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posted in Behavioral Issues read more

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I guess I never thought about anyone out there thinking that anyone could suggest lifting a dogs weight by its ear, I guess I'll have to rethink the lack of common understanding in the care of dogs. I will no longer be posting any input on this forum so there will no longer be any misunderstanding of what I write. I will sit back and watch for a spell to see if there is anything that I can possibly learn from this forum as I had initially hoped. If not, I will simply remove myself from here entirely. There certainly have been a few of you here that have been helpful and I do appreciate it and I give my most sincere thanks to those of you who did but I am not interested in getting anymore ridicule about training that one person cannot comprehend. I do wish you all the best but I think I would be best to stay away from this forum for the most part, other than to listen to what others think anyway. I will continue to love and care for my beautiful little girl but I am just not cut out for this place.

posted in Basenji Training read more

Thank you again, Agilebasenji. You are very kind and helpful and I appreciate it.

When I first got my girl I was given some information on clicker training and a book about some woman who trained dolphins using it. All of the information sounded great and the idea was awesome. The problem wasn't with the information, it was with me. I think my brain works well in some areas but absolutely not at all in others. I tried to use some of the stuff that I had read about but it just didn't work for me. I don't think it was the system that was failed, it was me who wasn't able to come up with ways to make it all work successfully. I think had I the opportunity to work with someone who was knowledgeable for a while I might have gotten the hang of it, at least maybe a little. Unfortunately, I knew of no one and I just never did get the hang of it on my own.

I found myself very fond of the "Perfect Dog" system by Don Sullivan and the way it worked made more sense to me. By that I do not mean that I found it to be a more sensible way, I mean only that I understood how it worked better than I understood the clicker thing. Also, having a video that gave some great training examples, real world examples, that I could watch and follow really gave me a lot of help. I really wish I had been able to find a training video with clicker training in it, perhaps I would have had more success that way. I did find a few little clips on youtube but they mostly didn't appear all that impressive nor were they very helpful, and they were almost always about agility or something that I wasn't interested in doing. Not that I don't find those excersizes amazing because I do, it's just that it isn't what I am wanting to train on at this time. You or someone like you should make a video that instructs simple people like me on how to train a dog in everyday, real world scenarios. The absolute best one would be how to train for perfect off leash behavior. And by that I mean that you can get them to come back when called and train them not to make a mad dash escape through an open door. I think I've got both of those two things sorted out with my girl now but with two near losses from her earlier days I'm just too chicken to risk trying it.

I no longer remember the reason that was given about why a hunting dog shouldn't sit, and perhaps it was for the show dog purpose and I have simply gotten my wires crossed about it. When I first got my girl I was encouraged by the breeder to show her and I gave it a try but it just didn't seem my cup of tea. The people for the most part were nice enough but it seemed like it had to become a way of life if you wanted to accomplish anything from it and my life was just too busy for that. Also, the training of the dogs wasn't in any direction that I wanted to follow either because what I really wanted was just a wonderful companion. Fortunately, that is what I got.

I've read quite a bit about the canaan dogs being used for explosives detection and always thought that it would come just as natural to the basenji's. In fact, the dogs are similar in many ways, from what I've read anyway. I almost went with a canaan instead of a basenji but I chose otherwise. I really do think that a basenji would make a good search and rescue dog and someday I would love to find out.

Right after I got Molly I looked into a site where someone was leading a group about hunting with basenji's because the breeder had followed it a bit and suggested I look into it. It turned out to be a little different than I had hoped for. The people doing it just accepted the fact that their dogs would consume a good portion of what they shot and the only thing they were expecting to get back from the dog was a severely mangled body. This wasn't for me. I believe that all life has value and when I take the life of an animal I do not want to disrespect the sacrifice it made for me by being wasteful. I even so much as give a prayer of thanks before I butcher my chickens. I can understand that a basenji puppy won't quite have things figured out and that there will initially be some waste but to simply accept that this is the way the dog is wired and still continue to hunt this way I found disrespectful of the birds and rabbits they were hunting. To each their own and I won't impose my own beliefs upon them but it just wasn't something I wanted to join. Perhaps this group will be different. Or perhaps that other group has changed the way they do things. Either way, thank you for the information and I will certainly look into it.

I know I should probably find a more appropriate thread but since you've been so helpful I've got to ask you, do you know anything about feeding raw diet to your basenji? You are welcome to answer in a more appropriate thread, I just didn't know where to ask about it. From what I've read it is supposed to be the best diet for a dog but I'm a little afraid of the risk of my girl not knowing the difference between chicken, eggs and rabbits that I feed out to her and the ones that are free ranging around my and my neighbor's place.

Thanks again for being so helpful and for being so understanding about my lack of knowledge.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

Lvoss, once again I apologize for mentioning anything that has worked so very well for me personally that apparently offended you again. I guess I hadn't thought about this being against your commands here, I will try to not make this mistake any longer. Or, perhaps you could just accept the fact that I am only telling about some good experiences I have had and that I am not claiming to be a trainer or tell others what they should do. I do hope you treat your canine companions with greater respect than you do people. If you wish to convince me that your ways are the best, you might try a little more reasonable approach.

YodelDogs, he did not lift the dog even in part by his ear, he held the ear between his fingers on the same hand that he used to grip the collar with but he didn't lift by that ear. I didn't describe it well and I apologize for that but it in no way was intended to make the dog experience discomfort. I cannot tell you why he even held the ear but I suspect that he did it to somehow give the impression to the dog that he held some control over it, perhaps the way its mother would have when it was still a pup. It may have been something he found he needed to do for some dogs to keep them from turning their heads to focus on something other than him. I don't know why so I could only guess. I found that it was unnecessary to hold the ear when I did this with my girl so I just used the collar in one hand and the other hand under the belly. It would make a lot more sense, I think, if you could see it.

If indeed Lvoss is correct that petting your dog is a punishment to it then you definitely should not try this. I've yet to meet the dog that was this way unless it was either wild or at least half wild. But, unlike Lvoss, I haven't seen and lived it all and experienced everything there is to know. I am not a trainer and do not claim in any way to know what I am doing with training dogs. I did not share this information to tell anyone what they must do but to tell of something that was almost magical in its effects for me. Please know that what I do is only a simple mans approach to raising my dog to be a great companion for me.

posted in Basenji Training read more

Agilebasenji, thank you for this positive training input, this is the sort of thing that I joined this forum for. I knew that there would be lots of people out there that would be willing to share their great ideas with the rest of us. While this is somewhat different than what I do, it is similar and along the same principals. Minus the clicker and the treat. (I am not opposed to the use of the clicker but I don't use it). I prefer to give my dogs the reward of verbal and physical praise for doing a good job over the use of treats but that is just me. The idea of making the horses mouth soft is exactly what I do but I do it faster and more reliably by starting with good sound ground work, but it is very similar.

I also appreciate the videos that have been shared here. I had some trouble early on with my basenji until I got a better feel for what I was doing. Raising my basenji has helped me to better raise my granddaughter, and very much so the other way around also. I intentionally chose to not teach my dog to sit because I had heard that you shouldn't teach that to a hunting dog so I instead taught her to lay down. I tried the reward system when I first got her as this was suggested by her breeder, but it didn't work well for me at all. I then found the video put out by Don Sullivan, who calls himself the "Dogfather", and everything got better immediately. She went from causing my to pull my hair out to suddenly being a dream dog. I will likely never do any of the agility training with her but I used to dream of turning her into a search and rescue dog. I don't really have the time to make that happen yet but maybe someday I can make that dream come true. Although I would probably prefer to have some professional help at that time.

Thanks to all who have tried to help this feeble old man.

posted in Basenji Training read more

Lvoss, I am sorry that I have been unable to convince you of my sincerety in trying to learn more and in my own care and concern for my own dogs. I have done my best to try to inform you and be as cautious and curtious as I know how to be but it seems that you do not have any openness about you and are unwilling to not ridicule and insult. I tried to add only that there were additional options to clicker training, not to say anything bad about your way. I see no further need to try and explain myself to you as your mind has apparently been made up that I am a bad owner and that is that. I would like to end this discussion now before you make it even more personal than you already have. You have succeeded in silencing my input in your forum, you win. I hope that it is okay with you that I should still view and learn what I can from this forum. I did not come here to be accused or insulted, I came here to learn what I could but I do not see how one can learn anything positive when I only see negativity. I am sorry that my comments were apparently offensive to you, they were certainly not intended as such, I will try to remember not to make comments that you can read in the near future.

posted in Basenji Rescue read more

Ladybug, I would love to help you out but Florida is a long ways away from where I live. I hope you find a wonderful home for him but I'm already jealous of his new owners.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

Buddys Pal, I like your advice on the excersize thing. I agree totally with that. I have seen a method that works very well for stoping dogs from nipping or biting but, based upon some previous comments by another about the limited training that I know, I would rather not share it on this forum. I have also seen a dog that eventually had to be destroyed because she wouldn't stop biting. I didn't know much about training back then and was of the opinion that she had to be destroyed many years before she was. Now that I know a little more I must say that it may have been possible to save her but I still have my doubts. And yes, she was allowed to continue until she eventually bit a little girl on the face badly enough that it required stitches.

Did Simba make it back to Tad yet? I hope all works out well here for everyone, best wishes.

posted in Basenji Training read more

I'm sorry that you do not approve. I'm also sorry that the method is being blamed for the bad training when it is the trainer who was at fault. When you see something not working, continuing to use it and expecting different results is a sure sign you are not paying attention to the animal. The same is true of the bad examples of clicker training that I've seen. It wasn't the method that was bad, it was the application.

I've learned to apply a lot of my horse training to training my dog and I'm a huge fan of pressure and release. In many ways this is a lot like the clicker/reward training in that something positive happens every time the animal does something right. When I want to train my horse to give his head softly, I begin by pulling down on the lead. I do not pull harder when the horse does not respond immediately, I only continue to maintain the pressure. Not a hard pressure but a constant one. Eventually, the horse will submit, and the instant that it does, all pressure on the lead is released. Thus begins the horses understanding that when it feels pressure all it has to do is submit to the pressure and all the pressure goes away. If you increase the pressure as you are doing it, what you are really telling your horse, or your dog, is that you are a mean and tyrannical person who is not likely trustworthy.

With this said, I would also like to say again that I am not a trainer. I do listen to good advice when it is given though and look forward to all the positive advice I can get.

I am sorry if any of my previous comments were misunderstood and somehow came across as a critisizm of the clicker training methods. I did not mean them as such. I do not believe that I have the skills or the knowledge to train well with that method but by no means do I think that it is a bad method for those that do know or have the time and the intelligence to understand it and learn it. I do not wish to put down anothers way of training, even if it is not for me, at least at this time, and I wish I could convince you of the same about corrective training. You may never agree but I see the corrective training that I use as a positive training method. Please don't be offended by this. I am only here to learn what I can, and I learn much more from more positive comments than from negative critisizm.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

I happened across a good piece of advice from a bird dog trainer that really helped to strengthen the bond between my dog and myself. He used the command "whoop", (maybe it's spelled "whup", not sure), when he was performing this.

First he would collect his dog by his side and then put him in a standing position. He used a grip of the dollar and one ear and lift the dog back into place for any correction to the dog if the dog tried to move either his body or his focus. He also used an arm under the belly if he had to move the dog more than just an inch or two so as not to be too rough on the dog. Once the dog was in position he began to stroke the dog lovingly but calmly. He continued to reward the dog with non-stop petting for 5 minutes with the only interruption being the use of his word "whup" about every 30 seconds and the occasional putting the dog back in stance form. He recommended this be done at least once a day, every day, for the entirety of the dogs life.

His theory being that for 5 minutes that dog got all the love and attention that he could give, 5 minutes of being the absolute most important thing in the world and all the dog had to do was to stand still for it. It was intended to teach the dog that he/she was important to the owner/trainer and that all that would ever happen when that word was said was 5 minutes of loving and petting. He used this training to stop his dogs when they were out of control at a distance and he claimed that it worked flawlessly.

I can only tell you that it greatly increased the relationship that I have with my girl, Molly. Since beginning following his instructions, she became a more confident dog and a more obedient dog. She became quicker at responding to every command. There are many days that I forget to do this and I am working at being better at getting into good solid habit with it but even though I do miss some days she still has become one awesome dog.

I am not sharing this to tell you that it will work for you, or your brother, because I have no authority to do so. I am only sharing this experience with you because it worked so well for me. If he decides to try it, I'd love to hear the results of it. Whatever he does, I hope it works out well for him. Best wishes.

posted in Basenji Training read more

In reply:

The only thing I posted about adverse effects of punishment with my girl was using too loud of a voice, too much verbal correction. What I found was that she didn't respond well to being yelled at or shouted at, a simple correction of "no" or "bad girl" was all that was needed. Either loud or soft would be consideredcorrection but in her case, less was more. This doesn't mean that I had a bad result from correcting her but instead from over-correcting her. My little girl has about the best disposition I have ever seen in a basenji, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. This good personality is what she was bred for and the reason I am thinking of breeding her. But even with this excellent personallity, she still has plenty of the little basenji rebel in her and does not like to be over-corrected and has taught me much about that. I hope this makes some sense.

The best example of bad clicker training I've witnessed is that which my mother tried using. She always talked about how happy she was with the results but all I ever saw was a very spoiled, obese and unruly dog. The dog got its way any and every time it wanted and was always getting treats because it would temporarily behave. Any time it wanted a treat, all it had to do was act up and then the training treats would come out. Being around this obnoxious dog was annoying at best. This is only the best example, I have seen other similar results from other people. I do think that in the hands of the right people this is a good method but I think you need more understanding of what you are doing to get the same results as can be taught by other ways.

I appreciate the article that you posted but I suspect that you and I read two totally different things out of it. I would only say that an obedient dog is a pleasure not only to the owner/trainer as well as to the people who are around it but also to the dog itself. I love dogs and I love children but I do not like to be around either if they are not well mannered, or at least in the process of being trained for better manners. I do not believe that reasonable use of pinch collars or choke chains is bad for the overall life of the dog and I did not read anything in the article that suggested otherwise.

Again, I would love to hear more applications of how to obtain great results in dog training. For me, obedience is my main concern, especially off leash. I and my neighbors all have various animals, from chickens to rabbits to sheep to all sorts of animals. It would be a horrible result if my little girl decided to chase my wife's wallaby and I couldn't get her stopped. Twice when she was younger she escaped my control and took off around the neighborhood. One time I caught her with a chicken in her mouth, luckily it was still alive and my neighbor has a lot of patience. Another time an employee from the local animal shelter found her on the rural highway that runs a distance from my place and decided to take her home and keep her. I was very fortunate that I got her back that time. The woman told us that the only reason she didn't keep her is that she was tearing her house apart trying to get away to get back home to me.

I cannot risk a disobedient dog, I will lose her permanently if I do not make her mind. I know how to do this by use of a correction method and it is this method that now keeps her alive. I know that there are some people who do not like this method and I'm sorry for that but I value my dog and will protect her in spite of that, whatever it takes. I do not oppose the clicker method and I do like hearing of more and more positive results. The more positive results I see and hear, the more likely that I will begin to apply them in my own training. But I will not stop the way I currently do just because some people don't like it. It is a method that works and has worked for generations and will continue to work for generations longer. Also, if the use of the collar bothered her I know she would show at least some sign of being reluctant to wear it but instead she happily puts her head into it, even now when she no longer needs it when we walk. I look forward to all the great ideas and advice that I will be hearing on this forum about good training and I hope you all will keep it coming. Please don't ask me to give up on what I know works, that won't happen. At least not until I find a better way for me and my little girl.

And thanks to all who have put in the advice and experiences in this forum, I have been enjoying reading the various posts and will apply this knowledge to my own life with my basenji.

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