Adolescent howl and behavior changes


  • Sanji, 9.5 months, not neutered, is seen here howling pretty good. This was just after we left the park where he was enthralled by the many young bitches there (I'm not using slang here).

    https://youtu.be/cVHm9LcrsPQ

    For the past two months or so, he has absolutely no interest in treats. Zero. (He's picker about his dinner too.) He was more immediately responsive to recall at 4 months. Now he thinks he needs to think about it. I've had to rely on an ecollar with a mix of vibrate, tone, and stimulation, to continue with heal and recall training. It's coming along, so I can't complain. It depends on how patient I want to be as to whether to make use of the ecollar or just wait. But a friend of mine who trains vizlas encouraged me with the ecollar. "When I say 'come' just once on no uncertain terms I want that dog coming directly right now." He confirmed that it's crucial for the dog's safety when hunting, analogous to my concerns in urban situations. He says he doesn't dawdle with vibrate and goes straight to a jolt. I've tried that, it works. But I try not to as often as seems reasonable.

    In this context, I've also been a bit looser on letting him go further and longer when his prey drive kicks in and he wants to chase deer or whatever. When out of site, I whistle and call his name to let him know where I am, and he always comes back, though some times I get nervous. I've considered getting a GPS collar in the event he doesn't return, though I don't think that will happen, but I really can't be certain of anything. He gets distracted, but seems like he always wants to return to the pack (me).

    My question for ya'll is that the howl and these other behavioral changes are, I'm guessing, just the nature of a basenji beast. I suspect that he was howling because he wanted to go back to the park and play with the other dogs, especially the females, who he couldn't leave alone and stop sniffing and licking (which they didn't particularly like, though none reacted aggressively). Is this what's going on?


  • @sanjibasenji
    I could not view your video link - says “this video is private”.


  • Your pup is maturing and ready to test the boundaries. Allowing him to think "come" is an optional command is a mistake. Don't call him if you are not willing to enforce it. Chasing deer in some places is illegal. I don't know where you live, but best to be aware of the rules. It's not a behaviour I would allow in any case. A dog in hot pursuit may get out of range of your e collar. Not sure how you did your initial training, but I never had to "dial it up" with my guy except to interrupt an actual chase, otherwise a mild reminder at my guy's working level was always sufficient and seldom required.....but I never allowed him to think "come" was an option. Once I called him, he knew he had to comply, no dawdling.


  • @sanjibasenji said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    Sanji, 9.5 months, not neutered, is seen here howling pretty good. This was just after we left the park where he was enthralled by the many young bitches there (I'm not using slang here).

    Yippee ! The rutting season is well and truly upon us in the Northern Hemisphere - My boys will try to mount anything and everything in the female (canine !) line in the woods. Mku tried the other day to have it off with no less than 3 Samoyeds. Their owner and I sat on a fallen tree and laughed our socks off. The Sammies were slightly perplexed but I think they took it very well indeed.

    Go to my website and read the piece on 'Boys have their rutting season too.' http://www.zandebasenjis.com/rutting.htm

    It will settle down, come Christmas !


  • @sanjibasenji - As Zande said, it is Basenji rutting season.... they know when breeding season is regardless if the is a bitch in season... and that also goes for neutered males... they know period.


  • @tanza As we both know, you can cut out the mechanism, but those primordial instincts and urges are too deeply in a boy's DNA. Castrated of not, this is THE time.


  • Agree that it's likely seasonal, but beyond that it is never a good idea to poison your command words. If you call him, he needs to come, not get into the habit of ignoring you. I would suggest having an alternate word to use when coming isn't imperative, especially when it's the girls he is attracted to, but beware of letting him roam too far, and check what the requirements are in your area regarding chasing wildlife, as you have indicated he is inclined to do. Where I live dogs can be shot for chasing deer or farm animals. In practice it doesn't happen often, but it is one of the potential hazards of letting your dog off leash, particularly if he is out of your sight.


  • @zande - For sure Zande, my first male would cry/whine the entire month of October.... up to and including when he passed at 17 1/2. He was neutered at age 4 when we were done showing him. Made no difference....


  • @eeeefarm
    I'm glad you agree, "Don't call him if you are not willing to enforce it."
    He's definitely out of range when he takes off. I let him chase until out of sight and range. He comes back, but it takes a couple minutes for him to find me. Thanks for your input.


  • @kembe said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    @sanjibasenji
    I could not view your video link - says “this video is private”.

    Oops. Sorry. Try now.


  • @zande
    That is very helpful to know. It explains a lot. Thanks.


  • @tanza said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    @sanjibasenji - As Zande said, it is Basenji rutting season.... they know when breeding season is regardless if the is a bitch in season... and that also goes for neutered males... they know period.

    Thanks for verifying. Again, that helps to explain his behavior.


  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    beware of letting him roam too far, and check what the requirements are in your area regarding chasing wildlife

    OK, good advice. But how far is too far, other than what's legal or not? On state (public) land in Michigan, I don't think there are any restrictions on movement. I've never heard of restrictions, but I'll check into that.


  • @tanza said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    my first male would cry/whine the entire month of October.... up to and including when he passed at 17 1/2. He was neutered at age 4 when we were done showing him. Made no difference....

    This adds some useful detail to what's been said. I hope it's only October. He wants to get out constantly to find females. Curiously, he hasn't tried mounting, just fallatio!

    Related to that, I think, it seems that he licks urine spots on grass.


  • @sanjibasenji - That is normal, licking urine spots... to check if in season... and each boy is different, mine just related that October was the time.


  • @sanjibasenji said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    On state (public) land in Michigan, I don't think there are any restrictions on movement.

    You might want to check that for accuracy. My understanding of the law in Michigan is that the dog must be under the control of the owner, i.e. on leash or obedient to your commands, and I'm not sure how that would be interpreted if the dog is out of your sight. Again, unlikely you will run into a problem, unless your dog gets himself into trouble while ranging away from you, but I believe running deer is illegal and how do you know what he is up to if you can't see him? Just be cautious and you should be fine. Maybe hang a bell or something on him so you know where he is....


  • @sanjibasenji said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    I hope it's only October. He wants to get out constantly to find females. Curiously, he hasn't tried mounting, just fallatio!

    You need to live with two boys to really appreciate the rutting season. Kito keeps mounting Mku at home when they are not out in the woods chasing females !

    October is certainly the worst month but it can start mid to late September and go on to mid November. I always reckon on two months.

    Calling them back when it is not necessary is, to my way of thinking, like crying 'wolf' - and as for having a different call when there is no need for them to return to you. . . that would confuse the heck out of me, let alone the dogs. Just let them be unless instant recall is needed and then use just the tried and trusted call, whistle or shout.


  • @zande said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    Calling them back when it is not necessary is, to my way of thinking, like crying 'wolf' - and as for having a different call when there is no need for them to return to you. . . that would confuse the heck out of me, let alone the dogs. Just let them be unless instant recall is needed and then use just the tried and trusted call, whistle or shout.

    Got to agree to disagree on this one. We live in very different places, and perhaps in the U.K. there are less hazards to be wary of, but I don't like my dog out of my sight or hearing and I don't think it's safe. A "different call" to me would be a "reminder" word that they are ranging further than you like, not hard to teach or apply.

    Asking a dog to stay relatively close is not unreasonable and is something that is done with bird dogs all the time. They need to cover the field within reasonable distance or they are useless. Major Braun explains this quite nicely in his article in training Basenjis for the field. "If he takes off out of gun range give the hand and whistle commands for come, and when he returns , praise him and send him off again with the verbal command "go on". It won't take him long to learn you want him to course back and forth in front of you, and the limit of the distance he may go."

    We may no longer use our dogs for actual work, but I don't think it's too much to ask that they learn how we desire them to behave. Some Basenjis keep close without being told, but others need reminders. A dog that takes off after game may travel a long way before abandoning the hunt, and the end result may be a lost dog or worse. I've had the experience of losing an animal in the woods, and it isn't pleasant! (that was a horse, not a dog, and it was hours before we found her, and days before we found her companion. You would think it would be easy to find a large animal, but no. Glad I wasn't hunting for a small dog!)


  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    Maybe hang a bell or something on him so you know where he is....

    Thanks. In fact, I do have bell on the collar that I use, in addition to the e-collar, when I take him mountain biking with me. It helps. I checked the DNR site and the rules pertain to training dogs for hunting.

    https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79134_82777-230850--,00.html

    The PDF file is useful. You're right that dogs can't be used for hunting deer. But I also think you are right that I won't have any issues, since I'm not training him, nor hunting, but nevertheless, I should not let him go too far our out of sight since I don't know what he's doing. I guess I'll have to reign that in.

    Thanks for your insights and comments.


  • @eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:

    Calling them back when it is not necessary is, to my way of thinking, like crying 'wolf' - and as for having a different call when there is no need for them to return to you. . . that would confuse the heck out of me, let alone the dogs. Just let them be unless instant recall is needed and then use just the tried and trusted call, whistle or shout.

    Got to agree to disagree on this one. We live in very different places, and perhaps in the U.K. there are less hazards to be wary of, but I don't like my dog out of my sight or hearing and I don't think it's safe. A "different call" to me would be a "reminder" word that they are ranging further than you like, not hard to teach or apply.

    Asking a dog to stay relatively close is not unreasonable and is something that is done with bird dogs all the time. They need to cover the field within reasonable distance or they are useless. Major Bruan explains this quite nicely in his article in training Basenjis for the field. "If he takes off out of gun range give the hand and whistle commands for come, and when he returns , praise him and send him off again with the verbal command "go on". It won't take him long to learn you want him to course back and forth in front of you, and the limit of the distance he may go."

    I think both of you are right and both accord with my experience. I did not know or plan this in advance, but I have ended up using several related commands for different situations, and he knows them well now.

    Whistle
    When I want him in my vicinity, not at my feet, and he's free to roam nearby.

    Use a lot when mountain biking, and sometimes when in our nearby dog park (a fairly large wooded area)

    If I can't see him, I call his name or whistle, and he invariably returns. But as noted, it's taken longer for him to return because I've let him go further without reigning him in. I've whistled and called for up to 3-4 minutes. I don't like that, so I'm glad to be encouraged to keep him in eyesight. (Learning the ropes folks!)

    This way
    When he's close but I'm going a different direction and I want him to follow me.

    Use when mountain biking mostly, sometimes when walking wooded area.

    Come
    When I want him at my feet no matter what he's doing, but I use it when I can see him.

    If he doesn't respond to come, I apply the e-collar. That works invariably, but I may have to crank it up if he's distracted by other dogs.

    Use it mostly when in the dog park, or other park.

    Eh-eh

    A danger indicator or "don't go there" indicator.

    Use when I want him to stop going in the direction he's going (cars, other dogs, people), or stop doing something he's doing that could harm him, like chewing on an electric cord.

    As I mentioned, he seems to understand and respond to these commands consistently. It's really the "come" command (instant recall) that's the hardest. But I think, as has been observed, he's at that age when he's challenging the boundaries and, at that time of the year when he's seeking females.

    Learning a lot about this breed. Thanks to everyone for their insights! Really lucky you folks take the time to respond. Grateful.

Suggested Topics

  • 3
  • 17
  • 6
  • 3
  • 13
  • 3