Hiding
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  • After raising 2 retrievers in the past, I'm finding Shelby's behavior a wee bit intriguing and was wondering if anyone else's dogs do this. When Shelby gets a new toy like a ball or one of her treat balls ( her absolute favorite which takes her about a week to empty) she then hides them in different places in the house until she feels like "eating/playing" with them. It's almost like a game because I then find them and move them to a different location and Shelby has to find them. My husband and I get a laugh. We've never seen this with either of our 2 retrievers. It started when I took away the treat ball one night because she kept playing with it in our room at bedtime. Very annoying when the humans are trying to get to sleep. I took it and put it in the sink downstairs so she couldn't get it. Since then, we play a game…

    She really is a 2 year old in a dog suit!;)

    Also the other behavior that we noticed is that sometimes when we call her name to come to us, she hides under the bed like she did something wrong. We've never punished her, so we are finding this frustrating and most of the time she hasn't done anything wrong. We just want to give her a treat or take her for a walk. We've only had her for 3 months. We rescued Shelby from a shelter. She's 20 months old approximately and spent about 1 year with another family. They named her Shelby and she knows it so well that we kept it the same. Do you think perhaps changing her name would help? I'm inclined to wait a bit to see if the behavior continues. I'm basically lazy and changing a name will require training for both Shelby and I. I'd love to hear opinions.
    Thanks,
    Winnie

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    I agree...it would be a lot of work, and maybe confusing to change her name now that she clearly knows it. I would just start calling her name from a few feet away when she isn't under the bed, and have a fabulous treat read to give to her as soon as she gets there. Do it like a million times a day...then do it from across the room....then from another room. You are just going to condition her that calling her name means wonderful things happen. If she goes under the bed, and you don't really need her out of there, I would just ignore it. Eventually she will learn that it is much more beneficial for her to come over than hide :)

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  • Name Response is the first thing that my obedience instructor teaches in her beginning classes and I think would really help in this situation. Since we do this in class the dogs are on a 6 foot leash. To start you say your dog's name and as soon as the dog starts to turn it head toward you, click and treat. Once it is reliably starting to turn it head wait for it to look at you before clicking and treating. The idea is to get your dog to associate that good things are coming when it hears its name. Maybe this will help Shelby feel that hearing her name means good things are coming.

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    My first basenji Pumpkin was a shoe-chewer (mine of course never Daddy's). When we'd come home there would be one shoe in the middle of the bed and Pumpkin would be under the bed. Sometimes it would be a couple of hours before she'd peep out. It wasn't that she had ever been physically disciplined for chewing shoes, but somehow she knew she'd done a NO NO and gave herself a time out! I agree that you shouldn't change her name. She'll eventually realize that she's not in trouble just because you're calling her name. I like the two year old in a dog suit idea. With a basenji you always feel like you're raising a toddler.

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  • I don't feel it would be a good thing to change your baby's name, she just needs to be reassured that when you call she will get something good in return if she goes to you. It will only take a little time of giving her a good treat when you call that she will get the idea. Basenjis are very smart and I feel this will work wonders for you. Good luck, they are worth the work, we just love our B, she is almost 1 year old. This is our first B, but it will NOT be our last. Keep us posted on Shelby's progress!!!!

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  • Cali always hides her treats throughout the house and I find them everywhere. Somtimes I will tell her to go and get her bone and she will go and get it only if she feels like it:) I think she likes for me to see if I can find it and when I give up she will go and get it and then brings it to me. Sometimes I wake up in the morning with her nudging a bone in my face like she wants me to take a bite. I pretend like I am taking a couple of bites and then give her the bone back and she proceeds to chew on it.

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    I have had a basenji for three months now and I am suddenly missing one shoe of several different pairs. I have looked everywhere. I cannot figure out what she did with them. So, yeah, I think hiding things is something they like to do. I really miss my leather boot, hope it turns up soon.

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  • Thank-you for the opinions. I will keep her name and just work on the occasional strange behavior. Shelby is such a joy. I actually find the hiding of toys so endearing. It's like I have to try to outwit her. So far I'm winning but you never know. ;)

    I laugh everyday at one of Shelby's antics. She is so good for me. She teaches me not to take life too seriously, have fun and live in the moment.

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  • Thanks for such great advice. I too was having problems with Topaz responding to her name. I wasn't sure if she was just afraid or just simply didn't want to come out of her crate.

    Sometimes she'll be quite comfortable on the catch & won't even flinch at the sound of her name…so odd?? I guess I'll have to call her a million times with treats!!

    Altho sometimes when I call..."TOPAZ"...I see C3 in front of me :D LOL

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  • @SweetShelby:

    They named her Shelby and she knows it so well that we kept it the same. Do you think perhaps changing her name would help? I'm inclined to wait a bit to see if the behavior continues. I'm basically lazy and changing a name will require training for both Shelby and I. I'd love to hear opinions.

    it's all in the tone, not the "name". My dog's name is TUCKER. I could yell TUCKER! or BUTTONS! or PIZZA! or YUCKY! as long as I yell in the same tone, he'll come running. I amuse myself sometimes and yell silly names at him - but seriously, try it. it's the happy, upbeat, OH YEAH IT'S A PARTY OVER HERE! type of voice they respond best to.

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    At our house you get an instant dog response with "Here's the Pizza Man!" When my boys were teenagers when I'd be ticked off about something and yell Brett! Brandon! nobody would show up, but then I'd turn around and there would be the dog, wondering why I was hollering for him. His name was Bandit!

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  • I think you're onto something with the tone and with the pizza. When favorite food is involved, Shelby's there. Also she only hides from my husband so I think it might be his lower voice. Maybe it sounds growly to her. Anyway, we'll just keep working on it and I've learned not to trust her off leash on a walk. She decided to go squirrel hunting on her own. Luckily I know where the squirrels are too so I could catch up with her. She trees them but then stays waiting for them to make a move. Maybe someday I'll be more appealing than chasing squirrels but for now we'll just keep treating when I call her name and hope for the best.

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  • I'm not an expert but I've been told to never ever ever ever let your B off leash. They can forget about you in an instant…a squirrel, a cat, a small dog, even a moving car!...anything can be MUCH more appealing than you.

    C3 accidently came off his leash one morning & he bolted up the street just as another dog owner was walking her dog. Luckily for ME she was very calm & heard me yelling out after him so she kept her dog calm while C3 sniffed her....enough time for me to come up to him & grab him back. I even waved a treat in my hand & he didnt' even flinch!

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    Abbey becomes a total fool when she gets loose. Runs back and forth across the street dodging cars. B's must look at cars like prey! The last time she escaped a young man stopped and got out of his car and she went right to him, so he held onto her leash till I could get there. I was so grateful I had to hug his neck.

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  • I believe all I have read about Basenjis and chasing anything that runs, including cars. I live on a busy street and if I didn't have underground fencing Sahara would be dead by now. She loves to chase the cars that come by and cats in the neighborhood. Once when I came home from work she was next door with a cat she had cornered under my neighbors car. I had to turn up the juice to my electric underground fence, she had jumped over it like a gazelle. This was the third time she had crossed over, she doesn't try it anymore. Once she found out it was a stronger jolt she stopped, but she still wants to chase, and chase some more. She will chase the cars from one corner of my front yard to the other corner, stopping just short of the fence. I try to play with her in the yard at least once a day so she can get her running in for the day. It really depends on the weather, she is great at playing fetch, and we play chase alot. I will tell her I am going to get her and off she goes, she will run around the house, around my hubby's boat, back to the front yard, and tries to jump in my arms. Lots of times I catch her midstream, she loves to play and I have a great time with her too. It also gets her tired and she takes a long nap after the run.:D

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  • Have you tried luring?? I'm thinking of training C3 for this. He loves to chase also & he has so much energy that I think it would be a good way to get him to work & relax a bit.

    We go on very very long walks with a back pack to help him release some energy. He likes that & he relaxes to the point that I can drop the leash & he stays put! :)

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  • I think Shelby would love luring but I don't know how you do it or where to go for the competitions. This prey driven behavior is new to me since I always had retrievers and they would always come when off leash no matter what. I've come to the conslusion that to be safe, she stays on leash no matter how many puppy eye loooks she gives me when we go in the woods.

    We do have a fenced yard that she runs in with the next door neighbor labs. They all love chase, but Shelby loves it most and outruns them everytime. Her agility is phenomenal. Strict obedience is her downfall but that's probably partly my inability to communicate what exactly I want.

    I need to learn senji.:)

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  • Basenji Mix

    @SweetShelby:

    Strict obedience is her downfall but that's probably partly my inability to communicate what exactly I want.

    I need to learn senji.:)

    Me too . . . :rolleyes: Heed continuous advice - keep Basenji on leash.

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    Winnie hi, I also have a rescued dog, have the same problem with her often. She is my 3rd rescue, and even after 6 months, she still has issues, I think its from something in her past. My first ones name stayed the same, the second one the group changed it, I changed it back, as she was very confused, with this one I never knew it, and she comes when called, but does not respond much to the name we use. Tone of voice helps a lot, and I think too a lot of time and patience will help her. I would give your rescue some time to adjust, one trainer says it can take as long as a year, sometimes you can have minor problems forever. Carole

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  • Thanks Carol,

    We just think of her issues as her mysterious past. We'll deal with it and give it time. Shelby is worth it.

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    One of my moms cairn terriers did the same thing when he was a pup. He is a fairly dominant alpha male dog with very set territorial boundaries. Perhaps your dog only feels safe to stash his food in his spots that he knows are "safe"?

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