Rescue dog hates me

Last June I rescued Sid from being put to sleep. He is 7 years old and a retired show dog. He was in a home with many other basenji's at one time, however had aggression toward other male's so I am assuming he was kept in his own kennel. He got into a fight and was given up to our vet. We rescued him and have had him for about 8 months now. He will not warm up to me at all. He has severe anxiety around strangers and runs in circles if other dogs get near or is forced to stand still near others. He loves my girlfriend though and is a completely different dog around her. He plays with her and runs around the house with her, but if I am around he is always looking at me out of the corner of his eye and even will run and cower under the table and whine. If I speak from the other room he even whines. He sleeps on the couch and when I move from room to room around the house he will jump down from his bed and whine as well. It is soo frustrating because I have done nothing but love this dog. I even give him treats off of the table which my girlfriend does not, I walk him, feed him, brush him and he still is a totally different dog around me than her. Any suggestions? I am lost and do not know what to do. It is awful living with a dog that hates you!!

First of all, he doesn't hate you….but it sounds like he is uncomfortable around you. I think I know this dog, and his story. If you are in the Northwest Ohio area contact me at quercusbasenjis@google.com, and I will see what I can do to help you out. This isn't the kind of situation that you can analyze and help change without seeing 🙂 Please contact me 🙂

I posted on the welcome fourm, but now sure which you will read first. I am in the Columbus, Ohio area and know a great animal behaviorlist who is very reasonably priced and has work with basenjis and other rescues before. I have taken my own male basenji to her and highly recommend her. She teaches and trains only with positive reinforcement.

I would definitely email Andrea right away.

YEARS ago I had picked up a mutt via an ad in the paper. She was about 6 mos old, and while the woman of the house at least talked as if she had some concern for the dog, the man couldn't get her in my car fast enough.

The dog was okay immediately in my house with me and my sister who was visiting. But as soon as my husband got home, she ran outside and didn't want to come back in. It took him weeks of just sitting and ignoring her, holding food in his hands, etc. to get her to want to be near him. Eventually, she loved him and we had that dog for 13 yrs and she was a wonderful pet.

I think she was abused by the man from whom we got her, just based on his demeanor that day. Makes me wonder about yours…..

@JazzysMom:

YEARS ago I had picked up a mutt via an ad in the paper. She was about 6 mos old, and while the woman of the house at least talked as if she had some concern for the dog, the man couldn't get her in my car fast enough.

The dog was okay immediately in my house with me and my sister who was visiting. But as soon as my husband got home, she ran outside and didn't want to come back in. It took him weeks of just sitting and ignoring her, holding food in his hands, etc. to get her to want to be near him. Eventually, she loved him and we had that dog for 13 yrs and she was a wonderful pet.

I think she was abused by the man from whom we got her, just based on his demeanor that day. Makes me wonder about yours…..

If this is the dog I think it is, it is DEFINITELY not the case.

Hello Andrea! I emailed you at quercusbasenjis@google.com but if did not go through for some reason! Maybe try emailing me and I can respond that way. Christymc82@aol.com. Thank you.

Do let us know how it goes please.

I most certainly will! We are in contact and hopefully she can help out.

In the mean time. Hubby should only give good things. Don't call to him or ask him to interact with you. Take some yummy treats and go sit on the couch. diced chicken or
small bits of cheese
. if he comes into the room, drop them on the ground and ignore him and the treat.
When he takes it, say good dog, and if he turns away, drop another one. Saying nothing.
Do this until he comes and sits by you and waits. Don't try to touch him or look at him.
You just want him to know when your around, wonderful things, ie food happen.
Give it a try. Try to be calm..watching tv, or reading.
I think you will see some change in his behavior.

He is very wise to the food trick. I think since he was a show dog he is use to being rewarded from one person for his good show antics. I am the only one who gives him any type of food from the table, he only sits by me and whines, he will not beg my girlfriend at all. However, once we get up from the table it is a different story. I will try to relaxing technique, I just want him to like me and not only expect treats from me. If he knew what was good for him he would like me better anyway because I'm not ultimate attention giver! Lol.

So he will take food from you at the table? He will interact with you then?
Not knowing the dog, does it have something to do with the different rooms of the house? Re his behavior?

No. He interacts with me, just not confidently. He will come to me, sit for me, take treats, go on walks. He just does not act like a normal dog around me, he is always hesitant and watches me out of the corner of his eye. When I am not here he will run around with my gf and act semi-normal, however not as normal as you would expect a dog to act. I just have a feeling he is a one person dog and there is no help for him. He was put on anxiety medication for a little while but that did not help at all, we took him off of it once we saw he was declining. My only thought is to get his thyroid checked and go from there. I am hoping Andrea has some insight for me, she knows Sid personally and hopefully can update me on his full story and even get me into contact with his former owner.

I have to say that your story reminds me of my experience when we got Ella about a year and a half ago. The biggest difference is that Ella was only 6 months old and your Sid is 7 years old. If you click on my past posts you will see one called "gender preferences" where I described a lot of the same problems. I did the majority of the feeding and walking, but Ella treated me completely different than my wife. Ella was definitely fearful of me for several months and it really can tear you apart.

All I can say is that it took about 6 months but Ella eventually began to slowly become more comfortable with me and I am now her second favorite person in the world (behind my wife, of course). She definitely used to cower away from me anytime I approached. And this went on for months.

Here are a few random suggestions that I think helped us. Hand feeding meals. I spent about a month or so feeding Ella most of her meals from my hands. She had to trust me enough to come up to my hands to get her food and eventually associated it with good things. If Sid has any REALLY favorite treats they should be reserved just for you to give him and nobody else. Obedience commands. I think this is the thing that really gave me a connection to Ella. If Sid knows any commands work with him a few times day with treats to run him through his tricks. If not, work on teaching him a few basics–it is a great way to bond. One of the first things I would try to teach is the command "look" to get him to give you his attention. You can't do anything with a dog without his attention. Ella used to look anywhere but at me. "Look" taught her that giving me her attention was a good thing.

At the time I was going through this I would say that I could deal with it as long as I knew that eventually everything would work out OK. It was the uncertainly that was killing me. They say it takes a lot to earn a Basenji's trust but that once you do earn it you have it for life. Basenji's are smart. Eventually, Sid is going to learn it is best for him to trust you. Good Luck.

Hi,
I have a rescue B. Not the same situation (mine was abused) but he was very man shy. It took him about a year to warm up to my fiance (although we didnt live together, he was still over frequently). Now, Squiggy acts like a normal dog around him.
Give it time, you will be glad you did.
Also, schedule some alone time with him- and "special" treats (high value ones) that only you give him.
It will be alright 🙂

Squiggy was 2 or 3 when I got him (time flys when you are having fun) He is now 7.

Ooh, more.

Squiggy was a pacer too. He is fine now around most people but still goes back to circling when there are too many new people.

Can your GF give you an hour or so a day with just you and him in the home? might help speed things up.

Also, Squiggy likes me best but he will "dump" me in a heart beat if Jason (the fiance) will keep petting him.

Actually we are lesbians, so I do not think it is a gender issue. It might have to do with dominance, however my girlfriend is the one who does the disciplining. We both give him his treats, however I usually give him his favorite chew toys. He listens to only sit, he was a show dog so surely he must know other commands but I have yet to figure them out. I am hoping that once I speak with Andrea she can steer me in the right direction. She knows his previous owner. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions, I am going to try the alone time thing with him and even try feeding him a meal a day and see where that gets me.

There have been some great suggestions here. Hopefully Christy and I can get on the right track with Sid. He has always been kind of reserved, un-trusting guy….and he has been through a fairly significant shake up in his life in the last 2 years. I hope to be able to put her in touch with some resources that can help, and offer some behavioral consultations too.

You're both wonderful for wanting to do so much for your basenji. I think time and patience (and the given suggestions) will get him to trust you, though I think domesticated animals sometimes just have a favourite. Our ****atoos have hated my husband since day one. They even like my husband's care workers better. Now that he is in a wheelchair, it is worse. Out of our 3 cats, the two smarter ones prefer me. The dumb one likes my husband. Oh gee, that sounds a bit cruel. 🙂

I've had the experience of one Baenji who we adopted from Kennels at the age of 6 who was the same as your boy. He was fine with me but very wary of the rest of the family. They did as much as possible with him including walking, grooming, each taking turns to feed him by hand at his mealtime. It took us a whole year for him to be happy and attached to us all. I would agree that patience is the key.

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