Basenji puppy growling when woken up

Our basenji is almost three months old and we've never had this problem before but lately when we go to wake Macie up while she sleeping she growls and snarls. Does any one have any advice or tips of things we can try. I don't want her to get away with it for long if at all. I've heard some people say when dogs growl like that they think they are the pack leader and we should just back off. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance

How is your Basenji doing-still growling? I desensitize my rescue adult Bs by petting them while they are laying on the couch just when they are going to sleep. I do not startle them if they need to be woken up to go outside in the morning but I will call their name and talk to them and pet them gently. I would like to hear other owners advice for this as I rarely have young puppies as rescues.

Jennifer

I haven't seen this with young pups. I certainly have seen it with older Basenjis, especially if they are comfortable and don't wish to be disturbed. Tact is a great idea. Getting them used to being stroked and talked to and not making them move for a few minutes is also a good approach. Grumpiness usually abates and you can then go ahead and pick them up or push them off the couch or whatever. It goes without saying that if you force a confrontation you cannot afford to have them back you off! Guaranteed to make the behaviour worse.

I certainly have seem this with baby pups… and yes they are being dominate... first, where is she/he sleeping?... Responsible breeders make sure that baby puppies are picked up all the time when sleeping... to get them used to being touched/moved during sleep... and even removing them from nursing on Mom for a bit of cuddling... and then returned to Mom to continue nursing.

Have you talked to the breeder? What did the breeder say?.... and NO, it is not an acceptable behavior.... you need to start calling to the pup when sleeping to semi wake them up and then touch/move... as a beginning.

@maciethebasenji:

I've heard some people say when dogs growl like that they think they are the pack leader and we should just back off.

I can't think of worse advice, backing off will only reinforce any thinking on her part that she might actually be the boss. At her age you should be getting her used to being handled at any time. How do you wake her? Pet her, wake her, but don't necessarily make her get up. Other times, call her name, lure her up with a treat… but don't be giving it to her if she's not being polite about it. Make getting up fun or interesting; getting up is one of those things a dog has to do. Do you do any obedience work with her?

I recognize this, and learned to wake Lela up very softly, by petting, soft talk, and massaging her neck and back. It takes a while for her to come back from her 'coma'. I found these moments truly wonderful.

Read about this when researching Basenji's so knew from the start that I wanted Kaiser to love the human hand and made sure he was touched(also used a soft gentle voice) everywhere and often especially his tail as people just love to touch it(usually at the dog park when they haven't seen a tail like that before) and I don't want him nipping people. When he is sleeping I speak to him first then touch and never push him off the sofa I command him off and if he is stubborn toy or treat works, I don't use confrontation and that's what has worked for us. Put the time in and I'm sure your pup will respond. Good luck.

Jolanda and Kaiser

@maciethebasenji:

Our basenji is almost three months old and we've never had this problem before but lately when we go to wake Macie up while she sleeping she growls and snarls. Does any one have any advice or tips of things we can try. I don't want her to get away with it for long if at all. I've heard some people say when dogs growl like that they think they are the pack leader and we should just back off. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance

Lol…. Basenjis hate being disturbed while sleeping etc. In my opinion, the best thing to do is show dominance, so I just pull the covers/cushion/etc right from under her, tell her to "shut up" and go about my business lol! Showing fear/etc only encourages the behaviour in my opinion.

First Basenji's

@maciethebasenji:

Our basenji is almost three months old and we've never had this problem before but lately when we go to wake Macie up while she sleeping she growls and snarls.

Ok, just a question, but what are you waking them up for???? My boy is not realllllly sleeping, but at 9pm I want them all to go out so I can at least sleep in til 6:30:) I got the 'growlies' at many a time. First of all, don't back up, but don't try to be leader of the pack either at this only one moment! Wave a high value treat in front of the snoze-o-la and watch the magic when they get up out of bed thinking it was their idea (they wanted to get out of bed) to get out of bed to get the treat! ( I mean it has to be important to be getting out of bed, and so the treat should be chicken or bologna, or last nite's piece of filet-you get the idea!-or special dog treat they don't see everyday but they like in case you don't want to feed human food) I don't get yelled (growled) at anymore, (rules have been established by me not he from day one…) but I don't scoop him out of a warm bed to go outside in the cold to pee either! He gets up, and he follows me out the door for the treat and golly, he made up his own mind. It is not a dominant or leadership thing at this moment- what kind of relationship do you have the rest of the 11hrs and 50minutes???? if they run the house or you treat them like a human child, then they will growl!!!! If one treats the dog like a human, the dog will treat you like a dog as this is all it knows......................................................

Macie’s attitude has improved, but still often growls when being awoken. I would normally try to wake her up when she is sleeping on the couch to go to bed. Now that she is four months old she often sleeps all night (sometimes she will wake up during the night to go to the bathroom). I will only wake Macie when I have to, other than that I will let her sleep, by doing this I’ve seen her sleeping attitude is much better.

With that being said, she has developed another “attitude problem” when I pick her up to put her coat on (our climate is extremely cold during the winter) she will growl and snarls. I don’t understand why she does this, maybe it’s because she doesn’t like leaving the warm house to go out in the cold or maybe it’s a childish behavior she will grow out of.

Macie is a great puppy other than that, she is potty trained and also knows all her basic commands.

@maciethebasenji:

maybe it’s because she doesn’t like leaving the warm house to go out in the cold

Bingo! In my experience, some Basenjis will get snarky when they anticipate having to do something they do not enjoy. My guy isn't coming to the door to go out when the weather is off, not if he has any choice in the matter! 😉 If I go and pick him up, he will certainly grumble about it.

@eeeefarm:

Bingo! In my experience, some Basenjis will get snarky when they anticipate having to do something they do not enjoy. My guy isn't coming to the door to go out when the weather is off, not if he has any choice in the matter! 😉 If I go and pick him up, he will certainly grumble about it.

Both of mine do this as well but at the same time I still make them do it. They can snark all thy want but they will still do what I want them to do even if thy don't want too. It just makes them realize that they won't get away with it, we'll at least that is the hope!

@krunzer:

They can snark all thy want but they will still do what I want them to do even if thy don't want too.

Absolutely. And I think this is where a lot of people get into trouble with Basenjis. These dogs are smart. If making a fuss gets them out of doing what they don't want to do, they will notice, and next time you will have even more resistance. If they figure out they can back you down, you may end up teaching them to bite. This is something that needs to be addressed early. Not that they won't snark, but they know it doesn't get them anywhere. I don't provoke a confrontation, but once the snark begins I have to insist on getting my way.

First Basenji's

@eeeefarm:

Absolutely. And I think this is where a lot of people get into trouble with Basenjis. These dogs are smart. If making a fuss gets them out of doing what they don't want to do, they will notice, and next time you will have even more resistance. If they figure out they can back you down, you may end up teaching them to bite. This is something that needs to be addressed early. Not that they won't snark, but they know it doesn't get them anywhere. I don't provoke a confrontation, but once the snark begins I have to insist on getting my way.

bingo and ditto-ditto!

I made sure when my girl did it, I con tinued to pick her up and say stop being so snarky and she would stop imedietely and lick me. I have a very
unusual Basenji who loves to kiss and maybe that is because we kissed on her all the time from the day we got her, and whenever she got grumpy
and than stopped she got loved on and kissed on. She rarely gets annoyed now because we follow through and never let her think she is
the boss. So just follow through and tell her no and dont stop what you already started or she will think she is in control. I was literally
a nervous owner with mine because I had heard so many stories about Basenjis and how difficult they can be, and I always had Whippets which are so laid back it is not even funny. But now I have totally gotten over it. I would get another Basenji in a minute and not think twice about it.
She is the most entertaining awesome dog we have ever had. Just make sure she knows her place in the pack and love on her alot. It has worked with ours.

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