So, you've decided to take the Basenji (you've weighed the pros and cons, right?) What's next? And then here's what you need to think about.
Puppy or teenager?
There is no single answer to this question. Both puppies and older dogs have their pros and cons.
Basenji puppies are adorable toddlers with signature wrinkles. It's so interesting to watch them grow and develop. But these are also puddles, "pyramids", walks and feedings 4-5 times a day, gnawed things.
It is much easier with teenagers: the breeder has already done all the hard work for you. A good breeder also taught basic obedience. However, the Basenji is not an easy breed, and it is necessary to start working with it as early as possible, while the character has not yet been formed. 3-4 months is the ideal age.
About the same as with the birth of a child:
- hide everything toxic (household chemicals, medicines, plants),
- remove shoes, small items that an inquisitive baby can eat, hide cables, put special “curtains” on sockets,
- inspect the apartment for dangerous places (holes, cracks, protruding pieces of iron). You can attach special children's rubber corners to the corners of furniture.
- prepare everything you need: bowls, a bed, diapers (if the puppy is not accustomed to them), toys, food. As for the latter, consult with a breeder and a veterinarian (ideally, a natural woman, but there are allergy sufferers who are only suitable for food).
If you have taken a grown puppy, the problem with puddles most likely will not affect you (unless, at first, due to stress).
The kids need to be taught to do their own thing in a certain place / places. Spread diapers around the apartment where the puppy usually makes puddles or piles. And be sure to give him lots and lots of praise when he doesn't miss.
Do not scold a dog child if he has done it in the wrong place and you have not found him “on hot. Form a positive reflex: did the job in the right place - get a treat. Use some command (like: "diaper"). Puppies learn quickly. And basenji intellectuals even more so.
At first, the bassist may feel uncomfortable on a walk (an unfamiliar place, new smells, sounds), he may even be afraid to go for a walk, not to mention the toilet. And here praise comes into play again: he stuck his nose out into the street - “You are my smart girl/boy”, did things - again praise and yummy.
Is there any instruction on how to make independent basenji unquestioningly obey the owner? Answer: no! No templates, patterns which all basenji owners can use, because each basenji is a person. But there are general rules that we hope will help you:
Start practicing from the very first day the Basenji appears in your home - from learning the nickname and calling. Basenjis are hunters, and if they "took the trail", bananas appear in their ears and blinders in front of their eyes. Therefore, the call should be at 200%.
How to achieve such a call? You must become a hundred thousand million times more interesting for the dog than what he is now fascinated by (birds, eating, other dogs). But how? After all, they have instincts in the first place ... Yes, but not quite.
Start with contact. Mega fun games, sports, hunting, sincere praise for every little thing. Yes, it won't be easy. Yes, the path is not close. But it's worth it. When one day a bassist, keen on chasing a bird, instantly responds to your call with joyful running up, it is an indescribable feeling!
- No pressure, aggression.
- Your sequence (if the dog cannot sleep on the bed, then she cannot always sleep, and not on Saturdays “no”, but the rest of the time “shove”).
- You must show your leadership. Only no "alpha coups", EShO, beatings, screams. Only justice and patience.
- Obey commands. But not by physical force, but by positive reinforcement. Good word and nice for the puppy! Always praise your dog.
- Clicker training works great (we recommend reading Karen Pryor's book).
- If the call cannot be brought to automaticity, walk only on a leash and let the dog go in safe places.
- Exercise regularly and in different conditions: at home, on the street, with and without distractions.
- I walked past the carrion and didn’t gobble it up - smart girl, good boy, keep the yummy. This works much better than yelling: "Oh, you bastard, spit out the poop." Basenji quickly realize: good boys and girls are entitled to bonuses.
- Find an activity that your dog really enjoys. Basenjis usually love coursing, but some may not get it. Try hunting, agility, dancing, frisbee, nose work—anything to keep your dog interested and (especially important) staying in touch with you.
With desire, patience, consistency, you will succeed. If from the standards of stubbornness (Akit, Chow Chow) it is possible to make perfectly obedient dogs, then with the Basenji, much more people-oriented, albeit independent dogs, and even more so!