• Guppy is my (uh hem) sweet almost 1.5 year old B Boy. He is well socialized and gets lots of exercise (at least two walks a day-normally a long walk along the beach too). However, he is very territorial at times. When he is lying next to me on the couch, and another dog (or cat) approaches, often times his personality changes from Snuggle Muffin to Mr. Grumpy Pants. This happens with toys too and also in bed at night.
    Any advice or should I seek out an exorcist?😕

  • Ah Jacquie - Guppy is a sweetheart! Not unusual for him to warn off anyone else who wants to sit next to Mommy, he just wants all the lovin'.. The toy issue is another thing - when one of mine is grabby about their toys, I take the toy away and give it to the other dog. Then it becomes community property and something to play tug of war with. In bed, is he territorial or just bitchy when you try to move him? Shaye will let you move her all over the place in bed if she's in your face, while Gemma goes batsh** about it. To move her at night, we have to wake her up, and tell her to move, then it's okay. LOTS of Basenjis don't like being messed with when they're sleeping. Anyone know how to change that behavior??

  • @Shaye's:

    LOTS of Basenjis don't like being messed with when they're sleeping. Anyone know how to change that behavior??

    Mine would be kicked out of the bed for that behavior…. sorry, but it is my bed and I "rule" the bed. They figure out quite quickly that growling or snapping when moved equals the floor.... and loss of bed priviledges....

  • @tanza:

    Mine would be kicked out of the bed for that behavior…. sorry, but it is my bed and I "rule" the bed. They figure out quite quickly that growling or snapping when moved equals the floor.... and loss of bed priviledges....

    That makes a lot of sense. I guess I've gotten so used to enjoying them up there with me it didn't occur to me, but they have really nice beds of their own, so I shouldn't feel mean for kicking her off.:o

  • i agree fully with Tanza…he is showing dominance over the furniture and "his" toys.. this behavior will only escalate, and it can and does get dangerous.
    If Zumi ever growled at me or anyone trying to move him, he loses the privilege to be on there with me, i will not pander to that nonsense.

    I would give him a firm "off" or "get down" which ever command you may use, but it needs to be nipped in the bud. they will learn real quick that if they want to keep their warm/comfy spot they have to behave because its only borrowed from you.
    best of luck, and i hope you get his behavior under control before his grumbles become snaps.

  • Yep yep… guard me, or furniture and your butt gets moved to the floor fast.

  • Houston

    I had an basenji boy, Otis, do that a couple a years ago..it escalated so bad he attacked and bit my the 4 yr old son, just for walking into the living room where Otis was laying on the dog bed chewing on a toy.
    Otis also resource guarded anything in the kitchen and he bit my husband,(that was walking by in the kitchen while I was doing dishes..food wasn't even in the picture) on his shin twice, broke the skin both times..we tried everything, including a canine behaviorist.
    She diagnosed him with resource guarding and it is very possible to erradicate the behavior, with time and persistence….but since we had two young children..time wasn't on our side..my son would not want to be in the house if Otis was nearby, that is how afraid he was of the dog...Otis meanwhile acted very confused..it's like he knew he was doing wrong, but he didn't know what to do....after many tears a decison was made to rehome Otis to a single dog, kidfree home...his is triving and has not had any other resource guarding issues since.
    If me and my husband didn't have the kids we would've worked longer and harder on it, but since persistance is neccesary it was hard to make it worked..both kids weren't persistent in their authority with him, either because of fear or an over abundance of love (it is hard to be stern when those wrinkled eyes look at you, mom!!)..we decided it would only be fair for Otis to get a new chance in a different home..the hardest decision I have ever made...Lukas still asks if we can go visit him..he misses his buddy...but no, it would be too hard on Otis..and on me to revisit the hurt again.

    Stern no's, persistent authority from you and any one else living in your home are some ways to start getting it under control..don't show too much emotion when you correct him, just very calm and cool speaking voice and movements will work better than high pitched scared voices..although trust me when it gets loud and grumbly it is hard not to be afraid sometimes. Good luck...you can get a handle on this, just be the boss..

    Is he neutered?

  • First Basenji's

    Mojo has a bad habbit of growling when he is all cuddles up in a ball and someone walks anywhere near him. He has not ever tried to bite anyone, but he just wants you to know he does not want to be bothered. Everytime he does that, we put him outside in the backyard. He knows he will end up outside because if he does growl, he walks right to the back door. He's getting better about it, but sometimes it's like he doesn't care if he gets in trouble- he just can't stop himself!

  • Here's some info from Dr Ian Dunbar on resource guarding:

    it applies to dog-human relations and it's harder to find info on what to do about dogs growling at other dogs resource guarding. I was hoping Andrea would post to this thread so I could see what she suggested because I know y'all are going to think i've lost my marbles when i post what i've started doing about dogs in my household growling at other dogs. Jet the trying and Zest! the superstar in training are my growlers. Digital the brindlewonderkid rarely growls at housemates and Pearl-petual motion the malinois has never growled at her housemates.

    Okay, so what I am trying to do when Z or J growls at a doggie housemate is to reward the behavior (or ignore, depending on the situation). Yep, see I told you you were going to think i've lost it. I first encountered this sort of thinking from William Campbell's book. (at least i'm 95% sure that's where it came from) he talks about dealing with 2 dogs that dislike each other and doing a "happy dance" when they are within proximity to each other. YEARS later, reading Control Unleashed, there is a totally mind blowing concept called "Getting rid of bad behavoir by rewarding it". What the –-?!?!?! was sort of my reaction, but if you see this through, it really does and can work. She uses this concept with the Look At That game and so I just sort of decided to see where it would take me and sort of took it on faith that she knew what she was talking about. So I did, applied what was outlined and I began to see how this concept works and thought it impressive.

    So the behavior I have is J or Z sitting next to me on the sofa and growling as a dog-housemate approaches. "get away, get away, I don't want you near me or my mom!!! GO! GO FAR!!!" What I'm hoping to achieve is "Look, Diggie just got on the sofa, it must mean I get a cookie!" or "I see Diggie over there, I hope he'll come closer so I can get a cookie". I'm trying to change the out look of J or Z from one of resource guarding to one of looking forward to the other dog approaching. I'm trying to change the emotion of a housemate getting on the sofa from a bad thing, to a good thing. I think I am seeing some progress even with Jet who is 13 and has this behavior ingrained for many, many years. Now, I don't think this concept can/should be applied to all or even most behaviors you want extinguished, but it sort of fun to think about.

    I do think correcting a dog for this behavior does run the risk of back firing. "oh look, Diggie's approaching the sofa. Last time he approached, mom got mad at me. I should be even MORE proactive and growl at him before he gets withing 5 feet of it this time." Something to think about . . .

  • I would also suggest a complete thyroid test if one has not been done.

    Any time my Bs growl at another dog for no good reason when they are on the furniture, I make them get off and sit. This has worked for me. Bambi growled last night and off she went. She went and sat on another chair. This morning she jumped up and layed with me and the other Bs and had no problems. Usually my Bs only growl when Bowie lays on top of them. He even does this when another dog is in a chair meant for one.


  • The Gupster is becoming an adult and 'testing the waters' of leadership.
    Agile's technique makes sense, though not intuitively obvious.
    I think most simply stop the interaction, or make the dog get down, for growling. That does work, even if you have to leave a short leash on to pull him off a couch or bed. Nicky and Eddie have their guarding, grumbling spaces which we mostly ignore as they are just being "The Bickersons", but historically we know that is as far as it goes.

  • another option, is for the human to get off the sofa and walk off. not a great option if you're in the middle of a really suspenceful movie/program and don't have ti-vo. (which is me) i have tried picking growly dog up and placing him or her off the sofa with mixed results.

    Z and J will bicker often, usually about a spot on the floor that might have, or have had, or might will have, a molecule of food on it. I usually just ignore that b/c nobody ever gets hurt. Sometimes I put Z in the crate for a time out. J will also growl at P, but since she's 3.5 (he's 13) and is twice his size, I figure he's not going to hurt her and she's never growled. But you do have to know your pups and decide what YOU can tolerate.

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