Tri agression imitation

Gossy has a very nice disposition and has been friendly to other dogs and most people. However, a couple months ago we met a lady a few blocks away that has an older tri bitch, Maggie. Being a tri, Maggie doesn't like other people or Gossy. Whenever we see each other on walks we both try to grab our dogs so we can talk, otherwise Maggie immediately becomes defensive/aggressive (initially probably just protecting her human) and tries to go after Gossy - one time I was holding Gossy in my arms and Maggie got loose from Carol and jumped at Gossy - got my elbow instead - ouch (no blood TG). Now I've noticed that Gossy gets her hackles up any time she encounters a black or partially black dog. Suggestions on how I can calm her so she doesn't become aggressive? Or should I be concerned?

Many years ago in 1995 when I first started taking my BW, Nika to this big dog park by the beach there was a women with her female B that was very nasty to Nika and would nip her on the butt. Nika was just being friendly. That started Nika doing it to other dogs, especially females. I always went way out of my way to avoid that women. She never even apologized for her Bs nastiness. Her dog didn't bother with my RW male.
One time Nika got into it a bit with this other medium size dog and the lady picked up her dog and Nika jumped up and nipped the lady on her butt. The lady let out a pretty good "OUCH! she bit my on my butt".. I apologized to her, trying not to laugh, picked up Nika and moved along.
I would just keep them apart.

@wizard:

Being a tri, Maggie doesn't like other people or Gossy.

Color has nothing to do with temperament.

Whenever we see each other on walks we both try to grab our dogs so we can talk, otherwise Maggie immediately becomes defensive/aggressive (initially probably just protecting her human) and tries to go after Gossy - one time I was holding Gossy in my arms and Maggie got loose from Carol and jumped at Gossy - got my elbow instead - ouch (no blood TG).

If Gossy and Maggie do not like one another there is little you can do to make them become friendly towards each other. There are, however, ways to have them remain more civilized. Dogs read body language so it is important to pay attention to what you are doing before and during encounters with Maggie and her owner. Are you keeping the leash tight, possibly hunched over slightly, breathing shallowly, or otherwise showing any signs of nervousness, no matter how subtle? If so, this can make your dog wonder what's wrong and put them on alert. If you are not in control of the situation, the dog may try to be and that's where things go downhill.

My recommendation is that both Maggie and Gossy need some basic obedience so they both know how to heel and sit stay. Then when you and Maggie's owner approach one another, have your dogs at heel with a loose leash. Pay attention to your body language. Stand up straight. Take a few deep breaths and relax. When you get close, have your dogs sit-stay next to you but keep a them a few feet apart. Keep the leash short but not tight. This is so you can feel your dog when it moves and reinforce the sit-stay. Stand can be taken an "alpha" position whereas sit is more neutral for the dogs. (It is harder for a dog to "posture" when it is not standing.) Try to position the dogs where they are not staring eye-to-eye. In time you will be able to have Maggie and Gossy in near proximity with one another without an explosive reaction.

Now I've noticed that Gossy gets her hackles up any time she encounters a black or partially black dog.

It is not unusual for a dog to be on alert when it encounters a dog that looks similar to a dog it has had a bad experience with, especially if the dog is downwind and your dog can't smell it. It is also not unusal for the owner to be the cause of the dog's reaction. Sometimes the dog is not concerned until the owner subconciously gives body signals that the dog then acts upon. Watch your own body language. Distraction works well. Have your dog heel and turn quickly and walk away from the other dog, praising your dog if it ignores the other dog. Do this consistently and you and your dog will see positive results.

Whatever you do, avoid the "it's ok" reassurance petting when your dog is behaving adversely. The dog will confuse your actions with praise and assume that you want it to behave aggressively.

Good luck!

I take a bit of exception to the statement "being tri she doesn't like other people or Gossy"…. that is not a "tri" thing, at least not with my Tris..... It is an older bitch that may or may not be well socialized with people... and typically bitches do NOT like other bitches in this breed... and it is well known that Basenjis can be "leash" aggressive more so then when not on a leash

And I totally agree with Robyn, color has nothing to do with this behavior....

I agree…tris are well, try-ing 😉 but not nasty, or at least not nastier than any other color of B 🙂 It just so happens that a couple of us on this forum have more behavior problems with our tri than our other colors, in fact...my most dog aggressive dog was a brindle..but that isn't a color linked thing...

But I totally understand where you are coming from Wizard 🙂 Sooo.....I would suggest teaching Gossy a rock solid "watch" or attention behavior. As soon as *you (not her) see an oncoming dog, have her sit, and watch you to see what to do next. You may have to move off the path, or out of the way. The trick is to give the dog a command of "watch" before they identify that there is something they want to try to engage with. Again, "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons, and "Fiesty Fido" by Patricia McConnell address this behavior very well.

Oh sorry - didn't mean to offend tri people (I meant that comment in jest).

Thanks for the tips - I do remember now in my training notes about clicking to calm / sit-stay (I'll have to go back and review) - we have done that sort of thing with oncoming bicyclists but I didn't think of it with respect to other dogs.

I can't really avoid this situation since Carol (Maggie's owner) and I have become friends and Carol can't really do more training with Maggie since she is a senior with restricted mobility. But I will work on Gossy and my behaviors.

i'd put (surprise!) Control Unleashed book on your shopping list too. Pay careful attention to the Look At That game.

@agilebasenji:

i'd put (surprise!) Control Unleashed book on your shopping list too. Pay careful attention to the Look At That game.

I so have to read this, Kim….I can't believe I haven't gotten around to it yet...can someone lend me some time, so I can catch up with all the great trainers here? 🙂

Andrea -
there is a video (the video is 4 dvd's and covers about 1/2 the book) and the LAT game is on there (disc 2 or 3). I'm also reading Aloff's book on dog language - really good stuff with lots of big pics. (so it's a pretty quick read, depending on how long you study the pic) The layout of this book is top notch. CU book is a little overwhelming with the layout and amount of info, but well worth the read.

@agilebasenji:

i'd put (surprise!) Control Unleashed book on your shopping list too. Pay careful attention to the Look At That game.

+1 Just a side note, but I have to say because of your frequent recommendations :p, that I bought CU and I absolutely love it! It made so much sense after I started reading it. I tried the Look at That game during puppy obedience class yesterday (we're repeating it because Zoni was really distracted the last time we took it) and it worked really well. I was kind of doing my own thing during class but I was making decent progress in getting her to pay more attention to me and less to the other dogs. I'm curious to see how she does the rest of the session.

@agilebasenji:

Andrea -
there is a video (the video is 4 dvd's and covers about 1/2 the book) and the LAT game is on there (disc 2 or 3). I'm also reading Aloff's book on dog language - really good stuff with lots of big pics. (so it's a pretty quick read, depending on how long you study the pic) The layout of this book is top notch. CU book is a little overwhelming with the layout and amount of info, but well worth the read.

ooohh…that is really good to know. I will check out the DVD instead. I also have both of Aloff's book..I love them, I love the detailed drawings. I am friends with her, so she gave me a big discount on autographed them 🙂 She is a REALLY awesome woman 🙂

@Nemo:

+1 Just a side note, but I have to say because of your frequent recommendations :p, that I bought CU and I absolutely love it! It made so much sense after I started reading it. I tried the Look at That game during puppy obedience class yesterday (we're repeating it because Zoni was really distracted the last time we took it) and it worked really well. I was kind of doing my own thing during class but I was making decent progress in getting her to pay more attention to me and less to the other dogs. I'm curious to see how she does the rest of the session.

Thanks - I'm so happy for that feed back. The book is even better the second time you start reading it. It's sort of a different way of thinking about training dogs.

OT for just a moment. So many good books are always talked about. Could we start threads in the BOOKS topic specific to the book content for easy reference.

(ie…Thread title:Leash walking techniques
Control Unleashed @ Amazon
Learn how to turn stress to confidence and distraction to focus using methods that are 110% positive. Leslie McDevitt's versatile Control Unleashed program is designed to help "dogs with issues" learn how to relax, focus, and work off-leash reliably in either stimulating or stressful situations. Whether you're training a challenging dog on your own, an instructor trying to figure out how to help dogs in your classes, or an instructor who wants to design a special program just for stressed out dogs, this book is for you. Who needs Control Unleashed? Dogs that are uncomfortable or unable to work off lead around other dogs Dog that are easily distracted and have difficulty concentrating Dogs that are reactive or easily aroused Dogs that are anxious or stressed and shut down Dog that are unable to control their impulses when excited This training program can change your dog's life!) Then maybe a personal review or experience to go with the book description.

just a suggestion

Sally Wallis on her site has an extensive listing of books etc. that feature basenjis - not just training guides - well worth looking at for even more good reading:
www.zandebasenjis.com/books.htm

@Quercus:

ooohh…that is really good to know. I will check out the DVD instead. I also have both of Aloff's book..I love them, I love the detailed drawings. I am friends with her, so she gave me a big discount on autographed them 🙂 She is a REALLY awesome woman 🙂

And so you're bragging to make the rest of us jealous? Not nice.

But it did work; I am jealous.

@agilebasenji:

And so you're bragging to make the rest of us jealous? Not nice.

But it did work; I am jealous.

Sorry :o Don't be jealous…you have time to read 🙂

@Quercus:

Sorry :o Don't be jealous…you have time to read 🙂

True, but the insomnia also helps with additional reading time.

aside: I've had insomnia for years. Not every night, but many, many nights. It's better with fewer in the bed, but . . . Anyway, the only time I was really, really happy to have insomnia was when I was reading Seabiscut. Other good books, i didn't mind too much to be awake at 3am, but with Seabiscut I was excited about it.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.