• Hello! Dandy is a 12 week-old brindle Basenji boy from Kansas. I am a dog trainer myself and this is my first Basenji after having shepherds all my life. I have lots to learn about the breed still and am so happy to hear everyone's wonderful advice! πŸ™‚

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  • He looks like a real charmer! Enjoy him. If your dog reference is Shepherds, prepare for an entirely different experience. The shepherds I have known are mostly interested in pleasing their owners. Basenjis tend to please themselves. Think cat in dog's body. Find a way to make your idea their idea. Good luck! (I hasten to add, Basenjis are charming, fascinating creatures, and they are also addictive)


  • @eeeefarm Oh, I've noticed! It makes it more rewarding when he really does engage with me, haha - he's as smart as a whip. Already knows sit, down, spin, shake, high five, wave, stay, touch, focus, and we are working on building up those "sit pretty" muscles. He's pretty attentive for his breed, from what I've seen from him so far!


  • Basenjis are very smart and very observant. You might want to pay particular attention to his recall. If you've been browsing the forum you know that can be a difficulty, and Basenjis are very different from Shepherds in this respect. If you have any thoughts of ever depending on a recall off leash, you need it to be solid in the face of the best distractions you can invent before you take a chance in any place that isn't secure.

    Working their mind is an excellent way to connect, and if it becomes a game to them they will work hard to figure out what you want. Clicker training works well for teaching new behaviours. I found it especially useful in teaching a reliable retrieve, starting with a generic "pick it up" and progressing to finding and retrieving hidden objects by name, no points for retrieving the wrong item. Fun for both me and the dog, but he got clever about finding me hiding his toys for the next round!


  • I know that many use harness, but note especially on young dogs they can really restrict their front movement, I don't recommend them as a breeder. They can hurt the development of their front assembly... legs/elbows/chest. Just my opinion as a breeder.


  • Agree entirely with tanza. Beyond the issues with young dogs, harnesses don't give you the control of the head that you sometimes need. Not so big an issue with a small dog, but with big ones? I see too may people being walked by their dogs these days! If harnesses are supposed to help with pulling it isn't obvious in my neighbourhood!


  • @tanza Oh, I've heard the opposite! In my time as a trainer, I always recommend Y-shaped harnesses for puppies and small breeds, as collars (even martingales) can apply too much pressure to their throats. Front-clip harnesses with the band across the chest, on the other hand, are awful for their movement and development. We've done lots of loose-leash walking work so he really doesn't utilize the harness to yank me - the leash is just tight for the sake of the picture


  • @eeeefarm We've worked on recall on a 20' line and are steadily increasing the distance! It's tricky right now since we are still sticking to areas that haven't had too many dogs pass through (he has a couple more vaccines to get but the vet has OK'ed most outdoor activities), but he's done great with the distractions we've worked through. I rarely use clickers but I would definitely try it out with him, thank you for the suggestion!


  • @dandydog - Again, as a breeder I don't recommend harness especially for young dog... of course I show my pups, so it is big deal as it hampers their movement, which is does. And honestly I do not wait till all shots are given, I would go to lure trials and dog shows, just careful where I walk them at shows... away from "poop".... but the best way to build immunities is to take them places so they can build their own immunities... of course within good thought. Lure trials are the best, IMO...


  • @dandydog said in Howdy from Dandy!:

    I always recommend Y-shaped harnesses for puppies and small breeds, as collars (even martingales) can apply too much pressure to their throats.

    I like a wide martingale collar (about 3.5 inches on the throat) as I feel they are safe and effective. Back in the day, everyone used choke collars and I am not aware of any injuries despite such common use. I believe they are still standard in the obedience ring. And thin chain martingale collars are used in the breed ring a lot.


  • My what big ears you have! He's gorgeous! Congrats and welcome to the forum. πŸ™‚


  • @tanza Another voice in agreement with @tanza. I hate harnesses anyway. Training and a light collar and lead (even if you work on recall too.) If you need any additional 'tools' during training, a Gentle Leader is great. It controls the head and therefore the whole dog.


  • @dandydog said in Howdy from Dandy!:

    Oh, I've heard the opposite! In my time as a trainer, I always recommend Y-shaped harnesses for puppies and small breeds, as collars (even martingales) can apply too much pressure to their throats.

    I have to laugh at this ! I have been saying for years that 'trainers' do not understand and should not be employed around Basenjis ! But it does seem you will be listening and learning. Actually owning one of these delightful critturs will really open your eyes ! Good that you are working on recall. But throw away the harness and invest in the Gentle Leader !


  • @elbrant Thank you so much!!

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