Different energy makes for misbehaving?

Over the last 4 days, my husband Darrel has been in bed nursing a pressure wound. This has meant that I have been far busier with him, which has resulted in a shift of our regular routines in the home (but Kipawa has still had his 2+ hours a day of walks). It has also resulted in some surprising behaviors from Kipawa.

1. Both yesterday morning and this morning he decided to poop in the living room. He was fine with peeing outdoor. So is this an attempt to get attention?

2. This afternoon he was sitting on the bed with Darrel. Very quickly he started chewing on the bedspread and pulling out some fluff. As Darrel is a quadriplegic, he can't move fast enough to physically re-direct/correct Kipawa. Darrel attempted 'no' and 'off' with no success. Darrel called me and I told Kipawa 'no' and 'off', but I feel it was not timely enough for a good correction. His bedroom privileges were taken away from him for the day. No visiting allowed. No huge fuss made. He was escorted out of the room and spoken to in my 'this is not acceptable' tone. Guess who had to get out the needle and thread. 😕

3. Last night before bed, Kipawa was sitting right where I rest my bum on the bed (yeah, it has a nice 'indent' in it 🙂 ). I pointed to where I wanted him to sit. He growled 'errrrrrr' quietly. I physically moved him and the 'errrr' was quite loud with front teeth showing.

Kipawa has a very good heart, and I really think this might be due to the changes around our home right now. The other thing is that the bond between Kipawa and I is very strong. I just re-read item #2 and realized that Kipawa is NEVER in our bedroom during the day. So all of that would be a huge change.

Hopefully tomorrow Darrel will be able to spend about 3 hours in his wheelchair. And things will slowly get back to normal. Thoughts? Comments? Ever had a similar problem?

Sounds like you may have met the 'terrible twos' with Kipawa. I imagine that the disruption in his daily routine has a lot of impact on what he is doing right now as well. Keep doing what you are doing and don't give in to any of his tantrums, ie: moving him in the bed (my boy does this to my hubby more than me, but I just pick him up and move him, he doesn't like it but I don't really care). Once things get into a more regular routine again I'm hoping it will settle down for you. Don't get discouraged, you are doing everything right.

Most dogs are not big fans of change. I know my guys get off balance by sometimes even small changes. Watson especially is sensitive to things like that.

Luckily I like having a routine myself 😉

Usually what helps is for us to work on things we use to strengthen our bond. Working some obedience exercises he really likes is often helpful to remind him that we are a team 😃

DAP may help. it certainly won't hurt. it is not the total answer, but certainly would be worth a try.

the other thing i'd do to help engage his little brain, is to do food dispensing puzzles for his meals.

Hopefully things will be on the upswing soon. You're in my thoughts!

Also, rather than make moving him a battle, try calling him off the bed so he gets to do something to earn a reward rather than seeing moving as a punishment.

Basenjis are sensitive to change, yes, and to any emotional changes in their humans. It makes them insecure and makes them fret. That might be what you are seeing, with the uncharacteristic behaviour. Also, the bed may have become an "issue" since Kipawa was banned from the bedroom for the day. In his eyes he had regained his "rightful place", and perhaps was concerned he was going to lose it again. I assume he doesn't normally resent you moving him from "your" spot on the bed?

That said, once you have issued a command…..be it a request to move, or a request to get off the bed......I think you have to follow through if he refuses. If you are expecting resistance and want to avoid a confrontation, a better way might be to use distraction instead.

I get a totally different response if sit down next to Perry when he's comfy on the couch, flatter him and pet him a bit, and then gently push him off or pick him up rather than ordering him off. Especially at bed time, he likes to make his own decisions. If his timing doesn't suit me, I have learned to finesse it, because once resistance or a growl from him has initiated a confrontation, his butt ends up on the floor PDQ! Of course he resents it. Much more pleasant to just avoid that situation. Tact goes such a long way with Basenjis! 🙂

So wonderful that I know I can come here for feedback and different ideas. That is what makes this forum awesome. 🙂

Krunzer - our routine is a little back to 'normal' this morning, and I can see a difference in Kipawa. Darrel has his care aide here until 1 p.m. and my boy did his poop outside. I think he also knows that we are off on a good long walk today as I will not be leavind Darrel alone.

Moth - "work on being a team" - YES! When I think of it, this weekend we were not much of a team, and I know Kipawa thrives on team interaction.

Agilebasenji - regarding DAP, we have tried all forms of it and Kipawa seems to be immune to it. Now, if you could put the ingredients in a kibble…. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion though. I know some people do have success with it.

Ivoss.... I feel so dumb. Why didn't I think of that? That's a much more peaceful and positive way to handle the situation. I know my Kipawa is food/treat driven. That would be a much better experience. I'm going to put a few treats in a container in my bedside drawer.

eeeefarm - normally Kipawa does not object to being moved to a different area of the bed. I know I was in a different headspace on the weekend and doing things not the way I usually do them. If he is sitting in 'my' spot on the bed, I usually sit down and nudge my way over, moving him with my butt/hip. And there I was trying to pick him up. Hit me 3 times on the head!

I will keep you all posted. I am really thinking the pooping in the house was retaliation, because Kipawa has not pooped in the house since we got him as a puppy. Sneaky little devils they are. And really clever... REALLY clever!

@lvoss:

Also, rather than make moving him a battle, try calling him off the bed so he gets to do something to earn a reward rather than seeing moving as a punishment.

I've always have used this with success.

I've put into place everyone's good suggestions… thank you so much! These new ideas, along with the fact that it is not the weekend (when Darrel did not have regular care aides here) has made all the difference. I think until Darrel is up and out of bed, we'll have care aides in on the weekend. Yes, I also believe that basenjis like routine, as do I. I am sure Kipawa knows that I work best with a certain daily routine. Thinking about this now, I can imagine how the weekend must have felt for him. I wonder if basenji owners are the dog owners that use the most dog/breed psychology. 🙂

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