Each basenji is different, and what works for one may not work on another. When Tim was a puppy, and he would bite too hard, whatever we were doing STOPPED immediately, I would stand up, fold my arms in front of me, AND turn my back on him, and in a very low voice say, ‘ohhh nooo puppy...’ Tim hated being ignored by me, more than anything in his world.
If other recommendations fail, bop him on the nose. You’re not hurting him; it doesn’t have to be hard, just enough to surprise him and send the message that this isn’t acceptable behavior. Accompany with a firm “no” so that he gets what “no” actually means. his littermates, mom, and other dogs would give a warning snarl and snap in this situation - we don’t have that, so a quick bop on the nose is the next best thing
whatever action you take needs to be motivational enough for him to stop the behavior. Yelping or ignoring him might be all it takes to do the trick and if so, that’s fantastic. But if he isn’t fazed by that (my basenji wasn’t when she was a puppy), you need to up the ante in order to send the message that this behavior isn’t appropriate.
I disagree with the "bop" on the nose... "screaming" does the job BUT you need to do this each and every time and then ignore him. Also if he is not doing this with your husband, he also when this happens MUST ignore the pup. And by the way have you spoken with his breeder?
I have one objection to the "yelp" advice. Yes, sometimes it will work, sometimes it will not. However, this approach sends the message that you are a "litter mate", you are not "mom". In other words, the message you are conveying to the pup is that he is your equal, and you are not his superior to whom he must pay attention. So I guess it depends on what status you wish to assume.
Maybe it is breed specific, and I have raised no Basenji litters, so I will bow to your greater experience, but I have certainly observed bitches of other breeds disciplining their offspring if they get too rough. Litter mates may yelp, but if they are dominant they may also growl and put the offender in their place, particularly with older pups. From observation I would say that yelping on its own implies submission. My experience has been mostly with pups older than 8 weeks.....and pups from larger breeds. Very young pups seem to have more "immunity", certainly from adults, but as they get older the adults become less tolerant and more inclined to put the pup in its place when things get out of hand. (horses are similar, many foals have teethmarks in their rumps put there by their own dams.....usually geldings are more tolerant than mares!)
With my own 7 year old bitch, she was tolerant of 7 week old Tamu when she arrived and mostly avoided her for the first week, but once she began to play with her, she would snarl and pin the pup down if play got too rough. I never heard her yelp at any time.
I just have the one Basenji, but yelping growling did not work with him. Shunning did...I would say "not bite" very firming and in a fairly loud voice and deliberately fold my arms and turn my back on him. Sometimes he would would try to get to my front and I would keep turning. I just did this for a few seconds until he got the point. Now he had learned to "shun" me if he doesn't like something I have done (chuckle). I also sprayed my clothing with bitter apple...that deterred and has helped greatly.He now only grabs my arms when he is trying to get me to go someplace or do something like my toy is under the sofa. He no longer breaks the skin but sometimes does leave a bruise mark. He is 6 months, so still learning.
@eeeefarm - Hi eeeefarm, when I said "yelp" it is as in "YELL" at the pups... and as you said, put them in their place.
It's interesting and educational to see how much control some bitches have of their pups. I ran acrossthat really demonstrates what I was trying to convey when I said you want to be "mom", not a sibling....put them "in their place" indeed!
My Rosa was an excellent mother, and disciplined the pups as needed-
except for her last litter - a litter of 1.
That little guy, my Captain, ruled his momma from about day 5! As an adult, after our usual training of 'you do not rule in this house' he is the nicest dog. Even after neutering, he gets along with all the girls as long as they smell him whenever he enters the room, and somehow signal to him that he's so very handsome. It's kind of a joke around here.
('you do not rule in this house' - there is no harsh treatment, but there are subtle, loving ways to teach them this)