My rescue bit me today!!!

so today we went to visit my mom who has a big yard. and when we were about to leave ramses and cleo bolt out of the open door and run into the woods, when i call ramses he comes to me instantly, cleo however does not. after chasing her thru the woods behind my moms house where there are bears and rattlesnake; she ran past me and i grabbed her harness and then she bit me!!! 2 puncture wounds on my wrist!!. i was so in shock! i have had her almost for a month and a half now and she likes me more than she liked me girlfriend but apparently not. no i just have lost alot of trust in her and i dont know if i can think of her the same again. but im trying to be understanding to the fact that she is a rescue and comes from a rough life in a puppy mill. im frustrated.:eek::eek:

It is a natural reaction for an animal to bite when grabbed. It is one reason why it is so important to handle puppies and dogs frequently associate being touched and grabbed at with positive experiences. It is also important to work on bite inhibition so when they do bite it is inhibited and does not cause punctures. Since Cleo came from an unknown background with an unknown socialization history, it will take time to establish these positive experiences and you may never make up 100% for the missed early socialization.

Try running in the opposite direction into the house or yard. She will chase you.

It is so easy to take for granted behaviors that are the result of good breeding and socialization. When working with rescues, it can quickly become apparent how many behaviors we do take for granted. Finding a good positive reinforcement trainer that can help you to build a relationship with the dog and develop strategies to manage the behaviors is really key to success.

Don't take it too badly - she's only been with you a short time and probably has not fully bonded. She was also probably a bit scared.

A long time ago someone once told me that Basenjis overreact and that is why it is important to stay calm. However i realise that when Cleo ran off and there is a danger of Bears and Rattle snakes you would be inclined not to be calm.
When i first got Benji i chased him over hill and dale to catch him untill i got so fed up i just walked away from him in the opposite direction. Lo and behold he was by my side 😃
Ivoss what is bite inhibition and how do you go about training a dog to have it please ?

@wizard:

Don't take it too badly - she's only been with you a short time and probably has not fully bonded. She was also probably a bit scared.

+1

It happened to me within the first couple weeks of having my B around (he was 8 months old when I got him, although he was not a rescue).

He was more than likely freightened and that's why he bit me (but I will admit going for my face was not the best move, fun ER visit :o ). He knew immediately that he had made a mistake. He was very forgiving upon my return that morning.

He has not done anything remotely similar since now a year later (wow how time flies). He's such a sweet dog, but now he knows and trusts me. Be patient and know she's taking her time to get used to you. You made a mistake that a lot of us do and that's not fully understanding their defense tactics. Leave it as a lesson learned and work on allowing her to feel comfortable in her new home. I'm sure she'll become your new best friend. It just takes time.

My B bit me (on the mouth!) about 6 weeks after we got her. I was also making a grab for her because she had twisted out of her harness. It was shocking and disturbing to me and I did look at her differently for quite a while. But nothing like that has ever happened since. I think it was instinctive behavior and not aggression directed at me personally. There is a little bit of wild beast in those basenjis and you just have to respect it.

I'm so sorry to read about this. I know you're going through some confusing emotions right now and so is your rescue. But I think the relationship can be salvaged and you both can learn to trust each other again. The whole thing is a very unfortunate accident. And can be a learning experience for everyone.

@lvoss:

It is a natural reaction for an animal to bite when grabbed. It is one reason why it is so important to handle puppies and dogs frequently associate being touched and grabbed at with positive experiences.

YES!!! This is why everyone, but especially those of us with dogs that dart, need to work on Collar Grab games. So the dog will associate someone grabs the collar = treats/good things. You'll find it on page 73 of your Control Unleashed book or you can watch it here:

If you need to, breakdown the exercise so that the dog will be successful. Start off by reaching for the collar, but not touching it. Touch it slowly and gently first. Up your criteria by moving faster and rougher touches. Reward often. Your goal is to have a dog the looks for the treat whenever you grab his collar.

The key word is rescue and the fact that she came from a puppymill situation, which means that she had very little if any social interaction with humans and certainly would have never learned anything about bite inhibition either from her littermates or from humans…

I would venture to guess you scared her by grabbing her and her first thought is to bite.. I doubt it was directed at you personally. Many times with dogs that come from a puppymill situation you can never be sure that you will not scare them or do something that may trigger such a reaction. IMO, has nothing to do with liking or not liking you.. she reverted to a place/mode that cause the reaction to bite first, ask question later

@bcraig:

My B bit me (on the mouth!) about 6 weeks after we got her. I was also making a grab for her because she had twisted out of her harness. It was shocking and disturbing to me and I did look at her differently for quite a while. But nothing like that has ever happened since. I think it was instinctive behavior and not aggression directed at me personally. There is a little bit of wild beast in those basenjis and you just have to respect it.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. :o

@bcraig:

My B bit me (on the mouth!) about 6 weeks after we got her. I was also making a grab for her because she had twisted out of her harness. It was shocking and disturbing to me and I did look at her differently for quite a while. But nothing like that has ever happened since. I think it was instinctive behavior and not aggression directed at me personally. There is a little bit of wild beast in those basenjis and you just have to respect it.

I used to take my last 2 Basenjis, Ringo and Nika out off leash to these fields and the beach. To wear them out I used to throw rocks for them to chase after. Ringo used to get extremely jacked up and excited to the point if he even saw me reaching down to pick up a rock he'd run over and try to bite me, jumping up. I had to launch that rock fast before he could get to me. Now I know he wasn't being viscous or mean just very excitable. He got me a few times. Didn't break the skin but it smarted. I tried to work with him and calm him down but he was just a jacked up beast.

@thunderbird8588:

Ivoss what is bite inhibition and how do you go about training a dog to have it please ?

Bite inhibition is what is sometimes referred to as being soft mouthed. It is when a dog inhibits the force of their bite. They do this frequently with each other which is what happens when you have those loud, noisy, spats that sound like World War III but neither dog has a scratch on them.

Here is an article about teaching bite inhibition, http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/teaching-bite-inhibition

@lvoss:

Bite inhibition is what is sometimes referred to as being soft mouthed. It is when a dog inhibits the force of their bite. They do this frequently with each other which is what happens when you have those loud, noisy, spats that sound like World War III but neither dog has a scratch on them.

Here is an article about teaching bite inhibition, http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/teaching-bite-inhibition

I'm trying to teach this to Buddy now. He can get rough. My first Basenji had bite inhibition down perfectly.

Houston

I really don't think Cleo bit you to bite you, if that makes sense, she was probably scared, very excited to be loose and also freaked out about being loose, then all of a sudden somebody, something grabbed her..her instinct is to bite to get loose again..
I know it is hard, especially since you feel a bond and now that bond feels broken, it isn't but the feeling is there.
My late Westie, Bogus bit me once on my ear so bad that I heard the cartilage crunch, freaked me out and out of reflex I bit him back, on his ear..he was shocked and so was I ( lets no even go at what my husbands face looked like…)...he never did a mean thing again..no growling, no nipping nothing..and Westies can be snippy...they are the epiphany of Terriers=Terrors..

I am not saying to bite her back by all means, what I am saying is, it happens..then we move on. Show her that you trust her and aren't afraid of her, you are the leader of the pack..

Teaching bite inihibition can take awhile and it is so important to get the inhibited force before decreasing the frequency that way if they do put teeth on you it doesn't cause severe injury. You may end up with a scrape just because when teeth are moving even with no force you can get scraped or scratched but you shouldn't have any punctures.

Probably one of the best examples of bite inhibition was when we took Nicky to the vet at about 2 years old. He had a nail bed infection and the vet wanted to aspirate to see what type of bacteria before prescribing an antibiotic. It apparently was more painful than they expected because Nicky very gently put his mouth around the vet's hand. He was very careful to exert zero force but he made his point that what she was doing hurt! She said she was very lucky he was so soft mouthed and in hindsight she probably should have muzzled him.

@lvoss:

Teaching bite inihibition can take awhile and it is so important to get the inhibited force before decreasing the frequency that way if they do put teeth on you it doesn't cause severe injury. You may end up with a scrape just because when teeth are moving even with no force you can get scraped or scratched but you shouldn't have any punctures.

Probably one of the best examples of bite inhibition was when we took Nicky to the vet at about 2 years old. He had a nail bed infection and the vet wanted to aspirate to see what type of bacteria before prescribing an antibiotic. It apparently was more painful than they expected because Nicky very gently put his mouth around the vet's hand. He was very careful to exert zero force but he made his point that what she was doing hurt! She said she was very lucky he was so soft mouthed and in hindsight she probably should have muzzled him.

When I take mine to the vet and I think it may smart I put my hand around the the dogs muzzle while I have my right arm around the dogs body to secure any movement.

Don't feel bad about getting bit…she probably was sorry as soon as she realized what happened. Darting movements can garner such a reaction from any animal (and some humans) when they aren't used to contact.

Chasing a Basenji, even when you really need them to come to you (sometimes especially when you need them to come) quickly becomes a game and they will play tirelessly.

You could try a training exercise wherein you have really good cookies in your hand and call her just to give her a cookie. It won't take long for her to come to her name if she associates it with something good. Don't give up.

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