New puppy Riley is a Basenji Mix…

…actually only 25% Basenji...75% Lab (yes, I did a DNA test!) We were SO curious as to his mix, I couldn't resist doing the test. We adopted him from a private ad on Petfinder. The previous owners said he was a GSD/Chocolate Lab mix. I am the previous owner of a Shepherd who just passed on Memorial day, and there was no way when I saw this pup (he was 5 mos. almost 6 at the time) that I could believe that he was what they claimed! So, did the test-low and behold the percentages I mentioned above! OK, so I am thinking, mostly Lab, right? Except, Riley looks NOTHING like a Lab, so I start to research this other very unfamiliar breed-the Basenji. I was initially intrigued-ancient breed, sounds cool and mysterious, right? AND, when I Googled images-the resemblance was amazing! THAT'S what he looks like! OK, mystery solved! Riley looks like a Basenji!
FFW to 4 months later, and Riley is driving me crazy! Now, don't get me wrong-I trained a GSD who was the love of my life for 9 1/2 yrs, through major aggression issues, Hip Dyslasia diagnosed at 4 yrs. of age, multiple medications, and a sudden downward slide probably due to Degenerative Myelopathy. I DO NOT give up on animals!
Ok, since you all do not know me, I felt that a quick, hopefully insightful look into my motives was necessary. I DO NOT want to give this dog up, or give up on him! He is absolutely horrible w/ my female 4 yr. old English Bulldog-no amnt. of correction by her will put him in his place, and make him back down. He is so rough w/ his play, he makes her bleed, and she has eye issues, so in order for the both of them to be out and about (out of their crates) he MUST be muzzled. He has hurt her many times, and he's making her rough, too. I don't know if it's play, but it seems to be escalating...sigh...
He will not listen! And I mean at ALL! And traditional corrections do not seem to matter, or make a dent if he's into something he shouldn't be.
Sooo, it occurred to me the other day, that, even if he is only 25% Basenji, maybe, since this is such and ancient breed, MAYBE those genes are dominant over the Lab's.
Off to the internet I went, (and have remained!) to research all I could, and darned if their behavioral tendencies sound JUST like our Riley! To a tee! It goes deeper than looks! Aloof, independent, 2 second attention span, energetic, intelligent (I have him trained sit-stay-down-come, verbal AND hand signals) he's very smart! But I HAVE to BRIBE him to get anything out of him! From what I am reading, this is the way to go as Basenji's don't do anything without a "paycheck", lol... I am afraid that taking him to obedience training will be a waste of time, if traditional methods don't work well w/ this breed...oh, and I should mention that he did do well at the dog park, so it's just a problem I have with him and my Uma. I hate playing musical dogs, and I hate having to muzzle him...
WOW, for a new gal I sure did chew up a lot of forum, didn't I?:eek: Listen, I am desperate for expert advice, and I hope that my late night surfing tonight led me to you good people for a reason. I am starting to think that without us, poor Riley may have never found a family that was willing to take the time to learn about him, and his heritage, and that MAYBE we were meant to be together. Now I just need to get him to fit in more, and save my Uma! lol!
Help, and direction is SOOOO appreciated folks!
Thank you a million!
Sharon

It really sounds like you need to find a good animal behaviorist that uses modern positive reinforcement behavior modification techniques.

A good site to see the type of methods I mean is Dr Sophia Yin's website which has a video library where you can see these techniques being used. This will help to give an idea of what to types of techniques to expect when you look for an animal behaviorist.

http://www.askdryin.com/dog_movies.php

Houston

I second what Ivoss recommended and want to tell you too that obedience training is not a waste of time, although he sounds like he got the major things down..did you do clicker training?
Basenjis are very treat motivated in their training and I saw the most improvements in Otis when lots of treats were involved during training.
How much energy does he get run out of him during the days? Does he get to go on long walks or just play in the backyard? If he is a lab/basenji mix, not only does he need lots of running for the lab in him, but basenjis also thrive on energy expending sessions.

How about getting him some toys that hide kibbles/treats inside of it like the various food puzzles out on the market. It will make him have to work at getting his food and that tires them out mentally as well as physically, at least tto a certain point.

Just some ideas.
We would love to see some pictures of your little guy..

I have no idea where in PA you are (and it's a pretty big state), but I think Leslie McDivett is in PA. She's the author of Control Unleashed (book and dvd) and does classes and private consults. She's quite the genius.

http://controlunleashed.net/consultoptions.html

@agilebasenji:

I have no idea where in PA you are (and it's a pretty big state), but I think Leslie McDivett is in PA. She's the author of Control Unleashed (book and dvd) and does classes and private consults. She's quite the genius.

http://controlunleashed.net/consultoptions.html

Wow…wouldn't a private consult be just awesome!!! I think we all could benefit from one on one with someone like Leslie, regardless of our training experience....

Thank you all for your suggestions and insight. I thnk I could definately make things work with Riley, especially since now I know how to "get" to him! Treats are the way to go, and lots and lots of praise! He is slightly hand shy, and I am thinking that only negatives were used with his previous owners, unfortunately. Not knowing about the breed, you can make lots of mistakes, since they are so different.
Is Leslie's book recommended for owners, or specially geared to trainers?
I just wish I could have him see how much better things would be if he could leave Uma alone. I guess that's why you all are recommending a behaviorist? It IS bad, he just becomes unreachable when he can get to her, oh, and I didn't mention the mounting, which is constant with her (he mounting her, that is, although, she will mount him if he's muzzled; she senses his dissadvantage)
So, you think it sounds like he is more Basenji than Lab? Therefore train him like one, right?
I will look into clicker training; never read much into it before.
I will try to get him out more w/ excercise-he loves when the kids play Chase Me! with him! Is a Martingale collar the one of choice? He has only a regular one so far. He just chewed his Halti the other day, that seemed like it was going to work well, maybe I will just get another of those…
So many many questions! Thank you all so so much for your patience and please keep the ideas coming! OH! Is tug play advisable with a male Basenji? I know w/ some breeds it isn't...I will update after the weekend! Wish me luck!

Positive reinforcement behavior modification is an effective training method for all breeds.

Control Unleashed is for owners and there is an new DVD out to accompany the book. Both are available on Dogwise.com

A behaviorist will be able to observe your dog and help you develop an individualized plan to work on the specific issues.

Hi Sharon,
Riley sounds interesting, but poor Uma 😞
I didn't know you could have a DNA test to determine the breed mixes. We have a cross breed thats 11 1/2 stone, he's supposed to have whippet in his make up. Somehow i dont think so 😃
Please post a pic when you can.

Common, am I the only one REALLY wanting to see a pic of this mix?

PLEASE, post us a picture!

@thunderbird8588:

Hi Sharon,
Riley sounds interesting, but poor Uma 😞
I didn't know you could have a DNA test to determine the breed mixes. We have a cross breed thats 11 1/2 stone, he's supposed to have whippet in his make up. Somehow i dont think so 😃
Please post a pic when you can.

Whole Dog Journal (June 2009 issue) had an interesting article on DNA tests for mixed breeds if you're interested. As a cautionary note, you can get different results depending on which company you go with as they may use different genetic markers to identify the certain purebreeds in the mix.

Ok, here's our Riley! I hope I did this right!:D
BTW, bought a clicker tonight…
attachment_p_87219_0_picture-002.jpg

@NerdyDogOwner:

Common, am I the only one REALLY wanting to see a pic of this mix?

PLEASE, post us a picture!

LOL Nerdy! I was thinking the SAME thing as I was reading through the thread!?!?!? Thanks! Sharon - very cute! 🙂 Love the coloring!

Thanks for the info Nemo, its a fascinating subject

Thanks for posting a pic Sharon, he's realy lovely

what a cutie!
and if you haven't used a clicker before, i'd start with 101 things to do with a box.
http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167
just have fun with it

Well, so far Riley is doing pretty well with the positive training-he's a darn little pro with his commands! So, as long as I get him out for a good game of ball and a nice SEMI controlled walk, he's doing somewhat better…except the problem with Uma persists. So, I am having a behavior consult on Friday. I gave her a very thorough run-down over the phone and she's going to do some research prior to her visit. It's just so weird, considering they are opposite sex.

Well, I will post updates, and I want to extend my thanks again to all of you-off to cruise the Forum! 😉

First Basenji's

He's so adorable!!!!

Good luck with your consult.

Great job your doing. Good luck and looking forward to updates.

Rita Jean

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.