Complicated short-term dilemma. HALP.

Basenji people, help. I have quite a dilemma on my hands until Saturday evening (12/7/19). This is like a word problem from algebra class, so strap in.

I have a 14-month-old male B, Sasha. His favorite thing in the world is going to the dog park. Factor 1.

Factor 2. Like all Bs, he is EXTREMELY pack-oriented. My SO (who I live with) is out of town for work this week, and his dog (who normally lives with us) is with his parents this weekend, because of factor 3, the fact I can currently only walk one dog at a time due to a knee injury. Relatedly, the knee injury means I can't run. SO + his dog arrive back on Sunday.

Factor 4, I'm a broke 1L in the middle of my final exam cycle (100% of my grade in each class), which lasts until next Wednesday. Hiring someone to walk him for me is not currently feasible. I can and do walk him on my own, at least three 1-mile walks per day. (My injury only prevents running.)

Factor 5. The last three times I have taken Sasha to the dog park (in the two days since my SO and his dog have been away), he attacked another dog (different dogs) within 5 minutes of arrival. I have thankfully been able to pull him off the other dog quickly in each of these instances, since he wears a harness with a handle.

Factor 6. Sasha doesn't really play or run alone. See factor 2.

With all of that in mind, I'm about at my wit's end for how to help him get energy out. The walks aren't enough, but I'm not willing to risk him attacking another dog.

I'm strongly suspicious that part of the sudden aggression is that he's lonely and bored at home. I've been trying to be home as much as I can, but my exams are four hours long and during daylight hours, he hoooooowwwls. Allllllll day, until we go to the park. Rinse, repeat.

Icing on the cake? He's been in a cone for the last week because of a minor infection on his scrotum that was caused by licking. Sasha is Not a Happy Camper.

Any ideas for what I can do?? I'm trying to do as right by him as I can while not utterly neglecting my exams.

@dres_actually 3 miles of walks is plenty enough. Do you mean you can’t walk the dog?

Other things that wear basenjis down are playing with toys, smells (a roast cooking for two hours is a good workout). New places help too as the smell variation helps. We have 18 different parks / places we walk in rotation. A Kong toy filled with treats can be a good mental challenge for them also.

If he is 14 months, there is a good chance the dynamic has changed at the dog park. As a puppy they will generally play with anyone / thing. At 14 months he is getting mature and is likely to start challenging which can lead to fights.

I am not a fan of dog parks personally, you relinquish control and that can easily lead to fights.

last edited by Dagodingo

@dagodingo I can walk him, I just can't walk him AND my boyfriend's dog at the same time because of my injury. Both dogs are all muscle and my boyfriend's dog is twice Sasha's size. The dog park has been awesome until very recently, but I agree. You do relinquish control. I follow Sasha around when we're there to try and be ready/near if anything does happen, but that hasn't been enough the last couple of days.

I like the tip for the roast. And good point on smell variation. I'll take him for a long walk on the greenway tomorrow, it'll be good for both of us.

Yes, a change of scenery will help, and help you too. A walk with new smells is always good, and keeping him on lead will be good for both of you. When your exams are over, or soon in the white stuff you call Winter, enroll him in dog obedience class, and you will get benefit for him and you. It is a good age to introduce him into obedience, you will learn a lot about yourself, and him, with a bit of proper instruction.
keep smiling in this stressful time of exams.

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