Bad B

Hi -

Is there an age when a basenji misbehaves more than usual? My female, Trinity - app. 10 mos. - has begun gnawing on the corner of a baseboard in our house. Not only do I not want her to ingest that stuff, I don't want the baseboard to look gnawed on! We have NEVER had issues with her chewing on ANYTHING in the house she wasn't supposed to (from 8 wks on) - other than our rug with tassles on the ends - but that's a given! Anyway, I put her in crate timeout & sprayed some bitter spray on the corner (once again) & let her out a few minutes later, only to watch her march directly to the baseboard corner & proceed to lick the bitter spray! So, I repeated the time-out session & when I let her out, she circled around for a minute, looked at me, then walked right over to the corner, turned her butt to me, & began to lick again. She challenges me on a regular basis, which I don't mind, but I do mind her complete defiance. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

Basenji Mix

Normal behavior. Daisy used to chew on baseboard shoe molding and chewed a couple spindles on the staircase when a puppy. I realized that she needed a new supply of chew toys. (the other ones were destroyed) So she was redirected to the new chewys of her own and I praised her when she chewed them. Also - Bitter Apple spray didn't work well for Daisy either - A tip I received here was to smear Vick's vapor rub on the wood. It worked!

Oh totally normal. My question is-why hasen't she chewed on something else already?? LOL Mine will look you in the eye and chew on something and give you a second look that says-Aren't I cute? IMO time outs rarely work with Basenji's. They just don't care.

@RedVelvetLynx:

Hi -

Is there an age when a basenji misbehaves more than usual? My female, Trinity - app. 10 mos. - has begun gnawing on the corner of a baseboard in our house. Not only do I not want her to ingest that stuff, I don't want the baseboard to look gnawed on! We have NEVER had issues with her chewing on ANYTHING in the house she wasn't supposed to (from 8 wks on) - other than our rug with tassles on the ends - but that's a given! Anyway, I put her in crate timeout & spayed some bitter spray on the corner (once again) & let her out a few minutes later, only to watch her march directly to the baseboard corner & proceed to lick the bitter spray! So, I repeated the time-out session & when I let her out, she circled around for a minute, looked at me, then walked right over to the corner, turned her butt to me, & began to lick again. She challenges me on a regular basis, which I don't mind, but I do mind her complete defiance. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

Bitter Apple does not always work. Tanza suggested to me that Tea Tree oil would keep our Basenji from licking and biting at his stitches after he was Neutered so you might try some of that the molding and see if that works.

In addition to this I would go to Butcher or the grocery store meat dept and see if you can purchase some Marrow Bone for your Basenji to Chew on. It is possible there could be a baby tooth or something that still has not fallen out so I would check for that first, but some Basenji's are just chewer's and remain chewer's all their lives. So its best to have something like a Marrow Bone which is very cheap to buy from the Butcher as well as many types or Rope Chew and other toys he knows is ok to chew when he gets in the mood. Since the dog is giving you the butt, it sounds like the behavior is almost intentional and defiant and it makes me wonder if your dog is trying to tell you something. Miranda suggests that another way you can discourage the behavior is to get a squirt gun, tell the dog no when you see the behavior and squirt your dog one time. If the behavior repeats, then correct and squirt again. We have found this to be very effective at times but do not overdo or abuse it.

Jason

Thanks for all of the input. Jason, I think you're right - she is trying to tell me something - I'm pretty sure she is simply wanting attention. I've thought about it, & every time I see her gnawing, I get excited & maybe she thinks it's a game? I had just caught her doing this again & shoved the nearest toy, which happened to be a Nylabone, in her mouth. She tried once more, so I again stuck the Nylabone in her mouth, & she hasn't been at it since - yet. She's just being extra witchy today - won't even play with our boy. I guess my main complaint is the defiance. I'm quite liberal with house rules, so I get annoyed when my "no's" get ignored. I'm watching her now - she's upset because she's not outside where she's able to attack the birds. I can't wait until we get the yard fenced this spring.

Sounds like you hit the nail on the head. She is doing it because she gets a reaction from you. Set her up so she can't do it…tether her to you or keep her out of the room in which she is chewing...give her more things that she likes to chew on, you may have to try out a lot of things to find the right toy; not all dogs like nylabones.

I do successfully use Bitter Apple, one trick that you can try is open up her mouth and spray it right in ONE time. That should give her enough of a taste of it that she wants nothing to do with anything that smells like that.

If chewing the woodwork is the worst thing she ever does, count yourself lucky 🙂 Basenjis ARE defiant little dogs, it doesn't matter how liberal you are with house rules...that is their nature. You have to be one step ahead of them, or else just give yourself over to them (as most of us with multiple Bs have done!) Being successful with Basenjis isn't about being in control, as much as it is about being creative and flexible!

Good luck! Who did you get your girl from? The breeder might be able to help you with some pointers also.

I had one other thought(Brain Fart) over here. Our Basenji will do just about anything when its over tired and trying to stay awake. When we recognize this we pick him up and we found that is a behavior is usually an indication he wants some lap time and has a desire to go to sleep on a nice warm chest and lap.

Maybe the behavior you are seeing is an indication of that.

Jason

@ComicDom1:

I had one other thought(Brain Fart) over here. Our Basenji will do just about anything when its over tired and trying to stay awake. When we recognize this we pick him up and we found that is a behavior is usually an indication he wants some lap time and has a desire to go to sleep on a nice warm chest and lap.

Maybe the behavior you are seeing is an indication of that.

Jason

I have found that too, Jason. Sometimes the naughty behavior indicates they are really sleepy, and a nap is needed.

@Quercus:

I have found that too, Jason. Sometimes the naughty behavior indicates they are really sleepy, and a nap is needed.

Yeah, they're a lot like 2 yr old humans == when nap time rolls around they always seem to start running from one naughty thing to another === and that's what my B pups did until they got old enough to just go crate themselves when a nap was needed. Can't recall the age though.
Now at 2 and 4 they seldom chew anything other than what we give them.
When they feel the need to chew they let us know by walking from us to the cookie cupboard – Jazz usually adds a quick tug on our pants leg.

@Quercus:

Who did you get your girl from? The breeder might be able to help you with some pointers also.

Well, Trinity came from a pet store & Denver is a South House - Echelon basenji. The 2 are as different as they are alike. The only real problems we ever had with Trinity concerned her health. She has never screamed, does very well in her crate, leaves things pretty much be & is highly intelligent. Bringing Denver home was a completely different story. We were introduced to the basenji scream - so much crate hate, he chews on everything & is the most stubborn little man. We are lucky in that Denver is a very laid back fella - he puts up with Trinity quite well & has the sweetest disposition. Trinity, on the other hand, is the naughty one - steals my dish towels, counter surfs for whatever's available, jumps & nips, instigates trouble then leaves Denver high & dry to take the blame! I just hope not too much of Trinity's naughtiness rubs off on Denver - he's already starting to steal things & run from me!

Rather than chase them when they steal things, offer a trade. They may still steal things in order to trade for a treat but at least you won't be chasing them everywhere.

@lvoss:

Rather than chase them when they steal things, offer a trade. They may still steal things in order to trade for a treat but at least you won't be chasing them everywhere.

+1 - I know my first instinct is to give chase (especially when they have something I really care about - like say my iPhone), but the b's are finally training me to offer a trade…oh and to put things away that I value. It works so much better doing a trade. :D:D

@renaultf1:

+1 - I know my first instinct is to give chase (especially when they have something I really care about - like say my iPhone), but the b's are finally training me to offer a trade…oh and to put things away that I value. It works so much better doing a trade. :D:D

your iPhone?? seriously….those are expensive...tell them to stick to paper towels!!!

Hmm...maybe that is why we don't have anything 'nice'...the dogs would ruin it....

@RedVelvetLynx:

Well, Trinity came from a pet store & Denver is a South House - Echelon basenji. The 2 are as different as they are alike. The only real problems we ever had with Trinity concerned her health. She has never screamed, does very well in her crate, leaves things pretty much be & is highly intelligent. Bringing Denver home was a completely different story. We were introduced to the basenji scream - so much crate hate, he chews on everything & is the must stubborn little man. We are lucky in that Denver is a very laid back fella - he puts up with Trinity quite well & has the sweetest disposition. Trinity, on the other hand, is the naughty one - steals my dish towels, counter surfs for whatever's available, jumps & nips, instigates trouble then leaves Denver high & dry to take the blame! I just hope not too much of Trinity's naughtiness rubs off on Denver - he's already starting to steal things & run from me!

Okay, so I think I've got it…Trinity is still a pup also, but Denver is younger. Trinity is the one chewing on the baseboards? She is probably (warning...anthropomorphization alert!!) suffering some new sibling anxiety, and trying to get more of your attention by being extra naughty.

Basenjis really are naughty by nature, because they are smart enough to devise ways to MAKE you pay attention to them. And if they aren't getting enough feedback by doing the right thing, they will try doing the wrong thing. So set her up so that she can't do the wrong thing..or chooses not to. Give her lots of exercise, lots of appropriate stuff to chew that she likes. Give her ways to keep her mind busy, and she will be much less naughty 🙂

Yep - trade. I'm very careful to keep everything from their reach - my husband is a different story. Trinity loves to grab his hats & run & one time, I came out of the bathroom to find her gnawing on a tube of Cortizone - cream on the rug, in her mouth, on her paws - I was freaking out! - but all was okay. I'm ususally guilty of throwing food in the opposite direction the dog is running with whatever he/she's stolen - my husband gets mad because he says I'm rewarding them for their behavior. So, I only do it if they've grabbed something that can harm them. Otherwise, I'm working on the "drop it" command with food. Anyway, Trinity is 10 mos. & Denver is almost 4 mos. Yes, I do believe there is some sibling rivalry going on in Trinity's world & yes, I am wholey guilty of anthropomorphization! Wrong or not, these 2 are my babies! 🙂

@Quercus:

your iPhone?? seriously….those are expensive...tell them to stick to paper towels!!!

Hmm...maybe that is why we don't have anything 'nice'...the dogs would ruin it....

Ha, ha, ha…yes, Brando is obsessed with the iPhone...the minute I set it down, his nose is right on it...so you would think I would learn to set it down out of his reach. He'll get me trained eventually. 😉

@RedVelvetLynx:

Yep - trade. I'm very careful to keep everything from their reach - my husband is a different story. Trinity loves to grab his hats & run & one time, I came out of the bathroom to find her gnawing on a tube of Cortizone - cream on the rug, in her mouth, on her paws - I was freaking out! - but all was okay. I'm ususally guilty of throwing food in the opposite direction the dog is running with whatever he/she's stolen - my husband gets mad because he says I'm rewarding them for their behavior. So, I only do it if they've grabbed something that can harm them. Otherwise, I'm working on the "drop it" command with food. Anyway, Trinity is 10 mos. & Denver is almost 4 mos. Yes, I do believe there is some sibling rivalry going on in Trinity's world & yes, I am wholey guilty of anthropomorphization! Wrong or not, these 2 are my babies! 🙂

sounds like you are on the right track 🙂 maybe you need to work on training the hubby j/k 😉

That is usually one of the biggest problems… someone in the house is NOT good about remember to pick up after themselves... or putting things out of reach of the "Basenji"...

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