Two concerns

First, Lola seems to have an eye irritation. The white part of her eye is a little pink, and she has a lot of eye gunk collecting in the corner of her eye. We have to remove a small booger sized clump of it every few hours. Yesterday it seemed to bother her a little, but she isn't pawing at it or squinting a whole lot. Booger occasionally licks the gunk off of it for her, but neither one of them are spending lots of time worrying about it & she's pretty much carrying on as normal. Could this be a small scratch that will heal on its own or an eye infection? Also, Booger has developed… something... on his neck. Seems to be scabs or a dark rash. Its on the side of his neck mostly, but small bits around his ears & 2 little spots under his armpit & on his side. Lola's newest method of playing is to clamp down on his neck & annoy him until he chases her. Could her bite be irritating his skin?? He doesn't seem to be very stern with her when she doesn't, so I'm not sure it hurts him. He just wrestles with her when she does it. I don't think its a rash, but we switched him over to a new food (Innova) last week (mixed it in with his old food in increasing ratios over several days...not just a complete switch) & he got into a little tussle with another dog at the park the day before it appeared. Thoughts, advice, suggestions? My pups look like they've had a rough week & I don't know if its normal doggie wear & tear or any reason to be concerned. Neither one of them seem to be much bothered & let us inspect their battle wounds without much protest.

Take Lola in to the vet and have the eye looked at. Yes, it could be a scratch and if it is you will want to get some eye ointment and also monitor it so that you know it is healing. They use a dye so that the scratch will show up better so you really need to take her in so a vet can look at it.

As for Booger, does it look like a rash or does it look like teeth marks? Nicky has a permanent discoloring of his skin on his neck because Rally would hang off him there as a puppy.

@Andrew:

he got into a little tussle with another dog at the park the day before it appeared.

I'll assume you're referring to Riley because he and Booger like to "tussle"…. alot. I'm so ready for Riley to be over this...

Does anyone have experience or advise about two intact males "tussling"? Riley is 8 months and Booger about a year older (right?). Tussle means lots of noise, lots of teeth, and difficult to pull apart.
It usually starts with a couple seconds of eye contact and maybe some growling. I have definitely seen Riley seek out the eye contact with Booger. They're better when they're off leash but it still happens off leash. There are also issues in the car but I think that has alot to do with an enclosed space that's Booger's territory. Riley always behaves terribly in the car.
I would say we get all 4 basenjis together around once a week. Do they need to establish pack dynamics every time? Is this a hormonal puppy stage that Riley will get past? I also don't see him do this with any other intact males....

Carrie, sorry to sort of kind of hi-jack the thread but Riley's balls-ness really is related...

Thoughts, anyone?

@mauigirl:

I'll assume you're referring to Riley because he and Booger like to "tussle"…. alot. I'm so ready for Riley to be over this...

Carrie, sorry to sort of kind of hi-jack the thread but Riley's balls-ness really is related...

Thoughts, anyone?

Haha… I really don't think its from Riley. Lola is CONSTANTLY hanging from his neck.
I'll get Lola to the vet for her eye. Booger... its hard to tell. His hair covers it up. It feels lumpy like scabs & looks dark, but we can't get a great look at it. We're starting to think maybe he got into it with the cat when we weren't home. Its definately scabs/sores now. Some of them are very tiny, cat claw sized, others are the size of the tip of your pinky.

@mauigirl:

Does anyone have experience or advise about two intact males "tussling"? Riley is 8 months and Booger about a year older (right?). Tussle means lots of noise, lots of teeth, and difficult to pull apart.

Is it just noise or are they puncturing each other? Check their expressions….do they have a "hard" look in their eyes and body language or are they "smiling" and look like they are having fun? If it is just a noisy, wrestling match, they are just "blowing off steam" and I would just let them do it. Remember though that we are entering Basenji breeding season and the dogs are feeling their hormones. Even a friendly tussle could go bad if the testosterone kicks in. If they do get into it seriously, the best way to avoid being bitten is to grab them by their back legs and yank backwards quickly. Be ready in case they spin backwards to bite. A dog in rage isn't thinking clearly and does not always realize it is the owner touching it. Males tend to "forgive and forget" once cooled down but girls.....that's another story.

I would say we get all 4 basenjis together around once a week. Do they need to establish pack dynamics every time?

Yes, to an extent. Some Basenjis are flexible and its no big deal but others take it seriously.

Hey Robyn, thanks for your input. On second thought, I do think tussling might not be the best word….I definitely don't think it looks like playing. It sounds pretty serious. Zip and Lola don't have any issues. Just the boys. One time at Kennesaw they got into it and when they stopped moving Riley had a mouthful of Booger's neck. All the time other times we've had to pull them apart. And Riley definitely has his teeth bared....

They are both young males, and intact. It sounds like "tussling" is more like semi-serious sparring, both trying to establish themselves as leader. Especially Riley, now a mature teenager, is challenging Booger's seniority. You guys are lucky they get along at all, what with female hormones all in the air!

All the basenjis in our dog park gang are neutered and that accounts for a lot of their ability to be an extended family, taking in youngsters and new dogs pretty easily. They all seem to get annoyed with "teenagers" between about 7 months and a year, that seems to be when they need to be taught their manners. My Topper is the Alpha male and all defer to him, so the young males have nothing to prove, and they are happy to just play and chase each other. Thank Goodness!

Anne in Tampa

I guess what I wonder about this sparring is whether this is something they need to work out between themselves or something we need to put a stop to and scold them for. I plan on getting Riley neutered soon. However…if I go to too many more dog shows I might want to get into showing!! Which is another topic entirely...sigh

With escalating hormones there will be escalating agression and if it turns into a real fight, you may never be able to get them back together again as friends. On the other hand, if you scold them or correct them for the lesser behaviors they will stop skipping the small steps and escalate to more serious steps.

During this time of year, if they are both intact, you will probably not be able to have them play as often or for as long as you have enjoyed during the rest of the year. Redirection and leaving the situation are the best course of action, as soon as you see the stiff legs and beginning posturing, distract and get them moving away from each other before the "tussle" begins. If they will not redirect easily then it is time to leave.

We've been pretty good at noticing the signs (looking at each other, etc) & distracting them before they get into it. However, if they're doing a b-500 and aren't at our sides, sometimes they get into it before we can get to them. Mostly it seems to be a lot of noise, and Mauigirl thinks Riley is causing more damage than he actually is (he's never drawn blood on Booger… she's a worrywort 😉 ) It is very very noisy, and frightening to watch, but usually if we keep them moving & distracted they can run & chase & play together with few problems.

And an update on Lola. We went to the vet today & she has a small scratch on her eye. They gave us an ointment, and she should be fine. Quick $100 :mad: but at least she'll be okay 😃

Well, it is good to hear that she will be okay and it is good to get the ointment and get treated. $100 isn't too bad, Rio's scratch in her eye cost us more, we had to go in for follow ups and if it hadn't vascularized on its own would have had to have eye surgery, eek, I don't even want to think about what that would have cost.

@mauigirl:

I'll assume you're referring to Riley because he and Booger like to "tussle"…. alot. I'm so ready for Riley to be over this...

Does anyone have experience or advise about two intact males "tussling"? Riley is 8 months and Booger about a year older (right?). Tussle means lots of noise, lots of teeth, and difficult to pull apart.
It usually starts with a couple seconds of eye contact and maybe some growling. I have definitely seen Riley seek out the eye contact with Booger. They're better when they're off leash but it still happens off leash. There are also issues in the car but I think that has alot to do with an enclosed space that's Booger's territory. Riley always behaves terribly in the car.
I would say we get all 4 basenjis together around once a week. Do they need to establish pack dynamics every time? Is this a hormonal puppy stage that Riley will get past? I also don't see him do this with any other intact males....

Carrie, sorry to sort of kind of hi-jack the thread but Riley's balls-ness really is related....

Thoughts, anyone?

Who cares if they tussle…let them sort it out and establish dominance and I think they will both calm down. I think at this point they feel like they haven't settled things. I have never seen a dog actually harm another while trying to establish dominance. Besides I'm pretty sure Riley will come out on top.

edit: As scary as it looks and sounds, its never as bad as it seems. Let them fight it out in a half saloon and then talk it over with some choc-o-late and co-co-nut.

-Andrew

I really have to disagree with this. During rut, which is the time of year we are in now, males will get into serious fights and can do serious damage to one another.

@Andrew:

Who cares if they tussle…let them sort it out and establish dominance and I think they will both calm down. I think at this point they feel like they haven't settled things. I have never seen a dog actually harm another while trying to establish dominance.

-Andrew

Andrew, I HAVE actually seen a dog do harm establishing dominance. I was at a cookout on a small island and two people brought their dogs…previously very good friends...the dogs played together all the time, but would always have dominance "tussles". The two dogs were chasing & playing one minute, the next minute they got into it...one dog ripped the other dog's ear off...had to be rushed to an emergency vet...first by boat, then by car. Not good...the ear had to be sewn back on (luckily it could be). That was the last time they played together as the dogs would not tolerate each other after that.

@Andrew:

Who cares if they tussle…let them sort it out and establish dominance and I think they will both calm down. I think at this point they feel like they haven't settled things. I have never seen a dog actually harm another while trying to establish dominance. Besides I'm pretty sure Riley will come out on top.

edit: As scary as it looks and sounds, its never as bad as it seems. Let them fight it out in a half saloon and then talk it over with some choc-o-late and co-co-nut.

-Andrew

Andrew,
I would rethink that statement… they can and WILL hurt each other... I can attest to that.... it is NOT a good idea, especially this time of year to just let them at it.... someone is really going to get hurt... you are kidding youself this time of year when hormones are running as high as they can get....

Even when "one" wins over the other, what can and does happen is that the "top" dog will "lord" it over the other... it the other does anything that the dominate dogs considers a threat, bang... attack... and serious damage can happen....

I just want to make everybody clear on one thing…. Andrew & I both post under his screenname. All posts signed "-Andrew" area actually his & the rest (the vast majority) are mine (Carrie's). Its probably confusing that two different people are posting under one name... sorry.

Carrie,

All of the posts that address Andrew are actually in response to a post signed by Andrew where he stated that he does not know of any dogs that have actually harmed each other when trying to establish dominance. In the experience of others this just isn't true. Dogs can and do seriously harm each other when sorting out issues of dominance especially when hormones are running high as they do this time of year.

Don't worry Ivoss, I wear the pants 😉 I do most of the care taking & 99% of socializing the dogs either myself or with Andrew in tow. That may be Andrew's opinion, but fortunately he isn't allowed alone with the dogs… j/k of course. Sort of. 😉

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