Our 2-year-old basenji, Mia, is getting increasingly anxious and jealous around other dogs, and even gets a “mohawk” of hair up her spine when she meets new people. How can we get her back to the friendly, anxiety-free self she used to be? -- Carissa
Cesar says: You can, but it’s going to take time and effort and a strong commitment to rehabilitation on your part. Timing will be important here as you need to correct the behavior before it escalates, so watch her carefully as you walk by other dogs, and give her a pop with the leash as you see the hair start to raise. You want her focus to be on you and look to you for protection and direction -- that’s what pack leaders do. Instruct visitors to your house to practice “no touch, no talk, no eye contact” with Mia. Allow her to come to them with her nose first -- this is how dogs meet others. Make sure you are being consistent and clear in what you expect from her; these are the rules, boundaries and limitations you set for her. This is a confidence builder for her, too. Keep at it!