9mos..biting really bad…will not listen..
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  • N

    We have a 9mos old female. We have had her in training and are on our 3rd session. She does better at home…and I see from older posts that others have had the same issue with the distraction on class....but she will not listen at all...and is "deaf" to our voices. We can call her over and over or tell her no, and she does not even respond a little. She also has started to bite a lot. When she is frustrated or wants our attention she will bite..but then continues to lunge at you. If you say no, or cry out like u are hurt, she will bite harder...like it's a game. She also is getting very aggressive with the biting and chasing of the cat. We are afraid she will get his throat. I have read so much, tried so many things with her...I am looking for any out of the ordinary suggestions. My husband is ready to put her up for adoption. He is very afraid she will hurt one of our young nieces, or even just bite someone. We love this puppy, and don't want to lose her, but are desperate. Thank you

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  • I'm sorry you are having this problem. It seems you have had one thing after another with this girl. Are you in touch with her breeder? What kind of training are you having at her classes? Without knowing a bit more about your situation, it's hard to know what to advise. I would leave a leash on her so that you can get control quickly if she decides to act out. Preventing her from biting or bothering the cat is a first step. Reward good behaviour, teach her that doing the right thing is pleasant, and that you will prevent her from doing the wrong thing. And make sure she gets enough exercise!!

    If there is a good trainer or behaviourist in your area, it might be good to consult them.

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  • Sounds like your pup has impulse control problems. I would try this:

    http://www.dogdaysnw.com/doc/Protocol_for_Relaxation-_Karen_Overall.pdf

    It's actually a great exercise for any dog and is broken down into such small steps that make it easy to follow. (there is also an mp3 version if that's easier for you) I do a down on the mat instead of a sit. Also get a copy of Control Unleashed. Pay close attention to what the author says about threashholds and the off switch game. You may also want to try the dvd Crate Games. all of this is about helping your pup control her impulsive nature.

    I don't know if this is the whole solution for you, but it should certainly help. And of couse, as 4e said, finding a trainer or behaviorist who can see first hand what is going on, will help.

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  • Have you spoken to the breeder? And for sure about the exercise, both physical and mental exercise is important. I agree about a behaviourist. Was she well socialized when you got her (and at what age)…. early socialization is very, very important.

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  • N

    Thank you all…we have her in enrolled in professional training classes...the trainers all seem educated, but the classes are full, and they keep telling us " you picked a really tough breed". Not what we need to keep hearing. She was very sick when we got her, so we have no contact with the breeder...this also kept her out of class until 14 wks.. I will lcertainly look into the link posted by "agile". I also just ordered a training book that has internet access to ask questions of the trainer that wrote it.. We were told to buy a book called "ruff love"... But the reviews of it were awful. Crate games also sounds interesting. We will do anything to keep her. I hope we can get this biting stopped. Thanks..

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  • Who is the breeder?…. and sick with what?.... and seems to me, you need a trainer that understands the breed, just not one who tells you have a tough breed... they really are not... of course depends on the breeding and the socialization... If you would expand on how you got her... it would give many here an idea of possible helps for her behavoir? Were you familar with the breed before you got her?

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  • And "ruff" love does not work… "tough love" does... totally different....

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  • N

    At Tanza..I don't want to call out the breeder..but she had giardi…bad...and we think influenza and kennel cough. She was just 4lbs, and very very sick. We spent a lot of money since March at the vet....but finally..she is healthy. She went through a lot we actually thought she may not make it. We researched the breed for over a year and had many many many conversations with our breeder, and other basenji breeders trying to make sure we could provide a good home for her. I do think that because we work all day, that maybe we were not the best family for a basenji, but our breeder assured us that a basenji would be fine crated. We do put her into daycare once a week to get her out. I can not even think of giving her up. We took a vacation and missed her so much we wanted to go home early......, but the biting is really awful. We do take her for a good walk when we get home, and also she gets 15 mins of playing ball, toss, etc. after dinner, along with 5 min trainings....

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  • Is she spayed? It is "breeding season" and if she's going into heat it might be causing some changes in her behavior.

    I totally understand the frustration you feel with her classes. At my dogs first class we all went around in a circle and introduced our dogs and shared what our plans were and I said I wanted to work on his focus, leash training and hopefully try agility and they laughed and told me "good luck with that!". Well.. I'm paying you to show me how to train my dog, I can tell you don't like his breed and I'm already unimpressed with the first class. He does well in class with toys (he doesn't care for food). Have you tried a squeaky toy to get her attention? I also play with him during the down time to keep him excited about class. I keep a few super fun toys in his training bag so he only gets them during class. Even with a toy he loves I can see him getting bored after a half hour. He does the exaggerated basenji yawn, starts to chew his lead, climbs all over me and stops listening. I've considered leaving early so we end on a good note but of course they go over "homework" at the end of class. Something I discovered while out on walks and he's ignoring me (my voice) because of a good smell is that if I stomp my foot I can get his attention. He looks up at me, I praise him and we move along. I know he will never walk next to me at full attention but I love that now I can at least get him to acknoedge me and I can get him under control. Still work on it each day!

    The cat thing is tricky. I have 2 cats who have lived with 2 different basenjis. One cat just sits there and takes it when the basenjis "play" with him and they didn't/don't view him as prey. My other cat runs, hisses, swats and pretty much hates the dog. It's MUCH harder with her because she makes herself seem like prey and thus a hunting dog with strong prey drive wants to chase. He has never really tried to hurt her but I still have our house set up so the cats have areas where they are 100% safe. Cat trees, baby gates, closed off areas, etc. While you are training her you NEED to give the cat somewhere to feel safe. My cats know what the sound of his kennel closing is and my female cat comes into the kitchen with in minutes of Elliot going "night night".

    I would think about doing daycare more frequently if you can. I work at a vet and dogs/puppies that go to daycare are almost always easier to work with because they are so well socialized. We just had a puppy in for her spay and I complemented her owner on her perfect behavior and she told me that the puppy goes to day care or to work with her almost daily. She sees a ton of people and dogs so nothing is scary or threatening to her. Not saying it's a miracle cure but I can't overlook the good results I've seen.

    She's not /quite/ old enough for it yet but the best energy drainer I've found for my dog is the bike. I have the Walk Dog bite attachment and with the right harness and a little training he LOVES it. Sees the bike and starts spinning and tries to put the harness on himself. He runs full speed for about 15-20 minutes and then sleeps all afternoon! He is 2 years old, in good heath and body condition and we slowly worked up to that much exercise. I also walk him to cool down afterward and make sure he doesn't drink too much water right away.

    I'm sorry your breeder can't help you. I don't know what I would do with out mine! He's always been able to help me with everything, including serious illness. I too have days where I work all day but I'm lucky my parents don't work as long of hours so the most he's alone is 5 hours.

    I don't have much advise on the biting. Mine never did anything more than a little puppy biting and I'd just redirect or walk away. I might be wrong but I've seen basenjis play roughly and I've seen them kill small animals (squirrels, rabbits, etc) and the screaming the other animal does seem to make them continue to "attack" harder. My cat is the master of "ignore the dog and he will go away" and it works! Elliot puppy bit my mom for a long time because she'd scream and carry on and once I got her to stop.. he stopped. If it's as serious as you are making it seem I would look into a behaviorist.

    I hope my giant jumbled post helps a little. I can tell how much you love your baby and want this to work out. Don't give up!

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  • N

    Thank you "crazy" for all the info. She is spayed. We were tough on her today…no spoiling...ugh. It was hard...she looked so sad....but we have to do it.

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  • You will be rewarded in the long run. :). When I was retraining Elliot to eat meals I had to pick up all his treats and bones and he was not happy. He sniffed around the whole house looking for them and my parents kept trying to sneak him things. Once he started to eat the treats returned! It was worth it to now have a dog that eats his meals.

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  • How old was she when she was taken from her Mom/littermates?

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  • If the breeder shipped you a sick puppy, they should be called out.

    You will find that nothing except positive training works well with , well any dog, but these in particular. These articles may help.

    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=23&A=1128&S=0&EVetID=3001644

    You can contact wonderful Kathy at KDiamondD@aol.com for help. She is wonderful.

    Although this is mostly for puppies, you will find her site a wealthy of training lessons for positive training.
    http://www.clickerlessons.com/puppybiting.htm

    I should note btw, that the above poster saying use someone who knows basenjis is a good idea. I had dogs my entire life and imagine my surprise that yelping when bit by a basenji escalated it not stopped. :) Sayblee said "YEAH! A squeaky toy!"

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  • N

    Thank you Debra.

    @pat..we got her at 11 1/2 wks

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  • Just make sure you are reinforcing the thing you want to reinforce! The dog's behaviour will tell you that. Also, things that are reinforcement for some dogs are not for others.

    I am amused by one phrase in the article in Debra's last link. "I will go pet and kiss her if she is resting quietly on the couch". If your dog doesn't like hugs and kisses, they can actually be an aversive…...positive punishment.....like when you were a kid and that maiden aunt with bad breath insisted on "up close and personal". :) The dog will tell you that too. (My guy does not appreciate being kissed, but petting is O.K.)

    If you are doing something that has been recommended and it isn't working, it's time to rethink and try a different approach. Not every dog responds in the same way to the same methods. I agree with Debra that many pups think someone squealing in response to their nips is wonderful and they respond the same way they do to a squeaky toy!

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  • First Basenji's

    Hello newbsnjbby, all the responses are great info for you. one thing (more) you can try is hand feeding, or known as Treat & Train. The link to Dr Sofia Yin is here. Just want you needed, MORE reading!!!! but if you don't know what else to do, start over from scratch. Distractions in a group class are hard to work around if the dog is even more distracted than you! At home, every day, have her leashed around your waist during the exercise/training time. 1)this puts you in control so she can't run off 2)her attention is on you 3)she will respect the lead and whomever is feeding her. There are numerous videos of Dr Yin demonstrating the affects of this training. Patience, no yelling, less is more, single word commands/cues all promote your little girl. It will take time, some longer than others. When I rescued Uzie at 18mos he was a wreck as he was very under socialized and slightly neurotic as he would turn in tight counterclockwise circles when nervous (he lived in a small crate for most of his life). It took almost 9months at my place before he would not be frightened of everyone coming over here and to focus on me for more training. (Down for a stay works so much better then at the sit!) Food was his drive for sure!!! http://drsophiayin.com/blog/category/treat-n-train best of luck to you, be patient and remember, it does take time with this breed.

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  • @eeeefarm:

    I am amused by one phrase in the article in Debra's last link. "I will go pet and kiss her if she is resting quietly on the couch". If your dog doesn't like hugs and kisses, they can actually be an aversive…...positive punishment.....like when you were a kid and that maiden aunt with bad breath insisted on "up close and personal". :)

    I am pretty sure the author assumed that if your dog hated being kissed you would have a working brain cell to know not to do that without having to treat the readers like idiots and say "of course if your dog doesn't like to be kissed, don't do it."

    But yes, most dogs respond to the same methods if those methods are positive. You have to customize the particulars. I had a Rottie that was SO food motivated, we could never use food in training as he could not stop drooling over food and focus. Ignoring a dog that wants to be ignored isn't going to serve as useful. I could hold a tennis ball and get one dog to do a dozen commands with the glow of the ball in her eye. My basenjis could not possibly care less about balls. But the same positive training has been proven to work on everything from chickens to dolphins to cats to dogs.

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    I am pretty sure the author assumed that if your dog hated being kissed you would have a working brain cell to know not to do that without having to treat the readers like idiots and say "of course if your dog doesn't like to be kissed, don't do it."

    I am laughing because I have seen many, many instances of people not understanding that their dogs are only tolerating, not enjoying, unloved attentions. What our dogs put up with from us! I remember the look of long suffering in the eyes of my grandparents' German Shepherd when we kids would crawl all over him. Funny, but I knew even then, as a child, that the dog was allowing it because he must, not because he enjoyed it, and yet so often adults will comment on how much the dog loves the child's attention, when it just isn't so.

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  • First Basenji's

    @DebraDownSouth:

    I am pretty sure the author assumed that if your dog hated being kissed you would have a working brain cell to know not to do that without having to treat the readers like idiots and say "of course if your dog doesn't like to be kissed, don't do it."

    But yes, most dogs respond to the same methods if those methods are positive. You have to customize the particulars. I had a Rottie that was SO food motivated, we could never use food in training as he could not stop drooling over food and focus. Ignoring a dog that wants to be ignored isn't going to serve as useful. I could hold a tennis ball and get one dog to do a dozen commands with the glow of the ball in her eye. My basenjis could not possibly care less about balls. But the same positive training has been proven to work on everything from chickens to dolphins to cats to dogs.

    very good point made!

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  • Trog chewed on my ankles and wrists for a good nine month despite giving him as much play as I could to wear him out, I finally got him a couple whippet playmates as our 13 and 14 yr old basenji ignored him, that worked to help him grow beyond the chewing stage. Gambit is nearly 4 and still nibbles on the necks of all the other dogs to initiate play, its a gentle nibble with the mouth almost closed, but can be pretty anoying. You just have to continue to work with her and channel her energy elsewhere.

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