My Basenji was "that dog" today


  • jys1011 - it's in massachusetts.

    andrea, good clarification! (not nitpicky!).

    with small dogs, it's not 'dominance', it's more like an overactive-prey drive, at least, that's how it is w/ my dog. basically anything small & furry (except HIS own 2 cats) = toy. a toy to be jumped on, squashed, chased, smacked around, and ultimately ends up in his mouth.


  • I whole heartedly agree Andrea. My obedience instructor refers to my basenjis and her own border terrier as "reactive". They do not like rude dogs in their space and react to having that personal space invaded. Her border terrier actually gets along pretty well with my basenjis because they all respect each others' need for space.

    I will again put in a plug for The Language of Dogs DVD, it gives some good examples of what polite dog language is and the cues dogs give each other to say "back off" or "please leave me alone" and how they say "play with me" or "come closer"


  • @Quercus:

    <_>

    This might be nitpicky…but I really don't think 'dominance' is the right word here. If you think of it in terms of people interactions...if someone is an introvert, they love their family, but don't care to spend time with many other people, and they certainly don't like to be forced to interact with strangers. They can be overreactive to interacting with other people...and the very sensitive to the subtle communcation signals that humans use. That certainly doesn't mean they are trying to dominate the other person, honestly, they would rather not interact with them at all! If forced to interact, they might snap at someone who kept on pushing into their space or face....

    IMO, basenjis (as a whole) are NOT dominant dogs.....most are somewhat to extremely introverted as adults. But what they really want is for other dogs to give them some space, and read their signals as well as other basenjis do!

    Just rambling out loud ;)_

    _
    I was trying really hard to come up with this response – and then you did it for me. Quoting the whole thing so that it will be on page 2, as well. :)_


  • This morning I put an emergency call in to the really good doggie day care that I use to take Chase to when it was just him. Zahra has been there once so I know that she was able to go there. The place is wonderful, it is a farm and they live for the dogs there, they have a few pastures that are fenced in with the dog friendly fencing and they run in groups and play.

    I told them about Zahra's incident yesterday so they gave me a report card when I picked her up, it read as follows:

    Your dog socialized with other dogs: Very Good
    At snack time your dog ate her snakc: Yes
    At rest time your dog: Barked continuously (that part was a check block, they should have crossed out the word bark and put Baroooooo) but soon settled down for a quick nap
    Overall your dog's behavior was: Excellent

    When I picked her up the girl who brought her up told me that Zahra renewed her liking in the breed, she had been biten by a Basenji at the Pet Hotel (This place also has an amazing pet hotel) and had been a little hesitant because she had not seen another one besides that Basenji. Zahra was a complete sweetheart and wanted to be petted and followed her around.

    Thank goodness today was a better day, I knew that my Zahra was not "aggressive" you just have to know how to deal with a Basenji. I am curious how much running they did at the other day care yesterday, at this place they run all day and come home exhausted. In fact they are both passed out on the couch behind me!

    The only bummer about this place is that it is $42.00 for both of them for the day. I can do a package deal and it would be a little cheaper and I know it would be worth it because they are in a good spot. With my husband away for a while this is such a treat for me because they are getting extra attention and I am getting a night off from tiring them out!

    Thanks for listening guys!


  • In the last few days, I have been able to experience Basenji-to-dog interaction as a friend who has a golden is staying with me. Sunny, the golden, is happy go lucky and doesn't seem to figure out that my Joey needs his space. She is always in his face and doesn't remember the "gentle reminders" (e.g. snaps!) that Joey gives her. The comment about Bs not liking rude dogs is, I think, an appropriate description. Interestingly, when Sunny was put in her crate, he settled in right next to her crate with no problems. I did not scold Joey for snapping because this is his house and she is a "visitor" for the first time. Did I do the right thing?


  • @JoeyQ:

    In the last few days, I have been able to experience Basenji-to-dog interaction as a friend who has a golden is staying with me. Sunny, the golden, is happy go lucky and doesn't seem to figure out that my Joey needs his space. She is always in his face and doesn't remember the "gentle reminders" (e.g. snaps!) that Joey gives her. The comment about Bs not liking rude dogs is, I think, an appropriate description. Interestingly, when Sunny was put in her crate, he settled in right next to her crate with no problems. I did not scold Joey for snapping because this is his house and she is a "visitor" for the first time. Did I do the right thing?

    IMO, I think Joey is just letting Sunny know, hey this is my house and these are the rules. A growl or grumble is just Basenji speak to let Sunny know who lives there and who's visiting.

    I think you did the right thing.:)


  • As usual, Andrea great perspective!! I might have to communicate this to my trainer as well who Topaz is not quite fond of interacting with 🙂 HA!


  • Ok please send me the names & locations of these doggy day care/hotels??!!

    We would not mind at all having to travel for a great place to leaver our pets on future vacations. The doggy farm sounds incredible & looks like smart people running the place too.

    Lots to learn on Basenjis…this place is chocked full of info!


  • <>
    Awww, thanks...blushing....I am just glad I can help 🙂


  • <_>

    I also think you did the right thing. One problem with scolding for growling, or snapping, is that dogs will learn to go straight to an attack if they are not allowed to give the first level of warning (usually a growl). I made this mistake with one our basenjis when we were starting out. I reprimanded her for giving a warning growl, and it didn't take very long before she went straight to a silent attack. Luckily, when I stopped reprimanding her, and started managing the situation, she went back to warning with a growl.

    I will tell my dogs to knock it off, and then distract them if they keep going, but I don't reprimand them anymore._


  • I take Hollie to doggie day care about once a week. She has only been going for about six weeks, but she seems to really enjoy the place. I ALWAYS ask when picking her up if she was a good girl, and so far all reports are positive. Even though she is a mix b, she still wants to be alpha and plays a little rough. She tends to play as rough with small dogs as the big ones, so I try to watch out for that at the park. After reading these posts I feel fortunate to be able to take her to day care. Her day care introduces the new dogs slowly and keeps a spray bottle filled with water handy (I've seen this used with cats, makes sense if would work with dogs too) to deter any issues. Glad to see the info regarding the growl first versus the silent attack. I will quick hushing Hollie for growling now, thanks!


  • He usually put his hackles up when he meets a strange dog but if nobody reacts to it he is fine. It seems to be out of defense more than dominance. So far he has never shown aggression towards any dogs accept a Brindle Basenji he encountered ringside. The Brindle got aggressive and Tune got really aggressive back at him. luckily we both had control and left each others vacinity.
    He saw that same dog at a different show a month later and it was imediate recognition and aggression towards him. He remembered that dog.

    Other than that incident, he has been pretty good about getting along with other dogs.

    He does has some issues with my male pomeranian. He seems to think the pom is fair game when he is coming in from outside on his way to his crate. A simple sound from my lips, posture, etc is enough to detour him from acting on his prey drive. It is strange though because he can be out in the yard with him and doesn't bother him. Maybe he just thinks he has to defend his territory from such an inferior little male. LOL He never bothers the female pom.


  • What are hackles?? And how do you know if they're up??

    Sorry for the dumb questions but I hear this all the time & I look at my dog & I just don't see it! I feel like "Rachel" from Friends who couldn't see the baby in an ultra sound LOL!


  • It's a ridge of fur on the spine that raises. I'm not sure if it's the same on all B's but on my girl the fur that raises is a little longer and slightly more course than the rest of her fur. She raises hers all the time when we're on walks (at kids that are louder than usual, other dogs, people with hoodies on?, etc.)


  • Oh wow! I thought Topaz was just off she is such a nervous nelly :eek: Mostly people or kids & some other dogs but mostly people make her very nervous. When she works with our dog trainer she's ok but she literally gets the shakes!

    Spitfire-What do you do to help your girl calm down?😕


  • Well, I am pulling Chase and Zahra out of the XXX XXX Pet Spa. Zahra had another not so stellar day there, I also don't like that they keep referring to her as "aggressive" and she isn't, they keep putting her in with small dogs and she doesn't do well with small dogs but that is their rule there. It frustrates me because they have her labeled as the "bad dog" and I don't think that she is (crap, I am not one of those mother's who think their kids are wonderful even though they are on house arrest, am I?).

    They did daycare today because originally I was going to travel to Delaware from Virginia after work today but the Nor’Easter has changed my plans. There were two things that rubbed me wrong tonight when I went to pick them up. I had them groomed today, when I walked in the girl who does the grooming told me that Zahra was "difficult", that she didn't like having her nails trimmed (I do them and have not had a problem and neither has any other groomer), she was all over the place while she was trying to bath her. Then she started telling me that maybe it had to do with all of the noise in the place with the construction still going on there and all of the dogs there for boarding for the holiday. I am thinking that maybe it was her young child who is all over the place each time I have been in there.

    She then got busy with another customer and I was checking out with the other girl. I asked this girl how Zahra did today at daycare and she told me that she was Aggressive again. I started to ask her questions and she told me that I would have to talk to the trainer. So, I asked to talk to the trainer, and the girl was kind of rude and told me that the trainer was too busy to talk to me. I told her that I could wait a few minutes but the last time I was there the trainer told me that she would let me know how Zahra did today when I picked her up. I told this girl that after our last visit I took both Chase and Zahra to the another Doggie Day Care that I use the next day and asked for a full report on Zahra and she was perfectly fine. Can you believe that this girl said to me that she finds it hard to believe that they (the other Doggie Day Care) are telling me everything because it is odd that she would be fine other places and aggressive here.

    After some rude body language and my persistence she got the trainer (My words were I don’t know if I should board them here for Christmas if Zahra can’t play with the other dogs). The trainer comes up a few minutes later and tells me pretty much that every dog that Zahra was introduced to, in a group, but one by one (that made no sense to me the answer kind of changed when I asked if it was individual or in a group) she was showing aggressive signs with, hackles up, teeth showing, growling (Duh, she is a Basenji she doesn’t growl she voices her opinion). I told her that Zahra’s best buddies are the two Doberman’s down the street and that I think the issue is that she is being introduced to smaller dogs. She told me that they do things by size there and that is the rule for that Pet spa.

    The whole time she never referred to Zahra by name, it was “the Basenji” this was the number one thing that bothered me, any place else I have been (The other Doggie Day Care, PetSmart grooming, Banfield, the Pet Nanny) they know the dogs by name and they love on the dogs as soon as you bring them in, I don’t see that there and I can NOT leave my kids somewhere for any time period where I don’t think they are being treated well, how can you not know their names?

    So, I remembered that someone else I know, is taking their dog, to a PetSmart that just opened up the PetHotel for boarding and for daycare and she is pretty happy with them. I called there to see if they had any openings for Christmas and then I drove over to check it out with the dogs. As soon as I walked in they loved on the dogs, called them by name, Zahra was wagging her tail and seemed to really like the girls that worked there. The daycare is all inside, I am going to try that next week, if it doesn’t work out, I can still occasionally take them and keep trying. They don’t separate the dogs by size if they get along.

    So, I am cancelling the reservations at the Pet Spa and they are booked for PetSmart. The price is a little cheaper at PetSmart and there are some add on’s that I can do like doggie ice cream treats, extra play time, etc.

    See, this is just like having a kid, the first one is the sucker kid then the second one is the challenging child!


  • You made the right decision to cancel your reservations at the bad Daycare. You are a good mom, and I would have done the same as you. I think this new place will be the better. Good Luck!


  • I totally understand when people really have nothing to base their findings on about your dog. It's very annoying. Leaving your dog with inexperienced people is really just not worth the $$ especially if you can find a place where your pooch will be treating with a little respect!:)

    I've been doing some research to find a place near us & I've noticed that A LOT more places are placing group dogs based on age & temperment instead of just size. If your dog likes a little more solitude they'll do that too. IMO it sounds like the right approach.

    Good luck! And we're behind your decision 100%:D


  • I used to say my dog was aggressive until I read this thread…
    Now I say it is more of a defensive mechanism for Buddi.
    Buddi doesn't like anyone or anything to approach him. He wants to smell and get to know them or it first. If someone new comes into the house I tell them not to acknowledge Buddi at first and then once he has finished getting to know them he will walk away. After that he is fine. But if someone walks in and puts their hand towards him he instantly turns into a very loud and shows aggressive behavior like he is going to attack. The theory has worked very well to date. With dogs it is a little different. He also doesnt like small dogs. The ones close to his size or larger we have never had a problem. Should I handle the situations in a different manner? Also he doesnt go to a doggie spa or day care so we make sure to go to the park and keep him socialized with dogs there and ones that he knows. We also have friends with young kids and he loves them. Has never growled or snipped at them. He LOVES to play!!!!

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