Lenny nipped the neighborhood girl and then Tayda growled at her. ACK!

Ugh. So everytime I go out with Lenny and Tayda, the neighborhood kids always come over and want to pet them. I ALWAYS tell them to let the dogs approach them, and to hold their hands out palms down for them to sniff. And then once the dogs are satisfied with the sniffing, they can pet them on the head.

Today I was out with them, the neighborhood girl came running up, all excited to see the cute dogs. She has done this a gazillion times, and its never been a problem. She was really excited, running towards us flailing her arms, and Lenny got all excited too, he was pulling me on the leash, and I was holding him back. She stopped and let them sniff her, and then Lenny nipped her! I was so shocked, he's never done this before… not to people anyway. She looked scared and i asked to look at her leg. He did not break the skin but it was a little red. I think hope he was just excited and playing roughly. I"m sure he could have broken the skin if he wanted.

Then after that, the girl didn't seem all that deterred, she started petting Tayda and gave her a hug. As she put her arms around her I was just about to tell her not to do that, and then Tayda started growling. At that point, I said "ok, we need to go inside, they are misbehaving today"

This girl is always doing stuff like this... running up to us and wanting to pet them. Its not all that abnormal, but I guess I need to let her know that she has to be very calm when approaching us and not to grab Tayda in a full hug. Ugh.... I hate being the person with THAT dog....

Sorry, I'm just frusterated and venting...

And I realize that its not necessarily THEM not behaving, but I just wanted to get the heck out of there and back inside my house. I will lay down the rules to her next time i see her about how to and not to approach my dogs. I just hate having to be nervous about their reactions…

I wonder if she had some spilled food on her..something a basenji would want..
Just a thought.
Or, the dog could have just been overstimuled and this was one one kid that tipped the basenji over the edge.
When I was in a neighborhood with lots of kids, I ask them if they wanted to walk with us…so there was no sniffing, touching, dogs being held back, no greeting the children, but we walked like you do when you introduce new dogs to each other.
Once we went around the block and came back, I let the kids give the dogs a treat...
But then, we only had 4 or 5 kids.
The kids knew the rules, re dogs, touching and greeting and the walks.

It was probably the leash/barrier that caused him to overreact, combined with her unpredictable behavior. FTR…most Basenjis are THAT dog when it comes to being approached by kids (if they weren't raised in a home with kids that age) and about being hugged. And unfortuantely, it is usually a downward spiral where the dog is a little nervous, the human remember the last time the dog growled, tension goes down the leash, dog becomes more nervous, person become more nervous.

When kids meet and greet our dogs, I tell them to pet on the back, or under the neck, but not on the head. I hold the dogs head gently, so I am not creating pressure on the leash/neck, and also so I can control the head.

NOBODY is allowed to hug our dogs, except family (and a few extended family)...most of our dogs wouldn't care, most of the time, but all it takes is once....someone hugs, the dog growls, person moves away, voila...dog learns that works.

Unfortunately Basenjis ARE different, of course that is also why we love them. We can't just kick back like "normal" dog owners and let people fawn all over our dogs. We have to evaluate every situation to see how OUR dogs will do, and how we will manage each situation. We have to educate people, and advocate for dog safety all the time.

Barrier methods, re where the dog can move away or toward an object are different than leashed/restrained dogs yes?
If the dog was behind a baby gate when this child approched, the dog would have the option to move away.
Leashing is so "binding" to a dog…no way to get out, very much like a chained dog...
At least the above is my understanding..if I am wrong, please correct me.
I am always wanting to learn.

No, that is true Sharron…that is a perfect explanation of the difference for a fearful dog. But most leash aggression is considered a form of barrier aggression. Often if the dog is straining to get to the object, it is the same as a dog fence fighting with the neighbor. The barrier/leash creates frustration, and makes the dog react with aggression.

If a dog is on leash and is pulling/leaning away from the scary object, is pursued, and then bites...I would say a gate/fence barrier would help...and that is not barrier aggression, that would be fear aggression.

My rough guess is that Lenny was reprimanding this girl for a rude approach...and the pulling leash contributed to his attitude...By Lenny's mom's description he doesn't sound fear aggressive normally. I think his behavior sounds pretty normal for a Basenji 🙂

Again, this is not an exact science….definitions and opinions differ...this is my take on barrier aggression, vs. fear aggression...sometimes they overlap, a dog will have both behaviors in different situations.

Boy do I agree about hugging…. that is an avenue that I stay far away from..... My OJ has alway "disliked" children and he had interesting ways of showing it... one was when between the ages of 3 to 6 he figured out pretty quickly that they are unstable on their feet and got great pleasure jumping on them and watching them fall down... he would then stare at them... and that was the scary part... one that was put to an end pretty quickly. Maggii is another one that didn't like children.. while she would greet them, she would then retire to the couch.. and if they stayed away, fine, but any move that was in "her space" and she would react and growl... and there was no doubt this was a warning. So, when we have/had people in the house with young children, both of them got to greet them and then they were put up in their crates... and honestly, they were totally happy to do so....

I think one of the biggest things is to control the situations and don't put your Basenji in a situation that there is no easy solutions in their minds.

We live very close to an elementary school with a park and therefore see lots of kids. Most of the time as the kids are approaching a yell over to them that the dogs are working today and can not socialize. Most kids except the really young ones seem to accept that and leave me and the dogs alone or will ask what they are working on. So I ask the dogs for a sit or down and if they refuse all the better because then I can say, "see they need lots of practice today"

When we do let the kids meet the dogs again my husband and I always try to get their attention and lay down the ground rules before the kids actually reach the dogs. If they will not stop and listen then the dogs go behind me and I tell them the dogs can not meet people today.

One amazing thing that I have witnessed is the difference between Basenjis that were raised with a kid vs. those who weren't. It is like night and day! We socialized our older three Bs with other people's kids, and got them around kids…but it was nothing compared to the younger three being around a child every day. They don't even bat an eye about kids being around, particularly the youngest two that were born after Ethan. Nothing that kids do surprises them, because they have seen it all (well, most of it, anyway!).

I think this situation is largely a socialization deal...I mean, the more you can get young pups around kids of all ages, the better they will do...but being raised with kids seems to really fix the problem totally 🙂

Andrea this is very true and not just about kids. My friend has an 18 year old son with Down's syndrome and many dog's don't know what to make of him and even though he is very good with dogs he has been bit. The same friend had a rescue dog who had been on a farm tied up and had only seen his two "owners" prior to getting him. He would bark at every non-white person he saw because he had zero socialization as a puppy to other ethnicities. I do my best to socialize my puppies to as many different people of all shapes, sizes and colors so they learn that differences are "normal" but it is a continuing process.

@Quercus:

One amazing thing that I have witnessed is the difference between Basenjis that were raised with a kid vs. those who weren't. It is like night and day! We socialized our older three Bs with other people's kids, and got them around kids…but it was nothing compared to the younger three being around a child every day. They don't even bat an eye about kids being around, particularly the youngest two that were born after Ethan. Nothing that kids do surprises them, because they have seen it all (well, most of it, anyway!).

I think this situation is largely a socialization deal...I mean, the more you can get young pups around kids of all ages, the better they will do...but being raised with kids seems to really fix the problem totally 🙂

You'd sure think so, wouldn't you.

I have six kids, my best friend has seven. When we got Jazzy my friend and I were homeschooling our kids together three days a week.
Every Friday I have a mother's Bible Study at my home. We often have up to 20 kids here.
I took Jazzy to my kids' track meets every Saturday where she met lots of kids and never seemed to mind, in her puppy days, at all.

Then, one day when she was 1.5 yrs old, she decided she didn't like the little girl I babysit. She started growling when Anna walked in the door.
I did my best to keep them separate, but one day they wound up in the kitchen together – I'm not sure what happened, but I think it was a food issue because they were near the trash can; I think Anna was throwing away her napkin w/a bit of sandwich crust in it. Anna wound up being bitten in the face; there was a good bit of blood flow.

Now Jazzy doesn't like ANY kids to be in her home/yard except mine and my best friends', whom she treats almost as if they are her own. As soon as a child enters our house, her hackles go up, and she's growling.
She's actually managed to bite one little boy on the lip -- again, lots of blood! I try to keep the dogs out when the visiting kids are in, and in when the kids are out. But I didn't realize that little boy had gotten outside.

NOW I have two ex-pens hooked together and I just toss the dogs in there when kids are over. Jazzy doesn't try to get out, and Keoki doesn't try very hard, so it works well. I just make sure they have water and that part of their area is shaded and part is in sun. And the kids all understand that NO ONE is to play near the dog pen.

Oh - I should add that she is okay with Anna now -- it's been about a year since that bite. Anna can walk up and pet her w/no problem, but we never let her do more than a quick "hello Jazz" kind of pet, and then move on.

That is really interesting….did you have toddlers in your family while she was a puppy? Was she a baby puppy (eight - ten weeks) when she came into your home? Do you think the bites were guarding issues, like the sandwich bit episode? Did she get heavily reprimanded the first time she growled at a child?

Of course, there are some dogs that just don't like kids and/or strangers I suppose, but so much of it is socialization...

Ugh. So everytime I go out with Lenny and Tayda, the neighborhood kids always come over and want to pet them. I ALWAYS tell them to let the dogs approach them, and to hold their hands out palms down for them to sniff. And then once the dogs are satisfied with the sniffing, they can pet them on the head.

Today I was out with them, the neighborhood girl came running up, all excited to see the cutedogs. She has done this a gazillion times, and its never been a problem. She was really excited, running towards us flailing her arms, and Lenny got all excited too, he was pulling me on the leash, and I was holding him back. She stopped and let them sniff her, and then Lenny nipped her! I was so shocked, he's never done this before… not to people anyway. She looked scared and i asked to look at her leg. He did not break the skin but it was a little red. I think hope he was just excited and playing roughly. I"m sure he could have broken the skin if he wanted.

Then after that, the girl didn't seem all that deterred, she started petting Tayda and gave her a hug. As she put her arms around her I was just about to tell her not to do that, and then Tayda started growling. At that point, I said "ok, we need to go inside, they are misbehaving today"

This girl is always doing stuff like this... running up to us and wanting to pet them. Its not all that abnormal, but I guess I need to let her know that she has to be very calm when approaching us and not to grab Tayda in a full hug. Ugh.... I hate being the person with THAT dog....

Sorry, I'm just frusterated and venting...
Reply With Quote

Phoenix will do that also if some kid comes up to him all excited he/she just gets phoenix excited and he wants to play is all i usally have a few treats with me when i take them for a walk and when i come upon a kid going puppy crazy lol i'll ask them to have the dogs sit and then give them a treat. I've noticed when i did that Phoenix switched focus and wasn't gong crazy trying to jump and nip to play with the excited kids he would want to show then how good he is to get a treat lol 😃 haha it's amazing how dogs can turn there "charm" on to get cookies lol 🙂

Ours are around older kids a lot. One day I was walking the devil in tri's cloths and some little kid comes running up asking to pet the dog. I told him not to, it is not a good idea, but he keeps coming. He runs up to the dog (it's winter) the dog jumps up at him grabs his hand/mitten starts-growling and going half savage at the poor kid. He would not let go right away. Finally I pulled him off the kid and the kid gave me the most shocked look like "what's wrong with your dog?" and just walks away. The dog seamed more to be bullying or challenging the kid, not going into complete attack mode. He sure was not playing around and the kid knew it.

I was lucky he did not do any serious biting, but it was close to coming to that. I learned my lesson NEVER TO WALK THE DOGS CLOSE TO SCHOOL TIME, when all the kids walk home.

I had another time when some kid's walking a wild young lab with a inner spiked collar and stops some distance away from us and asks if our dogs can meet, I say No, sometimes he's not friendly, but again the kid does not listen and says my dog wont hurt him and he & the dog runs up to my dog all wild, my dog just let loose on the lab and bites him on the ear, the dog screams and the kid gives me the same look. I yelled at the kid and he & the dog ran home. Luckily, I or the dog did not get in trouble.

you run the guantlet when you walk a biter.

When people ask to pet my dogs, if I am walking Querk or Ivy, I just say "no, they bite"…pretty much stops everbody 😉 Querk wouldn't bite anybody..but he does growl sometimes; and Ivy, well, y'all know her story.

I have had parents actually thank me for warning them about not letting their kids pet our dogs.

@Barklessdog:

I have had parents actually thank me for warning them about not letting their kids pet our dogs.

yeah, it is a great learning experience for the kids (assuming no one is seriously hurt, of course). Sometimes an experience like that gets thru much easier than a million repetitions from the parents.

I try not to let kids near Senji either. I tell them he doesn't like strangers. Sometimes these little kids are so darned quick though! If they're running towards him, I usually hide him behind me, or move his face away from them. I also tell them again not to touch him. He does fine with my nieces now…he spent the first 5 years of his life living with them. He likes them now, knowing that he doesn't have to live with them.:D
For some reason, he really HATES teenage boys, and will growl and baroo loudly at them. I think he still remembers boys who taunted him when he was living with my brother and his family. They used to tie him out on a long leash outside.

I went to a class this last weekend…clicker training with a halti caller and a harness.
So interesting, sort of what they do with horses.
B's who like food, and mine will tap dance almost for cheese, were suprising good accepting the halti.
But they didn't just slap it on and say, take that...they worked up to the halti, with small strips that drap over the b's nose.
Doing that type of slow start, with cheese as the bonus, worked for mine.
I hope you can find a good trainer to help you keep the dog focused on you when you have these type of things happen.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.