I’m in a delima, I have three basenjis, Belle came to us at 6 weeks old we chose her from a litter of 8 pups, her father and mother were both show dogs, i fostered two 7 month old in poor shape from a puppy mill, I’m a foster failure, I kept them. Belle was not happy, as they got older the house was crowed and they were always underfoot, so got a big dod house and fenced in the yard better , so they have been outside dogs for about 8 years, they love, in the past 2 years my Belle has gotten into fights with the boys, and caused vet bills, she biting them on their legs, which causes muscle damage . They get plenty of exercise, But my female is getting very aggressive with the boys, what do you , my basenj friends recommend how I might handle this?
Get a full blood panel, especially thyroid. Thyroid is a common escalator of aggression.
Get the boys checked 2. Dog's often attack sick dogs, so she may be attacking one and the other interferes.
I don't do "outside dogs" as I think if that's your only option, why not find a home where they can be inside and close. If Belle is living outside with the boys, bring her in. If she got to stay in, let her out only on a leash or long line so there are no fights. Fights escalating to this level is a very bad sign of worse to come. If it is thyroid, meds can help... but honestly she didn't like them early on and less now. Separating them allows all of them to have peace. It's can't be good to be waiting every minute to be attacked, or to feel the need to attack.
@crazybasenjimom When you say they get lots of exercise, is that structured walks or running around in the back yard? Structured walks where you are in command and the leader, are good exercise. Running around in a yard is exercise, but it does not reinforce the structure of the pack or establish you as the strong leader.
Leaving them to it in the back yard, they are likely to sort their own problems out just as they would in the wild. Nature is brutal and no doubt there will be dogs who dominate and dogs who suffer injury.
Without more understanding and information, it’s hard to say what would help. If she is dominant, taking her inside and establishing yourself as the dominant force might work. However it might also lead to you being bitten instead.
On the other hand if she is fearful, one of the other dogs is dominant and it’s them that need the leadership. Without you as the dominant leader, they will operate as a pack and enforce their own laws.
I agree with Debra, a food first step is a full blood and thyroid for all the dogs.
I've never known a basenji to be kept outside. They are family dogs; they like to be with people. I've lived with three basenjis and knew countless basenji owners in Stockholm, where we lived for 12 years. None of the owners kept their dogs outside. It's people they want to be with; they want the warmth of people, not a dog house. Sorry to sound so harsh. Basenjis are very special dogs, and it would serve prospective owners well to learn as much as they can about the breed before they acquire one. The fenced-in yard sounds good.
I disagree about Basenjis not being outdoor dogs although I personally, wouldn't consider such a thing. I do know of examples of Basenjis being kept outside. Indeed in early years it was not uncommon because there were several big kennels whose Basenjis were kept outside in comfortable housing. They were given every attention and spent time indoors in small groups as well. They were exercised very well but of course because of numbers, less than if they had been fewer. When fostered on or sold they adapted very quickly to being indoor dogs. Basenjis are actually extremely adaptable. Of course then, their breeders didn't have away jobs as well and their entire time could be devoted to their dogs.
Back to your problem with Belle. Can you take her into the house and the others outdoors? She would obviously have to be confined when the other two had their house time? That is of course after all veterinary checks suggested and confirmed that there is no physical problem.
“in the past 2 years my Belle has gotten into fights with the boys, and caused vet bills”
Taking her for a blood panel is more feasible and cheaper than continuing vet bills from the fights. If her thyroid is low, the meds are inexpensive and she needs them. There are also other medical problems that can lead to aggression.
Vet bills are always feasible, it is part of the responsibility of owning dogs, so I don’t understand why you would say it is not feasible. If you mean you don’t have the money, try talking to the vet and setting up a payment plan.