So, here I am at 2:30am feeling like a shitty owner as I crate my basenji. I am truly at loss for what to do and I am hoping that I can get some answers–even ones I hate to read. Nova (my basenji) is just a week or so shy of turning 2 years old. I would love nothing more than to throw her a little party and celebrate, but I’m afraid with recent behavior I’m unsure.
I understand that I will get grief for my pairing, but I need to assure you this aggressive behavior I’m seeing is quite recent and NOT normal for Nova. So, Nova practically grew up with a kitten. She would bathe Olive (my calico), cuddle her and eat right beside her. Modern day Milos & Otis. Then, January of this year (‘19), I happened to come across a chihuahua puppy. Once again, Nova played supermom to Xena (my chihuahua) in every way.
I made a large move this summer, mid July to be exact, and ever since there have been slight issues with Nova. She’s became territorial in the sense that if she sees my neighbors dog (a sweet rottweiler), she will charge at the screen door and growl. I’ve even tried keeping her on a leash to prevent the thrashing, but she still tugs at the leash. I’ve attempted crating but that seems useless as for when I finally let her out, she’s driven to run to the screen to see if she can spot the other dog.
It’s literally came down to using chicken as a distraction to calm her. Which is fine, except for other behaviors. Of course my chihuahua barks, my chihuahua growls and all that loveliness. And since having her, Nova has began to growl. At first, I was tolerant of growling because I never had a reason to worry. Dogs growl to communicate, everyone knows that.
Except in the last 3 months, Nova has began acting on it. Today alone, she’s growled and went after Olive 3 times. I was asleep in my bed when my sister (16 y/o) woke me up saying that Nova growled and bit her when my sister caught her in the trash. Then, Nova found her way back into my bed (me being still half asleep and not even thinking to crate her) only to shoot up and begin growling at my cat upon her joining us nearly twenty minutes later as she does nearly every night.
I immediately knew that I couldn’t leave her out of her crate if I am going to go back to sleep. I can’t risk an altercation. So, I crated her. Olive walked over to her, checking up on Nova. As soon as she got within a foot of the cage, Nova began to growl and her stripe went up. Olive stopped in her tracks and got really low and moved away from the crate and back towards me.
Last night, I had to separate my chihuahua and basenji when Nova started growling out of nowhere and snapped at Xena. I have no idea what to do. I am noting that this is Xena’s first heat cycle and this one seems to be affecting Nova greatly, too, as she dripped blood for the first time when walking through the house.
Nova has been iffy about whether she’ll eat or not, mainly nibbling here and there at her food. The other day she just sulked around the house with these eyes that looked so lost. And the last week (which has been the most recent slam of any aggression), she has climbed onto my bed, sat next to me and just stared at me. She’s never done this before.
She’s laid down with me, but this past week she hasn’t laid, she’s just sitting there and staring at me and I can’t figure out what I feel as if I’m missing. I can sit here and rack up what could simply be excuses, but I want to cover all bases. Is there noted aggression in unspayed / unneutered basenjis? Could this play apart? Should I have her seen by a vet? Are obedience classes even an option (she doesn’t like new people, she tends to keep distance and hide)? It came down to her growling at Olive last night as I prepared dinner and when I yelled Nova’s name, she became over submissive and came up to me with eyes squinted, ears down as she laid down and rolled onto her back, blinking like crazy.
So, I have Nova crated and intend to keep her so for the remainder of the night to prevent any further instances between her and my chihuahua or her and any of my cats. Any opinions on the route of overnight crating? I currently have her crate in my room, is that okay? I hate having to worry about something breaking out and literally moving the rest of the animals around based off of Nova.
I feel like this is so many steps back as I have been working in new tricks and on leash tugging with her this past month or so and she’s done so well. She’s been picking up in the department of training, until this happened again. This past week has just put a damper over all the work we’ve been putting in.
Nova has never been like this, I almost feel as if something’s wrong because she’s always been a cuddly and sweet girl with my chihuahua and cats. The most she did was chase and groom, but she never attacked. Any opinions and ideas would be greatly appreciated. My schedule is about to pick up where I’m not home in evenings between 6-8 during the week and I hate to have her crated then, too, if I can’t get anywhere with her.
So, I have a basenji. My first one. She’s about 3 years old, I got her through a breeder around 4 months of age, so I’m quite familiar with her and her behavior. I also have 3 cats. She loves to chase them and I’ve been trying to work on that with her. I just moved recently and she’s back into the entire chase and pin motion with the cats. I was able to calm her antics before for a time with crating and treats, but that doesn’t seem to work currently. She’s not attacking, but she will pin them on their backs and nibble/deflea their stomachs. I understand that they enjoy hunting and plenty of people have disapproved of having her around cats, but it’s not optional. I’m not rehoming her or my cats.
So, any advice on how to stop her from chasing the cats would be appreciated.
Now, that being said, she’s also adapted this growling behavior as of recently. Back in January (of ‘19) I added a chihuahua to the family. And yes, she is the stereotypical mouthy lil dog with a serious case of Little Dog Syndrome. And boy, does this chihuahua love to fight. Her and my basenji will chase one another for an hour at a time and constantly bite and push at one another. My basenji loves to grab the chihuahua’s scruff and pin her down, but she’s never actually attacked the pup. Though recently within the past 3 days, my basenji started growling when she chases one of my cats–pinning her to the ground. I got the cat as a stray kitten around 3 months after my basenji, so they’ve practically grown up together. And they love each other. They sleep together, play together and follow each other around the house. They’re best friends. But this growling behavior is off putting to the cat (like it kind of scares her).
My basenji is not becoming overly aggressive, she just sounds it. But, I’m getting the feeling that this might have something to do with her interactions with my chihuahua. My chihuahua always growls (not in a mean way), even if the basenji is just simply walking past her. It leads me to believe that my basenji is taking on growling as a form of communication for when she’s attempting to play with the cat (as my chihuahua does with her).
Does anyone know of any instances of their basenji(s) growling when playing?
Any tips or advice on how to go about these scenarios would be much appreciated!