She will go in and sniff them..then she will raise her hackles and growl at them. I want to nip this behavior in the bud ASAp. I realize that she did not have any boundaries in her previous home and no one taught her anything…not even a single obedience command. She is very smart though and already knows an arry of things like her name, Come, Sit, Kennel Up, Inside, outside, Go potty, and off. What is the best way to gently discourage her rude dog to dog behavior?
This is not rude behavior. Basenjis are a pack dog. I often recommend reading up on the social order of wolves.
It's very hard for me to evaluate the situation, but you need to realize dog's have a language of their own. It's a very subtle body language; the growling is like only six words in an entire dictionary. Dogs pick up on very slight movements including your own, and tonal qualities of the voice or growl. It takes a keen eye to recognize what the dog maybe responding to.
This could be her way of confronting a situation which she unsure of. Basenjis tend use a good offence as their defense. A basenji which runs from a dangerous situation in the jungle often becomes diner, thus, the stand your ground tactics. She can easily be picking up on your discomfort of the situation along with signals from the dog she greeting, this maybe giving her mixed signals, conveying an uneasy situation.
The other issue is she maybe asserting her position in the pack order.
These two issues are handled differently. If this response of uncertainness; then your response should be as one of bewilderment, it’s a “what’s all this about” in a very positive voice, followed by a distraction to get her attention away from the uncertainness, ie treat for responding positively to your voice, no treat if she continues. You must convey a sense of no concern, or danger exists. Never use an “it’s ok, you be just fine”. This is a reassuring voice, which only confirms that something is wrong.
If this is a pecking order challenge, then it’s a stern voice,”knock that off, I’m the pack leader and I set the pecking order”. Again follow with a reward for responding to your voice and stopping the behavior.
These are the two most likely scenarios, but other possibilities exist, including out right aggression, territorial.
The tone of your voice is key. Suggest you get help from a good professional dog behaviorist. Read lots of books on the subject. Basenjis are not the easiest dogs to understand, misunderstanding them can lead to a lot of problems. The basenji is still considered a primitive breed, with very strong inherited behavior traits.