Gentle Play?

This weekend we finally got our fence installed. Kona loves having the ability to run free and not be held back by the leash all the time. My husband and I play with her all the time inside and sometimes she plays a little rough but a simple "no bite" command and she settles down.

Now that she has free roam of the yard, she has become more aggressive during our playtime. We take her outside now and throw the ball with her and play chase. However now she uses her mouth more and does not respond to the no bite command. I don't think she is being mean, she is just SO excited to be outside playing.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop this? My main concern is that she will start playing with my nieces and nephew this same way and cause them to become frightened of her.

Any ideas are appreciated!

How old is Kona?
Also, have you done any basic gentle obedience classes with her?
If not, I would get her into one asap.
It will help!

They tell us that Kona is just over a year old. We got her as a rescue in November. We know she has done some training in her past life because she responds to sit every time. Everything else other than "treat" is unreliable. Any suggestions on training? We are in the Tampa area. The last time I took a dog to obedience school it was when they still offered it in the high school after hours for community education. Is PetSmart or the like reliable with our special breed?

Check out 'Dog training club of Tampa'. I did obedience with Topper with them, 2 classes of agility and 1 of obedience with Nicky. Their building is on N. Lois, about 2 blocks south of Hillsborough avenue, and they are very reasonable with classes once a week. I have had great luck with all the volunteer trainers, they use positive reinforcement and gentle techniques.

Many young basenjis get "mouthy" and reinforcing 'no bite' and changing the subject helps. Whimpering to indicate that you are hurt may help, it did with young pups (back when we were brave enough for pups) Whimper, yelp and stop playing, they get the idea.

Good luck! Meet up with us some Sunday at the dog park!

I would also cut out the chase game. For alot of dogs this sort of game gets them over threshold where they "forget" things like off, no bite. Focus more on games like tossing toys or the come game which if there is more than one of you. Reinforce Kona when interactions are not mouthy so you communicate what your expectations are.

@lvoss:

I would also cut out the chase game. For alot of dogs this sort of game gets them over threshold where they "forget" things like off, no bite. Focus more on games like tossing toys or the come game which if there is more than one of you. Reinforce Kona when interactions are not mouthy so you communicate what your expectations are.

I agree with that. The only sort of "chase" game we play with ours is with a bag or stuffed animal on the end of a lunge whip where it is quite clear that we are not being chased but the item is. The whips are long enough that the item being dragged is no where near our body.
We never allow them to chase a person, and we do not chase them.

I know a private trainer, she is a vet tech and lives in the country and does training there. She is great with our basenjis. Let me know if you are interested in using her. I have no idea what she charges, but will put you in touch.

Thank you MacPack. I called the Dog Training Club of Tampa. They have a basic class starting on Wednesday that we are hoping to get Kona into. We have known that we need to take her to training, but were not sure where to take her. This place looks perfect. If needed I will take you up on the private trainer, but I am hoping this will help.

Also, does anyone have suggestions about who should take her to training? Should my husband and I both take her? Should we take turns? Should just one of us go?

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

It would be great if you both went… but whatever you decided, both of you have to work with her the same way and do the same things.

Ok. Thanks. We would love to go together, but I wasn't sure if that would be confusing to her.

Well Kona started obedience training last night and she did really well. We are also very lucky because our trainers are good friends with a couple that has two basenjis, so they are familiar with our special breed. Thanks Anne for the suggestion.

Also there was an advance class going on where they had all the dogs lined up and the owners left the room for 5 minutes and the trainer would make loud noises or show toys and all of the dogs just sat there, completely still. I was amazed by it!

Glad you liked the class! Not many basenjis do that 5 minute down-stay with owners gone!

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