@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.