• A good explanation on sleep startle aggression that Basenjis seem more prone to.

    Why Is My Dog Aggressive When Woken Suddenly?

  • Useful information. Of course, with Basenjis sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between genuine startle reflex and a drowsy dog that just doesn't want to be bothered! I usually speak to any dog before touching them when they are sleeping, but of course that approach isn't going to work when you are sleeping with them and happen to move without waking up yourself. Interestingly, none of my dogs have ever reacted to me moving while asleep, but most have objected to me intentionally moving them from a comfy spot when awake. 😉

  • To be honest, if mine are in bed with me and I move and they grump... they are kicked out of the bed... Honestly they learn that pretty quickly, grump and you will find yourself on the floor... same if you do that to another bed mate, human or dog....

  • I have a bigger problem with doodle pushing me off the bed. She insists on sleeping with some part of our bodies touching each other. If I readjust my position or roll over in the night, she moves over and curls up (again) with her body touching mine. I think this has two reasons: 1) security, she knows we're both safe if she's actually touching me - and visa versa. And 2) sleep, she can fall into deep sleep because she knows exactly where we both are - and she wakes up if I get out of bed. (Then she moves into my spot so I can't get back in bed without waking her up.)

  • @elbrant when you get out of bed, could you scrunch your side of the duvet up into a wedge to prevent her migrating to your side?

  • @jkent said in Sleep Startle Reflex:

    scrunch your side of the duvet up

    I've tried... she just lays on top of the scrunched up blankets. Sometimes I will grab covers on either side of her and slide her over. It startled her the first couple of time, now she ignores me and puts up with it. I know that her desire to sleep next to me is nothing more than an indication that I am part of her pack. And that makes it pretty much "ok". 🙂

  • @elbrant said in Sleep Startle Reflex:

    she wakes up if I get out of bed. (Then she moves into my spot so I can't get back in bed without waking her up.)

    My two boys do exactly the same. Its impossible to find any space for me when I want back in. I get growled at till I convince them it's ME. You do not growl at Mom. Kito will, reluctantly, move back but Mku stays firmly in what is now his place.

    I hate being woken up suddenly. That is when I growl, so I accept the boys do too !

  • I can't say I've ever been growled at when getting back into bed, but yes, often my "spot" would be appropriated by a dog that was reluctant to move. I would generally slip into whatever space there was at the edge of the bed, and then slowly shift my body over, pushing the dog along until I had room enough to sleep without falling out of bed. My girl Lady used to like to sleep stretched out horizontally across the bed between my husband and I, leaving us each with only the edge of our side of the bed. It took some effort to convince her to sleep vertically. Then it was just the luck of the draw who ended up with her feet sticking into them! 😉

  • @jkent said in Sleep Startle Reflex:

    that Basenjis seem more prone to.

    I have to concur. When tired, sleepy, wants to rest, he will snarl when touched to be moved. Doesn't bite -- I risked it to see how far he'd go. He's only 9.5 months, already acts like a old man!

  • @sanjibasenji Do you honestly like being roused suddenly from a deep sleep ? I don't. And I respect that my Basenjis don't either.

    So if they are sleeping in a chair, I approach gently, quietly speaking to them. If I need to disturb them at all that is.

    If I need to get out at night, I try not to disturb them, but getting in again can present spatial problems.

  • @zande said in Sleep Startle Reflex:

    I respect that my Basenjis don't either.

    Agreed, and I don't have a problem with it, just observing the behavior, which was different than my last dog.

  • Ellie is fine 99% if the time, but very occasionally (every couple of months) if she's asleep on someone on the sofa and they move slightly she lets out a very aggressive snarl/snap as described in the article. She then wakes up and looks very confused. It feels like she has no control over it and I wonder if it's when she's in a specific stage of sleep.

    Interestingly she has never done this in our bed at night.

    We have been training her the "off command" which is rewarded with a treat and that now works well even if she's asleep - she jumps straight off knowing there's a piece of chicken coming her way afterwards!

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