I am not sure that I find this endearing - nor does my lovely cleaner, much as she adores the boys !
I have a 2 year old male Basenji - Blu.
Blu had always been a very difficult dog - mostly with nipping, separation anxiety and aggression towards other dogs.
He was chemically castrated but this has now worn off.
Recently he had calmed down A LOT. I got a male Labrador companion and it eliminated his separation anxiety, and he was behaving relatively calmer. This didn't last too long. My boyfriend moved in with me a few weeks ago and its been terrible! We stopped allowing him on the couch because he was nipping at people from it (he tried to nip at his 4 year old daughter) - and he hasn't responded to this very well. He also became extremely needy - he sleeps in a gated area in the living room with the Labrador. Now he started to wake up every morning and cause chaos (e.g. smashing about his food bowl, ripping up the trash, banging against the gate) til I wake up and spend some time petting him. He urinates indoors daily - as though he stopped being house broken and his aggression towards other dogs when I take him out for walks has increased.
Apart from the fact that he is adjusting to new rules in the house, which may make him reactive, I've also noticed that his testicles have gotten larger (the vet had indicated to me that this would be a sign that the chemical castration has worn off).
Do you have any tips on this - is it time I get him neutered?
Thank you all
Have you spoken to his breeder? Neutering him will not make any difference in "nipping", Separation anxiety or aggression... Keep in mind that you have changed the household/changed his rules...
The problem as I see it is there has been a very sudden and huge change in his environment. My first Dog was a gorgeous Beagle who my Dad bought for me from a Breeder. I was 7 years old and that Beagle bit everyone. My Dad was concerned because I have a younger Brother and 2 younger Sisters. He and my Mom decided to have him euthanized. When my Dad took my Dog to the Vet the Vet suggested Castration. It did improve his biting tendencies and he no longer bit anybody.
The Dog continued to chase Cars and sneak out and race after Squirrels and small animals. He never caught one but his hunting instinct was very strong. I had that Dog from when I was 7 years old and he had a Stroke when I was 23! He was a great Dog and he is why I have a weakness for Hounds.
Having said that, if you do not intend to use your B for breeding, I would have him castrated as soon as possible. The older they are the more difficult it becomes. Be sure he is not a Cryptorchid so the Testicles are entirely removed. Continue giving him tons of affection so he does not feel abandoned by you.
Best of luck!
Engage a behaviorist, someone with qualifications who will work with you to help you change how you deal with Blu. Blu has had a lot of changes in a very short period of time and you are expecting a lot from him. If he never had much experience with small children he may be trying to nip her out of fear. Children are unpredictable, make quick movements, and are loud. Blu likely is terrified. As stated above, neutering will not change his behaviors.
Neutering will not make any difference at all. Now or in the future.
You've changed so much in that wee boy's life, he is going to feel insecure until you get things more settled and back to what he was becoming accustomed to. DON'T make him feel 'left out' because you have installed a new 'favorite man' in your life.
Learn to strike a balance - teach the Basenji you still love him and he is still very much a part of your life. Give him prime time too.
Poor little man feels abandoned and small wonder ! You must build up his confidence, not destroy it entirely.
Research varies due to age at neutering and other factors, but most studies show that neutering has minimal impact on decreasing unwanted behaviors, and not only does neutering not HELP, but actually can increase reactiveness.
To add to the above, you have a male dog who is really just becoming an adult. It is fortunate that he likes the male dog, but with a dog already with issues. adding a same-sex dog was high risk and be aware that it isn't uncommon for them to no longer get along anywhere from 2 to 4 years.
Tired dogs are often better behaved and much happier. Try getting him plenty of exercise. Have your boyfriend's child pour food in his dish, toss treats.
And get a trainer before he actually bites the child.
You probably didn't expect this type of tough love but:
There isn't any magic. Change is hard for dogs as well as people.
As your Vet seems to think Blu's chemical castration in wearing off, right there you have another thing which could well be unsettliing the poor dog.
It's 'that time' when Basenji boys in the northern hemisphere know that the future of the breed depends on THEM !
He may have (temporarily I hope) been deprived of the 'how to' but the primordial instincts are very much alive in this, the rutting season. There is an article on this subject on my website (not the pedigree one)
If he makes a chaos and that way gets your attention, you are actually training him to make a chaos. If he wants you to come to him, make sure you are awarding him (giving attention) when he is doing what you want him to do (standing still). And that is basic rule with everything.
If your dog is destroying a door when he want's to come in, do not open it then. Wait him to stand still. Then open. For some, you can't even walk to the door if he is standing there and sees you. Depens on your behavior more than dogs.
Getting a good trainer that is used to basenjis, hounds or sight hounds, would be a perfect idea. Asking advise from the breeder works good too, and she might know a perfect trainer from your area.
*Hi. I have a very good friend who has had Basenji for many, many years. She just began a new relationship. Although he has not moved in with her, the behaviour of her male Basenji has changed. She has had many Basenji over the years and although she has had this Basenji for about 2.5 years now (6 months of that was when her husband was alive), he became quite agitated with the new guy in her life. In her case, her Basenji was the 'Alpha' male in her life until her new love came in. I realize you introduced the Lab before the boyfriend, but your Basenji boy is also smart enough to see the difference in your relationship with him since the new guy moved in. You might ask yourself 'what has changed for your Basenji boy as far as the way you may treat him - attention time, etc., since your living arrangement has changed?' He could possibly be acting out some jealousy of which you may be unaware. Urinating indoors trying to bite a child causing chaos until you 'wake up and spend some time petting him'. Just a thought. *
If you live in the USA, vets are taught that castration cures about everything, and is routine for the dogs from six weeks of age. I do not agree. First off take him to an obedience school, and both you and him will learn more about each other. If you complete the novice training, you both will have something to start with as far as understanding. Keep trying.