Bad behavior

@tangokor said in Bad behavior:

I think my best option is going to be a muzzle.

If you go that route, and I think it's wise, he likely will initially object to the muzzle. Get one that is comfortable for him but protects from biting, and introduce it as a good thing that gets him treats and is a signal you are going for a walk (assuming he likes walks). If you can manage to make it a signal of positive experiences it will help a great deal, but don't expect instant cooperation.....he will try to get it off! BTW, what do you use to walk him? I hope it is a collar, not a harness. IMO, a martingale collar gives you the best control over his head.

last edited by eeeefarm

First course should always be Vet visit and make sure to have blood work done including a full Thyroid panel not just the one that is done with regular blood work. And that includes a complete eye exam by a board certified eye specialist.

So much of his environment has changed. He has to be taken out to pee and defecate, so many strangers. I wouldn't advise a muzzle - you can't make him suffer any more than he would appear to be after these changes. Vigilance and care, lots of love and reassurance. He will not forgive a muzzle.

He is becoming an old man, his sight may be going. Nothing is normal any more. He has lost confidence.

You have to get him to the Vet for a thorough going over, bloods etc, and an eye specialist. Then you have to work at building his confidence in his new situation. Be patient with him and try to avoid any confrontational meetings.

Don't change your attitude or behaviour towards him. He needs stability.

@zande said in Bad behavior:

So much of his environment has changed. He has to be taken out to pee and defecate, so many strangers. I wouldn't advise a muzzle - you can't make him suffer any more than he would appear to be after these changes.

Normally I would agree, but he has already bitten and attempted to bite several times. My concern is that he will bite the wrong person and then there will be no options. If tangokor is sure of being able to control the dog and is vigilant, then yes, best not to muzzle if the dog can be prevented from biting, as the muzzle is likely to upset him. And definitely a visit to the vet to rule out physical causes....

@tangokor My first Basenji, Jengo, was never comfortable around many other dogs. He tolerated some at best. Following his stroke he lost eyesight in one eye and became aggressive around ALL other dogs. Our days at the dog park were over. When walking him in the neighborhood I'd cross the street, or pull completely off the path and wait if there were another dog walking towards us. Sometimes the other owner might say "Oh, don't worry. He's friendly." I'd respond "I'm sorry. Mine's not. He's blind in one eye and really fearful of other dogs. His first instinct will be to attack yours." They'd always give us room. He also became a bit aggressive towards the owner of another dog regardless if the dog was with her or not. The dog was black, the owner always wore black, maybe her clothes smelled like her dog... don't know. I kept Jengo completely away from her after the first time he went after her.

It was a lot of work to look after him and keep him safe after his stroke. So much had changed, but that was the deal I made when I agreed to take him. At least it was in my mind. I made a commitment. I owed it to him.

Another thought... A close friend recently sent me a Blog Article written by Jennifer Malawey, who is dog behaviorist and trainer. The post is titled Someone's Going To Get Bitten. I think it's a good idea for all of us to read this and think about how we might treat our pups. I tease my dogs from time to time. Hadn't really considered how that might affect them. After all, I'm just playing. Or, maybe not? You might think about what was happening and how people might have been treating your dog just before he bit... Might not have anything to do with it, but still... it's worth considering.

@jengosmonkey
Good article - I especially liked this paragraph -“ What I want instead is for my dog to trust me, to know that I respect their boundaries, and to know that I will advocate for and protect them. To have this type of relationship with an animal is a bazillion times more rewarding. And at least as much fun.”

@eeeefarm
It is a martingale, never have used a harness. I did get a muzzle but it’s not fitting so back to the store to try again. He wasn’t terrible when I was putting it on him. Just tried to eat it like everything else.

@jengosmonkey
Great advice! Now that you mention it, this neighbor has a dog that Tango can smell every time we go in the hallway. I’m sure the boy also smelled like the dog. Another thing that happened a couple months ago is the mother of a dog owner in the building was walking two dogs and couldn’t manage it, the small dog got away and came after him and he was not having it. I thought the worst was about to happen.

@tangokor Here's a Gentle Leader Training video. Go to 3:47. If your pup does display hesitancy towards the muzzle, this Gentle Leader training technique might help turn wearing the muzzle into a positive thing. Really hope you're successful and you're pup's stress is conquered.

last edited by JENGOSMonkey

@jengosmonkey So you ARE a convert to the Gentle Leader !!!!

Mine now stays at home - no more need of it with Mku. But it will come out again as a training device for the next puppy !

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