Really mad and need to vent
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  • So a couple of weeks ago I was at a friends house with Oakley and the neighbor insisted on bringing his pitbull over… Who I admit is a great dog. My worry was that Oakley is 9 months and not neutered and I know that other male dogs generally don't see a nine month old un-neutered dog a puppy and therefore not as tolerant of that fact. about twenty minutes go by of the two playing well together and Oakley gets up on my chair and is sitting with me by the fire pit. The other dog comes over and I'm petting him and all the sudden I felt Oakleys demeanor change... He got down and stood next to duke and I didt heed the warning and almost "pushed" to see the boundary. Without fail Oakley attacked the pitbull and instinctually I got in the middle and it was Oakley I couldnt get to stop not the pitbull. It was completely my fault because I didnt follow my gut and I tried to explain that to my friends but since that day I was asked that Oakley not be brought over until after he is neutered bc thy have a six year old And two puggles of their own. They are afraid he will hurt them...The phrase " aggressive" was even used! Im upset because Oakley is not people aggressive and would never hurt a kid and while he was hyped up for awhile after the fight around their dogs he never got into it with them. It was my fault, not his... If anything I would consider him a little too protective but not aggressive.. And now he has to suffer because I can't bring him with me to run around and play with their dogs who he loves. It just makes me so upset for him!

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  • I should also mention this is my best friend and we see each other once a week or sometimes more. I really don't know how to talk to her about the situation without her getting mad too…. And I should also mention her husband doesn't like the breed because he got bit by basenji in the past..Oakley is scheduled for his neuter on the 1st but truthfully, I don't see that changing who he is as a dog and I worry I will never be able to bring him over which will inevitably put a strain on our friendship. So upset! No one was hurt except for a tooth or nail puncture in my forearm which has since been treated, I'm thankful for that...

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  • I think you need to step back, take a deep breath, and accept that your friends are doing what feels right to them. In truth, they may be doing you a favour. None of us can predict with certainty how our dogs are going to react in a given situation…....especially a young dog. A dog that would normally never bite a human very well may through "transferred aggression", and if there is a chance that your young dog could react badly then best for all to be on the safe side. (I might mention that neutering is no guarantee of behaviour either, and that the dog aggressive Basenjis I have known were often just fine as puppies, not so much once they matured, so caution is always wise).

    Perhaps in the interim you can arrange a "doggy play time" with your friends in a controlled setting that does not include children. :)

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  • Sorry for the problem, had them even with two of my "B"s. They were just getting used to each other, one blind in one eye and other about 95% totally. One bumped into the other and the fight was on. Did the stupid thing and stuck my arm into it. Ended up with one of them clamped to my arm with his feet 18" off the floor. Think some bad words were said, still have the scar. The two of them went at it again a week later, both up on thier back feet, the totally blind one knocked the other back on his butt and they got along great for ten years.
    Dave

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  • I understand it is what they consider best and I respect thy but it still is a punch in the gut.. He has been going there since he was ten weeks. I have no idea why he is that way with dogs, generally they are male and of what I consider to be dominant breeds. He has never picked or gotten into a fight before but this was like a switch, and after the fight he never warmed up to the neighbors pitbull again. Its like I hear some members her say with multiple basenji homes " it works until it doesnt"! I just need to get him into an obedience class and get his socialization there I guess…. Any suggestions or questions to help me get to a better overall place with Oakley will really help

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  • From your description, this scrap likely started out of jealousy. I find often that dogs will be less aggressive or not aggressive at all in the absence of their owners, and some dogs are leash aggressive and just fine once they are let loose…...but you cannot count on it!

    The more non confrontational socialization you can do, probably the better. But do be alert and aware of your pup's body language at all times. Best to get out in front of these situations and deflect them with distraction if you can. :)

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  • Classes will help you learn to better manage these situations but at his age they will probably not provide socialization because many adolescent dogs like Oakley make bad choices especially in group settings. Oakley gave distance increasing signals to the pit who held his ground so Oakley escalated. I have a class of adolescent dogs and students who badly want their dogs to get along with other dogs. My struggle is getting them to watch their dogs and see signs of arousal and escalation and redirect before their dogs go over threshold and react. These problems happen in altered and intact dogs so even if Oakley is neutered this may not change the behavior.

    As for your friends, as long as this new decree doesn't also include that all future get togethers will be at their house so that you are always the one having to leave your dog behind then I would just respect their wishes. If it is clearly more than just he is not welcome at their house but is also he is not welcome in your friendship then you will need to open a conversation before it becomes a strain since this is a dog that will be in your life for many years to come.

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  • Thanks Lisa, I am embarrassed to admit that I saw and felt the signals but I continued petting duke. In all honesty my thought was Oakley was being protective and he was going to have to ge over it! I of course didn't want the fight to happen and it was niave of me to think it wouldn't since I ignored the warnings and jealousy Oakley was giving off. I pushed the boundaries to see how far it would go in a way I guess is how I'd put it… Having witnessed that I know I have to be on alert with Oakley because I do feel that with other dogs it is a " it works until it doesn't" situation. My goal is to get him to a more reliable point and of course for me to use better judgement. Any suggestions on training activities or socialization activities I can do with him? I feel guilty he is this way and I hate feeling like a bad parent!

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  • @eeeefarm:

    I think you need to step back, take a deep breath, and accept that your friends are doing what feels right to them. In truth, they may be doing you a favour. None of us can predict with certainty how our dogs are going to react in a given situation…....especially a young dog. A dog that would normally never bite a human very well may through "transferred aggression", and if there is a chance that your young dog could react badly then best for all to be on the safe side. (I might mention that neutering is no guarantee of behaviour either, and that the dog aggressive Basenjis I have known were often just fine as puppies, not so much once they matured, so caution is always wise).

    Perhaps in the interim you can arrange a "doggy play time" with your friends in a controlled setting that does not include children. :)

    I completely agree. For one thing dog fights are NEVER safe to have around kids. Sounds like Oakley was resource guarding you…which isn't exactly aggression, but is sure in the same family. Try to look at the entire interaction objectively, and not to involve your emotions.

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  • So he had never met the pitty before this day? Has he always been fine with the Puggles? If that is the case, there is not really a good reason that he shouldn't be fine with his puggle friends. When I first read your post, I missed the part about the pit being the neighbors dog…not your friends' dog. Oakley was just being a dog. As Lisa said, he 'asked' the pit to move away from his owner, the pit didn't, so a fight errupted. You learned that you can't 'push' anything when it comes to dog interactions, and that as the leader, you have to intervene when your dog is about to make a bad choice. Your intervention should have been to increase the space between the two dogs; however you needed to do it. But we live, and we learn. I would keep gently encouraging your friends to let Oakley interact with his friends :)

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  • Andrea, Oakley is great with the puggles in fact one is his bestfriend and the other is an old man and likes his space… And Oakley has learned to give it to him.... He will accidentally try to initiate play with the wrong puggle and get corrected quickly.. He has been around both since ten weeks and is great. Except during feeding then the three boys have to be separated!In fact, the only time Oakley chortles or yodels, other than when I come home, is for his puggle friend...
    Oakley met the pit bull once before for about ten minutes but he was younger ( 6 months) and they were great bc Oakley likes to pull on ears and nip to initiate play and the pit was more tolerant to just let him chew whereas the juggle was not as tolerant to let him keep chewing with those sharp teeth!

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  • My friends dogs were inside because one has to be watched costantlu bc he tries to eat stuff and has severe pancreatitis and the other doesnt get along with the pitbull, the pit checked him once and ever since hes been scared so it was ony oakley and the pit outside. Should also add that I feel like Oakley doesn't look at a puggle as a dominant breed whereas you can tell he stands a little taller with other breeds. And he never has any problems with me showing affection ( lots of affection at that) for the puggles… He's just his normal goofy, troublemaker self.

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  • T

    if this is truly your best friend's family, you are just going to have to tell them how you feel and that it is important to you to bring oakley with you when you visit. your best friend will understand you, and things will only be worse if you can't talk openly about the situation. just tell them you'll do a few practice runs, without the kids around, and then they should be able to see that things will be fine. and also try to not let any other dogs into the situation, if possible, so that the dynamic isn't changed from what you are all used to.
    also, if they believe getting oakley neutered will help the situation, then it's great that you already have that scheduled, and it's only a couple of weeks away.

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  • Without claiming to be the dog whisperer, I had an interesting talk with the young lady at the PetSmart doggie day care today… she told me how, when Lola and Zeba were staying there full-time last week, she was very flattered that Lola wanted to be cuddled on her lap... and Sammie obliged, happily. :) When some of the other dogs would come over and want to show some affection to Sammie, my sweet dear basenji Lola would give a guttural snark.... not show teeth, but let these other D-O-G-S know that this human, Sammie, belonged to HER! Sammie was intuitive enough to push Lola off her lap, say "NO", and re-establish herself as the human, and Lola as the non-dominant dog.

    With all that being said, we all have 20/20 vision... you KNOW what you did wrong. You've taken out the rear view mirror, and re-written history in your mind... "if I would have, would Oakley have..." Whatever your thought is, my advice is to STOP. Love your boy for being what he is. Take the lesson that you know- the next time, you won't poo-poo his behavior, you WILL address it... remember, dogs are as smart as 3 - 5 year old toddlers :) IF you address his behavior accordingly, all will be fine. :)

    Explain all of this to your friend, with her basenji-fearful husband in earshot…. Many of us have irrational fears based on experiences- (we) need to understand and acknowledge these experiences, and hope that our future actions will absolve those fears.

    :) Roos and Hugs to you!

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  • I am afraid I'd have to agree with your friends, a dog fight can get kids and others injured. Perhaps they can let you come over with him with the pit crated sometimes? Or bring him but crate or muzzle him?

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  • Debra, the pit bull is the neighbors dog. It was a rare occurance the neighbor was invited over and in his drunken state decided against my worries about Oakley being an un neutered mature male, to bring his dog over. I would definitely agree if it was my friends dog that this happened with, not to bring Oakley.

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