Stranger/Roommate Agression

About two months ago i adopted a dog from my local Animal Services she appears to be about a year and half according to the vet. She strongly resembles a Basenji in about every way except for the curled tail. Her personality also seems to be a match as well. She is an extremely sweet dog to me and my boyfriend and except for recently she has been loving to both of my roommates. She started showing some stranger aggression with people coming in the front door about a month after i got her. She would run up to them and nip at them. She also seems to fear men alot more than woman which may have to do with her unknown past. Very recently she has turned on one of my roommates running and charging her when she comes in the room. I have no idea why this started happening considering that 2 weeks ago she was licking her face. It seems like she might be becoming possessive of me. All the reading i have done has said that positive reinforcement training is the best method for them im just confused on how to do that in an actual situation where she is trying to bite someone? I love her and i want everyone to love her too how can I fix this?

have you tried having your friends give her a treat when they come in?

Set her up to succeed.
Spend a weekend with your friends, neighbors coming over.
Have a treat jar outside the door, and when you answer it, have them come in drop a treat not stop or look at the dog and go sit down.
Then, when the dog is calm, have the person drop another treat.
Teach her that humans hand only have good things.
Its a bit of work, but our dogs can be bribed.
Its worth the effort.

I have some treats out side my front door but it seems that when she is done eating the treat she trys to nip them again. I guess ill keep doing that and see if she gets the hint eventually. Thank you for replying!
Allie

Interesting. Have you taken her to the vet to make sure she is not having any thyroid problems?

Really, it does sound like a behavior. It seems like she feels threatened by whomever is coming in the door. What about crating her when people come in the door and then once everyone is settled, than let her out on leash and have her cuddle next to you. Give her a toy or amazing treat she only gets when people come over. It has to be something that will last a long time. maybe a Kong filled with peanut butter. But I would definately keep her on leash. The reaction the people have when they come over is enough for her to realize she has won. I think that cycle needs to be broken.

She is obviously intelligent enough to accept the treat and then remember she didn't like the person. Kind of a " oh thanks, but we aren't finished yet" Gotta love basenji's.

Do you think she is nipping to get attention, or because she wants the folks to leave?
Can you send us a photo?
Some breeds are prone to nipping, blue healers are one that comes to mind.

My previous beastie would nip at men's ankles - he'd let them in the house without any problem but then if they moved - yipe! (I think previous owner had kicked him) It took a lot of work and the people coming in had to be really friendly with him too - with strangers (like repairmen) I would just pick him up and hold him.

@sharronhurlbut:

Do you think she is nipping to get attention, or because she wants the folks to leave?
Can you send us a photo?
Some breeds are prone to nipping, blue healers are one that comes to mind.

Well she nips during play for attention but when she gets aggressive there is an obvious difference. And im working on the pictures 😉

Years ago I had a very laid back bulldog (Snorky). Not an aggressive bone in his body (in his older years he even put up with the antics and ear chewing of a new B puppy)

Long story short, a young man (14) who had been baby sitting his sister's toddler tried and tried to get close to Snork, but he would have nothing to do with him, wouldn't even stay in the same room sometimes. One day this boy was playing with my daughter (then about 7 years old) by swinging her around in circles by her arms, and that dog took after that kid like he was going to KILL him!!

Not for one minute did I think this behavior came out of the blue without provocation. I never again let my daughter play with the babysitter. About 6 months later I saw the toddler and he had bruises all over his little body:mad:, and the brother/baby sitter was in juvie detention.

To this day I'm sure he hurt my Snorky in some way and Snork became aggressive to protect "his pack". He never did it before, he never did it after.

I'm not saying anyone you live with has been aggressive with your dog, but dogs can be very unforgiving when it comes to protecting "their pack". Human behavior, physical as well as verbal can trigger what I feel is the innate protection instinct in some dogs. After that, the perceived threat of aggression, loud noises including laughter and greetings, and swift movements including hugs or backslapping can trigger that innate (or learned) behavior.

Allie, it's just my PPOV but I think something happened that you are unaware of that has set your dog off. Figuring that out may help you finding a way to over come the aggression your Basenji has displayed.

Hope I haven't offended you:o. Good luck, and keep us posted.

@snorky998:

Years ago I had a very laid back bulldog (Snorky). Not an aggressive bone in his body (in his older years he even put up with the antics and ear chewing of a new B puppy)

Long story short, a young man (14) who had been baby sitting his sister's toddler tried and tried to get close to Snork, but he would have nothing to do with him, wouldn't even stay in the same room sometimes. One day this boy was playing with my daughter (then about 7 years old) by swinging her around in circles by her arms, and that dog took after that kid like he was going to KILL him!!

Not for one minute did I think this behavior came out of the blue without provocation. I never again let my daughter play with the babysitter. About 6 months later I saw the toddler and he had bruises all over his little body:mad:, and the brother/baby sitter was in juvie detention.

To this day I'm sure he hurt my Snorky in some way and Snork became aggressive to protect "his pack". He never did it before, he never did it after.

I'm not saying anyone you live with has been aggressive with your dog, but dogs can be very unforgiving when it comes to protecting "their pack". Human behavior, physical as well as verbal can trigger what I feel is the innate protection instinct in some dogs. After that, the perceived threat of aggression, loud noises including laughter and greetings, and swift movements including hugs or backslapping can trigger that innate (or learned) behavior.

Allie, it's just my PPOV but I think something happened that you are unaware of that has set your dog off. Figuring that out may help you finding a way to over come the aggression your Basenji has displayed.

Hope I haven't offended you:o. Good luck, and keep us posted.

You certainly haven't offended me thank you for taking the time to reply 🙂
Ill ask her if anything happened but it is doubtful because i crate foxy in my room when i am gone the few hours a day that i am in class so she is never with anyone when i am not home because i dont trust other people to watch her, plus she is a dog lover. But i'll ask.

Thank you so much for the advice!

Another interesting experience over the holidays i brought her to my parents house and she showed the same aggressive behavior to my dad when he came up to me while she was sitting next to me. My dad stood his ground and came up to me to see what she would do and she made alot of noise and tried to nip him but since then she hasnt tried it again with him I guess because she knew she couldnt scare him. It really seems like she is just trying to protect me from people.

Also as of tonight i signed her for obedience classes! yay we will see if she becomes a proper lady haha!

I had a mixed breed when I was in college that was the nicest dog - even tempered when strangers were around. Then one day I was talking to a fellow (at a campground) with my dog just laying nearby and the man suddenly raised his arm to make a point in the conversation - my dog took after him just like you described. I think my dog thought he was attacking me and so went after him. The situation with your dad kind of sounds like that.

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