Our 2nd basenji has mean moments


  • @zande - Totally agree.... I teach my pups to not be reactive to being touched, picked up, when sleeping... but I talk to them first... (during training)... however I would agree with Zande that she doesn't understand this.. and when they are older and not raised in a good place or a good home you are dealing with issues from the previous homes... Older dogs have different issues when placed. They have "distrust"... uprooting them from the only home they know after being placed as a puppy, being placed in a home that is really not understanding, having time for a puppy, all kinds of things... While I do not agree with shock collars there seems to be many issues with this girl from the prior home. Call her when she is sleeping, don't just "grab" at her.... if needed put a leash on her so that you can use that with talking to her and when she is awake, use the leash to move her instead of touching her until she "gets it" that you are not going to hurt her... and she knows you are there. When you are trying to wake her... teach her "cookie".... they will reach to a wonderful treat and then look forward to it. Bitches are dominate in 90% of the case so she is acting out to the male.... If you see her starting to get dominate to your boy, call her off... no yelling... a stern "quit"... and then move to distract her to you and not the male... If will take time because you do not know how she was treated in her other home... she just needs to know she is in a safe place and doesn't need to protect herself. Remember this will NOT happen overnight.... it takes time... correct her if she goes to bite by telling her no in a strong voice... but then do something that she likes and tell her good girl and give her a treat... My girls have issues at times... I tell them "hey quit it"... in a strong voice... once I get their attention, I give them a command to do something like sit or down... when the both respond positive I treat them... Again older/rescues have different social issues that you need to work through. Would have to ask, do you know anything about the breeding (sire/dam) of this girl? And if not it is important if not known if DNA tested for Fanconi or PRA that you get that done. It is a swab test that you order on ofa.org... you order the test and do the cheek swab and send it in for the results...


  • @cognition said in Our 2nd basenji has mean moments:

    When she is tired or sleeping you almost can't touch her cause wakes up growling and sometimes will lunge.

    This topic has come up fairly often before. I went back to see the previous responses, and found this interesting link . I do think this is much more common in Basenjis than I have observed in other dogs, but it is not unique. Objecting to being moved when fully awake is more of an "I don't want to" response, but either way, IMO, better to finesse than confront. However, be careful using treats to get your dog off the couch. Basenjis are very smart. You don't want to train her to snark so she will receive a goodie!


  • @eeeefarm - Very true.... no treat if they snark... but if you call them and wake them up and they awake and respond to you in an appropriate manner, treat is a good reward. And also if mine were to do that (however mine don't do either)... No treat... and they need to learn that they do not own the "couch"... or where they are sleeping.... also sitting next to them, not touching and talking to them... helps too.... however in this case you have another dog in the home... so there is competition and I would venture to guess that this girl was an only dog in her prior home? Also the leash that is what you call over the mouth is called a head halter, same as type typical to a horse halter that goes over the nose. It goes around the nose, not the mouth. And can work well for training and walking...


  • @tanza said in Our 2nd basenji has mean moments:

    also sitting next to them, not touching and talking to them.

    I used to do that, it worked well. Part of "finessing" the situation. Rudely pushing them off will quite often lead a previously mild response into a snarkier one! But IMO it is a "respect" issue, as in, if you want them to respect you, you need to respect them and ask politely. When push comes to shove, however, it is your couch, not theirs!

    Of course, the ultimate solution is to not allow dogs on the furniture, which was the case with my first Basenji, since it was my parents' home and their rules, so no couches for her! Or beds. She had a dog box in my room, from which I removed her every morning to loud complaints, but I needed to walk her before I left for work. I would phone home later and my mother would report that Val was back in her bed, sleeping in! Not an early riser, that girl.


  • @zande Thanks Sally, I'm taking your advice and trying to show a lot of love. She tries my patience at times but didn't know females and Tris were different.


  • @eeeefarm thank you for sharing that experience! I guess since our male B doesn't act this way I was surprised, but I'll try a combination of the advice received here. I'll be posting some other quirks about our first B soon that could use advice with.


  • @tanza yes she was the only girl in the home.. she is very territorial. Our breeder said to avoid Cesar Milan type training as basenjis respond to positive reinforcement... Thats why I wondered if the electric collar or mouth leash was negative...


  • @cognition said in Our 2nd basenji has mean moments:

    Thats why I wondered if the electric collar or mouth leash was negative...

    VERY negative !!! Somethings to leave in the back of cupboards or on the shelves in Pet Stores.


  • @cognition - Just curious about what you are calling a mouth leash? Never heard of a mouth leash, could you explain? Or are you talking about a Halti Head Collar (https://dogsnet.com/what-is-a-halti/). These work on the same principle as a Halter used on Horses. It does not go in the mouth, goes around the nose. They are pretty effective.


  • @tanza Yes I believe that is it! But I thought punishment isn't good to use on basenjis, only positive reinforcement.. do you think shock collars are also good?


  • @cognition - a Halti is not being mean... it is aligned to a halter for a horse... however a shock collar is MEAN>>> A Halti is not punishment it is used like a collar and leash...


  • @cognition a shock collar is punishment and mean as @tanza says..It should NEVER be used on a Basenji. A halti if you must but I would advocate a Gentle Leader.


  • @zande - Head collar and Halti are pretty close to one in the same. At least the ones that I have seen used. Basically used the same.


  • You have to be a little careful with head halters. Not a good idea to use them with a long line or flexi leash. Torquing the head around if they run and they hit the end could cause a problem, so like any other equipment care should be taken, particularly with introduction. Some dogs won't accept the nose loop easily. Also, be aware that some models can be backed out of, resulting in a loose dog. The best design I have seen is the Sporn head halter, because it pulls the muzzle down instead of to the side. It's effective and I think it is safer, and it also converts to a regular collar by slipping the loop off the dog's muzzle. My neighbour used one with their Golden Doodle to make her safe for their kids to walk. They had fingertip control over an exuberant dog, and as she got more reliable they mostly stopped using the nose piece, but it was immediately available if she got too wound up and tried pulling.

    Any equipment can be "mean" if used incorrectly. When a dog is on a leash you are using negative reinforcement to control them (pressure and release). If the dog ignores the pressure, as so many do, then the experience of walking on leash can become uncomfortable or even painful, since some dogs won't stop pulling even if they are choking and gagging trying to get at what they desire. Of course, the solution is proper training, but from what I see when I walk many people will not take the time and are being pulled around by their dogs, especially the ones being walked on harnesses....


  • @tanza Possibly a language problem - No-Pull and Halti are not the same as a Gentle Leader over here. Very different.


  • @eeeefarm said in Our 2nd basenji has mean moments:

    Of course, the solution is proper training, but from what I see when I walk many people will not take the time and are being pulled around by their dogs, especially the ones being walked on harnesses....

    Exactly !!! Put a harness on a dog and there is no need to bother to train it.

    That is it in a nutshell. Train your dog. Putting it into a harness is tantamount to admitting defeat (or unwillingness to put in the effort).


  • @zande - Head collar and Halti are pretty close to one in the same. At least the ones that I have seen used. Basically used the same.

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