• I am a new Basenji owner and forum user. My name is Ryan, I'm 25, and live in good ol' Texas. I currently work full time and go to grad school full time, which is rough on Bruiser who is only 7 weeks old. He is a chestnut colored (brown and white) and is a handful so far. He loves to nip and chew, which I am working on breaking him of. Reading some of the posts in here has given me some amazing insight to try. We currently live in an apartment and the first night I tried to baby gate him in the kitchen. He screamed, squeaked, and cried all night. Waking up in the morning I had found that he had made short work of the gate as it was knocked down….little rascal had toppled the thing over and was running around. I finally gave in and decided to let him have free roaming power over the den, living room, and kitchen. I get more sleep that way! hehe. The main problem I have been having is him chewing on wires and power cords, that I have tried to block him from. Its funny though, he hasn't figured out that the stairs go up to my room upstairs. So I have to wait till he's not looking and run up there. I currently have him paper trained to go on the paper about 1/4 of the time, which isn't bad for the 1st week. So far, he is a very loving dog, who craves all my attention when I am there with him. I knew what I was getting into buying a Basenji and so far I am alright with all the hassel. Hopefully when I have him partially trained (can you ever fully train them??) I will have somewhat of a life back.....maybe...haha! BTW, once I fix my home cable cord that he detached from the splitter I will be posting a picture of him and an avatar for all to see. How old do you guys think he should be before I start taking him for walks on a leash outside? I would definitely appreciate any advise you all have to offer me.

  • Welcome, to the forum and to the world of Basenjis!

    I would strongly suggest that you do crate Bruiser at night. Letting him run free is asking for trouble for both your property and your puppy. You will lose some sleep initially, but it probably won't be long before he adjusts.

    Seven weeks seems young to me. Did you get him from a breeder?

  • Welcome Ryan. You sure have young pup. I think they should be with their litter mates and Mom until they're 8+ weeks old. Why don't you crate train your pup and put the crate in your bedroom. He's too young to be by himself and run free unsupervised. IMO that will only create a tragedy and unacceptable habits. I think he'd probably be more comfortable knowing he's not all alone. Crate training is the way to go with Basenji for sleeping at night and when you're out of the house. Do you have someone to let him outside during the day to potty, etc. Have you considered taking him to Puppy Kindergarten for socialization? There is alot of responsibility having a puppy, especially a Basenji.

    I sprayed Bitter Apple (buy at pet store) on all my cords and furniture that I didn't want chewed. Make sure he has lots and lots of dog chewys. Nylabone makes them special for pups.

    Unfortunately for the pup, your attention for him is slim. Especially during this puppy phase it is essential for you to give full attention to details. You have a baby in your home. Just like babies, they need and do crave for your full attention. There is no way out of it if he's yours. My 1 year old pup still gets my attention - no matter what I'm doing. He gets it.

    There is so much info in this Forum to search for excellent tips for training.

    I mean this in a good way, but you have my sympathy in this puppy training phase. It is a difficult task to conquer in and of itself without tasking full-time employment and full-time school. Did you get Bruiser from a breeder? Would you be able to give him back so he can find a home where he can get the attention he needs? You could get a puppy at a time when you're done with school. Just wondering . . . 😕

  • Welcome! And I would add to Jazzys post to crate him ANY time you can't watch him. It will help with potty training, and destructiveness. I shudder to think of leaving an eight week old puppy (of any breed) alone downstairs while I went upstairs. Yikes!

    Try a product called Bitter Apple on your cords, etc. That should keep him away from them….needs to be reapplied frequently.

    Good luck 🙂

  • Solid advice all. You want him to like his crate and he should feel safe in there, use treats and food to break him into being in there. At night leave him in the crate and put it where he can see you.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum. Lot's of B experience to draw from.;)

  • Welcome…and have fun - it's only just begun!

  • Raising a puppy into a well adjusted adult dog is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment. Puppies need boundaries and though they may quite vocally protest this fact it does not make it any less true. If your puppy is not sleeping in bed with you then it should be in a crate. I have had very good luck by placing the pup in its crate with a large stuffed toy to snuggle and having the crate in my room where I can hear if it needs to go out. When you are out of the house the puppy should also be crated or in an ex-pen. Since a 7 week old puppy can only hold its urine for about 3 hours someone should be checking on the puppy at lunch, if not you then a friend or dog walker. Puppies need a good schedule to help with house training. Puppy kindergarten is also a must. If you have not already you should be looking for a good positive reinforcment trainer near you. Try http://www.apdt.com

    As for taking your pup out for walks, where is your puppy in its vaccination schedule? I do not give my pups their first vaccination until they are 8 weeks old. They will then get a booster at 11 weeks and 14 weeks and rabies at 16 weeks. I start leash training and puppy kindergarten after their first vaccination at 8 weeks. I try to avoid places that are heavily trafficked by dogs where the pups may be exposed to something harmful.

  • For all who are curious, I do spend my mornings and lunch with him and at least 45 minutes before I head off to class. I do have a pretty flexible job, so I can check up on him. Also, when I get home from class, I spend around 3-4 hours playing with him. I will be buying a crate, some bitter apple, and enrolling him in puppy training class. He currently has chew toys to keep him busy (rope, nylabone, stuffed porcupine that he throws around). Yes, he was purchased from a breeder. He does have an appointment next week to get his vaccination. Thank you all for your input, I know it will definitely help in both of our lives!

  • Curious no more! So relieved your little guy has your time. If you do a search for "crate training", there are multiple tips and ideas to try and make it easier. If one thing doesn't do the trick try another idea. Also, there are many more experienced Basenji owners who've succeeded with crate training on the forum if you post your concerns. Bruiser is a sweetheart.:)

  • I am surprise that your breeder let him go home at such a young age…. they learn so much from their littermates and adult Basenjis between the ages of 6 to 10wks....
    Glad to hear that you have lots of time to spend with him, are getting a crate, and going to puppy class... you are headed in the right direction....

  • Aww, gorgious dog…GOOD luck, seems like everyone covered all ur questions! WELCOME

  • It is easy for a new dog owner to think that crating a dog is mean or a punishment, but I would only add that all of the suggestions from experienced basenji owners to use a crate are wise. Since basenji puppies love to chew, they can hurt themselves so easily. Think of the crate as protection and peace for your little guy – he may think of it as his cave and if you use it often enough, he will like it. Give him a pat on the head from me!

  • I agree that all the advice is very good. I'd also like to suggest using a menthol salve like vicks rub on power cords. Some dogs dont seem to mind the bitters and haven't known one to even get near the vapor rub.

  • Alright, quick update on the Bruiser! Yesterday he only had 1 accident on the carpet. He is learning very quickly and did get more than a couple timeouts for biting while playing.
    Human "No Bite" = You better not bite me again or you will get in trouble!
    Dog "No Bite" = Bring it on you weak little dog; you cannot hurt me!
    He does sometimes go into tazmanian devil mode when he gets upset and anything is fair game for him to tear up while he is on his rampage. He likes to grab his poop newspaper and try to tear it up while dragging it through the house. Bruiser can "Sit", play fetch, and while on a leash he can "Come" and "Leave it"! He met his first friend yesterday while we went walking around the complex. A neighbor's black lab that was unleashed ran over and began growling and sniffing and freaked out the Bruiser. He was not sure how to take it. He was both excited and afraid, but Bruiser didn't have to pull out his Chuck Norris moves on him, so everything was fine. For some reason it seems that he is not eating as much as he should be. He has only been eating about 1 cup of food a day. The package says at his size he should be eating a cup and a half. He weighs around 9-10 lbs and is 9 weeks old this week. Is this normal? Should I cut back on the treats and puppy chews?

  • Sounds like you're making some progress with Bruiser! He is still so young. I just brought home a 9 week old girl B-mix puppy last Friday. Gosh, she's tiny. But I'm used to my adult boy, Duke. I feed her 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening. She will get positive training treats throughout the day. IMO, 9-10 lbs is a healthy weight.

    There are a couple threads here on mouthing. It is a known Basenji trait in puppies.



    Hope this helps.

  • Well, we went to the vet this weekend and Bruiser was stuck with a big needle and cried like a wimp! He also is on the board for puppy of the month where the cutest puppy is chosen and the winner's picture is framed and placed on the wall for a year. He currently has 38 votes for him over the other 8 who only have 10 votes altogether! He has been actively shredding his bedding, which from reading the forums seems pretty common. I currently have about 20 scratch and bite wounds on my hands and arms from my goofy son. His timeouts due to biting are getting better and he is learning. Potty training seems to be improving. The doc said he shouldn't go walking at the park for another 2 weeks, so we have to wait on that. And last but not least, he starts puppy school next week. Why do I have the feeling the puppy training will backfire and get us into more trouble? haha!

  • Fair warning: Jazzy did puppy class. While the training went great, she was the only puppy in the whole class who "did not play well with others". LOL

    While all the other puppies were wriggling about, gleefully pouncing on one another during play time, Jazz walked regally about the room, hair-raised on her back, looking at the other puppies like they were so beneath her. It was embarrassing. LOL
    AND, she was the only puppy to pee on the floor during class. . .and she did it twice. 😉

    Good luck! And enjoy. It really is a fun time with the puppy, even if yours does turn out to be the class snob.

  • you guys sound like you are doing great! i am anxious to hear how bruiser does in puppy class.
    fender still doesnt like other dogs. we did puppy class and are now doing clicker class. he gets ridgy and snarly. i keep taking him because he really needs socailizing with other dogs. i would hate for him to get in the showring and raise his hackles. it could happen, and i am sure he wouldnt be the first one.

  • Amber,
    Jazzy HATES dogs. HATES them. People often ask if her back is supposed to look "like that", and I have to say, "No, only when there are other dogs around."
    But she recognizes and LOVES other Basenjis. It is still amazing to me that she knows a B from any other dog. She is totally submissive, ears back, tail wagging,the whole nine yards. So it's never a problem in the show ring. She loves being out there with the other B's. It'll be interesting to see if Fender is the same.

  • :o one day at class i told the trainer that my dog has A.D.D. the other people (cattle dog and german shepherd mix owners) asked me how i was able to find out. they TOTALLY beleived me. my face flushed, and i had to tell them i was just joking.

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