I don't know what to do :(

I got my basenji from a shelter about 2 years ago and now he is about 3.5 years old. When I first got him he was a great dog very friendly but now he has changed completely and I have no idea what to do. I took him to classes when I first got him and he did great. I've also spent money on trainers as well but now nothing works. He has become really agressive towards the other people in my house and sometimes towards me and it has got way out of control and im at my wits end. I've also tried training tapes and several different books but still, nothing. I can't afford classes or trainers anymore because i don't have a job anymore and I am a college student. I took him to the vet recently to get his shots and he doesn't have a thyroid problem. We also have one other dog who is older than him but is very subbmissive. I use to be able to take my B to the dog park and it's got to where i can't even do that anymore 😞 The worst part of all of this seems to be how random it is. He won't repeat the same behavior everytime sometimes he will do bad behaviors randomly. I don't allow him to sleep on the couch, he eats after I do, I go out the door before him, he knows basics commands ETC. So I just don't know what to do anymore. I have to take all his toys away too because he gets so protective of them.

I'm not sure where this all stems from but I will say this because it probably contributes to it…I use to let him sleep on the couch and do those bad behaviors cause i didn't really think about it. From what I understand he has a problem with "resource guarding" but I don't think thats the only thing unless it just a really really bad case of it.

any ideas? at this point if I can't correct it I'm going to have to give him back to the shelter which i really don't want to do cause I love him to death 😞

Don't give him up!! You better take him to the vet and get a blood work up done to check his thyroid ASAP. Low thyroid can cause changes in behavior. It's easily treatable. See the link below for info.

http://www.apubasenjis.com/bhealth.html

Sorry to hear about your probs Basenjiboy20, it's strange how his behaviour has changed.
If he has no health problems it sounds like you might have to go back to basics with him. You have the right idea feeding him after yourself, going through doors first. Do you think he has got into a pattern of bad behaviour because you have allowed it in the past?a

Didnt mean to say pasta at the end,lol.
I only have experience of one Basenji and he was very narky, i'm afraid he bit us a few times untill we learned to manage him.
One of the best pieces of advise i was given was in times of trouble, ie getting him off furniture was to keep calm and talk him down. Basenjis react badly to stressed people and go on the offensive. This approach needs loads of patience and time.

oh believe me It's taken quite alot of patientce 😞 but nothing. I think I might be battling his old habits of the things we use to let him do but i'm not sure because the change seems so drastic. I'm going out of my mind! I'm being threatened by the other people I live with as well saying that if it doesn't change soon "one day when i come home he might not be here anymore"
I've taken so much time and been very patient and nothing is working.

When you had the thyroid check was it a full thyroid panel? It must be the full panel. And usually needs to be sent out to a different lab then your Vet would use. Please see this site for the details. And please have the thyroid retested asap. http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM

You always need to be sure that there is not something going on medically

What triggers the agression towards you and the other people? and how do you deal with it?

The vet may not have done a through test like Dr. Dodds on the thyroid panel. Total T4 or T3 measurement alone, or T3 & T4 alone, are not accurate for diagnosing HT. You need to have results for T3, T4, Free T3, Free T4, T3 AA, and T4 AA.
I wonder what the other people in your house are doing to handle him when you are not there? If they are yelling and hitting him it will make him worse. Is he loose in the house when you are not there? Is he crate trained?

@basenjiboy20:

oh believe me It's taken quite alot of patientce 😞 but nothing. I think I might be battling his old habits of the things we use to let him do but i'm not sure because the change seems so drastic. I'm going out of my mind! I'm being threatened by the other people I live with as well saying that if it doesn't change soon "one day when i come home he might not be here anymore"
I've taken so much time and been very patient and nothing is working.

It sounds like the people you live with haven't been as patient as you have been. It is really hard to get everyone on board in the home with a behavioral rehab project in the best of circumstances…trying to get a bunch of college students who don't really care about the dog to cooperate may be close to impossible.

Taking away everything that a dog is guarding doesn't fix the problem...it just makes the dog want to guard them more, because he knows he will lose them. Letting him on the couch, letting him go thru doors first etc didn't make him a resource guarder. And not letting him do those things won't make him NOT be a resource guarder. You have to find a way to let him earn some things that he values. It is really complicated, and it doesn't sound like your situation is the best for trying to change his behavior.

Unless you can get everyone in the house to commit to helping him, instead of blaming him and you, or you can move, it might BE best to talk to BRAT or return him the shelter.

@basenjiboy20:

I'm being threatened by the other people I live with as well saying that if it doesn't change soon "one day when i come home he might not be here anymore".

This is a terrible threat to make especially if you are making efforts to handle him. You need to move or they do.

Houston

That sounds like an unnerving environment to live in…not knowing if your dog will be there when you get home. Maybe you need to see if you can get everybody in the household onboard with "the program". It is much easier to get any results if all parties know/do the same thing, for you and for the B...and it would be more fair for the B. Mixed messages are very confusing..

Can you give us more info Basenjiboy? Do you leave him during the day while you are at work? Is he loose in the house? Do these people deal with him while you're not there? Either he has a health problem or these other people are doing something or handling him badly while you're not there.

Is he fixed? If I can find someone in Minn to come over, who is basenji smart, to see just what is happening…would that be something you would consider?
Could it be someone who is visiting one of our housemates is not kind to him?
Just somethings that came to mind.

@nobarkus:

The vet may not have done a through test like Dr. Dodds on the thyroid panel. Total T4 or T3 measurement alone, or T3 & T4 alone, are not accurate for diagnosing HT. You need to have results for T3, T4, Free T3, Free T4, T3 AA, and T4 AA.

with a sudden behavior change, the health issue bells go off.

Be sure to send samples to Dr. Dodds, because she takes breed, age and diet into account in interpreting the results as well as doing the complete panel. I liked the results we got from her better than MSU when I was working at a vet clinic.

Also, be sure to have him tested for rikettsial diseases like lyme, erlichia and anaplasmosis, many of which can cause behavior changes in dogs. Last, consider hip and spine x-rays. Pain can cause aggressive behavior as well.

Hope some of this helps.

-Nicole

@thunderbird8588:

What triggers the agression towards you and the other people? and how do you deal with it?

See thats the problem, I can't say for sure 100% of the time because it's very random when its triggered. I have alot of health problems so I live with my mom and sister right now since school is out. Most of the time it's when anyone in the house comes near me, especially when I'm on the couch. He hates strangers and won't let anyone come in the house so I have to crate him when people come over. He growls about toys alot so I have no other choice than to take them from him. Usually when they are not walking around then i let him play with his toys. He hates when his feet or neck are touched, he bit my sister twice when she grabbed him by the collar (on 2 different occasions) but I warned her after the first time and she didnt listen so in my opinion the second time was her fault. He humps my leg when people hug me, he gets upset when people hug me.

When I am not at home but they are my mom tells me that the aggression greatly decreases. When everyone is gone he doesnt get crated. I usually just yell at him when he does something bad. I use to crate him when he did something bad and he hated that but then I was told your not suppose to do that so I don't anymore. He loves his crate but only on his terms lol

I have a theory about some of this, I don't know.. When my brother was around I use to sleep on the couch alot and he was a huge jerk. He use to pull me off the couch when I wouldnt get off (he was abusive) so that would get pretty bad. There were times when he would grab me and not let go (which would look like hugging) and just general bad thing like that would lead to yelling and crying…and now the dog guards me all the time..Just a thought. My sisterdoesnt like my dog and she yells at him and gets annoyed by him but no one ever hits him.

I constantly try and get them on board 100% but they are only doing it sometimes and i have told them over and over that only doing it sometimes doesnt work and is only going to make it worse. My mom told me shes only taken his toys from him or crated him when im gone. (sometimes she has sometimes she hasnt)

@nkjvcjs:

with a sudden behavior change, the health issue bells go off.

Be sure to send samples to Dr. Dodds, because she takes breed, age and diet into account in interpreting the results as well as doing the complete panel. I liked the results we got from her better than MSU when I was working at a vet clinic.

Also, be sure to have him tested for rikettsial diseases like lyme, erlichia and anaplasmosis, many of which can cause behavior changes in dogs. Last, consider hip and spine x-rays. Pain can cause aggressive behavior as well.

Hope some of this helps.

-Nicole

Generally, how much would all that cost? Thats another bad thing I don't have the money to do more expensive things (I lost my job and paying for school)

Hi,
i think all the suggestions to get him checked again medicaly are good, unfortunately it is expensive going to the vets, i know to my cost,lol.
Sharond suggestion abour someone coming over from BRAT to obseve and advise is also good. Hopefuly they could help if you need to rehome him. You sound like you are realy trying with him and its such a shame your sister doesn't like him.
It is important not to yell or grab a Basenji, often if they are lyed down they dont like you to put hands on them and will growl, you need to do the broken record technique of repeating "get down !" But KEEP CALM or you can escalate the situation.
As you will realise Basenjis are a challenging breed and people misunderstand how to handle them, i certainly did when i first got mine, you cant treat them as normal Dogs, they are still close to wild dogs in temperament. Some of our friends were afraid of Benji because they saw him acting up, and your family sound as if they have been put off too. I do hope you get sorted and admire you for trying so hard:)

Sorry about all spelling mistakes etc in above post. In a hurry going out.

@basenjiboy20:

Generally, how much would all that cost? Thats another bad thing I don't have the money to do more expensive things (I lost my job and paying for school)

Call around to local vets and see if someone uses the IDEXX snap 4dx. It is a snap test that checks for heartworm, lyme, erlichia and anaplasmosis all in one, and shouldn't cost much more that a normal heartworm test.
The thyroid panel with t3 and t4 autoantibody is $85 through hemopet. When the vet is doing the draw for the snap, just ask him to get 5-6 cc instead of just the few drops for the snap test, and you can send it to Hemopet yourself, or ask them to send it, which they shouldn't charge too much extra to do.
When they are doing the physical exam, ask them to be especially sensitive to any signs of tenderness in the hip or spine, and only talk about x-rays if they find something. All told, I would expect about $200 without x-rays and $500-$1000 if x-rays are needed.

Also, consider joining the yahoo group agbeh. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/agbeh/
They are very strict, but very good. Read through their files section. They have a lot of great info there.
Also, Ian Dunbar has his book "After you get your puppy" available for free as a pdf at dogstardaily. http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/after-you-get-your-puppy . I realize your guy is not a puppy anymore, but this is a great book, and many of the exercises could be helpful.

Again, hope some of this helps.

-Nicole

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