• Just wondering if anyone else has problems with their basenji being particularly aggressive while on the leash?

    When I walk Cleo she goes absolutely crazy at the site of any other dog and either tries to pull my arm off to get to it, or crouches down like she is waiting to attack when it gets close enough. In the past when I have let her approach other dogs she is at first very apprehensive, stands totally still with hackles up, and then she suddenly just jumps on them! Pulling on the leash to get her off just makes her more mad, and if the other dog doesn't back down it will turn in to a full blown fight. When Cleo is not on the leash she is still a little apprehensive and will sometimes growl and nip a little to show others that she must be the boss;) , but it is nowhere near as bad as when she is on the leash. Since Cleo has no other dogs at home to play with I would like for her to be able to socialize with some other dogs in the neighborhood, but I can't take the risk of her attacking and hurting someone else's dog.

    Cleo was fairly well socialized with other dogs as a pup, and we did go to obedience classes where she was required to be on a leash and interact with other dogs, so I don't think it is an issue of socialization; it seems to be more related to the leash somehow.

    Anyone have any experience with this issue? Any suggestions??


  • Our dogs will do the same thing, but as of late two things have worked. One is make the dogs sit while the other dogs go by or I ignore the other dogs and relaxe the leash and look the other way. The dogs seem to do the same. They can read your nerviousnes and makes them nervious. We do not let dogs strange dogs walk by them close. We pull them over and make them sit.

    Basenji's view the niehborhood as theirs, all other dogs are intruders their eyes.


  • There are a few other threads about this…but maybe not called something easy to find like "leash aggression" 😉

    Basically you train the dog to "watch" your face, while sitting in front of you, in a calm environment (your kitchen) and then slowly add distractions...the yard, the park, etc. When the dog is good at this, you can start to use it when you see another dog approaching...the trick is, you have to catch them and ask them to start "watching" before they start reacting to the other dog.

    A couple good resources:

    Fiesty Fido by Patricia McConnell PhD
    Click to Calm by Emma Parsons


  • Ditto & Ditto!! 🙂

    I can tell you I've used the Fiesty Fido book myself & it has helped leaps & bounds!!! We are actually lucky enough that there's a Feisty Fido Class near us & we've been going to classes for about 4 wks. TOTALLY different dogs!

    Don't worry this is not uncommon & there's lots of ways to manage.


  • My little girl has always had some leash aggression problems. The best thing I was finally taught to do was to bring really great treats, keep my eyes open to predict when there's going to be an issue and treat her as far out of the way as you can manage and make her sit until the other dog passes.
    After a while it becomes a "good" thing when other dogs come by. Still, eventually I'll get caught off guard and she'll be in a bad mood and the process starts from square one again.


  • A very good article Handling On-Leash Aggression


  • I know it's not "leash aggression", but I wonder if it's the same thing in the dog's head:

    Jazzy gets more snarky when we try to hold her back from growling at Keoki –For example: if she is on the rug in the kitchen and he walks in, she may get growly;maybe move toward him -- maybe even start a small ruckus, it al depends on her mood. If anyone puts a hand on her to move her back or hold her place, she will get very loud, start pushing hard against the restraint and try biting at him. If she gets loose from being held, she goes after him w/more force than normal. If they are bickering and I pick her up or attempt to move her away, she gets louder and more determined to bite him.

    Isn't that the same sort of response as "leash aggression"? Is it the fact that they are restrained that gets them going?

    {Jazzy doesn't exactly have "leash aggresssion" - she just has aggression, LOL, she doesn't like dogs no matter where she is or how she sees them.}


  • @JazzysMom:

    I know it's not "leash aggression", but I wonder if it's the same thing in the dog's head:

    Jazzy gets more snarky when we try to hold her back from growling at Keoki –For example: if she is on the rug in the kitchen and he walks in, she may get growly;maybe move toward him -- maybe even start a small ruckus, it al depends on her mood. If anyone puts a hand on her to move her back or hold her place, she will get very loud, start pushing hard against the restraint and try biting at him. If she gets loose from being held, she goes after him w/more force than normal. If they are bickering and I pick her up or attempt to move her away, she gets louder and more determined to bite him.

    Isn't that the same sort of response as "leash aggression"? Is it the fact that they are restrained that gets them going?

    {Jazzy doesn't exactly have "leash aggresssion" - she just has aggression, LOL, she doesn't like dogs no matter where she is or how she sees them.}

    yes, it probably has to do with the restraint


  • I just posted something similar on aggression with other dogs in another section of the forum.

    Also, I do the same thing with Talker. Before he sees another dog across the street I will put him in a sit position. I have him watch me with treats.

    Also, for the past few weeks we've been using a Halti collar. I had tried using a halti collar on Talker when he was about 2-1/2 years old and he fought me desperately for 3 weeks and I finally gave up. A few weeks ago, I tried again (Talker is now 6) and we've been doing great together. What I did notice about myself is that I didn't go into a tense mode when he fought me this time around. His tantrum lasted a few days and now he's easy going about the Halti. I also noticed because the leash is no longer tense, when we pass a dog he does not lunged or act up. If he does, it's a quick jerk (its hardly a jerk) and he's back in line. We now can walk pass a dog that is across the street with little to no problem at all. It's quite an improvement.

    Before, I could hear Talker go into his pant – it was like he was getting himself worked up--you know, like he was puffing out his chest. The minute he would start, I would put him in a sit. I didn't let him escalate himself into a state of mind.

    Watch and listen and try to catch the behavior before it gets into an out of control state of mind. Stop it before it escalates and put Cleo in a sit and get her state of mind into a calm, relax state.

    Yes, it true, Talker believes he owns the neighborhood. I do not let him mark whenever he pleases. When we start the walk, he usually urinates. After that I do not let him stop at every bush, tree, etc. He goes again before we get back to the house and that's it. I don't know if its help, but I do believe he was just marking because he wanted to and not b/c he needed too.

    P.S. We're on a Dogster.com group called Basenji Bratz where I've been posting updates about our Halti walks. I swear its quite an improvement. We now go on longer walks and we're both enjoying the exercise. I think he's finally getting it. The more he behaves, the more he gets tired and is out enjoying his neighborhood.


  • <>
    Just a word to the wise. Head collars are not intended to be used like a check (or choke) collar. A quick jerk on one can do permanant damage to the dog's neck/spine. I have never read any instruction that suggested to to a corrective yank or jerk with one. In fact, the one that I have used clearly said not to jerk, and instead firmly and slowly pull downwards if you really need to correct a dog. Ideally they should be self correcting, by not allowing the dog to lunge.
    Anyhow, just thought I should put this out there so that people don't accidentally hurt their dogs using a head collar. I do LOVE head collars, but just like anything, they can be used incorrectly.


  • I shouldn't have used the word "jerk". It's not even a jerk. His head barely turns and his focus is away from the other dog. I can hold the leash with two fingers–that's how slight the movement is. I've never had this light of control over my dog. Its really quite amazing because the leash is soooo loose that I'm barely holding it between two fingers--and therefore the movement is very slight.


  • @basenjibratz:

    I shouldn't have used the word "jerk". It's not even a jerk. His head barely turns and his focus is away from the other dog. I can hold the leash with two fingers–that's how slight the movement is. I've never had this light of control over my dog. Its really quite amazing because the leash is soooo loose that I'm barely holding it between two fingers--and therefore the movement is very slight.

    That sounds ideal! I do love the head collars…the ONLY drawback is so many dogs have fits when they wear them. But the control is awesome, particularly for reactive dogs. Glad it is working for you!


  • @Quercus:

    That sounds ideal! I do love the head collars…the ONLY drawback is so many dogs have fits when they wear them. But the control is awesome, particularly for reactive dogs. Glad it is working for you!

    Oh yes, Talker had a fit when he was younger and I tried the collar. I gave up because I felt so bad for him. I don't know what changed this time–whether I was calmer or he mellowed out or what, but he accepted the halti this time around and I'm loving it.

    There were so many times that he would be so anxious to be out walking that getting him to stop pulling was tiresome and the walks were not enjoyable. We were constantly stopping and starting and stopping and starting to re-adjust ourselves. Now, we just walk.

    Loving the halti!:)

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