What happened to my nice Basenji?

Help! My B, Sahara attacked my neighbors dog today while we were out walking. My neighbor has a minature pincher, and they were walking and I hollered for her to stop. Well, as I approached her the the two dogs were nose to nose and Sahara jumped her dog. I was shocked to say the least, I take my dog where other dogs are and she has NEVER reacted this way. She growled and bit him or scratched him, I don't know for sure. I called later and she said he was licking it alot, and the dog would not let them check it out. I told them to take it to there vet and to send me the bill, that's the least I can do. I felt so bad, Sahara has never ever acted this way. Anyone have an idea what got into her, did the nose to nose cause a problem. I sure would like to know just what the heck did happen!! Thanks!:eek:

Nose to nose is a threatening posture for dogs. They probably were also stiff legged and exhibiting other distance increasing signals as they measured each other up. Often these situations escalate into fights right as the owners move in to intervene.

When dogs face off squarely like that, it is generally a bad sign. Eye-to-eye contact is seen as aggression and a challenge and someone will either back down or someone may get hurt. It would be hard to say who started it, not that it really matters, but someone threw up the red flags.
Min-Pins are not known for backing down. They are tough little dogs with lots of attitude. (Attitude isn't necesssarily a bad thing.) Additionally, since yours is female, there may have been some territory guarding going on. Females tend to be that way more than males.
You are very nice for being concerned for the Min-Pin. He will probably be fine, just a little leery around your Sahara. Time will tell on that one.
Best you can do to avoid the problem again is make sure she's on a lead next time she encounters him and if she even tenses up a little bit, distract her immediately. You can do this by flipping a u-turn and she'll have no choice but to follow or put her on the other side of your body from the other dog. This tells her you are the alpha boss, not her.
This is fairly normal dog behavior in general. Good luck with it. 🙂

Was your bitch not on a lead?…

Hi, Ms. Pat…I like reading your opinion on matters. You seem so knowledgeable. 🙂

@AJs:

Hi, Ms. Pat…I like reading your opinion on matters. You seem so knowledgeable. 🙂

Thanks…. but my opinion on this matter may not be taken very well, if I remember correctly, this is a Basenji that has an underground fence on her property... and if this is the case then it is no surprise that she finally bolted through the "shock" to get the dog that is what she considers on her property...

If this is not the case, then I am sorry for my post..... but not for my opinion on underground fencing

Sahara and I were out walking, the two dogs came up to each other, nose to nose, she is always on lead.

There has never been an animal on my property after my dog, but the fencing has kept my dog from getting hit by a car. I don't think it is fair to keep a dog in a crate for hours on hours when you are working, just my opinion of course.

…....my neighbors dog today while we were out walking.

I don't want to seem like I'm stepping on your toes or arguing or anything. An underground fence wasn't the issue in this case. From what Ms. youngandtired wrote, Sahara didn't bolt her fence. It sounded like a case of eye contact that went too long.

Also, I wasn't trying to sound sarcastic. I really do like seeing what you have to say, especially where it pertains to health issues. You really know your stuff!:)

Ms. youngandtired:

It appears you tried to keep the situation under control. Sometimes dogs decide something is their territory even when they've never been there before.
There are cues when they might have a problem coming up and we have a very short period of time in which to head it off. Sometimes you will feel, more than see, your dog tense up a little. They are able to project that energy to each other and we don't even see it coming. Cues to look for: a stiffer walk, staring at another dog, a subtle raising of the back hair or a low growl you can feel but not hear. These are all danger signs and should be headed off in whatever manner is appropriate for you and your dog.
My AJ acts like a jerk sometimes and when he starts doing that, I put the lead in my right hand, very short with my hand on my hip and make him walk behind me. I won't allow him to break the plane of my heel. It's a little uncomfortable, but his attitude goes flat like an old beach ball and he starts to behave right.
You'll know what works for you.
Cheers.

AJ thanks so much for your ideas, and knowledge, I really appreciate it. I will be on guard next time for sure, I just didn't expect Sahara's reaction that's all. I even fell down on the gravel and messed up my left hand and knee, it is so sore right now. She pulled me so hard that I lost balance, it was a mess, and an embarrasement, it was like having your child act up. She is my baby girl after all, even though I was so mad at her, hehe!!!!

They don't understand why we get mad at them for this behavior. It's normal for them. We just have to keep reminding ourselves they are not four-legged people. They are dogs. We chose a breed that has less domestication than most breeds, but they still communicate with each other the same ways.
I hope you'll heal up well. Take care.
Cheers

I will once again recommend the video The Language of Dogs. It is available at http://www.dogwise.com

Many times we miss the signals are dogs are giving that they are uncomfortable with a situation. When they are on lead and in a situation they are uncomfortable with they do not have the option to leave so they will first posture, then if that does not work they will escalate to fighting.

Learning what these signals are so you can redirect and back up so your dog has more space before things escalate is really key to having positive interactions. My adult dogs do not enjoy having other dogs in their face. They need personal space to feel comfortable. This is normal adult dog behavior, but many dogs are rude and do not respect other dogs' space and this leads to issues. Often the owner of the rude dog says, "My dog is just being friendly," when in fact their dog is being rude and in some cases is a bully.

@AJs:

…....my neighbors dog today while we were out walking.

I don't want to seem like I'm stepping on your toes or arguing or anything. An underground fence wasn't the issue in this case. From what Ms. youngandtired wrote, Sahara didn't bolt her fence. It sounded like a case of eye contact that went too long.

Also, I wasn't trying to sound sarcastic. I really do like seeing what you have to say, especially where it pertains to health issues. You really know your stuff!:)

Correct.. which is why I asked if her girl was on lead or in the yard… again.. there are many opinions on things like underground fencing that I would never use...

And I agree.. face to face contact and eye to eye contact will lead to trouble.. totally.... you need to be able to read what your dog is telling you before the trouble starts....

My dog is always the alpha when I'm out walking her. Sometimes drives me crazy! A trainer suggested that i put her in a harness that has a center front loop on it, that is found at her chest. Then, when she tries to lunge forward, the action spins the dog around! Works like a charm. Otherwise, when I have her on her normal harness, she wants to pull away and we're off to the Iditarod. So, after 4 yrs, I'm always cautious when other dogs approach. My girl does mellow out after a minute or so, but if another dog is off leash and runs up to her and she doesn't know the other dog, the bell rings and it's round one! Fortunately, even the big dogs back off quickly. Good arm exercise! (she's always on leash, or else she's off for an adventure, with or without me!) But the center front loop harness works the best for control. Hope this helps

My dogs both have horrendous leash manners – MY fault ENTIRELY. I seldom walk them at all. We have so many loose dogs in our neighborhood that every walk is a nightmare that I would rather do without. So - they go in and out of the house as they please, into our fenced back yard, which is just under 1/2 acre, and have to be happy with that.
I hate it, but it's just too hard for me to deal with everyone else's loose dogs.

@JazzysMom:

My dogs both have horrendous leash manners – MY fault ENTIRELY. I seldom walk them at all. We have so many loose dogs in our neighborhood that every walk is a nightmare that I would rather do without. So - they go in and out of the house as they please, into our fenced back yard, which is just under 1/2 acre, and have to be happy with that.
I hate it, but it's just too hard for me to deal with everyone else's loose dogs.

I hear you.. and if I were in that situation, I would do exactly the same as you…

When we see other dogs on our path, I tend to move off it and let them "play through". Every now and then you get someone curious about the breed and we'll instigate a meet and greet, just to see how far either dog will go.

I tend to look for the "mohawk" - those bristled up back hairs that let me know she's on edge. Plus She-Ra's a growler, so you can usually get a little forwarning if she's not happy about the situation. Generally that's enough for both me and the other owner/walker to realize we should pull back.

I get more incidents at the dog park than we do on walks, but I think that's almost to be expected. Never anything bad, though…She-Ra knows to run like hell if it gets too hairy, and she can pretty much outrun anything that's shown up in the park (so far). 🙂

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