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 Tamsala Basenjis

Where health testing and excellent temperament are of equal importance.

THE ZANDE PUT-OFF (page 2)

IN-HOUSE DISCIPLINE :


Basenjis love furniture - thinking chairs, beds, sofas,  the hearth are for their own special use rather than for mere people Unfortunately , they do (as any puppy) like to chew and this can be rather harmful unless controlled from the start.

If boredom sets in, what is nicer than a new cushion or an armchair? Our Basenjis are fed from an early age in a crate which gives it pleasant associations. They always travel in them and if left alone (for human shopping expeditions (for example) it is sensible to put the Basenji in a crate with a chew-stick or bone. It will sleep quite happily until the owner returns.

Otherwise destruction of the home can result and thereby unhappiness for owner AND dog.

A cheap , easy toy for puppies is the inside of a kitchen-paper or toilet roll - it saves boredom, is chewable and certainly disposable!  Our puppies leave here with a 'rabbit' made of old tights. (as well as their favourite shank bone.)


PUNISHMENT:


Because they are very  intelligent as a breed, they will 'try it on' to see how far they can push you and get away with it.  If you let them, the next time they will try to proceed even further along whatever line of mischief they have chosen. They can , and must, be trained like children - punished immediately when they do something wrong. We smack them on the hip, or a light tap on the side of the muzzle can be effective.  It does absolutely NO GOOD to punish them some time after the misdeed  as they cannot associate the punishment with its earlier cause. Punish immediately or not at all.


An idea some people find effective is to make a mountain from a molehill , and create a great fuss over a minor misdemeanour.  "WHO  threw the cushions on the floor?? BAD dogs" - so whenever these particular Basenjis wish to be VERY wicked - they throw cushions on the floor.  We get into a great state over torn up newspapers.  So our home-pack when punishing us for some imagined misdemeanour, shred the Daily Telegraph.


OUTDOOR DISCIPLINE


NEVER  punish a dog for responding to your call and returning to you, even from some mischief. It will think the act of returning to Master merits the punishment and this is not something you ever want to encourage. We try to give our adult dogs at least half an hour in the woods or fields daily, completely free of leads or restraint. They are not the best dogs to train to return to a whistle, though ours will, in their own good time.  Basenjis are bred in Africa as pack hunters. More than one constitutes a pack so we are careful not to let two males off the lead at the one time. They would go over the hills and far away with incredible speed. However one male and the girls can be free together. it is very important to run the household so that you, not one of the Basenjis, is the Alpha or pack leader.


Basenjis have NO TRAFFIC SENSE!   They should never be allowed off the lead near roads and are not ideal 'town-dogs' for this reason.


MEETING OTHER DOGS OUT WALKING:


The common practice among canines when they meet is to sniff. When you are out for a walk and meet another dog remember that if both animals are free or both are on a lead, the situation is usually fine. If one animal is free and the other(s) on a lead, the hitched dog can feel threatened. If you anticipate trouble, lift the Basenji free of the ground AT ONCE, get it over your head and be prepared to use your knee to  get the other dog away. It is unlikely that you will need to do this often, if ever. To hold a dog less than above your head renders its tail too vulnerable and a Basenji is proud of that tail!

We hate to say it but you WILL  meet  some VERY stupid and ignorant dog-owners. We had cause to call the police after a man rolled up his lead and belaboured our very new Mum with the clip end when she sniffed his Spaniel. She could have been badly hurt but the man took the attitude that no dog was going to sniff his dog. The police sorted him out on canine behaviour, were very supportive and that couple hasn't been seen in our woods since.