Sibling Syndrome

My family chose 2 Basenji pups at the same time from 2 different litters. One was 8 weeks, the other was 9. The pups “chose us,” and not knowing any better, we went home with 2 males.

I work from home and wanted 2 dogs to entertain each other instead of being dependent on me all day long.

We have learned everything the hard way with these pups. Basenjis are like no other dogs I’ve experienced.

They immediately became a pack and have Sibling Syndrome - separation anxiety from each other, jealousy when one is being petted, treated or has a toy. Lots of fighting and having to spray them with water and put them in separate spaces to calm down.

We have professional trainers helping us. And, by the way, each one has had pretty strong words for us. Our family is so bonded to the dogs that we can’t possibly give one of them up now. So, we go through separation training and play groups.

Slowly, we are making progress. They are just over one year in age. We will continue to train them and love them, but I would not recommend 2 same age Basenji pups to anyone. Hindsight is 20/20. I wish we’d joined this forum prior to getting our pups!

Any ideas for us will be welcome!

I think here, you have to relax as @elbrant has suggested elsewhere - take it all in your stride. They are still puppies and they will become teenage hell-hounds, but they should settle down.

The main thing is that YOU have to be the pack leader. ALL the time. Earn and keep their respect so both of them look to you for guidance - is this OK ? can I get away with that ? why is he getting more than me ?

Going through doors, make sure you don't always let the same dog lead - make quite sure each gets a turn. If one gets a big bone, the other one gets one at the same time - take one in each hand and given them them at the same time. Put their food pans down at the same time, one in each hand.

If you are playing tug of war - make one of my 'rabbits' (see archives I am sure) so it is a three-way tug. And if one gets uppity, walk away. Nope, I'm not going to play unless you both play fair.

The worst is probably yet to come as the 'teenage' - but they will come through it and will have a very firm bond. Hang in there !

last edited by Zande

My first two were two weeks apart, male/female from different litters, different breeder....(back in 1991). My Maggii was dominate, the male, OJ, was not... and she really couldn't care less if she was with or not with him...she was just as happy to have been an only pup, spent time with each separate and together. But that said if I took one or the other out alone the remaining one was not impressed... LOL. I didn't get two at one time so that they could entertain each other, I did it because at some point I was hoping to breed them after showing/coursing them (they both were show champions..my boy was not a courser, but my girl finished her coursing championship)... that didn't work out since the male was not really conformation wise what I was looking for especially as a cross with my girl. That said they were both our house pets.... but they knew their places. Unless you really have the time to teach them, work with them separate... then I would highly suggest that you do not get two pups at the same time.

last edited by tanza

I think listening to Zande would be wise. Seems like you have a couple of dogs who are quite the handful, though this is common for about the first year and a half. Maybe first two years at the outside. Then they definitely calm down, at least sometimes. LOL

One thing you may want to watch out for is their becoming snarky with each other in the Sept/Oct timeframe. Seems weird but they do have a cycle. You may not need to do anything other than think "oh yeah, it's that time of the year" and not panic thinking this will be a permanent change.

@donc I forgot that ! thank's for reminding me. On my website (not the pedigree one) is a piece I wrote some time ago - its called Basenji Boys Have A Rutting Season Too - and many people have been kind enough to say they found it helpful.

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

It's something I will take on board when Mku and Kito are BOTH old enough !!

I had 2 intact males that NEVER got along, and were kept separate from each other, always.
I didn't see it mentioned anywhere, but make sure these 2 have been neutered. (not seeing it mentioned may be MY lack of 'seeing it,' not that it wasn't here)

@rugosab said in Sibling Syndrome:

I had 2 intact males that NEVER got along, and were kept separate from each other, always.
I didn't see it mentioned anywhere, but make sure these 2 have been neutered. (not seeing it mentioned may be MY lack of 'seeing it,' not that it wasn't here)

There is no scientific basis for believing that neutering changes behavior. On the other hand, there is science based evidence that neutering increases the risk of many cancers and other physical maladies. We've had intact males who got along just fine, with never a fight for their entire lives.

@zande said in Sibling Syndrome:

@donc I forgot that ! thank's for reminding me. On my website (not the pedigree one) is a piece I wrote some time ago - its called Basenji Boys Have A Rutting Season Too - and many people have been kind enough to say they found it helpful.

Great quick read! Highly recommended.

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