New basenji owner
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  • Hi everyone, on February 18th I adopted a beautiful female basenji. Her name is Athena and she will be 9wks this monday. I absolutely love her!

    What would be the best way to get her to stop biting my hands, feet and ankles? Biting is really the only problem thus far.

    Here's a couple pictures

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  • T

    aww! she's got some serious wrinkles! sooo cute!

    i'm no help on the biting issue, as my suki had a serious alligator mouth as a pup and i couldn't find any way to stop it. she is now almost 9 months and doesn't bite nearly as much, but still does nip when we play or when she absolutely needs my attention at any particular moment. it's not an aggressive bite, but it's surely annoying.

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  • How cute is she… Who did you get her from? How old is she?

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  • She will be 9wks this monday. I found her on puppyfind.com. A lady has 2 basenjis, they weren't trying to breed but they had 4 pups.

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  • Welcome to the forum! You know mine mine is over 2 and he still at times play bites or tries to grab around my ankle while I'm walking when he gets excited, even walking on the street at times. It's less and less as he matures. She just gets over excited and sees you as a puppy mate. Just remain calm, stop play and let her calm down. You can tell her in a calm but firm voice "no bite". When she plays and doesn't bite you can give her a treat so she get's the idea that not biting gets a reward and biting doesn't.

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  • L

    A firm NO BITE worked for mine as well. If you bite we will not play anymore eventually gets through to them.

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  • I concur with the advice above, but if we're on a walk and Cody gets really excited, my calves seem to be a good substitute for whatever it is he REALLY wants to bite. I hate to admit it, but I have just kind of learned to live with it as it doesn't seem to come out of aggression, but rather out of over-stimulation. One of the reasons I love this board is that it helps to normalize crazy Basenji behavior! i.e. there's nothing wrong with my dog - he's just a BASENJI!!!! LOL!

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  • P

    Yes, later biting from frustration when they can't get at what they feel they must have a go at is entirely different from puppy biting and is extremely difficult to stop in my opinion. Stopping a puppy biting is another matter and I would agree with NoBarkus. Just firmly warn her and reward her when she stops. Try to avoid snatching your hand or whatever away, just remain calm. I find a yelp helps too while she bites, especially if she has had sibling play.

    Welcome to you both, she is a very pretty girl.

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  • @Athena:

    She will be 9wks this monday. I found her on puppyfind.com. A lady has 2 basenjis, they weren't trying to breed but they had 4 pups.

    Hopefully the sire and dam have been DNA tested for Fanconi? If not, you should consider doing the test. It is a cheek swab that you do yourself. You can read and learn about Basenji Health at www.basenjihealth.org

    You said that you have had her for a week or so and she will only be 9wks old this Monday? IMO this is a bit early to be taken from the litter. I have found with B puppies that 10 to 12 weeks is much better, unless going to an experienced Basenji home or to a home with another Basenji or other breed. They learn "bite" inhibition" from littermates…. and I do not believe that Basenjis are really mature enough to learn the "pack" at 8wks or under.

    That said, you now have to take the place of the pack and littermates, in play when they get to rough the puppies will "scream" and really protest to hard biting... Remember that dogs "talk" with their mouths... and play with their mouths. You need to squeal, scream really loud when too much biting happens (which is usually when they are really over stimulated) and all play stops at that point. Puppy is ignored... until they calm down. Human body parts are replaced to the puppy with a suitable play toy. Many toys and chew toys are "required"...

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  • Congratulations, Athena! She is beautiful! :)

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  • they always look so innocent at that age.

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  • What a little cutie Athena is - so many wrinkles!

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  • What a face!:)

    I second Tanza's biting advice! GL!

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  • Just an idea… but if the sire/dam are known, give their akc numbers and we can probably find if they really didn't mean it or are repeat breeders giving same sad song.

    PLEASE get your pup tested for Fanconi and PLEASE strip test and read up on basenji health issues.

    I agree with Pat, but let me add one thing. When a pup is super mouthy, often the best you can do it let them bite in play but stop if too hard. Cara is a year old and the mouthiest creature I have ever owned. She bites her own foot and thigh, the bed, everything, when she is excited or frustrated. But although her mouth is on me constantly, she rarely applies enough pressure to hurt, much less leave a mark.

    Think of toddlers putting things in their mouth, and you have a 9 wk old pup. It is normal behavior that you have to take time to change.

    All that said, seriously cute adorable puppy. Congrats and welcome to the board.

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  • S

    Once she has all her shots, it would be time to get her into a gentle puppy class.
    Re fanconi testing, please keep us informed. We all are interested in hearing your results.

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  • Houston

    She is adorable..congratulations..

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  • Adorable face - probably a devil in hiding :p
    If the biting is clearly play biting a firm NO should work (and see previous comments). If more serious then try bitter apple spray. You definitely want to stop this type before it gets out of hand.
    Mine (3 yrs old) occasionally will bite (gently and really just a mouthing) when trying to get my attention to play. But you can tell from her expression that she knows she did something unacceptable.
    Consistent training is the most important thing you could do.

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