Since I work from home with a generally predictable schedule, I try to keep to a regular routine of three walks a day with Bow. There are beginning of and end of the day walks of at least 30 minutes and usually before and after the respective “doggy rush hours” since I am a fairly early riser. We also usually try to slip in a quick 15-20 minute walk after lunch.
This usually does the trick for a content basenji and not too much excitement when we are ready for our regular walks.
There are occasions when it’s quite clear that she wants to go out now or that she thinks I’ve waited too long for her assigned walking time. Her signal is clear and predictable – she paws the spring door bumper. It’s usually one quick hit, but sometimes if she’s emphatic enough, she will hit everyone in the house, sometimes making several rounds with a louder “BONG!!!” with each loop of the house.
A couple of people say this simply couldn’t happen or that no dog is that smart, to which I give the usual “But you’ve not been around a basenji.”
Most people (some of whom have seen it) agree that is what she is telling me, but I’d appreciate others weighing in on the appropriate response.
· Is it best to respond and take her for a walk, or is that caving in and reinforcing manipulative behavior?
· Is it best to ignore it until there is relative calm and then go?
· If ignoring it results in the behavior escalating, then what?
· Has anyone else experienced this behavior?
Although we have a small garden/yard with grass and concrete, she has never “done her routine” out there. Whenever the back door is open, she is out there in a flash, sniffing around, peeking through the fence to see if the neighbor dogs are out, and back in the house in 90 seconds or less.
To date, this has never happened more than two to three times a month, but I’d be interested in other perspectives or suggestions or if this is a brooding issue that needs to be addressed.