Something I learned very early in my basenji pack:
I must be considered ALPHA, as are all my family.
When they were little, they learned that I could touch them where ever, whenever. I did this by touching them, gently, while giving a treat now and then, while talking to them gently, soothingly. Doesn't matter what I said, the tone of voice is what mattered. I eventually touched their legs, back, lifting the 'lips'??? and touching each toenail. This all came in handy for various examinations, even at the vets. If I had my hand on them, they knew they were being taken care of.
When they were little, every 3 days or so, at eating time, I'd take one with me to another room, just us two. Then I would feed one kibble to the pup, me being in control of what they were getting, and when, until their bowl was almost empty - then they'd get to lick the sauce I usually put in.. All while talking soothingly, using a happy voice. Again, words didn't matter, just the tone of my voice.
When they got older, once a week, and then once a month, forever.
It must have worked, I had control of those dogs, with no harshness being used.
I was told using a treat with an older dog to get it to do something, means the owner failed. In basenjis, expect to use treats their whole life, it's not a failure. The last 10 years I used regular dry dog food, but one of those tasty, new brands.
But, when I needed to do something quickly, I got into my 'good dog treats' I kept in the freezer. All the others the dogs knew as 'treats' but the ones I kept in the freezer, usually some kind of meat, they knew as extra tasty because they were called 'biscuits.'
I always like to share the story of when someone, who shall remain nameless, opened the garage dog without checking the dogs in the backyard - because the second garage door, in the back of the garage was already opened. So Spicer led 3 or 4 of them on a walk down the sidewalk. I earned my 'Crazy Dog Lady' label because I walked toward them, yelling "Biscuit" They were about 6 houses down, Spicer heard me, turned around, they all followed him, and they all got a 'biscuit' and "Good" To be honest, it was the cutest thing - Spicer pranced down the sidewalk, each one followed him in single file, and when he turned around, that's how they came back, in single file. He had such a proud look about him, like he was the Boss!
And NO ONE got in trouble, well, none of the dogs. They came when called, that deserved a reward.
You have to teach them YOU are alpha, and good things come from you.
Any snarking, growling, snarling, was not tolerated. I think usually I just grabbed their neck, again, not roughly, but firm, with a stern louder NO, and they were removed from the situation.
Except - Captain growled to have his nails trimmed all the time. He didn't try to bite me, but the growls sounded bad. Ok, I'm going to tell the rest, be warned it's kind of, I don't even know what word to use. He was on the grooming table with the noose around his neck, so we figured it would be best if my husband held him too. Firmly. He figured out the best way was to, I can't believe I'm telling this, and these are the words he used he'd 'rub his bxxxs.' When Captain was neutered he still rubbed him. No growling after that. I guess sometimes you just have to think creatively.
If he did not attack the dog afterwards, it is not 'aggression' it was a warning to the other dog. Did the other dog listen?
Try to be careful who you allow him to play with . If a dog steps over the line, do not let your dog with him. We do not want your dog to think all dogs are aggressive. I know that 's hard at a dog park, but do your best. We do not want him thinking all dogs are that way so that he gets aggressive/defensive right when meeting.
My experience (the problem child we never had, Ibis, was not the norm, so is not included here)
They were all in a wire crate, about 3' high, 3 1/2 feet deep, a couple feet wide. It made me feel better knowing if they messed in their crate, they wouldn't have to lie in it. They were in their crate at night, and if we left the house. I had a little trouble with our first, but got her used to it. When she was 9 mos old, I asked her breeder if she had a male in the next litter, let me know, and we got Spicer. An immediate change in Sugar, she just needed a playmate. They slept in separate wire crates, next to each other.
After that, each new dog started in a wire crate, moved to the dog room when we remodeled, and no problem that couldn't be solved. The crates are where they were fed, I think they kind of thought of them the way the kids felt about their bedrooms.
A few times they messed in their crate, they'd be nice and dry because they wouldn't have to lie in it.
The first one we got wanted my attention ALL DAY, hence the addition a year later. I thought she was hard work, but an angel compared to the problem child we never had!
Looking back, they were kind of easy, so I'm not much help. The only thing you mentioned that I'd do differently is not get a divider so the crate is smaller for a pup. But that's just me.
I know it's been over a week since I posted, but I remember one thing about her I didn't add ( and obviously I was thinking about her):
When she wanted attention, she would HIT, usually just once, unless that didn't work, so she kept hitting until it did. It was really a light tap, but we called it 'being hit by Freida!"
The other comment I would like to add is that basenjis go through life thinking "What's in it for me?" THEIR WHOLE LIVES!!!!!!
The best thing for both the owner and the basenji is for the owner to realize they will constantly have to think of positive ways to convince the basenji that what the owner wants it to do, is what it wanted to do in the first place.
It will require some creativity on your part, ITS WHOLE LIFE!!!!
(When I placed puppies, I never placed them with dumb people)
@zande I am so very sorry, but this made me read it to my husband, and both LAUGHED!!!!!!
Out yard is big enough that we put in a privacy fence around the back 3/4, and anytime the dogs are in front (where all the GOOD plants are) they are on leash.
Again, I'm so sorry for laughing
I know about loving one's house, and trying to keep it as it's history mandates, but believe me, we have done EVERYTHING to our home that we could, often temporary, to accommodate our basenjis.
Our last died a few weeks ago, and we are only now redecorating/remodeling rooms where things were done to accommodate our basenjis. Please do not be one of those people that gets a puppy and rehomes it when it is old and too much work.
If you get rid of him, every day you are in your home you will see things that remind you of things you could have done to keep him.
I do not mean to be harsh, but I just lived through what you are living. All are gone now, and every time I see something in my house, I am reminded of the things we changed to accommodate each and every one. And did it happily, with love.
It is possible to put down a thin carpet, wall to wall, upstairs, that you can put in yourself. It doesn't even have to be attached, then just take it up when he is gone.
I suspect the crying and whimpering going up the stairs is because of the way you are carrying him, sounds like pain. Have you taken him to the vet, explained the situation, and possibly given pain mads?
I am very sorry you are experiencing this, and will pray that you can make a decision that you can live with.
Ibis, the problem child we never had, went down to visit Toni Ackerman, and her boy Charlie Brown. (I won’t go into specifics, but conformational wise and temperament wise, it was a good pairing).
She came home, and on Christmas day, gave us a Charlie Brown Christmas!
So, of course the pups were named after the cartoon characters (I always gave the new owners the freedom to choose their own names, some kept the CB Xmas names)
Linus – Rugosa True Meaning, Lucy – Rugosa Presents for Pretty Girls, 2 others I can’t remember the CB names, and the little girl I kept, Frieda - Rugosa Naturally Curly Tail.
There was some New Af on her sire and dam side, so I remembered that when she had some front bottom teeth that never came in. Too bad, if Rosa and Ibis got awards of merits, surely this little girl could do well – the best I ever bred. I was thinking if it all worked out, breeding her to Captain.
Then, the car accident, and our world was not turned upside down, but certainly tilted a bit.
She didn’t really get socialization, so was a bit timid, and after the accident I certainly didn’t have the time, so she stayed here. She was an absolute joy, she honored basenji rules around here, and accepted what the others told her – you are at the bottom. She didn’t seem to care really. I swear, we never had to tell her no, she just followed the others.
The one day 2 Lazy Boys were delivered when she was about 4. She had never chewed any fabric, and wouldn’t you know, this new chair needed to be customized – with a 2” hole on the seat!
She never heard no after that either.
At least once a week as I was watching her, I marveled at how nice she moved, and we never knew how we got so lucky that she barooed often, when she was happy, but never screamed like her Mom!!!!!!!!!
It has not been a good year for Rugosa Basenjis, Promise and Gretchen both left this year (not to mention Ada and Dempsey). Captain and Frieda were always close, and she was showing him that now it’s just them, she thought she might like to be the alpha. Captain, he didn’t care, the girls could always smell him, tell him he’s handsome, and then they could do whatever they wanted.
When Captain was helped across the bridge, Frieda had an appt for a dental. The day before the dental, she was limping, just a little, and I was told the vet would check it out. When I picked her up, he aid he saw nothing.
The last 4 dogs I have helped cross, were there because of old age, their bodies just wore out. That’s sad, but really kind of satisfying, knowing our care helped that to happen. They had all been 15 or 16, with a 17 yr old!
So Frieda came home, the only basenji, and I thought she would love it. However, she was a bit lonely, she had never been alone before.
She was limping a little more, so I took her in again. The gal that called got permission to xray her, and when I picked up Frieda, she said she saw nothing on the xray, but could send them to a radiologist, who had a better program, to see what he thought. She’d let me know in a week.
That week her limp got worse, but she was still using the leg sometimes. (Somewhere in all this she got pain meds, can’t remember exactly when. They didn’t help)
So the vet called with the bad news. By this time she was not even using the leg, ever. The radiologist said that Frieda had cancer on her leg bone, the longest one. The vet told me it was a fast growing cancer that if not taken care of, she could just be walking, and break her leg. She said we had 3 options, and started with amputation, then started with #2 and I interrupted her and said we would just let her go (which was her 3rd option), I made an appt to bring her in a couple of days. I did, I saw the radiologist x ray, and held her as she crossed.
She would have been 14 today. I know that’s old for a basenji, but I honestly thought we had a couple more years with her. She just started graying a couple months ago, and acted as healthy as can be. Plus, her mother lived almost to 17. Oh well, we’ll just treasure the time we had her. She, and the 3 before her, were all born here.
There are no plans to get another basenji, and I would never get anything else. It’s kind of weird, not having a basenji. Every time food gets dropped on the floor, I actually have to clean it up! If I can’t eat everything on my plate, even if just drops, it gets washed without being basenji washed first. I washed all the blankets and took them to Monica (has 3 Shiba Inu mixes). I gave the dog food that was left to the neighbor. We used to have a baby gait blocking the stairs to the upstairs – not any more. I vacuumed, and only do it every now and then. I keep the dog room, now the sun room, at 60 degrees all the time, used to be 72. I walk around the yard and I do it alone. I still fill the bucket on the gazebo with water because the squirrel drinks it, and just the other day there was a fat kitty there. For the last 25 years, any cat that entered the backyard was in danger, and usually got killed. Lots of squirrels and bunnies run around now.
We don’t have to always close the door when we’re bringing home groceries.
Frieda and the neighbor’s Ridgebacks used to run the length of the fence between us, back and forth, back and forth. They were out there barking for her for the first week or so. Now I don’t hear them anymore, and I don’t have to keep the path she made clear for her anymore.
There are little things around the house and yard that will forever make me think of the dogs, with love. I still love reading the basenjis stories, seeing the photos, laughing at the typical basenji antics, and will continue to do so. I play the videos of dogs baroo-ing, loud, so Danny can hear them too.
This life with no basenjis is different, but we’ll adapt.
If he/she ate any of the rabbit, get some medicine for tapeworms
I learned that you seeing their tapes is how the vet knows they're there. After a couple of years, all I had to do was call the vet, say the dogs got another rabbit, and the medicine would be ready for me to pick it up.
We have a house with a front door, a side door, and a back door. We have a 6' wooden fence around the back yard, not affecting the side or front doors.
Our second pet, Spicer was an inch over standard and used that inch when it served his purpose.
He was VERY afraid of fireworks, and afraid of thunder, but we think he thought they were from the same thing.
Once he was still out as the fireworks started (and it was neighbors) he climbed the fence and was jumping at the back door. Such a good boy, he could've run away.
Captain was afraid of the central vac, I tried to use it when it was nice out and he could run to the way back yard.
Freida was more jumpy around noises she wasn't expecting. She was born that way and stayed that way her whole life. I figured it was because she had quite a bit of African in her none of the others did), and she would need that trait to survive in Africa - I'm just guessing though.
Over the years, all my Rosa descendents were anxious in the car at first, then settled down with age, and only showed excitement when the van stopped.
And then there was my problem child, IBIS. She was a screamer, at many things. The van specifically _ we put her in a wire cage in the van (then the truck), like we use at home, about 2 1/2 ft wide, 3 ft deep, 3 ft high. She got to the point that she screamed for the first 5 minutes, settled down, but every stop sign/light, screamed, quietly gradually to blood curdling. I was always reminded of the story I heard on the old basenji list about the neighbor in the apartment building calling 911 because there was a woman being murdered in the apartment next door - and it was the basenji!
She did best with the highway driving.
Never poop or throwing up, it was anger, not the driving itself. When we stopped I think she felt she could get out NOW.
She went through life thinking "I'm the Ibis, gotta love me!"
To the poster that has the screaming dog, I'm very sorry, it is not fun. Luckily Ibis was so good natured, and so lovable she got through it (us too).
Sorry, got off topic - Ibis would feel that's fitting, Gotta Love me! She is the one that we were more outwardly sad when we helped her cross the Rainbow Bridge when she was allowed to pass. She was 16
His eyes, his markings, his coat, his head (my first basenji, the product of 2 champion parents had a head like that), his tail that wants to curl, seem basenji to me. My Ibis, would have loved to have been overweight, and would look just like him (I pray he does not ACT like Ibis). And oh, there are times I wished for a nose that black.
Lucky boy, has his owner smitten!
IMO, there's a basenji back in her family - but something bigger too. She definitely has a basenji's eyes.
Not smelling like a 'dog' when wet is a basenji trait. If she smells like a dog, it does not mean there is no basenji in her, just that if she has that trait, it can be put in the 'basenji in background' column.