1st days at home with our new boy - have ??'s

  • Hello again. I wanted to thank all who gave me info on my last post and the links which I did research. Appreciate it!

    Backstory - we were told by our vet that there was a male Basenji who had showed up at a local farm family's house 1 1/2 months ago. Husband said don't feed but wife took pity and has been giving him table scraps. They have fallen for this beautiful guy and would have let him stay on the farm as an outside dog but he "barks" at the back door all the time and has recently added killing the neighboring farms chickens. He has wore out his welcome. I asked her directly what their plans were for him if I did not take him. All she would say was that he could not be here - I knew what that meant. They had tried finding him a new home but no takers. I decided he had to be my project.

    I drove to this family's house armed with a bunch of treats/ a slip lead/ crate etc. He would not come to me. I was about to leave when the husband came home and got him for me and placed him in the car. I drove to the next town over to get him scanned for a microchip - no luck. Then drove back to go see our vet. Gave him the royal treatment - fecal/blood tests and vaccinations. This brave guy never made a peep. Such a calm boy.

    Took him home and had to Frontline him - lots of fleas. Then brought out our 4 month old female pit bull mix to meet him - no problem except for her really. She is a rather playful as most 4 month olds are! By the way - vet guesses his age at 4 years old - some teeth are not in good shape - since we know nothing of his past it is hard to tell. He seems to have very good house manners so far. No potty - spraying - nothing. That makes me very happy. He came to me when I was sitting on the couch and kind of looked at the couch then back to me as if asking - can I? I patted the couch and said come on boy and he looked so happy. He laid on his back and scooched all around as if to show how happy he was. So cute. I let him on the bed that evening and he cradled right up to me. Got hot when hubby came to bed though and I had put a blanket down on the floor down beside me and a rawhide chew so he would know that he was welcome to lie there. I kept waking up during the night to make sure he was not wandering the house but he never moved.

    Took the dogs on a 1 1/2 hour walk this morning - both very tired when we returned. He has been nice and calm all day. My problem - he is not crate trained. When I take my son to school in the morning/take a shower/leave for work they need to be crated. It is not for long - even for work - because my husband comes home about an hour after I have left to go to work. He does not go willingly. I put chews, toys, and give a treat to them both. My baby girl has been trained for this - say "go to bed" and she does. No problem. How do you do this on a 33 pound boy who does not want to be in there? He does not make any sounds - just resists. I had to put the slip lead on him and get him in there. Since he has been table fed for the past 1 1/2 months he is not eating much dog food but I suppose that will fix itself when he gets hungry enough. I have not found anything that he particularly likes treatwise - any suggestions? I have used pupperoni/gooberliscious(peanut butter flavored dog treat)/ things of that nature.

    Another problem - he has not been properly trained to walk. He is fine with the leash on him - but he pulls - and he is STRONG/ he keeps crossing into my path a lot!! where I feel as if I will trip. I have only dealt with puppies - never have taken on an adult dog with bad habits. Any suggestions on dealing with these problems would be appreciated and any other advice you have to pass onto a lady who is not prepared for this situation but was not willing to let this guy be put down without giving it a try. His name is Barkley by the way and we all are falling for this guy.


  • If this were my B, I would take him on a walk with just the two of us until he gets the picture of how to walk with a lease. I prefer the halters for walking that have the hook up on the back, they do not pull with these. It is called Easy Walk, by Gentle Leader I believe, I got mine at Pet Smart. As far as the food, you are right, it will take time for him to adjust to dog food again, but if he is hungry enough he will eat eventually. I give my baby Purina Beneful, it has lots of veggies, and I put Pedigree Choice Cuts on the top, just enough to wet the dry food. I have been told that male B's should weigh around 25 lbs. and female 22lbs. Those table scrapes have fattened him up, he will come around I am sure. I am not surprised that you are falling for him, B's are the most loving dogs I have seen. My Sahara loves to snuggle all the time, and has to touch us in some manner when she sleeps. About the crate, just keep doing what you are doing, when she realizes that it will be for a short period she will relent. Maybe you could find her a special stuffed toy to keep her company, I also leave the tv on for my baby, so she won't get lonely. I know I have spoiled my B, but what she gives me back is worth a little spoiling. 😃

  • regarding the crate issue - I'd take it slow, pretend this new dog IS a puppy, and introduce the crate the same way you did w/ your other dog. In the meantime, you can try to gate him into a room if possible, to somewhat contain him. Like I said, if possible, gate into the kitchen (dog proofed of course!), and leave his crate in there too - door open. He may opt to go in by himself. when you are home, lure him in w/ a SUPER good treat - try chicken, beef, liver pieces or a filled KONG. close crate door for a min. or 2, praise & reward! gradually increase time in crate, and introduce a command for it. Just like you say "go to bed" for the other dog. I think the crating will just take time.

    food… Merrick makes some really GREAT canned food (very good ingredients), that look (and smell) like real people food. I feed my dog Solid Gold kibble w/ a few scoops of Merricks on top, and he devours it. You'll probably have good luck w/ Merrick since it does resemble people food. (Merrick also makes dry kibble and many treats & chews too)

    Treats - I use SMALL bits of things like cheese, chicken, beef, liver, etc... and even fill my dog's KONG with things like peanut butter, fat free yogurt, or low fat cream cheese. in moderation of course.

    I think good leash manners will come with time too - just keep at it, sounds like your on the right track. reward & praise for not pulling, and stop walking when he pulls. be a "post". when he realizes pulling = stopping, he should give up (takes time though). the stop & go method will probably only work when walking your new B by himself.

  • I am so glad he is fitting in!! He sounds like a doll! As far as the walking, I would try a Gentle Leader, or a Sensible Harness (where the leash attaches at the chest). He probably hasn't had much experience walking on leash, or whoever had him before let him set some bad habits. One of the secrets of polite walking is NEVER let the dog pull you. If he pulls you stop. Hard to do for long periods of time, and that's why I suggest a walking aide (head collar or harness) while you are training polite walking…they actually keep the dog from being able to pull. If you use a body harness, try to find one where the leash attaches at the chest, not the back, because it gives the dog less leverage.

    Good luck! I am so happy that this boy is in from the cold!

  • Contratulations! I am so happy for Barkley to have a comfy home. On the walking issue - I opened a Thread and got lots of helpful advice on walking with my B. The thread is under:

    Loose Leash Training a Basenji

    I'll bet there is loads of tips & techniques for you as I have been successful with it.

    Also, we are enrolled and are attending an Obedience Training class at Pet Smart in my area. The instructor has been so helpful with my questions on other training issues that she's discussed with me after class as well - which is another helpful resource.

    Best wishes and lots of luck training Barkley. He sounds like he will try very hard to please you. Oh - and practice with the crate training by giving him a treat each and every time you want him to be in his crate. In fact, if you can, make it the only time he gets a treat (if possible - I'll bet it won't take long. These B's are pretty smart, but it'll seem almost impossible when you 1st start doing it.)

  • Renee' - maybe another suggestion . . . Maybe it's a good idea to prioritize and train the most important thing first and train one thing a week. It is a stressful transition for Barkley and his new family the first week home.

  • Renee, no new suggestions here, sounds like you have gotten some great advice already. I had to put my basenji/whippet mix in a gentle lead that goes over her nose. That is the ONLY thing so far that she hasn't pulled on while walking. I like it, she doesn't. She is strong too… and weights about 32 lbs, since she is mix. My Hollie has slept in the bed since the first night and seems to prefer the bed to the floor. You are lucky yours stays in the floor. Good luck and bless you for taking a wonderful dog and welcoming it into your home. Please keep us updated and post some pics when you can.

  • You all have been so helpful and I do appreciate it. We will be making a trip to Pet Smart to get Barkley set up for polite walking. I had used the gentle leader for my girl Molly who was a puller too. It made a world of difference for me at least ! 🙂

    He was driving me insane this morning. Kept going to the back door and putting front paws on the doorknob and rattling it a bit. I repeatedly took him out to the yard (in pj's no less!) - not used to having to take my dogs out. The yard is fenced and before we just open the back door and they did their business and would come back in. I can't do that with Barkley so out we both go. Many, many times. He would not do anything when we got out there though. I was trying to get my son ready for school on top of it. Finally I had enough and I got fully dressed and told my son we were going on a quick walk because he would go to the gate every time we went out. I just thought he was really looking forward to the walk we take after I take my boy to school. So off we go, - next yard over he had the biggest poo ever - yuck! He just did not want to go in his yard I guess - never had dealt with that before so I did not have a clue what he was trying to tell me poor little guy! It was quite funny. I had to go back to the neighbors yard with another bag - one was not enough to clean up that mess! Must have been holding it for a while.

    I am wanting to give him a bath since he has been outside for so long but with all this new stuff thrown at him all at once I have been thinking that maybe I shouldn't. Any great advice for that? From what I read it may be quite an adventure. He isn't dirty - and does not smell which is just flabbergasting considering he has been living on a cow farm!

    I will let you know how he is doing - he is getting neutered Tuesday - I bet he won't be too happy with us - but I really feel it is necessary.

    Husband just called me at work and told me that Barkley was cuddling with him and gave him his 1st kiss - he is starting to warm up !! 😃


  • I can understand the need to give him a bath. For me, I didn't want to be the bad guy in his eyes when he was a pup and me new to him, so I took him to a pet salon. (Yes - if he gets spoiled, then so do I for this job.) They have the right equipment to keep him in the tub, clean ears and clip toe nails. It cost me $25 including tip . . . but at least I didn't have to do it and he was so happy to see me when I picked him up. I felt like his hero.

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