• The other thing I would like to add is there is no time frame for this. When, for whatever reason a dog becomes upset or fearful about something, it can take months for them to get over it - equally for some its just a matter of weeks. What is important is not putting them into a unsure or fearful place whilst you are working on this as another unpleasant experience tends to undo all the hard work you are doing and possibly put you back even further. Without anthropomorphising the situation, for example if a human is getting over say a fear of lifts/elevators - and have just started to use them when they know its only 1-2 stories in a large 8 person lift, when suddenly that lift shudders…. their fear levels are likely to be heightened as now even the 'safe' lifts have gone bad. And as our dogs can't speak to us, we have to take the de-sensitation process very slowly so that they are fully ok with each step before moving onto the next phase.


  • Sorry to hear poor Milo is still upset about judges, he has always been so good in the ring!!

    I do think that our show organisers have a lot to answer for with some of the fear of tables (that this could possibly be?) as mentioned previously. I very rarely find a table that isnt incredibly rocky when im showing my table dogs and even the most seasoned, professional dog will find that very unnerving, and Milo is still just young and a sensitive breed and maybe if that just upset him one time he has remembered it?

    I dont know.. But I agree our ringcraft classes here are not always brilliant. I dont tend to take my pups til i've got them confident at home as the classes are more likely to scare them than anything!!

    You could always try bringing a table to a show and try to get as many people as possible to make a fuss of him or feed him whilst he's on it? Im forever having to do this for other pug exhibitors who's dogs have had a scare, or for nervous pups, and it seems to work wonders. Im sure the other basenji folk would be happy to help out if they can, I know i would 🙂


  • Its such a shame that Milo is having his problems with judges on the table - but then he is at that age!

    Just a pity your not closer - we rent a local village hall every monday night from 7-9 just for extra practice for our dogs. Use one of the big sturdy 6ft tables with rubber matting on it. Some friends often come along with their dogs too - a couple of Dogue De Bordeaux, a bulldog, and sometimes a few gundogs - I know its about an hours drive away but your welcome if you feel you want some extra practice on table with him.


  • Thanks again folks. Lots of sound, encouraging advice. I think his age is a major factor, but we will take time with him and hopefully he will settle again. Our table at home is safe and very sturdy, unlike many at the shows as you said Jess. We will take things slowly and see how he gets on. Thanks Scott for the invite to your meet up. We'll keep that in mind too.


  • I am so sorry to hear about your problems with Milo. Perhaps you would be better to go back to the beginning and just concentrate on him feeling comfortable on the floor before progressing to the table.

    I would ask people to give him a treat and then just briefly run their hands over him until he feels more confident on the floor. Sometimes the judges are too rough with the dogs, if he is not happy on the floor it may not just be the table that is a problem.

    I hope you overcome his problem soon.


  • Thank you. We have been keeping him off the table as advised by his breeder. There has been some improvement and he is less stressed. Hopefully this will continue and eventually he might be more accepting of the table but we will take it easy with him.


  • Are you able to show him on the ground in the UK ???

    I know here in Aus, if we ask for permission from the steward, they will ask the judge, and I dont know of any that have refused to judge a tabled dog, on the ground…


  • I have been told by a few people who judge that you don't have to show your dog on the table. It is only so that the judge can have a good look at the dog but many short breeds are shown quite easy on the floor. Bassets obviously because of their sheer weight even though they are quite close to the floor,Staffordshire terriers are shown on the floor and they are short legged breeds. It's not ideal i admit, but if it gets your dog over a period of nervousness or whatever it's better than giving up completely or stressing your dog out even more. For now it is having a positive effect so hopefully it won't be for too long.


  • Oh thats good that you can do it over there too…

    So just curious, do you think you will enter him in his next show and perhaps show him on the ground ??? Will be interested to see how he goes for you, if you do :)... Good luck with him... Heres hoping it just a 'stage' he is going through...


  • Hi, I thought i would update everyone on this topic. My hubby started to handle Milo last spring. It wasn't easy but Milo has been fine mostly in the ring, on the table. He still has issues with certain judges, their appearance, manner or smell. However, Brian can control his tension most of the time. Milo has and does do well in the ring and is a lovely basenji. His breeder i think blamed us for his nervousness, however, i think he is just naturally suspicious of certain people. I am just delighted that we can enjoy him in the showring and look forward to many more years doing the same. I am glad we didn't give up too, so many people do and that is such a shame.

    Theresa


  • @lukris:

    Hi, I thought i would update everyone on this topic. My hubby started to handle Milo last spring. It wasn't easy but Milo has been fine mostly in the ring, on the table. He still has issues with certain judges, their appearance, manner or smell. However, Brian can control his tension most of the time. Milo has and does do well in the ring and is a lovely basenji. His breeder i think blamed us for his nervousness, however, i think he is just naturally suspicious of certain people. I am just delighted that we can enjoy him in the showring and look forward to many more years doing the same. I am glad we didn't give up too, so many people do and that is such a shame.

    Theresa

    Sounds to me like great progress….. my Franie is a bit shy... and I think it is more that she is not confindent in herself.. it has taken a bit to get her to relax in the ring, but we are making (slowly) big strides... So, from my point of view, it is more their (the Basenji) own confidence rather then being suspicious of people.


  • When my Gambit was having trouble with judges going over him, when I walked him, I would ask anyone who spoke to me to "go over" him like a judge, I would explain. That helped that in a normal day walk, he would meet new people who would be allow to touch him all over, with me being very close and in control of him. And at shows, in the grooming area, I would ask anyone close by to go over him if they had a few minutes to spare, it really helped my boy, the best show for us was the first one he stood stock still on the table, did not place that time, but just being so good after being such a pill for a long time. He did win points, but we never did get him finished, life got in our way for a time. good luck.

  • First Basenji's

    Wow! I just found this thread and I have recently posted almost the exact thing! Ours is a 13 month old female having the same problem in the ring. She is very comfortable on the table except when the judge comes to the table. She will even lay down and relax on the table in the grooming area at shows, at home she will go up on her table on her own and in handling class she is very good on the table. Please let me know how you got him through this. I thought dogs went through a second fear stage much younger than this? Maybe this is what is happening here too.


  • I am having a similar issue. I think my puppy thinks the judge is the vet with a scary shot. If he were to meet the judge outside the ring they'd be best buds but on the table he grumbles and goes stiff. VERY frustrating!

    My older dog nearly did a back flip off the table at his second show he was so scared! He will be 3 in October and is rock solid on the table now. It takes time, patience and practice.


  • @horsemum2:

    I thought dogs went through a second fear stage much younger than this? Maybe this is what is happening here too.

    Possibly. I believe the second fear period can be from 6 to 14 months. Another consideration…...judges walk with intent. The people you practice with may not be so focused. If you could work with an actual judge it might help. (perhaps at a show between classes or when a judge is at leisure? ) Or get the people who practice with you to fix their eyes intently on the dog. You may see a different response. If you do, good. Now you can work on it. 🙂 (In many cases I can cause a dog to raise hackles or growl just with eye contact, because intensity makes them feel threatened)

  • First Basenji's

    eeeefarm- what a good idea! thanks. I will definitely ask the people at class to practice with us that way and see what happens.

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