An American living in the UK with my South African/British husband George! We just got our first Basenji puppy and are working to become good Basenji parents :).
Just wanted to share that we had a breakthrough with Juno this morning We finally had a break in the rain so we all went out to the garden just after his breakfast, put him down and within a couple of minutes he went in the tall grass along our fence! We clicked, gave him lots of treats and praise, and he's since gone outside twice more today
@tanza HIs breeder used potty pads, but funny enough he didn't seem to associate them with pooing as much as with peeing! Have been using the 'go potty' command per your suggestion and seems to be working very well And good call on the warm clothes for sure It's been one cold January here!
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone. He's still really young so expecting it to be touch and go for a while, but feels like we're well on our way!
@Zande and @aprilk I've been wondering if he's just really shy and doesn't want us to see him poo, so now that you both mention it I suspect that's exactly what's going on for him! We're going to spend some extra time with him outside tomorrow (just so long it's not pouring here) now that we've made it to the weekend and let him explore as long as he likes without watching him too closely. Even though we have a securely-fenced in garden we've been super cautious about him being loose in our garden while we're still living in London, so perhaps we're being helicopter parents and he's thinking 'mom, dad', please let me find a place to do my private business without hovering'!
@aprilk When you rushed your little guy outside the first time was he able to finish going that time around? We've tried once with Juno but it made him so anxious that he literally sucked it back up and held it for another few hours! It was so soon after he joined us, though, so he may have responded that way because he was still acclimating. That said, it sounds like if we do it a couple more times with lots of treats and praise he'll get the idea :).
Thank you so much for all the advice! It's good to hear about other experiences and also that it's still early days for this.
To update, he is already making progress - we're spending about 2 hours with him in our garden everyday in 20-30 minute increments when we sense he has to go, and also to continue getting him comfortable with being outside. We walk around with him and let him sniff and explore as he wants to, and have been giving him lots of praise and nice treats when he pees outside (he hasn't peed in the house in 3 days now so he's doing so well on that front!) or hunches as though he needs to poo.
We've followed @RugosaB's advice and planted some of his poo around for him to discover at his leisure as well so he hopefully starts to build up an association with doing his business there :). While he still hasn't pooed outside yet despite all the time we're spending outside when it's clear he needs to go, he has stopped going in the area of the house we spend most of our time in and is instead going on in the long hallway that leads to our front door so feels like he's getting it slowly but surely. We've learned his body language and can now identify when he needs to go very easily, so it's just about incentivising him to go where we'd like him to! We'll keep working with him and will update as he progresses :).
@scott-ry Oh wonderful! You're very close by then . He'll be getting his second round of vaccinations in mid-February and hopefully we'll be out of this lockdown sooner rather than later so we'll definitely plan some time for you to meet him. And I'm sure we'll have all kinds of stories for you by then... we've only had him for 4 days but feels like it's been so much longer already both due to the lack of sleep/total disruption of our usual routine and how sweet he is/central to our lives he already feels!
I introduced little Juno on the Forum this past weekend :). He's 9 weeks old and very new to our home, as he just arrived on Friday! He's settling in exceptionally well and we're already on our way to have a good daily schedule for him with plenty of naps, play time, snuggles (when he wants them) and training time. He's such a sweetheart and he's already amusing us with his characteristic Basenji traits!
We're also working on his potty training and would love some advice from other Basenji owners who have raised theirs from the time they were young. Any special tips or treats that have encouraged your Basenji puppies to do their business outdoors?
Just for further context, Juno is reliably peeing outdoors already (we've been giving him lots of praise and treats!) but he just hasn't pooed outdoors yet. I expect his reluctance is a combination of hating the cold, wet weather in London and generally settling into his surroundings after a big move/separation from his mom and brothers & sisters. We do have a little jacket for him that makes him more comfortable, and we're trying to spend a good amount of time with him in our garden everyday to let him get comfortable with his home domain. We understand that he's really young to be fully potty trained and absolutely expect it to take a lot more time to get it right, but as new Basenji owners we just want to ensure we're laying the right foundation for him to get comfortable pooing outdoors :).
Really appreciate any advice, and thanks so much in advance!
@sasha74 We're in West Norwood, close to West Dulwich, but not too far from Tower Bridge! It's about a 20 minute journey to London Bridge from here, and then an easy journey onto Tower Bridge. Do you live around Tower Bridge or know of another Basenji near there?
@scott-ry Wonderful that you're thinking of getting a Basenji and sounds like you're doing your research, too! Once he's a bit older and socialising we'd be happy to introduce him if you'd like to meet a Basenji before making a final decision . We'll stay in touch through the forum.