We have a 13-week old basenji; a coworker adopted her from a breeder at 8 weeks old, and within the first week sought to re-home her due to her “puppy” behaviors. After much thought, and a whole lot of research (and some basenji meet and greets) we decided to adopt her at 9 weeks old.
I preface all of this to say: I know 8 weeks is too young to remove a puppy from the litter, I had no control over this. I will not name the breeder, although after research I have found it is not a responsible one, but again I had no control over this (and do not wish for this post to turn into a doxing post). We now have a 13-week old basenji who has stolen our hearts, but we need input from some expert basenji owners.
She bites. A lot. She bites you when you walk, she bites your hands, your arms, your legs, your face. She has made me bleed on several occasions and will even growl when biting. We have done everything. Yelping or saying “Ow!” makes her more excited, not moving and acting disinterested does nothing. Constantly replacing with a toy doesn’t work. She drops the toy and bites your feet again. Timeouts or space doesn't work, she gets out and will immediately start biting. You can’t just lovingly pet her, because she will just bite you. I am nervous when anyone else holds her because I know she will bite them, even their face.
Some background: she has adapted well outside of biting. We have successfully crate trained and potty trained her and she has mastered all of her basic skills. She does great on leash and we successfully (and safely) socialized her from 9-12 weeks (prior to quarantine). She is on a schedule and we ensure she is never “overtired.” We exercise her often, train her often for mental stimulation and give her plenty of positive reinforcement, never negative. But we are at our wits end. Is this a phase? Will it only get worse? Does anyone have any experience with this? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.