• Hi from california! I am a mom of a rescued Basenji by the name of Beamer. He is beautiful and very loving, but he is becoming more and more defiant with life in general and more and more difficult to keep because of this. Because we rescued him from a shelter, we can not just give him away, or put him back in a shelter. However…we are wondering if anyone else have these behavior issues? He is ALWAYS into something he shouldn't be and it is getting harder for us to handle. Any idea's? We want to keep him so bad, but it's very hard. 😃

  • Hi and welcome to the forum.
    I have many questions:
    How old is Beamer? How long have you had him? How much exercise is he getting? Basenjis need a lot of exercise daily otherwise they get frustrated and the energy turns against you. A tired Basenji is a good Basenji. Have you taken him to obedience training? What brand of food are you feeding him? I have had Basenjis for many years and they do get into things and are naturally very curious.

  • This is great to know. Beamer is approximately 4 years old, as I said we got him in a shelter so we are not totally sure. I do have an issue though. I am disabled, and am not able to exercise him much. Maybe this is why we have this issue. I do have a scooter, that he runs well alongside. It's been so cold I have not taken him lately. Maybe I should just do this anyway. Are Basenji's cold blooded normally? He is cold even when its 70 outside. We feed him a food with no grains, Its all natural, and chicken flavor. We have also given him the rabbit flavor. These are real meat, and very healthy but I cant think of the name brand and dont have the bag. I think its called Active? We have had him for 3years, and we love him dearly. Thanks so much for your info! 🙂

  • That sounds like the issue then is that stored up energy. I walk my newest Basenji Buddy at 4:30am and right now it's been 38 and he's fine. It depends on how thick Beamer's fur is. Some Basenjis have thicker fur than others. I have to walk Buddy 2x daily 1-1/2 hours total because he's only a year old and can get quite obnoxious with so much energy. Sounds like you are feeding him quality food. You say you've had him for 3 years, what happened last year when it was cold? Was he unruly? Don't give up on him, hang in there and work with him. Are you home durin g the day? Can you play with him in the house or do you have a fenced in yard that you can toss his toys so he'll chase them?

  • He is in a fenced in dog run, but has a shed that he loves dearly to frequent. This is the worst winter we have had in 20 years! He doesnt seem to like toys, or so far I have not found one that he will show interest in. He has a toy box full of toys, but just doesn't like to play with toys. I just think I will take him on the scooter more often. Thanks again for your expertise!

  • You might want to try a real hard bone for him to gnaw on. Like a bully stick. Helps get their chew out!!!!

    I have a 7 year old female and she still gets into things she knows she's not supposed to get into. That is a true b!!!!

  • I would recommend food dispensing toys that he has to interact with to get the food out. Things like Squirrel Dude, Kong, Busy Buddies are all great options. With the Kong you can increase the difficulty of getting the food out by freezing it so he has to work harder.

    Dogs are built for physical exercise so often we will tire long before they do. They work much harder on mental exercises so you may find you are able to wear him out faster doing short training sessions. You may want to use something like the Clik Stik, http://www.entirelypets.com/clikstik.html, where you can teach him targeting and then use the target to shape behaviors.

  • Houston

    • 1 on what lvoss said.

    I was thinking about that too, some mental work will keep him occupied and tire him out without to much for you to do..hide and seek in the house is also a good way to get him exercised..you hide and let him find you..by either calling him a few times to entice or by scent..which will be harder..
    If he has a basket of toys out at all times, they get boring after a while, take some away and keep them gone for a week or two, bring them out and they will seem as new to him, i.e get fun again.

  • I think all the suggestions about exercise and mental stimulation are right on and will help.

    We have had problems with our B at times becoming a bit defiant and making trouble and we found instituting various "leadership training" changes seems to help. This was recommended by a trainer. These are the things that convey to the dog that you are the pack leader and they are the follower. Things like having your dog sit calmly before they get their food or go out the door. Making sure you go and come in the door before the dog. Making sure that you eat before the dog eats. Making sure they earn their treats and are not treated just for being cute. We were guilty of most of these. I will also add that any type of obedience training reinforces this hierarchy. We have taught Ella several commands and we run her though them a few times a day and I think that helps too.

  • Oh, I know about under-exercised dogs! It's been in the single digits or below lately and I have a 2.5 year old malinois. ick. But we do what we can. And you can create a toy motivated dog.


    Clicker training is wonderful to stimulate your pup's mind and create a stronger bond between you and your dog. It's fun, doesn't take a lot of room and you can do it sitting in a chair. Right now, at dinner time, I'm working on Zest (my 3year old basenji) finding and retrieving my slippers. We also do nose targets, she taps my foot with her front paw, spin right, spin left, go to the mat, etc. Just look around on the internet for clicker training, there are LOTS of websites and useful stuff. Be sure to look up Karen Pryor's website. Enjoy, have fun with your pup.

  • Welcome to the forum, sounds to me like you have a typical Basenji 😃
    They are a fun mischevious breed and can be a challenge, but you do fall in love with them. Some great advice here about exercise and teaching your dog to play with toys.
    Thanks for the link agile. When we had our Basenji he didnt play with toys either and i didn't realise we could of taught him to play.
    Basenjis love the heat and hate to be cold, ours couldnt be hot enough 😃

  • Oh and teaching retrieve is soooo useful. I started with Z as soon as I got her. Her toy had a string leash on it, so the toy always came back. Zest quickly learned that if she brought me stuff, she got rewarded. So now she'll bring me all sorts of "treasures" she finds. Innovative little girl. She brought me a 1/2 dead rabbit, bones she finds in the yard, and her latest was a wrapper from a tenderloin cut of meat. Don't know where some of it comes from - we're on 5 acres and the wind blows like crazy.

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