How do I get my basenji focused on me?

  • Hello!
    When you are training your basenji to stay calm and focused on you when distractions are around (outdoors, street, shows…), how do you do it? Do I have to show him a filet mignon or hire a violinist to get his attention? My Nilo seems happier checking every little mosquito outside than looking at my face (understandable) or smelling the pieces of bait that I kindly offer him.

    Thank you for you advice

  • I teach all my dogs "watch me." Next to come and leave it, I have found it invaluable. Okay let me explain that with Rotties and Chows, eye contact should be taught from the moment they can focus to get over the concept that it is a challenge (G-d I love how basenjis gaze into your eyes!) and teaching them to lock eyes on you is sometimes a life saver… gives their minds a moment to disengage from whatever it is they are considering so they can hear the next command, lol.

    I do it with food at first. I know some use toys but food pops in mouth, gone, ready for next.

    Here seems to be a fairly basic explanation because I am waiting on dinner and too lazy to type:

    I also recommend Mary's links. Btw, her long haired rottie is from my line. We nearly stroked, but it happens. So having her in a perfect pet home like Mary's was a blessing.

  • Thank you, I will check that site out.

  • I have a 10 month old girl, Ms Wheat. She is all over the place, but we are working to learn to talk to each other with a gentle obedience class.
    Its worth the time and $$ to attend one.
    Wheat and I will be going through the first one a few times…just because she is sooooo much her own little thinker...

  • I've managed to impress the heck out of long-time basenji people with Zest's focus and mat game. Teaching focus in midst of distractions can be time consuming, but is not too difficult.

    Here's a good place to start:
    I use a down instead of a sit and have the dog do this on her mat.

    Other games can be found in Control Unleashed available at dogwise, amazon and other fine book stores. The zen game and give me a break game are very helpful in addition to the mat work.

  • Thank you very much for the info and the sites you have sent, and sorry for the delay in replying (my computer was down for a while). I am going to start with the Relaxation Protocol and see how it works. Also I have just started the Control Unleashed book so I am going to see how it goes too. By the way, how long did your basenji take to start showing selfcontrol?

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