Initial dominance problem
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  • Ok.. Our female is going to be 2 in Dec. We've had her since 4 months. Good dog, normal basenji stubbornness etc. However, now with cold weather coming on here in NE. she is getting aggressive when I have to move her when on the couch... or the bed. I'll tap her on the butt and let her know its time to move... but that elicits a small growl... when I start to use some physical pushing... I get a louder growl... and THEN when its obvious the growls won't work.. I get the baring of teeth, and even the snap of the head like she actually would take a nip. THIS I won't tolerate. She gets plenty of warning and knows that she'll have to move, but that obviously isn't enough. If this is something I can change behaviorally, good...I'll take any advice. If this is a personality trait... this dog is going to a new home. I've had basenji's before, and not had this level of alpha behavior. She goes to the dog park every day for at least an hour...... and gets a walk in the evening, so she's not suffering from cabin fever. And she's totally healthy.
    Another thing... after I get her off the couch and am saying bad dog.. or something similar, she literally has this FU look in her eyes .... and I'm not just saying that... so... there ya go.
    later....

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  • She is just turning two? Oh yes, she isn't a kid anymore. She is maturing and testing the boundaries. I find diplomacy is good......avoid the confrontation if you can. Finesse works well with Basenjis but obviously if push comes to shove you are and must be the boss. You might want to try "nothing in life is free" for awhile, and I would let her wear a leash if you prefer to avoid a potential bite. Bed and couch should be earned, off limits otherwise. Enforce with the leash. Remind her she is not running the show, but be kind as soon as you get compliance. Reward for good behaviour. Consequences for bad, i.e. loss of privileges such as couch and bed. Oh, and you might get her thyroid levels checked!

    I would add, this is a good time to work on obedience if you haven't already done so. Better to request her to move rather than physically compel her to do so. Practicing on and off the bed and couch on command, with rewards for compliance might get you the results you desire. My own Basenjis have varied in their responses, but I have yet to have one that reacted favourably to being moved when comfortable! Grumbling was not unusual under those circumstances.

    last edited by eeeefarm
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    @Kafka45 I didn't have the "moving" them problem with either of my 2 girls but neither were puppies when I got them. I did get the "FU" look when I just pushed until they got uncomfortable & moved, then I'd get the FU look. At that point, I just looked back at her, frowned & in a stern voice (not yelling, just matter of fact stern) said, "YOU little girl are NOT THE BOSS! YOU can sit there & look at me all night like that but it's getting you nothing!" Then I'd turn my head away & look at the TV but still was able to see her from the corner of my eye. After a few minutes, she laid down where she had been sitting on the floor. I continued to ignore her & when she got up & started to get back up on the sofa, I looked at her & said, "Ahht Ahht - NO" & she sat back down on the floor. After a few minutes more, she sat up & took a front paw & pawed at me in the air, without touching me. Then I looked at her & asked her "What do you want?" The FU look was gone & the "I'm so sorry" look was in her eyes. Then she'd rest her paw on my knee or leg & I'd lean over & pet her, telling her I love you but you don't growl at Momma. But you have to try what eeeefarm said & I'm sure there will be some others with suggestions too. But to get rid of her to a new home? You'll give her anxiety problems & she'll be insecure!! Plus, you'll be giving that particular problem to another family. YOU can deal with this issue! Don't give up on her!! Did you buy her from a PetShop or a breeder? If you got her from a breeder ~ call them & talk to them about what's going on. They should be able to help you. If you bought from a PetShop, you bought a dog from a puppy mill or back yard breeder. Please, work with her, call the breeder or other wise, call a trainer in your area. Please let us know where you got the pup from & how you're dealing with the problem!! I just really hope you don't just give up on her!!

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  • ehhh.. I wrote that when I was particularly ticked. I'm not going to get rid of her, But I am
    going to be more of a Boss. She has bonded with Me more than the wife cause I feed, water, take to park.. walks etc. So I'm sure she figures I'm the one she needs to be the alpha with. That look though.... oh man.. it grates... I was tempted to give her a bath right then... just cause I know she hates them. Ah well... I'll work on her. We had two basenji's before (bro/sis) and they could get rid of energy by doing the wrestling thing.

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  • I agree with eeefarms.
    Dogs who show possessiveness of spots, particularly furniture, lose them. Period.
    Never put your hands on the dog you know is going to resist. Put on collar and leash, use it if necessary.

    I would work on "off" command as soon as the dog gets on furniture, reward. Do it several times a day. Complaint? earns furniture time. Doesn't comply.. floor for another day.

    http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

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    @Kafka45 If she happens to be laying on a blanket on the bed or sofa, when she starts showing her teeth ~ use the blanket to start moving her with. Don't flip her but do it slowly so she knows that she IS going to move, like it or not! I'm so glad to hear you're not going to get rid of her!! Keep us updated please??? Thanx!

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    @DebraDownSouth "NILIF" is great! Everything said in the article makes sense & should be easy enough to do, as long as you follow the instructions!! I like it!!

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  • The NILF program is exactly the sort of thing your basenji needs. She has hit teenage time and like human teenagers is pushing authority. In this case, don't push her off the couch or yank the afghan from under her or any of those sorts of manuvers. Start by getting her attention just before she is going to jump onto the couch by offering a treat diverting her attention away from the couch. If she decides to come for the treat, she gets it, and then gets to be on the couch as a double reward; if she decides to complete her jump to the couch instead, she doesn't get the treat. Once she starts to look at you first ("asking permission") before she takes the couch then the reward becomes the couch. And to get her off the couch, use the reverse. Offer her a treat in such a way that she has to get off the couch to get it and click as soon as she decides to get off Once she understands that, add the "off" word. You might have to use treats just for this exercise that she wouldn't get any other time to make this more enticing to her. You might also want to introduce mat work so that she has to go to her mat or afghan or whatever, on the floor, instead of getting on the couch in the first place.

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