12 week old basenji nipping my 5 year old


  • We have tried the yelp but not consistently , it didn't seem to work but maybe we gave up on that too easily. I do the turning away all the time and it works but that doesn't work so well with my son. When you say time out do you mean in the crate, we haven't tried that.


  • Well my son definately screamed, I heard him inside the house. I think the playing situation is very hard because my son runs around the yard and she follows, I am starting to think this type of play is not good, maybe she wanted to get his attention to play some more and that is why she jumped up and nipped him like to say hey here I am play with me.. I do think I need some advice from a trainer, do you recommend classes or someone coming to the house?


  • Yes I did speak to the breeder, I forgot to tell you that before, she said everything you all are saying.


  • Basenji's, being very prey driven, will have the desire to nip at things that well, look like prey. Kids like to run around, flail their arms and look 'prey-like'. Not saying that the B should then nip at the kid but maybe this is the reason, the type of play the child is doing with the dog. I know when both of my B's got very excited during play they would nip. That was it after that, if they nipped playtime was over. They soon outgrew it.


  • sounds like you pup is trying to play, but getting overstimulated.
    I'd try some mat work. Google Overall's Relaxation Protocol.


  • Thanks for all the advice everyone we appreciate it


  • @Benti:

    I think the playing situation is very hard because my son runs around the yard and she follows, I am starting to think this type of play is not good, maybe she wanted to get his attention to play some more and that is why she jumped up and nipped him

    I think you have identified the problem. I would totally avoid any play involving chasing. Yes, your son likes to run around, but don't allow it when the pup is with him. You are right that this encourages the nipping behaviour. You are dealing with a sight hound and instinct. You can train them not to do this, but it is asking a lot from a pup.


  • If you can establish a default behavior, such as a "say please by sitting" approach, you can then build off of that and teach him how to calm down when aroused and build impulse control. Sophia Yin's approach is called "suddenly settle". There is a similar Control Unleashed approach, called the Off-Switch game. They have to learn how to think through arousal. That in combination with the other recommendations should help build better behavior.

    As an FYI, my 4 month puppy still nips (he is teething too) but the frequency and the pressure is significantly less than early on. So, you'll get there. Your puppy is still really young.


  • Thanks you guys I will try that also. We did play outside today just chasing a ball without my son running around, there was a lot less chasing and biting. We are also getting trainer to the house


  • Good for you for being proactive about the situation!

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