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Old 08-08-2012, 08:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Biting Basset

My 16 month old basset has been snapping and biting lately. She is very protective of anything she has in her mouth. Can anyone tell me how I get her to stop this behavior?
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey! I'm sure others will be by with more info, but I can almost guarantee you're going to see the words "resource guarding". Do a little bit of research on that and when you come back to check on this post, there will probably be even more info on what your little girl is doing, why, and how to correct it. Best of luck!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input. I'm hoping to get some information to help resolve the problem. She is VERY PROTECTIVE of her food and anything else she can fit into her mouth. Including socks, tissues, etc.!!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh, also, because someone will probably ask anyways, could you give a little background on the problem? Like when it started, if there were any major changes in the household, socialization, and possibly take us through a scene of it happening so that the others will be able to understand precisely how she's acting? That all sounds pretty in-depth, but folks on here take their Bassets very seriously and they'll want to have all the info they can get to help you as best as they can.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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thanks. Lulu has always been protective over her food from the time we took her home - She was 8 weeks. When she steals socks or tissues there has never been a way for her to give them up. I have tried commands - sit - drop it - I've tried to pry open her mouth - then she snaps. She found a dead bird the other day and when my husband tried to get it away from her she bit him. Eventually we can get stuff away from her but not without bloodshed!!! Otherwise, she is cute and sweet. She obeys commands - sit - stay. What are we doing something wrong!!!!!!

Last edited by sarah'slulu; 08-08-2012 at 08:44 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
but I can almost guarantee you're going to see the words "resource guarding"
yep Resource Guarding, A normal adative dog behavior. That is a dog that can not maintain a resource is not going to survive very long on it own. However because it is normal behavior does not make it acceptable behavior. The best resource for dealing with this is MINE! - A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS

but it is an an easy breezy read like many of Donaldson's book for a fair review click here !
Quote:
Donaldson presents resource guarding as a normal, adaptive behavior and rejects notions that resource guarders are not "nice" dogs or are "dominant aggressive". Instead, she focuses on a behaviorist approach to conceptualizing and remediating such behavior.
In a nutshell, this primarily involves classically counter-conditioning a "conditioned emotional response" where an owner's approach is associated with high-value food treats, rather than representing a threat of loss or punishment. Initially this is done in the presence of little provocation, but incremental advances proceed until the dog can happily be approached when in the presence of whatever he formerly guarded most fiercely.

...
Although the book is decorated with oddly cutesy clipart, it appears to be written more for the dog trainer than the owner himself. Donaldson repeatedly refers to the dog's owner as a third party, implying that the owner is not the target audience of the book. Similarly, her writing style maintains a quasi-academic aloofness. This is unfortunate, because a more approachable writing style and tone geared more towards the owner himself would make the book more welcoming for the reader who really would benefit from reading it.


other resources
RESOURCE GUARDING

Resource Guarding – Facts and Information – May 8, 1011
Quote:
So why would the dog want to protect these objects? Simple answer is that it’s normally a learned experience. Either it is a reaction from their siblings taking and tugging objects away at an early age, or we teach them this behavior by our actions and reactions. As a puppy, your dog wandered through parts of the house, picking up and investigating any little object left lying around. However as soon as he picked up something we did not want him to have, we immediately snatched this precious possession away.
Before long, our intrepid pup would pick up an object then run away so we couldn’t take away his find, he would scamper either to another room, the garden, under or behind a table, settee, or chair anywhere where we could not easily relieve him of his treasure.

So what do we do? We follow him to wherever he has hidden away, shouting leave it, or drop! What does the little monster do, he whale eyes you and starts to growl. He has now learned a couple of very valuable lessons.
1. When you give a command, he does not always need to obey.
2. If he shows aggression, you back off.
And by our actions, we have successfully taught him to resource guard.


...Trade and Reward
Firstly take away all objects the dog is guarding, that could be toys, tissues, chews, bones, pigs ears or sleeping places, that includes beds, sofas or chairs. You may not be able to move the latter but you can cover it, put a box or something else on it that will restrict access. Do not allow access to these precious resources a number of days.

You need to prepare for the next stage if the guarding is articles such as toys chews bones etc, prepare some of the dogs really favorite treats, cheese or frankfurter tends to be high on the list. Then get a low value object, it may be a tissue or a sock, a pigs ear for instance may be perceived as high value. Try to be slightly to the side of the dog rather than face on and relax, take the tension you may feel out of your body as the dog will both smell and sense your fear and this could trigger a reaction.

Offer the object to the dog but try and keep hold of it as the dog takes it, use whatever release command you have decided on it could be “drop” “give” or “trade” immediately produce the tasty treat from behind your back and exchange. Praise when the exchange takes place and give back the object you first exchanged.

Set scheduled times to repeat this exercise at least four times a day but also just do it in opportune moments. Gradually up the anti of treasured goods. Over a period of time the dog will start to look forward to your approach and game. It is at this time that you give your dog the object and walk away, at first come back immediately and trade gradually making the time and distance you walk away longer, until you clearly see the dog is having no problems with your approach whatsoever. Then only give a treat every third time, then every tenth, take the object away and immediately give it back extending the period on this until the guarding behavior disappears.
How to Prevent & Treat Resource Guarding or “The Trade Game”


Quote:
She is VERY PROTECTIVE of her food and anything else she can fit into her mouth. Including socks, tissues, etc.!!!
Resource guarders typical guard more than one resource and not all of them are necessarily thing they have in their mouth it can be a comfortable spot on the bed etc. The also are often touch sensitive as well. That is do not like body handling or certain body parts touched.


Quote:
She obeys commands when food is used as a reward. We must be doing something wrong!!!!!!
this is what I see typical being done wrong when people have problems with exchanges.

1. they on practice exchanges when the dog has something they should not have and typically resource guard the object. What you want to do is practice exchanges and teaching a give command with low value object first which depend entirely on the dog. Does he guard is dog toys? if not start there. exchange the toy for food then very important he get the toy back. You need to do this on average 10 time a session and 3-4 session a day. to build up expectation in the dog that when it exchanges it makes out it get food plus gets what he has back. Over time you move onto valueable object but don't wait for the rare occasion the dog steals something you need to be proactive in teach the exchanges.

2. people say the use a food rewarde when they really don't they use a food Bribe. That is the show the food first so the do know what the exchange is. iF this is what you do the dog is going to make a calculation each and everytime if what yoju have is better than what he has, not what you want at all. By follow the program above you you create the expectation the dog can have both what he has and what you have by giving up what he has. It is why you need multiple repetition and lots of practice to build up resistance to the few times that the dog does not get to keep what he has.

When first training the exchange it is general recommed to show the food first to get the process start this is known as a lure. It is very important to fade the lure as quickly as possible. To do this you really need an organized training session. lure exchange, exchange food for toy give toy back. repeat quick after 3 or four times of this nect time do not lure because of the pattern develop the dog like will still give up the toy in anticipation of food if this happen be generious in the reward ie mutiple treat keeping in mind many small treats is more rewarding to a dog if handed out one at a time than one big one. and repeat exchanges. without lureing see the following articles for more details on the difference between lure/bribes and reward and how to fade lures

Rewards, Lures & Bribes
What is the difference between a reward, a lure and a bribe? Explanations & tips.

luring
Quote:
So, during early stages of training, we reduce distractions and we give the animal something really worthwhile on which to focus, such as food, in this case, a food lure (it could be a target, too). That does not mean the we will always train in a sterile environment or that we will use always use the food lure. We must also be unambiguous, precise, and accurate on lure presentation - thus mechanical skill and planning is necessary. I think you can safely say that if your use of the lure causes the animal to move out of a favorable position, you are not using it right. Some behaviors are not benefited by luring, and luring can even hinder training.

...I think those who are posting me are expecting me to give that exact point, hard and fast, to always remove the lure. I keep saying that training is simple, but not easy. The idea of removing the lure early is simple, but exactly when to remove it for greatest efficiency and reliability, is not easy. If training were all that easy, most pet owners would be about as good at training as most professionals, which is probably not the case.
Fading a Lure
Quote:
This is one of the problems of luring a behavior with food; the lure easily becomes the cue, and gets locked in to the behavior, so to speak. In general, if you are going to succumb to the temptation to lure a behavior with food, I suggest doing no more than three repetitions and then switching to the same hand gesture with no food, and then diminishing the gesture and/or substituting a word.
Quantum Leaps





For many dogs just the presence of food can be a distraction especial if you are carring food. I always recommend the following Self control exercise be perfected at least the food in hand phase with the dog before even attempting to use food in training

3. People undue all the training by trying to force an exchange when they know it is not likely the dog will do so. So what do you do when the dog steal something that it is not suppose to.
a don't let that happen in the first place strength the management of the dog. and yourself don't leave drawers open laundry out or let the dog have free reign in the house when you can not supervise.

c a basket muzzle is a great management tool for guarder of things that they have in their mouth and dog that eat inappropriate object. It lets the dog b reath and drink normal but prevents them form getting a hold of and swolling inappropriate object.

b. don't confront the dog. unless there is a threat of loss the dog has no reason to guard everytime it gets to practice the guarding behavior it is rewarded for it by maintaining the object even if it is for a brief period of time. It is excedingly rare that the obeject the dog has puts it in iniment danger. Most of the time the consequence can be dealt with later. Ie swallowing a sock etc.


the food bowl and guarding the food bowl has its own set of exercise it should be performed by every one in the family eventually but with kids you want to be sure of the dogs behavior with adults and have that down to where it is acceptable before starting with children and it is imparitive that this activity when it is occuring is strictly supervised. By that I mean your total and completer attention. not like I supervise while making dinner etc.

Food Bowl Exercises

Quote:
Eventually we can get stuff away from her but not without bloodshed!!!


Unfortunately this can be a giant red flag in being able to deal with resource guarding. This is not because Biter's are someway less trainable per say but because of the potential to do harm there are ethical limitation to what you can do.. For instance with a guarder that does not cause injury you can work on resource guardiang exercises with stranger etc so the behavior becomes generalize with a biter you can but a strange in that kind of jepordy so it alimit what you can do and that limit what behavior you can change and in what context and what you always have to manage. Whether dog will or will not cause an injury when it bite is directly related to its bite inhibition unfortunately this can only be taught when the pup is young 6-20 weeks of age after that bite inhibition training is unreliable. That said many people over blow the "bloodshed angle"

FYI, a standard scale has been developed to judge the severity of dog bites, based on damage inflicted. The scale is:

* Level One: Bark, lunge, no teeth on skin.
* Level Two: Teeth touched, no puncture.
* Level Three: 1-4 holes from a single bite. All holes less than half the length of a single canine tooth.
* Level Four: Single bite, deep puncture (up to one and a half times the depth of a single canine tooth), wound goes black within 24 hours.
* Level Five: Multiple bite attack or multiple attack incidents.
* Level Six: Missing large portions of flesh.

So for example if the Blood shed you describe is from scratched of the teeth this is akin to a level two because it is actual not the dog causing the injury but the human moving their hand Puncture wounds are on the dog.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I trade with something else. Porter always willing to trade with me. A small scoop of peanut butter usually do the trick.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a cousin named Lulu! Great basset name. She came wayyyy before me. But my hoominz said she was the bestest bassetty girl ever. That's why they got MEMEMEMEMEEEEEEEE because she was such a good girl that someone that came from the same stock just HAD to be as good a dog as she was.

boy.
were.
THEY.
surprised.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ly909 Does Porter ever try to bite you or snap at you during the exchange?
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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ly909 Does Porter ever try to bite you or snap at you during the exchange?
it is why you need to practice exchanges with things the dog does not guard as ferrociously

FWIW in that behavior what the dog is attempting is to gain what you are offering without loosing what it has. Again why the recommendation to practice exchanges on items that the dog places a lower value on When it has the expectation of geting what you have and what he has back there is not the need to expend the energy the snap and lunging involve. If you are looking for an efective fast easy solution you are going to be disapointed a solution is going to take time and effort on your part.

but keep a couple things in mind I dog does not "try" and bite you it either does or does not if its intent is to bite you will get bit if not you won't the dog is faster and quicker than you are and has the advantage of moving first.
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