Recent Growling at Dogs During Walk

  • I am so confused and saddened our Basenji started growling at other dogs. He is a year and 3 months. Here is the weird thing. We take him to two different parks to run and play with other dogs and he is 100% fine and NEVER EVER growls. He actually gets growled at from time to time when the dogs are tired from running or playing but they pick up where they left off the following week.

    Recently (about 4 weeks ago) started growling at the next door neighbors cute Golden Retriever puppy and now two dogs he played with all the time when I walk him.

    Last week we had him neutered (hoping that would calm the growling) but when he growled at the two dogs he usually plays with (females) it was shocked and felt awful. No problem with people. It's also not all dogs. WHAT ON EARTH?????

    Other than that, he has no other behavioral issues but I really want to get this under control. I am thinking of using a water bottle to squirt him (hates water) when he does this. We did that to house train him from nipping too much when playing or chewing on things in the house and it works perfectly and doesn't harm. Any other suggestions?

  • He's becoming an adult, and attitudes toward other dogs often change at that time. You need to be careful using aversives. It can backfire, or you inhibit the growl and therefore the warning before he escalates and bites. Better to distract him by asking him to do something else, ideally before he growls if you can anticipate the problem, e.g. require him to sit or to watch you so that you can reward him for the good behaviour. Some dogs become "leash aggressive" but are O.K. with others off leash and he may be one of those. However, some Basenjis become dog aggressive and avoidance is the best alternative.

  • Ok I will try rewarding for not growling. SO BUMMED!!! He is so good with other dogs and it could be the leash thing. Good point!

  • Agree with eeeefarm. We have two lovely, laidback sisters, who growl and baroo a lot when meeting other dogs on leash. It takes calmness and practice to teach them to behave themselves. You can dedicate entire walks to addressing this issue. It can be a lot of 'work', but also fun and rewarding to see your B change. And it is wonderful for bonding.

  • OMG found something that worked!!! Our dog was growling once again like crazy over this golden at the park. So we thought it was the leash because he's fine with other dogs off the leash but he was still going crazy over this poor dog. The dog owner was sooo nice! What we did was pick up our dog brought him close as we squatted down as he watched us pet the other dog (we remained completely calm) and said nice doggie as we pet the other dog. Let our dog smell our hands. We did this for about 2 minutes. After that, they played AMAZING and ran around for about 1/2 hour absolutely no problems and having so much fun together. They chased each other back and forth completely calm and playful. We were so happy you have no idea!!! The other pet owner was ecstatic their golden got such a great run in too. Not many dogs that run like that. Hopefully others can try it! Will try this with another dog he was growling at.

  • That's great - I would also still carry treats to distract your dog in case the other dog isn't quite as friendly or your dog doesn't like being so close to the other dog - just in case.

  • Our mix began to do the same thing. Actually lurching at other dogs while on a walk and we would get dirty looks from people. Take her off the leash and her personalty changed immediately. She even plays with the dogs that she earlier lurched at.

  • We learned the same thing! Off the leash he is Mr. Personality! Plays amazing with the ones he growled at.

  • When on leash dogs pick up your emotions (without realizing it you transmit done the leash and the dogs pick up on that) so if you are a tad nervous the dog will pick up on that. Your dog may have become really nervous around other dogs when with you because you have become unconsciously nervous about others.

    Or your dog has developed a bigger personal space and needs to let other dogs know she doesn't like others coming close. There is training protocol to help with this.

  • We figured out the same thing. When off the leash he's 100% good.

  • Unfortunately we have the same problem with our boy (9) and girl (10). Off leash they play well - 95% of the time. The other 5% can be a disaster especially with small frightened dogs. My guys have gone after such animals and even bitten them - once drawing a small amount of blood. This behaviour seems quite instinctive and regrettably I have not been able to curb it. I do hope your pleasant little fellow doesn’t go this far. But we are talking about a very primitive breed.

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