Is my rescue a Basengi?
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    We rescued Lola back in February. A groomer thought she might be basenji, just wondering what the forum thinks! She is very aggressive and bites, growls and barks at all of us (I have 4 kids). I read that Basenjis are difficult to train. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Ann
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  • Hi there! I'm new here, but just wanted to make sure you got hooked up with some help! First things first, I would recommend setting rules, she is not allowed on furniture or laps, and have her "work" (sit quietly) to earn petting and play. Growls and barks get her shunned. Kids feed her, only at scheduled times, and she waits sitting patiently until being given permission to eat. Don't be domineering and aggressive or shout at her, just expect respectful behavior, and quietly exclude her for pushiness or aggression. Please work with a trainer if you can. Whatever her breed, many kids get bitten by dogs every year, and mostly it's not because they're bad dogs. There's a lot of miscommunication happening, and right now she is getting whatever it is that she wants with rudeness. Your job is to figure out why–she might be scared and reacting, or being pushy and rude, or maybe is just unclear on the rules. That's where a good trainer can help.

    And again, I don't know basenjis--that's just my take on the situation. It's really important you get some help before someone gets hurt, or you feel like you have to give her up. Please let me know if you need help looking for a trainer in your area or something!

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  • Cute, but I don't see Basenji. And I agree with mixie, you really need to get some training to deal with her being aggressive before someone seriously gets hurt. And training methods need to be reward based with any dog, not just a Basenji if she was or is part one.

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    @mixie:

    Hi there! I'm new here, but just wanted to make sure you got hooked up with some help! First things first, I would recommend setting rules, she is not allowed on furniture or laps, and have her "work" (sit quietly) to earn petting and play. Growls and barks get her shunned. Kids feed her, only at scheduled times, and she waits sitting patiently until being given permission to eat. Don't be domineering and aggressive or shout at her, just expect respectful behavior, and quietly exclude her for pushiness or aggression. Please work with a trainer if you can. Whatever her breed, many kids get bitten by dogs every year, and mostly it's not because they're bad dogs. There's a lot of miscommunication happening, and right now she is getting whatever it is that she wants with rudeness. Your job is to figure out why–she might be scared and reacting, or being pushy and rude, or maybe is just unclear on the rules. That's where a good trainer can help.

    And again, I don't know basenjis--that's just my take on the situation. It's really important you get some help before someone gets hurt, or you feel like you have to give her up. Please let me know if you need help looking for a trainer in your area or something!

    Thanks so much for your reply. We will be looking for a trainer because she has really become more than we can handle. I'm trying not to give up on her. I have become scared of my own dog and I have to protect my kids, they come first. She is our first experience with a dog and it's clear to us that we don't know what we are doing!! I appreciate the feedback.

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  • How old is she?

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  • Oh, cheers for you! Hang in there, and PLEASE don't be afraid ever to ask for help, or to meet with a few trainers before deciding on the one that feels right to you. Be leery of anyone who is too dogmatic, as with anything.
    You're in a tough spot. Please be very careful in the meantime. Don't ever leave kids unattended with the dog, ever. No need to be fearful, but accidents do happen and at some point she will feel like she has to use her teeth as a means to communicate. It only takes a split second. If you can, keep a little notebook of everything you can associate with her troubling behaviors. Where, when, how were you interacting with her?
    Don't be too down on yourself. I feel like there's so much said about "rescuing" dogs these days, we don't talk enough about how tough it sometimes is to overcome iffy foundational handling, particularly for first time dog owners. We went the breeder route for our first dog, and even with all the support in the world, we made plenty of mistakes. Interspecies cohabitation can be confusing and frightening for everyone ;0). Be safe, and keep us posted, if you would!

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    @eeeefarm:

    How old is she?

    She is almost 6 months

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    Thank you mixie for all your advice, I appreciate you and your kind words.

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  • @tanza:

    Cute, but I don't see Basenji. And I agree with mixie, you really need to get some training to deal with her being aggressive before someone seriously gets hurt. And training methods need to be reward based with any dog, not just a Basenji if she was or is part one.

    I agree with everything Pat said. To my eye, she lacks the refinement seen in basenjis. But she is cute.

    Six months - oh boy! I have a 7 month old puppy so I KNOW (not just remember) how trying that age can be. But if you start some good training foundations, you can have an awesome dog.

    These are a couple of places that I would start my search for a trainer:

    http://www.apdt.com/

    https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer

    Then I would ask to sit in on a class your would-be trainer is teaching and see if things click. Or look into a few private classes with the aim of getting into a class setting. In a private lesson, you will be your trainer's sole focus and you can often jump start your training. In a class setting you have the additional challenge of your dog in a social setting (not a bad thing).

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  • I would echo what others have said. Get some help and get things turned around. At six months there is lots you can do to change the dynamics of your relationship. And yes, do not leave the kids alone with her. Stuff happens and it often isn't the dog's fault. (I well remember my father's response when I was seven years old and complained that our Sheltie had bitten me. He said "What did you do to the dog?" Kids often don't 'fess up when they tease and the inevitable happens.)

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  • @eeeefarm:

    I would echo what others have said. Get some help and get things turned around. At six months there is lots you can do to change the dynamics of your relationship. And yes, do not leave the kids alone with her. Stuff happens and it often isn't the dog's fault. (I well remember my father's response when I was seven years old and complained that our Sheltie had bitten me. He said "What did you do to the dog?" Kids often don't 'fess up when they tease and the inevitable happens.)

    And sometimes things are just misinterpreted by the dog. Kids holding the food at kid height is often dog's nose height and seems like teasing to the dog, but really it's just the child being a child.

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  • Or someone is running and trips over her. Something like 800,000 kids get bitten badly enough to need medical attention every year, mostly family or friend dogs, and mostly just because of miscommunication or accidents. I will definitely climb on a soapbox for dog bite safety!
    @the OP, any time, seriously. Raising and handling good dogs is a skill, like any other. It's hard to pick up a musical instrument and figure out how to play it, too–it's much easier and a whole lot more fun to find folks to practice and play with! Also, I'm guessing whatever her background, who ever ushered her into the world probably wasn't really a craftsman when it came to puppy handling. Add to that inexperienced early handling at home, and it's no wonder that some huge percentage of random-bred dogs end up recycling through the shelter/rescue system multiple times, and starting about this age, too.
    Are we still playing Guess the Breed? I spy... French bulldog with some terrier and a smattering of something lankier? We see a lot of dogs that look like that here. We call them "Southern Yard Scrappers". A little bulldog, a little feist, a little "???". =) I like them a lot!

    ETA: At the risk of overstaying my welcome, or offering stuff you already know, I wanted to clarify my first response. Please keep in mind that this is random internet advice from a stranger--no one who hasn't seen your dog can give you specific advice on how to fix the issues--but in the interest of safety, I wanted to clarify the" setting rules" stuff. I do not mean to provoke confrontation. If she is in the middle of doing something unwanted, don't directly confront her. It she has "learned" that aggression is how to communicate, and you first let her get on the couch, then try to make her get off it, she will only escalate her learned responses.
    This is how I, personally, would manage a dog of unknown background until I got some hands-on help, IF I felt comfortable putting a leash on her and touching her. I would keep her leashed to me at all times. Keep a towel or cheapie blanket or a carpet sample in any room where you might be for a while, it's now her "job" to stay quietly on her place. Make sure her needs are provided, she eats, drinks, and relieves herself on a schedule (feed her in the am, let her drink, take her out to potty, then to her "place" next to you, wherever you are. When she gets to her "place", and is calm, magically make a toy appear. Not something too exciting, but something she will play with in her spot. If you can't keep her with you, or there's too much kid activity to be safe, contain her in a play pen or crate where you can keep an eye on her.
    It's helpful to exercise with her first thing in the morning, there's that old joke that a tired dog is a good dog. If you get a good romp in, she's more likely to stay quietly in her place. Also it's helpful to name things for her. When you offer her water, ask, do you want water? And name " water" as she drinks. Same with going potty. After she eats and drinks, do you want to go potty? Take her out, and as she squats and starts to go, say "good girl, go potty!" When she goes into her crate, pen, or place mat, name those things for her and give her a toy to reward her and keep her busy.

    Again, only if you feel safe interacting with her. Keeping her leashed to you or crated/penned when you're not able helps you keep everyone safe until you get some hands-on help. I was concerned that what I said before would sound like I meant you to escalate conflicts--better to not let the behavior happen at all. Just set her up for success and reward her for it, and find a good trainer to help with the specifics. I hope that makes sense... And whatever you do, do not do anything that feels unsafe!

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    @Thomsen4:

    We rescued Lola back in February. A groomer thought she might be basenji, just wondering what the forum thinks! She is very aggressive and bites, growls and barks at all of us (I have 4 kids). I read that Basenjis are difficult to train. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Ann

    Nope, a Basenji always has white feet. Does your dog have white paws?

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    I can't post a pic for some reason

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