Growling at bedtime
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  • M

    Hi, We have this lovely female hound 1 y/o, (DJ) We have had her for 4 months. Recently spayed. We've had some episodic growling when we would try to put her to bed (the routine is she falls asleep on the couch with us, usually by 8:00 pm, then we pick her up by 9:00 , we used to let her stay up later, and carry her, place her in the crate in our master bathroom). She's never been a fan of the crate and the only time we use it is bedtime or travel. She's been passive aggressive about being taken to the crate, i.e. "playing dead" not helping arise to be picked up. Lately, she is consistently growling when I (the male in the house) attempt to rouse her from the couch. Last night she fell asleep at our feet and I decided not to let her sleep till 9:00. She growled and I followed her to another room. She growled again as I approached. Then I tried teasing/ leading her with a treat but she would not go near the crate. She left once I got near the crate knowing what I was up to and I just ran and grabbed her by the collar while she was walking away and led and pushed her in. We were taking the collar off at night but now we need it for behavior control.(she has always needed a little push in). Once in she's fine for the night even if we get up and go in to use the bathroom. We try verbal loud, "NO" but to no avail. I don't want to push and escalate or for her to bite.

    Any thoughts are appreciated. And yes she is a spoiled prima donna, house dog, sweet as can be, but all Basenji.

    I'm wondering if I should try to just structure the bedtime earlier, before she even settles on the couch or has a chance to go to sleep, and take her by the collar (not pick up) and lead her at an early time like 7:00. She may whine some, but she is walked twice a day, and chases squirrels all day in the yard, so she is TIRED at night, once asleep she is out.

    Thanks,

    Mark

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  • First you need to wake her up and get her off the couch, growling should not be acceptable. Try calling her to wake up and call her off the couch, giving her a treat when she does... and you should do this all different times of the day, not just at night so that she learns that she is rewarded with a treat. Instead of grabbing for the collar, put a lead on her and take her to her crate. Throw a treat (and make sure it is a really yummy treat) to the back of the crate... also once she is in, treat again. To make the crate a happy place, feed her in the crate.... every day....

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  • M

    Pat, Thanks so much. We get so caught up in "control" we forget the best way to get compliance is through their stomach! All great ideas. I'll keep you posted.

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  • D

    Growling is only the first step, if not corrected it will get worse.
    I never attempt to touch a dog that is growling, as the top dog you should never do that. Try telling her to get down but do not attempt to touch or grab, it may take a few minutes but is worth it.

    The top dog never has to do more than persuade the lower dogs, nor do they try.

    If that does not work, leave her collar on with a leash of maybe four to five feet in length. When she settles you can then grab the leash when it is bed time and gently pull her off using the leash.

    With Basenjis determination, a positive attitude (you are going to move) and stubbornness work best (you are going to move no matter how long this takes).

    At one year she is challenging you somewhat, it is very common once they are adult between one and five years old. Never scold her or get annoyed, just be calm, determined and stubborn.

    Also consider more walks, chasing squirrels in your yard is excercise but the walks you take her on should be long (at least two thirty minute walks a day) and structured. When she chases squirrels in the yard she is the leader, when you walk her you are the leader.

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  • This is a very common basenji issue! They get comfortable and don't want to be bothered. My brindle dog only does it when he's still delirious from sleep and "snaps out of it" when he realizes what's going on. Teaching a dog "OFF!" is very important! Do it when they are happy and awake and then move to sleepy and grumpy. On the couch, say OFF! and treat them when they get it right. It becomes a game. Both of my dogs know what "OFF!" means and listen to it. One of them will continue to grumble until he's fully awake and then he's back to his happy self.

    I agree with Pat and the treats for crate time. When I leave for work I say "Who wants a treat?" and off they run to their kennels! I break out the good stuff for going to work time. At night I say night-night and in they go. This didn't happen overnight! It took my red boy months to like his crate. Lots of sleepless nights with a screaming puppy. I actually had to buy him a new one because I discovered he was scared of the all enclosed plastic crates. Now his perfect in his crate and goes in on his own to relax.

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