Yes there are other threads referring to this topic and dog behavior, if you wish to research further.
Here is a brief but very thorough booklet discussing the pros and cons of neutering/spaying, more science based than anecdotal.
Good luck with your decision.
Thanks again for the help on this. I would like to give an update on the situation , but before I do so, I would like to highlight that I was thinking of doing the Chip which is supposed to desolve and only lasts for 1 year and then I need to do it again. (I have very little information about that, because I am not this far YET)
I tried everything with Dino. I came to understand that it has nothing to do with me. Many people tell me to relax and so will he, but that is not true. I am relaxed and he is not. He is not aggressive, in fact, he cries like crazy when the other dogs walk away. He wants to play , I get that, but he wants first to assert his position. It is this assertion that makes the dogs walk away along with their owners and Dino to come across as aggressive.
One bad habit he also learned is jumping on other dogs, and pulling me like crazy to reach them. I try to restrain him but of course, he tries harder and many people think I am chocking him. I get lots of dirty looks . After all he is a Basenji, a con artist. My wife did notice that yesterday as I was explaining to a man (and his little dog) why I am restraining him like that, and told me he really is a con artist, in front of other people he puts on this "I am chocking act" .
This puts me really in a dilemma, I meet many dogs in the street, and many people feel obliged to let the dogs greet each other, I try to avoid, but I cannot do that forever, he needs to ignore other dogs or be calm about it.
I decided I will not avoid other dogs and Dino will have to learn to restrain himself and will only get to say hello if he does that. But how on earth do I restrain him without holding the leash firm to keep him from Jumping ? Other dog owners say give him treats etc... And of course my thoughts yes yes, you obviously do not know basenjis.. How can I restrain him without it looking cruel (as Basenji obviously do not care that they are chocking) ? He did reach his destination many times with this barging , pulling like crazy, and now I need to break this habit.
Thanks for reading and also help and support.
You have the right idea entirely. Dino must learn to restrain himself.
I forget, but has anyone ever suggested to you that you use a Gentle Leader ? @JENGOSMonkey found a wonderful clip on You Tube, and although he didn't get on with using one, I find them great as a training tool, as do many others.
The configuration of the Leader is that it goes behind the head, so you are in full control of that, and the lead is clipped under the chin. The dog can't lunge or jump and after a few excursions, learns to trot along nicely.
I used one on Mku for a couple of weeks and will start Kito as soon as he is big enough. Now I have a Mku who, although he runs free for 99% of the time, trots along on the lead when it is essential.
Most Basenjis take a 'small' size. Dino won't like it at first, so you have to make it worth his while - something extra special when you put it on. Don't leave it for too long, put it on and off throughout the day and then start him walking on it.
You should, if my experience is mirrored, find him trying to bite it off, chew the lead and fight it, but only for a short while. Because he will accept it, and learn it is a small thing, but stronger than he is and more powerful !
You will have control and ought very quickly to be able to have the leash quite loose, falling between you, not taut.
When you meet another dog, stand still, tighten the lead and tell him NO. Only move off again when Dino quietens.
The Leader doesn't impede him drinking or accepting treats, just stops him pulling or jumping.
This puts me really in a dilemma, I meet many dogs in the street, and many people feel obliged to let the dogs greet each other........ He did reach his destination many times with this barging , pulling like crazy, and now I need to break this habit.
First of all, other people should not dictate what you do with your dog. Just say, "no" to the greeting thing if you don't want it. Don't worry about what they think, it is your decision. I have never been in favour of "letting them say hello" because if I don't know the other dog (yeah, "he's friendly", sometimes not so much!), I don't know whether he might have some contagious bug to pass on to my dog, and frankly I have no interest in letting my dog "meet and greet" every dog in the neighbourhood.
The second point is that since he has been able to overrule your decision by pulling and reaching his goal, it will be harder to correct this behaviour. He has learned that if he persists, victory (and reinforcement of the behaviour) will be his. A Basenji typically weighs 22 - 24 pounds. Stand still, don't loosen the leash, and he will not get what he wants! If you resist but don't pull back, he is choking himself, you are not choking him! Eventually the penny will drop when he finds his behaviour isn't getting him to his goal. But do make life easier for yourself. Zande's suggestion of a gentle leader is a good one, or a martingale collar, or whatever it takes for "power brakes", but the bottom line is behaviour modification, which will happen when he figures out it will not profit him to pull. You need to stop worrying about how things look to other people. Dogs (and kids!) learn they can get away with things when others are present if you behave differently in those circumstances. Consistency is key. Pulling never, ever gets him what he wants. It's the only way I know to convince a dog to quit doing it. The lesson is "we only move forward or toward something you want when the leash is slack" Period. Full stop.
You will need patience, but if you are consistent you will get there. Good luck.
Hi @kempel just wondering how you are getting on?
Recently my Taco has been displaying more aggression towards other dogs ️ He is 15 months.
I've been trying to work out a pattern and I am now certain it is just towards other males, intact or not. The aggression is definitely worse when he is on the lead, but today I took him to a play park to burn off some energy (usually fine) but he got into quite a scrap with a bulldog and then a collie. And for the remainder of the time he was seeking the collie out to finish what had been started, so I had to bring him to another area. I am starting to wonder if Taco is a dominant dog because he really shows no signs of backing down until he gets what he wants, unfortunately he may get himself killed or seriously injured because many of the dogs that he challenges are larger than him.
I really am not a fan of neutering but it mentioned in that article someone posted, in cases where male-to-male aggression is a problem then it could be helpful. I'm still not ready to go down that route but I am becoming worried about this increase in aggression. 3 owners in the last week have been unhappy with me because of Taco trying to start a fight with their dogs. I think he is trying to let them know in advance "hey, don't mess with me!"
I have been following advice previously posted from @elbrant and @Zande, in that I wait for Taco to stop reacting then give lots of praise and reward. Sometimes it works but many times he just gets himself worked up into even more of a frenzy because he isn't getting what he wants. So then he is left with all this stress and frustration. I genuinely feel at the minute that he is only interested in asserting his dominance and looking for opportunities to do so. I love him with all my heart but I am starting to worry ️
If your dog is being aggressive at the dog park you need to stop taking him there. It is unfair to other dog owners, and against the rules at most parks. Some Basenjis become dog aggressive as they mature. I have had some, male and female, that were and some that were not, also some same sex aggressive, for others, just any dog, male or female. My one bitch loved intact males, hated females and neutered males. I guess they didn't smell right to her. She was very flirtatious with any intact male!
@alibobo - Neutering will not change the fact that he is getting older and now wants to dominate other males, neutered or in tact... and especially on lead. I agree with eeeefarm, don't go to the dog park.... most dog parks do not let intact males or females in the park (as part of dog park rules, at least in the US)? Especially if there happens to be a bitch in season and the owners don't know or realize that. I would never take an intact male to a dog park. All of my Basenji got along just fine with other breeds (sighthounds) when we were at lure trials, many of us have RV's and would camp overnight on the grounds. We used to always let the "hounds" out to play in the evening. And if one was a bit aggressive, he/she lost those priviledges. But these were all people that know dogs, know their own dogs, big difference then at a dog park.
He is a teenager - he will try to assert himself but simply mustn't be allowed to. Did you try him on a Gentle Leader ? If he is being aggressive at the dog park, the moment he first shows ANY sign of it, on a short lead and march him home. NO more playing. As @eeeefarm says, it isn't fair to other dogs and it does no good for the reputation of Basenjis. And you must not let him win.
You have to assert yourself and let him know he can't get away with it. A great many dogs are resentful and more aggressive if they are on a lead. They feel vulnerable, unable to protect themselves.
There are herbal remedies and calmatives. One which springs to mind - and I just googled it - you can get it on-line, is Nutracalm. It is available especially for dogs and cats. Be careful to get the right one ! A friend used it some 20 or so years ago now and found it took a while to take effect, i.e. her dog was on in for a few weeks before she noticed any difference but then yes, it did work.
Try that -
I honestly do not believe neutering in this sort of instance will do the slightest good. As has been discussed on other threads - its a question of wills. You are bigger than Taco and older, and more experienced and you are going to win.
Thanks everyone. This was the first time he showed aggression at the dogpark - all previous times he was 100%. Today I think was a bit of bad luck, a few young alpha males in the one area. (Where I live we don't have those kinds of rules re: neutered-only dogs at dogparks, although it makes sense. Generally people know not to bring a female in season but nothing is enforced.) I will definitely follow all of that advice, thank you. I guess I was a bit afraid to just put a lead on him afterwards in case it made him even more frustrated.. Does that make sense? I'm definitely not considering neutering as I know he is still a teen. It just seems to have gotten worse in the last few weeks for no apparent reason! Must be hormones then.
@zande I will look into the gentle leader thanks, I have been meaning to do that!