My 3 year old male neutered Basenji has similar behavior. Like most basenjis he has enormous front body strength, he is very strong and it can be like a tractor pull when he is focused on something (especially other dogs). His hackles go straight up. We tried many different harnesses and have been very satisfied with the brand an animal behaviorist recommended, which makes the tugging factor less hard on me and on his body. We live in the city and there are so many triggers that affect him. We walk past many dogs, and a leashed Basenji is a tense Basenji. Other breeds can ignore the “other dog” factor, but ours cannot. I seek out alleys and quieter streets where there are less encounters with other dogs. When I see a dog being walked ahead, I cross the street. My dog also sniffs everyyyyything. I’ve come to think that it is the stimulation he craves and that it is positive for him. It can make you crazy because there is constant stopping. I have to be pretty zen to let him sniff for as long as he wants. I’m not always in the mind set for the amount of time it takes him satisfy his sniffing needs, but most of the time I go with it.
@_neekko_ I was in Boston last weekend with family and we walked through Boston Commons and the directly adjacent Public Garden. There were many people walking dogs along with the many people who were just walking in the parks. (In other words it was crowded). I've never seen the muzzles where we live, but I saw at least 5 dogs with muzzles who were being walked in the park. And these weren't big head engulfing muzzles, rather they used a slender strap that crossed the dog's snout. I looked them up when I got home, they seem to be called head halters. I filed that information away, because I thought about how smart the dog owners were. Their dogs got a good walk and fresh air, but there was no danger of any biting ocurring.
@rocky1 I thought a lot about your first post. I read fascinating information on posts on this forum in different threads. Is it accurate that the brindle basenjis are the newer basenjis and aren’t quite as wild as those from the early basenjis that were introduced to America? We have a brindle basenji and his behavior is not as wild as the behaviors described by bleubert in that first post. It sounds as if there are innately wilder basenjis than our basenji is. And if that is the case than I posted out of turn to your first post. Thanks.
@beth We just started using a harness that was recommended to us by an animal behaviorist. Got it from Amazon and it is the Dean & Tyler DT Universal No Pull Dog Harness with Adjustable Straps. We put the leash ring on the ring on the top strap (highest strap on the harness) and find that this allows the dogs leash to travel back and forth freely on the strap while they walk.
@rocky1 Whoa. That is the most discouraging answer you could have ever given to @Bluebert. Your reply may convince the owner to give up and surrender the dog. I have a 2.5 year old basenji with some of the behavior the owner described. Our dog is a handful, and we've coped with it with positive results, but we are both lucky to be retired, so our dog has both of us around most of the time. This is not possible for most dog owners. About 6 months ago, our male basenji developed what I thought was a compulsive behavior, he incessantly bites fabric (doesn't put a hole in it, but bites it). Long story short (after visits to 2 different vets) we found an animal behaviorist to take him to. She observed him for 2 hours, in a portable pen, with us in the room. The visit was very positive, and these were her observations about our basenji. He is chewing deprived, thus the constant biting. After an hour she put a pigs ear in the pen and he loved it. Chewed it, tossed it around, sniffed it. She said to keep him away from dog parks, because it overstimulates him. She said we should get a good walking harness and recommended Dean and Tyler. He has it and it's the best harness we've had. She also said to use a long retractable leash, which we are now doing. She said to walk him in areas without too many dogs and to let him sniff and explore for as long as he wants to. She said this will satisfy his need to explore and investigate his surroundings. She said that basenjis do not respond to scolding or hitting, rather it makes them even more difficult. Reward clicker training is better. And a group training session is too distracting because of the other dogs.
Basenjis can be aggressive and try to dominate other dogs. Our 6-month basenji was a dog lover. At 2.5 years old, he is no longer fond of other dogs. So, we've adjusted how we walk him outside.
Also, when it comes to clicker training I am pretty incompetent. Will you always have your clicker and treats with you when he starts misbehaving? Probably not.
I feel your pain, because basenjis are a handful. They're primitive dogs, and not as obedient as other breeds. But they are fascinating, beautiful, and smart.