Basenjis survived for thousands of years by being independent thinkers. At first, they might think they don’t need to obey humans but when you establish a really good bond with your Basenji he will want to please you. The Basenji is very adept to any kind of training, whether it be for hunting, obedience or just the ordinary house training.
Mr Robert Fleming, obedience trainer:
“I have tried many different breeds of dogs in my career as obedience trainer, but the dog which gives me the greatest pleasure to handle is the Basenji. Unlike most dogs, they are utterly independent little creatures and one has as it were the raw material to make or mar: and careless handling can indeed ruin an otherwise excellent worker.
I have found that the Basenji reacts most favorably in training if controlled solely by the voice, which means that corporal punishment is completely cut out, and only stern vocal correction given, and always lots and lots of encouragement.”
Treat your Basenji with respect and he will do the same for you.
Train the smart but independent Basenji with firmness, patience and consistency. Keep training sessions short and fun, and don’t be surprised if he puts his own spin on commands or outthinks you in other ways. For best results, use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, especially food rewards.
Physical punishment or any type of neglect or abuse is likely to break this beautiful spirit and contribute to timidity, shyness, fear or depression. It can also cause a dog that would otherwise be friendly and loving to become mean and distrusting.
“The little Basenji has these characteristics to fill the bill”
How anxious he is to please, what extreme devotion he has for those he loves! How he respects his owners as well as loves them –when they have taught him to respect their wishes! A dog needs a master, one he can love and one whose authority he can respect. By Veronica Tudor- Williams;1946.