Tucker is making progress! Yay!

  • A lot of you are 'getting to know me' and Tucker and know that I've had aggression issues in the past with Tucker. He's been aggressive towards dogs and people (and has bitten his fair share of both). Tucker was also VERY undersocialized (by his previous owner who elected to get rid of him before having a child because they would rather have abandoned him than trying to train him to accept the new kid). Grrrr…

    This past week, after a year and a half of keeping Tucker away from both dogs and people (managing his behavior), I think we've had a breakthrough.

    Tucker has always had ONE dog who he gets along with splendidly. Her name is Roxy and she looks a lot like a German Shephard but is a mix and is about 45lbs. They play at the tennis court that the pet community has turned into a dog park... 🙂

    I went to the court and there were three dogs there. A lab pup that weighed around 24lbs, another lab that was in the 40lb range and Roxy. No snarling or growling at all and they all played like there was no tomorrow. (Tuck and the lab pup seemed to square off mostly while the other two larger dogs also squared off for some hardcore doggie wrestling!) I've met with these people and their dogs several times now and just yesterday, a new dog was added to the mix. It was a boxer who also weighs in at around 40lbs. While Tucker snarled like he was going to eat the boxer through the fence, once they were inside together, they all got along just fine.

    I'm still on guard with regard to his behavior and don't let him get too far away in case something crazy should erupt, but it seems like a major breakthrough to me.

    I'm thinking that all of this has something to do with my somewhat recent girlfriend. She has an Old English Sheepdog (98lbs of pure sheepdog FAT!). The sheepdog definately keeps Tuck on his toes because it snaps at him randomly when he gets close to her. However, every now and again her snaps push Tucker over the edge and he virtually attacks her and sends her running for cover! It's actually kinda funny to see knowing that she isn't hurting him and he only takes a tuft of fur to say 'that nip pushed my limits!', not hurting her either. And even this has stopped for the most part. They just coexist...

    Anyway, just wanted to share. You can't imagine how good it feels to see him playing like dogs should with his pup pals after keeping him under wraps for so long. (or, maybe you can...) I couldn't be happier for the little guy. Who knows, maybe in a couple more months we'll give the dog park a shot.

    And if you haven't ever seen a Basenji try to dom a Boxer (we're talkin' full metal hump here...), then you haven't lived. Tuck can barely reach over the Boxer's back, but he still tries! Watching him stand on his tippy toes trying to hump a boxer is probably one of the funniest things I've seen in quite some time. 😃

    You go, Tuck!

  • I'm in tears from laughter & also from pure joy that you & your little guy have made such tremendous strides in the last year 😃 I think you should also pat yourself on the back for being such a good dad to Tucker & allowing him a life of social interactions & being part of the world as a dog SHOULD be!!! 🙂

    And Tucker deserves a nice steak dinner for being such a good boy 😃

  • I'll give him a steak dinner next time I'm feeling like cleaning up puke from my duvet. 😃

  • great news, very good to hear that tuck is doing well. How about a nice bone to chew on as a reward

  • You must be so proud of Tucker. So happy you found each other. I'm sure a year and a half ago, you couldn't imagine this breakthrough. Tucker has a great dad. 😉

  • thats really good news.

    Hows he doing with biting & snapping at people?

  • He's still iffy with that. Thing is, Tuck has NEVER 'gone after' anyone. He only reacts when strangers try to pet him like they would a slobbering Labrador. When he's on the tennis court with the other dogs, he's bumping in to people and sometimes jumping up on them to say hi, but because I've told everyone he's not very well socialized, they all keep their hands away from him (since they know dogs, having one of their own) and there's never been an incident. I mean, a complete stranger could probably come into my house and sit right next to Tucker on the sofa and he wouldn't get bitten. But if this stranger tried to touch Tucker, all bets are off. Jerry, who owns Roxy (the shephard looking 48lb dog), can pet Tucker no problem. Tucker actually likes him, but it took time for it to be that way. Tucker sometimes warms to a person right away and goes right to them and sits and leans right on them. Others, he drops his ears when they come near him. I haven't been able to figure out the difference in the people.

    Since it's still iffy with him, I'm not willing to take the risk with strangers/random people. I'm still slowly introducing him to new people who come into my house. I started dating a girl about 3 months ago and she was pushing Tucker around in about a month (and, of course, I don't mean that literally, just that she can pick him up…move him when he steals her spot on the sofa, etc - not an easy place to get with regard to Tucker). She also has the sheep dog, so she knows dogs and doesn't have the fear that dogs pick up on and exploit if they are Alpha's like Tuck.

    This is one of the fears I have about the dog park. Just takes one aloof stranger to assume that Tucker is a sweet and innocent dog, reach for him, lose a finger, sue me, take all I have and put me into poverty for the rest of my life... Keeping a close eye on him is much easier. Most people will listen when you tell them he bites if you reach for him, but some persist with their stupidity because they think they 'have a way with animals' just because they own a dog.

  • Your dog sounds a lot like mine and it sounds like you are dealing with it in the same way I do. Control the situation and your dog vs. letting something you will regret later.

    Sounds like you're doing great and the fact you're trying, is great in itself.

    Funny that they are both male Tri's and look like brothers???

  • Oh it doesn't stop there….my Topaz is like that to a T 🙂 She's very finicky about people. I don't know what criteria she's using to judge them but some people are cool & others well if you touch you get a bite :eek:

    I think it's fear driven. Some people take too many liberties to just run up to a dog & pet them like they're Lassie. Other people who are much more dog saavy do better around her especially after I give specific warning that she does NOT like to be approached.

    And she's a r/w...they must be from the same litter...Topaz has a Tri marker 😃 😃 😃

  • @Barklessdog:

    Funny that they are both male Tri's and look like brothers???

    You know what is really peculiar? Check out Floyd on the rescue site:


    To make it easier, he's the top right. You'll 'recognize' him right away. I'd swear this was Tucker (and possibly yours) if his tail was partial like Tucker's… There are subtle differences in markings, of course...but still.

  • LOL

    When we used to have litter reunions, once they start running everywhere, you can't tell who's dog is who's.

  • Taking this one step further… Tucker met my GF's mother's sheepdogs on easter Sunday. Tucker and FOUR sheepdogs all playing together was quite a site! Video forthcoming... Tuck kept 'hugging' one of the sheepdogs. It was almost like he thought it was a big teddy bear. He wasn't nipping in play or anything, just....HUGGING it like he liked the way it's fur felt. The video will show more of this once I get it edited and up on the site...

    Additionally, just yesterday we met with the dogs at the tennis court/dog park and Tucker was playing with a Rottweiler! That is truly something I never thought I would see... The rotty was a sweetheart, though. Tuckers entire head could fit in that girl's mouth. Wow... Tucker and an adult Lab, and adult mutt mix, a lab puppy and a rottweiler. Just can't believe it. 🙂 Not a snarl in da house!

  • It's amazing what socializing does for dogs' temperment. Tucker is living proof! 😃

  • Congratulations Tucker!!! and you too

  • Congrats! Time and love will do wonders for a dog…or human too. Slowly adding good experiences with safe nice dogs gives him confidence to play without fear. Great job!

    Anne in Tampa

  • What's with this????

  • Spam…....

  • Lovely, how just lovely.

  • Hello Guys!
    Occasionally a spammer finds its way into our forum without our immediate detection. Thank you to everyone who sends Alex and I emails alerting us to those ugly spammers so we can go after them and remove em from Basenji Forums.

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