The pooch is tiring us out…

Hello all,

We are having a rough few weeks with our Charlie. He is almost 7 months old now. He is nipping again a lot - jumping up and grabbing/biting whatever body part he can get a hold of - and it hurts! He has about 5-10 episodes a day. He had done this as a younger pup, but learned not to once we introduced him to the water bottle. Now the water bottle is less 'persuasive'. We continue to use the other anti-nipping techniques you all have talked about in other threads. But Charlie is a persistent little bugger!!!

Another issue is that he'll tolerate being left alone when he's napping, but if we leave him when he's more awake, he will break open or climb over the baby gate that keeps him in his puppy-proofed room. Then we see him looking at us through the patio door - so we go back in, put him back in his room, tighten the baby gate, and head out again. Last week, we had to do this one evening, and came home to him sitting in a pile of fluff and foam that was once his doggy bed. He hasn't been destructive with our furniture, but I'm beginning to worry about his 'potential'. We're starting to crate train him.

Overall, it feels like he has more energy than we can handle. It's just the two of us (DH and me) - I'm home most of the day, but can't entertain him 24/7. We walk him for about an hour a day. We play with him and train him at home. But he doesn't have regular access to other dogs - just the doggy park once a week.

I guess my question is: Will he get calmer and less demanding as he gets older? If so, when do pups typically start to mellow out? Or does he need a more stimulating environment, with more people (playmates) around, and possibly other dogs?

Thanks…

@Puji:

Hello all,

We are having a rough few weeks with our Charlie. He is almost 7 months old now. He is nipping again a lot - jumping up and grabbing/biting whatever body part he can get a hold of - and it hurts! He has about 5-10 episodes a day. He had done this as a younger pup, but learned not to once we introduced him to the water bottle. Now the water bottle is less 'persuasive'. We continue to use the other anti-nipping techniques you all have talked about in other threads. But Charlie is a persistent little bugger!!!

Another issue is that he'll tolerate being left alone when he's napping, but if we leave him when he's more awake, he will break open or climb over the baby gate that keeps him in his puppy-proofed room. Then we see him looking at us through the patio door - so we go back in, put him back in his room, tighten the baby gate, and head out again. Last week, we had to do this one evening, and came home to him sitting in a pile of fluff and foam that was once his doggy bed. He hasn't been destructive with our furniture, but I'm beginning to worry about his 'potential'. We're starting to crate train him.

Overall, it feels like he has more energy than we can handle. It's just the two of us (DH and me) - I'm home most of the day, but can't entertain him 24/7. We walk him for about an hour a day. We play with him and train him at home. But he doesn't have regular access to other dogs - just the doggy park once a week.

I guess my question is: Will he get calmer and less demanding as he gets older? If so, when do pups typically start to mellow out? Or does he need a more stimulating environment, with more people (playmates) around, and possibly other dogs?

Thanks…

Because Keoki also has issues with being left during the day, we now put his crate inside a small ex-pen with a top. There's no way he can get out.
And we replace his night-time dog bed w/paper towels.

He's almost a year old, and for the last few weeks when we lock him up during the day he has not been screaming when we walk away, and the paper towels in his crate have been flattened, not torn to tiny pieces.

I think it's a matter of time and maturity, and realizing that he won't die if we're not home.

If you can't use an ex-pen, maybe a taller gate or one gate on top of the other for those times. And do remove his bed and replace it with cheap paper towels during those time when he's likely to flip out.

:rolleyes: I think in my gallery I have a photo or two of what was left of Gypsy's bed when Keoki got a hold of the corner of it through the ex-pen.
And once I tried setting his and Jazzy's night time beds on top of the ex-pen, and the little booger shredded them through the little squares of the pen-top. I learned to keep all things shreddable very clear of the pen! 😃

As far as nipping, Keoki does that a bit w/the kids esp. when he wants to play. He'll jump up and grab at their clothes. It can be intimidating when he can stand and put his paws on your shoulder! The kids are learning to defend themselves now rather than yell for me or run :rolleyes: . Now they will stop and stand as tall as they can and say, "NO", then turn around. Sometimes they have to push him down. Sometimes he'll jump on their back once they turn, so they again will say, "NO", turn and take a step away.
It's a slow process with him, but he's so much better now.

Patience in all things, especially when you least feel it!

Good luck. They can exhaust you sometimes, but they are worth it!

Thanks, JazzysMom. Things have gotten better over the past week or so. When I posted my last message, we were not having a good few days, and it all just felt like too much. Anyway, I decided that perhaps the pooch just needs more stimulation, so I started taking him to the pet store with me, taking him out for a car ride here and there, trying to add some variety and novelty into his usual routine, and he seems to be less hyper and more content. So things are looking up 🙂

Oh yeah - and no more foam-filled beds for Charlie 🙂

Yea, I have been where you are. Sahara use to jump and catch out shirts and pull, still does sometimes but is much better. She use to nip me also to get attention, and paw at my hands. She does not do either one anymore, I started telling her No, Sit and be a good girl. She would sit and I would say, "Good Girl, Sahara", and I would scratch her back. They are more active when they are pups, Sahara calmed down after l yr. and I had her spaded. Has Charlie been fixed?

Basenji Mix

I would also make sure Charlie has enough chew toys. When you leave, fill a Kong with some of her kibble and seal the end with some cream cheese. I found that sometimes, Duke was out of his chewy's. When he was a puppy, I spent lots of cash on knotted ropes (makes a mess - but he really enjoyed them), raw hides-with supervision, stuffed toys-cheap ones so he can unstuff them-another mess, but hey - they need the stimulation for something to chew and do. I noticed his behavior changing into nipping and destruction when the toys and chewies were gone. He didn't much like the Nylabone. So - I'd have to go and spend some more on new stuff. I would only give him one or two at a time though and switch them out after a few days. He is 2 yrs old now - the puppy behavior kind of went away after he was about a year old. Then we turned around and got another puppy. We are gluttons for punishment. LOL But the puppy, Daisy is wonderful - the two of them are 2 peas in a pod.

This is typical behavior at this age. I found obedience training helped by using a lot of energy in the basenji but also by teaching me how to communicate what I wanted. It will get better!

@Mantis:

This is typical behavior at this age. I found obedience training helped by using a lot of energy in the basenji but also by teaching me how to communicate what I wanted. It will get better!

I agree totally.

Now I know that this sounds like the stupidest thing you could do, but in all honesty, a second basenji can really make things easier.:D

Vegas

Have you had him neutered yet? And really crate training will be a big help along with more stimulation…. as with Basenjis, all dogs are the same, a tired dog is a good dog. And really they don't just calm down at a certain age, all depends on the dog itself

I had to put screws through my gate to keep Tuck from pushing it out of the door frame it was in. The gate is designed with rubber 'feet' (that push agains the door frame) but the door makes up part of the framing across the top (it doesn't have a permanant crossbar because it's a walk-through gate). If you tighten it too much, it binds the door and gets all out of whack. When tightened as much as it allows, Tucker could eventually ram it enough times to knock a corner loose. So, yeah, I screwed the damn thing to the wall… 🙂 It's a 36" high gate, which he can jump pretty easily, but he's not a jumper, so it works for me.

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