I can certainly feel ribs if I rub her firmly along her ribcage, but she doesn't get that much exercise. I had this wonderful vision of taking my dog for lots of walks by myself and with the kids before we got Jessie. But she's turned out to be a real headstrong dog to take walking (just like her dad!). Most of the time she's either pulling ahead or I'm pulling her to keep going. I'm sure she is utterly contemptuous of my walking skills, I just don't get it right! I've tried various methods, none of which have worked, but that's beside the point. I was pretty patchy for a while, but I've reestablished regular walks and I'll just have to put up with her. She does love to chase (along the fence) the motorbikes and dogs that pass by so she runs very fast to do that, but I suspect the weight probably isn't all muscle. I'll probably aim for 28 pounds,and then see how she looks as I go. Any extra weight can't be good for her joints.
Thanks for your comments!
You should be able to see a "waist" if looking down at her.. she should have a "tuck-up" from from the rib cage through the loins (underline). You should be able to feel the ribs lightly under the coat and you should see a "hint" of rib outline when they are gaiting.
Hmm, looking at this comment again, no, I don't think she has a 'tuck up'!
Wow, so it looks like I should aim for 28 pounds as a maximum.
I am attempting to upload some photos for you to look at. She still doesn't look that overweight to me, looking at these photos. But then I look at the photos in my Basenji book and they do look a bit leaner! I think she might be big boned. Her mother was an average female I think, but her father was quite big around the chest, very male looking. We think she takes after the father in temperament as well (unfortunately, the mother seemed so sweet!)
Thanks for all the advice.
I got some new scales yesterday so I weighed my 16 month old Jessie, and she was nearly 35 pounds (just under 15 kilos)! I knew she was heavy but that seems a bit excessive. She is huge for a basenji, 17.5 to 18 inches high, but I think she's about to go on a new eating and exercise programme! She doesn't look fat to look at, but she certainly doesn't have that lean look that a basenji should have.
What weight do people think I should aim for, considering that she is bigger than average? Should the amount of food I give her be relative to the weight I am aiming for her to be, or somewhere in between the aimed for weight and the existing weight? I am going to try switching to a raw food diet, I have read that it is so much better for their teeth and associated health. I suppose it will all become obvious as I go, but if anyone has any suggestions that would be great.
Jessie scavenges a lot, she's always trying to steal food from the table, my two year old delights in giving her food behind my back, and she certainly cleans up anything that falls on the floor. I didn't think it was that bad though!
I've only washed Jessie a couple of times to be quite honest, but I do it outside. I have her on her leash, and I get my son to feed her a steady stream of liver treats while I quickly get it done (with a hose). Not a method that would probably work in a cold climate I suppose. She doesn't seem bothered much by it at all. She will also walk by herself in the waves at the beach too, so I don't think she's a dog that hates water though.
I tried a head halter ages ago, for at least 3 weeks, but she just hated it. She kept trying to get it off, even after three weeks, and I just couldn't do it to her anymore.
A couple of books I'm following at the moment say that head halters suppress rather than correct the behaviour.
She's doing well now.
I got a medium size, as she's quite large for a basenji. I haven't tried hooking the d link and the collar onto the leash as the two seem too far away from each other. Maybe that's part of the problem! But I have decided to stop walking her for a while again because it's just made her more aggressive. I liken it too Caesar Milan's recommendation to walk your dog everyday to strengthen your role as pack leader. But all it does for Jessie is strengthen her role as a dominant dog. She started nipping at the kids more again, and most annoyingly, at me when I was leaving her behind to go out somewhere (even when I'd given her a bone to chew while I was out. Grrr! I don't appreciate being nipped. I noticed on the last day I walked her a few days ago that she glanced at me for a quarter of a second, and that was a big moment! Normally she doesn't pay me any heed whatsoever. Which is probably why I'm pulling her a lot. I want to combine a brisk walk for me with a couple of longer stops for her to have a sniff. Her idea of the walk is obviously for me to trail around after her!
But of course it's my fault because I haven't been doing as much training with her as I need to. It's just such hard work, I keep getting distracted by other priorities. Back to it now I suppose, because I really would like to take her for a walk everyday.
While I'm doing further training with her not to pull at the leash, I've started using a harness with my 9.5 month Jessie, it's a gentle leader I think, it has the D-link for the leash at the front on their breastbone. I can't seem to get it to fit properly though. Does someone else use these without any problem. I've got it on as tightly as I would like it to be, to the point where I'm concerned that it's rubbing under her legs, but it still shifts across her back when I inevitably pull on it, so I frequently have to adjust it so that the top strap is behind her shoulders. Any suggestions to getting it fit properly? What about when I have to pull on it to get her going, too. I know it's supposed to stop the dog pulling, but am I also supposed to be able to pull on her as well (eg, when she's stopped to sniff at something and I want to keep going)?
Any advice would be appreciated.
My Basenji Jessie (now about 8 months old) is rough with the kids (now 2 and nearly 5). She has gotten a lot better as she's gotten older, but she still gets stuck into them sometimes. I ended up using a water gun outside when she went into 'hunting mode', not much, but it seemed to help, I haven't needed it in ages. I wanted her to stop doing it of her own free will, not for her rough behaviour to be suppressed just when I happened to be around with the water pistol. My son (the older child) also started biting her back (to my exasperation!) which also seemed to help! I wouldn't recommend that of course. I got to know by her body language when she was in one of 'those moods' and would watch her more carefully. I tried to teach my kids how to treat her, to get up off the floor if she was attacking them etcetera, which helped, my son definitely developed an assertive behaviour around her most of the time (from being scared of her at times at the beginning). I think she's just getten better as she's matured. It's definitely play, the kids do the most awful things to her sometimes and she just takes it mostly. It's been difficult because my son has been so difficult to train as well, and my daughter is a bit too young to consistently treat her the right way though. But we're getting there. I can see that as she matures she is going to be a great dog. But it's been a long puppyhood that's for sure! I'm reading The other end of the leash, and Control unleashed and When Pigs Fly at the moment and I think all their comments about behavioural training are useful, especially when you have a more 'dominant' dog. I'm still getting through them.
Anyway, good luck with it!
Jessie's mum and dad are in a yard that is only 3 feet high believe it or not. And they don't get out. They do live at the end of a road, though there is a walking track that starts at the end of their road so they get walking traffic going past. And a school at the rear.
I had a three foot high mesh fence before we got the six foot fence put in. It wasn't only for Jessie that I had it put in, but I just didn't feel comfortable leaving her in a yard with a mesh 3 foot high fence. So far she is only 7 and a half months. If she starts to jump the fence I'll have to contain her in a smaller area, but my main job is a mum, so I'm home most of the time, and tend to only go out for 2-3 hours at the most, and not every day. There's no one at home to keep her in the house while I go, except on weekends when my husband is home, and we do keep her in the house while the other one goes.
This whole training business is so dispiriting. Although we have been haivng fun with roll over and shake hands. She picked that up very fast, unlike walking on a loose leash and come!