Basenji Growling & Aggression


  • hi eeeefarm - valid comments that are great food for thought. Thanks for your response. That's why this forum is a great place to learn about 'all things basenji'. And yes, those wide hound collars are superb. We got a couple of them a couple of years back and we still use them.

    Must say, reading your response comment/signature line, after some time away from the forum, made me smile. How true is that!


  • Question…

    If I'm not supposed to yell or say no, what can I do when he's barking/being aggressive towards someone? How can I break through the current behavior in order to get to something that I can positively reward?

    Thanks!


  • To break any sort of undesired concentration, I make a neutral, but startling sound–like a hard clap or a stomp. Getting their attention in the middle of any kind of highly self-rewarding behavior can be really difficult. Ideally you want to be able to spot the signals that he's about to feel aggressive, so you can distract him with something positively rewarding (instructions to follow and reward for accomplishment), and continue to reward him for maintaining attention to his work through the distraction.
    The earlier you spot the signals, the easier it gets to interrupt the cycle. When you can spot the situations that might trigger him before he does, and set up positive situations, eventually the hope is he'll associate the trigger with looking to you for instruction and reward.
    The trick is making looking to you more rewarding than getting amped up over the trigger. Getting amped up is powerfully rewarding. Good luck. There is some great information in this thread.


  • Hi All. Very helpful thread. Thanks to all for all the ideas shared here. I know this is quite a standard situation, but still would like to share this and ask for any advice: I have a 5 years old male Basenji. He is not neutered. Since I brought him home (when he was 5 months old), he has never been good with other male dogs (not neutered, with those who are neutered he is totally fine - treat them as females :)), and it is still the same. After living for a year or so with my parents away from me, it got worse: growling, biting, jumping on other male dogs (and the bigger the dog is, the more excited/angry he gets). I know where all this comes from: feeding him from the table when the people are eating, allowing him to sleep on the bed together with people). Now he is with me again. I am working on correcting at least these mistakes in his behaviour, as well trying to distract him when he starts to growl at the dog approaching. Meanwhile can you please advise whether it is at all possible to change the dog's behaviour - to like other male dogs? Or shall I just admit that and try to prevent any such situations? Do you think a trainer can help with it?
    Thank you very much!


  • Prevent situations….. intact male dogs typically DO NOT get alone from any breed


  • @Nehaenok:

    Meanwhile can you please advise whether it is at all possible to change the dog's behaviour - to like other male dogs? Or shall I just admit that and try to prevent any such situations? Do you think a trainer can help with it?
    Thank you very much!

    I doubt very much that you can teach him to like other males. Possibly to tolerate them, but it isn't an easy fix. Depends on the talent of the trainer, and even then I think it's doubtful. My boy doesn't like any other dogs, and I just avoid meeting them when possible. Of the five Basenjis I have owned, two (one male, one female) were aggressive to all other dogs, two were good with other dogs, and one (female) was same sex aggressive…....but did not like neutered males (treated them as females, guess they didn't smell right). Good luck!

    @Nehaenok:

    After living for a year or so with my parents away from me, it got worse: growling, biting, jumping on other male dogs (and the bigger the dog is, the more excited/angry he gets). I know where all this comes from: feeding him from the table when the people are eating, allowing him to sleep on the bed together with people).

    No, he wouldn't get dog aggressive for those reasons. My Basenjis, all with the same management, varied greatly in their attitude toward other dogs. So don't blame your parents for this…....but you can blame them if he's begging for food and wants to sleep in your bed. 🙂


  • Is there a reason why he is not neutered?


  • @Nehaenok:

    Meanwhile can you please advise whether it is at all possible to change the dog's behaviour - to like other male dogs? Or shall I just admit that and try to prevent any such situations? Do you think a trainer can help with it?
    Thank you very much!

    Dog aggression is dog aggression is dog aggression. While neutering at this late stage MIGHT help, don't bet on it. However, you can do a lot of obedience, teach him to look at you, to leave it, and control his reactions on leash as long as you keep intact males from getting in his space. My male Rottie, intact because I saw no need to neuter him and could manage, was very large breed male aggressive– neutered, not neutered. Small dogs could maul him and he was fine playing with them. But large... no. He was 100 percent solid on obedience commands though, so I could take him to dog shows, flea markets and the park as long as I carefully kept other male dogs out of his face-- he would ignore them. But like, tolerate or be friendly to? Not on your life.

  • First Basenji's

    Hello, Im new here and have a question in regards to growling. We just rescued an older male Basenji that was just neutered. We have had him a week. He doesn't play with toys. Seems to like any dog he comes across. Tolerates small children and seems to want attention from any person that comes along. He doesn't seem to be food aggressive and is perfectly happy to sit by me most of the day when I'm home. I even come home for lunch to walk him every day.

    My question is that when we first got him he had no issues getting into his crate, but now he has started growling and getting his back hair up when I tell him to get into his house. Hes too new for me to want to allow him to wander the house with the cats alone. I tried giving him treats when he went in to make it a positive experience but he doesn't seem very happy and now growls every time I ask him to go in. Any suggestions to help with this issue?

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