We've had our guy for a week now. He's a truly amazing boy. However, he fears my adult son. He can be playing with him, then suddenly charges and and goes for biting. Not play biting. My son is an animal lover and gentle with Rocky. Any suggestions on how to help him understand his big brother won't hurt him. The aggression always occurrs when I'm in the room.
What kind of playing? Try to avoid anything that gets him too wound up and excited. Probably best for now that your son does not engage in play, but does become the source of good things, e.g. giving Rocky his meal or taking him for a walk. If the biting happens in another context it definitely bears watching. Perhaps Rocky has had a bad experience with someone who reminds him of your son. How old is Rocky? Do you know anything about his past?
He's around 2. All we know is the husband dropped him off saying he was allergic to him. I agree with the not playing right now. My son is 6'3. So a big enough guy to scare a 18 pound baby. Rocky is a little under weight and skittish of sudden noises and movement. He doesn't know any commands or even his name. I kept his name because it was his name for 2 years. I didn't want to confuse him more. He acts like he was constantly crated. I close the door at times so he can socialize with the family. He's great with females
Assuming Rocky isn't vicious, which seems a good assumption, this is pretty straightforward. Have your son stop playing with him the way he's doing now and have him work on chase and tug games with toys. That will work and will help with other training. (In this game the dog bites the toy and not you). I don't know of any Youtube videos offhand but I'm sure there are some. They should give you a good idea of how to make it work.
I wouldn't be so sure that it's not play biting. Dogs have to learn how to control their bite That usually happens with their litter mates. If the dog is separated too early then he/she won't learn it. Also, as eeeefarm has mentioned, if they get overly worked up they can forget their play biting skills and sink their teeth a little too deep. Doesn't only happen when playing. My wife got the end of her nose nipped when telling one of our dogs what a beautiful dog he was (I told her she needed to stop because he was getting too worked up and she didn't listen -- a painful mistake for which I took no responsibility LOL).
I have a basenji that was ruler of the house before he came to me. Don't know alot about his background. What I found out was, I couldn't touch his feet, or tail. Apparently the people never did that to him when he was a puppy. He came to me at 2 and is now 9. He can and still will bite, if provoked. My adult son likes to play with him and sometimes the dog gets riled up, and he's growling, baring teeth. I have to tell him in a "stern voice" NO TEETH! May have to repeat it a few times, but he backs down. He knows he's not going to be hurt. Son has now adopted that NO TEETH, and by golly the dog is listening to him! Doesn't work for all dogs. Stop having you son playing with him. Have him do some small training instead............like sit (give a treat.........good), down (treat). Reward for good behavior. Right now tug would seem kind of pushing the button on wanting to bite something (or someone). I would (for now) hold off on that. Long walks. Does someone ride a bike....maybe adult son? Take dog on the bike run!. They have leashes that attach to the bike, so your hands are free, and won't let dog go another way to have you fall down. I had one many years ago for my basenji and it was great! A tired basenji is a good basenji as they don't get into trouble! That's a good thing.
He's very gentle with food. Let's me touch his feet, kiss his belly. Very mild mannered. Of course he does crazy zoomys and gets a little riled up. But I can tell him no nicely and he calms down. He doesn't respond to any words, only actions and the tone of your voice.
All we know is the husband dropped him off saying he was allergic to him.
That sentence tells you most of what you need to know. Poor little Basenji has been given reason to fear or loathe men. Become allergic to them.
Now your son has come into his world, and he fears him. You need to build up his confidence, slowly over time. Start by getting your son to cease the games and resort to dispensing treats, being the one to give him his meals, taking Rocky for lovely walks, talking quietly and reassuringly to him all the time.
If Rocky has a favorite toy, after a week or so of no games but plenty of treats, walking and talking, get your son to sit on the floor (come down to Rock's level) play with the toy, throw it, pretend to chase it. Ignore Rocky but have obvious fun with the toy - in time, Rocky will want to join in and that is when your son, talking gently to Rocky, can start to 'share' the toy.
Main thing is to get Rocky to want to play with your son. To have enough confidence in him that he can relax and have fun with him.
This is going to take time so be patient, and be prepared to back off and put things on hold if there is a regression.