HELP !!! My b just bit me very aggressively

  • HELP !! This behavior has been going on for quite a few month now,. Here is some insight. My b is 20 month old now. We got him as a baby, just 8 wks . He was such a joy to have as a baby. Well, as he started to get older he started to test dominance. He would occasionally growl and I would react will a stern demand and he wouldn't stop, to the point of him lunging at me and nipping didnt get me. Problem ! So, now recently he has been easlily agitated and growls more frequently . He loves to cuddle, but if you try to switch positions he starts to growl. Not biting but getting louder the more you test him. Well this behavior starts to happen when I come home from work. My wife has been home with him all day now that the summer is here. Teacher... So , when I come home from work now, he greets me, wines a little, but the hackles start standing up, and he starts licking , nervous lick. I try to calm him down, which has been working, I would pick him up occasionally and he would growl so I put him down and let him be. Well today , I picked him up and he growled and got louder and louder to the point that I knew he was going to react. So I didnt want to just toss him quickly because I know that would provoke him, so I tried to easily put him down. WRONG MOVE . This SOB bit and bit hard. I took it . I had too. If I pulled away it would of gashed my arm bad. I now have 3 puncture wounds mainly from his bottom fangs and one from hit top. He bit down twice. The first causing the most. I didn't move my arm i just let him have at it. Not sure if that was the right move. Anyway, I put him down and turned my back towards him and he was nipping at my pants around the ankle area. More of a warning. Not getting skin. My wife was there the whole time witnessing it trying to get him away verbally, didnt want to risk manually taking him away. I dont know what to do ! I cant have this guy constantly testing and growling at me. I feel now that my wife is spending all day around him, he is getting protective. He will cuddle up and sleep between my legs on a daily basis, but when I come home from work, he is all of a sudden different. Almost like im a new person entering the house ?? Any help would be appreciated. I hope I can stop this .. My wife is distraught to the point of crying .

  • This is a difficult situation to assess, but to me it sounds like the dog is being defensive rather than aggressive. I think you may need a professional to observe and figure out what is going on. Does he ever behave this way with your wife? And have you consulted with his breeder?

    It's not unusual for a Basenji to express displeasure by growling, most typically if they are comfortable and don't want to be disturbed. It is unusual for it to escalate to the point of biting. There are some things you could try....."nothing in life is free" would be one approach......but you need to figure out what is triggering the behaviour.

  • He growls at her if she moves when he's sleeping. Other than that, he has never behaved that way towards her. Maybe nipping when she tries to cut his nails, but never like what he did to me. He was so good toward me till he was 1. To the point that I joked with my wife about it. "Man's best friend " , I'd say to her. Now the rolls have reversed. It does seem that I do interrupt his comfortable time when I get home from work and he doesn't like it. He gets very jealous when my wife and I spend time on the couch together, he'll come up and put his face right in ours. To break us up. He separates us in the kitchen if he ate hugging each other, by putting his paws up on me. Not aggressive tho just to say, " I'm here guys " . I Just can't have him behaving the way he just did towards me or anyone else.

  • I think you should consult his breeder if you can. It does sound to me like he doesn't respect you and wants his own way, but I did initially wonder if there is something you are doing that he perceives as a threat. The more I hear, the more I feel he's used to getting his own way, but without knowing more or observing him I don't want to guess. Perhaps you can get a trainer or behaviourist to have a look and assess the situation. Failing that, I would try "nothing in life is free" and see how he responds. There are a lot of sites where you can find information on this approach. Here is one:

  • @littlebabykeets - I suggest you contact his breeder immediately.... and also find a behaviourist immediately. Has he been neutered? Also 8wks is a bit early to place a Basenji, they typically are not ready for placement at that age. Better that they stay with their littermates/adults till at least 10 to 12 weeks. I do agree with "nothing is free" approach. You say that this has been going on for a few months? Really needed to be addressed as soon as it started. Have you talked to the breeder?

  • The double bite and continued is not a good sign. Please, talk to the breeder and find a behaviorist to evaluate him. Also, if you haven't have him checked by a vet, including thyroid full panel, I would do so. While it is unlikely at his age that anything physical is going on, it is always best to rule it out.

  • Sounds like he is challenging you and he is about the right age for it. Two important questions, is he neutered? If not that may help. Second who walks him and for how long? He will probably need around 2-3 miles a day with structured walks. Other than that behaviorist yes.

  • @Dagodingo Male dogs get in most the brain changing hormones before 8 mos. Neutering earlier can help decrease marking.

    Neutering after a year has very little effect on anything other than response to bitches in heat.

    The problem with the public concept of neutering being magic is that it takes nothing into account except was the dog that bit someone, killed someone, attacked another dog etc neutered. The answer is very high for "no." But it doesn't take into account the OWNERS of these dogs. Show breeders have mostly unneutered animals... yet not much bites. Irresponsible chain your male intact dog to a tree/ macho male owners, etc.

    Here's a couple of articles so you don't need to take my word for it.

  • My first B started challenging at 16 months, we neutered him shortly after and it did seem to help a little. However it was only a small part of the solution not the whole solution. The closest thing to a magic solution is the excercise and mental stimulation. Basenjis are one of the most intelligent dogs and need more excercise and stimulation than most. I have generally found males to be much easier to work with and less aggressive than females. Correct discipline, structure, positive reinforcement, patience / stubbornness and enough excercise are the keys. Usually when people have problems with their dogs it is the humans which are the cause, not the dogs.

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