I have a 10 month old basenji and she just finished up her first heat cycle. Since the beginning of the heat she is no longer playful. We go to a dog park every night and she used to love it and run around with all the other dogs. But now she just sits back and watches the other dogs play and when one comes up to her to play she growls at them and doesn't want anything to do with the dogs. What should I do to encourage her to play again?
I have a puppy who just came out of heat too and she is less playful and more defensive and aggressive with my other dogs. From what I read a female dog may be out of heat but her hormones don’t really go back to normal for a few months. You might not want to push the dog park for a couple of months so she doesn’t develop a negative connotation to the dog park. Apparently she could still trigger aggression from male dogs as well as she smells hormonal to them. Good luck!
Haven't seen this exact heat related behavior. However, I've had dogs that loved the dog park until one day they decided they didn't. Very little interest after that. I've also gotten an adult dog that loved it and one which had no interest. My guess is this varies from dog to dog and in your dog's case is just part of growing up. Sad in a way but not much can be done. If they don't like it they don't like it.
The good thing is that they've had the socialization experience which will carry over going forward.
Yeah my girl is a bit 'iffy' about the park. She was made crazy for the park when younger (she is now three) but now she seems to have 'matured' (her word, not mine) too much for the park. If we go now she just has a sniff here and there, growls at a few fluffy things (that look like dogs! again, her words not mine) and sits down and waits for me to finish my walk so we can go home. My female is spayed so I can't tell you about the hormonal aspects. I think it's just more 'weirdo' behaviour from the basenji breed. I agree with Sass7656, I wouldn't push the park thing, it'll just end in tears, and they won't be hers.
@ripthebasenji My little gal loved the Dog park until she did not. She became hostile to the other Dogs in the park UNTIL I rescued a Wolf. She adored the Wolf and the domestic dogs would clear out. If a Domestic Dog is raised with a Wolf they do not fear them, but if they have not ever met a Wolf they fear them.
My Gal had just gone into her first heat and she no longer wanted to play with the other puppies in the Park. Maybe this is a part of them growing up, not sure but I do know she was fine in the Park until her first heat.