• We recently got a 3 year old female rescue with no known history. We were told that she was aggressive toward other canines on walks. Having another B that is the same we new how to deal with it. The problem we are having now is aggressive biting when we attempt to put a leash on her. Some days she is fine, but other days she is wild. My partner has been bitten several times and I have come close. We now just put her back in the crate when she acts this way and take the other two out without her. The next walk she goes willingly but then again repeats the cycle.

    She seems to have some training (basic commands) and is very food motivated. I fear that putting her in the crate will be associated with punishment.

    Any suggestions?


  • Are you attaching the leash to a collar?
    If you are, when she bites, are you approaching her head on or from a particular side? Because she is biting inconsistently (some days fine/some days wild), my first thought would be to test her vision.

    Hang in there. That can be a very daunting thing to have a dog that bites in that way.


  • I don't think it's her vision, but it will be worthwhile to investigate further. We were putting a harness on her because she had a terrible skin rash from a standard collar. For almost two months, she was fine, but slowly started the biting. We went back to a traditional collar, but need to remove it after the walks because of the rash. Have tried both nylon and leather collars.
    Good luck on finding your perfect basenji. In my mind with a little work, they are all perfect.


  • For me perfect will be the one on my couch and in my bed…whenever she or he finds me. 🙂

    I groomed a dog that got that way about collars and it turned out to be a tooth issue. This was a terrier mix but that's another thought.


  • Has she had a medical check up? Maybe something on her body is hurting her, and your touching it without knowing??? Just my first thought.


  • Yes, we had a complete check done shortly after we got her from rescue. The only issue was the rash on her chest. We are giving her fish oil and we have put her on a good diet. The rash is much better, but she has some skin issues. She has the shortest fur I have ever seen. It is like she was shaved, but in almost four months, it has not grown at all. I have two other basenjis and one that died two years ago and I have not seen this short of fur before.


  • I wonder if her skin is sensitive to touch there?


  • @wsuraci:

    Yes, we had a complete check done shortly after we got her from rescue. The only issue was the rash on her chest. We are giving her fish oil and we have put her on a good diet. The rash is much better, but she has some skin issues. She has the shortest fur I have ever seen. It is like she was shaved, but in almost four months, it has not grown at all. I have two other basenjis and one that died two years ago and I have not seen this short of fur before.

    Did she come from BRAT? And if so, have you talked to her foster parents?


  • Our first basenji had very short and thin fur and it never improved. Good luck, I would wonder about sight and hearing, as well as tenderness somewhere. Do you reach over her head to leash her? Maybe a gesture is threatening, some bite first and ask questions later. I wish you good luck in finding the reason and stopping it!


  • I suggest reading Control Unleashed and pay attention to the Collar Grab Game also the dvd Crate Games. Just go slow and create a history of lots of successes.

    you could also maybe try clicker training her to put her head into a slip lead.


  • My first thought was pain of some sort - teeth, touch sensitivity, structural damage but asd your vet has checked her that doesn't seem to be. Just remember that Basenjis can be very stoical when purely teted for pain by a vet. I had a Basenji with a concealed tooth abscess which the vet didn't discover for a while because my dog showed no reaction when he felt the teeth and jaw.

    Is she aggressive to you at any other times than when you go to leash her? Are you putting the leash on inside her kennel? Is she the same if you put it on outside her kennel? It could have been a bad experience with a leash. Look carefully at the times when she does let you do it. You say that after you've left her in the kennel she's ok next time and then repeats the cycle. It's unlikely that it is because she's sussed that you aren't going to take her out if she bites as she reverts unless she is slow at learning.

    I totally agree with Agilebasenji and I think that the key is patience and perseverance.


  • Thanks for all of the suggestions. I think in the long run, a little work and rewards will help to resolve the issue. I will update her progress.


  • Patty,

    This basenji girl normally lets you touch her all over. She is a little sensitve about her feet and will mouth you if you touch them, but she will not usually bite. She allows us to grab her tongue, teeth, ears, tail and almost every part of her. The only time she gets at all agressive is with the leash and when she is woken up on the couch. I think there must be some previous issue with the leash, or maybe it is related to the rash on her chest.



  • Yes,wsurci, I think you're right, as all else is well. Back to the patience and perseverance and I do hope the issue will soon beresolved. Please keep us updated.


  • Maybe use the "Car Ride" word to go somewhere fun?

    This overshadows anything in our dogs heads.

    Let her think of the leash as only a positive thing.


  • Wayne, maybe it's the approach? One of mine won't bite, but shies away and runs off when I try to put her harness on her. I think it is also something in her mind.

    The consistent approach that has worked for mine is: I sit on the floor, call her, and say, "treats!" (armed with some, of course :)). I ask her to sit, praise her, and then when I put the harness over her head, I don't reach over her head, I place it below her mouth and gently put it over her face. Again praising, coaxing, gentle voice, and a treat. When I remove it, it's the same thing.

    Good luck! Let us know?


  • Thanks,
    We have temporarily gone back to the slip on nylon leash. She actually runs to you when it is time to go for the walk, but will not come close when she sees the harness. We will try to gain her trust again so that we can minimize the rash that she gets from the slip on.


  • I had a new young rescue-about 8 mos. old who was fine when I took him out of the crate which was in the car. He was unable to see the leash and I was able to get it on his collar just fine. I took him to the fenced-in backyard, unleashed him, and let him run around with the other rescues. When I went to get him, I was holding the leash and trying to get him to come to me. He was able to see the leash and when I approached him and tried to put the leash on him, he bit my finger. I was unable to get him in the house and had to leave him outside while I did a transport for two rescues. Thankfully, my roommate was home to keep an eye on him. I found out that he had a fear of leashes, along with other things and also socialization problems. It really bothered him if he saw a leash in the air which would be above him. It seemed to be okay if I could put it on below him. I had to work with him for months to have him accept leashes. Sometimes he will still act hesitant about them. From time to time I will have him and the other Bs play with the leashes and make a game out of it. I had to do the same thing with a broom.

    I obtained him from an OH Amish breeder/dealer and I can only imagine what the living conditions were like. This man was not the original breeder.

    I had his eyes CERF'd and it was not an eye problem. I thought that might be the problem since the leash was coming from above.

    Jennifer


  • Well I was going to suggest she could have a neck injury (disk) but if she runs to the slip on, then that's not it. Can you use BOTH the slip on the put on harness?

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