untrained Basneji won’t learn!

@njdeb @reneemay

njdeb,

You are talking about Sue Coe of Akuba Basenjis. She retired to Oz a few years ago but is still very active with the Basenji Club of America (BCOA) as their website management chairman. I have her book too. I met her years ago quite randomly at a local dog park where she was meeting another Basenji breeder to evaluate a couple of B's for potential breeding (mine did not meet her standards even though a show dog). She is a strong personality (does not suffer fools) but I am sure that she more than willing to help advise reneemay about his dog. Her contact address is jcoe@bigpond.net.au.

@eeeefarm I agree, we aren't a good fit for each other. However, he is my partners dog and he likes him for who he is. Just not his current issues of course.

The previous owners thought he was a well behaved dog, but he was left outside to his own devices, never socialised and never taught anything. When he would destroy something or snap at them, they would do nothing about it. As a result of that, I think he can't cope with me as he hasn't been around a new person before, and in this new setting where he doesn't have the run of the house or to misbehave without being put in time out, etc.

He was desexed not long ago and obviously was drowsy and on drugs when he came home. It is very sad to say but this was the only time in over a year with us that he was well behaved. He wagged his tail at me (this has never happened before), he looked at me when I spoke his name and sat/came when i asked him to, he even walked up to me for a pat. So he definitely knows what he should be doing when we ask, he just chooses not to listen at all.

@senjisilly @njdeb Thank you for that. I will look into her.

@reneemay said in untrained Basneji won’t learn!:

@eeeefarm I agree, we aren't a good fit for each other. However, he is my partners dog and he likes him for who he is. Just not his current issues of course.

The previous owners thought he was a well behaved dog, but he was left outside to his own devices, never socialised and never taught anything. When he would destroy something or snap at them, they would do nothing about it. As a result of that, I think he can't cope with me as he hasn't been around a new person before, and in this new setting where he doesn't have the run of the house or to misbehave without being put in time out, etc.

He was desexed not long ago and obviously was drowsy and on drugs when he came home. It is very sad to say but this was the only time in over a year with us that he was well behaved. He wagged his tail at me (this has never happened before), he looked at me when I spoke his name and sat/came when i asked him to, he even walked up to me for a pat. So he definitely knows what he should be doing when we ask, he just chooses not to listen at all.

Oh, I see a lot more here than I did in your initial post. I think you need fresh eyes on this situation. I also think that since whatever you have been doing is not working, you need to find another approach. The dog is possibly resenting negative punishment (the time outs), or not understanding it. A behaviourist or experienced trainer may be able to offer some suggestions, but for starters you need to consider that the dog may be reacting to your methods. Hopefully there is a way to repair your relationship.

last edited by eeeefarm

@eeeefarm Possibly, I'm hoping this behaviourist can help figure out the best way to get through to him.

We have honestly tried many different ways of training him, the time out was just one of the methods we tried. It did work some what, he started to go there when he was nervous or grumpy but its just not enough when he is this aggressive. We (even my dog) found ourselves tip toeing around him and hoping he wouldn't snap, and its just getting ridiculous haha.

So I guess we'll see what this behavourist thinks and go from there!

Did you get any help suggestions from any of the Australian Basenji clubs?

You might want to talk to you vet about antidepressants or antianxiety medication for the dog (not you 😉 ).

@senjisilly
Yes. That is her. I don't know about her "not suffering fools" as she put up with me and give me some wonderful dogs to share my life with, lol!!

"Not a good fit" is one thing. Having a dog who attacks for anything other than being hurt is a problem. Having a dog bite either from a fearful temperament or aggression, you have a problem that goes far beyond "a good fit". I hope the behaviorist helps, but please do not believe you are bad if this dog is not able to be safe. Medication might help, especially short term while he adjusts. But hopefully the behaviorist can evaluate if this dog is stable.

@senjisilly I'm sure my partner contacted them, I don't think he has heard back? I will check with him.

I think I need the medication more than him at this stage haha! But yes, I really think that it may be the best thing for this dog.

last edited by reneemay

@debradownsouth Yes, I'm definitely not happy with his behaviour, its not normal. My feel terrible that our other dog is starting to associate that all dogs will attack her because this happened so often at home. He is now separated from her and us 24/7 and the dogs take turns going outside/inside. Its just not how I want to run things but hes just so unpredictable and until something is sorted out, I feel like this is the best way.

The behavourist went through all his issues with us and its coming out in 2 days. She tends to think she isn't be best fit as he has so much going on but she will still assess him. If she can't help, she will be referring us to a vet behaviourist? I'd assume this is when he will be given medication. I will post an update after her visit!

So the behaviourist came out yesterday and she straight away referred us to a vet behaviourist for medication.

She thinks he is acting this way just due to all the changes he has had in the past year. He is above his threshold where he can’t handle anything so that explains why he is lashing out constantly.

So we will be seeing this vet behaviourist shortly and hopefully get him under control again!

Hi everyone,
Just another update after the vet behaviourist came out. She spend extensive time with us and the dog along with running multiple tests.

She has determined that he has many mental issues that have worsened over time. It is only since changing owners and having picked up on a lot of these issues that something has now been done. Unfortunately, she believes that who he is now will be who he is forever.

There are a lot of other issues he has that I failed to mention in the post (constantly jumping in circles, pacing, licking his bed for hours on end, eating non-editable items, chewing his nails right back and many more) which would explain this.

He is starting on 3 lots of medication for now and we will then go from there with what changes we need to make.

@reneemay

Good that your B-boy is on medication to help with his various issues. He is only 4 years old and that is very young to conclude that his behaviors are unchangeable. Those of us that have worked with rescue Basenjis know that behavior changes take time. I have had some sad little dogs with weird behaviors come through my home. I had the luxury of being able to work at home and work with the dogs more hours than most. Behavior change takes time and with the anxiety issues your dog is displaying it will take longer than most. You are very good people to see this "project" through.

I agree with senjisilly that dogs with many behaviors can be changed over time. But I totally disagree that 4 is too young to evaluate an unstable temperament. I hope you get some quick responses (ie within a couple of months) to medications but the range of behavior issues worries me. Bless you for trying so hard.

This behaviourist put most of it down to the way he was brought up with his mum and the breeder. We spoke to my partner's parents and they explained how the breeder's place looked and how he was treated prior to picking him up. This breeder definitely didn't bring up the pups properly at all, they were caged separately outside and not socialised or handled. She thinks his mental state has been slowly declining his entire life without anyone noticing, or he has always been somewhat like this and no one has previously picked up on his stress signals.

She sat and just watched him for about 2 hours, she said not one behaviour of his was normal and that he is constantly 'checked out', lights are on and no ones home. Explains why he is very unpredictable as he basically has no control over himself.

So we are keeping him in a safe spot, alone and making his world very small to bring his levels back to normal with the help of medication. The behavourist said because he is a very emotional and fragile dog, we will always need to be careful to not stress him out or we will continue going in circles. Basically, we now need to make sure hes always put in a different area where he can't hear/see anything we do, when we bring in shopping, move furniture, play with our other dog, etc as he is so fearful of anything and everything.

We will also be getting another lot of medical tests done just to make sure he will be ok on this new medication. So far we've spent about 1.5k on this dog just with these behavourists and tests! Hopefully, this medication is the answer we've been searching for.

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