• @lvoss:

    September 25th is over a month away. We have been telling you for over a month already that you need help ASAP not a month from then and definitely not a month from now.

    The techniques you are using are not effective techniques. You should not hold his muzzle closed even for play biting. Read this article, http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/teaching-bite-inhibition

    If a behaviorist is a month away then at least get in touch with a good trainer.

    Okay first of all, I contacted the Humane Society where my sister had her dog trained right away and their next class date was August 21st which I'm still enrolled for. They didn't have any behaviorists for one on one so I came on here to ask how to find one, I also talked to my vet who gave me the number for the lady I contacted. We have been playing phone tag for awhile and so I emailed her a couple days ago. She said she cannot start a session until September 13th at which time I will be in Boston until the 24th. I am not being a irresponsible owner… I am taking all of your advice that I can, reading and reading. I bought a book, I talked to the vet, I post a lot on here... I contacted a behaviorist. I have tried the yelping at which point he likes it and gets more excited... I told my vet this and she advised me to close his mouth until he calms down which I find works. Feel free to fly to Winnipeg to give me a training lesson.


  • I am sorry that I sound snippy but the longer the behavior is practiced the harder it will be to change. Also, you may have come here for help but it is unreasonable to expect that a bunch of strangers on a international forum are going to be able to track down local resources for you.

    But here goes two trainers in Winnipeg that do Private Behavior Consults.

    http://www.politepaws.ca/private.html
    http://www.canadascanineacademy.com/


  • Physical restrain will make issues worse. Please, see if you can get one of the folks Lisa recommends to see him asap.


  • Basil may become less obsessed with rubbish on the floor as he gets older. Malaika was realy bad for picking things up when we were out, especialy if there was a pile of horse poo down the lane. With lots of practice at leave it she is much better now.
    Have you tried saying "Leave it !" and then rewarding with a high value treat if Basil manages to achieve it ? When i rewarded i said "Good leave " , which i know sounds odd but it describes what behaviour was good. With leave it the timing is crucial, you need to get in there very quickly. We practice this lots at training, Kwame is quite good in class but hasn't generalised it outside yet 😉

  • First Basenji's

    Well don't bite back for sure! Taking away the food after you give it to him will only aggravate the situation and reinforce his mistrust and confusion of you in his world. It is hard to pinpoint if you are doing something wrong since an objective observation of the interaction of your relationship should be done by a professional. Sometimes the yelping et all that works for other breeds does not work for the B. Think of it from his perspective, they are constantly observing body language, how are you standing-straight up or bent over him??? for example. They do make sounds with each other and other dogs, but mostly it is always posturing that happens. Um, I saw once on DOGS 101 where a trainer recommended putting butter on your hands and let the puppy know that hands are for licking not having contact with teeth. I have yet to try this, just an interesting concept. Maybe clicker training to reinforce the good behaviors and change the bad? Look on utube for some info, but I highly recommend a trainer for help in the timing etc. Also, what about exercise-physical and mental???? I could go on, but who like to read too long??? go to my profile and contact me via email if you would like…Deb


  • O.K. I am going to be the dissenting opinion here. While I agree outside help seems necessary ASAP, I don't agree with all of the advice at the link.

    @basilboy7:

    I told my vet this and she advised me to close his mouth until he calms down which I find works.

    Sometimes you have to go with what works, particularly when you haven't been able to get the correct response the "right" way. Bottom line, you need to get control of the situation and stop allowing the behavior to become a habit.

    In practice, most people are not going to be diligent enough to maintain the soft mouth Dr. Dunbar talks about, so IMHO it is better to simply teach "no mouthing" right from the get go. And BTW, Dr. Dunbar does not rule out physical restraint. Specifically, he says, "It is much better for you to walk away from the pup than to physically restrain him…."

    I would suggest that some methods do not work with some dogs, and if you are not getting the response you hoped for it is time to try a different approach. Physical restraint may not be ideal but does the trick with some dogs. I know people who teach their pups not to mouth in exactly that way (holding the mouth closed). I've used it myself in some cases and it did not make things worse for me. I do think it makes it clear to the dog what you are objecting to. What you don't want to do is make it into a game where the dog nips and withdraws so you can't hold his mouth closed.

    As regards the "yelping" only increasing the behavior, I think we may have inadvertently caused confusion with squeaky toys. By teaching our dogs to mouth things and be rewarded with squeaks, we may be training them to bite hard enough to get an entertaining sound as a reward! 🙂


  • @eeeefarm:

    O.K. I am going to be the dissenting opinion here. While I agree outside help seems necessary ASAP, I don't agree with all of the advice at the link.

    Sometimes you have to go with what works, particularly when you haven't been able to get the correct response the "right" way. Bottom line, you need to get control of the situation and stop allowing the behavior to become a habit.

    In practice, most people are not going to be diligent enough to maintain the soft mouth Dr. Dunbar talks about, so IMHO it is better to simply teach "no mouthing" right from the get go. And BTW, Dr. Dunbar does not rule out physical restraint. Specifically, he says, "It is much better for you to walk away from the pup than to physically restrain him…."

    I would suggest that some methods do not work with some dogs, and if you are not getting the response you hoped for it is time to try a different approach. Physical restraint may not be ideal but does the trick with some dogs. I know people who teach their pups not to mouth in exactly that way (holding the mouth closed). I've used it myself in some cases and it did not make things worse for me. I do think it makes it clear to the dog what you are objecting to. What you don't want to do is make it into a game where the dog nips and withdraws so you can't hold his mouth closed.

    As regards the "yelping" only increasing the behavior, I think we may have inadvertently caused confusion with squeaky toys. By teaching our dogs to mouth things and be rewarded with squeaks, we may be training them to bite hard enough to get an entertaining sound as a reward! 🙂

    And I have tried walking away and ending the play session but when I walk back it seems he has just contained his excitement long enough for when I return and the biting begins again. When I walk around the back yard, he now rarely jumps and bites at my ankles… when he does, I stop and look away from him... this makes him realize that he can't get my attention by doing this. When he stops, I continue walking. Now I can brush his teeth without him trying to mouth my hands... we're still working on the hair brush without biting. I am working diligently to bond with him and make sure that he knows my hands aren't for biting and punishment only... I hand feed him for most meals. We also practice impulse control which he's getting really good at that I think we will move to his favourite treats instead of just kibble in the coming days. I haven't walked him since he's been sick but we've done a lot of playing in the back yard. His mental stimulation is his treat dispenser or when I scatter his meal across the yard and of course our training. He will now sit without a treat in hand and will lay down immediately when asked from a sit position with a treat in hand. We will be starting to work on stay. I am also going to look up more information on the command "settle" which I think will help and will be working more with "leave it" and reward. Thank you for your suggestions... frankly, I'm doing the best that I can.


  • It sounds to me like you are making progress. Good for you! The more observant you are of your dog…...and of how he responds to your actions......the faster you will progress. I think you are on the right track. 🙂


  • I agree, you are trying your best with Basil and that you've made lots of progress, it's just that with the problems you're having an outside view is needed. We are not criticizing you - it's just that we care about you and Basil.

    I disagree about the yelps. If the sound you made just gets hum going it's probably made at the wrong pitch. However thats that. I feel strongly too about the mouth holding - if you do this and he catches his lips with his teeth it would be have the opposite result to the one you expect.

    I agree with eeeefarm - to be observant of your dog is being on the right track but roll on September!

  • First Basenji's

    Well, it does sound like you are doing the best. This is just a forum and the info given and then taken into action on your part may be miles away because they (we) are not living right there…. Just keep up the best that you are doing. Wish you all the best....it can be frustrating beyond what we would understand because the situation you have with Basil is similar BUT WAAAAY different then we ever had;;;;we never had Basil!!!!!!!!! I am (we are?) behind you and wish you good luck. It is a handful. Knowing you get on the forum to vent is why it exists I guess....Take the info and apply it as best you can before the behaviorist or trainer gets involved. Remember, dogs, even Basenjis can learn something all over again with the correct input-HANG IN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kudos!!!:)

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