Can an abused Basenji ever be completely rehabilitated?

jepp, he is gorgeous..that prince of yours..:)

I rescued a 4-5 year old male from an owner who treated him more like a cat. Never spent quality time with him, never trained him, no routine, ignored him, yelled at him, and never took him for walks (didn't even own a collar when I got him). Little Benji didn't even own his own bed!

I noticed he was very curious at first about our family, our house. You have to let him explore, get into trouble and use posititive reinforcement only. Especially if you suspect your dog was abused, using negative reinforcement will only cause more damage. Fore example, Benji was obviously use to jumping up on counters to see what's going on, or on the dinner table. In 2 days he was trained to stop doing that with a simple squirt bottle. Now he only needs to see the squirt bottle and he knows it means not to jump. Some habits can be changed, others could be a little harder but use treats and lures to start changing habits. Eventually the lures won't be needed and he will do it because you tell him he is a "good boy" and loves to hear that from the whole family.

My Benji was also very jumpy when you approached him at first, didn't even know how to walk on a leash… but I started walking him 3 times a day and that is the best way to get him use to being very close and beside you. Get all family members to do this and spend one-on-one time with your Prince. Now, Benji just LOVES going for walks. I also went through a lot of treats the first 2 weeks, teaching him to stop on command, sitting at streets, and of course my favourite saying "Let's Go" and watch him run off like a mad man!

Benji now has two beds, stays off the couch, off tables, comes 50% of the time you call him (that's just Basenji trait - hehe), and loves the whole family. I'm now only in the 3rd week and can't believe the transformation of little Benji. He's sometimes up to no good, like chewing apart a bunji cord to keep a gate in place, or clawing a door frame to try and escape confinement, but hey he's a dog not a robot....


I think most b's can learn to come around. It takes time, routine and giving the dog time to figure out its better in the house than, out in the yard, or in kennel.

Exactly right Sharron… time, time and more time.... however "being up to no good" is the slang term for a Basenji!!!!

Pat, I thought that was a Basenji Motto! LOL

First Basenji's

When I got Ra & Shango last July, they were very nervous too, Shango, was scared of doors, loud sounds, I couldn't pet him…..So the first night, they just paced and cried. I just lite some lavendar candles and incense, layed on the floor with them and sang a lullaby, I know ....but it worked. I just had to transfer their little hurt brains to a calm, loving feeling......try it. I did this for three nights and after that no problems. Good Luck. Everyone Lavendar works on humans and B's and soft music.....

We adopted a 2 yr old red/white Basenji from BRAT last August. She also came from a puppy mill. when we first got her she was shy and nervous. We also have three house cats and a 1 yr old Basenji mix so it was quite an adjustment for little Bana. since August, we kept seeing a gradual improvement in all her behaviors. The past month she has really come out of her shell and is absolutely fantastic.

We presently are considering another Basenji from BRAT and have had her in the house for 1 week…it has been challenging to say the least. Lucy is 4 yrs. old and was abused...mentally not physically. She is extremely over weight, the previous owner allowed her a self feeder...she blew up to 38 lbs, have been on a diet and is down to 38 now...needs to lose another 7 lbs or so until she looks like a Basenji.

Lucy was very agressive with the other two, but they had their fights and things improved. Still have plenty of snarling by Lucy but no fighting. So stick with it, have patiance and continue to teach yours right and wrong. Basenji's are smart and will come around.

First Basenji's

Thanks , I'm hopefull, he is a handfull, I can't keep a collar on him, he gets out at least once every 3 months, I can't tighten to much becasue he has a allergy and his hair rubs off. Our vet just has made a few extra rabies tags, sometime when it is not so wet I will find the two he has broken out of.

Does anyone know of a collar that is basenji proof?

Till Later Shango, Ra, & Belle's human:)

we have an escaper, and the only collar he cannot get off is one that is material and chain. it slips over his head and the leash clasps on the chain part. he cannot back out of it. we also use a reflective snap collar to put the tags on. when we walk him, he wears 2 collars, one with the tags and one with the leash. it works well. if you want pics. let me know and i will take a few and post them.


Crazybasenjimom, Have you considered not using a collar on him and maybe just have a harness, nice and snug, not too tight but snug enough so he can't get out of it?
How are you feeling? I know you just had surgery right?
Let's do a play date (I guess I am humanizing my dogs…) once the weather gets better, in the park..if you feel up to it..

There are collars that b's can't slip out of…they are greyhound type collars..*anyone seeing how narrow a GH head is, they see that this is the only thing to use on a basenji.
I will try to find a site for them.
the name escapes me right now, Pat or Lisa, do you know the collar I am speaking of??


I am not Pat nor Lisa, but i think you might be talking about Martingale collars, or lurcher collars..Otis has one.

Petra, yes, thank you honey…I had a hell day at work, and can't remember my own name.
Those are the collars everyone should get for their b' keep them on a leash!

I would get one, but (only my opinion) they look so clunky to me. They look comfortable and I like the design of the fabric they use, but they're so big.

Not all martigales are big. I have several that are the same size as a regular buckle collar. For lure trials and race meets, I find it better to have the dogs on the wider martingales because loose leash walking goes completely out the door when the lure moves and I would rather spread out the force they are putting on their necks when they pull.


You can get them in thinner styles, the one Otis has from Lupine is not that wide..

and they have a lifetime guarantee. If the dog chews it even if to pieces they will replace it..We have replaced Otis' once…

BIg is better with pulling b's…this makes the pressure on their necks less...the wider the band. Myself, I don't like "thin" collars for our breed.


I agree, I like the wider bands on their necks too.
Otis' new collar is 2.5 inches in the front and narrows down to 1" at the the tapered style, but if you want thinner, the option is out there..

AJ only pulls when he sees another dog. He might reconsider this, though. I let him play with a 1-yr-old Terrier earlier who kept humping him. AJ told him to stop a few times, but never nipped him. He looked so miserable! :o

The owner wants to get him neutered, but says the vet wanted over $100 to do it. I told him take the dog to SPCA. It won't be as much.


AJ only pulls when he sees another dog. He might reconsider this, though. I let him play with a 1-yr-old Terrier earlier who kept humping him. AJ told him to stop a few times, but never nipped him. He looked so miserable! :o

The owner wants to get him neutered, but says the vet wanted over $100 to do it. I told him take the dog to SPCA. It won't be as much.

And in California a neuter would be way more then that… and if using a SPCA clinic, hate to say it.. you usually will have more problems after then the going to a regular Vet that doesn't do them on a assembly line process

As they say, you get what you pay for

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