New Basenji arriving Saturday and a few questions

Hello all, this is my first post so here goes…

My wife and I will be picking up our new family member this Saturday and this being our first puppy, let alone our first Basenji, I had a few questions.

When she arrives she will be about 10 weeks old. We plan on keeping her in the house and crate training her. We live in a condo on the third floor but have lots of room to roam and play once we get down stairs. Now for the questions.

#1- As I mentioned before we would like to crate train her but there will be times when she will be home alone for 6+ hours. We know this is not ideal and we are going to try to get home at lunch as much as possible but inevitably there will come that day when that day it is just not an option. We also know that a puppy does not have the bladder control for that length of time so we are considering puppy proofing the kitchen, placing her crate, with the door open, in the kitchen and using a baby gate to stop her from roaming the entire condo. As she gets older she may then be able to hold it a little longer and will be able to stay in her crate. For a place to relieve herself we were going to purchase a tray with a little sod for her to use. What are your thoughts on this approach?

#2- We also were hoping to use the same sod approach on our balcony for the late middle of the night poddy trips. Do you think this will work? Is this a better idea than "puppy pads"?

We are really excited about her arrival. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Instead of a crate, you might want to try setting up and xpen. You can put the crate inside the xpen and then a litter box/pee pads in a different spot in the pen giving her a place to potty if need and a clean place to play/sleep. You will need to find a way to secure it, as they can push on it and walk it around, but is up against a wall you can make an attachment. You also want a top on the pen, as Basenjis are great climbers… and if you are considering blocking off the kitchen, I can honestly say, I have never been able to keep a B contained with a baby gate... too easy to climb.. if you can you should put in a real gate... we made our own and they are 4 ft high with vertical "bars" and nothing that they can get a "foot hold" on to climb over.

congrats on your "almost" new puppy.... who are you getting your puppy from?

Thanks for the advice. I was a bit worried about her being able to climb/ hop over the gate; I had read that they are great climbers. I will have to create something better than a baby gate like you suggested. I will also look into the xpen. We found our B on a site called puppyfind. There seemed to be a lot of breeders there and we called a few, asked questions, and finally settled on one in Texas (Carrol Woods). We tried looking for a rescue dog here in San Diego but didn't find anything. We did some research online, discovered the Basenji, did a whole lot more research and settled on our little girl.

I must comment on the kitchen gate, as Medjai is fine with most baby gates, but he has also jumped over 4 feet, so making a gate that tall won't keep him if he really wants through.

You'll have all sorts of new fun stories now that you have gotten a new Basenji/corn chip.

By the time my puppies are old enough to go - they have figured out how to go over the baby gate. You might want to consider dog litter. I have not tried it but I know that others have used in as you were thinking quite effectively. It is not sand but more compressed paper pellets.

Not familiar with Carrol Woods in TX - have you documentation on parents fanconi test - that is quite important.

I have used a litterbox for puppies and it has worked well. They make doggie litterboxes but you can just buy a big kitty one or some other tray of similar size to save money. And for the bedding I use wood pellets, get them from a farm store. They are made for bedding horse stalls, or you can get the pine pellets made for wood stoves. You can probably use some of the ones made for cats that are pelleted recycled paper too. Once the puppies are a bit older and aren't so paper shredding prone, I just line the litterbox with newspaper and it makes it easier than having stray pellets getting kicked around the house. They are not fun to step on barefoot! lol

Like Pat suggested, I would get an xpen, and a top for it, then set up a nice crate or bed in one corner and the litterbox in another. You can try the pee pads too, but I find mine liked to just shred them. 🙂 Gating off the kitchen would best be left for a more trustworthy older pup/adult. Like others have said they are still good escape artists and kitchen cupboards are so tempting to gnaw on. You can do a lot to puppy proof the room, but there is still a lot of damage they can do that you probably don't want to see. lol Best to confine them in a more chew friendly area during those teething months.

Good luck with your new baby, I hope she comes from happy, healthy, well tested parents.

Thanks for all the support. In regards to the Fanconi, one of the many questions we asked was about Fanconi and she told us that both parents were clear. I have not personally seen the documentation though.

We have been looking into the exercise pen. Most of the ones we've seen have eight panels that are 24" wide (an octagon). That encloses about 15 square feet. Is that enough space? Also there were several heights, 24, 30, 36", etc. What height would you recommend? I was thinking the 36".

What type of dog food would your recommend? I have heard Aveeno is a good brand.

You can easily verify if the parents have been tested yourself as long as the breeder has provided you with their registered names which they should have. Fanconi is a heartbreaking disease, please go to the OFA website and verify that the parents are clear.

http://www.offa.org

I think maybe you are thinking of Evo since Aveeno makes soap. Evo is a good brand of grain free kibble.

If you have a top - you can get buy with a 36 otherwise - I bet if you asked how tall fences are on this list you would be hard pressed to find anyone with less than 5 feet tall. My xpens are 5 ft AND a top.

@c-bus:

What type of dog food would your recommend? I have heard Aveeno is a good brand.

I feed both of mine Evo but I didn't start my boy on it til he was almost 1. I was concerned about the protein levels b/c www.dogfoodanalysis.com said it might be a little high for a puppy's kidneys. As dog foods go, it has a lot of protein even for an adult.

@kiroja:

I have used a litterbox for puppies and it has worked well. They make doggie litterboxes but you can just buy a big kitty one or some other tray of similar size to save money. And for the bedding I use wood pellets, get them from a farm store. They are made for bedding horse stalls, or you can get the pine pellets made for wood stoves. You can probably use some of the ones made for cats that are pelleted recycled paper too. Once the puppies are a bit older and aren't so paper shredding prone, I just line the litterbox with newspaper and it makes it easier than having stray pellets getting kicked around the house. They are not fun to step on barefoot!.

Hey C-Bus…welcome & congrats on your new pup. Ruby's breeder has used both the paper pellet litter and wood shavings in cat litter boxes for their puppies. In the local pet store, the paper pellet kitty litter is called "Yesterday's News". And the wood shavings can be found at Tractor Supply called "Equine Pine". The Equine Pine route is definitely the cheapest, plus it makes the inside of the house smell nice...wood shavings.

Shouldn't a puppy have puppy food?
I don't know, that is why I am asking

@sharronhurlbut:

Shouldn't a puppy have puppy food?
I don't know, that is why I am asking

The biggest difference between adult formulas and puppy formulas are usually protein and fat contents. Puppies don't neccessarily need a puppy food and there are some people who believe that it is better not to feed puppy foods. I have used a puppy formula for my first two litters because they burned lots of calories and the puppy foods usually are high calorie. This litter had Merrick's BG for breakfast and raw medallions for dinner and have done just as well.

If anyone is looking for a grain free puppy food, I recently discovered that Orijen makes one.

@lvoss:

You can easily verify if the parents have been tested yourself as long as the breeder has provided you with their registered names which they should have. Fanconi is a heartbreaking disease, please go to the OFA website and verify that the parents are clear.

http://www.offa.org

Yes, it is easy to check health records. And you can also use their registration numbers to seach the records.

Re, puppy food.
Thanks lvoss for this info.

Well because the only flight without a long layover is tomorrow, it looks like I will be taking off of work and picking up our new lady tomorrow morning. 😃

Another question. I will be attempting to crate train her, I have a fairly large crate that was given to me and I am going to get dividers; how small should I make it?

Thanks again for all the help.

A great place to go for information on what to feed your dog is the Whole Dog Journal. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/

Every year they do a lovely article on food. They give you great tips on how to read labels and what things to watch out for. You can then make an informed decision on what you feel comfortable feeding your dogs. At the end of the article they have a listing of all the brands and varieties of dog food that they deem "acceptable." There's quite a variety from the economical choice of Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, to some of the high end foods like Evo. It is WELL worth the read and a great tool to have when making a trip to the pet store. I usually print out the list for my puppy buyers and ask them to at least please feed something that is on the list, unless they'd love to go raw. 🙂

You can purchase the article from their website, it is $10. Better yet, get a subscription to the magazine! It's really nicely done with a good holistic attitude and they have nice positive training and behavioral articles.

Looks like they JUST came out with 2009's dry food review, there's a link to the article on the home page where you can go, and then after a quick intro blurb you can click on "purchase selection" to then download the whole thing.

I have been told by my breeder & have read that the best way to avoid them using their crate for a bathroom is to allow enough space for the puppy to stand & turn around. If given too much more space, she will ultimately make a potty corner & it is extremely difficult to get a dog to stop going in their crate once they have begun. Hope that helps!

Be sure to post pictures of the new baby! We loooooove pictures around here 😉

I'm heeding everyone's advice about getting a top for my exercise pen. What type of top do you recommend? I saw online several options, a rigid metal top and a netting type. I like the security of the rigid metal top but if the netting type will work then I would prefer to be able to change the shape of the pen. Have any of you had experience with these?

Oh, and the update, her plane was delayed so she won't be here until around 4 pacific standard time. We can't wait.

Also, I was reading a book on Basenjis and it recommended not playing with the new pup too much early on and allowing it to get used to the idea of its crate and down time. What are your thoughts?

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