Yesterday we took Sanji, 15 weeks, to local dog training center for his first swimming lesson. Did great! Jumped off the floating dock, swam to ramp, four times.
We began getting him accustomed to water early with mini showers in our kitchen sink to rinse off mud from walks. A lick pad smeared with a banana helps a LOT!
Took out for play in light rain yesterday. He didn't even notice!
Hi all -
Looking forward to hearing of others' experiences with Basenjis. We had a cockapoo who was tragically killed by a car last December. I'm an avid mountain biker and took him often, though he wasn't really the right breed. But he did great. Researched and discovered the Basenji breed and was impressed: the only non-shedding short hair "active" breed very suitable for mountain bike rides. We drove from Michigan to N. Carolina on Feb. 5, when he was 6 weeks. If I'd have known then what I know now, I would have insisted on picking up at 10 weeks. I trained our last dog 9 years ago, but this time began an online course, "30 Days to Puppy Perfection" (DreamDog) with Michelle Lennon and it's been a BIG help.
Sanji is, at 12.5 weeks, largely crate trained and potty trained, and we're doing well with sit, down, stay (for up to 30 seconds), come, and "heel" while short leash walking. But we're working on puppy biting. He's definitely different than a cockapoo. So fast, smart, and agile. It's almost scary. When energized, he's a "devil dog." When he's tired, he's a cuddly cute guy.
I do praise her ...where the pee pad is. ...:
Pee pad? Well that's a BIG mistake that explains a lot. A pee pad only teaches her it's OK to go inside. Get rid of it immediately. The above advice is all good: crate train, keep potty visits short not fun so she gets the purpose. Praise when doing it, not when get back inside; only scold inside while doing it, never after. Weather is irrelevant. Here in MI I was taking out 6 week old when it was 8 deg. See this and all of Michelle Lennon's videos.
Before we got our basenji, "Sanji," I started this online training course with Michelle Lennon. To be sure, with my last dog I went to a local pro, Linda Aloff, but this is more detailed and better organized and you can do it at home.
It takes a month for a person to get through the rich course and all the material that one uses, including a provisional daily schedule. That's the easy part. It's really a lot of work everyday to train as much as ought to be done. Most people won't have the time; it helps if you're retired or working from home. But, I have to say, the pay off is big if you can.
It's called "30 Days to a Dream Dog" but that means thirty days of training you to learn to train your puppy over the course of the following year or so. But really for life because one learns in detail the mechanics and logic of dog training. It's very comprehensive, covering everything. I found this course to be super helpful and worth every penny. There's a DIY course $167 and a "pro level" ($397). The best deal for me was going with the DIY level and buying, pro-level access for one month ($75), rather than pay ahead for it for 3 months. The "pro" level gets one access to three weekly zoom meetings with her and moderator, where they take questions from customers for an hour or so (usually about 10-15 people in the sessions) and one can also get any questions answered 24/7 via their facebook interface, and see what others are dealing with and interact with them. For what one gets, it's a real bargain. I used it for a month and found it very helpful.
She also offers a lot of free content, including many YouTube videos and a free and helpful "puppy starter kit."
Search "How To Train A Dream Dog" on YouTube
To be sure, I don't agree on every detail. For example, I incorporate many no-leash walks in the woods; they don't recommend that. Also, her course is not really designed to train an active "outdoor" dog, but more for an "indoor" dog. I'm training mine for mountain biking. She opposes electric fences and doggy doors. I've had great experiences for 9 years with both and will continue to use them (started electric fence training last week and making good progress). I like the combination because my last dog could go out when he needed, and he liked to watch the squirrels and chase them (never caught one). And of course, he loved to go on mtb rides in the woods and jump in the creek. (I hear basenji's don't like water, but I plan to take him for dock jump training at a local pro training place). Regardless, her course lays out solid foundational work. She trains you to be a puppy trainer and provides all the real-time help you could need. We're so glad we went this route.
At 13 weeks, Sanji is crate trained. Last night he went in voluntarily! We follow the recommendation to pick up the water at 7 pm, when we feed him, and he sleeps until 5:30-6:30 when we wines to go out for a pee and poo. He rarely has a pee accident in the house, rings the bell to go out, and I can't remember the last time he did #2 in the house. He fetches for 5-10 minutes, is biting less every day (due to distraction training), can do "stay" for 30 seconds, is doing great on "heel" walking with short leash, etc. In another 3 months, he'll be a dream dog.
Keep us posted on your hunting training. I'm with you politically, but I'm glad you followed the advice and contacted Jeff. (I do the same with my mountain biking buddies -- many are to the right -- and it's paid off tremendously. Made good friends and that I found really supersedes the politics, even as important as politics are to me.)
I've also wanted to know about what king of training hunting entails, so would love to hear what you discover. Thanks in advance!
Sanji has one like pictured above, but can't get at the treat. Tongue not developed enough to get it out? But as you see from this video, he likes getting out the treats from this toy. Hours? No. A few minutes. Since he's only 4 months, loves chewing on rawhide "bones" more than anything else.
With our last dog of nine years (a cockapoo), we used a doggy door and electric fence. It worked great. Kai could leave for potty or to chase squirrels (never caught one) as he pleased during the day; over time we got to the point where he wouldn't try to escape the yard and could leave the doggy door unlocked even when we were not home for 8 hours. But he always wore the collar during the day, and we always locked the doggy door at night. We became rather careful about that after forgetting one night. He jumped on our bed at 1 am after being sprayed by a skunk. It was so powerful that my eyes were burning and I was coughing. (A mix of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda works well we found.)
I suppose we'll have to build up that trust with Sanji. I don't trust him to stay within the fence yet, though he is doing very well. Fast learner. Over the past month, he's really learned what it's about. He intentionally challenged it once, knowing that he'd get a "correction." I was surprised at how boldly he just ran to it knowing he'd get zapped. He wasn't chasing or distracted by anything. He just decided to ignore my verbal warnings, the sound association we had been working on (a deep "Uh uhn"). I had it on the lowest setting so I guest he thought he'd challenge me and it. I put it on a higher setting and after he challenged again within moments, he learned it wasn't worth it. It'll take a long time for me to trust him outside, so we'll continue to supervise when he's out and reassess in six months.
I was very careful to introduce it slowly over weeks: flags on the perimeter, leash walks with sound warnings first. It's worked well.
In our front, people and dogs will walk by, and in our back, there's a park with regular dog-walkers and a basketball court. In both front and back he has consistently respected the boundaries for a few weeks now: he sits and watches, particularly to sun bath. Kai never sun-bathed. I'm impressed with his poise at just 4.5 months.
So, I'm hoping this will work out as well as it did with Kai, but I cannot imagine him not wearing the electric fence collar during the day and not being supervised, at least loosely from a distance or from inside. If he wasn't wearing it, sooner or later, he'd accidentally or intentionally wander across the barrier and then I don't know what would happen. That happened with Kai a few times and I had to go find him in the neighborhood. Scared me quite a bit. Ironically, he got killed by a car in a small and never-busy dirt parking area of a park last Dec. when my daughter turned to greet an arriving friend and he ventured away for just a few seconds. It was something of a freak accident because he avoided cars and I still can't figure out how it happened. Obviously, I'm super cautious with Sanji.
And at 4.5 months, I'm beginning to see why people love this breed. He's way more affectionate, smart, and curious that Kai was (not to diminish his wonderful ways and character). Frankly, I don't like puppies. They look cute, but they don't behave cute. Training and care is hard work, very time consuming, and they're so unruly. As Sanji has relatively settled down and his character is coming through, I enjoy him more and more everyday. He's really growing on me. I never had a dog that loves to snuggle the way he does; and he's such a beautiful creature.
I have all these questions about besanjis because I want to do the best for him so he can be the best dog he can be. We're off to a great start, and the advice and knowledge I'm getting from you all is appreciated. Glad I found this site! Thanks!
Size is key for crate/potty training, and cover it at night. Small crate or reduce available space of a large one.
At 4.5 months, Sanji is potty trained and now sleeps with us. But sometimes we have to step out and leave him in the crate. Glad we crate trained him at night and crucially, for naps during the day when he was younger and not potty trained.
There's a cheaper GPS collar now on Amazon with good ratings. Might get it. Sport Dog is well known for quality collars of all sorts. It's owned by PetSafe which makes cheaper versions of some of the collars, like electric fence collars, bark collars, etc. (Not wading into the debate on the use of those, ha!)
Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker - Location & Activity Tracker for Dogs with Unlimited Range (Newest Model), White (TRNJAWH)
Hi Don --
So true! I became not only his litter-mate, but his mother. Even at 13 weeks, he still suckle-bites my finger or ball of thumb when he starts to sleep and settle down. We have been working on recall, and drinking from my hand, which he seems to like. In contrast, my cockapoo wouldn't drink from anything but the creek (after jumping in) no matter how I presented (dish, hand, bottle, etc.) or coaxed him.
It's tough to get a dog to recall with outdoor distractions. My cockpoo often just ignored me, but I didn't work too hard on it and it didn't seem to matter because he always did follow closely when I began to move away on my bike and he never got distracted while riding or ran off after anything, except when we stopped and I encouraged him to chase a squirrel in front of us. He never caught anything, was a terrible hunter, ha! But he loved the chase.
Thanks for the advice. Any is appreciated.