How many of these play behaviors does your Basenji have?

I sort of talked about some of these in the introduction thread - but thought it might be fun to hear about everyone else's dog.

My dog is a basenji mix and I was wondering how common some of these behaviors were. Talk to me about your dog!

Favorite toy is another dog:
Definitely yes. She will play with toys and will play with other dogs with toys - but loves to play with other dogs. She loves people (ok - only certain people are allowed close enough to touch her) but she loves other dogs. She plays pretty rough with my other dog (a Jack Russell) but the JRT seems to do just fine and is pretty rough in return. They both back off if it gets too rough and it is definitely play.

While playing chase, biting the back legs of another dog:
My dog does this every time and pretty much relentlessly with dogs larger or the same size as she is. Interestingly, she does NOT do leg or neck bite when playing with much smaller/impaired dogs such as my brother's Maltese or a friend's elderly Scotties. She mostly plays with these dogs by letting them chase her.

While playing chase, biting the neck of another dog:
Same as above. This one is weird to me as I don't know if I have had a dog before that played by biting the neck.

Tunneling under covers/covering up without assistance and playing under the covers:
Yes, and my other dog does not know how to do this. Sometimes the Basenji mix does this and then play attacks the other dog from under the covers - either shooting out from underneath in a surprise attack or going under the covers and then attacks through the comforter. She has also covered up the other dog and then attacked her covered friend. My bed does not stay made for long.

Long distance pounce on another dog:
Yes, and I'm not sure if the JRT (my other dog) dislikes this or the back leg leg biting more. I know the JRT really is not fond of the Basenji play attack pounce where B launches from 3 ft away, landing on a napping JRT - and I can't say that I blame her.

B mix used to do the sleeping attack as a puppy but I think the JRT straightened her out on actions that were going to cause immediate dismemberment

Threading the needle when B500'ing:
By this I mean, squeaking through at high speed very tight spaces without knocking over anything. My dog likes to dive through the arm of the couch, under the sidetable without smashing into the table legs or the shelf under the tabletop. It's like she is playing a live action video game where extra points are awarded for difficulty.

Boxing with front legs:
Yes - tends to do it as an invitation to play. This is just about the cutest thing ever to me.

Playing fighting on her back:
Yes - She often plays on her back, either wrestling with the other dog, playing with a toy or with me. She uses all 4 paws to manipulate the toy or dog closer or push them off.

When playing with a toy, she does not do the neck shake/snap:
I am used to seeing neck shaking with the terriers that I have had and the GS, but I have yet to see the B mix do this. The JRT is a big toy neck snapper and demonstrates this behavior all the time - but the B mix is not into imitating her. The B mix killed a ground squirrel, but I came across the aftermath and did not see the act.

If I had to guess how Basenji's hunt by the way my dog plays, I would wonder if the Basenji's did not mostly kill by tripping up prey, pouncing and neck biting without a neck shake.

Some pictures of playing:

Basenji's are a very old breed who has learned and adopted traits from many African animals over the centuries. The neck bite when chasing is a hunting techniqiue among all of the great cats, lions, leopards, tigers and cheetahs. Their prey are normally to large to grab and shake so they grab their prey by the throat and hold on to suffocate them. B's also wash, or groom themselves same as cats, and will sit and groom each other as monkey's or baboons do. The boxing , standing on their hind legs and waving their front feet is, of course a signal that they are ready to play. Another sign of play is the crouch and bounce, they spread their front feet wide and then bounce forward and back with their little butts up. The running full out through small spaces id from hunting small game through the thorn bushes in Africa for centuries. And, yes, they are all very common traits for all B's.

Don't forget the butt check!

Anubis likes to do quite a few of those behaviors, but her two favorite moves when play fighting with doggie friends are the neck grab, and the butt push (she pushes the other dog with her hip). It almost looks like she's dancing.

Kaiser does a lot of play on his back, neck grabbing which is so gentle most times he's just grabbing air, but not to all dogs, when excited he does the b500 with grouch bows with legs spread curved outwards which looks so awkward - to invite me to chase him, toy shaker - everything gets shaken especially if it's stolen - when I hear it and I know he's been somewhere he shouldn't I know he's stolen. When chasing a faster dog he has been known to grab their tail in frustration, could have learnt this from having it done to him often. Loves to been snuggled under a blanket or armpit etc even if it's just his head underneath which means I am going to sleep. He is not really into wrestling or leg biting have seen him only do it with a puppy we know and when he meets a dog he hits it off with at the park, he prefers to chase and be chased and usually with bigger dogs. Haven't seen him ponce but he does a stop,lay,charge greeting which he saves for dogs he likes and is eager to meet.

Jolanda and Kaiser

Mine do the neck grab some also, but definitely the "butt slam" – before she had her stroke, my female would even butt slam us when she'd get really hyper and playful.

Sorry for the late reply to your response about the neck bite and other play behaviors. Very interesting. My dog also does the crouch and bounce which is so cute!

Lela and Binti display most of the behaviours you describe. They will, however, in a state of excitement, shake a toy or shock, but very briefly.
The neck and leg biting is not so popular with some other dog owners - they think the b's are aggressive.

Mine do all those things as well. We a table with 4 chairs around it in the kitchen breakfast area and they will run right between all the legs all the time, at high speed. They also will run pretty much full speed into a wall and crash into it sideways to stop their momentum so they can change direction. At my last house, I had to patch a dent in the drywall just above the base molding where they hit it so hard.

Ah yes, the ricochet method - my B mix is all over that as well! Luckily, my dog's favored "bumper"tends to be the backs of couches rather than the wall directly. It is amazing to see her rebound off the back of the couch, and then sail over the coffee table and the other dog.

Below is a quote from an article that references this behavior in Africa. -

One tale that enchanted me was of a trip into
the bush, when he was walking down a narrow
game trail quite restricted on either side by dense
vegetation. Suddenly, coming at full speed to-
ward him was a bush-buck pursued by four red-
and white Basenjis. The bush-buck was as start-
led as he was and, fortunately, instead of impaling
him on his horns, he banked off a tree, striking it
with his hoofs, and dashed off at right angles into
the undergrowth. The Basenjis did the same man-
euver one after the other, glancing off the tree
trunk and following their quarry. The whole action
was so instantaneous that he said it was only in
retrospect that he could follow the sequence of
motion. The dogs were followed shortly by their
master in hot pursuit.

My little terror "Zsa Zsa" does all the above except that my two big boys hide in their crates or I have to give her a timeout because she just won't stop even when sprayed with water.

My girl does most of the above listed things except that she does neck grab other dogs, but when she once caught and killed a squirrel, she grabbed and shook it, killing it immediately. Thereafter she was not at all interested in the prey and walked off. Another dog, a labradoodle, went over to grab the squirrel and started playing all over the field with it till its owner got it away from him. Shaye had no interest at all in this exchange because she did what she set out to do - catch and kill.

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