HELP!! I NEED OWNER'S OPINION ABOUT A BASENJI THAT BITES!!

@eeeefarm - I totally agree... again if she is putting feet on the table, give her a different job... but as I noted Basenjis will and do figure out how to get on things like tables... I have come home to my C-Me sitting on the kitchen table with the look in her eye "I can if I want"... comes down to your sense of humor with this breed.

@tanza said in HELP!! I NEED OWNER'S OPINION ABOUT A BASENJI THAT BITES!!:

@eeeefarm - . comes down to your sense of humor with this breed.

For sure! My own would never try to steal in front of me, but I would not leave my dinner on the coffee table with an unsupervised Basenji in the room. With my second girl, my husband got up from dinner to answer the phone (call was from me) and when he looked around his pork chop was missing from his plate and Lady was nowhere to be seen. He found dog and pork chop in her crate (where she never went voluntarily!) and they had a growling match over who owned the food. Husband won that one, and learned to keep a close eye on his dinner after that. I could eat, sitting on the couch with a dog at my side, and no attempt at theft would be made, but I knew enough not to let my attention wander. They know instantly! πŸ˜‰

last edited by eeeefarm

@jujubeans For sure a firm NO and an outstretched palm facing the dog but not close. However it has to be instant for the dog to understand what they did wrong. Sounds more like the dog is playing and chasing the cat is also play.

The bite also indicates play, a fully triggered basenji will bite hard and leave puncture wounds, however it’s hard to say for sure without seeing what happened.

as an aside: If you are ever in a situation where an animal bites you, push your hand/arm/etc into their mouth. It sounds counterintuitive, but ... this action forces their mouths open wider, automatically releasing whatever they were biting. And, they "hate" it -- so they stop biting because you made it "no fun".

To a Basenji, cause and effect are immediate. The dog was rewarded for sitting, not for biting. In the same vein, if a dog has been naughty - and this applies to all canines, not just Basenjis - if you call it and it comes back to you, NEVER pumish it. It will associate the act of coming back to master or mistress with the punishment, not the naughtiness.

Your sister told the dog to sit. It sat. It was rightly rewarded.

That it bit you is another issue entirely and as one who has been bitten seriously fewer than 5 times in almost 40 years of life with Basenjis, I can tell you that in every case it was my fault or carelessness.

So I have to ask, what did you do to the dog to get such a painful reaction ? Basenjis can bite when provoked - it is almost always an instinctive reaction. Did you grab it to get it off the table ? Grab it from behind, startle it ???

Don't always immediately blame the dog. If it is not given to biting, something caused it to do so this time.

If it IS given to biting, and I don't get that impression, then your sister has to deal with it, as it is her Basenji.

There is another reason dogs bite, and I would specifically say why Basenjis may learn to bite. That is the mistake people make, letting them learn that snarkiness will result in you letting them have their own way. The dog is quick to learn that when thwarted it has only to growl and the person yields, with the result that when someone is not intimidated, the dog may escalate to biting, and if that makes the person back off, you have now created a dog that will bite to get what it wants. This whole scenario may be avoided if good judgement and distraction are used to avoid confrontation in the first place, but IMO you cannot let the dog "win" by snarking or even biting. Puppies especially are learning all the time. Teach them that aggressive behaviour will never result in them getting their way, if necessary by gently removing them from whatever illegal prize they are after, ignoring any snarking that may result, and giving them something else to think about, ideally something you can praise and reward them for doing.

@elbrant said in HELP!! I NEED OWNER'S OPINION ABOUT A BASENJI THAT BITES!!:

as an aside: If you are ever in a situation where an animal bites you, push your hand/arm/etc into their mouth. It sounds counterintuitive, but ... this action forces their mouths open wider, automatically releasing whatever they were biting. And, they "hate" it -- so they stop biting because you made it "no fun".

They do indeed hate it - and it does often cure biting. I use my wrist and push that across the mouth so it is forced wide open at the same time as a loud 'NO' - but it must be instantaneous. Even a minute later is too late. Instant cause and effect. I bite, she jams my mouth open with her wrist. NB. Its better to be wearing a thick something-that-covers-the-wrist !

last edited by Zande

A biting basenji is never acceptable, but as many people have already pointed out, any aggression must be dealt with properly based on the circumstances.

In this instance, the basenji is only 5.5 months old and was trying to get to an EXTREMELY exciting and enticing "prize" (the cat). The person who got bit (no broken skin! that's important) is the cat's owner (with a probable built-in bias against her sister's basenji pup - sorry - no offense intended). I used to have 3 basenjis who would go nuts on leash if they saw another dog or huntable critter. They would bite anything (including eachother) in the heat of their excited frustration. I am thinking the nip described by Jujubeans was likely done in frustration. I hope Jujubeans can forgive the basenji pup's indiscretion and not hold a grudge.

Dogs are instinctive hunters. A table top is NOT a safe escape place for a cat running from an excited/determined dog of any breed or age. It is better to avoid a bad situation rather than be caught in one: set up a baby gate with a cat door wired in such a way to alow only the cat into a safe room, or, simply never allow the pup to run free around the cat. Cats and basenjis can get along - sometimes it just takes a long time, lots of patience and common sense.

Be proactive, not just reactive. You've got to be quick and smart to outwit a b-pup.

@pawla Very well said ! You summed it up beautifully -
πŸ‘πŸΌ

@pawla said in HELP!! I NEED OWNER'S OPINION ABOUT A BASENJI THAT BITES!!:

A biting basenji is never acceptable, but as many people have already pointed out, any aggression must be dealt with properly based on the circumstances.

I used to have 3 basenjis who would go nuts on leash if they saw another dog or huntable critter. They would bite anything (including eachother) in the heat of their excited frustration.

I had this with my two Basenji girls.....it's transferred aggression.....if you can't bite the one you want to bite, bite the one you're with! My last Basenji boy could be trouble if he saw a dog he didn't like. I was careful to keep him at arm's length if he really got revved up, or else my clothing could become a target.

Agree, keep the cat and dog away from each other, although with the best of intentions, sh*t happens and critters manage to get where they should not be. One of the reasons I think "no" is the second most important word in a dog's vocabulary (after "come"). As such, IMO it should be reserved for important situations and always be enforced. It means "stop what you are doing right now!" And yes, there are instances where you might want to raise your voice. Again, done only when it is important, this can be effective. Do not poison your important control words. Use them only when you mean it and make sure you are obeyed. For less important occasions, use a different word. You do not want to teach your dog to ignore you when it's critical for him to pay attention.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.