• Hi everyone,

    I have a 1.5year old male Basenji. He doesn't always get along well with other dogs but has recently improved on this issue since he's started to spend a lot of time at doggy daycare.

    My boyfriend has moved in with me and so has his 7 year old male labrador. He is usually very well natured, however since he is in a completely new environment he is rather tense.

    Do you have any tips on how to help with them adjusting to eachother?

    Blubert (my basenji) can be a bit of a pest and doesn't get the whole idea of personal space.

  • How did you introduce the two dogs? Did they first get to meet in a neutral place? The lab is the invader of Blubert's "personal space", everywhere and everything in Blubert's home is his. You have a teenage dog and a middle aged dog, how would humans in those age ranges do together? You should probably consult with a behaviorist to see what you can do to "fix" things.

  • If you can put up a few gates to give each dog a room he knows he can go to rest and relax independently it might make their supervised together time less stressful. It will take time, the lab was invaded by a teenager with endless energy.

  • Two males can be an issue, neutered or not.

    I would step back and keep them separated for at least a week, have on crated while the other is out. Give a lot of individual attention.Teach them sides. 🙂 If my basenji is a bit snarky with the annoying Samoyed, I tell him "other side" and he moves fast. With me between them I can have them sit/down and give treats. So they start thinking... hmmmm, both near means TREATS! Make sure for now to feed apart. I honestly prefer in a crate so no fighting or stress occurs. Food guarding is a huge reason for dog fights and dogs biting people. My personal philosophy is that dogs should be able to enjoy their food without stress.

    Make time to take for walks.. good for you, good for your boyfriend, good for the dogs. With them on the opposite sides of you both, they get to go outside and enjoy the walk, but be separated enough to relax.

    IOW, you want to take some time to help them just relax, not really interact much, so that it becomes the norm.

    Engage their brains. Go through basic obedience, working especially hard on down stays and leave it. I use "look at me" then "leave it". Look at me breaks focus on what I don't want them fixating on, leave it reminds them they are being asked to ignore. Mary's lessons are easy, and work fantastic. Plus, it's bonding time, it stimulating, gives lots of opportunity for verbal and treat rewards, and helps you get better control.

    Just as you would expect a child or even adult to need time to get used to a new environment, so do animals. If you move slowly, not pushing, and avoiding interactions unless the dogs have accepted the new environment, you have a good chance at harmony. Push them, get a fight, and you may never be able to have them safely alone.


  • Thank you for your comments.

    The labrador is neutered, whilst the basenji isn't.

    Things have already improved ALOT in just a day. They can be in the same room together and its fine. At times I would need to separate them because Blu gets too annoying. He is so full of energy and eager to play all the time that it is overwhelming for Leo who is still getting used to his new environment.

    Luckily they also show no sign of food aggression.

    We are hoping that eventually they can start being left home alone together, and it could help with Blu's separation anxiety to have another dog in the house.

  • @senjisilly We introduced them outside our house and we took them for a short walk together. Then they went inside and we took them off leash. We supervised them the whole time and the labrador growled at the basenji for quite a few times when he was getting too close to him. But now he is a lot more tolerant.

    Yes in fact we're considering getting in touch with a behaviourist to help with getting them used to eachother.

  • @bluebert
    You're perhaps going too fast. Give them more adjustment time. IF they get in a fight or your lab bites the Basenji, you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of running two packs. Having brought many rescue into my house full of Rottweilers, a chow and at least one basenji, you cannot rush these things. Give them time. With that, bowing out. I wish you the best.

  • Take it REALLY REALLY slowly. Be sure to make good things happen when they are together and getting along. It took me 7 months to get my 4 yr old basenji rescue (who has a very high prey drive) to coexist with an old cat. If there is a bad experience, it can set everything back months, so be very careful to set up good experiences and avoid bad experiences.

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