Oh me oh my, she's gotten aggressive

Hello everyone - it's been awhile since we have posted on issues or questions about our dog, Waffles, but now I fear it's time to return.

Waffles, as some of you may know, is a little over 1 year old - going on 1 yr. 2 mo. here in February. She's a fixed female and lives in the city of Chicago with me and my girlfriend Sara. We take her for walks 3 times a day and to the park a couple of times a week, with her hating this weather and all.

Lately she has become aggressive towards other dogs, in say the past 2-3 months. I have noticed, personally, that when a dog starts to sniff her first (regardless of a girl or boy, big or small, young or old) she snaps and starts her little "gobble" as we call it when she gets a little too aggressive. When I back her off and let her know with a stern voice that isn't acceptable, I will reintroduce her slowly with restraint. When both dogs are just nose to nose and slowly ease into sniffing around, then they end up LOVING each other and playing.

I'm trying to think of a way to get around this, what can it be? Is she just naturally maturing into more aggression since she's the only Basenji in the home? Does she need to undergo some more socialization? She's been extremely well loved and socialized since she was 8 weeks old and we've never had this issue before.

Please help!!

You really answered your own question, I think…. You wrote "I will reintroduce her slowly with restraint. When both dogs are just nose to nose and slowly ease into sniffing around, then they end up LOVING each other and playing"..... And now that you have an adult she is trying to tell you that these other dogs are "IN MY SPACE"... AND I DID NOT INVITE THEM... Remember on lead, she can't get away, so she is doing the next thing available... telling them (and you) you are invading my space.

Since she doesn't seem to distinguish or have a preference and treats ALL dogs the same then I agree that she is telling you she is uncomfortable being approached. Could be maturing, could be her personality or perhaps a past issue… Oakley has his moments where meeting a particular dog bothers him this way but in his case it's generally larger, rambunctious types that don't initiate the meeting with restraint.

Perhaps its the pace at which you are trying to introduce her? Try to "slow it down" for her and only approach a dog you know won't "set her up to fail", watch the other dog an waffles for cues in body language before the introduction. If after trying to do this she still doesn't want to be approached then I wouldn't force meet and greets.

I will say one thing that I'm remembering and I don't know if it's a habit of hers that I need to break - she sees dogs approaching her, and she will lay down and wait for them. Is this her way of saying "this is my ground, stay away"??

Many Basenjis exhibit that behavior… I call it the stalking mode... and yes, I would think you could relate it to "this is my ground, don't come in until invited".... Don't think it is as much "stay away"... but if I want you in my space, it will be on my terms and when I give you an invitation. Really no different then with humans when someone gets to close and your feel "trapped"....

At her age, that behavior isn't all that unusual. When she's off-leash it probably means they are getting too close. When on-leash, many b's feel they don't want to be approached because they are restricted in their movement, so in both cases, it will work out much better when the approach is slow. Also, with mine at least, during the year between 1 and 2+ females like to show they are superior. She is 4 now, and lately she is far more reserved, keeping her distance from huge dogs she used to start things with, slower to approach new dogs for play and pretty pleasant to them when she does. Surprises the H*** out of me, in a good way since I had just come to assume she was a b**** in every sense of the word.

Control Unleashed.
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I have a different experiencing with kneeling down. Ayo does this a lot when another dog approaches but it has never been followed by aggression, when he does this I consider it a playful act and usually play folllows.. When he is aggressive he usually reacts much more offensively, approaching the dog directly and then it escalates.. Spmetimes other dog owners get scared when he does this , getting low to the ground, because he waits for the other dog to be near and then jumps at him, like an attack, but , with Ayo it is always play , has never been violent.

@dmey:

I have a different experiencing with kneeling down. Ayo does this a lot when another dog approaches but it has never been followed by aggression, when he does this I consider it a playful act and usually play folllows.. When he is aggressive he usually reacts much more offensively, approaching the dog directly and then it escalates.. Spmetimes other dog owners get scared when he does this , getting low to the ground, because he waits for the other dog to be near and then jumps at him, like an attack, but , with Ayo it is always play , has never been violent.

I've seen other dogs do this as well and they display no aggression. I suppose it's a mixed bag, every dog is different.

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