Kipawa and I are now back from our weekend trip to Therese and Kevin Leimback's wonderful home. The weekend was filled with unbelievable hospitality, lots of basenjis, great folks, tons of good food, interesting basenji stories, helpful training tips and HOT weather! I'll post more on Kipawa's weekend, along with pictures, in another post. Here's what I experienced regarding the behaviors of the basenjis at the event, and how Kipawa's recent nipping might be answered by the actions I saw.
Now granted, this was my first FoPaw's basenji event (it won't be my last :)), but from my perspective, a relative newbie to the breed, it seemed that whether it was the heat, or combination of heat and the time of year, there were a number of basenjis that were a little 'testy'. There was loud jostling between basenjis, and in all combinations of girls and boys. Some interactions sounded like two basenjis were getting skinned to death! However, when the dogs were separated by just calm wording ("alright boys, alright girls, that's enough now") there were no dogs that were injured or even looked injured. Everything seemed to be about 'posturing'.
Kipawa, who was recently neutered in August, did get into a few of the scuffles, but not a mark was left on him. I would pretty much say that most of the basenjis made sure the other basenjis were aware that 'they' were there. With that many dogs so close to breeding season, I would think it odd NOT to see them doing this. Other than these 'boxing matches', all of the basenjis were really well behaved, a testament to the wonderful breeding program Therese and Kevin have.
If I didn't think so beforehand, I do now - basenjis are 'drama queens', the boys maybe more so. At one point when Kipawa was in one of the dog runs, he got a foot 'caught' - well not really an 'it's impossible to get my foot out' caught. Still, the sound coming out of him was horrendous! Everyone ran over to see what the heck was going on. Therese calmly helped him out of his situation and he was perfectly fine. Definite over-reacting to get attention.
So I do wonder if Kipawa's recent nipping is due to the 'time of the year'. And perhaps there was some resource guarding going on. Since the nipping, Kipawa has not done anything similar, even in the same situation of laying down near his Dad while Dad was eating, with care aides walking by him. That said, I have been working on him behaving in these situations.