Prey drive with small dogs

@elbrant said in Prey drive with small dogs:

p.s. It didn't help that this dog sounded like a squeek toy.

A squeaky toy is meant to be chewed and shaken until the stuffing falls out. That must have been an unpleasant experience.

@elbrant - Exactly why I never and have never used dog parks... period...

They do not differentiate between squirrel and fluffy puppy....prey is prey it is instinctive and deep seeded. a basenji off leash will be a dead basenji.....may not today or tomorrow but eventually.

@dmcarty said in Prey drive with small dogs:

They do not differentiate between squirrel and fluffy puppy....prey is prey it is instinctive and deep seeded. a basenji off leash will be a dead basenji.....may not today or tomorrow but eventually.

I learned the hard way that I wasn't capable of having a Basenji off leash in an unstructured environment, so I understand the recommendation. But I think a Basenji can tell the difference between a dog, whatever the size, and a rabbit or squirrel as well as you or I can.

@donc said in Prey drive with small dogs:

But I think a Basenji can tell the difference between a dog, whatever the size, and a rabbit or squirrel as well as you or I can.

Basenjis like to be the boss - I'm sure they can tell the difference. If the 'squeaky toy' dog squeaks when shaken - that's submission !

And by the way - I have let all my Basenjis run off-leash for the past 39 years - A couple of years ago I did a calculation on their average age at death. 13.5 years. Most lived beyond 14, some beyond 16. Almost all lived into their teens. The average was brought down by one who developed a mast cell tumour before she was ten.

So yes, an off-leash Basenji is a dead Basenji - eventually, but not necessarily before their 'time' to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

last edited by Zande

I have also had off leash Basenjis, none of which came to grief from being loose. However, my niece who is a vet has seen several dogs hit by cars while on flex leads. Owner inattention can definitely get your dog killed, even when "securely" on a leash!

@donc we were all set to do lure coursing this spring! I was super excited but obviously covid10 put a stop to those plans. But exactly, I was hoping this would provide the appropriate environment for her to give in to those instincts

@zande yep, basenjis off leash has yet to be a problem for me and I've had 3 now. I only ever let them off in the woods, far away from traffic.

And yes, I absolutely believe she knows the difference between prey and dog, even small fluffy dog. I don't want to take away the joy of running through the woods for her, but I can't in good conscience allow her to frighten other dogs and their owners. My job, hard as it is, is going to have to be getting her to listen when other dogs say 'stop'

I know your problem - difficult one when it is your dog who could be doing the harm rather than receiving it.

Stupid question. Is it possible for you to avoid the time of day when the fluffy bunny will be out and about ?

During Lockdown I learned never to go to the woods at the end of this village so as to be arriving or leaving between 8.45 and 9.15. If I did, I was sure to meet a bad tempered couple walking two huge ??? on leads. The poor animals were literally dragged along, not allowed to sniff or stop for anything.

I would meet them just at the entrance where there is a steep incline through birch trees and coppicing. It is impossible to see if anyone is coming up the path because of the greenery but the man always shouted at me 'Dogs should be kept on a lead around other dogs' - I never saw him before we were on top of each other as it were.

Mine never paid his the slightest heed ! They were as frightened of him as I was. LOL

But seriously, can you avoid meeting this particular dog or can you make a big fuss of her and get it through to your Basenji that this is YOUR friend and should be hers ?

and as a general note, I REALLY don't believe in 'well that's just the way basenjis are so I don't have to try to correct inappropriate or dangerous behavior' - yeah, it's going to take more time and effort than with other breeds, but that's sort of what you sign up for when you get a basenji. It's your responsibility to make sure they are respectful members of dog (and human) society. That goes for any breed. Yes, basenjis have deeply buried instincts, prey drive being at the forefront, obviously, but throwing your hands up isn't fair to them or other dogs/owners

last edited by theresab

@zande thank you for your reply! That's a great suggestion!

This behavior of hers applies to any small dog we come across, so it's not something that I can predict, unfortunately, which is part of what makes it so hard! We also go to lots of different woods, so I can't ever be positive who we're going to meet. She doesn't do it in dog parks, interestingly, but those are closed right now and all my dogs and I much prefer the woods anyway.

Aiii anyway, I really appreciate your thoughtful replies!

@theresab said in Prey drive with small dogs:

REALLY don't believe in 'well that's just the way basenjis are so I don't have to try to correct inappropriate or dangerous behavior' -

Nor do I - Basenjis CAN be trained. Possibly not using the same methods as for other dogs, but anything IS possible if you are understanding and patient

Having a sense of humour helps - - -

@theresab said in Prey drive with small dogs:

and as a general note, I REALLY don't believe in 'well that's just the way basenjis are so I don't have to try to correct inappropriate or dangerous behavior' - yeah, it's going to take more time and effort than with other breeds, but that's sort of what you sign up for when you get a basenji. It's your responsibility to make sure they are respectful members of dog (and human) society. That goes for any breed. Yes, basenjis have deeply buried instincts, prey drive being at the forefront, obviously, but throwing your hands up isn't fair to them or other dogs/owners

Uh no. You're more likely to control how children play than how dogs play, and you're not likely to control how children play. In my experience a huge part of the problem is how the dog's owner behaves. The little dog runs, which causes the other dog to chase, and then acts afraid, which causes the owner to pick him/her up and soothe him. That's simply reinforcing the "victim" behavior. It also works on the other side. A dog will chase another dog, causing his/her owner to make a big fuss of saying "No", after which they pick him up. Scolding him/her won't do anything because (a) it's attention; and (b) the dog will have no clue what the issue is.

Now just attacking dogs and/or people would be entirely different. But that not what you're describing. What you're calling "inappropriate behavior" is just dog behavior. I've had dogs who would take off and dare other dogs to chase them. The only issue with this was when some other dog joined in and blindsided them. Dog play rough. I've included a pic of one of my dogs getting bounced around by a German Shepard. This would horrify some but she didn't think it was any big deal. Dogs are tough. Even the little furry ones.

IMO opinion the saying "if you can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch" applies. If the dog can't deal with other dogs -- meaning if they're going to run and then get freaked out when they are chased -- then he/she has no dog skills and should be on a leash. Plus being on the leash will allow the owner to easily pick them up and then get freaked out when the other dog(s) jump up. (JK but that is usually how it goes).

In all likelihood your dog will grow out the chase behavior soon enough, so it's a transient issue. If you want to keep him on a leash that's your decision, but it hardly seems like a dangerous situation. You're not being fair to your dog when failing to hold the other dogs and their owners responsible.

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The problem with off leash parks is that it's all fun and games until suddenly it isn't. Which is why, IMO, you should not have your dog loose at a park unless you have a really solid recall and are paying attention to what is going on, instead of chatting to other owners while things are gradually escalating. Yes, most of the time dogs will sort out their problems and nobody gets hurt, but ask a vet and you will find that dogs can and do get injured at dog parks and at doggie daycares when supervision is lax, and even when it isn't. Multiple dog families can also experience a situation that "works until it doesn't", and in my experience Basenjis as a breed and particularly the bitches can definitely hold a grudge, and if they get into it "for real", generally they don't quit until somebody gets hurt.

last edited by eeeefarm

@zande said in Prey drive with small dogs:

can you avoid meeting this particular dog or can you make a big fuss of her and get it through to your Basenji that this is YOUR friend and should be hers ?

I haven't seen the little fluffball and her owner in quite a while (because of the virus restrictions). Crossing paths has been hit or miss as we were never on the exact same schedule. I would love to let them play and romp. I know doodle wouldn't hurt the pup on purpose, but the head shake really did frighten me. I'd rather be safe, than sorry.

I'll have to double check, but I think laws in the states require dogs that attack/kill other dogs to be put down. egads! Talk about heartbreak!

@elbrant said in Prey drive with small dogs:

I haven't seen the little fluffball and her owner in quite a while (because of the virus restrictions). Crossing paths has been hit or miss as we were never on the exact same schedule. I would love to let them play and romp. I know doodle wouldn't hurt the pup on purpose, but the head shake really did frighten me. I'd rather be safe, than sorry.

Definitely better to be safe than sorry.

FWIW A whistle is always a great piece of equipment at a dog park. You're obviously paying attention -- not all owners do -- which means you can intervene if something starts going in a wrong direction. However, sometimes you might be too far away. That's when the whistle comes in handy. One blast and everything stops, including any problematic behavior.

Something to keep in mind for the future. At the moment I think COVID makes going to a dog park extremely difficult, even once they open. I don't know how you can manage your dog with so many people in a confined area, and social distancing becomes challenging at best and perhaps impossible if you need to intervene. But eventually there will be a vaccine and/or effective treatment.

@donc said in Prey drive with small dogs:

But eventually there will be a vaccine and/or effective treatment.

I wish I shared your optimism. There is no vaccine for the common cold or HIV and a 'flu jab is often only partially effective against one kind of 'flu. The powers that be tell us there will be one - so why amn't I convinced ?

Buying a whistle to use in a dog park is all very well, but if your neighbour has been to the same store, a single blast could bring several dogs of varying breeds to your feet - all of them mightily confused. Developing a piercing whistle as a child and carrying it through to old age, guarantees your own personal dog(s) their own recall signal. Or ? LOL

@elbrant - You said "I'll have to double check, but I think laws in the states require dogs that attack/kill other dogs to be put down"

Not that I am aware of.... are you thinking about livestock?

@tanza said in Prey drive with small dogs:

Not that I am aware of.... are you thinking about livestock?

This is something that will vary from state to state. I think I'm just remembering something I heard as a young girl. I double checked the legalities in N.C, U.S.A. (where I currently live) and here there is a "one bite rule" where you almost get a pass the first time. The injured party, however, can legally pursue the recovery of their losses under the concept of "negligence". The issue escalates after that first bite and your dog could be labeled a "dangerous dog" which would result in stiffer penalties. And essentially, the laws would apply to any animal (dog, horse, etc.) damaging or injuring another's property (animal, or structure), or family member. So, this isn't restricted to livestock or other dogs, but dog's biting children, and other situations. ...hoping that made sense

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