Having a little trouble with my two Basenjis

  • I have had a female Basenji that we got from a breeder when she was 4 months old. She is exactly two years old. She is a good dog, very social, loves the dog park and doggy day camp. She loves to go for walks to visit with the local dogs. She crys when she sees other dogs outside because ehe wants to play. We recently rescued a second female Basenji who is 6.5 months. The rescue dog is a sweetheart also, very laid back and lovable. She was abandoned on the strret and now she has a loving home. I have three sons who interact with the both dogs.

    Here are my questions. The new dog has been in my home for 4 days now. They seem to get along nicely but every now and then the older female will get very nasty with her. This only happens once in a while and usually during rough wrestling matches. We are new to having two dogs in the home. I am not sure if we are going about things properly. They will eat and drink out of the same bowl but we started feeding them seperatly in thier crates which goes nice and calm. Is this an ok thing to do? the new pup isnt house trained yet, so she sleeps in her crate while the older one has free reign of the home. Is this ok? We give treats seperatly as well. When they do have a problem, how should that be handled, by crating both, just seperating and calming or something else? Will the aggression disipate over time or can it get worse? We really want this to work because the puppy needs a good home.

    Also the older dog is always watching what the pup is doing. She will follow her around, and always be aware of whats going on. The puppy could care less about the older dog. They will travel around together and wrestle and play, usually started by the older dog but sometimes by the puppy as well. Most of the time they seem ok but like I said , every now and then the older female will get her hair up, she even got very nasty two or three times, like dog fight nasty. I even got scratched when i broke them up.

    We really need a little help here, so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I did forget to mention that both dogs are spayed.

  • When I brought a 1 yr male home to live with my 3 1/2 yr old female, my breeder told me to expect the fights while the male learned who was head of the house. I would just yell at them "stop it, stop it, stop it" and eventually they did, once in a while I had to throw a pillow into the mix. It didn't take too long to sort out the various dominance issues (but expect a few months).
    I do feed them separately but they get treats together – in fact the female started doing her obedience training better after she saw the male getting treats for his training (she would get treats too but for some reason seeing the male training brought out the competitor in her).
    My female did have the run of the house before I got the male, but the breeder and I both thought it wouldn't be a good idea (or fair) to let her continue while the male was crated. So as a compromise, she stays in the x-pen with her warm afghan and basket and he stays in a crate (a bit larger than regular size) while I'm at work. She's totally okay with that.
    And yes, there are still the occasional "fur's up" situations but you'll learn to distinguish between the "leave me alone" type and the out and out fights that you have to break up.

  • As they say, same sex works till it doesn't. In my opinion since your older female is already after only a few days starting to show her displeasure with the younger female, I think you will continue to have problems and that they will esclate. Same sex "usually" do not work….

  • I had two females for many years, but in my case I got my younger one at seven weeks when my older one was seven years. After a couple of days of the old girl growling and walking away from the pup, she decided to try playing with her and after that seemed to "adopt" her. Never had a problem with them and they slept together and pretty much did everything together. Feeding time, I just supervised because the younger one was a quicker eater (especially as the other one aged), but she knew stealing wasn't allowed and wouldn't try it if I was present. I think the key to mine getting along was the age of the pup when I got her. Neither of my girls would tolerate adult females, but puppies always got a pass until they were older.

    I think it's a bit early to tell how yours will do in the long run. If there is never a serious altercation, they may be O.K., but as the younger one becomes a "teenager" and starts to challenge the pecking order, you may be in for a rough ride. Once they have a serious fight, that is probably going to be it. Females especially tend to hold a grudge. I think if you are prepared to always supervise you might make it work, but if not, perhaps the time to rethink it is now.

  • i thought i would just share my experience as i, too am a newbie to having two dogs instead of one.

    we got Hope when she was 9 wks. Shes now 18months. Ebony came into our "pack" when she was 6 months old (just 2months ago).
    Hope is entire and Ebony has just been spayed.

    The following i have found easiest to do:

    • feed dinner seperatly (Ebony is a slow eater and Hope wants to eat hers. however i dont crate mine and Hope knows shes not allowed near Ebony until Ebony has left her bowl - then they go and lick each others bowls, i put one in the kitchen and one in the dining room but within view of each other as they wouldnt eat if they couldnt see each other. go figure.). However most scuffles are over food so it may just be easier. I always supervise dinner times

    • treats, together/at the same time. Golden Rule: I do not feed them raw bones unless they are crated. … otherwise pig ears and other edibles they get given one each and they usually go off in different directions. treats for training is also given at the same time especially if training at the same time. This only works well because Hope knows to leave it (or rather "leave Ebony").

    an example of how my girls get their treats. i do not advise to do this unless your comfortable to do so. I can call Hope over to me if she was to finish earlier or looks to head over to Ebony. (and have done so once or twice in which i make her chill out with me or i do some one on one training while Ebony continues to eat her treat).

    • playing, they play rough and hard but they also play gentle and fun and race. at first i was shocked at the sounds that would come out of them as you never really hear those sounds just having a single dog. its normal 😃 haha. i was so concerend at first but its just vocalisations. you will know when its a bad scuffle (only heard that once and that was with a raw bone, they wanted each others, and thats why ill never make the mistake of that again)

    *note: Hope is a very dominate, bold character. shes not shy and loves being the star. she loves other dogs and thinks that any other dog around loves her (rolls eyes). Ebony is the opposite; shes a very quiet, shy personality. she does not challenge Hope, but she is social and game enough to play Hopes games. I think this is what helps in their new "sistership".

    Sleeping arrangements: they both sleep in bed with us. (oh yes we are lucky humans to share their bed ha ha). there are no issues, might get a growl if one walks on the other (lol). however. during the day, if Hope is in a favourite closed in kind of spot and Ebony tries to climb in with her Hope will sometimes protest but its only ever a growl and bare of the teeth, which Ebony totally ignores and flops down beside her and then Hope begins to flea her. I dont get that kind of physcology coming from Hope but go figure.

    for example: Hope will protest but Ebony will continue to get in and they chill together.

    another tip. I always walk them together and do something with them every day. (bonding time for the 3 of us). i do leave them unsupervised in the yard together when im at work but i find that they get up to more mischief trying to find things to destroy then fighting.

    expect: lots of noises.

    its totally worth it though. Having two different personalities works well as Hope is simply please by going for walks and going for her big runs whilst Ebony is simply happy snuggling in with Hope or her humans.

    i have attached a few pics. you can make it work 🙂 you do have to put alot of time into it. at only 4 days they still will be testing the waters and working out their pack dynamics. (for example when it was me and my partner and Hope, My partner was the boss. now that Ebony has joined us i have found that i am now the pack leader).

    I want to make it work cos i love both of them to bits.

    i may be wrong in my theory that their personalities dont clash as much so thats why we are making it work well. but this is just my experience and i am sure theres plenty more more expeienced people out there that would be able to give you their advise, i can only pass on my recent expeirences .

    what are your dogs personalities (im aware that the new girl you will still be getting used to).

  • I agree with you that "personalities don't clash" actually is a factor in whether 2 of any dog breeds get alone, especially basenjis.

    To the OP, I am not sure I agree with the poster saying the older female is showing displeasure at the younger being there. It is entirely possible and NORMAL that she is trying to discipline her. If that is the case. your interfering will escalate the problem. If there are simply horrific noises, if no blood is drawn, you best chance of this working is to allow her to correct the pup, supervise the pup and feel comfortable that the new female is not going to take her place or challenge her. Will it work? See top line. If the new pup stays docile and doesn't challenge her, then you could have a life of fairly peaceful coexistence. If not, you could have to separate them for the rest of their lives. You have to decide NOW if you are willing or able to do that. If not, sadly you have a problem because the saying is right– it works til it doesn't. While many family have 2 of the same sex or even 3 or 4 that live happily together, you can't bet on it. You have to know that any time you add a new pet, you risk having to run separate packs.

    I did NOT want a male dog, even though I had a female here. The good part is that at 7, she had never shown any desire to lead the pack or be aggressive to the other dogs (she grew up with 3 rotties, a chow/coyote and another basenji-- all dead at this time). I got Cara young. Cara also, at 2, so far has not shown any dominance issues other than bed guarding and over food. Food i solved easily-- they already have meals in crates-- they want a treat, Cara knows to get off the bed or sit back while I give Arwen's her treat first. Bed, if she snarks I make her get out of the bed and hit the floor until Arwen is in bed and comfortable. But do I seriously delude myself that because SO FAR it is okay that it will stay that way. No. It could change tomorrow-- something set them off, a fight ensues and the likelihood of harmony goes down the toilet.

    I think other than interfering in their quarrels you are doing just fine. But we do expect pictures here. Alex should make it a first post requirement 🙂

  • To the OP, I agree with Debra with the exception that I took your first post to say that they were really fighting and if that is the case, honestly it will never work. If it is the elder correcting the young and she accepts it, that is one thing, but if there are knock down fights and both are participating you are better off now to place the younger

  • @Debra, thanks for the info. All seems to be going well. A little growling and really only one or two outbursts over a treat. We just don't treat together anymore. I have an experienced basenji trainer coming in so we can better evaluate the two. I did post a pic of the two. Look at my avitar.

  • Sounds to me that they get along like my two boys. I have a 6 year old male golden retriever, and just adopted a 1.5 year old basenji mix. The boys get along great most of the time but every once in a while my golden gets "snarkey" as you put it but it is only his way of putting Taz in his place, and telling him to stop doing whatever it is he is doing. It is never a all out fight. Imho that's all it sounds like. She is the adult and sometimes puppies bite too hard and surrogate mommy has to put her in her place. I have been around dog's all my life, and when it comes to dogs, if they are playing together most of the time, and she is only getting snarkey sometimes, I wouldn't worry too much. I agree you should feed them separately, treats are OK together unless your adult dog is possessive over treats. My golden is food and treat possessive so I have to do it all separately except cookies. If they have pigs ears they are separated because Levi will steal Taz's because he always finishes first, and Taz is a lot slower at eating his. Taz will chew his in my lap because he knows I won't let Levi steal his treat, lol.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk

  • Btw, I never interfere with them, as they always work it out, and dogs don't hold grudges so the puppy learns her lesson and learns who is the more dominant dog.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk

  • Basenjis absoloutely hold grudges… Only breed I've seen where this is so stubborn in them... Females worse then makes but Oakley has a grudge against a pitbull he started a fight with and til this day can't be trusted with him because it's Oakley that had the problem...

  • @jdarc1:

    @Debra, thanks for the info. All seems to be going well. A little growling and really only one or two outbursts over a treat. We just don't treat together anymore. I have an experienced basenji trainer coming in so we can better evaluate the two. I did post a pic of the two. Look at my avitar.

    That is good.

    However, 😞 I don't see an avatar, only a little blue box that says DEFAULT if you hover. You may need to resize it?

  • Chealsie, they are far from the only breed. Chows hold grudges. Rottweilers not only hold grudges but they will totally gun for and wait for any opportunity once an issue begins. Many breeds hold grudges. And btw, to make it worse, while it is truly rare for male/female issues to arise with Rotties, chows are often opposite sex as well. 😞 The fortunate thing HERE is the younger one still has a small "puppy" window where the older may forgive stupidity.

  • Just an update. Leeloo and Ruby are doing great. They love to wrestle, Go out in our yard and run around for hours if we let them. We had a trainer come in who has experience with Basenjis. She observed mostly the first day. She told us that Leeloo ( the older dog) is just correcting and claiming her space. She gave us a few tips and everything is great. The only problem is the training of Ruby. She is 7 months old and smart as can be, but she still has the occasional accident in the house. Other than that she is a great dog. Very lovable and cuddly, more so than Leeloo. Having a companion has helped Leeloo alot. She never was one to go out in in the yard and play. She always stayed near the deck and porch. Now with a companion they utilize the entire yard. She has opened up more and is having more fun. Thanks to all for the advice.

  • A pic of Leeloo and Ruby, just hanging out

  • They are darling! I am so glad things are working out better!

  • For some reason, I found the boys easier to house train than the girls. My boys picked up things so well, while most of the girls have had accidents well after when they should have been totally trained.

  • Great news that things are going well now.

  • Oh, they are so cute! I'm happy to hear that they are getting along, too. 🙂 It takes time, of course.
    I'm a firm believer that their snarks and grunts are really a foreign language called basenjinese… and that they can communicate with each other. I'm sure your trainer is right in that your first girl is just laying down the law, and telling the little one what she can and cannot do!

    Hugs and Roos-

  • i love happy endings. or is that happy beginings?

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