Can a male Basenji live with another male dog?

Hi Everyone: I'm a wanna-be basenji owner so I've been lurking in the forums and wanted to thank everyone for the helpful, educational posts. Just wondering about the websites that note that male basenjis do not generally get along with other males. Is this a standard rule? Or is it also dependent on the dynamics of the individual dogs? I ask because there is a current BRAT posting that interestingly notes that the rescue male (Jake) gets along fine with the other male basenji in the foster home, but not with the female basenji. Is alignment of a suitable "pecking order" and disposition more important than sex in the case of co-habitating basenjis?

Rule of thumb is opposite sexes work best.... but not always the case. Depends on the dogs... Breeders have a saying "it works till it doesn't".... and it does depend on individuals.

I've had two boys and would again. Depends on the characters of the boys. Later I had three entire boys and five nubile ladies. In the season season the boys lived together in the outside des res (a large kennel with heating, light and a dog door onto a large orchard) very harmoniously.

I'd be more concerned with two females. The males are pretty mellow. The only issue I ever noticed was a few snarky weeks in Sept/Oct. It would be: "What's up with that?". And then the light bulb would turn on and it would be: "Oh it's that time of year". LOL

But as Tanza and Zande says, it depends on the dog(s).

Depends on the dogs. I rescued a 4 month old basenji (male) from some people who bought him from a backyard breeder. I already had a 5 yr old male (neutered) and a 3.5 yr old female (spayed). At first it was like a mommy, a daddy, and baby. Til the baby got a few month's older and tried to take on the 5 yr old male! Pup was neutered around 6-7 months or so. It was fine for awhile, until it wasn't fine. There were knock down drag out to the death fights! Which ever dog Jenna felt like was winning, she would join in to help. The 5 yr old male (Dannii) was her uncle. Adult son living at home then, and even with his help, we had a hard time breaking the fights up. A friend recommended basket muzzles for all 3 dogs, which I did; and boy did they truly help. Dannii eventually came down with Lymphoma, and I think Zak (pup) knew Dannii was sick, so the fights kind of stopped. Not the growling or snarking but the knock down fights did. About a year and half after Dannii crossed the bridge, and tri basenji came into our lives. His owners were transferred to Brazil for their work, and couldn't take him. Mr.T was around 2, Zak was 7, and Jenna was 10. They had all met at a dog park on a few occasions and got along great. We met T and owner's at the same dog park, and they brought all of T's vet records, and toys and such. We walked back to my car, I opened the door on passenger side, Mr.T jumped in and settled down on passenger seat.........he was ready to go home! 3 years ago, T and Zak had gotten into a bad fight (the first and only so far). Again son and I had a hard time breaking the fight up. Zak ripped up T's left ear to where I had to take him to the vets and he needed stitches. They have been fine since. Zak is now 15.5 and semi deaf, not alot of energy; Mr.T is 8 now. Jenna crossed the bridge a year and a half ago at 17 years. So, I only have two boys now. T is snarky with Zak at times. He doesn't like it when Zak gets too close to him for some reason, so he will growl. Not sure if Zak can hear him or not, but nothing else has happened as far as any fights breaking out. T will just get up and move........hence the growl. Like the other's have said, "it works, until it doesn't work". Always introduce dogs on neutral territory. Since Zak and Jenna had met T at a dog park on a couple of occasions, which is why I think they thought it was ok for him to be in the car and their home.

@donc - I will disagree with your statement that males are more mellow.... the only thing that I have seen with males is that after a horrible fight, you can usually get them back together (till the next fight)... Bitches (are just that) after a fight chances of getting them back together is slim to none...

Thank you for sharing everyone. Obvious but excellent reminder to introduce new dogs on neutral ground.

@tanza said in Can a male Basenji live with another male dog?:

I will disagree with your statement that males are more mellow....

I don't ! Boys are in the main far more easy going and relaxed, once you convince them you are the Alpha. Boys can be re-united relatively easily but it can take days to get warring girls back together and even then you can't be completely sure of them. If boys fight there is usually a pretty good reason but girls can have a spat over nothing.

I have always loved my girls, but the boys have always been my favourites - so much easier to deal with. You can (almost) reason with a boy !

@zande
“If boys fight there is usually a pretty good reason but girls can have a spat over nothing. ...........you can (almost) reason with a boy!”

Just like HUMANS! Lol

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The breeder I got Tamu from had the same take on boys and girls. I had had three girls when I got my first boy, and I was hesitant to adopt him (he was an almost 2 year old returned to his breeder and looking for a home). Anne told me "the boys are very sweet, but the bitches are such bitches!" She had had two girls who loved each other and got along great, until they had a spat. After that, it was pure hate and she could never trust them together.

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I had two male basenjis who got along great until they turned on each other viciously in early sep and we could never bring them back together. We tried to bring them back together many times but never could. Hired a trainer. Etc if they got access to each other they would start to fight viciously and draw blood and it would be hard to separate them without getting hurt yourself. I’ll never have two males again; it was an awful experience.

In September ? of course they mixed it ! But have a read of something I wrote (from experience) some years ago now.

http://www.zandebasenjis.com/rutting.htm

Even if the boys have been cut (Ganymedes and Rodi were both entire) it makes no difference. You can cut off the how-to but that doesn't remove the primordial instincts which come to the fore at certain times of the year.

"The survival of the Breed depends on ME !"

@karann said in Can a male Basenji live with another male dog?:

I had two male basenjis who got along great until they turned on each other viciously in early sep and we could never bring them back together. We tried to bring them back together many times but never could.

As others have mentioned, you're more likely to find this behavior with two females. Less often with two males. But those are tendencies. Dogs, like people, are social creatures, and some individuals can be harder or easier to get along with than others.

@donc said in Can a male Basenji live with another male dog?:

some individuals can be harder or easier to get along with than others.

Love it !!!

@zande - I do agree that boys are easier than girls, my point was I don't think that two males are much different than two bitches with the exception that I noted that if they do fight, many times it is easier to get males back together than bitches that getting them back together after a knock down fight is slim to none. And I do typically recommend males to people.

I have fostered many basenjis, ~200, from many different backgrounds and have b-sat intact males and females. I regularly have more than ten basenjis running together. Some seem to prefer pals of the same sex. I've had to be more careful with some males together, but the same applies to females. The ones more challenging were larger, so my experience has been that more males were a little more difficult to integrate than females since the males tend to be larger. Perhaps their slightly larger size made it easier for them to intimidate prior owners and set up a behavior pattern that was difficult to change.
To minimize the potential for issues, they are not left together unsupervised until it is quite apparent that they know our rules - no one gets to be top dog. No fighting allowed. Even when they are playing, I end the fun before it gets out of hand. I have seen many times when a couple started to get too rough. They do not forget quickly, so I try to make sure no one has a bad experience particularly prior to having lots of good interactions.
Note that all of this may go out the window if one gets sick. I have had fosters who were fine in adoptive homes for a year, when suddenly attacks started. As one example, the attackee ended up having lymphoma and had passed within half a year of the first attack. One really just has to constantly be vigilant because the game can change at any moment. That's part of the fun with basenjis.

@flbasenji Well done for being big hearted enough to foster so many Basenjis and to give them a chance of a good life. I take my hat off to you, you deserve heartfelt thanks from the Fancy.

@zande Thank you! I am lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time for so many - and to have a setup which has accommodated so many different stages of need as well as a spouse who puts up with the zoo!

@flbasenji said in Can a male Basenji live with another male dog?:

Note that all of this may go out the window if one gets sick. I have had fosters who were fine in adoptive homes for a year, when suddenly attacks started. As one example, the attackee ended up having lymphoma and had passed within half a year of the first attack. One really just has to constantly be vigilant because the game can change at any moment. That's part of the fun with basenjis.

Absolutely! I have observed this with both dogs and horses over the years. Animals notice a change in others and may take advantage of perceived weakness. Changes in the pecking order can have serious repercussions for the animal who ends up "demoted". Some can deal with a change in status, some do not do well at all and you can see the decline. Good on you for keeping the peace and making sure all know the rules! 🙂

@donc yes I’ve also read and heard that this happens more often with two females.

@flbasenji said in Can a male Basenji live with another male dog?:

I have fostered many basenjis, ~200, from many different backgrounds and have b-sat intact males and females.
....
Note that all of this may go out the window if one gets sick.

I'll second (or third or fourth) Zande's expression of gratitude. So kind of you to do this.

On the sick part, I've seen this as well but only for serious illnesses. IOW not if a dog has an intestinal issue or something similar. More like cancer or, for sure, something like a seizure. Definitely law of the jungle.

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