Too much bite playing, a little too hard and always at the wrong time

  • Oakley needs impulse control and you need some consistent rules for this behavior. Don't allow him to keep practicing the bad behavior, if you ignore him and he nips again then he needs a time out.

    Here is a link to the approaches that Clay mentioned:

    Teaching impulse control while also not permitting him to practice the bad behavior should help him move toward more acceptable behavior.

  • Is putting him in crate what could be considered a time out?

  • Our female used to get right riled up when we were playing with her and when you went to throw her toy in the back yard she would jump up and nip you right on the inner thigh. I had sooo many bruises from her doing this. Once she did this I dropped the toy and walked back into the house, completely stopped playing with her and ignored her for awhile. She eventually out-grew this. As for Tucker he just gets really excited when you are playing with him, and he can get quite rough. Same thing, we just drop the toy, walk away and leave him alone for awhile. I don't know if this will work for you or not. But that is how I have experienced this type of behaviour.

  • @Chealsie508:

    Is putting him in crate what could be considered a time out?

    It could. You could also tether the dog away from you. That may be better if there are any crate issues. Timeouts are usually short, a few minutes until they calm down.

  • Fortunately for me, since Oakleys three day stint at the vet hospital in a crate with limited attention ALL his crate anxieties went away.. And he was severe. It's a miracle, I have been crating him for about three minutes if he won't stop jumping on the couch to get me after Ive kicked him off. I may just need more follow through and consistency from me..

  • It may sound simplistic & lame, but I had exactly the same problems with little Sunny, and the old chestnut about squealing in pain & playing the "Owwww, Bwahh-hah-hahhhh, I don't like you anymore, you BIT me!" card is totally true. 'Course, Sunny's a sensitive and, yeah, GULLIBLE little guy and I REALLY hammed it up–so much so that the other two dogs came over to investigate & console, followed by a Group Shun.

    But he hasn't done the jump-up-and-snap once since then. And if the fangs appear during playtime, all I have to do is squeak and the nibbles change to licks.

  • YodelMa, ROFLMAO, I am so happy it helped you. One of my early lessons that Basenjis are not like the other dogs was when I found Sayblee bit MORE if I squeaked. She was like "DO IT AGAIN! WOW LIVE SQUEAKY TOY!" Someone here said I needed a different tone, but honest, with 9 billion years of dogs, she was the first to not respond.

    Cara is mouthy. Super dooper mouthy. All the time until the last couple of months she wanted her mouth on me, even going to sleep sometimes with my hand, arm or thumb in her mouth rubbing me with her tongue. I allowed her to use her teeth in play because she learned to have a soft mouth at all times, even in her wildest most insane play modes. Your dog doesn't have that. So for your dog, the moment teeth enter the picture, I would put in a down with a leash/collar until he settles. Doesn't comply with a command, I would prefer a down to crate time, but whatever you need to do to instantly, every single time, remove him from doing what he wants, is needed.

    Again, teaching commands daily, a few short sessions, especially the leave it command, helps with the impulse control. Teaching the dog to look at you as soon as you get him off the couch or whatever so he focuses on something NEW (you) and temporarily breaks the thinking of whatever it was he was doing, helps him gain impulse control.

  • @Debra, it helps if you're a Method Actor? I was channelling Full Blown Screaming Hysterical Toddler–a role I rehearse daily, hubby claims snidely--and it stopped everyone in their tracks. Maybe "squeal" or "squeak" was the wrong word, since one "role" you want to avoid playing around a Basenji is "Wounded Prey"!

  • Cody can get pretty riled up as well and his foster mom gave me a suggestion that really works for him. When he's being nuts, I put him on my lap and massage him around his neck and on his legs and down his back. it seems to make him relax and after a few minutes he's much calmer. I know some folks might say that this is reinforcing his bad behavior by rewarding it with a rub-down, but he doesn't seem to view it that way. It's more like he gets distracted from being a maniac. It's worth a try.

  • First Basenji's


    When he wants to play he bites too hard and also tries to run and nip at your bum or arm.. I always say no and off the couch he goes but it's a game to him, he tries repeatedly to get back up and aims for my hands… All in play but still, he will even think nothing of aiming for your face if that's right near him. Last night I had two people over and the entire time he kept biting their hands and lunging to play, I told him no, I held his mouth, he went in his crate... I'd like for him to learn to have a soft mouth and I'd like to have company over without them being play mauled. I should note that it's poor socialization on my part specifically that I rarely have people over my apartment so I don't honk Oakley knows how to handle people being in his house...

    Ok, from what you described he needs 1) you to initiate the play. he should not initiate it on his terms and be in control. Control his environment by being the one to play. Certain times of day, you will know the times because it will be when it is at your convenience and can spend quality time etc. If he tries to play, leave the room, don't even say "no", just ignore. When you ignore the 'bad' behavior and only give attention when it is 'good', the theory is -is that it should become extinct. 2) impulse control yes. Do so by the ignore and leave the room exercise, REDIRECT his energy with a sit-stay series or puppy push ups: sit-down-sit-down-treat! and on it goes…..stay-increase distance-COME! treat! FUN STUFF!!!! 3)have toy will travel...have one somewhere all the time, esp when you have guests. Have them throw it before the nip, and voila! humans in control. I know it is not as easy as writing this, but I have redirected some growlies toward the older dogs in the 'pack' or biting the doggy beds, or the new couch I have(or rug...) and it works! Patience, persistence, consistency are the keys....

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