7 year old Basenji who needs a family
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  • N

    Good evening,

    I have a 7 year old Basenji that we need to find a home for. "Cutler" is truly apart of our family and has been a great friend for my 11 year old son. He is a full blooded Basenji that I purchased from a breeder in Georgia.

    Here is where the problem comes in. We moved two years ago to a neighborhood where more kids live. He has a fenced in back yard and has become very aggressive towards the kids. He has bitten 3 of them and I just can't continue to run that risk. We tried a trainer but that was unsuccessful.

    I do not want to follow the advice of the Vet and that is to make that "hard" decision. Why that is so hard is because Cutler is such a good boy when he is with his family.

    He has been neutered
    d and is in great health. If you think that you would be willing to give Cutler another opportunity at life. Please touch base with me.

    We live right outside Nashville, Tn

    As always, Blessings on you!

    Naz Roseberry

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  • K

    Hi, I see your problem, but aren't there other solutions? E.g. a higher fence, with a finer mesh / a sign saying 'NO TOUCHING, NO TALKING' / put him on a leash in the garden, long enough to move around, too short to reach the fence.

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  • N

    I cannot ask my kids to continue to not have friends over to play or spend the night. The main reason I am reaching out here is because I don't want to put him on a chain or even keep him outside all the time. 2 of the 3 attacks have been on the inside of my home. The 3rd was when the kids were playing tag and one of the kids "forgot" and opened the gate to run through the back yard and my dog attacked him.

    We love Cutler, but I cannot continue to be a prisoner in my own home because of his problem. We don't deserve that and neither does he.

    Thank you for your ideas, Naz

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  • I believe there are a couple of people on this board who are looking for adult Basenjis. Hopefully one of them will respond. This type of problem can certainly arise with any breed, and there are solutions that might work, but when there are children around constantly it's likely best if the dog moves to a different environment.

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  • N

    @eeeefarm I agree 100%. I believe the same thing here. This is not easy for me and we truly love Cutler....That is the main reason I joined this group. I truly want to take all measures possible for my buddy Cutler. However, my luck and or time is running out. We cannot keep taking this risk.

    Thanks guys

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  • Have you contacted the breeders? Responsible breeders usually require that dogs they breed come back to them?

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  • N

    @tanza I have not. To be honest, I don't have their info anymore. I would have to search for them. Thanks, I will try that also.

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  • G

    Who is his breeder? Have you considered turning him over to Basenji rescue?
    -Joanne

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  • For sure, check with Basenji Rescue and Transport if nobody from the board volunteers a home.

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  • No <EDIT: Responsible> rescue will take a dog with a bite history, And if you lie to them, they can sue you if the dog bites, and you put them at a risk of losing their entire rescue-- including the ability to help so many other dogs because of your misrepresenting the dog. In fact, the problem is that anyone adopting this dog is taking on incredible liability because if you adopt a dog you know bites, and you mess up and it bites someone else, you may lose every thing you own in legal suits. Whoever you place with, get an attorney to help you write up a paper stating that they take the dog knowing his bite history and relieve you off all personal and financial responsibility once they take possession of the dog.

    If you give the breeder name, I'll find them for you. They may know of a home that they trust to truly keep him safe from being in contact with children.

    I am sorry your trainer didn't work on things that could have prevented the additional bites... like household training to crate and LOCK him in it when you have visitors, a SECURE backyard separate enclosure that no one has access to (ie perhaps a double fence around it). I hate to be harsh, but this dog losing his home because you cannot train your children is very sad. Even very young children can learn safety precautions as simple as making sure no visitors when adults not home to secure the dog, locks on the fencing so guests can't access or even a barrier at the back door.

    I honestly would never rehome a dog who bites children. If I cannot keep it safe in my home, I would put it down. My dog, my failure, and my responsibility to do the hard and loving thing. I have known of people who had the dog's teeth removed but I think such an act of desperation is probably not kindness.

    last edited by DebraDownSouth
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  • N

    @DebraDownSouth I appreciate your post and thoughts. I didn't state in theearly post what all I have tried. We actually crated, put up, and even muzzled Cutler for over a year. It has only made it worse. I can only assume it is a desire of his to bite and when he is removed from people it only makes the desire worse. The way you said it was "my failure " was harsh considering you have NO IDEA the extreme measures and inconveniences that my family has been through trying to help Cutler. The reason I have went to this extreme is because we have tried everything.....and locking Cutler away from everyone or every time we have company is unfair to us & him. We love this dog but a lawsuit is something I cannot afford and locking a dog away is also something I do not believe in.

    So

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  • @DebraDownSouth said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:

    No rescue will take a dog with a bite history,

    Debra, are you sure about that? I ask because I have noticed on BRAT's description of the dogs they are trying to place that there are the questions "Nips"(in play) and "Bites" (in anger), and some of the dogs definitely have the latter filled in. Of course, a reported and police investigated bite might be different, and what category the bites in this case fall into hasn't been clarified, i.e. a severe bite causing bleeding and breaking the skin, or a nip (angry or not) that is just a pinch. If all the dogs in this world who have nipped or for that matter bitten were put down we would have far fewer dogs. I certainly know many owners who have suffered a nip or bite and still have the offending pooch many years after. Some dogs are known as grouchy and the families just avoid their triggers.

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  • A

    @DebraDownSouth I appreciate your response to our post. I have to admit though was taken back by a few of your comments.

    1. ...and if you lie to them (in regards to BRAT). We would never lie to anyone regarding our situation. That would not be beneficial to Cutler or the adoptive family. As my husband mention we love this dog very much and want him to possibly have a better home than we can offer him.

    I also want to add that the situation that we have found ourselves in(meaning Cutler biting children) is new to us. He has not always been this aggressive just seems to have gotten worse for some reason since we have moved. Now do not get me wrong, Cutler has never like being picked up by strangers and would bite in that situation. But Cutler now goes into such a frenzy when kids are over. He will not sit, lay down or relax until they leave. This occurs even if my husband or I would stay in the same room with Cutler and try to soothe him. My boys are only 10 and 11 yrs old and we barely allow friends over anymore because of him. Just a really big deal to keep in locked him for long periods of time. Especially, if friends spend the night.

    1. ......this dog losing his home because you cannot train your your children is very sad......this one I take great offense too. First of all, my kids are very well trained around Cutler. They know that no friends are allowed in the house until me or their dad have secured Cutler or no one is allowed in our back yard until Cutler is secured. How well trained they are at this actually makes me very sad. Each biting accident has not happened because of my kids mistakes. Last biting accident happened right before leaving for school. I take a neighborhood kid to school with us. Cutler is usually secured in our bedroom till after I leave to take my boy and neighbor friend to school.This one time our friend left his backpack in the house by back door. As I was walking to the car told the boys to load up. Our neighbor friend started to walk to my car and without me noticing ran back to the house to get his backpack. My husband knew that we were leaving so at this time let Cutler out of our room to take him outside. So neighbor friend opened the back and my husband let Cutler out at the same time next thing we knew Cutler attacked. Happened so fast. The sweet boy knows Cutler's history and is aware to stay away from him but he just forgot for one moment because he was in hurry to get in my car. Now this time he did not break the skin because he bite him on the upper leg and he had cargo shorts on. This is what scares me --my family has tried so hard to prevent things from happening but it all happens so quickly.

    I completely understand that you would never rehome a dog that bites children. We honestly feel the same way but this is incredibly hard for us. Was wanting to take every avenue before making the hard decision. I truly believe that Cutler would be very happy where their are adults in the home. He is such a good dog when he is just with his family. He is not hyper, loves to cuddle with you especially if you have a blanket and loves to sun bathe even if it is the tiniest amount of sunlight coming through the window.

    Lastly, we feel that we have failed and take full responsibility. My husband and I have always had dogs in our life ever since we were little. We have never experienced anything like this before. I wish I could tell you where we have failed! We agree that it is the owners responsibility 100%.

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  • I do think you should contact BRAT and see if they are willing to take Cutler on. If my circumstances were different and I lived closer I would certainly consider him, and I am guessing there are other adult homes out there that would also. BRAT frequently specifies in their descriptions of dogs up for adoption that they must be placed in homes with no children, so this would not be a new situation for them.

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  • A

    @eeeefarm Thank you! I have just submitted an online form.

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  • @eeeefarm said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:

    @DebraDownSouth said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:

    No rescue will take a dog with a bite history,

    Debra, are you sure about that? I ask because I have noticed on BRAT's description of the dogs they are trying to place that there are the questions "Nips"(in play) and "Bites" (in anger), ...I certainly know many owners who have suffered a nip or bite and still have the offending pooch many years after. Some dogs are known as grouchy and the families just avoid their triggers.

    Are they Brat dogs or mixed they allow on their page? They explicitly state not responsible for mixes put on the page or private adoptions:
    https://www.basenjirescue.org/PostDog.asp
    I went through the few available... and while they ask if bites in anger, I have never seen one that said yes. Absolutely some nip in play. I'd be pretty surprised to see a regular Brat one that had a bite issue.

    I should have said "responsible rescues" and should have said child aggressive and/or bitten and drawn blood with an adult.

    I am not saying every dog that bites should be put down, and am very sorry if I left that impression. If I have a hurt or sick dog that bites, obviously you consider the situation. You grab a scared or injured dog, you are probably going to get bitten if you don't do it right. I don't consider that the dog's fault. But it it bites and leaves punctures, you still have a serious liability if you plan to place that dog.

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  • @naz-roseberry said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:

    @DebraDownSouth I appreciate your post and thoughts. I didn't state in theearly post what all I have tried. We actually crated, put up, and even muzzled Cutler for over a year. It has only made it worse. I can only assume it is a desire of his to bite and when he is removed from people it only makes the desire worse. The way you said it was "my failure " was harsh considering you have NO IDEA the extreme measures and inconveniences that my family has been through trying to help Cutler. The reason I have went to this extreme is because we have tried everything.....and locking Cutler away from everyone or every time we have company is unfair to us & him. We love this dog but a lawsuit is something I cannot afford and locking a dog away is also something I do not believe in.

    The "my fault" is one of emotional personal failure. It wasn't meant as it sounded. Some dogs are simply unstable and there is nothing you can do safely to change it. People want to imagine they can fix anything.. and honestly, you can't. So if what you have done, which is what any home would have to do to keep him safe and others safe from him, made him miserable-- then what do you hope to accomplish by giving him to someone else? It gets back to the same bottom line... if he cannot be made safe without making him miserable, then the kinder act is to let him go in your arms. If you have so much company that "locking him away" is that constant, then I don't see other options.

    last edited by DebraDownSouth
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  • @ar2003 said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:

    @DebraDownSouth I appreciate your response to our post. I have to admit though was taken back by a few of your comments.

    1. ...and if you lie to them (in regards to BRAT).

    I also want to add that the situation that we have found ourselves in(meaning Cutler biting children) is new to us. He has not always been this aggressive just seems to have gotten worse for some reason since we have moved.

    1. ......this dog losing his home because you cannot train your your children is very sad......this one I take great offense too. First of all, my kids are very well trained around Cutler. ....This is what scares me --my family has tried so hard to prevent things from happening but it all happens so quickly.

    Lastly, we feel that we have failed and take full responsibility. My husband and I have always had dogs in our life ever since we were little. We have never experienced anything like this before. I wish I could tell you where we have failed! We agree that it is the owners responsibility 100%.

    The harshness of my response is from decades of dealing with rescues. I don't know you, you don't know me. But I am all too aware of people desperately wanting their dogs in another home, to get another chance, and lying to achieve it. I am glad you wouldn't... but it was just meant as a general precaution to you and to anyone considering the dog.

    Your comment about the newness of this issue has me wondering if the children have hurt him when you weren't home, or if he has thyroid issues or something else going on. If he has not had a full thyroid panel run, please do before you make any decisions. Though generally thyroid would change home behaviors, not just to kids.

    Did your trainer work with him on desensitization exercise with kids? Things like having them walk by at a safe distance (where he feels safe, not them) fence, no eye contact, just throw a nice little treat. Over, and over, and over until you see him start looking positive about a child approaching. Then let them get a bit closer to the fence... same boring routine, over and over several times a day for a couple of weeks. Finally, approach closer, say his name, toss treats. Positive response?

    Next, in a crate, in the room with the kids, same zero eye contact, toss a treat. over and over, as much variety of kids as you can possibly get. Variety of clothing. Keep it all very short.. from a couple of mins in house and build up to 10 mins. Make sure treats healthy and tiny (like boiled chicken, cut into tiny pieces then baked). IF you can retrain his reactiveness to children, reduce his anxiety and distress, you might be able to make this work with him being put up and not obsessed and upset about them being there. High quality toys, gigantic chew bones he can chew but not digest, frozen kongs... things he might enjoy only when kids there so even though separated, he's okay about it.

    Again, the failure part I meant emotionally. If he is unstable, you can't fix it. If he has learned to dislike kids because some have secretly hurt or teased him, you might greatly diminish the response. But the reality is, trusting him with children will always be a "no." Fortunately, your kids are reaching young adult stage, so if you can bring him to a level that being kept from people isn't traumatizing him, that's workable. And if you can get him to a better level, even if you still want him placed, then you have done your job of helping him be safer in case the adopters mess up. Because "adults only homes" still have neighbors and visitors. Therein lies the problem with dogs aggressive to children.

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  • @DebraDownSouth said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:

    Are they Brat dogs or mixed they allow on their page? They explicitly state not responsible for mixes put on the page or private adoptions:
    https://www.basenjirescue.org/PostDog.asp
    I went through the few available... and while they ask if bites in anger, I have never seen one that said yes. Absolutely some nip in play. I'd be pretty surprised to see a regular Brat one that had a bite issue.

    I have seen listings before that said "yes" to that question, usually with an explanation in the blurb on the dog. There is a current one that says "no, unless guarding his food bowl". Well, a bite is a bite, and if someone makes a mistake and gets bitten, the dog is already flagged as one that will defend his possessions.

    Biting is certainly more of an issue than it used to be. Once upon a time if a kid got nailed.....and I am talking broken skin, but one or two bites, not mutilation.....adults would blame the kid, not the dog, as the bite was usually deserved! Kids tease dogs. Kids hurt dogs, intentionally or otherwise. Supervision of children with dogs is so important and often neglected because "my child wouldn't do that". I would be suspicious with a sudden change in a dog's behaviour. If there is no physical explanation, than I would guess someone has done something to make the dog reactive.

    My brother in law recalls a Beagle their family had when he was young. If kids teased the dog, it wouldn't go after the person teasing, but would bite the least "alpha" in the group of kids. Transferred aggression. There is likely more to Cutler's story than is apparent, and it would be a shame for him to suffer the consequences if there is someone out there who has an ideal home for him.

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