Problems with other dogs

Our Basenji Otis is 3 1/2 years old. He is my son's dog but has been living with us for the past 9 months. We also have a 3 1/2 year old lab/terrior mix. Lateley when I walk Otis, he is very very confrontational with other dogs. We also have an invisible fence and is confrontational with other dogs when they pass the house. When on a lease, he gets very jumpy, trying to get at the other dog, and my husband and I have both gotten bitten during these encounters. He was always fine at the dog park as long as he wasn't on a lease, but last time we went to the dog park, he went up to greet another dog with his teeth chomping and the dog ended up needing 12 stitches. As I am new to this forum, I believe I have come accross some good information, and I know that I need to work with him to overcome this. It has really gotten out of control and expensive!! My question is, what kind of a muzzle is best to use on a Basenji. I bought a soft one online but it is too big as it goes right up to his eyes. I need something asap so I can take him out on walks and still work with him. Thanks so much.

Welcome. IMO, a muzzle would be a short term tool to use on your b. A few questions. Is Otis fixed? What kind of home did he have before he came to you?
Has he had any type of gentle obedience training at any time?
That info could be helpful for advice.

You need to contact a behaviorist. There are many things you are going to need to change in your management of Otis and muzzle is not going to help change the behavior and may make it worse.

A big problem with invisible fences is that the correction they deliver for being close to boundary line can become associated with other things that are present at the time. It sounds like Otis has started to associate the appearance of other dogs with negative things. His behavior will continue to escalate unless you begin working to change his associations, this will require the help of a behaviorist.

I definitely agree a behaviorist is the way to go. You need someone to better help assess what Otis's triggers are so that a plan can be developed to help address them.

It looks like you're around Chicago so I can ask around or local basenji club (we have several members in the Chicago area) for recommendations of good trainers if you are interested. There are also dog-sensitive dog classes in some areas that address this type of issue. But usually those require a behavioral assessment as well.

Your dog is maturing, so it may only be maturity and dog/dog aggression is just rearing its ugly head. But I doubt it. I suspect the new environment is creating/escalating it and I agree about invisible fencing. Your dog knows he is trapped, but yet other dogs can get it. Restrict his outside time to when you are with him, on a long line, fence off. A muzzle will help avoid bites, but won't change the behaviors.

Some dogs cannot be fixed when it comes to interdog aggression. Management, not curing, may be the only goal. But because this is new behavior, I would get a vet check, ESPECIALLY a full thyroid panel run since thyroid issues can cause aggression. Neutering helps some, but is far from a cure and sometimes if dogs are older helps minimally if at all.

Ask your vet about a veterinary school near you with a behaviorist, if possible.

PetMD: When Your Dog is Overly Aggressive Towards Other Dogs

Colorado State University: Effects of Gonadectomy on Health, Behavior and Performance of Pets

University of California Davis: The Truth about Aggression and Dominance in Dogs

@lvoss:

You need to contact a behaviorist. There are many things you are going to need to change in your management of Otis and muzzle is not going to help change the behavior and may make it worse.

A big problem with invisible fences is that the correction they deliver for being close to boundary line can become associated with other things that are present at the time. It sounds like Otis has started to associate the appearance of other dogs with negative things. His behavior will continue to escalate unless you begin working to change his associations, this will require the help of a behaviorist.

I fully agree with lvoss about the invisable fence. In fact, I would not place a puppy or adult that had this as a boundry to keep them in a yard. Consider that your Basenji is race to see other dogs and gets zapped for getting to close. Who do you think he is going to blame? The collar? Nope… the dog on the other side... again IMO

Thank you all for your responses. We are in St. Charles, IL which is the western suburbs of Chicago. If anyone does know of someone we can call, we would really appreciate it. Otis was neutured at around 6 months of age. My son got him as a puppy and did the training with him. He was very responsive with him, and learned many tricks. My son did not take him out too much, except over here, but we would go to the dog park and although Otis was always very eager to get to other dogs, he would never bite. I really hadn't thought about the invisible fence and how that could be affecting him. Any other thoughts, or people to contact would greatly be appreciated. He is not agressive at all at home, and our other dog can really be aggravating and he does nothing about it. Please Help!!!

I will send you a PM with trainer info.

djaan, how about removing your spam link… then people might think your posts are serious.

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