Obedience Class

We started training class last night for Nexa and Leo. Nexa made sure everyone knew she was there and barooed about every 5 minutes for the entire hour we were there. She has been through beginner training once, but definitely needs a refresher. Leo decided to get snarky so he didn't get to mingle with the other dogs very much. He spent half the time trying to find a way into my treat pouch. A sense of humor is required to get bs through training. We were soooo happy to find a trainer that has experience with bs and owns/shows them.

After I got my basenji and found out that she needed a little more training than I could offer her I started calling some of the local dog training centers in my area. I called each and every one I could find in the phone book, and each one told me that I should save my money that they couldn't help me train my girl, to try looking for some tips online. I thought at that moment "oh my god what have I done"

I decided that I wanted to take EL D (5yr old retired champion show dog) to obedience class starting this month. I have had dogs (basenjis and others) before and have handled basic stuff myself but I felt a formal class would be worth it this time (EL D moved in last August). When I took EL D in to be evaluated (the instructor always evaluates the dogs before letting them into her classes) the instructor said she wouldn't normally accept a dog this old (!) but she put him through some paces and was impressed. Not only did she feel he would do well in the class (we'll see it starts next week) but she said he was the best basenji she had ever dealt with. Moral of my story - a good trainer will consider each dog individually.
That doesn't help you much but it says something about some of those trainers - but maybe someone on the forum from your area can suggest a trainer in the next town. I know the PetSmart and PetCo people in this area take all comers.

Just remeber with a Basenji-patience, patience, patience! And they WILL do what they want when they want. They are not 100% reliable. Shadow can do fabulous one moment then the next he'll get this evil look in his eye, look at me, and kind of snort as if to say-'No, I don't think I could possibly do that!'.

Basenjis aren't really that bad to train. They are harder to motivate, but with the right rewards (chicken, meatballs, liverwurst, etc) and positive training methods, training can be a lot of fun for the basenji AND owner. My guess is that some trainers don't like to deal with them because the trainer may have to think outside the box or get creative, but to me, that's 1/2 the fun.

If you haven't read this article, it's really good. And good to re-read from time to time.

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/difficult.html

@weeziesmom:

After I got my basenji and found out that she needed a little more training than I could offer her I started calling some of the local dog training centers in my area. I called each and every one I could find in the phone book, and each one told me that I should save my money that they couldn't help me train my girl, to try looking for some tips online. I thought at that moment "oh my god what have I done"

WHAT?? That is ridiculous! Was it because she was a Basenji? Or because she had some difficult training problem? Either way, I would always try to find a way to help a client. The only training problem that I occasionally say 'I don't think I can help you' is SEVERE aggression towards people…or serious dog/dog fighting in a home.

Basenjis can absolutely be trained!!!

Once they found out that she was a Basenji they said that they wouldn't take her, that they felt that they would be stealing my money. I have had my basenji for three years now. I can say that is has been a long three years, I have purchased training book after training book to help her out of her "issues" only to find myself not getting anywhere with her. Then I thought that I would take a go at it one more time. Only this time I researched basenjis. How they think, history of the breed, etc. I don't know if she just decided to start working with me. Or if she wanted to all along but I just didn't understand her. However this year has been the best year that I have had with her. I am not saying that she has lost all of her rough edges, just enough to make her the perfect dog in the chaos that I call a home 🙂 I wouldn't trade her in a million years, with or with out her bad habbits.

It is unfortunate that you had such an experience but it is one that some people I know have had also. A really good dog trainer is willing to be creative and think outside the box to answer the questions Why? and Why Not? for all breeds and individuals as the author of the article that Kim posted described.

Another good article can be found at http://www.dogscouts.com/PT-GoodChoices.asp

Basenjis can be great fun to train and work with but we have to be willing to answer Why? and Why not? and have a lot of patience. Sometimes it is like with little kids you think you answered Why? and they hit you with another Why?

In the last six months that I have been working with my dog I have came to a new understanding with her. I have learned that if you do not offer the chance to do something wrong they will learn what behavior is expected of them and they think that it is their choice to do it. With my basenji house breaking was the biggest issue that I had with her. She did other typical basenji things such as destroying the couch, chewing my kids toys, she was so bad with her potty issues she would go potty in her crate. I know that she probably won't play fetch on command or sit on command, however I think that it comes with the territory:) She does come on command and when we are outside she will stop and heel on command. And thankfully I have fully house trained her. I think that in the world of a basenji she has came along way. I also think that another thing that has helped along the way is the fact that I do have three young children and I did have to look at her as though I was looking at another child. What made me think that if I didn't give her a chance to fail she won't was the fact that if I gave my kids finger paints then walked out of the room. The chances that one of them would do something wrong is high. Although if I sat there and supervised them while they were painting they wouldn't have the chance to get into trouble. I took the same understanding with weezie, I would say in a week her behavior started to improve. Today she still has her ways of creating her own mischief such as instead of chewing the cousions of my couch she will crawl underneath if and shred the fabric under my couch, or some where I can't see, or attacking the dreaded sweeper, standing in my dust pile when I sweep my kitchen then kick the dust all over the floor again, she has her ways. But she is at the point now where the only time she is in the crate is when I am gone for any length of time. From where we started this year, I can't believe she is the same dog. All it takes is somebody with the drive not to give up, and practice, practice, practice

Ohhhhh, I haven't given up, it's just that Shadow is VERY smart. He will perform perfectly out of the obedience ring, then when he gets in there he knows you CANNOT pull, correct, steer, etc. and he takes FULL advantage. Take him for a walk outside of the ring he's as good as gold!

@nomrbddgs:

Ohhhhh, I haven't given up, it's just that Shadow is VERY smart. He will perform perfectly out of the obedience ring, then when he gets in there he knows you CANNOT pull, correct, steer, etc. and he takes FULL advantage. Take him for a walk outside of the ring he's as good as gold!

You know, Crystal was like that with Ann, but she stuck with it… and she is a RN and CD.. and 2 legs to her Advanced Rally... one nice thing about the Rally/OB cross over.. in Rally you can "talk" to them the entire time... and even in the Rally classes on lead for their RN you can "sort" of pop them from time to time... don't give up....

Unfortunately, you can't pop them in Canada, you get deductions for even a tight leash. But, I'll keep taking him and he'll get his titles in spite of himself.

You can't pop them in the US either and tight leash is also a deduction, I should know Nicky lost 17 points to tight leash deductions his first trial. He did squeaky by with a qualifying score of 72.

I know that I give a lot more treat rewards in practice then you feel comfortable doing but it really has worked for me. I do use variable reinforcment and they know they will not always get a treat but they also know that there is a high probability that there is a treat coming even if it may be delayed. I tell my camp kids that clicking and treating all those things you like during the week is money in the bank for the "big show" at the end of the week when they won't be doing all that click and treat and it will be highly distracting.

I think that is why I like the article about being "in the cookie zone" so much. I do see my dogs thinking about how they can be "in the cookie zone".

OK, so "pop" was the wrong word… but with Rally you have lots more opportunity to encourage your dog then in regular Obedience. But bottom line is... if you stick with it... Obedience can be fun... and for some, even if you never compete, just the training is rewarding

@nomrbddgs:

Just remeber with a Basenji-patience, patience, patience! And they WILL do what they want when they want. They are not 100% reliable. Shadow can do fabulous one moment then the next he'll get this evil look in his eye, look at me, and kind of snort as if to say-'No, I don't think I could possibly do that!'.

Jazzy, who has been sitting on command w/no questions asked nor treat required for 2.5 yrs at least, has decided in the last two weeks that she has no idea what that word means even when a treat is dangling over her head.
She just stands there and looks at me like, "what? WHAT?" 😕

All three of my dogs know that before they can enter the main house from "their room" - it's actually a little "mud room" entry to our back door – they have to sit. The room has just a half door, so I can look over it at them, they sit, the door opens. Easy, huh?
You'd think. Now the other two sit and stare {Gypsy also whines}, then they both jump up, pace, sit.... while Jazzy STANDS there wondering why I'm not opening the door -- even when I have a treat.:mad:

I think I need to start letting the other two in as soon as they sit, so they don't lose the connection, and block her from getting in until she sits.

Trainable? sure. And re-trainable, re-trainable, re-trainable. :rolleyes:

Has your body language changed or the "picture" changed when you now ask for the sit before you enter the house? Dogs do not generalize well so when things change like maybe with warm winter clothes on a subtle body signal you were giving is now hidden by the clothes, the dog no longer knows what you are asking. My instructor is really good about cluing us in to the subtle body language cues we inadvertently give our dogs for various commands. When you start to become more aware of them it really is amazing how much information we give our dogs without realizing it, like a subtle lean in or a head tilt. Dogs are way more visual then we are so hand cues and body language tend to be what they rely on more than pure voice.

@lvoss:

Has your body language changed or the "picture" changed when you now ask for the sit before you enter the house? Dogs do not generalize well so when things change like maybe with warm winter clothes on a subtle body signal you were giving is now hidden by the clothes, the dog no longer knows what you are asking. My instructor is really good about cluing us in to the subtle body language cues we inadvertently give our dogs for various commands. When you start to become more aware of them it really is amazing how much information we give our dogs without realizing it, like a subtle lean in or a head tilt. Dogs are way more visual then we are so hand cues and body language tend to be what they rely on more than pure voice.

Hmmm, I don't think so. She's always been really good about it no matter what.

One physical signal that has ALWAYS worked with her was for me to hold up one finger – I think it started because when she was a pup I tended to hold up her treat between my thumb and middle finger, leaving my forefinger kind of pointing up. Then I noticed that she sat when I held up one finger. 😃
So, I typically do that, but she's not responding effectively to that either.

I'll have to give more thought to what subtle signals I'm giving or failing to give.
But I think that a couple of days of focused training may help a lot too. I've been very lazy about that cuz she was always so good and never "needed" it..... 'til now {but we know that is a people problem, not a Basenji problem :rolleyes:

Oh, I definitely like rally so much more than regular obedience for the basenji's. We have a scoring here out of 200-you have to get at least 170 for a pass. I love working with the B's because you just never know. That's why I just take it as it comes-I provide comic relief with Shadow. I hate to overload Shadow with treats because he has a tendency to gain weight quickly, but it looks like I might have to to get him to do what I want to. I'll try it out, thanks Lisa.

The great thing about a treat like Natural Balance is that you can cut the treats really small and since it is a dog food, it just replaces a meal or part of a meal for days where I use a lot. When I use 300 peck method for building duration, I cut the treats up really, really small because I know I am going to be doing a lot of clicking and treating. So I just adjust treat size as needed.

That is what Ann uses too, the Natural Balance rolls cut into tiny pieces

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