I am not sure that I find this endearing - nor does my lovely cleaner, much as she adores the boys !
Last Christmas my older brother came to visit from out-of-state. EL D mostly tolerated him (I had my brother give him treats), until a day or two in his stay, when EL D nipped at his ankle - I think my brother must have made a quick move and we both thought EL D was just spooked. But then he took at him when he came out of the bedroom or up from the basement and once while my brother was sitting on the couch with his feet out, EL D actually nipped him hard enough to leave a bruise.
I contacted the breeder and she thought EL D just didn't like my brother. But since I've noticed that EL D nips whenever someone moves too quickly. It's always males he does this to so I figured there must have been something happened with the previous owner. Another brother has been over enough times and petted and played with EL D so he now feels comfortable with this brother.
My problem, I don't have many male visitors to help socialize better, and Christmas is coming soon along with my older brother's annual visit. What can I do to keep EL D from nipping. There's really no warning - no hackles raised, no growling.
If both my brother and I used a squirt bottleon him do you think that would help control these urges (I also don't want EL D to associate getting squirted just with my brother)? Any other ideas to try before my brother comes?
If the ankle nipping is motivated by fear or distrust, a squirt bottle is only going to confirm in his mind that you brother is in fact the bringer of bad things.
What do you do to help El D feel like visitors are good things? Does your brother give El D treats? Can you put jars of treats around the house so your brother can toss El D treats when he is entering or leaving the room? El D can't nip at your brother's ankles if he is moving in a different direction to get his treat. This way El D starts to think of your brother's coming and going as a sign of good things coming.
Yes that was what I was worried about - that EL D would equate my brother witht he dreaded squirt bottle. I like the idea of treats in various places so my brother can get to them quickly. He does give a treat when he arrives but then pretty much ignores the dog (he's not a pet person to start with). Maybe I'll ask him to feed EL D as well. It's too bad this brother lives so far away and only visits twice a year.
I think that if you can use treats and have your brother feed El D, that it will help El D see him as a good thing. The more visitors that you have that feed him treats not just as they enter but also when they move around, the more El D will start to think of visitors in general as good things. It just takes lots of different people doing it because dogs don't generalize well.
Sahara use to do this but for attention. When she wanted to play or wanted me to be with her she will go at my ankles. She use to do it on a daily bases, but stopped once I got the water bottle after her. So my advice is to say no bite, spray, and go from there, more if needed. Your basenji will get the picture pretty fast as they hate to be wet. Sahara did this behavior just last night when the phone rang and I was in the recliner and she was in my lap sleeping. Once I got up she went at my ankles, she didn't want to share me with the phone. She hadn't done this in a year or so, guess she was nice and cuddly in my lap, is she spoiled? For Sure, hehe!!!
P.S. Give your brother a water bottle when he comes to have ready.
I have to disagree. I think El D is doing this not because he wants the brother's attention but because he is uncomfortable having him in his house. I think it will only make things worse if he connects the brother visiting and being in the house with being squirted with water which is another thing he doesn't enjoy.
We have a major biting issue too! Piggy will nip my husband in play all the time, she doesn't do it much to me because I won't tolerate it. I think it is beause Jason wrestles and play rough with her. She will actually nip Jason so that he bruises. She doesn't go for the ankles, but the back of your arms (OUCH!). She will do it to strangers once in a while too. We are going to get more aggressive with the squirting and see how that goes, I'll let you know.
Just a comment here. Shadow starting nipping at men when he was in pain, before he started going to the chiropractor. Just a thought it may be a different influence.
My lovely leather handbag and shoe chewing B nipped my leg when I came to get her from a friend who had looked after her for the day. She must have thought I wasn't paying enough attention to her after my absence. In fact, she also makes those odd noises (sort of groans, beginning of a yoddle I suppose) when I come back to my car after I have left her in it with all sorts of goddies to chew. Nipping is exceptional but I am careful as I wouldn't want her to do this to strangers or visitors. She does try to push them off her place on my sofa, funny to watch but a dog is a dog and I don't think it is a good idea to let them nip us, whatever the reason!