Basenji behavior in September
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  • 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.

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  • Glad to hear that Kipawa is 'back to normal'! And yes, they certainly can be dramatic, in fact 'calling for help' because they 'might' be in a jam is pretty normal! And the noise they
    make when they spar…people think many dogs are being killed, when in fact 2 are boxing and at most, have a wet spot from saliva! Quite dramatic, altogether.

    Hope Kipawa keeps his sweetness and stays out of trouble!

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    It was certainly a good experience for you to see all the Basenjis interacting and yes, very typical for boys during the mating season although I hadn't linked Kipawa's nipping to the time of year - having more than one boy I'm more used to them being edgy with each other with frustration rather than with people. Still to each his own and I certainly wouldn't discount Kipawa's nipping being due to this reason whether neutered or not.

    I'm pleased that ther've been no more incidents - and the experience has added to your 'basenji knowledge'.

    I laughed (kindly) to Kipawa's reaction to getting his foot caught. I find the males are more wimpy than the females! (Rather like the human kind perhaps!)

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  • @Patty:

    It was certainly a good experience for you to see all the Basenjis interacting and yes, very typical for boys during the mating season although I hadn't linked Kipawa's nipping to the time of year - having more than one boy I'm more used to them being edgy with each other with frustration rather than with people. Still to each his own and I certainly wouldn't discount Kipawa's nipping being due to this reason whether neutered or not.

    I'm pleased that ther've been no more incidents - and the experience has added to your 'basenji knowledge'.

    I laughed (kindly) to Kipawa's reaction to getting his foot caught. I find the males are more wimpy than the females! (Rather like the human kind perhaps!)

    +1 to all of this. I agree completely with Patty…during breeding season I notice the dogs are more edgy with each other, but not with people. As I wrote in the original thread, the only mouthing that I have noticed at all is a nibble of sorts (no biting, no blood, no bruising...more like a little pinch) - foreplay on the basenji boys part. That typically has only happened when I've returned from a dog show (and most likely am carrying "that scent" on my clothes. As soon as the clothes go in the wash, the nibbles stop. Drawing blood would be a real concern for me and I agree with Patty that I wouldn't chalk up Kipawa's behavior to breeding season - I think that too much stock is being placed on the time of year and not the actual behavior...but just my .02.

    Kipawa, please don't take this wrong...in my house if this behavior had happened, there is no way in heck that I would be allowing Kipawa, near his dad or care workers while food is being served - quite so soon...but that is just me. I know you are working with him, but it just seems a bit too fast for a miraculous turn around. Also, have you looked into a behaviorist? I hope I'm wrong and just want you to be careful - good luck with everything.

    I too laughed at Kipawa's drama to getting his foot caught. Both of my boys are the drama queens - the girls look at them both like, "what the heck is wrong with them". Quite funny actually.

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  • @renaultf1:

    Kipawa, please don't take this wrong…in my house if this behavior had happened, there is no way in heck that I would be allowing Kipawa, near his dad or care workers while food is being served - quite so soon...but that is just me. I know you are working with him, but it just seems a bit too fast for a miraculous turn around.

    I agree. And I also don't think that you can just chalk it up to time of the year…....and even if you could, it is unacceptable behaviour. I think you are taking a chance unless you are watching him like a hawk while he is in the same situation that somehow triggered the behaviour in the first place. Actually, watching closely could give you a hint as to why it occurred, as well as the opportunity to step in and prevent it.....but you would have to be quick. Basenjis certainly are....

    Of course, it may be that he won't do anything while you are in the room, as that was part of the original conditions. Which sort of takes you back to square one.

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  • I agree that Basenjis are drama queens (and kings I guess, from this thread). When going to the dog park, my two girls are clipped by 4' leads to grommets in the back of our SUV. They sometimes walk around each other and get tied up, and the "fights" they get into when that happens would make anyone think total death and destruction was the only thing on their minds. But when we get to the park and untangle them, there's never a mark on either one. Same when they are "play fighting" at home - the noise they make, especially the B-mix, is really scary until you realize no damage is being done, and they are not serious about the whole thing.

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