I am ready to get rid of my Basenji

  • I have a three year old tri colored female. This dog is making me insane. We are on our third set of carpets and I can't take it anymore. She has always been difficult with the house training issue but in the last year I am ready to find her a new home. She is so disobient and it appears she is spiteful. She will go to the bathroom anywhere in the house if she feels neglected even if she just went outside. She just started chewing the furniture and its like having a puppy all over again. Does anybody else have this problem? I deperately need help!:

  • I'll post this here too, since I originally answered on the "leaving the house" thread….

    Start off by checking her for physical problems that would cause a breakdown in house training. Primarily urinary tract infections, and Fanconi syndrome. If she is healthy, you will have to go back to treating her like a puppy, i.e. never let her out of your sight. She is either in a crate, or on a tether (leash or houseline) attached to you.

    As far as being disobedient...well, yeah...she is a basenji...see about 90% of the messages on this forum, and you will find a common thread

    Honestly, Basenjis are one of the *easiest breeds to housetrain..they really like to be clean. There are exceptions, of course...but if it seems like she is urinating (or defecating) in the house to get attention, then she probably is. That isn't really a housebreaking problem...it is a management problem. Did something in the household change, or could she perceive that something in her life changed?

    Good luck, these dogs can be really frustrating some times...I hope you will hang in there, and if you are really ready to find her a new home, please contact Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT).

  • Uh….are you guys really sick of seeing me post? I just realized I am way over the top for number of posts....

    I know there are many, many experienced basenji people who visit this forum...please post more....I am sure people here are sick of me answering questions!! I am going to try to sit on my hands for awhile, and let other people speak up 🙂

  • What Quercus said.

    I would certainly talk to your vet first. Is she going just a little or a lot? Does she drink water obsessively? Is she destructive when you're home? Is she still in a crate when you're gone?

    If she is emptying her bladder then chances are good its more of a psychological issue, BUT you still need to have her checked out. Certainly make sure she has an empty bladder before you leave. You may even have to monitor her water supply – which is why it is critical to have her tested for Fanconi. Drinking water obsessively is a warning sign. Whether she goes a little or a lot she could have separation anxiety issues. Does she chew because she's bored or mad? If she's bored, she needs more chew toys and exercise. If she's mad then you're back to separation issues. Search for "Franc". I replied to a similar post. She could also be picking up on your frustration. Make sure you spend quality time with her.

    I've heard of people who said they had "teenager" issues between 2-3. She may just be testing you. Go back to puppy 101 for a while -- especially as it gets cold and wet outside. Very importantly, as Quercus has coached me, crate crate crate. My 11 mo old HATE his (also a post on this) BUT I can't trust him loose just yet. He chewed through one completely so I had to get one with metal over the window. He's close to chewing through this one too so I use a lot of Bitter Apple on the chewed on area. I try to make it a happy place.

    Don't give up. I had a 1 1/2 year old who had separation issues and they worked out. She could be left loose all day and was my buddy for the rest of her 14 year life. Miss her a lot.

  • Here is my loooong reply to TonyT:


    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.

  • i just want to say to andrea, that i love reading your posts. you have great advice and articulate it well. please dont sit on your hands. maybe if i ever disagreed with you i would want you to sit on your hands, lol. but really, post away!

  • Thanks for all the advise. The main problem is we can't find a crate to keep her. We had the small plastic she actually broke through the plastic part. She can unhook and latch and bend metal. This dog has true super powers. So as far as making her crate not punnishment thats not gonna happen she hates being confined. She also is a pure breed with allergies and a very sensitive stomache which leaves all raw hide out of the picture. She hates toys and only chew the ends of pillows then throws up the pillow. As far as her bladder thats not her issue she poops on rugs hardwood floors anywhere when she feels like it. We can't even let other people watch her becaues she will go in their house. Yesterday we had her downstairs with my nephew and she pooped on the floor with him down there because she wasn't allowed upstairs. She has pooped in my car when I ran into the post office, in her crate, in everyroom in our house except the kitchen. Now the interesting part is she has been housed trained for 2 years before these behaviors started. She does it in spirts one month she will be an angel then the next two are a nightmare. She has been to the vet on reg. for all her allergie and dietary needs. I guess what it really comes down to is anybody in the connecticut/eastcoast willing to take on a project because I am exhausted physically and emotionally.

  • it sounds as if you've already given up on this girl. as andrea suggested, please contact BRAT for placement assistance. it's the best you do for your B at this point.

    best of luck to you, I hope your girl finds her place in this world.

  • @Ambered:

    i just want to say to andrea, that i love reading your posts. you have great advice and articulate it well. please dont sit on your hands. maybe if i ever disagreed with you i would want you to sit on your hands, lol. but really, post away!

    I FULLY agree with Ambered! We all appreciate your posts…honestly you have so much knowledge and I don't know what I would do without you in here. We need you here!!!!:eek:

    As for the tempermental Basenji...sounds like you have a teenager on your hands. Basenji's are quite smart and as soon as you let your guard down...they will find a way to rebel. I think you should start from scratch...Basenji 101. Don't look away for one moment. Make them realize that you are the pack leader, not them. Be firm and as we all say...this too shall pass :o
    Good luck!!!!
    Keep us posted:D

  • <>
    This doesn't sound behavioral to me. It sounds like she gets stressed at being left, and her biological reaction to being stressed is to defecate. Particularly if she has digestive problems, this is probably something that this dog can't help doing. If she is getting reprimanded when she deficates in the "wrong" place, it is probably making the behavior worse. I don't know if this is your scenario...but imagine this: Dog is with person, person leaves, dog starts to get nervous, poops; person comes back, yells at dog. Next time, person leaves, dog gets nervous, dog remembers 'last time person came back they were angry and yelled', dog gets more nervous, dog poops.
    Sounds like a vicious circle. If you are really interested in keeping her, you should look for a positive reinforcement trainer who has some experience with behavior modification. I will look for a contact and send you a private note.

  • Thanks for the support y'all. I honestly wasn't fishing for compliments…I just feel like I don't want anybody to say 'I won't bother posting, 'cause Andrea always does'. So much of what I know, I learned from being on boards like this...well, and my own basenjis!

    But, obviously, I couldn't sit on my hands for very long! Thanks for the kind words.

  • Hi Andrea,

    You are very intuitive, like the Dog Whisperer. Your posting helps, not only the particular poster, but those who are experiencing similar issues with their B. As Ambered mentioned:

    i love reading your posts. you have great advice and articulate it well. please dont sit on your hands. maybe if i ever disagreed with you i would want you to sit on your hands, lol. but really, post away!

    Ladydisaster - As Andrea indicated, try to look at your girl the way she may be experiencing this problem. Doggies don't like pooping in the house - She must be feeling really bad about something. If you try and go back to "puppy 101" and reestablish trust between each other - with lots of attention and patience - your girl will be your best buddy and make you proud.

    Wishing you all the best. 🙂

  • try nuetring her

  • ladyd, how did you acquire your basenji? a lot of the breeders that i know, will always take their dog back, and by purchasing from them you are contracted to do that. in other words, if i couldnt keep fender anymore, he would have to go back to mary k (platinum) i know this is also true for my mom's dogs (undercover) and jazzy (jumoke). i am sure there are many other breeders with the same idea. even if you are not contracted to do so, it would be a good idea to contact your breeder before you make any decisions on what to do with your girl.

  • i still think she is just trying to get attention but it may be becasue she needs a male basenji to do her buisness with this is why i recommend nuetering her, i remember lucy use to act just like how u explain her acting until she was about 2 1/2 when we neutered her. she became more relaxed and calm, and she is now more obiedient as well, so i would give that a try

  • How much exercise is she getting? Also, did all this start up again because of the move? It sounds like a lot of penned up energy that she getting out in a destructive way. I'm coming in late on this discussion but if you could post how much exercise she is getting and play time with other dogs.

    Sorry you're going thru this.


  • Okay, my turn! My turn! As we all live with semi-destructive B's evil grin, a couple of my thoughts for Ladydistaster:

    1. A tired dog is a good dog. If you are truly intent on working with this dog, start with regular walks or get her a physically demanding "job" to burn off the energy.

    2. Are you planning on breeding this dog? If the answer is "maybe" or "no", spay her immediately. Even if you think you want to breed her, take another moment and think if her bloodlines will improve the breed or just add more Basenji's to the mix. If she's not "star" quality or close to breed perfection, spay her immediately.

    3. Crate train her. There are metal crates out there that B's cannot get out of. Ours is put together with metal rods in all four corners. Just for assurance, we put a piece of plywood on the top, turned the kennel into a "side table" and put a table cloth over it. This makes it a dark den for the dog to feel comfortable in. Also, when crate training, remember to put the crate somewhere quiet and out of the way. B's are nervous nellies about virtually everything. If she's destructive with food/water dishes, keep them out of the crate and only offer them when you are home.

    4. B's love their food… especially people food. Keep a couple treats always handy in your pockets or in easily accessible dishes (easy for you to access, not for the dog or this defeats the purpose) and when you find her doing something right without you asking for it praise her and give her a treat.

    5. Work on basic commands again. See treat rules above, and start asking for good behavior. When you feed her, make her sit before placing the food dish on the floor. When you take her outside, make her sit calmly to put her leash on and while you open the door. Make sure you are always the first to go thru any doorway. Make her wait for your command for everything, but remember to reward her when she does it. Food is a great motivator at first; after a week or so, you can simply praise her. But you must do this all the time. B's are starved for praise and believe they should be rewarded just for their mere existance on this planet. (are we sure they're not part cat?)

    6. If you catch the dog doing something "bad" (ie eliminating in an inappropriate spot, eating underwear, etc) immediately say "no!" firmly and loud enough to get their attention, remove them from the "bad", and give them something else to occupy their minds (ie chew toy, treat, trip outside).

    This is all about management of the situation. They are like super-smart kids. They want to please you, but only if they see something good in it for them.

    Good luck, and if you don't feel you are up to the task, call BRAT.

  • Anyone know what happened to this dog?

  • My Basenji is 7 months old. We try to watch her every moment but sometimes she's so quick that she darts away and has chewed furniture in a split second. She has chew toys and bones, but when she gets bored with that, she looks for something else…our furniture, moldings, window sills, etc. Does anyone know if this is temporary? Her teeth don't look like baby teeth to me.

  • @Bambismom:

    My Basenji is 7 months old. We try to watch her every moment but sometimes she's so quick that she darts away and has chewed furniture in a split second. She has chew toys and bones, but when she gets bored with that, she looks for something else…our furniture, moldings, window sills, etc. Does anyone know if this is temporary? Her teeth don't look like baby teeth to me.

    At 7 months, most of the baby teeth are gone, but I believe they are still cutting some of the back teeth… that said, I don't think this is a teething problem.... sounds to me like this is an on going problem and you need to confine her when you can't watch her..... and you need to be consistent in your correction of her when you find her chewing something she should not... bored tells me she is trying to get your attention and she knows that by chewing on the "wrong" things, she gets attention even if negative....

    Is she getting enough exercise? Remember a tired Basenji is a good Basenji

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