"In order to get along with a Basenji, you have to be at least half as smart as the dog!"
I go by appearance more than actual weight. Different dogs have different body structure, so some at their ideal weight will be heavier than others. Horse people have an expression, "the eye of the master maketh the horse". I think it applies to dogs as well. I have seen people almost starve their dogs to get that racy appearance, which IMO should only be seen in an elite athlete that is working hard every day. Go with what your eye tells you, not the scales.
At no point should any resource guarding behavior be followed by treats.
Amen to that! The biggest mistake I see (and I see it often) with "positive" training is people rewarding the wrong behaviour, typically because they don't understand how the dog is interpreting the reason for the reward.
Also I feel like I can also make our black doors on your dog's skin under the fir, is spotty skin a basenji thing as Indy has it (not a skin condition just the colouring if her skin). Really wish I could upload a pic!
![alt text](image url)
Click on the icon second from the right at the top of the compose screen, choose the file from your computer (not too large) and it should upload.
Who feeds this dog? Where does he sleep? It may be he is hoarding his resource (you) or it could be as simple as he is comfortable and doesn't want to be disturbed. Try changing it up, i.e. your wife sits in the game room with your dog while you are absent doing something else (outside if necessary) and see what reaction you get if he is comfortable with her and you are the intruder. If that won't work because he prefers to be with you, then let him have to depend on your wife for everything, his food, his walks, his cuddles, and you ignore him for awhile. Might be interesting!
Walking is weather dependent. When I lived in North Bay there were days that a walk was simply not possible, due to cold or storms. I had Lady for seven years before I got Tamu for company, and she did fine on her own. She got lots of attention from me, walks when we could, and I taught her a lot of behaviours. She enjoyed the run of the house and seldom got into any trouble beyond ripping up tissues if she could find them. Of course, she had her moments, like when she raced into the living room where we were entertaining guests, and deposited a used tampon for everyone to admire!
. Will they need a coat and shoes? Susan
Depends on how cold it gets and also on the dog. Most of mine needed boots more than they needed a coat, especially when it was very cold. Even going out to do their business at -30F was almost impossible without some foot protection. Above zero walking becomes possible but not pleasant for the dog. My second girl was tough.....took her cross country skiing at +10F and she managed an hour, but shivered for almost half an hour once back home! No boots, either!
I would be a little concerned that he could have picked up something on vacation. If he doesn't perk up I think a vet check is in order. Dogs live "in the moment". I doubt a two week change of pace would have a lasting effect. I agree that Basenjis may be happier with company, right up until they mature at which time their relationship may change. If/when that happens it can cause problems. I also find that a solo dog will rely on you a lot more and your relationship is likely to be closer. Teaching new things is a great way to engage a Basenji and keep them interested, and you can invent games and puzzles for them to solve. OTOH, if the dog must be left alone a lot, then a canine companion is definitely a plus.
With animals I have always gone with whether they are interested in food. Obviously in a short term sickness they may lose their appetite, but with a chronically ill or aged animal, refusing food is the signal for me that the time has come. I hasten to add, not a one time refusal, but when things progress to where the dog has to be coaxed to eat, or will only eat a very restricted diet that isn't adequate, then it's likely time to make that call. I have left it too late on occasion because it is always so hard to let them go, but when even food is no longer enjoyable there isn't much left in life for an old timer that doesn't have anything else to brighten his day. Spend time with him if you can, feed him special treats, and let him tell you when he has had enough.
The simple answer is that she needs to know what "no" means, as in stop whatever you are doing. Since you have been successful teaching other things, then as soon as the biting seems likely to start (preferably before it starts!), say "no" and redirect to another behaviour, e.g. "sit", "down", or recall her. If she is as good as you say, she should immediately refocus on you, if not, keep her on a leash when you expect she will be tempted to bite. For the time being, no playing with the people she is likely to bite. She can sit and let them pat her, but interactions should not include play behaviour. And I agree with Tanza, no rough play, even if she is not currently biting you.
Puppies usually go through a mouthy stage, but it is something they need to get over. Nobody likes a dog that always has its mouth on you, even if it isn't biting down. She needs to learn that her mouth on human flesh is unacceptable. And it bears repeating, all dogs should understand and respond to a firm "no". The understand part is "stop what you are doing right now"!