Old dog, old tricks

my mother has a twelve yr. old trisenja name Trey. He's a very people oriented dog, but has recently had serious territory and food aggressive behavior. We think he might have a thyroid problem. We already lost his sister to dementia, so now in the vacuum of her absence, he becoming more unpredictable. I recently moved back into my mother's house with my family (wife, step-daughter in 4th grade, a 3 yr. old lab, and two cats(the cats really don't figure in to the equation, since trey already know not to mess with felines, he's curious but backs off.) originally his sister was the main problem, she had become violently aggressive towards everyone in the house to the point none of us could handle/train/play with her or be even in the same room. And now his behavior is just getting worse. He's bitten my wife several times, usually when she is correcting him, or when food/treats are involved, or randomly when his neck is touched. She grew up breeding/training dogs, and she has run out of options of training him and is now terrified of trey. we've sadly lost one dog to dementia, I really REALLY need some help to save my dog.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your female Basenji and also the problems you are having with your boy. I know from previous posts that thyroid problems can cause the dog to be aggressive but beyond that can't offer any more advice.
I'm sure someone else will be along soon who can offer more.

Try thinking from the dogs point of view, he has lost his sister, many more people are in the house with other pets as well. He had some mild issues that have escalated…no wonder!
And your wife may have been a breeder-trainer of another kind of dog, basenji training requires a different approach and a gentler hand. I don't mean to should critical, and if you have a small child of course you have to be concerned. Neck and back pain can cause a dog to be edgy and reactive, so a good vet check would be my first suggestion, also check thyroid (full panel). Give him plenty of space and work on positive reinforcements, and look into a behavorist.

Good luck to you!

Hi Jay, welcome! Did you have your dog posted on Craig's List? I'm grateful that you found our website, and that you are looking for solutions for Trey. Giving him away before addressing his behavior just pushes his issues onto someone else, who doesn't love him like your family does.

If Trey hasn't been to the doctor, you may be able to find some low-cost vet options. When the economy gets tough and we all pinch pennies. It's easy to overlook checkups for our dogs, especially when the Dr says, "let's run some tests." :eek: That has $$$ all of it, you know? In Tampa, because the vet offices are slow, they are running great specials to keep busy. Maybe you (or your wife) can call around to find someone who will give Trey a good check up without costing an arm and a leg…

I'm glad to hear that your daughter is in 4th grade (versus 4 years old), because she's at an age where she can respect Trey's boundaries. I don't think a basenji would simply chomp on someone without sometime of forwarning... unless he's sleeping, and wakes up grouchy? 😕 If that's the case, as long as everyone knows, I don't see her in imminent danger.

Hopefully you or your wife can spend some time reading up on the quirks of a basenji. It's one thing to visit a basenji, and another to live with them. 🙂 Like Anne said, the basenji breed is very smart and common training methods with other dogs don't necessarily work.

Does Trey get along with your lab? Are they bonding?

It is a lot of change for everyone in the house, including the dog.... mutual respect and love will go a long way. 🙂 I hope it's a happy home for all, even if times are tough.

I hope we can help you out!:)

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