Positive Kennel Training Helps a Basenji Learn to Like the Kennel

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 18, 2019

For this Omaha dog training session we shared some positive kennel training tips to help 1 year old Basenji Benji (pictured here on the right with his roommate, 5 year-old Shiba Inu Macy) get over his reluctance to go into his kennel.

We started things off by going over exercise and kennel time. Basenji are a very high energy breed and can get into trouble if not properly exercised. This is challenging as the guardians live in an apartment building so I shared some creative ways to exercise a dog inside.

Because he likes to get into things, the guardians were kenneling Benji, but doing so for longer than 4 hours which will cause just about any dog to develop Cortisol in their blood. This is the stress hormone and its related to many dog behavior problems. Hopefully the guardians can incorporate some dog walking or dog day care to provide Benji with stimulation and an appropriate way to release his excess energy.

We also discussed the importance of rules, passive training and petting with a purpose to help flip the leader follower dynamic. These are small items repeated often and if the guardians adopt them, each time they pet the dog or enforce a boundary, the dogs will see them as more of an authority figure.

Avoiding engaging or moving forward when the dog is excited will also help. This video shows how to teach your dog to stay calm while you leash it up. Best of all, you dont have to be a professional Basenji trainer to do this. It just takes patience and good timing.

To help Benji get over his negative association with the kennel, we shot a positive crate training exercise.

It took a little bit longer for Benji to lay down than Id like. Its important to note that when you are doing any kind of kennel training, the key is to wait for the dog to communicate through its actions that its calm and relaxed before moving on.

The guardians may want to break it down into two separate exercises; first work in kennel training to a sit, then moving on to kennel training to a down later.

I also showed the guardians a leave it exercise that should help them disagree with Benji when he shows interest in getting into something he isn’t supposed to. We also discussed what to do for mouthing and nipping.

I think the guardians would be well served to enroll Benji into dog day care a few days a week and include a dog walker mid day for the days that he stays at home so he isn’t in a kennel for longer than 4 hours at a stretch.

The guardians mentioned that they were interested in having our lead trainer James come back to do some in home training, may be around the corner. This would really help Benji with control and discipline and he can start loose leash training.

To help the guardians remember all the positive dog training tips we talked about in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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