I am reading all the aggression & destruction threads and thought it would be easier to write what I have learned. I have an Alpha Male and the scared female. Both are the worst litter dogs you could get. The male has high aggression issues and will not hesitate to bite & draw blood! He chased the vet when they tried to trim his nails! This is what works for us right or wrong this is what we learned
1. Crate training is essential. A treat needs to be given evey time they go in their crate. You can't pick them up and put them in or you will be chasing them all over. They need to WANT to go in.
2. You are the boss and act like it. They can smell a weak human a mile away. If your dog is aggressive, he thinks he is in charge. You need to show them you are the boss. You do this by feeding him after you eat first, never let them sleep with you, you enter & leave places first. You decide what games to play, where to go on walks and so on. He gets to make NO decisions about anything!
3. Positive training works wonders, negative only escalates bad behavior. Never hit or beat ANY dog. They will not back down; only turn it up a notch!
4. NO means nothing to them. Again you need to divert them with something positive. They care little about what you think or want. The world revolves around them; if you can't accept that, get a lab or golden retriever. You have the wrong dog!
5. A tired basenji is a happy Basenji. If your dog is destructive it's because you’re not exercising your dog enough. They are not happy to sit around all day. Our dogs need constant walking or training to keep at an even keel. If you tire him out when he gets free time it will be sleeping.
6. The squirt bottle does wonders to discourage bad behavior, just don't let them see your doing it.
7. We don't get fooled again! Basenjis will learn if you try to trick them, like a muzzle for nail trimming. We use treats to get them to do just about anything but Nail Trimming (I need help!) I just take them to the vet and let them deal with them.
8. Trim their nails everyday when you get them as puppies or else suffer the agony!
9. If your dog has ANY aggression, keep them out of trouble and in their crate when people come over, or any other situation that can lead to disaster. Don't give them a chance to be bad.
10. Aggression of any kind can't be tolerated. They go to their crate for a long time out.
11. Basenji's are people dogs and love to be with you. You need to spend as much time as you can with them.
12. Pets are not disposable, if you get any pet it becomes a family member, you just can't turn away from it when thinga are bad, or wash your hands of it. If you not 100 comitted to this pet, DONT GET ONE.
13. If you do decicide to part with your pet give it to Basenji rescue.
14. never let a basenji off it's leash or unattended in your yard. I built a 5' wood fence and buried boards at the bottom to be sure. Think of your house like a submarine. You have to keep the air locks closed and have several door chambers, all closed after you go in or out. You need to double check the chamber doors or you will get flooded!
My neihbor called me one day to tell me my dog was in his yard. I go out and find I left the gate open, I walked back in telling him I don't see the dog anywhere. I look down and he was at my feet. He snuck back in while I went in his yard looking for him. Sneeky dog!