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posted in Off Topic read more

The Sloughis, Salukis and Azawakhs come from Africa which is probably as far as the origins of the Labrador (Canada) than you get.

As Janneke said a greyhound is all about sprint muscle - the limit of their ability to run is because they would overheat if they needed to do prolonged activity as muslce produces heat when being used - even in Ireland and UK, not known for their temperatures above 20 when rabbits/hares would be in the fields for hunting. My ex-coursing greyhound mix would find a puddle in the coldest of days after a sprint to cool herself down.

The Azawakhs, Salukis and Sloughis need to be able to hunt in much hotter temps, mid to high 20s and probably more, therefore they cannot have either fat layer or the rounded muscle of the greyhound as they would suffer from muscle meltdown, even after a short chase, let alone an extended hunt.

Therefore their physiology has evolved to have the sparest of muscle (minimal heat generated, and maximum heat dissipated when exercising), which in turn means they can never get the well-covered look of our temperate climate breed dogs.

I would be devastated if we in the West change the most basic characteristic of these breeds simply because we don't like the look of it, either because its different compared to our temperate climate breeds, our perception of what is healthy has become so distorted because we are used to seeing fat as normal or we are too lazy to educate ourselves about what is different. I can well appreciate that these dogs do not appeal to everyone but surely that is no reason to change them?

I think some of these dogs that were thought 'too skinny' were immature which is why their bones are more prominent, they've yet to get their full muscle, sparse as it is, which adds shape.

Also I hate to see a fat layer on any dog - muscle yes, fat no. The fact that some folks starve any dog before a show just shows their ignorance, and laziness in not getting the dog into proper fit condition and using 'short cuts' to get the desired 'well muscled-look'. Rather than get the 'look', they should get the real thing! Their dogs would be much happier too I'm sure.

posted in Basenji Talk read more

Vets are like any other professionals, some are really good, some are not so great. I would contact your practice and ask them when you pup will be safe to take out again - in view of the antibiotics as well as the vax - also sometimes having antibiotics at the same time can make the vax less effective.

Also when the vet says not to take the pup for a walk do they really mean not to take him to areas where other dogs might be?

Here is a link to a free down load of Dr Ian Dunbar's 'After you get your puppy'
Which talks about all the socialisation your puppy will benefit from in helping turn him into a dog that will be a pleasure to be around.

Also do not think of obedience class as something to start at a certain age. Think of it more that you are teaching him manners, and 'right from wrong' in your world - eg to a dog the whole world is a chew toy. To you his toys are chew toys and everything else is off limits. Again the download I've linked will help you work through these things.

The same with play if you run with Basil it is perfectly normal for him to want to grab you trousers/legs, you need to show him this is not appropriate play with a human. Have a toy, like the ball, or a soft toy/rope tug that you substitute for your trousers. That way the game continues. If he insists on attacking your legs. Just stand up and walk away game over. He'll soon learn which is the most rewarding - what keeps the game going.

We run puppy classes which if the puppy owners want to keep training their dogs (and most do) they go on to our more formal class after they graduate from the puppy socialisation course as the pups have learnt how to concentrate and work for short periods in an environment with other dogs and are ready for more focussed training.

Good luck with your little guy, he certainly is a cutie-pie!

posted in Breeder Talk read more

I'd like to make some points in relation to items raised on this thread.

a) If we are satisfied that the the African dogs that have been added to the stud book are in fact African village dogs from the same isolated populations from whence our original Basenjis came from, then they are to me more true Basenjis than any else where in the world. They have bred, largely amongst themselves to survive African conditions and no doubt forage and hunt for their own food etc. Surely its up to us to educate our breeders and judges that perhaps our understanding of what a good Basenji is has shifted away from the African Basenji to now be the International Basenji?

b) Secondly someone made comment on the poor structure of the African dogs? Really - have they not looked at many of the dogs now gracing our show rings? Straight shoulders and over angulated rears seem to be the name of the game at the moment, throw in a few weak pasterns, undulating top-lines, unfit dogs and I really don't think the African dogs are any worse than our non African stock. A flashy side gait does not make a sound dog able to stand up to a life of finding your own food and no veterinary treatment, for a sore back after a lure coursing run. These African dogs are different maybe, but I sincerely doubt structurally worse.

With regard to adding in African stock I think it does some excellent things: - its starts discussion - we may not all agree but we start talking about aspects of this dog that feel are essential to it being a Basenji.

However I also find it interesting reading the Coppingers' 'Dogs a New Understanding', who are evolutionary biologists focussing on dogs and that they say that the 'Natural Breeds' are constantly shifting and changing in response to their environment, food sources, disease etc - and paraphrasing is that the type of dogs that were taken from African and called 'Basenji's' no longer exist, as their core population did not freeze in time, even if the Avongara and Lukuru pups are direct relatives to the dogs that were exported, they've been exposed to environmental pressures, periodic shifts genetic frequency which means that they are no longer exactly the same.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

From my limited experience I think it is more about a convenience to have something to pee up rather than any other reason. My boy did this to me in the ring once when he was about 7 months old when we were standing awaiting assessment - in shock I raised my arms in horror, forgetting that I was attached to the poor lad with a short show lead and so inadvertently he got rather jerked. This seems to have had the effect of teaching him peeing on me is not acceptable, just as peeing in the house etc is not acceptable.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

My young male Basenji would like to approach every dog he sees, but if on the lead should I let it happen, chances are it would end in hackles rising and some Basenji swearing - because he is on the lead he is not able to control the situation and approach according to doggy etiquette and so he gets anxious. It is nothing to do with guarding me, he feels anxious as he cannot move as he needs. I'd be just the same if I was tightly tethered in a busy bar or pub and wasn't able to dodge the drunken leery patrons and iffy chat-ups lines!

If we are in a situation where I cannot keep space between me and the other dog - eg walking towards another dog on a narrow pathway - before my guy starts getting stressed, I just pick him up and tuck him under my arm. I don't have to bother saying anything, he relaxes and is happy to observe the situation, knowing he will not be put in a threatening position. This will not work for every dog - some dogs get foolishly brave if picked up and more agitated. However whilst I consciously stay relaxed with him under my arm I still hold the lead and I am always very aware of the other dog as we pass by, and make sure the dogs pass by away from the side that I'm carrying my boy on.

You might might find this is helpful whilst you work on the a more permanent solution with training/behaviour modification as you don't want to allow any dog to continue practising bad behaviours if you can't avoid coming in close contact, but it does depend on how he reacts when picked up as to whether its appropriate for your guy.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

My boy is the same… play with me... chase me.... and a playful nip to the butt usually gets the game going in the direction he wants! Obviously with my other dog, a younger Ridgeback male this is no problem, they both know the game. However I rarely let him interact with dogs we don't know.

Whilst the vast majority of dogs understand its a game, the vast majority of dog owners don't. When I do let him play with known dogs (our main play group is a mix of Border Collies and Groenandals of both genders) I have had people (who do not have a dog present) come up to our group and complain about my Basenji to the other dog owners (who are fine and are happy to let their dogs play with him) because they can see the very obvious nipping. The nipping has never drawn blood nor distress but the majority of people simply do not see the nip it in the context of play.

And has been said before, the other problem with letting dogs play in a dog park situation is that you just do not know how well adjusted and socialised the other dogs are - you only need one dog that doesn't speak dog properly to throw a happy and relaxed group dynamic into turmoil and potentially lethal situation.

My old sighthound mix had been there and done it all, and I knew she would just exit a group if a dog didn't speak dog properly in a park situation. My Basenji, younger and male, is far more likely to get himself more involved in trouble and hence I do not put him in a position where is likely to get out of his depth. Who knows, as he gets old and wiser (I live in hope), I may give him more 'responsibility' but not at the moment, it is not worth the risk to him or other dogs.

posted in Basenji Training read more

I just love it when folk say Mr Milan can't be all bad as he says you need to feed, exercise and give a dog affection!!!!

Jeepers! They are the MOST basic requirements for caring for any sentient beings - how Mr Milan can get any kudos for stating that is beyond me. I learnt that in nursery school when we had to look after the gerbils.

It is also beyond me that anyone can be surprised that a dog given a well-balanced diet, is given appropriate daily exercise and human contact affection is more likely to be calm/relaxed/happy/receptive to human interaction than a dog that is fed poor diet, not exercised and ignored.

Helena you made a wise decision to stop watching TV all those years ago, as it seems the majority of the Western world has lobotimised itself and lost the ability of 'common sense'.

I would like to give a shout out to Jane Killon, Ian Dunbar, Ray Coppinger, Jean Donaldson, Susan Garrett, Lesley McDevitt and Kay Laurence who among my current favourite reads/DVDs when it comes to dog behaviour and/or training.

Apologies, rant over…. I'm obviously in need of some exercise and the poor diet of 3 coffees per day is doing me no good!

posted in Basenji Training read more

Wouldn't go near it! Particularly as he advocates and sells his version of a prong collar - an adversive way to prevent a dog from pulling - and not very successful at that.

Try using methods that have actually been proven - scientifically and not by marketing spiel!

Great website for finding info is loads of free stuff to read and watch too.

Basically there are no short cuts, good training and manners take time, but if you learn to enjoy the process rather than focus on the results you enjoy and treasure you spend with your B learning together and then the finished behaviour/trick/exercise is just the icing on the cake.

posted in Basenji Meetups & Events read more


I'm based in mid-Devon and would be interested in a South West meet-up if anyone fancies it?

Count me in - I'm in mid-Cornwall!

posted in Basenji Training read more

Whilst you are getting her health checked out I would go to her, make no eye contact, don't speak to her or touch her, but let her out into the garden/ slip her lead on and take her out (whatever is appropriate) and give her chance to pee. You are facilitating her being able to get to pee - nothing else, so be neither friendly nor mean, completely neutral.

i find that not rewarding the Basenji with eye contact, praise etc it helps prevent the whining be rewarding by getting attention from you and thus increasing its frequency, but allows the animal to relieve itself if necessary. I've had a couple of times when this has happened with my boy - I've reacted instantly to his whines with taking him out (and when I was living in a 7th floor apt this was no easy feat) on each occasion he immediately pee'd and then went straight back into his crate to sleep for the rest of the night. To be honest, if he was comfy he'd hate going out into the cold night unless it was absolutely essential!

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