Help! My basenji is bitting
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    I'm at such a loss on what to do with my 4 year old basenji. He is very aggressive and bites when disaplined. I've had 2 other Basenjis and they were perfect. Is this normal behavior? His aggressiveness is getting worse the older her gets. I'm now affraid to tell him no and so he runs me.

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  • K

    Could you tell a bit more about the situations where he bites? Does he bite you or strangers? How and why do you discipline him?

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  • Have you had a full medical work up done? Including complete Thyroid panel? Best to rule out any medical first. Have you spoken to his breeder?

    What corrections are you using. It is not considered normal

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    Hi there. Now that I'm not quite as upset as I was last night, let me describe his behavior in more detail. Let me first start by saying Bentley has sezuires and is on medication for it. When I purchased him, I drove to another state (a long way). The breeder had A LOT of besanjis and in conversation he used the term "sometime I put them all in the barn and let them have at it". (As in mating) Illnever forget those exact words becasue my gut was saying, this is not good but my heart was saying I want this adorable puppy. Now here we are 4 years later. Bentley is not aggressive in that he randomly attackes me. He will however, bite me if I'm Stern with him. He doesn't just bite, he comes after me biting several times. He also bites any stranger that comes to my home. If we are not at home he's not like that. Say for instance the vet. He shows no aggression toward the vet or workers at all. I've had 2 other Basenjis and so I understand their stubburness but Bentley takes that to a whole new level. I'm starting to think I'm not the right owner for this breed and I'm at a loss as what to do.

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  • First, please make sure there is no medical issues. Please have a full Thyroid panel done. Basenjis are known in some cases to be low thyroid and they are considered to be low even if the reading is low normal. Also hearing that he does have a medical condition, this could certain be the issue... maybe a change in medication?
    Sounds also, hate to say it, that he did not come from a responsible breeder. Does he have AKC papers? I would suppect that with the situation you describe, this is not the case. Who is the breeder if you care to share?
    Know this also, if he is coming from poor breeding and temperament, there may be nothing you can do, nor would it be your fault... He may have what many of us refer to as "bad wiring"..... and there may be nothing you can do about it and you might have to consider putting him down before someone really gets hurt, sorry to say. To say the least, your gut was right and you should have walked away....

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  • K

    Interesting to hear that he will bite at home, but not away from it. Has anything happened to him at your home? And you say he bites when you are being stern? What are you stern about? And in what way? Could it be that he needs another approach? Perhaps he is a bit unstable with the seizures and the medication. Pharmaceuticals are a big burden to the system, especially the liver (correlated emotion: anger). A holistic vet could probably help with supporting his body deal with the issue and the medication. Also a visit to an animal communicator could be helpful, to find out which issues are at the root of his behaviour. In general, flower remedies can be of much support: Bach or Alaskan or Anaflora. There are specialized therapists who may find a good blend for him. All the best!

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  • I am sorry kjdonkers... but when you give one bit of scientific research to prove animal communicators do anything but steal your money, let me know. Please, save that money for a legit veterinary behaviorist evaluation. Flower remedies, popular for decades, and while I don't think Bach remedies will cause damage, they are about as effective as burying a dishcloth to get rid of warts.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/bach-flower-remedies/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bach_flower_remedies

    I won't even bother listing all the studies debunking pet psychics.

    Stick with science and real medicine and real training. If your dog checks out medically, look to changing medications. Get help with how you train. That the biting is when you scold him indicates the dog might be fearful and forward flight (ie attack instead of run). There are things you can do to decrease the response, to enhance his self-confidence and correct/train without making him fearful.

    Sadly, if this is resulting in serious bites (ie breaking skin), it may be time to consider the option of putting the dog down. Between the seizures and other issues, it simply may be more than you can truly handle.

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    @DebraDownSouth : I have had this feeling for a long time, but now I am certain: we live on different planets! In your post you share a little bit how things are at your end of the universe, now let me tell you a bit about where I live. Over here, we too have a body of thinking and doing called 'regular medicine'. The people who work here, usually claim that what they do is 'scientific and Evidence Based'. This is not so, not by a long stretch. This is corroborated by research (yes, by critical regular practitioners, no less), and - more sadly - can be experienced every day by many people with serious conditions (I am one of them). Regular medicine of course has its virtues, but in many cases has no clue, makes mistakes and does serious damage in the process. Then, on the other hand, we have practitioners who offer their work under many different labels: complementary, alternative, holistic, natural, integrative, progressive and the like. Some of them started out in the regular field, got disappointed and turned elsewhere, and some of them have taken a different approach from the start. They integrate old disciplines into new forms or develop new concepts, techniques and therapies. I have had the pleasure (and necessity) of getting to know many these 'non mainstream' suppliers, both in the human and the animal field. All in all, I find them to be highly lucid people, systematic and with lots of integrity. They have worked wonders for my health and many others around me. And yes, they do charge money for their services (as do your regular doctors, if I am correct). I am sorry to hear that you don't have this second category of practitioners on your planet. It offers wonderful possibilities, if you are willing to look for them. Anyway, you are always welcom to visit these parts. And until you do, please spare me your patronizing tone and insulting generalizations. Thank you!

    @shewick3: I wish you all the wisdom, perseverance and good luck to move forward with your dog. All the best.

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  • @kjdonkers Nah, we live on the same planet. We have the charlatan Dr Ozs and the Mercola quacks too, that feed on people desperate for help and buying into anything. We have those second category or practitioners, we just call them quacks, crooks, or people with good intentions but limited brain cells.

    Placebos can work for a while if the illnesses are temporary and not progressive. The quacks pushing their methods have no research proving results... simply testimonials. Sadly, testimonials mean nothing. You can find people who will swear drinking lime water cured their cancer. It doesn't make it so.

    Here is what science actually is. If something works, you can set up studies with placebo and actual treatment and prove it worked. And then someone else can duplicate that study and get similar results.

    Are there too many single studies that are poorly done? Oh yeah. Or preliminary studies that simply indicate something but need much more work to confirm. You betcha, which is sadly the nonsense pushed by media. (HUGE NEWS!!! Swaddling your baby can cause sids. <the real story so much not such news, admits very limited and they know less than they did before, but that doesn't make NEWS!!!) Which is why you look for responsible research facilities, you look for research NOT funded by the drug being tested, and ones that peers review and hopefully are repeated.

    But medicine isn't a crystal ball or magic. We are so far from knowing everything. But that doesn't mean throw it out and flip tarot cards instead. And for those doctors who started out in solid evidence based meds then went over to silliness... follow the money. From Dr Oz on, they flipped over to some quackery they could capitalize on. And when they get called before hearings, they say hey, entertainment, not really medicine! They don't really stand by their quackery. They point out how their "medicines" and "treatments" often carry disclaimers that it can help or treat ANYTHING. I live in this real universe where if something can be proven, they'd prove it, or at least do the research that gives it strong validation. That doesn't mean even those solid doctors aren't willing to try unproven things that have some basis in science... when regular things don't work, you expand what you are doing. But they try off label and other things, not a psychic or useless flower remedies.

    When you recommend some nutjob (or most likely not nuts at all, simply an out and out scammer) to telepathically help with a dog that is on the cusp of being euthanized, in my universe, that is absolutely irresponsible. Missing dog? Okay, they help (guess good) or don't help, the dog is no worse off. Your "psychic" tell these people something stupid like the dog needs more hugs or discipline and gets someone seriously hurt, dog killed-- that's a whole other ball game. Spend the money on someone who actually knows what they are doing and can evaluate the dog and family.

    So yes, I live in the world where pseudo-science is nonsense, where intelligent research is respected and responsible, and we save the old wives tales and silliness for when there is no harm to be done, or no options left. I let my MIL put a red ribbon under my child's mattress because it made her feel better, in spite of knowing there are no evil spirits and if there were the ribbon wouldn't help. No harm==comforts bubbie. But suspend intelligence to believe in such things.. sorry, no.

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  • K

    @DebraDownSouth No use for further discussion, if everyone outside your sphere of reference is a quack, a nut job, a con artist. Different planets. Stay healthy!

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  • @kjdonkers said in Help! My basenji is bitting:

    @DebraDownSouth No use for further discussion, if everyone outside your sphere of reference is a quack, a nut job, a con artist. Different planets. Stay healthy!

    Everyone outside of provable or at least probably science, especially when they peddle for money, does fit my definition of quack and cons.

    But I slept with a bar of soap in desperation with restless leg syndrome. I have tried things that have almost as little scientific basis, but I do so armed with knowing that. My issue is people selling things as science/proven when they aren't. My issue is vulnerable, desperate or uneducated people getting taken in by hustlers.

    Not a different planet, just the science based and honest part of the same one. Having seen too many people hurt, or their animals hurt, or children hurt, by false science/medicine/therapies... I am sorry that you think belief in scientific proof and honesty about what is or is not proven is wrong. If someone says to me, "I drink vinegar and it helps my arthritis, but there's no research proving it works"... good. I might even try it. But when some quack says "pay me $100 and I'll tell you why your dog bites or where your missing child is or if your husband is cheating on you or whatever"... they deserve to be horsewhipped.

    I am sorry if I sounded dismissive to you personally. It wasn't my intent. It was reaction to what you wrote. In general, we're on common ground. We don't have to agree on things to stay on the same planet. :)

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