Basenji Growling & Aggression
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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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  • S

    It sounds like this behavior is pretty common in Basenjis? We've been working with her for nine months and it has not gotten better. On walks, she goes nuts when she sees other dogs and even sometimes random people. As Basenjis get older, do they grow out of this behavior?

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  • It is not common in well bred Basenjis that are properly socialized and trained from puppyhood, nor should it be acceptable. Yes, a Basenji can certainly take on a mind of its own and accordingly to the situation react to try and take charge of the situation. However, random attacks that are unprovoked are not normal or acceptable behavior. That said, many and most Basenjis can be leash aggressive particularly if the other dogs to not respect their space. Again.. IMO

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  • N

    I put this in the other thread about this, but I am moving it here since most replies seem to be here.

    @stevedelay:

    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.

    My 9-year-old terrier mix, Petey, has to be called away from play usually after about 2-5 minutes and work on calming exercises, because he gets easily over-amped, and crosses the line from play to aggression. Once he has calmed himself for a while, he can usually go back and play more, but has to be called away again in another 2-5 minutes. He has to be watched carefully at all times when playing.

    Also, sporting dogs, or gun dogs have a very distinctive play style, and they rarely seem to get the idea that not all dogs like the high contact, rough, physical play style of a retriever. Many other dogs can loose patience with the retriever play style.

    With the lung issues, long play may begin to become painful as your B gets winded and breathing becomes difficult, which may be another reason your B may need to be monitored closely, and only allowed to play for a short time.
    She may attack your retriever because she is associating the pain from the lung disease to him, since it get worse when they play.

    I would strongly suggest you keep them separated unless very closely monitored. We have also taught Petey that he can go to his crate when he needs to calm himself, and no one will be allowed to disturb him there. Even us.

    Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you get her thyroid checked, with a full thyroid pannel including TSH, T3 and thyroglobulin autoantibody, and get her checked for rickettsial diseases.

    I don't know if any of this will help, but I hope so.

    -Nicole

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  • @nkjvcjs:

    I put this in the other thread about this, but I am moving it here since most replies seem to be here.

    My 9-year-old terrier mix, Petey, has to be called away from play usually after about 2-5 minutes and work on calming exercises, because he gets easily over-amped, and crosses the line from play to aggression. Once he has calmed himself for a while, he can usually go back and play more, but has to be called away again in another 2-5 minutes. He has to be watched carefully at all times when playing.

    Also, sporting dogs, or gun dogs have a very distinctive play style, and they rarely seem to get the idea that not all dogs like the high contact, rough, physical play style of a retriever. Many other dogs can loose patience with the retriever play style.

    With the lung issues, long play may begin to become painful as your B gets winded and breathing becomes difficult, which may be another reason your B may need to be monitored closely, and only allowed to play for a short time.
    She may attack your retriever because she is associating the pain from the lung disease to him, since it get worse when they play.

    I would strongly suggest you keep them separated unless very closely monitored. We have also taught Petey that he can go to his crate when he needs to calm himself, and no one will be allowed to disturb him there. Even us.

    Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you get her thyroid checked, with a full thyroid pannel including TSH, T3 and thyroglobulin autoantibody, and get her checked for rickettsial diseases.

    I don't know if any of this will help, but I hope so.

    -Nicole

    Nicole…you are awesome! Great points, and great post....your dogs are so lucky to have you :)

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  • B

    For those of you who battle with an aggressive Basenji, there is hope…...!

    -I grew up in a dog home. I have assisted in training LOTS of dogs, and mother bred yorkshire terriers. My husband never owned a dog growing up. This was our first experience together. We chose a basenji because I was an experienced dog owner and he is a behavioral consultant.
    My husband and I purchased a Basenji through a breeder in Florida. At the time of purchase she was 3 months old. Before the purchase I knew the dog had to be flown in to NY because I could not afford the drive down to pick her up. Upon picking her up at the airport, I learned that she was on a series of 3 Flights!! The breeder told me it was one straight flight - she also came covered in Fleas, larvae, & eggs, and had white paint blobs on her coat. So right away I knew I was dooped. I believe that the series of 3 flights tramautized my little one because even today at a year old she is terrified of loud noises, and sirens.
    -There is always an adjustment period for a puppy however our Nia was showing ALOT of aggressiveness towards EVERYONE! It was so disturbing that we were very close to sending her back two weeks later when her behaviors were not changing. She would snarl, growl, and bite at anyone besides myself. So I knew she saw me as her alfa. HOWEVER, this is not OK! We saw two behavior consultants about her behaviors and neither could give us a solid answer. So we took the best of both worlds and adjusted the training to what the pup needed.
    -One thing with aggressive dogs is they NEED to KNOW their LIMITS! Limits for basenji's I have learned is ENDLESS!! They see the world as their oyster.
    The trainings were as followed:
    -We used her intellegence as the stepping stone. We started by keeping her on a leash in the house AT ALL TIMES! We began teaching her basic commands such as look, sit, stay, come, paw, paws up, lay down, roll over, crawl, etc. We taught her one new trick a day, and made sure she got LOTS of exercise. I noticed when she hasn't gotten her fill of exercise during the day she was more prone to being aggressive. SO TIRE THEM OUT! When she proved she could listen in the house without me having to chase her is when I took the leash off in the house.
    -House training her was easy as long as you are consistent. We brought her out every two hours and rewarded her directly after she went. Eventually she put two & two together. accidents can happen when they are excited (like any puppy)
    -OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM was with her aggressive behaviors. To overcome this it took MAJOR consistency on our part. We socialized her by having random people come by the house. When they enter the home we had them completely IGNORE the dog! Basenji's like being the center of attention (but on their command) SO, what this created was the dogs WANT to be pet, or payed attention to. If you go to pet an aggressive dog when they dont want to be pet, your asking to be bit.
    -For the most part that worked. *if She did go to bite, we used three techniques depending on the severity of the aggression. (ONE KEY POINT IS-You want to get rid of the bite, not the growl) the growl is the pre-curser to the bite. SO, if she was on the leash, you can easily teach her to walk away by guiding her into another room. OR who she growled out would take the leash (only if they are comfortable)! This shows the dog that whoever is holding the leash is in control! instead of the other way around.
    If the person isn[t comfortable with that, the dog went in the cage for a time out. (The CAGE was our SAVING grace! - It tells the dog…. U need a time out!) The third technique we used was more aggresive on our part. *she still goes after my husband on occasion and this is how we have lessend the occurance. WE HOLD HER DOWN on the floor! It seems really cruel at first because she made all sorts of noises to make you think you could be hurting her BUT YOU ARE NOT! REmember they are manipulaters! We have made large strides with this technique. Everything with Nia is putting the world in an alfa system. This reminds her that she is alfa to NO ONE in the house! and it WORKS! Only when she is injured, ill, or extra tired will she growl now.
    *WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS- USE THE CAGE!
    -NOW we can have as many people at the house as we want. When she is getting over zealous, we give her time away in her cage. She has also learned that if you don't want to be pet, walk away, or go in your bed. And we respect that if she is in her bed, we do not pet her. I respect her space.
    This way we are being PRO-active. Anticipating what could make her bite.
    -As far as other dogs go- this was a VERY long training for us. And we are still continuing it today. At first we couldnt walk her without her being paranoid. She turned around a thousand times to watch people/dogs walk by. etc. This is when we got a choke collar. Or a chain link collar it is called. As cruel as it sounds, IT WORKS! What you try to encourage is her to either look at you by using the "look" command and rewarding her when she does. Or continue to walk away and let her do the pulling, do not pull on the leash.
    EVENTUALLY after 9 months of training she has finally got it! YEY! (we ran into trouble for so long because this is the only dog I have EVER known to refuse a treat.... even her ultimate rewards!! She doesnt' eat anything when she is anxious!! So we had to be really creative! Now she can finally go for walks without worrying where that person or dog on the street is going.
    -When it came to meeting other dogs face to face Nia was EXTREMELY aggressive. We bought a muzzle. This helped for the initial greeting. (and with the vet) We used the walk away technique from our other trainings. We would let her smell the other dog for 1 second, then walk her away. If that was successful without a growl, we would go back for a second greeting. However, to this day the technique that worked best is: When we want her to meet another dog (like a friends dog) we set up a "play date" we meet at a park (neutral ground no domination of property) and we simply take a walk together in the park. Eventually Nia became so curious that she started smelling the other dog cautiosly. After a couple of times walking together. That eventually became playful. We still use this technique with friends dogs. Now that I know she has learned self-confidence and maturity we have began bringing her to dog parks, and she LOVES it. She loves the freedom off of the leash. I keep close by just incase. But I know now she looks to me for that reassurance that she is doing well.
    -She is still iffy with strangers (people and dogs) and I dont' think I can ever trust her 100%. (and I do not trust her at all around children) but we have made leaps and bounds to where she was originally.
    -In my opinion the owner has to educate themselves and become SUPER responsible. You need to stay on top of them, do not let them roam the house alone until they are old enough to handle the responsibilty. They become bored VERY quickly and destroy anything that is underwear, strings, stuffing, etc. So try to keep them in line. Its like a teenager. THey will push their limits and THEY KNOW which of your buttons to push if you are not paying attention to them. It has been a long 9 months for us but I am so glad we decided to keep her. She has enriched our lives, and is now growing into a responsible, adult dog, with our guidance. It is how you train them! and learn to love their comedic personality! Please don't hesitate to conact me with any further questions!

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