Sudden aggression towards other dogs…

  • I had a hard evening. I took Kai to his training class (my husband took him last time) and he was very aggressive with every dog in there. This is the first time I have seen him act like this.

    He did have a long day, so I don't know if this explains it. I have him and his sister (littermate) in "puppy playschool," where they go and play with other dogs all day long. This is their 5th time going. When I picked them up at 5 pm, I was told that they were "tag teaming" the other dogs, as well as being very insistent that they go through any door or gate before the other dogs (or they would get snarly).

    I also didn't feed him before taking him to class, so he was probably starving. In retrospect, I probably should have given him a small meal.

    Also, yesterday, I took them both to the dog park and some rather big terrier mixes from the same family kept circling them and barking in their faces. It got them both really nervous and snarly before I could get them out of there.

    They are just turning 5 months old.

    So, suggestions? Help? Pep talks? Anything is appreciated. I have been working so hard on socializing them and this is pretty traumatic. (Puppy play school was actually my Mother's Day gift, by my request.) Willow gets spayed next Friday, just as point of information.

    Should I take them to the dog park solo? Again, just searching for answers or suggestions for something to try. Thanks in advance.

  • Wish I could help. BOTH of my Basenjis have pretty intense aggression toward other dogs.
    Even walks in the neighborhood on lease get interesting sometimes.

    Funny thing is, when they were showing, they never exhibited any aggression toward other Basenjis.
    It was crazy. My Jazz would be snarking at every other dog on the way to the Basenji ring, and perfectly fine
    in the ring of Basenjis.

  • I too have a lovely girl, 5 year's old who growls and is deceptively aggressive towards ALL other dogs of non Basenji lineage. She does not like female B's and will only play with male's of her own club. The only luck I have had in getting her to accept play with other dogs is when the other dogs are considerably bigger than she is, then she will run and try a little bit to be dominant with them, but true to big dog's, they just mow her down….which is pretty funny I must say. Pipet has played well Great Dane's, Pitbulls (males) and German Shepard's. But Golden's, Lab's, Coliie's, any other similar of slightly larger dog is growled at....this happens mostly (in my mind) when they are all on leashes and slightly restrained, when she left in a big space where she can run away or get snarly and then run, she seems to cool out pretty fast, this is also true of much smaller dogs in a big yard (she will growl at them on the leash, but not so much in an open space).

    I may be babbling, I don't know what to suggest but I do think that as they are so young, they have a lot to learn and are being a bit childish, Pip was like that as pup too, but at about 2 year's she began to really want to play. As long as the other dogs want to keep moving she is OK....and I never let her near food when around other animals, that doesn't work out. Trial and may your path to just let the two Basenji's you have do all the running and playing just by themselves...which is no bad thing as there is far less chance of them catching other dogs ailments and or getting hurt in a fight. Pipet likes to be alone, she loves just being with me. I am hoping to adopt a male Basenji to keep her happy you have Basenji's and that they get along....that may have to be enough. GOOD LUCK!

  • I don't think it's unusual for any male dog to act a little spunky around that age, they are just getting old enough to try and display there dominance. Our male basenji is 6 months old and just flew with my fiancee to Michigan. They are staying with her parents who have two large male golden retrievers, it has been funny watching Loki with them. Even though they are about a year and a half old and much larger than him, he is the dominant one.

    Just try to keep socializing him with supervision and hopefully it is something that will pass, or at least reach a tolerable state.

  • am tired, so this will be short.

    stress is cumulative. sometimes 2+2=10. Sometimes big socializing groups can lead to the dogs being overstimulated for hours. Not good. I don't know how they operate the facility where you take your dogs, so I'm not making a judgement.

    Please read Control Unleashed, pay close attention to the Look At That game and the Off Switch game. There are dvds and a yahoo group for more clarification. ALSO google Overall's Relaxation Protocol. Start those exercises ASAP.

    They are young and you can ((and will) get through this.

  • Well said Ambushbug….that's what I meant LOL!

  • First Basenji's

    Our B is very aggressive towards most dogs…She absolutely hates my parents JRT and my Brother's weiner dog. She has gotten along well with our friend's boxers and I suspect for the same reasons that Dave&Pipet suggested. Unfortunately, there are not any other basenjis in our area(that we know of) so she hasn't been able to play with other Bs since she was a foster. Basenjis seem to have the "coolest kid" on the playground mentality.
    I'm sure since yours are still so young that they can be well socialized!

  • I don't do dog parks, never have….. but I will say that remember they are littermates, so tag teaming comes pretty natural to them... they have each other, they don't need to play with other dogs....

    Are you going to neuter the boy also? As far as Puppy Play School, most will not let in-tact dogs/bitches attend after I think it is 6 months. And IMO, keeping intact males out of a dog park situation is a good thing too....

  • I agree that over stimulation probably played a role in what you saw in class. It is not unusual for basenji to be reactive or show distance increasing signals around other dogs especially if they are tired especially mentally. Most basenjis don't want to be the social butterfly. They tend to prefer a small group of friends that they are close with for life.

    I would definitely not do the dog park or puppy playgroup on the same day as your class. I would also work on creating distance when this happens and rewarding for refocusing on you and I second the recommendation to read Control Unleashed.

  • I do agree that basenjis are (as a whole) not as socially reliable compared to other breeds. It's my only drawback to the breed that I will never be able to just turn my back when Oakley is around people AND animals. I constantly have to watch him and be ready to read signals whereas growing up, we owned peekapoo's ( I know, I know..but they are great dogs) and never did you have to be on the lookout for an incident waiting to happen. It does sound like your incident was a combo of the days events and a little sibling syndrome…maybe mixed with some "growing up spunk"

  • I'm guessing you had Kai on a leash at the training class? Spencer has always been dog-aggressive on the leash– with me. It started at the first training class. He's fine off-leash at the dog park-- it takes him a beat or two to adjust, then he decides it's okay to play. He was always well-socialized and went to puppy classes, dog parks and doggy day care from four months. I finally tried private training for the leash aggression. The trainer had no problem with him. In fact, everybody can walk him on the leash with minimal problems, except me. He just feels the need to guard (or protect) me around other dogs and feels restrained on leash. Your post indicates that your husband didn't have this problem last week, so perhaps Kai has taken it upon himself to guard/protect you? (The rest is probably them testing the boundaries and feeling comfortable tag-teaming with a littermate alongside. You might try it solo and see if the dominance lessens.) Good luck! Five months is a fun age.

  • Wow, I am surprised to see so many posts regarding the aggression thing. I have a 3 yr. old who thinks she is the queen of the universe, and is totally the alpha with her b-mix sister, but she plays well with others at dog parks and elsewhere, with the exception that there are certain B's she will get snarky with. We've never been able to figure out what it is she doesn't like in some of her own kind. It doesn't happen every time but it makes the other owners nervous when it does happen, so I have stopped going to the dog park where the B's she has trouble with go. There are very rare situations with other type dogs. The only time she will start to "hair up" in a park is when she is tired from running and resting behind my legs at a picnic bench. If a dog comes up to get to her by going around my legs then, she will growl and threaten; I believe this is "go away I'm resting and get away from my person" because she doesn't come out fighting but sounds very serious about the whole thing. Also, if another dog tries to "mate," she will quickly sit down, turn around and snarl her displeasure, but won't push it any further. I do think basenjis may not have much patience with dogs they consider their inferiors.

Suggested Topics

  • 9
  • 4
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2