Basenji Growling & Aggression
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  • S

    Did you take her to any gentle obedience classes?
    If not, its not too late.
    This sounds like a behavior issue and if so, it can be reversed.
    BUT you will need to do some work.

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  • F

    Hi, thanks for the timely responses. Yes, she has had training but the training at home has been inconsistent. Also, our trainer had us using a shock collar so she couldn't run away.
    As far as the biting/growling…it started about a year ago, occassionally...I would be holding her and people would approach and her hair would go up and she'd snap. Also, if she is lying with me on the couch or in bed (she isn't allowed to anymore) and someone approached they would be attacked, like a snake striking out of the blue. She has only growled at me and I have firmly held her down and won, she has never bitten me and interestingly enough, I don't fear her biting me. She now growls at strangers that approach her while we are walking. She is very loving and playful otherwise but this has escalated within the last six months.

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  • F

    Hi, thanks for the timely responses. Yes, she has had training but the training at home has been inconsistent. Also, our trainer had us using a shock collar so she couldn't run away.
    As far as the biting/growling…it started about a year ago, occassionally...I would be holding her and people would approach and her hair would go up and she'd snap. Also, if she is lying with me on the couch or in bed (she isn't allowed to anymore) and someone approached they would be attacked, like a snake striking out of the blue. She has only growled at me and I have firmly held her down and won, she has never bitten me and interestingly enough, I don't fear her biting me. She now growls at strangers that approach her while we are walking. She is very loving and playful otherwise but this has escalated within the last six months.

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  • S

    A shock collar should never be used on a basenji or any dog IMO.
    Also, holding her down isn't the way to get her past this issue.
    It can make her respond in an even more angry manner.
    Hands and humans should never be something a basenji fears..that makes fear biters.
    I think you really need to get a basenji smart person over to your home to watch the dog and the family interact.
    If you listen to what they say, they can help you get past this.
    IMO, and I don't mean to be critical, your going down the wrong path here with this manhandling.

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  • @sharronhurlbut:

    A shock collar should never be used on a basenji or any dog IMO.
    Also, holding her down isn't the way to get her past this issue.
    It can make her respond in an even more angry manner.
    Hands and humans should never be something a basenji fears..that makes fear biters.
    I think you really need to get a basenji smart person over to your home to watch the dog and the family interact.
    If you listen to what they say, they can help you get past this.
    IMO, and I don't mean to be critical, your going down the wrong path here with this manhandling.

    I agree… but still first I would make sure there is nothing medically wrong.. and especially her Thyroid.... You might also want to look into a behaviorist instead of a trainer that uses manhandling and shock collars... dogs, all dogs and especially Basenjis respond to reward based training, not force...

    Have you talked to her breeder?

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  • S

    Try an earn to get approch to training.
    She has to sit before she eats, sit before she gets to sit by you on the couch, sit before she can go walkies..
    Try to be calm and consistant.
    That is what I would do..

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  • @sharronhurlbut:

    Try an earn to get approch to training.
    She has to sit before she eats, sit before she gets to sit by you on the couch, sit before she can go walkies..
    Try to be calm and consistant.
    That is what I would do..

    And great advise…. first (OK, so I am the broken record) please make sure there is not a medical issue going on... however that said.. the advise above is correct medical issue or not

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  • First Basenji's

    Hi I'm new to this, and was scrolling down the forum on Basenji behavior. What ever happened to your dog's escalating aggression? what did you do? thanks

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  • T

    I think I read that Basenji's are on duty at night. Protecting. They want to sleep with their back to you, so they can be ready to protect you. It could be that the doxy alarms the basenji. Just a thought.

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  • S

    Often, when you change your behavior to change your b's behavior, they get worse before they get better.
    They want to see if they can make things go back to the way it was, ie, the way the did what they wanted to.
    Does this answer your question?
    You just have to stick to your rules and going to a training class can help you.
    Myself, my dogs sleep with me and there is no rule about entering rooms.
    BUT they can't show any type of "issue" when I move them from a sleeping spot, or
    want them to quit begging at the table.
    It didn't happen quickly, but just took the whole family being consistant.

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  • In our house, first when the kids were young they all slept in crates… when I traveled to shows they were beds dogs... as they got older, the oldest ones some of the nights had bed priviledges... and when they were old elders total bed dogs... However that said... if they ever growled being moved or when you got in bed, they instantly became crate dogs again.... and they got the message, period...

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  • S

    I have found that now, all I have to do is give whatever b is in trouble, a hard eye stare, they look away, yawn and stop what they are doing.
    But I also practice soft eye talk with them.
    So, it helps us both read each other.

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  • M

    Hello to all, well a lot to say about Manolo, the first thing I can say is that he fell from the fifth floor of my building when I was 2 months and half. Because of the impact had cracks in the last vertebrae of the back in the sacral area so it needs a lot of care sense that happen.
    But is a very strong dog and Today it?s doing pretty well, he just gets sore when is playing hard with bigger dogs.
    During his recovery, was very pampered but was socializing with other dogs in a normal way; but if the games were tuff, he had to stay a few days limited and recovering, and of course way from parks and walks.
    A month ago, his hormones are beginning to emerge and have become quite aggressive with the male dogs, is very dominant, it?s always trying to put his hands on the backs of the dogs and is very possessive with the dog he choice as a friend.

    This has caused many fights in a nursery, where they have big groups of dogs, somehow is the same style of Cesar.
    Actually they told me that Manolo needs to be castrated. This recommendation is also confirm by an ethologist and they agree with the fact that if him is not castrate quickly, will be very difficult the process of socialization and to have a normal happy life, and especially the training process.

    I write because I am a little confused, I need a little advise base on your perception and knowledge.

    I have the Cesar book and I have to say that I learn a lot, it?s very helpful. I started to do lots of things that is suggest, for example the long walks which have helped a lot with his over-anxiety, but I still cannot release him. I am afraid because of the fights (he likes big dogs, and does not measure the size and do not respects the hierarchy in flocks) and once he try to escape, it?s also a very fast dog, and he doesn?t like very much the orders.

    Manolo is a great dog, very intelligent, very energetic and also very difficult to train, which is a characteristic of his breed. However I know that I have made many mistakes and I am trying to fix them. I had lots of dogs my entered life, all kind of them, and I never had any problem, it?s my first time whit a case like this. So please I will appreciate any suggestion because I feel sad by thinking that the castration is the only way to defuse his aggression, or I should do anything else.

    Thanks, for the space to my comments, and I apologize for my mistakes writing in English.

    I will be waiting for any recommendation, tks

    Maria Elena

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  • S

    Get him fixed..it will take a bit of time for the hormones to leave his bloodstream, but it will be best for him and you.
    Also, have you taken him to any obedience classes?
    If not, get him into a gentle class that uses positive reinformcement.

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  • M

    Thanks’ a lot for you fast answer.. I appreciated… well I will do it.
    He was taken obedience classes but the owner of the place say to me that was impossible to get his attention been like that, so he recommend to start again after the castration.
    But I believe that can be very useful to get any recommendation or information abouth the positive reinforcement for the trainer. Do you have any recommendation, can I get tips about it?.
    I ask you because I found that very few people know the basenjis, especially here, nobody knows them, and they are definitely different than the normal dogs.
    Again I appreciated, thanks’ for your attention.
    Maria Elena

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  • A good online reference to positive reinforcement training is the Training Levels Book. http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/%20Dog1/levels.html

    Also a book that has often been recommended on this forum Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt, http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB943

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  • M

    Great, thank's a lot again… I will be back to you, after all this process...
    regards
    Maria

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  • S

    I desperately need some help. I have a one year old Basenji mix and a five year old retriever mix. The five year old is pretty passive. The one year old has had medical problems (congestion, coughing) for her entire life and the vets have said it will never go away but could be controlled. She seems to be feeling better but some days are better than others. The problem is she randomly goes off and snaps at our other dog. They could be playing for 15 minutes and all is fine. Five minutes later, she snaps and wants to attack him. She has also snapped at my wife and bitten her a couple times. We are working with a professional trainer but fear training won't be enough as we can't determine the trigger that sets her off. I don't want to give her up but for my wife and my other dog's sake, I may have to. Please give any suggestions on how to solve this problem.

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  • We had that problem with ours. She even got the name Satan for awhile. The only thing we were able to do was train her with the command belly. This means lay down on your back and show me your belly.

    She gets lots of treats and praise when ever she does this, but it is a way to control the situation when she gets grouchy. She also shows signs, wrinkling her lip and then growling. As soon as we see the wrinkled lip we immediately shout "BELLY" and she will roll over and get a belly rub. After that everyone is cool.

    In order to do this though you have to start slow. Start with sit.
    Then go to down. Down should be done from standng not from sitting.
    After that do the belly thing.

    Your trainer should be able to help with all of this but thats a place to start.

    Another thing we do is time out. It was no really a problem past the first few months but every once in a while we have a slip up. When she bites one of us its an immediate time out. We bring her to a corner, face her at the wall and make her sit and calm down. When this is being done I stand and guard her, I make sure our other basenji does not touch her AT ALL and no one else does either. Once she is calm I give the "FREE" command and she is allowed to walk away.

    Good Luck

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  • Be careful with situations like this. You can unintentionally train her to not growl, which can be dangerous because the growl is a warning.
    Lots of poeple I know yell and punish when their dog growls/barks, and it results in them jumping past the warning and going straight for the attack.

    We had about this in the puppy-class I took a short while back.
    There is a product called D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) which is supposed to calm dog the dog, maybe that can help? They have a leash you can use since the problem is with one dog.

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