Does anyone have any advice out there on how I can get my female Basenji, Tosca, to be better around other dogs? We got her from a shelter in February, so we have had her a couple of months. She is our only and first dog. She has adjusted great to our home, and causes very little trouble in general, except when she has to be around other dogs. With people, even children, she is extremely calm and gentle. She lets my little neices and nephew poke, prod, and pick at her and she doesn't care at all.
However, being around other dogs is a different story. So far I have only seen two dogs that she can be around without a problem. One is a male cocker spaniel and my brother and sister and law have. The other is a female bigger dog of some sort (I don't know the breed, maybe a golden retriever?). With these two dogs she just sniffs them and peacefully goes about her own business.
Any other dog I have seen her with, big or small, she growls at and tries to attack (I think, we have never let her actually do it). She starts by circling and sniffing them, then makes this HORRIBLE devilish growl/hissing sound, and then attempts to go after them. She has always been on a leash in this situation, so she has never been allowed to actually go after them, we always pull her back. This is problematic, because my other brother and sister in law have a lab and a german shorthair, and when we were with them this weekend she did this constantly. Luckily they were easy going dogs and if we tied Tosca up outside they left her alone, so she wasn't near them to go after them. However, I am worried about this because eventually we will be going down to thier house for the weekend to visit, and I don't know what to do. I cannot crate her the whole time at their house, and in the winter I cannot leave her outside all day. Also, I cant make the other family put their dogs outside when we are visiting, thats not fair.
My brother and law said we should just let them try going at it, that they just might be playing and have to get it out of their systems, but I am leery of doing this, as I don't know what Tosca will do, and if she actually attacks I will feel very bad about it, and if they get angry and attack her she is dead meat since she is about a quarter thier size.
Does anyone have any advice about this? Is it normal for dogs to do this when they first meet, and how can I tell if they are playing fighting, or fighting for real? Also, any tips on how I can get her to better socialize with other dogs so we don't constantly have this problem any time we take her to a house with another dog present?
When we got her from the humane society, they said in her previous home she did live with other dogs, but that she was once attacked by a bigger dog, so that may have something to do with it, but its confusing to me because one of the dogs she gets along great with is big and also a female, like Tosca is. So I dont' know, sorry if this makes no sense, its kind of hard to explain without rambling, but any advice anyone has for me would be great!
Thanks in advance