Agressive behavior

My B has begun to show aggresive behavior. We've had our B for almost 3 months and up to this point the only serious problem with him has been his nipping but now he's acting a little agressive. This is not all the time but the other day he was in my daughter's room(he's not usually allowed in there) but my daughter wanted him to sleep with her. When she was unable to get him to stop grabbbing her stuff, she tried to get him out and he bared his teeth at her. I came in and tried to get him out and he did the same and also tried to bite me. My husband came in and he grabed him by the neck (The part of the neck where the pups get grabbed form there mom) and took him out of the room. A few days later, he tried did this again when I tried to take him off our bed at night. And again yesturday when he was on the couch. This is really an issue so now we are looking into a trainer, is this the way to go? I really need some advise since we love our B very much and want to do all we can so we can to help with his aggresion.:(

I think it would be a great idea to find a trainer. good luck.

Yes this is a big scary issue and a trainer is the way to go… also please go to the link provided. It is an article written by a friend and her experience with their first Basenji. And you will immediately see this is exactly the same problem that you are now having... it is totally a dominance issue.. and your Basenji thinks he is top dog in the house...

http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/welladjusted.html

I'm not sure it's a dominance issue straight away it could just be him protesting about being disciplined. And it also sends like he's getting mixed messages…

he's not usually allowed in there

and it could be difficult to discipline a B when sometimes he's allowed to do something & other times he's not.

Have u tried reading the books suggested??

Also if you're looking for a reputable trainer make sure they are CPTD accredited..here's a good website to find the right person & also to find someone who is familiar with basenjis and that uses positive training methods.

http://www.ccpdt.org/

Whether or not its a dominance issue, a trainer is a good idea. But please make sure the trainer you choose is familiar with training independent minded dogs; and uses positive reinforcement training methods.

Treating aggression with harsh corrections often makes it worse. If he has been reprimanded harshly in the past, it is likely he is reacting with a combination of fear and a wish to continue doing what he wants. Changing the way you react to him can make a big difference in his behavior. A good trainer should be able to teach you how to fix this problem up pretty quickly.

To me the "off the bed" is a dead give away for dominance.. however, dominance is related to discipline when you think about it… And I agree, harsh treatment is not the best solution.

@tanza:

To me the "off the bed" is a dead give away for dominance.. however, dominance is related to discipline when you think about it… And I agree, harsh treatment is not the best solution.

I am just so sensitive to the "dominance" word. I see people attributing every bit of miscommunication with dogs to their dogs trying to "dominate" them. I just don't think most dogs are running around thinking about how to gain the upper hand with their people.

BUT, I do believe that the "off the bed" or "off the couch" thing is a sign of disrespect, combined with a lack of training. A lot of dogs try guarding out to see if it works…if the person backs off, they will use it again.

Again, as we have agreed....there is complaining, and then there is guarding....I think this dog is trying out guarding. It sounds like it worked until Dad came in.

I agree Andrea..I'd like to say he's protesting and trying to see if you comply with his protest.

Much in the same our kids like to protest and test our limits…hmm "What would mom do if I said NO? or if I throw a temper tantrum?"and the response would be Mom would make move because she said so.

Bs just like kids are like that. They'll protest but I'm not sure they are trying to assert themselves as the top dog of the house.

The word dominance can relate to lots of different situations… from "testing" you to guarding to full fledged dominance... I have seen many a situation that a young pup is trying to gain a higher place in the pack order.. be it other animals in the house or humans.... but as with all things we all have our own ideas... main thing is, things like baring teeth with the threat of biting is never a good thing no matter what you call it... and needs to be addressed... and as already pointed out.... not in a harsh way... or a challenging way...

I agree with Tanza although all other suggestions are also helpful. I'm concerned because I fear that my B will be aggressive when he dosen't get his way. I'm not sure if it's dominance, alpha dog, or what have you, but I do believe with the other comment about them being like children. I know believe he's acting out like a child would have a tantrum when he dosen't get what he wants but he is a dog so he can't throw himself on the floor or stomp away but can react in the sort of behavior we define as aggresive. As far as being consostant, well it should not matter if he's allowed one day to do something and the next not too. Aggressive behavior should not be his reaction. Just like I never allowed my daughter to throw tantrums. Now I understand he's reaction to being told to leave a room or getting off a bed. That grunt noise is acceptabe, even one of he's many noises, but not aggression.

I totally am with you on that Pat. These days the word is used so much in a negative way & people make assumptions on that especially with our good friend Ceasar on TV 🙂 the word is gaining in popularity!

And being consistant is a big key to any training… and not sending mixed messages... that is why I liked Tammy's write up of what they did with their Basenji (with the help of an animal behaviorist) when he started with unacceptable behavior (maybe that is a better word to dominate...)...

yes I do think consistancy is key. As far as him going into my daughters room, well she wanted to sleep with him that night. And he did hesitate to go in but when she kept calling him, he happily entered. But when he got out of hand, she tried to get him out that's when he got aggresive. I guess I should have bribed him with a treat, but once he became nasty to my daughter, I was upset. And the bed thing I know is also partly my fault, since he does get to sleep with us sometimes, just that night I needed some good sleep, he sleeps like a toddler, legs everywhere. I should have given him a treat to get him off so he'd known he wasnt' being punished. But the one on the couch wasn't about not being nice. He wasn't sleeping, he just did not want to be told to get down, plus now that I thin about it, we has another dog up on the couch in a bag and he kept trying to get to him so that's why we wanted to get him off. I guess he threw a fit because the other dog was on the couch , y shouldn't he be. The thing here is that I don't want to be afraid of my dog nomatter what the situation is. I don't want my daughte to fear him either and we are planning to have a baby in a couple of years and don't want this aggression to escalate and be afraid around a baby. I just want a way to wipe out this aggression and it does not help that we've come across pple that say B's are aggresive in nature. I know I've dont my share of non-consistant behavior but I still don't his reaction should have been that bad. Needless to say, it scares both my daughter and myself.

being consostant, well it should not matter if he's allowed one day to do >>something and the next not too. Aggressive behavior should not be his >>reaction.

Dogs are not people,and they don't think/rationalize/understand as people do. Consistency IS KEY if you want well-behaved dogs. They need to know their boundaries, and those boundaries cannot change from day to day or you will not get a well-balanced dog. You'll get a dog that will always question its boundaries because he can't be sure of what they are.
If you, as leader, cannot be sure of what the acceptable perameters of behavior should be – ie letting him do one thing one day but not the next -- you will send the message that YOU are confused, and may very well wind up with a dog that begins to think, "SOMEbody needs to be the leader; If you can't lead, I will", and he will begin to attempt to make the rules.

Just my .02.

@luzmery928:

I guess I should have bribed him with a treat, but once he became nasty to my daughter, I was upset. And the bed thing I know is also partly my fault, since he does get to sleep with us sometimes, just that night I needed some good sleep, he sleeps like a toddler, legs everywhere. I should have given him a treat to get him off so he'd known he wasnt' being punished. But the one on the couch wasn't about not being nice. He wasn't sleeping, he just did not want to be told to get down, plus now that I thin about it, we has another dog up on the couch in a bag and he kept trying to get to him so that's why we wanted to get him off. I guess he threw a fit because the other dog was on the couch , y shouldn't he be. The thing here is that I don't want to be afraid of my dog nomatter what the situation is.

I know you are looking into getting started in training. A command that would really help in some of these situations is "Point" or "Touch". I teach my dogs to come to my finger and touch it with their nose. This command is great for getting a dog to move from one location to another. You start by putting your finger just off to the side of their head. When they turn their head to investigate they will usually start with a sniff, click and treat the contact. Once they get the hang of that start moving the finger to different positions and distances. Then when you want the dog off the couch you ask for "Point" when they come, click and treat. This way you are not bribing the dog but you are rewarding them for getting off the couch.

The other situation with the other dog in the house is different. If you do not want your dog to interact with a visiting dog then you need to set up a way to keep them separated instead of expecting your dog not to get on the couch to be where the other dog is. It is situations like this where having a crate trained dog comes in handy.

@JazzysMom:

being consostant, well it should not matter if he's allowed one day to do >>something and the next not too. Aggressive behavior should not be his >>reaction.

Dogs are not people,and they don't think/rationalize/understand as people do. Consistency IS KEY if you want well-behaved dogs. They need to know their boundaries, and those boundaries cannot change from day to day or you will not get a well-balanced dog. You'll get a dog that will always question its boundaries because he can't be sure of what they are.
If you, as leader, cannot be sure of what the acceptable perameters of behavior should be – ie letting him do one thing one day but not the next -- you will send the message that YOU are confused, and may very well wind up with a dog that begins to think, "SOMEbody needs to be the leader; If you can't lead, I will", and he will begin to attempt to make the rules.

Just my .02.

The last remark ("SOMEbody needs to be the leader; If you can't lead, I will", and he will begin to attempt to make the rules.) is totally on the MARK… they do and will do this.... without a doubt.... It is not like you can talk and "reason" with your pet... obviously... so the only thing you really can do is teach by example and consistant ways. And dogs will pick up on your fear even if you don't think you are showing it...

Here is an example... I have right now 4 Basenjis and have had 5 at one time. My one girl, Mickii has always felt it was her right to sit at the kitchen table in one of the chairs... she doesn't take anything, but watches us eat... (and yes, we should not let this behavior happen, but we do, it is pretty cute)... HOWEVER, none of the others have ever tried it... nor do we let them.. and they understand for whatever reason, she is permitted to do this and they are not... and it has never been a problem. But we are consistant with the fact one can do this, the rest can't. My Basenjis also know the leave it command and they will give up anything they have in their mouths without complaining... this again like all it a learn behavior..

By the way, when we have company, we do not permit this behavior, all the B's are safely in their crates when we eat… another advantage to crate training

O.k thanks everyone for all your advise. So it's better for hm not to go in my daughters room at all, this confuses him, o.k. And how about the bed. It's o.k for him to lay with us for a while but then when it's time for sleep, we show him his bed and reward him for going there (on his own not carried the way my husband does it). It's o.k for him to cuddle with us, but we each have our own beds. It's hard being consistant but I do see this is the KEY!!!

Exactly, it is like "tough love"…

And how about the bed. It's o.k for him to lay with us for a while but then >>when it's time for sleep, we show him his bed and reward him for going >>there (on his own not carried the way my husband does it). It's o.k for him >>to cuddle with us, but we each have our own beds

Sure why not. Like – reward him to his own bed, then turn off the lights, or on the radio, whatever. He'll catch on fast that there is time to cuddle together and time to go to bed. Eventually, I'll bet, you'll find that when you turn off the light {or whatever}, he will just go to bed.

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