Found a Basenji….need help!

Hello,

I am the new owner of a Basenji who was found running loose at an intersection with no ID. I have posted on several sites and called all local SPCA's and shelters. No one is misssing her. I have had her since late September. She is a young brindle/white and is spayed.

I have decided to keep her as the family is attached to her, as is my other dog, a manchester terrier. The problem is, I think I know why she was stray. Her behaviors are quite challenging and I am looking for help and advice. I have a book on Basenjis and know their little quirks. The biggest issue I am having is that she seems to have A.D.D. I take her out and she may urinate if I'm lucky. She prefers to look up at geese flying by or squirrels in trees three blocks away. I try to get her to poop but most of the time she comes back in the house and eventually goes into one of my kids rooms and unloads on their clothes. Then she goes and eats the toilet paper and opens the kitchen cabinets and steals food. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for keeping her but she is so lovable. Does anyone know how to manage the potty training issue? The vet thinks she may be a year old so maybe she's still going through puppy stages. Who knows???? I just set up my Christmas tree and I am waiting for her to leave us a "gift" under it. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Is there something unusual about that? 😉

There are several threads about house training 101…look under the training sections 🙂 Good luck!</then>

I just set up my Christmas tree and I am waiting for her to leave us a "gift" under it. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sorry but I just snickered out loud when I read this, not only because it sounds funny but because I think Zahra would do it if I was setting up a tree this year!

Everyone on the site says you have to go back to basics and treat her like a new puppy until she learns to respect your territory. I really use to feel at the end of hope sometimes with ever getting Zahra has trained but I went back to the basics and we are getting there. She only has had a few accidents in the house and they are usually because I am not remembering that she needs to go out more often than our other dog.

You will enjoy this site, you will learn a lot. Thankfully nothing happened to her at that intersection and now she has a loving home. Don't give up, it doesn't sound like you will, she sounds like she loves your family. I am sure she will get it soon.

Chances are good that she is 1yr old. If you haven't found out yet, most Basenjis are born near Christmas time – some earlier some later and there is the occasional mid-year litter. The 4 we have had were all born between mid Nov and mid Dec.

Could be that the last owner never trained her or she just doesn't understand the rules of your house yet. Like the others said, go back to puppy training 101 with her. When we got Smitty at 9 months (he is now 1yr) he was kennel trained at his breeder's home but not house broke. He did exactly what you said for a couple weeks, then he started to catch on. Be patient but stay on top of it. She'll catch on. Oh, and they HATE rain. So if it's raining get ready for wet spots at first. And the toilet paper and cabinet opening... yep, that's a Basenji for you. They'll make there own fun if you let them get bored.

They're a great breed and we'll never be without one!!

Okay, I am not a Mom yet and I have been fortunate that Zahra has not discovered how to open the cabinets but would those child proof locks for cabinets work with Basenji's?

Be Patient, your B will get it. Sahara caught on pretty fast for me, but I did have my doubts at first. I would catch her doing it and yell, pick her up and go running outside. I started saying, Go Potty, Go Potty, and oneday she just got it, I think giving her lots, and lots of hugs, praise when she did do it outside helped, and also I would say, Good Girl, let's go get a treat, and I would give her a treat right then, and I even had them in my pocket so when she did her business I would hand her a treat. Someone told me that they forget things 30secs. after they do them, so if you wait too long, they don't know why they got the treat. It worked for me but make sure it is a treat your B loves, Sahara loves those Bacon strip treats. Now she even goes out when it is raining, which is a major thing, I use to take her outside and hold an umbrella over her and me. By the way I always take her to potty on a leash, she doesn't go inside until she has done her business. If she is not on a leash she will sniff here and sniff there all over the yard. When I am at work she goes outside on her own b/c I have a doggie door, which is a lifesaver, and the outside underground fence. If my hubby goes out with her at night (doesn't like to go outside at night by herself) without the leash she takes the longest time to potty, I can take her out to potty on a leash and she is done in like 5 minutes, they are pretty smart, so don't think she won't get it she will. Good Luck, hope this helps you, I know it is frustrating, but B's are worth all, they will love your family like no other breed.

Thank you all for the wonderful advice!! I will try the child proof locks on the cabinets, especially the drawer to the trashcan.

As far as the potty training, I will try keeping treats in my pocket again and rewarding Kiyah (Egyptian for "jovial lady") as soon as she goes. It's rough in the morning when I have to leave for work and she looks at me in defiance as if she knows I cant leave until she does her "business".

Lorraine,

Where are you from in PA? There are a few PA people here and I am originally from the Pocono's.

Jenn

@Lorraine:

Thank you all for the wonderful advice!! I will try the child proof locks on the cabinets, especially the drawer to the trashcan.

As far as the potty training, I will try keeping treats in my pocket again and rewarding Kiyah (Egyptian for "jovial lady") as soon as she goes. It's rough in the morning when I have to leave for work and she looks at me in defiance as if she knows I cant leave until she does her "business".

Yep, child proof locks will help. But what I have found works even better is limiting a pups freedom in the house to the room that I am in at the time. You can use child gates (might need two if they are climbers) or a tall xpen. You have treat them like two year old humans, you would never leave a toddler alone in a room for more than a few seconds…have to the same with a young basenji. Some people even tether the dog to them, with a long thin lead, or a houseline. That way you know EXACTLY what the dog is doing at every moment. It is also tremendously helpful with house training, because as soon as the dog starts to sniff for a place you are there to catch it.

There are some things that will NEVER be safe around most basenjis....garbage cans (particularly those that contain food or tissue paper) and kleenex boxes...oh, and maybe dirty underwear 😉 You can just count on it...it is easier to find a way to keep these things out of the way, than to try to change the dog.

As far as the childproof locks – you might be lucky enough to have one of the basenji geniuses who can figure out those locks lickety-split! 🙂

I should know. I have one of those. He can undo the normal ones in about 3 seconds. He can also open doors. He's a little nut.

Hoover carpet shampooer's work great for those prolonged rainy periods.:D 😃 Follow all of the above advice and hang in there.;)

Setting up a tree and expecting a "gift"! LOL IF your tree stays up that long! Keep the faith…it will happen.

close call-i talked to my mom yesterday…after she set up her tree, her boy, vegas (who hasnt pottied in the house since she got him) hiked his leg to mark her christmas tree. luckily she saw him do this, and put him out.

my puppy opened a present and when he does his b500 he knocks a couple ornaments off of the tree. i know he will get better. i still cant keep him from stealing food off of the counter!

careful…she may learn how to get into the fridge. Mine waits till we leave and then she opens the fridge and eats all our food!!!!! Lil rascall. But I love her to death and would never let her leave my side...she even sleeps under the covers with me!!!! such a lil heart she is!

@Lorraine:

Hello,

I am the new owner of a Basenji who was found running loose at an intersection with no ID. I have posted on several sites and called all local SPCA's and shelters. No one is misssing her. I have had her since late September. She is a young brindle/white and is spayed.

I have decided to keep her as the family is attached to her, as is my other dog, a manchester terrier. The problem is, I think I know why she was stray. Her behaviors are quite challenging and I am looking for help and advice. I have a book on Basenjis and know their little quirks. The biggest issue I am having is that she seems to have A.D.D. I take her out and she may urinate if I'm lucky. She prefers to look up at geese flying by or squirrels in trees three blocks away. I try to get her to poop but most of the time she comes back in the house and eventually goes into one of my kids rooms and unloads on their clothes. Then she goes and eats the toilet paper and opens the kitchen cabinets and steals food. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for keeping her but she is so lovable. Does anyone know how to manage the potty training issue? The vet thinks she may be a year old so maybe she's still going through puppy stages. Who knows???? I just set up my Christmas tree and I am waiting for her to leave us a "gift" under it. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please consider crate training its a miracle worker, no den animal wants to soil thier den. worked like a charm for me. Tobias begs to go out by slapping me with his paws or nibbling on my shirt or arms . If anyone knows how to stop the biting (its non-aggressive but wish he would'nt) Please let me know.

Hi. I know how you feel. My dog is just crazy like that. She is pretty good on the potty thing now but when she first came…shed wait to go inside and then potty. But after a few nose dives into the pile of wastes that she left and praises outside...she is doing good. Crates work well when you leave the house, but if you are there, odds are, she will just wine, yodel, baroo, and wimper until u let her out. What you have to do is take her outside and let her go like u said. When she doesnt go outside bring her in. When she is inside Watch her closely as she is walking around...if she sniffs the ground, she is searching for a scent to remark and not soon after, gifts will appear. Follow her and when she squats then grab her quickly, say "NO" in a very sharp, authorative way and put her outside. When she is outside...make her stay until she goes. Either put her on a chain, in a kennel, or just watch her until she goes. MAKE HER GO.... If it is cold out, she should go soon, because the cold will stimulate a potty. Once you see her go, wait till she is done and her hind end comes up and run out and praise her FAST.. such as "GOOD DOG...O SUCH A GOOD DOG...YOU WENT POTTY GOOD DOG!!!! and make ur voice high and excited so she gets the idea.
As for the food thing. Im afraid there is little to do. I put duck tape on my fridge to hold it shut...and try to train her not to do it. When she does it and eats the food, put her nose in the rubble and say "BAD DOG...NO....BAD BAD BAD DOG!!!!" Then you give her a tap and put her outside, in a cage, or somewhere she dislikes going. Soon, HOPEFULLY, she will get out of that state. If you need extra help and my advise seems to be working, please feel free to private message me. I can give you private information if you please. I hope I helped you!
Take care, Whitney (AkA Twiddles)

What you do when Tobias starts nibling on your arm or shirt. Grab his mouth and say no! Then if he does it again, grab the bottom of his mouth and his tongue and hold it down. He will hate this and most likely stop. When he stops, say good dog and, "want out side?" then let him outside. I dont have this problem because my dogs are trained to scratch on the door when they want in. Missy will, if i get up to do anything, gets up fast and runs to the door. sometimes she will uff, baroo, or yodel to let me know she wants out. Also my pomeranian will bark, and Missy follows her to the door, but if you dont have another dog or a dog that barks when it wants out then that wont help you. But I have a feeling this will work(grabbing his tongue and bottom jaw and holding it down so he cant move his tongue or mouth.), Ive helped other people and it seems to work. But try that and let me know if I can help any more. But be sure you dont hurt him, just let him know that you dont like the behavior that he is doing and you want him to stop. Hopefully he will. Take charge and be the alpha dog in the pack. I hope I helped you…Best of Luck,
Whitney (AkA Twiddles)

What you have to do is take her outside and let her go like u said. When >>she doesnt go outside bring her in.

I would suggest NOT bringing her in if she doesn't go outside. Do NOT bring her in UNTIL she goes potty outside. When she does go – and it may take a while -- praise her heavily "Good potty!!!, etc, THEN bring her in the house.

If possible, Take her out every 40 - 60 minutes or so, with a cheery "come on! Let's go potty!!" And heavy excited praise when she goes.

For accidents in the house -- if you don't see it happening, just clean it up as quickly as possible without any fuss. Use cleaners {white vinegar, enzyme solutions, whatever you have} to get the smell out. If you see her about to potty {or if she's just finished}, Say, "NO!!!" and run her outside as quickly as possible.

When you see her sniffing around the cupboards, firmly tell her "Leave it!", and remove her from the area. You may consider standing in front of the cupboards, and every time she attempts to approach, simply move your body to present a block and take a step toward her -- sort of pushing her off w/out even touching or speaking. You'll be "claiming" those things as yours. Maybe snap your fingers to get her attention, eventually you will probably be able to keep her away from them by simply snapping your fingers if she heads toward the kitchen.

Crate her if you can't be with her -- when you are gone, taking a shower, etc.
Keep the bathroom doors shut.

The key with a Basenji is to be infinitely patient, and CONSISTENT. It takes some time, but with gentle but firm consistency {I don't recommend hitting a dog, or rubbing their noses in messes they make} you will have a dog that you can live in peace with.

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This is generally considered not good advice for dogs like Basenjis. Unlike other dogs, they are not very forgiving with people that cause them pain. You will likely end up with a dog that becomes fearful of people reaching for his head. Often squeezing a dog's muzzle to alleviate play biting will have the opposite effect as well, as it charges a dog up even more.
And FTR, rubbing a dog's face in anything is cruel, and ineffective teaching. Not one, single professional trainer that is up to date on current techniques would advocate that.
There are many threads here about working to reduce puppy play biting with Basenjis. Look under the training threads.

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