• Hey everybody,

    Our older male (2.5yrs) has calmed down an awful lot but still isn’t great while the younger (1.5yrs) seems to be getting worse and worse. I’m wondering whether their being intact can have anything to do with this?

    Most of the issues are when walking, with them being incredibly erratic and overstimulated (birds, people in the distance, dogs, DOG PEE), making it almost impossible to break their focus. They’re perfect indoors, but when outside I feel like I completely lose control of them. We’ve worked so hard with loose leash training, walking them separately etc, but it gets especially bad if:

    1. We walk in a new/unfamiliar area
    2. They can see another dog (lunging, whimpering, occasional screaming)
    3. They can smell another dog (lunging)
    4. They are walking together (competing to get to smells)

    The younger will lunge HARD towards any pee and desperately try to lick it, while the older also does this but with a little less intensity. I know this is also a training issue, but if neutering would help to stop this behaviour I would be over the moon—taking them out is super stressful and I’d love to be able to take them out more often rather than having to brace myself for the ordeal.

    We’re in a new area for the next month, it’s very very quiet but the behaviour has somehow gotten worse! And it seems to be entirely driven by the smell of other dogs. If this is a training issue then I’ll work with somebody but if it’s an intact-basenji thing then I need to deal with it 😔


  • I don't have a solution for you but I can definitely relate. Its been especially tough since I've been ill. I somewhat resent trying to walk him as there are SO many distractions outside 😞 More importantly, it's just unsafe.. almost lost him the other day because an unexpected guest came by my neighbors and left the door wide open.

    Once I'm a bit more up for it, I'm going to try training with extremely high value treats (real meat) and see how that goes.. but man.. he is just so damn pumped once we're outside it's as if we never put in the many hours of training. I mean, honestly, even indoors he is very, VERY excitable. Noises he's heard 100 times over, a person outside, etc. he reacts to as if its the first time it ever occurred.

    Good luck to you!

    p.s. my boy is neutered so I don't think being intact is necessarily a concern or driver here


  • Sounds like there is some competitive drive going on here. Or perhaps there is a bitch in season nearby? It is that time of year. Also, two males works until it doesn't, but at least they are not being aggressive with each other at this point. My girls would have a go at each other if another dog was annoying them (if you can't bite the one you want, bite the one you're with!), transferred aggression. Although it is harder when you have two, the basic rule applies: the dog never gets what he wants (smelling, licking, whatever) by pulling. Only on a slack leash does he get to approach the object of his desires. Yes, it's a nuisance to have to enforce, but it's the only way I know to maintain manners. If it's impossible to deal with when you have both, back to walking one at a time until the manners improve. If approaching another dog results in pulling/lunging, turn around and go the other way. When the leash is slack, try turning back again, but be ready to "rinse, repeat". Good luck. (neutering might help, but no guarantees)


  • @castoinde - Typical reaction to thinking it is Basenji breeding season, regardless if he is neutered or not.... or if there is a bitch in your area in season... And since I read that they are intact, I would say that they believe it is Basenji breeding season or there is a bitch in the area in season.


  • Thanks for all of your replies, this didn’t happen last year so who knows what triggered it! I have a consultation with a vet tomorrow but would rather avoid neutering because they have no aggression issues whatsoever, and there are lots of intact dogs around which they get along with.

    re: comments about redirecting frustration or being aggressive towards each other: they occasionally squabble as all dogs do. But both the boys are well mannered with each other and have learned to share their space. I know this is apparently unusual, but I couldn’t be happier with their behaviour towards each other which is why they aren’t neutered already—I know it can trigger changes. I’m hoping this new obsession passes soon


  • @castoinde said in Issues with overstimulation:

    But both the boys are well mannered with each other and have learned to share their space.

    File under "works until it doesn't". Yes, some males share space with other males just fine. The age of the younger male tells me you may possibly have to deal with this at some point as he matures. Two bitches can actually be more of an issue. I was lucky and had two that got along and continued to get along, but I know same sex multiples have the potential to be trouble. Opposite sex is generally more likely to work well....


  • @castoinde - Your 1 1/2yr old is getting boyish maturity... with intacts, this could be the issue that the younger is trying to upstage to older one and be "king" of the pack.... as we say, same sex works till it doesn't.... And I doubt that neuter will change the issue... as neutered Basenji males for the most part have the same instinct as intact males when it comes to bitches in season or Basenji breeding season. With neutered males and Basenji bitches in season, we breeders call that "safe sex".... my 9yr old male years ago was neutered at 4yrs, at 9 he tied my one bitch.... My Franie's litter brother would tie bitched in season exactly when they were "ripe" for breeding... again, safe sex.... sigh... LOL


  • They are stuck on lead and bored, you own a basenji. If you don’t trust them off lead, get them on a long line and let them explore. They are trying to be dogs and they aren’t able to.

    A over stimulated dog means you aren’t meeting it’s needs so to them “they NEED to get over to the dog across the field or they see a bird and they NEED to chase. My basenjis chase birds but come back straight after because they are stimulated and they are not desperate to get everything.

    Start doing more stimulating things on walks instead of loose leading walking; you’ll find once you start meeting their needs and let them be a dog the pulling will reduce because you are providing for them.

    What I do with my basenjis is bring their daily allowance of food on the walks and throw their food around in a spot and let them sniff out their food. Usually 15mins a day.

    They are a sight hound and scent hound so I use a flirt pole at least twice a week and let them chase a fluffy toy

    Lastly I do tug of war with them which love.

    Good luck 😊


  • IMO it is a myth that Basenjis cannot have good manners on a walk. Yes, great if you can do off leash, but when circumstances dictate that a leash is necessary then walking calmly without a lot of drama and pulling should be achievable. Personally I do not like long lines or flex leashes. Or allowing dogs to eat whatever they find on the ground, which can in some cases earn you a trip to the vet or worse. Like most dogs, Basenjis are not overly discriminant about what they will ingest. A short leash and being observant can protect them from unwelcome outcomes. Mental exercise will also go a long way with any dog. But one should have a definite opinion about who is running the show, and it should not be the dog....they are quite willing to take up the position should you abdicate.

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