expectation that they can train Basenji the way people train for a example a Labrador, but they will quickly realise it’s not; and are quick to label the breed untrainable.

    Before I got my first Basenji everywhere I searched, people would say how you can never train a basenji off lead or whatever... I got my Basenji and he’s a off lead Basenji 90% of the time; till this day. What helped me train my basenji was a documentary where they was with the Pygmies and watched how they hunted and worked with Basenjis; and what always stuck in my brain was when they said “ the dogs stay with us because they know they will get fed by us, we don’t force them to stay”. So I knew with my boy to get the best out of him and to keep it natural as possible with him was to train him with only his breakfast and dinner on walks and training sessions, no treats. I did this since he was 8 weeks old and I still only used his daily allowance of food on walks and training sessions.

    So they are trainable as the Pygmies have been working with Basenjis for many years but the right approach and mindset is crucial.

  • I would disagree with the statement that show dogs are not "trained", if that was true they would never be in the show ring... they are just trained for different things. As far as off lead, many do well depending on the situation. The reason that breeders say they should always be on lead is because of the area that they might choose to let them off lead. A Basenji has prey built into them, it is part of their make up. In a safe area not near roads or traffic they are fine off lead, BUT and this is a big BUT, open your front door and expect them to stay in the house, good luck... While in my experience they do not chase cars, but they do not respect them. If there is a squirrel across the street, they are gone... you can't train the hunting/prey out of them. Therefore it is safer for them to be on lead unless in a safe area.

  • Of course they are trainable. Any dog is. Basenjis are certainly less "biddable" than the breeds that do best in the obedience ring, which is not to say they can't manage that too, with patience and a sense of humour. But they are definitely very able to understand and obey if the reward for doing so is salient enough, or the consequence for not doing what is asked is dire enough. Either way, it is possible to have a Basenji that understands and cooperates, but it does take time, patience, and the ability to adjust your methods to suit the individual.

  • @micah said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    a documentary where they was with the Pygmies

    Interesting, mind sharing which one that was?

  • @tanza said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    you can't train the hunting/prey out of them

    Maybe, I'm not sure. We'll see. I've been training him entirely off lead (I guess that means "off leash"), even when walking (in a tight "heel" configuration) to the park, about one block away. I do use a leash when he's running beside me if I bike to the park. In the park, never use a leash (90% don't at this park) and I'm getting good results recalling him just when he sees a pack of dogs or starts after a squirrel. But this cannot be done without an ecollar. In another year, I think I'll be able to stop him from chasing deer in City Forest, a safe place to train for that.

  • @eeeefarm

    That echos my thoughts.

  • @scagnetti said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    For a certain kind of person, any dog is untrainable

    Too right ! And why is it that Basenjis seem to end up owned by a high proportion of these people ? 👿 🙄

  • @zande - I believe many times it is because the breeder is in it for the money and really do not care where that Basenji is placed. Responsible breeders "interview" their prospective buyers and in turn are interviewed. They care where to puppy goes and is it the right fit for that family. They will say "no, I don't think this is the right breed for you and/or your family" and will help that person find the right breed or the right timing to get a puppy. It is about the home not the money.

  • I see a lot of poorly trained dogs these days, of all breeds. Many with terrible manners. Part of the equation is that people are too busy with work and family to spend enough time with their dogs. When dogs are left alone much of the time, often confined to a crate all day long, it doesn't improve their socialization or obedience, and for some families just getting the dog walked is as far as they go with training. Many of these dogs are walked on harnesses with flex leads, and spend their time pulling, while the person at the other end of the leash is busy with their phone and paying little attention to the dog. I see examples of this every time I leave the house.

  • @eeeefarm said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    I see examples of this every time I leave the house.

    Me too. It's sad really.

    I wish there were much tighter regulations on who can own a dog and that they be required to attend training courses, just as there should be tighter regulations on who can own a gun and that they be keep in locked storage. This country just isn't as civilized. (oops did I just write that?)

  • @sanjibasenji - I have it in my contract that I will refund XXXX amount upon completing a puppy socialization class or OB class, of course with proof of completion. That said it needs to be continue, one class will not "train" your pup of any breed.

  • @eeeefarm - When I talk to potential new owners, I review their life style. If both work and have kids, how does that leave time to work with the pup? And kids at an early age should NOT be responsible for that training. Feeding, potty training, yes, other things, nope. Adults need to be involved and many don't even have enough time for their kids let along a pup.

  • Most people in general don't care about dogs for the dog's sake, they care about them for themselves, if they do care at all. The fact is, most people that have dogs, shouldn't.

    For a lot of people, dogs are something to come home to, not something to do things with and engage with. For the average pet dog owner, dogs are almost like accessory items. This is the main reason why their dogs are untrained. They haven't cared enough to educate themselves on how to engage with a dog or even interact with one. This is evident in the way that people treat dogs and behave around them. A great example is the fact that most people talk to dogs, unbelievably, but this is overwhelmingly the case. The dog doesn't speak or communicate with language, but the human isn't talking to communicate, they're talking to the dog for their own benefit and for their own sake. If they really wanted to communicate effectively with a dog, they would use body language and make use of verbal commands only after properly teaching them and only as a means of associative learning; which is the only reason verbal commands work, not because the dog understands what's being said but because they have learned to associated that noise with an object/idea/action.

    In the end, people do what they want. I gave up caring about how other people act long ago. It's none of my business what they want a dog for; I wish them the best. I'm now only interested in helping people that are genuinely curious about learning how to effectively communicate with dogs and how to actually have a relationship with a dog and how to have a dog genuinely like you.

  • @scagnetti said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    not because the dog understands what's being said but because they have learned to associated that noise with an object/idea/action.

    Ever here of Charles Eisenmann? I saw him, back in the day, and I have no doubt his dogs understood language, both from him and from others (on occasion he let a reporter remain in a closed room with his dog, and had the reporter request whatever he wanted the dog to do, and it complied). I played around with his methods and discovered that my dog did indeed listen to my words and pick out the relevant meaning. I didn't go so far as Chuck, but enough to demonstrate to me that the dog could find meaning in a conversational request.

    From an article on Eisenmann " One skeptical reporter said to Eisenmann something like "That's cool, but what if I told the dog to open the door? Would he do it then?" Eisenmann answered the reporter's question by turning to the dog and simply saying, "You heard him." The dog immediately trotted over to the door and opened it again with its mouth.

    In a small adjacent room the teletype machine was clattering away and - as it usually did - making a lot of noise in the process. At one point Eisenmann told one of his dogs - and I quote him here pretty much the way he said it - "The teletype machine is making too much noise. Do something to remedy that." Whereupon the dog walked over and shut the door to the teletype room.

    The wife of one of the reporters was present for the demonstration, and was very pregnant, sitting in a chair. Eisenmann said to one of the dogs: "Somebody in this room is having a baby soon, can you go say hi to them?" Again the dog moved immediately to the expectant mother and acknowledged her by setting his paws up on her lap."

    That was typical of Eisenmann's dogs, so either he was telepathic or the dogs understood his words. Reporters were never able to observe any visual aids.

  • @tanza said in An Ancient Breed Indeed:

    and many don't even have enough time for their kids let along a pup.


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