Franc Basenji needs a better home!

  • I made the mistake of adopting a dog from a shelter less than 3 months ago: a male ,approx 1 yr old Tri-color Basenji they named Franc (which I pronounce "Frank") I always "owned" dogs and hadn't since my marriage broke up almost 5 years ago. At the suggestion of my 12 yr old son, we went to a shelter and found Franc. I knew nothing about the breed. He was NOT crate trained…and I have been unsuccessful doing so. He fights the crate. I have never kept a dog in a crate before but am very afraid of him biting electrical wires, etc and harming himself. The idea was also to teach my son responsibility. He has been coming over after school and sometimes again in the evening to take care of Franc. Today Franc bit him twice and his friend once - in fighting to stay out of the crate. I am not home much during the week and thought my son would give Franc enough attention. Franc is a pup - not sure of his age. neutered, ALL his shots, etc. He is super intelligent, affectionate, etc. But I need to find him a better home...especially for his sake. I signed an agreement with the shelter, never to give Franc to anyone but back to them...but I am not very happy with the thought of his unhappiness there for even a short time.
    Thank you for reading

  • Tony,

    I am so sorry to hear that this is not working out for you. You may want to try to contact the Basenji Rescue to see if they can help.

    Good luck,

  • I just filled out BRAT's form…thanks for wishing us luck

  • <_>

    I am kind of uncomfortable with this. You did sign an agreement with the shelter, you really need to contact them. It may be that if they understood that you are working with a rescue agency that would be sufficient.

    <<the idea="" was="" also="" to="" teach="" my="" son="" responsibility.="">>

    Unfortunately, this is a very poor reason to adopt a dog. Too bad the shelter didn't recognize that. Dogs shouldn't be expected to be life lessons for humans.

    I hope you have luck placing him with BRAT. In the meantime, try to find an alternative to the crate, like maybe and ex-pen or a dog proof room. Good luck.</the>_

  • I have contacted the shelter.
    "The idea was also to teach my son responsibility, not the primary idea at all

  • @TonyT:

    I have contacted the shelter.
    "The idea was also to teach my son responsibility, not the primary idea at all

    Glad to hear that. Good luck, I sure hope it works out for Franc 🙂

  • btw - The shelter agrees that working with BRAT will be better for Franc than anything they can do. thanks so much for your support….

  • It is so very thoughtful for you to try and find the right home for Franc. Hats off to you for this.

    I am not home much during the week and thought my son would give Franc enough attention. Franc is a pup - not sure of his age. neutered, ALL his shots, etc. He is super intelligent, affectionate, etc. But I need to find him a better home…especially for his sake.

    Certainly a limited time schedule, is likely the reason why Franc has behaved badly. I think Basenjis need LOTS of time with a their "pack" for excercise and proper training. Yes these B's are very smart and affectionate. It is nice you recognize the positive of Basenji traits. I am still in awe living with my now 10 mos old. I didn't know a thing about the breed either. I have learned training is top priority to be a good Basenji owner. The reward you get is weekly hours of incredible entertainment and devotion. Of course, all animals need us to afford time for them to be a member of the family (pack).

    I think Franc will make a great companion in the right home. I understand BRAT rescue does wonderful work for this prized breed. It would be great if you would let us know how things work out for you and Franc. Thank you for doing Franc right. 🙂

  • Basenjis a truly a great breed. I hate to see you giving up. I have to preface this by saying I too have kids (2 and 4) and believe they come first, but Franc doesn't sound like a threat with some correction. Are you sure about this being a mistake? How is Franc other than his issue with a crate? We have 3 Basenjis. I've been dealing with this issue for for a while and have received some great advice. Crate issues can be addressed.

    Our long time companion of 13 years HATED her crate. We got her at 1 1/2 and she wasn't use to being in a crate. She also exhibited signs of separation anxiety. After several months of working with the crate she became self destructive hurting herself and we put the crate away. I confined her to a bedroom when gone. After that she was fine – very happy, rarely got into anything. I too was worried about electrical cords so I spray them with Bitter Apple -- dogs hate that stuff. She was a very responsible Basenji and was never in a crate after. By age 4, her and our then 2 year old male, had full house access. I'm not suggesting you go there yet, BUT wanted to let you know there is hope if the crate doesn't work.

    In fact, we got a 9 month old 2 months ago who also HATES his crate. At first he would scream, scratch, and poop in his crate. We tried an open mesh wire type and he managed to hurt himself trying to get out -- back to the plastic shell type. A month after switching back, he seems to be getting better. Here are some tips I've learned:

    Make the crate a happy place by feeding him and giving him special treats in his crate. I've been give mine a pig ear or dried chicken in his crate when I leave -- and ONLY in his crate can he have those. I also place something with my scent in with him (old shirt I wore first or it could be a towel you slept on the night before, etc). I also turn on the TV or stereo to drown out neighborhood noises.

    Just as important as the crate environment is getting him in and out. His may not be something your 12 year old is ready for. If your son has to fight him to get him in the crate that is creating a bad situation. You may want to call your vet to get professional advice. There is a lot of information online as well. Dogs will always win a physical fight if they want but you can always win a physiological battle. Franc needs to respect your son and not challenge him. You need to remove ANY negative association with the crate. Your son could be becoming a negative association! You may want to have your son walk him, feed him, etc, but take the crating out of his tasks. Franc needs to learn your son is the leader and it sounds like he doesn't understand that yet. However, If he must crate him, make sure your son isn't fighting to put him in his crate. Try to get Franc to go to his crate on his own without force by using treats. You can start by tossing treats in there and not closing the door just to get him to go in at his own will (obviously without you leaving). Then try it by closing the door, but come back AS SOON AS he's done (before he starts to whine). Then extend that. Hopefully you can get him to go in without using force.

    Make your departure/return totally UNEVENTFUL. Put Franc in his crate quickly and walk away. When you return, do the same -- get him out and get him outside. DO NOT get him excited when you take him out (this is pretty hard to do at our house with a 4 year old!). Getting him excited teaches him being out of the crate is a good thing.

    If possible walk Franc before crating -- an exhausted tired Basenji won't put up such a fuss, but one who wants to run and play will for sure! Definitely make sure he does his business prior.

    Try using a DAP spray or plug-in. Comfort Zone makes a plug-in which I've been using (most large pet stores cary it). It calms dogs down. It's not cheap, but the company rep said they'd buy it back if it didn't work after 30 days. One of our dogs will fall asleep if near it! There is even a DAP collar you can get from your vet. The collar is supposed to be even more effective -- that was our next step if ours didn't start to accept his crate.

    And just as important as anything you do, NEVER EVER EVER use the crate as discipline -- remember its a HAPPY PLACE! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY.

    You may even try leaving Franc out for 10-15 minutes and see what he does. Many people have told me they found there's to be very responsible. We found that was the case with ours -- we just now have 2 males in the house that can't be trusted alone.

    Really, I think there is hope if you want to try to make Franc work and you do seem to care about him. Again, these are just tips I've learned over the years (ad A LOT over the last 2 months) -- anyone correct me if you disagree!! Hope that helps.

  • Thank you, thank you. I just now read your letter - great advice. And Franc, whose age we really don't know (one year??) has only 2 issues (unless he's just saving some for our future enjoyment) - the crate and the inability to stop rough play - that would be using his teeth to nip at us. it's all in play and I'm working on it - ignoring and stopping all play and attention whenever he uses his teeth, etc. But thank you again for your advice and encouragement

  • Oh Tony I too hope you don't give up on Franc. I'm sure he'll be a great pet for you & your son. I know the crate issues can be tough but we too had to train our dogs in their crates.

    I also put them in their crates even when I'm NOT leaving the house so that they know that they just need to time to be in their crates & that's that it's part of our day even if it's the weekend. I also think maybe he's afraid of the crate because he may have been harmed in one or was mistreated while in one. I give my dogs their nyla bones in their crates & I pet them & give them lots of love while they are in their crates with the door open.

    Now I almost have to beg Topaz to leave hers she likes it so much. She also steals toys & other fun things & hides them in her crate for later.

    C3 would always rather be out of his crate but he sits nicely in his crate he gets a treat. I never ever force him in there even if it makes me late for work I just try to convince him that he WANTS to be in there.

    Good luck Tony & Keep us updated!

  • Tony,

    I highly recommend reading "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell. Ms. Fennell's teaching methods have brought harmony to my resident 4 (including a Labrador/Catahoula Leopard Dog mix and 3 Basenjis). My first Basenji rescue, Chica, was so crate phobic that she destroyed 2 crates in her first two days with us. It has taken us over a year to get her comfortable with the crate. I can add little more to the excellent advice already given, except to wish you, your son and Franc all the best–whatever the outcome.

  • TonyT:
    I'm new to this site and have been searching for a Basenji to rescue. I've had pets all my life –- two were Basenji pups. I live alone in the mountains after being medically retired from Newport News Fire Department in Virginia. Searching for that one special Basenji that needs me like I need him. Hope you can help! Thanks, Rick Barnes

  • hi rick,

    have you applied with brat yet? it is also sometimes breeders get dogs back where their homes just didnt work out. im sure the right dog will come up. im glad you found this forum. welcome!

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