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posted in Basenji Talk read more

Does anyone out there use a muzzle for their basenji? Griffin is a good dog 99% of the time. However, he does have his moments. Today, my mother-in-law took him out for a walk and a young girl riding her bike got too close and he bit her shoe, which then made her fall and then he bit her arm. This is the 2nd time he bit someone in our neighborhood. The first was just a little nip, but this one was deeper. Both times he was on a leash. But, something startled him and he reacted by biting whatever was closest to him. I don't want this to happen again and I think I'll feel better if we used a muzzle when we go on walks. Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel horrible about this.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

We buy a large bag of food and biscuits every few months and store it in a large bin. The batch that he's eating now has been in the sealed bins for at least a month at this point. So, I don't think it's the food. We haven't changed a single thing in his diet and this just popped up.

I'm baffled by this whole thing. Thank you for the feedback!

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

My 5-year old basenji has been itching and scratching his whole body for a few days now. I called the vet and they told me to give him Benadryl for a few days and if the itching is still happening, to bring him in. In the meantime, I went to our local pet store and spoke to the owner about what she thinks it is. She asked me if he was biting his feet and I said that he was. She said that's most likely food allergies. When I explained that I've been feeding him Chicken and Rice food from California Natural for about 5 years and he's never had an issue, she told me that food allergies sometimes just appear. She also explained that the top food allergies in dogs are chicken, wheat and corn. I also feed him Mother Hubbard biscuits, which are apparently made of wheat too. So, she suggested that we slowly introduce new food which has a non-chicken protein base. Based on her recommendations, we're now going to introduce new dry food, wet food and biscuits made from fish and sweet potato.

So, my question to the group…

1. Has anyone else ever experienced food allergies that appeared out of no where.
2. Does her explanation have any merit to it?
3. If you don't think he has food allergies, what else can be causing all this itching? I've already ruled out fleas.

I was hoping to treat his condition at home and not have to bring him into the vet and pay a huge bill. But, if I need to bring him in - then I will. I thought this was going to be an easy problem to solve.


posted in Basenji Talk read more

My other alternative was to have my dad stay at our house for a week, but we ran into the similar issues - so many rules to explain. In doing some research online, I also found this site It's for the American Boarding Kennel Association - this is how we found the kennel we chose. It's a good resource. I also recall reading something online about how it's safer for them to be at kennel than to have a friend or family member watch them. Just imagine if the dog ran out and got loose - a pet sitter would have a very hard time dealing with that. If they are in a kennel, they are secure, safe and well taken care of.

I'm leaving better about our decision to do this, but I know I'm going to cry! 🙂

posted in Basenji Talk read more

We're taking him to Lakeside Kennel in Voorhees, NJ ( They don't allow any bedding since they provide this cot looking thing for the dogs. Knowing Griffin, he would totally destroy a t-shirt - but it may be worth bringing one and seeing if he can have it for the first few days. As of now, I'm planning on leaving him with his favorite kong and two natural bones. He literally destroys toys in a matter of minutes, so I'm afraid to leave him with any since he may eat all of it since no one will take it away at a certain point. We're also going to pay the extra money for some play time too - Griff LOVES to run. I know he's going to be fine - we've just never left him for this long.

By the way, we're located in Mt. Laurel. Not sure if you are in the area or not. We usually go to the Laurel Acres dog park every Saturday at 9 a.m. Their is a group of greyhounds that also meet at that time and Griffin LOVES to run up and down the fence with them (there is a side for larger dogs, so they aren't in the same area). One day he exhausted 11 greyhounds! We won't be there this saturday because we'll be on vacation, but I plan to take him on the 25th.

posted in Basenji Talk read more

My husband and I are putting Griffin (our 1 1/2 year old basenji) in the kennel tomorrow for the first time. I honestly think I'm going to have a harder time with this than Griffin will. We visited all of the kennels and I feel very comfortable with the kennel we chose - clean facility, friendly people, etc. I'm just going to miss the little guy. We're going on vacation to Hawaii, so I'm sure once we get there I'll have an easier time dealing with it. Does any one have any advice/words of wisdom for me to feel better about leaving him?

posted in Breeder Talk read more

My basenji Griffin loves to go to the dog park, so we try to take him there at least once or twice a week. We love the park too because it tires him out for a good 24 hours. He LOVES to chase and be chased by the other dogs. The only problem is that he gets pretty dirty - both from the dirt and other dog's saliva. We've been averaging about one bath every two weeks because of the dog park visits. And if we go twice a week - we usually give two baths. Is this too much? If so, what else can I do to clean him after these dog park visits? When we bathe him, we use an oatmeal dog shampoo. He hasn't been experiencing any dry skin, so I think it's okay so far.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

We had similar issues with our dog Griffin. We used to gate him off in an area outside of our bedroom. And every day for MONTHS, we came home to poop and pee. Well, one day I didn't put the gate up tight enough and he made his way into our bedroom. When I got home, we had NO accidents and he was so much calmer. Ever since, we leave him loose in the house and this Saturday will mark 1 month of accident-free days. At least for my dog, I think it was confinement anxiety and not so much separation anxiety. However, for about a month prior to leaving him loose, we did put him on Colmicalm to treat separation anxiety. It helped a little, but the freedom in the house is what really helped him become the perfect dog. I know it's not the traditional solution, but it worked for me.

posted in Basenji Talk read more

Does anyone have any ideas for treats/toys that keep basenjis busy and focused? We currently stuff a kong with some kibble, fill it with water and freeze it (we call it a Kong-cicle). If you try this - you have to put some peanut butter at the bottom of the kong to keep the water from running out at first. It keeps him busy and focused on somethng for at least a half hour. Any other suggestions?

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

You may remember some of my previous posts about our basenji Griffin. We've been dealing with a severe case of separation anxiety for months now. After trying every possible trick out there (pheromones, leaving the TV on, diapers, etc. - you name it, we tried it), we resorted to medication and put him on Clomicalm. That helped a little, but we were still dealing with accidents during a majority of the week. Well, last weekend, we tried something complelely unconventional…we left him loose in the house and not gated in his 4' x 3' area outside of our bedroom. It's been almost a full week and we have not had one accident yet. And what's even better is that he is completely calm when we come home and no destruction in the house what so ever! Before we could only leave him for 3 hours at most before an accident and at one point this week, we were gone for almost 6 hours and nothing was waiting for us when we got home.

Now, Griffin is a rescue. We got him when he was only 9 months old and at that point, we were his 4th home. Apparently, he was locked up in a small bedroom in his first home and then bounced from one foster home to another and was crated most of the time. I'm wondering if he doesn't like to be confined because of his previous history and if he has just been looking for some freedom?

I know I'm probably going to get a lot of people telling me that he would be better off in a crate or gated, but giving him freedom is what seems to be working and at this point, I want to use what works.

Has anyone else experienced a claustrophobic dog? Is there any such thing as confinement anxiety?

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