I no longer have a dog
I have a three year old female basenji, Roxy Heart. Overall she is well behaved some hiccups here and there but that is normal. The one thing that is not okay is her behavior towards other basenjis and the behavior of others towards her. About 1.5 years ago she began becoming very protective of me when other basenjis are around and now it is to the point of aggression. When ever there is another basenji at the park, which is rarely, she looses it. Sometimes the other basenji looses it first though; but no matter what it's not the type of basenji play date I hope for. She is fine with other breeds unless she feels the need to be protective of me, a normal basenji trait. I sometimes feel that it's because in my neighborhood dog parks the breed is very rare and she hasn't been able to socialize with many basenjis. Has anyone else experiences this? I would love to get Roxy to enjoy her kin!
Hi there! And welcome to the forum.
Where in California are you? I'm in Northern California, Bay Area, and we do have decent-sized monthly Basenji meetups on the last Sunday of every month at Pt. Isabel. If you're interested, I can send you the info.
That said, if Roxy is having trouble with other basenjis, it's probably not a good idea to throw her in with a dozen of them all at once. I'm not sure what to recommend, other than to find some mellow, laid-back, non-reactive basenjis to introduce her to and try to counter-condition. Of course, given the relative scarcity of the breed, that might be difficult.
I would be curious to hear from other Basenji people if this is something that happens often, especially females. It's rare that I encounter other Basenjis at local dog parks, but I've learned now to always ask "Is your B okay with other Bs?" before I bring my girl closer. I've had people answer in the negative a few times, and it often seems to be in reference to a female B. My female is very yielding and gentle though – she seems to have "calmed" some Bs that usually react badly to others of their kind. So I wonder if meeting a basenji with a personality similar to mine might help a dog like Roxy?
Another thing might be how these meetings are staged. If everyone is just standing in one place, but getting all excited over the encounter with multiple Basenjis, sometimes the dogs feed off that heightened energy in the air and will react more strongly. Whenever I go to meetups, I always make sure to walk around a bit, expend some of my dogs' energy, before meeting up with the main group. And, as much as possible, I encourage the group to keep moving, because that seems to diffuse some tension or territoriality. This works with both of my dogs (my Shiba tends to react badly with other young, male Shibas, especially if they're not neutered, so I've seen breed-specific snark from both sides). It's also why I won't go to meetups if the park is too small (which means people have nothing to do but stand around and chat) or if the dogs are not able to be safely let off leash.
Being that Basenji's are a rare breed, Mojo has not much time to mingle with others, but about a month ago we took him for his first lure coursing trials. Lots of other Basenji's, and Mojo had no problem with them! He was so well behaved (and had such a great trial) other Basenji owners said they would let their Basenji run with him to get certified! I was actually surprised because Mojo does not do well with dogs bigger than him. I was happily surprised that he did so well with same size dogs.
Curlytails has some good advice.
But do know, some dogs just don't like other dogs.
I think Bitches seem to show this more than males, imo.
I have the same "problem" with my female.
She reacts strongly when we meet other basenjis (especially females), than when we meet other breeds. But I found out that it helps if we walk together on the leashes first. That way she calms down quicker and then they can normally walk/play together of leashes….
But in our case is not guarding but more like dominance.
Not liking other dogs, as other say, is not abnormal.
But the guarding you… bad sign. Dogs guard what they "own." If the behavior is truly guarding you, and not simply dog aggression, that's a whole other ballgame.
My previous males never had an opportunity to meet other basenjis (outside their breeder kennel) so don't know if the experience with my current female is "typical" or not. The first time she encountered another, it was a tri-color older female that was a real bitch and instantly got aggressive (now whenever they see each other its "hackles up"). The first time I took her to a lure coursing event, mine was friendly enough until a little blind female came up and bit her. The second time I took her to a LGRA event, a lady came up behind us (while mine was trying to potty) with her tricolor female and her dog attacked mine. So now hackles go up any time another female comes within shouting distance.