Basenji's and temperature outside

Hi All,

Sol lovs the yard so much he will go out even if it is cold– right now I'm letting him out if it is above 40 degrees in the morning and predicted to rise to 50 and sunny. He has a house with a clean fleece in it facing away from the wind. His winter coat is quite heavy for a basenji-especially his ruff. My other b's were much mre inside dogs-- if he seems happy, is there anything wrong with this?

A doggy door is not possible, and he won't come in for my husband (who is legally blind) so if he wants out in the am it is until 5pm. On colder days I take him to work.

Feedback?

Kris

Have your husband work on recall training.
Clickers work great.
Have hubby click the clicker and treat the dog in the house, for no reason.
Do that for one day.
Click, treat..
Next day, put dog in backyard, have a clicker and click with treats in hand, I think you will be surprised how quickly these dogs learn the sound means good things.
We use beef jerky, but small pieces of cheese, or nuked hot dogs, cut in small pieces work well.
Just make sure the treat is WONDERFUL and this b will come whenever he gets the clicker cue…

That's a tough one. Myself, I wouldn't be comfortable leaving my B out in 40-50 degree temps for that long. Magnum goes out in much colder weather to do his business, run/sniff around for awhile, but he's only out for 20-30 minutes.

Were I in your situation, I'd either take him to work (lucky you!) or I'd take him out in the AM, let him do his business and bring him in for the day. I'd not like to think of him spending the day in a doghouse with short out-of-the-doghouse exercise jaunts. I also don't like to see dogs outdoors unsupervised for hours (but that's just me).

Dogs don't always know what's best for them, so even if he appears to like being out in the cold, I can't believe that's what's best for his health and well-being, besides being away from his pack.

Does he refuse to come in even if it's cold? Even if offered something good to eat? (Some people might consider this a bribe. I consider it a reward for coming when called.)

If you try clicker training and it doesn't work I will be surprised if it doesn't, how about a coat/sweater for the dog before you put him out.
I have a sweater for each of my basenji, from Sally Wallis, and a raincoat with fleese, for rainy day walking.
The sweaters are warm, easy to clean and my b's love them when the temps get cold.
But really, training the dog to come back to hubby is the way to go, imo.

@sharronhurlbut:

Have your husband work on recall training.
Clickers work great.
Have hubby click the clicker and treat the dog in the house, for no reason.
Do that for one day.
Click, treat..
Next day, put dog in backyard, have a clicker and click with treats in hand, I think you will be surprised how quickly these dogs learn the sound means good things.
We use beef jerky, but small pieces of cheese, or nuked hot dogs, cut in small pieces work well.
Just make sure the treat is WONDERFUL and this b will come whenever he gets the clicker cue…

That not the way that clicker training is traditionally used, though. If the dog has ever had any clicker training, or will in the future, this could confuse him. The clicker is intended to be the marker for desired behavior…not the cue. So it should look like this: teach the dog that click means here comes food -- click/treat click/treat. Then give the dog a cue in this case, calling him inside, and then click/treat when he complies.

If you teach the dog the click means 'that is correct, here comes your reward' and then you click when the dog is out at the back fence, he comes running, and you give him a treat, you are teaching him to hang out at the back fence.

If the OP wants the dog to come in when called by anybody..the very easiest way to train that is to shake a bag of treats at the back door (cue) and give him a treat every single time he comes thru the door for two weeks (or so)...then you could start to alternate rewards once the dog understand the command. You could also pair the orginial cue (bag of treats) with a word (we use "inside") so you didn't have to shake a bag each time.

Now, it if the OP doesn't care if the dog comes in when requested but wonders if it is okay for the dog to stay out? I haven't met a basenji yet that didn't know when he was too cold...or doesn't know how to come inside when given the opportunity if desired. So I would just suggest that the DH offers the dog the opportunity to come in fairly often when it starts to get cold.

If I remember correctly you had posted before that Sol is afraid of your husband, is that correct? And how is it going working on him possibly getting over this?

Now if he's not afraid of your husband touching him, maybe you could send him out on a long light weight line, and then your husband could "reel" him in, shut the door, offer treat, and then take the lead off.

If he is to afraid to let your husband touch him, then I'd suggest letting him out then bringing him back in. Are you a renter? I ask because you said you can't use a dog door.

@WBL:

If I remember correctly you had posted before that Sol is afraid of your husband, is that correct? And how is it going working on him possibly getting over this?

Now if he's not afraid of your husband touching him, maybe you could send him out on a long light weight line, and then your husband could "reel" him in, shut the door, offer treat, and then take the lead off.

If he is to afraid to let your husband touch him, then I'd suggest letting him out then bringing him back in. Are you a renter? I ask because you said you can't use a dog door.

I didn't remember the bit about being afraid of the husband. That does change things some. In that case, he might well stay out far past his comfort level.

Andrea, re clicker training
I have just used this method with my b's.
I didn't take any formal classes, so I will stand corrected.
My thought was if the dog understood the clicker meant food, he would come to the sound.
That was all I was trying to do, get the dog into the house out of the weather.
But I am open to learning what is the correct way to use this tool.

@sharronhurlbut:

Andrea, re clicker training
I have just used this method with my b's.
I didn't take any formal classes, so I will stand corrected.
My thought was if the dog understood the clicker meant food, he would come to the sound.
That was all I was trying to do, get the dog into the house out of the weather.
But I am open to learning what is the correct way to use this tool.

No problem Sharron. It is a common misconception about clicker training. Because the result looks similar…but in reality the dog is learning something different than what you intended.

A clicker is supposed to be used as a "bridge"...something that marks the correct behavior, and bridges the time between when the desired behavior happens, and the reward is delivered. The clicker does become a "cue" (the event that preceeds the desired behavior) that the reward is coming....but if the click always occurs with a reward the dog will try to guess what made the click occur, and try to repeat the action. So in effect you are training the dog to do whatever it was doing when you clicked.

In a novice dog the click can act as a cue to pay attention (or come) because the dog assumes there will be a treat coming. But it is a backward way to go about training, because there is no way to distinguish a click cue to mean different things. Does that make sense? So, if you click to inspire your dog to 'come over here'...then how do you use your clicker when you are training 'sit' or 'ring the bell'.

I hope it doesn't sound like I am lecturing you, because that is not how I intend....but it is kind of a confusing bit of clicker training, and I find quite a few people using it incorrectly 🙂

I have trained all mine to come to a whistle. I blow the whistle in the house, and give a wonderful tiny treat, repeat several times, then go out and voila! Blow the whistle and they come running. And the sound of the whistle carries along way, further than my voice.

Anne in Tampa

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