Watson has discovered his inner snark monster…
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  • You know how it goes…they turn a year old and they think they know everything :rolleyes:

    So over the last couple of weeks it has happend twice that while sitting with me I ran my hand down Watson's side and when I reached the rear he has snarked and once even snapped. He has never ever gotten his way when snarking by the way and he has been in training classes and worked with since day one. He is extensively socialized and handled.

    I have corrected him on both occassions...

    ...but I thought that I should come and look for some extra input just in case.

    He was not asleep at the times this happened, just resting and even touching me with parts of his body.

    He is a healthy one year old. So there is really no medical explaination for this either.

    How should I handle this if it happens again and what training steps should I take to fix any possible issues.

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  • The minute he snarks, he loses the priviledge of sitting/laying with you. To the floor and then he is ignored and not let back up! How do you correct him?

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  • I give him a verbal correction. It is sore of a drawn out low errr sound… He knows that I do this to voice my displeasure at something he is doing. It is also the correction we use in training when he breaks a stay.

    When he tried to use his teeth on me I did clamp his muzzle with my hand...this is what I always did to teach puppies not to be mouthy.

    So from now on...he snarks...and he winds up on the floor. Can he be allowed back after time has passed?

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  • @Moth:

    He was not asleep at the times this happened, just resting and even touching me with parts of his body.

    He is a healthy one year old. So there is really no medical explaination for this either.

    Are you sure? Was it only a snark, or any hint at all that he has an "ouch" somewhere? I have had two overly sensitive Basenjis that would snark or even nip if they were hurting…....or protecting an area of their body that had been hurt. Sore muscle or whatever. In my case I knew, because a yipe preceded the snark. The other possibility was that he was comfortable and didn't want to be moved. There's no excuse for snarking for that, and it should never be tolerated, although I like to be diplomatic and not provoke it in the first place if I can. However, once it happens the last thing you want to do is let him back you off.......a mistake made all too often. It's great positive reinforcement for them to do it again.

    My own personal reaction to a snark or a nip is to restrain the dog until he quits it, (bear hug or whatever), all the while informing him verbally of his sins. Once he settles down, I will offer my hand or arm and essentially dare him to consider a nip. ("go ahead, make my day!") This is not everyone's preferred method, but it has worked for me with both dogs and horses over many years. Do not attempt if you are not confident, because the animal will know it immediately! I agree that banishment from the couch is a good idea. (no, my horses are not allowed on the couch!)

    Another thing I like to do after any major misbehaviour is "doggie pushups". Sit, down, sit, down. If complied with, this earns "good dog" and an opportunity for him to be back in my "good books".

    Edited to add I have never had to resort to any long term banishment from the comfy couch, but this type of incident has been exceedingly rare for me, and seldom repeated. Just lucky, I guess.

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  • @Moth:

    I give him a verbal correction. It is sore of a drawn out low errr sound… He knows that I do this to voice my displeasure at something he is doing. It is also the correction we use in training when he breaks a stay.

    When he tried to use his teeth on me I did clamp his muzzle with my hand...this is what I always did to teach puppies not to be mouthy.

    So from now on...he snarks...and he winds up on the floor. Can he be allowed back after time has passed?

    He needs to earn his way back to the "cuddle" area….. After being ignored and then I would put him through some commands, be it sit, down, stay... etc... and then only let him up with you "if" invited... on your terms, not his.... They catch on pretty quick on what winds them up on the floor....

    All that said, you do need to make sure there are no physical reason for him to complain with a touch... and when he does come back up and is laying with/next to you be sure to touch him all over and then praise for being "good"

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  • Thanks you guys…

    I am sure he is healthy...the only thing that could be is he may sometimes be a bit bruised as him and his shar pei sister play pretty rough ;)

    I did notice something tonight...we were sitting and I was cuddling him and he was fine until I brushed against the fur on his lower back against the grain by accident. I wonder if he just has a very sensitive sense of touch?

    If I had noticed anything health related other than that we would have been at the vet... but I will keep an eye on him just to make sure.

    We are going to implement the program couch time must be earned immediately :)

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  • @Moth:

    Thanks you guys…

    I am sure he is healthy...the only thing that could be is he may sometimes be a bit bruised as him and his shar pei sister play pretty rough ;)

    I did notice something tonight...we were sitting and I was cuddling him and he was fine until I brushed against the fur on his lower back against the grain by accident. I wonder if he just has a very sensitive sense of touch?

    If I had noticed anything health related other than that we would have been at the vet... but I will keep an eye on him just to make sure.

    We are going to implement the program couch time must be earned immediately :)

    I would explore the "against" the grain… could be that it does bother him... not that it should be an excuse... and if just sensitive to that ... I would work on getting him used to it.... might be something that he really doesn't like, but should be trained to "get over it".... cause it happens.... if that makes any sense....

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  • Is it possible that when you rub his fur in the opposite direction of how it normally lies, that you are giving off static electricity? Mine all love to have their fur rubbed in the opposite direction (they act like it must feel amazing), but I know this time of year I have to be careful to discharge the electricity before I do it or they will get a shock.

    I will say that I agree with Pat - loose the privilege immediately if he gets snarky. I only have one that ever gets that way and it crops up maybe twice a year - usually rumbling under her breath, but that is enough to lose the privilege in my house. Never had her ever try to bite though.

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  • If you need to, keep a short leash on him while he's in the house so you can safely, gently guide him off the sofa.

    Also, this is a hectic time of year. I'm in touch with my inner snark monster right now too.

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  • While hip dysplasia isn't high in basenjis, his hips could be bad. He could have an infection you aren't aware of– puncture holes close and infections can grow. I really would have a vet check him, or leash him and use your fingers to feel totally for any lumps, bumps or heat in that entire area.

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  • I had a B in the mid 90s that bit me pretty good on the hand when I picked him up. I found allergy bumps he was in pain from.

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    While hip dysplasia isn't high in basenjis, his hips could be bad. He could have an infection you aren't aware of– puncture holes close and infections can grow. I really would have a vet check him, or leash him and use your fingers to feel totally for any lumps, bumps or heat in that entire area.

    Believe me…the first thing I did is check him over good. He is also going to get hip x-rays as that is in his contract from the breeder. I worked as a vet assistant for many years and my guys are my babies :) I tend to their health better than I do my own in some cases ;)

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  • Sometimes there is an "ouch" that only occurs in certain circumstances. Although I handle all over daily, and massage, etc. I have occasionally encountered an unexpected reaction from an otherwise innocuous touch. As I mentioned before, I have had two that were especially sensitive. The others have been more stoic and unlikely to resent an unintentional hurt, but those two I would never trust with children, because inevitably kids will play rough at times, and a dog that reacts to pain badly is an obvious risk for biting. My current boy will scream in pain if his feet get too cold out in the snow (admittedly at extreme temperatures), and if you instinctively try to pick him up once he starts screaming, you have to guard against a bite. I had one girl who was the same way if in pain. She would lash out at anything, even her BFF Basenji.

    With a reactive dog like this, a fairly minor "ouch" could result in a snark…..

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  • P

    My Spring often gets a lot of static on her coat and it even gives off sparks in the dark!! She is very sensitive when touched lightly although normal pressure doesn' affect her. She never bites or snaps but it certainly makes her uncomfortable. Possibly the same for your boy but there's no excuse to snap and he must definitely be corrected.

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