New Basenji and Potty Training

Hello,

I have just gotten my basenji from a breeder and I have had him for about 2 days now. He is about 4 months old and up to date on all shots. So far things have gone pretty well except for a few things.

Almost everytime I go up stairs he always has an accident downstairs. Each time I quickly take him out. I even picked up the poop and took it outside and made him notice that this is where this goes. He also seems to be pretty afraid of stairs too. When he is in his crate, he never goes. He has gone outside on his own and on walks. I am just looking for other ideas to reinforce proper house training.

Also, when I am sitting on the couch or chair, he will sit at my feet and not leave my side. When I want to put him on a leash or take him outside, he always tries to get away from me and I have to grab him.

I know it has only been 2 days, I am just looking for any other ideas or help with my dog.

Can I ask which breeder you got your b from? Most breeders expose their puppies to all things in the home, so the dogs are not afraid of stairs, or normal things like that.

Do you walk him before you leave him downstairs? If not, do that. Is it a lot of pee or just a bit? Could be a bit of stress that your gone from the pups sight.
Do you give the pup a lot of room to roam? IMO, a new puppy doesn't know where you want them to go, or they are way too far from the outside when the urge hits.
So, get into a routine to take the puppy out every 2 hrs. Also, once he is up from a nap, right after he has eaten, once he has finished hard play…and give him a treat and lots of happy praise when he does go outside. Ignore his peeing inside.
That is just a start of my suggestions.

A couple basic thoughts on puppy training:

Never let the pup out of your sight. If you miss the moment when the oops happens, you're too late for even "No!!!" If you catch him in the moment take him outside. Over and over.

I don't think a pup would "get" the message you're trying to send by picking up the poop and taking it outside. Like Sharron said, lots of praise for going outside.

Regarding the sitting at your feet he's probably just trying to be close to you, wants attention. And maybe he thinks that the leash thing is a game? Is that a possibility?

As far as stairs go, try luring him up them on at a time, with treats. And lots of praise.

How much do you know about your pup's life up to this point? As in how many people, sounds, smells, things has he been exposed to through strategic socialization? There is definitely so much to think about as far as giving them a well rounded experience. Like my girl Zip is iffy on anything resembling live drums and music. She gets really stressed. We've had to leave a great park more than once because of something she's heard that freaks her out, like music coming from the restaurant across the street. Maybe spend some time thinking about the kinds of things you want to do with your pup and the places you want to go and start introducing those things to him. It's definitely a good time to do that.

Good luck!

Here is a puppy schedule i used with Gizmo. Worked wonders.

@sharronhurlbut:

Can I ask which breeder you got your b from? Most breeders expose their puppies to all things in the home, so the dogs are not afraid of stairs, or normal things like that.

Do you walk him before you leave him downstairs? If not, do that. Is it a lot of pee or just a bit? Could be a bit of stress that your gone from the pups sight.
Do you give the pup a lot of room to roam? IMO, a new puppy doesn't know where you want them to go, or they are way too far from the outside when the urge hits.
So, get into a routine to take the puppy out every 2 hrs. Also, once he is up from a nap, right after he has eaten, once he has finished hard play…and give him a treat and lots of happy praise when he does go outside. Ignore his peeing inside.
That is just a start of my suggestions.

Great suggestions, my one comment is that if engaged in hard play, don't wait till it is over to take them out to potty, could maybe be too late…

And I agree with "never leave unsupervised" and if you do and they have an accident... roll up that newspaper and hit yourself over the head 10 times and repeat "I must not forget" "I must not forget"....

Welcome to the forum, there is lots of info here to help you and people to support you and your Pup.
What is his name and have you any pics of him 😉
It sounds to me that he is anxious when you go upstairs, maybe because he is scared to follow.
When he runs away when you want to put his lead on it sounds to me like excitement, we have a 6 month old Pup and she still occasionaly runs outside instead of coming to me for her lead on. I call her to me and reward her with a food treat and praise whilst i put the lead on. She now has learned to come and sit and wait calmly (ish) whilst i put the lead on. All this has taken months to accomplish so just give yourself and the Pup time.
We have found Puppy classes realy helpful too.

Please, make sure you ignore any peeing in the house. We have had rescue dogs who were harshly corrected for peeing/pooping, and they ended up trying to eat the mess to keep from getting in trouble..much harder to break them from THAT then it is to make sure it doesn't happen in the first place.

@sharronhurlbut:

Please, make sure you ignore any peeing in the house. We have had rescue dogs who were harshly corrected for peeing/pooping, and they ended up trying to eat the mess to keep from getting in trouble..much harder to break them from THAT then it is to make sure it doesn't happen in the first place.

I totally agree, unless you CAN catch them in the act, it does no good to try and correct the behavior. And if you do catch them in the act… a very, very loud "NO" with a hand clap is enough to let them know the behavior is not acceptable.

I totally agree with Sharron on both her posts.

Never make his 'accidents' an issue just ignore and save your voice for tons of praise when he goes in the 'right' place.

Re running away from the leash one of my 7 year olds still runs when he sees his leash but only from excitement. I just stand quietly still and he then realises that he won't be going anywhere without a leash.

Tanza, I have to ask about when you say, "And if you do catch them in the act… a very, very loud "NO" with a hand clap". If I say anything to my girl in any sort of a loud voice I can almost always bet that she will repay me with her opinion, in one form or another. Since raising a basenji I have had to relearn how to speak to a dog. I have found that the more soft and calm my voice is, the more effective the results will be. My question I am asking you is if this is something that you or others have also noticed about basenji's or have I just got an overly sensitive girl? In my recollection of my parents basenji, I think this was also true. Perhaps my voice and hand clap are just too loud. This was exactly how I used to handle my brittany's but it hasn't worked at all with my basenji. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Are the stairs carpeted or slippery? Kismet was afraid of wooden stairs at first. As she got older, she got used to a variety of surfaces and now does not give it a second thought. Take your puppy places and expose to as many walking surfaces as possible while it is young. Best of luck with potty training and welcome to the forum! We all look forward to pictures and hearing about your adventures!

Maria

@skookum9:

Tanza, I have to ask about when you say, "And if you do catch them in the act… a very, very loud "NO" with a hand clap". If I say anything to my girl in any sort of a loud voice I can almost always bet that she will repay me with her opinion, in one form or another. Since raising a basenji I have had to relearn how to speak to a dog. I have found that the more soft and calm my voice is, the more effective the results will be. My question I am asking you is if this is something that you or others have also noticed about basenji's or have I just got an overly sensitive girl? In my recollection of my parents basenji, I think this was also true. Perhaps my voice and hand clap are just too loud. This was exactly how I used to handle my brittany's but it hasn't worked at all with my basenji. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

I have never had that problem with any of mine, so I would maybe think you have a overly sensitive girl or maybe one that was not socialized to noise at a young age. And honestly when catching them in the act of a bad behavior, the most important thing is to startle them…. and get their attention immediately so they know that this was an unacceptable behavior. Was your girl well socialized by the breeder?... My pups are totally socialized to many different noises as babies and young puppies. Pots and Pans being dropped, things that clang, popping noises, all household noises. They are used to it, so that a loud hand clap along with a stern NO only startles them for the moment, gets their attention so that the behavior can be redirected. And believe me I have a very loud voice!!!

Not sure what you mean by "repay" you?

If I catch one of my puppies in the act then I usually say a loud, "Ack" which serves to startle them and then out they go. They have never reacted badly to the "Ack!" though sometimes if they just really had to go it won't be enough to stop them from peeing.

By the time my pups are 5 months old, most of the accidents that occur is because we missed the puppy's cue that it needed to go out or they are so tired that they truly "forget" they need to go.

I agree with the previous posts on the noise needing to attract attention. I think that a quiet voice works well for some commands but this needs to be a corrective noise to gain attention. In my opinion a soft voice can be mistaken for praise.

I use a loud 'Ack' like Ivoss - I also use this noise in other circumstances to attract their attention to the fact that I'm really serious about a command.

I have also used "HEY" instead of "no" but again in a very, very loud commanding voice with a hand clap or two… but then it depends on what is going on...ggg... like today with "baby" birds falling out of the nest... or the squirrel that C-Me snagged to other week.... anything to get their attention so that I could get the "critter" from them

Yes, my girl was well socialized. It's not that my voice is so startling to her. It's more that she doesn't like to be scolded and will find a way in the not too distant future to repay me with her opinion. Since I learned a while ago to not do this, I haven't suffered her wrath in some time but when I did it could be anything from finding she had peed or pooped just out of my sight to finding something I value that had just been totally shredded. I found that I could scold her reasonably for what she had done but then I needed to immediately reinforce my love for her so that she knew she didn't need to rebel against me. This has worked well for me. Shouting at her would always reap me a grim reward in the end.

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