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Old 02-03-2013, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Erratic Behaviour/Aggression

I adopted my new basset hound Jeff, approximately 5.5 years old, on December 14, 2012, and he has been settled into his new home for a little over a month now. I haven't had many problems with his adjustment, and I would say 99% of the time, he is the most wonderful, cuddly, docile ball of love in the world. On January 8th, I had him neutered, and he has had some health issues as a result of a lack of care from his previous family (ear infections, very dirty ears etc.). So we have done a lot of work to correct those issues. I've given him so much love and care, and he seems to be a very happy dog.

Recently however, I have had some issues with erratic aggression with Jeff. One time, a few weeks ago, he growled and snapped at my boyfriend (biting his nose so hard it left marks), and just tonight he growled and snapped at me. He is a big boy (70+ lbs) and he packs quite a punch with his bite. These issues seem to be about protecting his own space (the first time my boyfriend was trying to get on the couch with Jeff and I, and this time I went up close to him when he was on the bed). We both corrected the behaviour with yelling "no bite" or "no growl" and a smack on the nose and he seems to respond alright. My confusion, however, is that normally I can get up close to him with kisses and hugs with nothing but love in return, but these isolated incidents have left me and my boyfriend hesitant to get close.

I have decided that I will not be letting him up on the bed anymore (which is easy because he can't get up on his own), and that he won't be allowed on the couch when guests are over. (I have been slacking a little on the discipline since he has been so sweet since I've gotten him, so he is probably under the impression that he's in control)
However, since these incidents have been so random and erratic, I don't know how to deal with them, and I am fearful that he will snap at strangers, or visitors at my home without provocation.

I plan on calling my veterinarian tomorrow morning, just to see what their advice is, but I would really appreciate the advice of a basset hound expert in this case!

Thank you!

Last edited by SarahandJeff; 02-03-2013 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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this is not an uncommon or erractic behavior you need to look at it from the dogs point of view.

We both corrected the behaviour with yelling "no bite" or "no growl" and a smack on the nose and he seems to respond alright. My confusion, however, is that normally I can get up close to him with kisses and hugs with nothing but love in return, but these isolated incidents have left me and my boyfriend hesitant to get close.
who's behavior is ercatic yours or the dog some time approaching you hit him and yell other kiss and hug which in doggy language are agressive behaviors as well he is try to tell you to back off bu you are not listening or reading the signals

hugging your dog
What Turid Rugaas has "observed," Patricia McConnell and others have studied and theorized about. In "The Other End of the Leash." (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) McConnell explains it this way:
We, as primates, have arms with which to hug one another, and hugging is found in all primate species (ape, chimp, etc.) as an expression of love, endearment, support, or as a gesture of mutual fear or sadness. So humans naturally think of hugging as an expression of positive or supportive emotions.
Canines, on the other hand, being quadrupeds, do not have free "arms" and thus have evolved to have no understanding of a "hug." However, the closest gestures or body language that dogs have to a hug would be either mounting or placing a paw or head on top of another dog's neck or back.

The point that McConnell discusses very well and clearly in her new book is that to a dog, a hug (arm OVER its back or neck, leaning on it, confining it, etc.) most closely resembles several gestures of dominance. So we might expect that a dog that is not used to being hugged, or a dog who gets a hug from a stranger (or from a child who may take it a bit too far) might interpret the gesture as one of dominance or aggression and react accordingly.
As Jerri mentioned, there is also the "leaning over" part, where when we come into close contact with a dog, or go to pet or feed it from a standing position, we tend to place part of our bodies over and above the dog's body, which again can be viewed as an attempt to dominate.

Now if you also move the dog physical grabing the collar etc it is not common for them or unreasonable for them to be annoyed at such behavior much as you would be if every tiame your boss wanted you to do something the/she grabed you by the collar, it woould not be long before you yelled at him/her(dogging/Growling) or swatting her/his the hand away[snapping]

I highly recommend training an Off command so you can move the dog off furniture when you need to without getting physical. The management technique od not letting the dog on the furniture in the first place can also work butr not as you plan it . You cannont expect the dog to understan it ok to be on the furniture except when guest are over . Does not work well it is either the dog is allowned on the furnture or is not allowed on the furniture. no exceptions.

We both corrected the behaviour with yelling "no bite" or "no growl" and a smack on the nose
using punishment with aggressive behavior is very dangerious. 1 most dog are likely to resond in kind esculating the behavior.

2 what the dogs learn is they were not aggressive enough to fend off an attack so they will act even more aggressively next time

3. even if the punishment is effective in surpressing the behavior growling, it does not change the underlying emotion behind the behaivor and yoou end up with a dog that esculated agggressive behavior skipping over the warning and going straight to biting. Having gotten a rescue that I'm 100% sure was punished for growling I had to spend the next two year retraining the dog to growl,. because she was capable of biting firswt without any warning a truely dangerious dog,


AVSAB Position Statement
The Use of Punishment for Behavior Modification in Animals


AVSAB’s position is that punishment1 (e.g. choke chains, pinch collars, and electronic
collars) should not be used as a first-line or early-use treatment for behavior problems. This is due to the potential adverse effects which include but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people interacting with animals.2

Even when punishment seems mild, in order to be effective it often must elicit a strong fear response, and this fear response can generalize to things that sound or look similar to the punishment. Punishment has also been shown to elicit aggressive behavior in many species of animals.6 Thus, using punishment can put the person administering it or any person near the animal at risk of being bitten or attacked.
Punishment can suppress aggressive and fearful behavior when used effectively, but it may not change the underlying cause of the behavior. For instance, if the animal behaves aggressively due to fear, then the use of force to stop the fearful reactions will make the animal more fearful while at the same time suppressing or masking the outward signs of fear; (e.g., a threat display/growling). As a result, if the animal faces a situation where it is extremely fearful, it may suddenly act with heightened aggression and with fewer warning signs. In other words, it may now attack more aggressively or with no warning, making it much more dangerous.

plan on calling my veterinarian tomorrow morning, just to see what their advic
I would check first on what if any credential the individual giving behavior advice has, the vast majority of vets are clueless when it comes to animal behavior as it not part if the regular cireculeum
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