• <>
    I don't intend to make you feel like you are mismanaging my dog...but I have a dog just like this...she has bitten two people and drawn blood, and at least as many where she snapped and made grazing contact.
    She doesn't get to meet new people unless I can completely control the situation...meaning I keep her on a leash...I have to know that the people she is meeting will completely follow my instructions (most people at that point don't care to meet her). I don't walk in situations where I would need to tie her somewhere, because it would be impossible for me to completely monitor the situation. She doesn't get to sniff new dogs, she doesn't get to play with new dogs. She certainly doesn't get to be around ANY children other than our own child, and even then, only under supervison. I have to be very careful where I leave her if we have to have someone care for dogs....there are very few people I trust to keep her safe from herself. Often, if I can't supervise, she is crated.
    So, yes her life is VERY controlled, and very limited...it certainly isn't the ideal perfect doggy life...but it is better than euthanasia, I am sure she would agree. That is what I mean when I say that this kind of dog, and the amount of rehab required is more than most pet people want......most people want a nice dog that can be around other dogs, and other people and not have to be a constant concern.
    With a dog like this, you don't have the luxury of learning slowly. The dog MUST be protected from himself 100% right now. You have to assume he WILL bite, and then count yourself lucky if you slip up and he doesn't bite.
    I do argree with Arlene, that you should seek out a behaviorist that will teach you how to manage his behavior better. You can improve his attention to you, but the situation will always have to managed.


  • @TuckerVA:

    Then he was adopted by a couple in Chicago. They told me he was a good dog, never biting or anything like that UNTIL they moved to Boston and the mom got pregnant. Tucker then bit two children (because the children ran at him waving arms and whatnot) and also bit the daddy. I imagine he was protective of the pregnant mother. They feared that Tucker would bite the child, so they, too, put him up for adoption.
    Along comes me, who adopts Tucker from BRAT

    Am I to understand that Tucker had bitten three different people and BRAT adopted him out anyway? đŸ˜•


  • Instead of having "strangers" give the dog a cookie, try having them toss the cookie to the dog and then walk away.
    If they are in your home, have them go to a place away from the dog and not look at Tucker.
    Have them randomly toss a cookie toward Tucker, without looking at him.
    Do this until Tucker comes over and sniffs the treat tosser.
    Then, again, without looking at Tucker directly, have the visitor drop a treat
    by the chair.
    Just do this until Tucker is able to relax with a new person coming into your home, NOT looking at Tucker, and giving him small treats.something wonderful like small pieces of cheese, or nuked hot dogs, something he gets at no other time.
    Once he is good with being calm when the person is sitting, have the person stand…once is he calm with that, have the person, walk slowly around the room, but not 'charging' Tucker.
    IMO, this boy has learned to bite first and this has worked for him...
    He has kept people away from him and that is the bad learning he has had.
    Teaching him that strangers can give good treats in a non threating way, might be a way to start him relearning to trust.
    It won't be quick, but it can help.
    Getting a trainer who knows damaged dogs and basenjis and having them come to your home, eval the dog and help you would be the way to go.
    The above might help in the mean time.


  • Dear TuckerVA,
    My boyfriend Brian & I are hard core Cesar fans. We have the book, rent all the episodes from Netflix and I have been to his seminar in Beverly Hills. At his seminar the woman in the seat behind me was the owner of two basenjis an traveled the 3 hours to learn from Cesar. Just from personal experience we have used some of his training methods and they have worked with our basenji!!!
    I may not agree with "everything" he says we do think he is amazing. His formula is simple 50% exercise 25% discipline and last 25% affection. We live by his formula and trust me it shows in our dog.
    If Cesar is going to be in your area I say take advantage of it. Think of it this way if you get accepted you get a free session with Cesar, you might be on T.V., your getting a different perspective on your problem, and if you disagree with his methods you never have to use them. Good luck to you and your dog. I dont have experience with a bite dog so I'm sorry I dont have any tips there, I just wanted to comment on the Cesar thing you were thinking about.


  • My only concern with anyone who uses harsh methods on an already damaged dog, is that it just makes the dog react in an aggressive manner.
    Don't get me wrong, Ceser M. has saved many dogs who needed help, but imo, he is harsh in his training.
    Some dogs handle this…some don't.
    A dog who is already having issues with people,again imo, needs kindness and to relearn that humans can give good things.


  • @sharronhurlbut:

    My only concern with anyone who uses harsh methods on an already damaged dog, is that it just makes the dog react in an aggressive manner.
    Don't get me wrong, Ceser M. has saved many dogs who needed help, but imo, he is harsh in his training.
    Some dogs handle this…some don't.
    A dog who is already having issues with people,again imo, needs kindness and to relearn that humans can give good things.

    Ditto! I am pretty sure that Cesar's methods would completely ruin this dog.


  • @Quercus:

    Just FTR, I have been bitten by a dog as I was handing him treats. Something that I learned just recently, is that it is more effective for the owner to feed the dog treats as a stranger approaches. With a dog that is at all questionable, a stranger offering a treat can be really conflicting, and will draw a hungry dog towards something that they would rather move away from.

    Oh that's terrible! Certainly, I can see caution in the wind with this experience. Guess you have to know your kids before you'd just let people interact. However, with my two, Duke is an instant friend to whoever has a goody for hiim. That is why I offered this tidbit of social interaction. I liken Sharron's advice to toss a "cookie/treat" to dog. No way for dog to directly come in contact with hand or fingers. I have no experience with raising adult dogs. Both of mine were pups when acquired.

    TuckerVA - You have advice here from very experienced trainers - and Basenji owners to boot! You're doing a great job caring for Tucker. Kudos to you for moving forward in seek of the best advice and training you can get. I sense you and Tucker are bonded well together. Prayers that he senses to understand your mission for him to have a good, happy and continued life with you.


  • I must tell you, having been learning about dogs that are "reactive"…things you don't even notice can set them off.
    Like someone leaning over to greet them, instead of standing up straight, can set a dog off.
    Someone with a smell the dog has as a bad one...that type of thing...can set the dog up to fail and we aren't even aware of it.
    I have lived with biting dogs...I tried very hard to keep them from "issues" that would set them off...but if you don't know, then its tough.
    I really do suggest you get a professional dog behaviorist who work only in positive ways and have them come eval your boy.


  • <


  • I would give your dog the chance to have a behaviorist/trainer work with him for a couple of months.


  • I dont think Cesar is a harsh trainer with all the dogs. I have been watching all the episodes an his style varies from each situation. For example just the other day I saw an episode with a Shiba Inu he barely touched and he was very gentle. Or the episode where he told the woman she did not need to yell at her dog to get the point across. He can be a gentle trainer if he feels it fits the bill.


  • @vstripe:

    I dont think Cesar is a harsh trainer with all the dogs. I have been watching all the episodes an his style varies from each situation. For example just the other day I saw an episode with a Shiba Inu he barely touched and he was very gentle. Or the episode where he told the woman she did not need to yell at her dog to get the point across. He can be a gentle trainer if he feels it fits the bill.

    I do think that Cesar has a lot of common sense advice for dog owners, and a few useful techniques for the type of training I like to teach. But it is absolutely punishment based training…that works great for a lot of dogs. Not for most Basenjis, though. I would much rather go with a reward based training program, you can get the same results, and have a dog that respects you because all good things comd from you, not because they are afraid of you.

    The shows that I have watched are heavily edited to make every case a happy ending...remember, it is TV you don't see what training techniques are used when the camera is off. I suspect Cesar has made an effort to appear "more gentle" because he is receiving so much criticism from the more progressive positive reinforcement training community; and because his main TV star competition, Tamar Gellar is gaining great notoriaty as a gentle, and effective trainer.


  • @YodelDogs:

    Am I to understand that Tucker had bitten three different people and BRAT adopted him out anyway? đŸ˜•

    The information that BRAT received/I saw on the site, was that he had only bitten one person, a 14yo boy. When I emailed the previous owner yesterday, I think she slipped up because she made reference to Tucker biting a 10yo boy AND her husband. I have mixed feelings about the previous owners. They had Tucker for 3 years so I would ASSUME that they dealt with him okay. If you're not B material, you know pretty much right away! đŸ™‚ Apparently, the biting was enough for them to put him up for adoption to 'protect' their baby to be. I emailed with her extensively initially, before and after I picked Tucker up. It was always that he had only been one person. (Mind you, she also told me Tucker could only go 5 or 6 hours before he had to go out to take a leak, I've had him go up to 14hrs now (example: 7pm until 9am next morning, not 14 hours of awake time).

    I imagine that BRAT didn't get all of the facts, at least not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, if you get my drift…and I imagine there is some level of embellishment from the previous owner who wants to get rid of the dog.

    I think there is a bit of a disconnect with BRAT, but it's understandable. While a noble organization, they simply don't have staffing required for every interviewer to know every dog and what goes on in the foster homes. Tucker isn't going to bite you once he's been introduced properly. Therefore, the fosterer's experience is that Tucker is not a biter. Therefore, the fosterer only knows what the previos owner tells them. Therefore, the person who interviewed me only knows what the fosterer knows and what the previous owner has told them. By the time the information gets to me, its saturated and probably 'not a big issue since it was an isolated incident'...

    So, to answer your question, YES! BRAT adopted him out anyway.


  • So all of you want to protect a dog who has bitten on previous occasions by not socializing him?? Sorry, doesn't make sense to me-as I said this was in MY opinion, without seeing the dog, and I DID say he should see a behaviourist-not a trainer-two different people. A trainer will correct the behaviour-a behaviourist will figure out what the behaviour is caused from and figure out a way to alleviate the root of the problem.


  • Sorry I have to disagree with you guys on this one. I don't think to keep this dog unsocialized is a good thing it will make him more aggreesive not to see other people. As I said-a behaviourist should be consulted not a trainer. A trainer will try to train the behaviour out of the dog. A behaviourist will try to find out what the problem is and address the problem.


  • @nomrbddgs:

    So all of you want to protect a dog who has bitten on previous occasions by not socializing him?? Sorry, doesn't make sense to me-as I said this was in MY opinion, without seeing the dog, and I DID say he should see a behaviourist-not a trainer-two different people. A trainer will correct the behaviour-a behaviourist will figure out what the behaviour is caused from and figure out a way to alleviate the root of the problem.

    In my experience, this problem isn't about socialization. I have a dog like this…she was very well socialized as a puppy, she is very well bred, she has a temperament problem...it happens. About 90% of the people she meets she is great with...it is the 10% that scares me...and I can't predict when it will happen. Usually she will bite when she feels cornered, or in danger. She has improved with training...but I still don't trust her when meeting new people, I doubt I ever will.

    I don't disagree with your assertion that these type of dogs can improve with a good behaviorist, and management and training plan...that is absolutely true. But it is my feeling that these dogs will never be "fixed"..there will always be the possibility that they will use their mouths again.

    Dogs like this usually blossom with experienced trainers, or people that totally commit to become aggression experts. They aren't suitable pets for your average person who just wants a nice dog. As you know, there are no quick fixes for this type of situation, it is a lifelong commitment from the owner...and left with no intervention it only gets worse.


  • Absolutely true, Andrea! I guess this is what I am getting at also. To not do anything would not be right either. If you truly want to manage this dog it is a commitment and it will never be a pet. But this can be a managed dog. But I still feel to not socialize this dog and to keep this dog "hidden" would not help the situation.


  • You all have some very good advice. I have watched Ceaser and agree and disagree with his methods, but they always seem to work out nicely on TV.
    TuckerVA-please don't take this the wrong way, but if he is biting all these people, why is he exposed to so many? I think every interaction with a person should be very controlled and so that he feel calm and comfortable. If people are over and you can not keep him close to you and away from others then he should be put up where he feels safe. I agree that he feel stresses when approached and bites as a reaction that has worked in the past. Only allowing him to approach people on his terms would be the best way to start until he feels comfortable. I think it will take a very long time to correct this behavior and he should be kept where he feels safe.

    As far as BRAT or any other rescue org, they can only deal with what they are told and what they personally experience.


  • <>
    Absolutely...and I never intended to imply that the dog should be hidden. But there are some situations with my girl when she is put in a crate in a room with a locked door...for instance when my son (3) has friends over. I can't take the risk that she will bite, and she very well might, in this situation. Or when we have 20+ people and their dogs over for Christmas...most of our dogs go to a spare room during this time. It is too much for them.
    But, I digress. Ivy can go for walks anywhere, she can go to training classes, she goes to the vet and the kennel and does just fine....people can visit our house and meet her (if they want to)...but these are all things that I manage very carefully, I can't take my attention off of her. And I don't allow strangers to reach for her...period.


  • Too true Andrea-I have to manage Shadow the same way most of the time he is fine, but there are times when he gets over stimulated or someone comes in (usually men) and he must be removed from the situation.

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