Is this temporary???

Hello all,

This is only my second post but the first one was very helpful so Im on to my second question. Here is the history:

We got Dane (7month old) about 6 weeks ago. A week and a half ago we got Bella (71/2 months) from a rescue. She is (or at least has been) sooooooo good with and for Dane. They have played, rough housed and done the B 500 many times in the past 11 days. Then a few days ago we took them to the dog park. We have taken them there several times in the past and it has always been a positive experience. However, several days ago when we went there was a very aggressive Whippet who's owner was to busy chatting it up with a blond on the bench to pay attention to his dog. He terrorized Bella until we could finally get to her (she is fast and he kept chasing her). Her shackles were raised and she was screaming every time he tried to "nip" at her. The next day (I wrote a health post on this) I took her for a walk and then to the dog park. She was very standoffish at the park and then when we got home she seemed very lathargic. Well, I assumed she had just gotten over-heated and I babied her for the rest of the day and today. Anyway, now she is growling at Dane and her shackles are at their height every time Dane tries to wrestle with her and play. Dane is like "What did I do?" everytime she does this. I should mention that we know little of her first home but we do know that one of the dogs there hated her and actually she was given up because they were afraid he was really going to hurt her. So she may have been hurt before. OK,,,,,,,all this for the questions. Do you think she will play with Dane the same anymore? What can we do to make her feel safe? Dane is a very low-key b – very mellow-- but he is really confused as to what happened to his fun playmate. Should we keep him away from her for a while? Thanks fore getting this far in the long post but I am really worried.

I am a firm believer that they should really be left alone to deal with their issues. I would keep a close eye on them but not interfere unless the one dog becomes noticeably scared or anxious and then separate them. It sounds to me like Bella is telling Dane to back off. And he needs to learn to respect that. Basenji's in general do things on their terms and not anyone else's-including other B's.
I am sure she will play when she wants to and not necessarily when he wants to. I would give them the time to work it out but keep a close eye out for stress.

As for the dog park, inattentive owners are one of the reasons many people on here do not take their dogs. I love them and take our dogs often. Usually it is Dash annoying the other dogs so I am not sure what to tell you there. Is there an area for other dogs-bigger or smaller-you can take her to get away from the other dog? I know if I notice an intact male coming in, I leave. They are just to aggressive and Dash wants to take them on.

On another note, I saw on a another post that it takes a new dog about 4 months to get used to its new surroundings, so I would give her her space and let her kind of get used to the new everything on her own.

Just my .02. Best of luck to you!

Is she spayed? If not, she may be coming into heat…girls can turn into super crabby beings about a month before they start to bleed.

Yep, she is spayed. Maybe this is normal behavior– trying to decide who is the alpha. Im just not sure.

I agree with Andrea likely a heat cycle and even if she has been spayed there are still some 'seasonal' type hormones running around for a while AND if your boy was only neutered recently - I've been told that the male hormone takes almost 6 months to a year to dissapate.

On the dog park thing,,,,,we are in the process of building a 1/2 acre fence (costing a small forture but they are worth it) around the back of our house. We have decided we will be inviting well behaved dogs over for play-dates instead of the dog park from now on.

Interesting on the hormones thing. I had no idea. I think I might take her to the vet tomorrow just to be on the safe side. I have read on some of the other posts that sudden personality changes can be caused by pain. Maybe she is hurting.

Dash,

How do you really know if one is becoming scared or nervous. When their hair stands up– when you can see their top teeth--when they are trying to bite after a long growl? We are fairly new and some of the ways they used to play seemed pretty rough. Bella has really changed though,,,,,shackles are up, teeth are showing etc. Im afraid of her hurting Dane.

@luvsmy2bs:

Dash,

How do you really know if one is becoming scared or nervous. When their hair stands up– when you can see their top teeth--when they are trying to bite after a long growl? We are fairly new and some of the ways they used to play seemed pretty rough. Bella has really changed though,,,,,shackles are up, teeth are showing etc. Im afraid of her hurting Dane.

Does Dane back off when she growls? If so, she is probably just telling him "enough!"

There is a reason why there is a certain connotation with the word "bitch"…or there is a reason why they are called "bitches"....often between a male and female there is a lot of noise, posturing, but not much danger. They do need to sort things out in the beginning of a relationship. But since they are both adults, be wary, but try not to intervene unless it looks like they are going to engage in a fight. If the female is being the aggressor, the male will let you know if there is going to a real fight or not (in my experience)...if he is acting silly, and hopping around, or trying to stay out of her way, he is not interested in fighting.

Hope that helps.....

Oh, and the dog park thing….I just don't use them. Dog parks are (in general) a recipe for disaster for Basenjis (I know there are quite a few of you that use them here, so don't be upset) But Bs are hyper-critical of dog manners…if a dog acts at all inappropriately a B will take offense.

Bella was probably terrified when that dog was chasing her around..and yes, she is probably overly sensitive to other dog interactions right now. Don't keep Dane away from her...just try to distract them when they start to get snarky. It is way too early to tell how she will be with other dogs...it takes many months for some dogs to get settled into their new homes.

Did you get her from BRAT, or a breeder?

Thanks for the info! One last thing. What do you do if there is a fight. Someone told me to use a baby gate or a broom to seperate them.

As for Dane leaving her alone– he act like he doesnt get it. He just keeps coming back for more, even after she is showing teeth, snarling and trying to nip at him. A few times he has shown teeth too. Thats when we were like "OK,,,enough!!" but my husband was home and he helped. I am worried that I would get scared and not know what to do (I feel silly saying that because I feel like I am a pretty stong woman). I know that would just make the situation worse.

We got her from Brat. She is a beauty– so graceful when she runs!

@luvsmy2bs:

Thanks for the info! One last thing. What do you do if there is a fight. Someone told me to use a baby gate or a broom to seperate them.

As for Dane leaving her alone– he act like he doesnt get it. He just keeps coming back for more, even after she is showing teeth, snarling and trying to nip at him. A few times he has shown teeth too. Thats when we were like "OK,,,enough!!" but my husband was home and he helped. I am worried that I would get scared and not know what to do (I feel silly saying that because I feel like I am a pretty stong woman). I know that would just make the situation worse.

Well…I do what you aren't supposed to do, and I just grab their collars and pull them apart. That may make it worse, because as soon as you grab a riled up dog's collar, it escalates her adrenaline. Then I usually will sit/kneel/stand and talk calmly while still holding onto both dog's collars; until both dogs are calm...and then I will try to shimmy one behind a closed door (where there isn't another dog)...or I will try to pick one up one handed, and hold her high until I can get into another space; hopefully after the calming down phase the dog on the ground isn't still trying to get to the one in my arms. Sounds like fun huh?

Don't let this scare you...you probably won't see fights like this....we have multiple intact females, several of whom wish to be top bitch.

Other effective fight splitters are buckets/hose of water, laundry basket or garbage can (over one dog); brooms are had to actually get the dogs apart, and the more you bat at them, the more angry they will get.

And remember that the basenji pack is typically ruled by an Alpha Bitch. You may have a combination of things going on that is not related to the dog park, I concur with Andrea by the way - I think Dog Parks are dangerous for health and wellbeing of all dogs and are particularly difficult to basenjis. After all the other dogs may not know that the basenji is the ruler of all she sees, or hears, or sniffs or….....

I would expect that she is positioning herself in your 'pack' and her need to exert this dominance may have been precipitated by the dog park incident but likely would have happened anyway. She is likely not an alpha either because a true alpha would have cleaned the Whippets clock. More likely an Alpha wanna B - trying to control something when she clearly doesn't have control of the dog park.

I realized that in all the posting I did, I never actually answered your original question 😉 Is it temporary? Probaby, yes. That would be my hunch…

Thank you all sooooooooo much!!! I love this site!

Sounds to me like they are trying to work out the pack order… remember typically it takes a new dog in the house a couple of weeks... to get settled... so the "honeymoon" is now over and they need to work out the issues.... and who is "top" dog...

Also sometimes throwing a big heavy blanket over them with distract them enough to stop a fight...

It also takes time for a dog to be comfortable and confident at dog parks, many people forget that.

It sounds like there is a lot of posturing to start with which gives you a chance to distract and redirect.

@Quercus:

Well…I do what you aren't supposed to do, and I just grab their collars and pull them apart. That may make it worse, because as soon as you grab a riled up dog's collar, it escalates her adrenaline. Then I usually will sit/kneel/stand and talk calmly while still holding onto both dog's collars; until both dogs are calm...and then I will try to shimmy one behind a closed door (where there isn't another dog)...or I will try to pick one up one handed, and hold her high until I can get into another space; hopefully after the calming down phase the dog on the ground isn't still trying to get to the one in my arms. Sounds like fun huh?

This is exactly what I do if mine get into an altercation. I place the subordinate in a down position (submissive position) and the alpha in a sit (neutral position) with me in the middle. I keep the dogs in these positions until they are calm. I can usually turn them loose and its all over but if they are still feeling fiesty, I crate them for a cooling off period. This process works and it has been a key to my being able to run large packs of Basenjis together with very, very few altercations.

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