Bitting issues leading to tough decision

  • My Basenji is 9 and in the last 4 days has bitten two neighborhood boys. One addmitted that he ran past him (he got bit in the behind) the other boy just came to the front door, this would be the second bite to that child in almost a year. These are pinches and have not actually caused bleeding but rather blood under the skin. My Zebu has been tempermental about his chair or getting up out of a warm spot in bed but has never been like this. He is also having piddle problems when company comes to the door but has tested neg. for Fanconi.

    We are concerned about getting sued and have had a discussion and two appointments to put him down both cancelled due to feeling guilty.

    I feel a muzzle would be pure torcher and may cause more aggresion and he has alway had free run of the house. Caging had left him a mess. He just wants to lay in the sun and watch life. My kids are upset because their dog is known as mean and they are afraid to come over.

    I need advise on a rescue to a home with out kids which would be rare and does someone really want a dog with known issues?
    Do we live with the other choice had have a tiny relief that he is not biting anyone but a huge feeling about ending his sunny days.

    Any thoughts would be helpful! Please let me know your thoughts.

  • Please contact BRAT, for possible placements without children…. they place many, many dogs and should be able to help you

    Also, have you had a full thryoid panel done on him? That might be the reason for the sudden change in temperament you are noticing with things like the chair and sleeping. and not sure what you mean by "piddle" problems when someone comes to the door? Meaining he gets excited and pees?

  • Jazzy does not like it when kids come to our house. {She's fine with them elsewhere}. I don't let her greet people at the door anyway, for fear of escape – I have had adults let her out -- and when kids come over I crate her for the duration of the visit, except for her potty breaks or if the kids are outside. She gets a treat and a nice long nap, and they play w/out fear of being bitten.

    She's usually okay if she is outside w/them, but I don't take chances. I keep her in when visiting kids are out, and put her out to potty when they come in to play.

    Kids she knows well are not a problem.

    As far as an aging dog beginning to behave this way, maybe he's just older and tired and can't deal with them -- think of an older person when unpredictable kids are around; they are more tense, etc.
    If he proves to be healthy, I would just keep him away from kids when they come over.
    Hell's bells -- sometimes when kids come over, I don't feel like I am up to dealing with them well either. I don't bite them, but sometimes it can be tempting. LOL And I'll send them to another room to play so I can relax -- kind of like crating myself, I guess.

  • Also, another thing, have you contact your breeder about your problem?

  • My first Basenji was first placed in a home with children and they tried to put her in the toilet. The poor girl hated kids. I have a picket fence in the front and the neighbors kid back in 1991, 2 years old wondered into my yard, The dog was out there and nipped him on the cheek. The neighbors were luckily cool about it and said "well our son came in your yard". He only had a red spot on his cheek. She would always warn a kid approaching by really growling and scaring them away. You just have to keep the kids away.

  • I think the key is management…you may not be able to solve the problem or make it go away but managing situations may help. Can she have the run of a room as opposed to the whole house when kids are over? Maybe section of an area for her that way she's safe and so are the kids.

    I also think there's more to the biting then just random aggresive issues. I would first rule out the health issues but also look for signs when she's feeling anxious or fearful & see if something is triggering the behavior. She could be afraid of something or somone or some action. By managing the situation you also give her the message that you know this makes her stressed & you're willing to help her get through it. You're in control & she trusts you to take care of her.

    Good luck!

  • I have to say that if ShelB is that worried about kids getting bit… and she has kids of her own, it is going to be difficult to keep the stress level down in that house. If ShelB feels they are not able to cope with it, then she is really better off trying to re-home this boy through BRAT.. (In my opinion) And it sounds like this is not a "new" thing with biting children..... The other choice is a behaviorist to help with the situation and in the mean time keeping him away from kids....

  • The whole "dog bite kid" thing: Our B is good with kids but that still doesn't mean we trust him when new strange kids arrive to pet him. The key (I agree with jys1011 here) is management. This means management of the dog, the kids and the situations the two entities find themselves in. Possibly lock your front door/screen door and post a colorful sign at kid level to knock before opening? Make sure the dog is in a separate room or behind a gate prior to opening the door? Make sure the dog is supervised at all times when outside? (Trust me, a pain but we too have had random kids just show up in our yard to "play" with our B.)

    Age 9 isn't old, but it isn't young either. He's getting crotchety in his old age it sounds. Just continue to "train" him to remind him that you are still top dog and what you say goes, regardless if he's having a good day or not.

    If you have that many kids/strangers running around your house constantly, he made need a new "safe place" where only he can go to sleep in his sun spot and relax.

    Just a couple ideas. Good luck and if all else fails, call BRAT… they are wonderful at find homes!

  • RockysWoman-I agree with you it's all about keeping everyone safe not just the kids..but I'm sure the B doesn't enjoy the stress either. It's pretty clear that he does better in less stressful situations.

    When we're in our backyard with people/kids we now use an expens where the dogs can be outside but not necessarily be bothered by anyone. We can also keep an eye them to make sure no one is trying to pester them. If it's only 1 or 2 calm visitors then we let them roam but the visitors are given strict instructions to just let them be and ignore them. Eventually they'll warm up & want to be petted or play with company.

  • Is thread is sooo in line to what we have been through and the suggestions are spot on with what we have done to correct it. You eliminate the situations. We put our dogs in crates if someones coming over. We never leave them out unsupervised with anyone, except our direct family. They never get loose at anytime.

    Our dogs love our kids, but they respect the dogs and know how to handle them. The dogs love the kids as well, but strangers they want nothing to do with.

    We treat our house like a submarine, we have several doors or 'hatches" that must ALWAYS be closed coming or going, this includes our garage door as well. We also put up beware of dog signs, which keep kids & strangers (meter readers) out and also provides some safety from burglers which have hit our area from time to time. No ones going to mess with a basenji!

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