New 1 yr old Basenji/Lab mix
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    Hi, (I'll give a few details about Buddy, then ask my question: He's neutered, got a great vet exam report, etc)

    I just rescued what seems to be a GREAT dog! I've had him for 2 days, and he's really laid back inside (sleeps, or just lays around), is playful outside, does great with kids, new people, and other dogs (really good with small dogs too). He has also been really good with cats. He met my gf's 16 yr old persian (he was on a leash) and backed up a little, then licked her (she actually allowed this). He's very interested in my VERY alpha 10 yr old cat, and my cat is warming up to him.

    He's already crate trained, and seems house trained, does pretty well on a leash (though has slipped out of collar a few times, but just jogged around and let me put the collar back on him with no problem–I have the collar a bit tighter now).

    So here's the question: He seems to be nothing like what I've read about Basenji's other than barkless, not much odor, and very curious about moving objects (although he is doing very well with learning 'leave it alone')--is his lethargy inside normal for a Basenji? I know he can be getting used to the new environment, and misses his old playmates at the shelter (and probably the people). I just don't want to miss anything. I will be getting obedience classes asap, and possibly seeing if he can pass Delta Society standards to get trained as a therapy dog (I do counseling in private practice).

    Sometimes, he sort of snarls, but does not seem at all upset--no growling or aggressive behavior; it's a full, but brief, snarl when he's rolling around on the floor with his rawhide--just seems like nothing, but again, I don't want to miss any warning signs.

    Thanks for reading this long post. If y'all have any advice for me, I'd love it! I'm sure the trainer will help a lot, but I'd love to have input from Basenji experts from the get-go. If I'm in for an abrupt turnaround in behavior, I'd like to know asap. I'm taking plenty of time with him in crate when my cat is around, and when he is not in crate, he's on leash until I can really trust em together (which I'm prepared for this to be months, or maybe never, but so far, he doesn't seem scared of cats, or aggressive with em, and will back away first; he and my cat sniffed noses today, and he tried to sniff the cats rear today (the cat was a bit surprised by that one and hid for a minute).

    Warmly
    Jon

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  • Hello Jon, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new addition , Buddy. How old is he and do you have a picture ? ;)
    You are doing the right thing getting him into obedience classes a trainer should be able to advise better about the snarling behaviour, it's difficult to know what he's doing without seeing it.
    Is it possible he's yodelling at you in excitment ? Basenjis do make some strange noises.
    He sounds as if he is a realy good boy.
    I have had two Basenjis and both realy like to laze around in the house. Our girl likes nothing better than to sit or lie on our knees, i'm sure she would stay all day if we let her. she is however very active outdoors.
    He sounds as if he is doing ok with the cats too, when we first introduced Malaika she tried it on a few times with them and on occassions still does but we found a quick spray from a hidden water bottle sorted that out.

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    Thanks! He's one yr old, I'll try to insert a pix of Buddy and I right now . . . no luck, I have one on my desktop, but when I click the 'insert picture' icon at the top of this reply box, it asks for the URL (vs the location on my computer)?

    I hope he stays like this! I've seen some stories on here of these guys staying the same, and some turning around. I think really good, consistent training will vastly improve my chances.

    The 'snarl' isn't one of his vocalizations–he's silent when he does it--he just wrinkles his nose and his teeth show for a second or 2.

    He also gnaws at his paws (usually rear paws) a little. No blood or anything, but seems a little odd. I'll ask the vet too.
    Warmly
    Jon

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  • Jon,
    i've just seen you put his age in the title ;)
    I'm sure he will stay as he is, sounds like a good Dog. Does he draw his lips back when you approach to get the bone or look at him as if you want it ?
    Sometimes Malaika chews at her front paws as if she's biteing her nails,lol
    To post pics in your post you need to download them to something like Photobucket, then copy the img code and paste it into your post.
    Our Basenji is 11 months.

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  • You can also add a picture that's on your computer by scrolling down below the Message box where you're typing your reply and click on "Manage Attachments." The first choice in the box that pops up is "Upload File From Your Computer."

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    I see that 'quick reply' doesn't have those advance options–There should be a pix now. Thanks!

    As for the wrinkling his nose, no he's not doing it just with food or anything, in fact, he will sometimes just be belly up and mouthing at a toy or his raw hide. He seems happy (maybe he's doing one of those smiling things :D ).

    I'm noticing now, that after we get done running at town lake, that when we get home, he doesn't want to get out of the car, I get him out with "Buddy Come! Then a treat, but pretty often, I have to tug him a bit to encourage movement, or give a small pop on the leash for him to listen--I'm hoping this is the right thing to do---I'm waiting to hear back from the trainer, but have been reading about establishing that I'm the pack leader, and the different levels of correction.

    Thanks for any tips! I think some of this may be better under the 'Training' thread, so I'll go in there too and look around, but please let me know here if you've got tips, or already know of a thread over in the Training area--just post a link to it.

    warmly
    Jon
    attachment_p_124205_0_buddy-1st-day.jpg

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  • Is he chewing his paws or his nails? All 3 of my basenji chew their nails. :) If paws, use baby wipes and clean them to remove possible allergens but if it keeps up or gets worse, can be anything from habit to food allergies etc so I'd have vet checck.

    He's cute. :)

    Since the behavior happens with the rawhide, he may be food guarding. Since I believe rawhide is an awful danger, it pleases me to suggest you stop giving them and let him have treats you give tiny portions to at a time.

    In 2 days you don't really have a clue yet… it's called honeymooning. He may stay lethargic, he may become a zooming maniac. But mostly my dogs, even the young ones, are calm in the house unless it has been raining for a day or 2 and they are stir crazy.

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  • A lot of dogs deal with transitional stress by sleeping (me too!)…so that may be why he seems a little lethargic around the house. What do you know about his previous home? He may be reluctant to come out of the car, because he thinks he will eventually be going back to where he came from. This will pass, as he learns that your home is now his home.

    I would advise you against using leash pops, particularly while you are trying to bond with a somewhat confused dog. Think of it this way...if I was trying to get you to come towards me, and I said 'Jon, come here'...and you didn't, so I grabbed your shirt collar and yanked you towards me...would that make you want to be around me more, or less? Now, on the other hand, if I said 'Jon, come here and I will turn on the football game' (or give you a dollar, or whatever floats your boat)...would you want to be around me more, or less? You can only EARN your dog's trust as the leader, you can't demand it :)

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    I wondered about his nails, so went ahead and trimmed em (that I know how to do). Great suggestion for wiping his paws off. I have some wipes that I'll just spend extra time between his toes.

    Folks at the shelter said that the previous owner had no problems with Buddy, and that he was fairly low key inside too–but that their other dog had an issue with Buddy that time didn't heal . . . I'm hoping it's not just honeymoon! But training should help get it under control if it is.

    Thanks again!
    Warmly
    jon

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    @Quercus:

    I would advise you against using leash pops, particularly while you are trying to bond with a somewhat confused dog. Think of it this way…if I was trying to get you to come towards me, and I said 'Jon, come here'...and you didn't, so I grabbed your shirt collar and yanked you towards me...would that make you want to be around me more, or less? Now, on the other hand, if I said 'Jon, come here and I will turn on the football game' (or give you a dollar, or whatever floats your boat)...would you want to be around me more, or less? You can only EARN your dog's trust as the leader, you can't demand it :)

    Thank you thank you!! I'll avoid those now. He still trusts me a lot, and seems really comfortable with me, so that's good. I've been 95% using reward only techniques, but when jogging, I'll do a soft pop to pull him up, or back when teaching him to Heel (which he has pretty much mastered, so I don't think there will be an issue there–I always praise him and reach down and pet him when he does heal, even if I tugged him in a bit.

    Again, many thanks. I am loving all the help! I'm sure I'll be on here often--I'll post some pictures from Thanksgiving when he gets to meet and play with a really good natured Lab out in the Tx Hill Country.

    Warmly
    Jon

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  • Congrats on getting what looks and sounds like a wonderful dog!

    Paco, who is about to turn 1, is currently snoozing on my feet, and as long as he gets exercise once or twice a day, he is quite content to lie around all day…unless he sees a bug or something moving around, then it's time to hunt!

    I let him chew on dental bones and he loves to roll on his back and gnaw on them that way - occasionally he will get that "smile" that you describe as looking like a "snarl". Chris sometimes even encourages him to do it because he thinks it's cute...I think it'll just scare people so I try not to encourage it, lol.

    We did a LOT of "no teeth" training with him as a pup, so we can take anything away from him without much fear of getting nipped or bitten. Since you weren't there to train Buddy, I'd ask someone who would know more about what to do if he's possibly resource guarding and doesn't want his chew toy or treat taken away.

    Again, congrats!

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  • Buddy looks great, it's nice to see what he looks like.

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  • @gatehealing:

    but when jogging, I'll do a soft pop to pull him up, or back when teaching him to Heel (which he has pretty much mastered, so I don't think there will be an issue there–I always praise him and reach down and pet him when he does heal, even if I tugged him in a bit.
    Jon

    I take feral dogs who have never been on a leash and teach them to loose leash and heel without ever and I do mean EVER popping the leash, soft pop or not.

    The technique is so simple it will make you feel faint.

    Put the dog on a leash, the second (really nanosec) there is tension on the leash, STOP. Sometimes I stop and if the pull continues, I back up or reverse or change directions. In no time you have a dog who pays attention to leash tension and try to anticipate where you are going. My 8 yr old child who was tiny worked my 120 pound Rottweiler at obedience thanks to loose leash training.

    I highly recommend you check out Mary's site on lessons. :) You don't have to use a clicker :)
    http://www.clickerlessons.com/

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    It sounds as though Buddy has a Lab temperament rather than a Basenjis and that would account for his being so laid back indoors. Re chewing his back feet - are you sure that he's not got a pain or injury? As you say you can check with the vet.

    He is a very handsome boy.

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    A comment on the silent growl, I don't know if it's just in specific breeds but some dogs actually "smile". I've been trying to find a photo online but haven't had any luck yet. I've mainly seen it in Pitbulls and Dobermans, tho I'm sure some others may have the weird muscles that move their lips up that way (and who knows with a mix whats in there). Pretty much tho it's mouth will look like it's pulling its lips back in a bad way but he's just trying to show you how happy he is ;) It's really cute but on some of the pits in our shelter it can scare people.

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    @DebraDownSouth:

    Put the dog on a leash, the second (really nanosec) there is tension on the leash, STOP. Sometimes I stop and if the pull continues, I back up or reverse or change directions. In no time you have a dog who pays attention to leash tension and try to anticipate where you are going. My 8 yr old child who was tiny worked my 120 pound Rottweiler at obedience thanks to loose leash training.

    I've been doing this by accident–I had no idea there was a technique that could be applied. I don't feel good at all with even soft pops (for the very reasons somebody talked about in an earlier response--why would he want to come to me, or be in a leash at all, if he has a negative association with it. He's already pretty dog-on good with it, I just think I'm going to be very patient and willing to let him take the time he needs to figure it out--I think even the soft pops have been slowing things down. I'm going to stick with just stopping and changing directions 100% now. Feels better for me too.

    I've heard about 'clickers' but am not sure at all what it is--going to check it out when I've replied to to folks great responses.

    Thanks again! :)
    Warmly
    Jon

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    @Shannanigan:

    I let him chew on dental bones and he loves to roll on his back and gnaw on them that way - occasionally he will get that "smile" that you describe as looking like a "snarl". Chris sometimes even encourages him to do it because he thinks it's cute…I think it'll just scare people so I try not to encourage it, lol.

    We did a LOT of "no teeth" training with him as a pup, so we can take anything away from him without much fear of getting nipped or bitten. Since you weren't there to train Buddy, I'd ask someone who would know more about what to do if he's possibly resource guarding and doesn't want his chew toy or treat taken away.

    He really shows no aggression at all with food, or having toys/raw hides taken from him, or given to him by hand. He's really great about that; that being said, I'm not gonna play with fire and make a habit of taking things from his mouth or from in front of him until I have a trainer work with him to assess his vibe.

    Thanks!
    Warmly
    Jon

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    @Patty:

    It sounds as though Buddy has a Lab temperament rather than a Basenjis and that would account for his being so laid back indoors. Re chewing his back feet - are you sure that he's not got a pain or injury? As you say you can check with the vet.

    He is a very handsome boy.

    Vet didn't see anything, but I'm gonna try the washing his paws and between his toes to see if it helps–if that doesn't help, vet said it could be an adjustment thing. He doesn't show any evidence of injury visibly, and no limp or anything.

    Thanks!
    Warmly
    Jon

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    I think somebody on this forum has a profile pix of their Basenji smiling. It can be a little intimidating to see a Pit bear their teeth, even when you know they're smiling!
    Warmly
    Jon

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  • Her is a pic of my Dalmation, Amy that i had in the 80's. She was a lovely Dog and smiled a lot, to the point of making herself sneeze :D
    I used to see people quickly draw their hands away from her when she smiled and they looked at me as if i was stupid when i told them she was smiling :D

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    @thunderbird8588:

    Her is a pic of my Dalmation, Amy that i had in the 80's. She was a lovely Dog and smiled a lot, to the point of making herself sneeze :D
    I used to see people quickly draw their hands away from her when she smiled and they looked at me as if i was stupid when i told them she was smiling :D

    AWWW! I love it! That's a happy grinnin doggie!
    Warmly
    Jon

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