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Frankie joined our family when he was 8 wks old. 90 % of the time he is perfect (for a puppy, :)) but he has been showing alarming signs of aggression when he does not want to be moved. Sometimes when we want to pick him up from his bed to go pee, take him inside after play, take him of the couch or out of his crate - he growls and if we continue to remove him, he bites. Today it was pretty bad as he bit down to my finger bone. It is not a problem with his territory as alot of the time my 2 young children are laying in his bed with him and he is happy with company. Same with feeding time...we can put our hands nears his bowl when he eats and he is fine. Just seems to be isolated to moving him when he is content. We briefly tried putting him on his back but this just feeds his aggression and escalates the situation. Our reputable breeder suggested grabbing his snout and squeezing tightly but this he continues to gnarl and bite when certain situations presents itself. We have been gentler in our approach when it is time for him to move but do not want (or cant with 2 small children) to tiptoe around him forever. I would love some advice....feeling like I am the only one with a biting basset.:confused:
 

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Hello. I don't think it would be to cool to grab him because it may make him more angry. I'm sure there will be a solution to your question and one of the Profesionals will help you. My pup is 4 months and if we need to move him while he's asleep or take him for a pee then we will call his name quietly just enough to wake his so he is aware of what we are doing and he has always been fine with it xx


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My 13 yo basset does that if we wake him from a dead sleep. Generally, we just call his name and give him a pat on the butt to wake him and get him moving, use the "key" words.... Come on Jake, lets go outside...

This works pretty well with us
 

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Much as this shouldn't get to biting, this isn't rare for the Basset, especially the males. You have to approach the getting off things from a different angle. Built into this breed, which is a pack hound, is the need to defend what he sees as 'his'. And no this isn't right in a family situation, but to help you understand what's going on. And this is where applied psychology comes into it.

1. Don't let him get anywhere that may need for him to be removed
2. When/if he does, BRIBE HIM off. I know the purists will be screaming at me, but fact is if you back a hound into a corner, or perceived corner, then this is often what will happen. It makes for far easier living if you avoid - even if it means offering him something he wants so he moves.:)

Sorry, but a 'reputable breeder' would never encourage you to grab and hold hard, his 'snout'.:( This is only going to escalate the already tense situation. Of course you need to make him aware that you are in charge, but not like this. If you need for him to go out to pee and he's on his bed, use a slip lead to get him out. I only have to show mine his lead and he gets up!!! Mind you there's not a nasty bone in his body - he'd not dare!!

I am concerned that you have two smalls in the middle of this behaviour and I wish I could be there to see exactly how he's behaving because if you DO have an aggressive 11 week old Basset, you have a big problem. I just think you've not figure out what makes him tick yet. Go easy on him - Bassets are also gentle creatures, but if faced with something they can't deal with (or don't want to!!) then they may well react like this. Try lightening up - back off when how you are treating him isn't working. Make what you want 'fun'. This applied psychology thing means making him think what you want, was his idea all along.

Some inherently shy individuals, can go to 'fear biting' when confronted. But most Basset problems are just down to incorrect handling of a given situation, especially if he did come from somebody reputable!!:huh:
 

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Molly zonks out on the couch a couple of hours before I go to bed at night. I have to wake her up for one last potty break if I don't want her waking me up at 3 am for the first potty break of the next day.

All I have to do is go out to the kitchen and open up her treat bag. No matter how soundly she appears to be sleeping, she can hear and smell that I've opened the treats and suddenly she's wide awake and ready to go. She'll follow me outside and I do give her a treat then to reward her for that. Then I usually give her one more after she's done her business.

I do not have to forcefully wake her or remove her from the couch.

I think you should try something like that. Wake him up gently if you need to and use treats to entice him to go where you want.
 

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You are not alone! Our 12 week old Bassett does the same growling even if she is not sleeping. I carried her a few times from her bed to potty before bedtime and she just refused to nudge. She looked at me with those droopy eyes and in the beginning when she growled, I would give her a firm NO. She responds great with NO even on biting/chewing furniture, Xmas tree, anything. And she never quite does it with me anymore. She does it to the children sometimes so I have to teach them to be firm with her. Treats are a great idea too! I used that sometimes because she is getting too heavy to carry actually.


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My Benson did not like to be moved. The toughest for me was moving him out of the way if he was standing at the door and trying to get outside. If I nudged him aside, he growled. If he was on a chair and I wanted to move him from the chair he would growl....I never figured out how to stop that behavior. I can't help but I can identify.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Feedback appreciated!!

Thanks for your responses everyone! Especially FranksMum...really made sense. Frankie is not asleep when it happens. I feel so relieved knowing that some of you have experienced this. I am going to switch gears and use more patience and affection rather than showing him who is boss when he exhibits this "grumpy" side. I will keep everyone posted on how Frankie responds. :)
 

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As you said, Franksmum's advice is great. I'm very lucky that both boys 9 & 8 will allow me to gently stroke them awake- my Aunt who is visiting is amazed at this & even when she goes up to bed at night can approach them on the sofa call their name & stroke them - BUT over the years one thing I can't do is lift them off the sofa if they don't want to move. Yes have been grumbled at in the past, couldn't believe my soft easy going boys would do that, so have never forced the issue, when I want them to move call them to me & if like last thing at night they have no wish to move then yes I too cheat go into the kitchen & open their biscuit jar & if they won't move for that, move on to the fridge & think of cheese. Bassets are far from stupid, they just take along time thinking about whether they are going to do something or not, just work with them gently, don't get cross or raise your voice being sensitive it will only make things worse. Just remember that we are probably the only species who hands out punishment for an unwanted act, dogs have no conception of this it only frightens/ scares them. As to the breeder who said grab the snout, well I'd like to see her reaction if asked to do something she doesn't want to do or understand, & someone then grabbed her nose. As mentioned try a slip lead or get a house line for a short while to trail when free & unsupervised, then you can gently control the situation. Good luck.
 

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I have always been able to move my dogs because from puppy on growling at me or anyone else is not an option.I would put a leash on him before trying to get him to move and use the word off,then use the leash to make him move.May I suggest some obedience training.
 

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Frankie, you must be unlucky because in three generations of my family owning Bassets, always either two or three in our houses at the same time, various ages, some pups from 8 - 10 weeks old and a lot of older Bassets, never once have any of my family had andy Basset that has 'growled' at us or at each other in an aggressive way.

Goodness me, I find it incredibly hard to believe that an 11-week-old Basset would bite you 'down to your bone'... :confused: Where would such aggression in a baby Basset come from? I can't even imagine a Basset of any age biting 'down to a bone'... :eek: :confused: Maybe being a soft-natured family, it rubs off on our Bassets because every one of ours, even older rehomed hounds have been gentle natured with not an angry bone in any of them! I have friends who are 'reputable' Basset breeders & show them and your breeder doesn't sound reputable, telling you to grab snouts, he/she sounds a bit 'aggressive' so I wonder if this breeder has a nasty streak that the dogs have picked up if their snouts are being grabbed as it sounds aggressive to me! :(


Edit: I'm going back to read the replies because I have only read the OP message so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Helpful support please!

Thanks for your response Sophie B, although I did not find it helpful in any way. :( It seems I am not alone in having a Basset respond in a negative manner when he does not like something. How wonderful for you and your family to have never had a puppy to even growl. I think many on this site would agree that this is NOT the norm. Trying to use words like "unlucky" and suggest that the our home is to blame is just not needed! I am new to this site and I had hoped that I could come her for support - not judging words like yours. :( Frankie would surely be showing aggression in other areas of his life if our home was what you suggested. As I said prior, he is a doll 90 % of the time. He simply gets angry when we want to come inside after play, moved off the couch or off his bed.

Obviously I am in the dark on how Frankie was treated at the breeder's home. I can say I did walk away with confidence in the breeder and her methods. It is not uncommon for many to use the snout or roll on back when laying ground rules....this is not a method we will be using as I find it brings out more aggression BUT it clearly has worked for some - different strokes for different folks as they say.
 

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Frankie, I have read thru this thread, and posted about my grumpy basset. Please don't take it as you are doing anything "wrong". Each dog, not matter the breed, will have its own personality. Like I said, Jake is a grumpy bastard if you wake him from a dead sleep. Normally a pretty easy going guy. However, as he ages, he is getting grumpier (13 x 7 = 91) He can pretty much rule the roost! Ellie... you can do anything to that little girl!

I am NOT am expert or a trainer, but I would suggest, if the behavior isn't dangerous, then learn to work with him. Like I did with Jake, wake up easy... etc... If it is a serious problem, then look into training... but don't blame yourself from the get go...
 

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As far as I can tell there is no one on this forum judging you.There are mean nasty bassets out there,could be from the parents on either side of a pedigree,or maybe he is use to having to defend himself against brothers and sisters,maybe the breeder didn't spend enough time socializing him,but I can tell you this, as he gets older this will only get worse.Obedience will help you to gain control and do it in a positive way.Grabbing the snout will not work he will come back after your hand and you will get bit.Alpha works up to about 8 weeks of age ,past that unless you know what you are doing you will insight aggression in him. I handle my dogs a lot as puppies,I'm always holding them ,teaching them what is acceptable and what is not this makes their temperments impecable, but I'm very careful with who I place them with since all I've done can be undone under the right circumstances. Puppies will try you when the come into adolesence but if he only 11 weeks that hasn't happened yet and, really ,all it takes is one time for you to retreat from him if he growls or snaps and that is the behavior that will take over.
 

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In regards to what you said Bubbad -- I would love to pick your brain a little; sorry if this is hijacking the post! I have a 4 month old basset baby, Clementine. She bites, a lot! She won't bite, like Frankie's mom said, when you bother her when she's eating. She doesn't bite when I wake her up or move her. When she is playing or just lounging around the house she'll bite my feet, or jump and bite my hands, or whatever else she can reach on me. The other day she was jumping and biting me when I was sitting on the couch, and after multiple failed attempts of stern NO's, I bent down to pick up a toy on the ground to try to get her to play with it and she bit my nose hard enough to make it bleed profusely. I am at a loss. This is my first dog, let alone first basset, and I would love any encouraging advice.


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What is her age? MikeyT has some good info on bite inhabition or you may be able to look it up yourself.Puppies play using their mouths,which is what it sounds like yours is doing.Of course if you bend down the closest thing is your face. My pups are 4 months now and they realize when I say"NO" or "AH AH" they are doing something I don't want them to do but I have used those words with them since they were old enough to walk. I spend a lot of time playing and giving them affection,some grow out of it some get worse.It is not a simple thing to tell you what works and what doesn't ,you have to learn to think like the dog then things become somewhat easier because you understand why they do what they do and how to curtail it.An obedience class,even just a puppy one would be helpful. When she wants to grab your hand or feet ,growl in a low voice at her and say"NO" you do not need to yell she is not deaf but you need to get her attention.when she is being good use a high tone of voice to tell her so,happy ,happy,but you must be careful when you do this not to over stimulate her or the bitting will start up again .Nothing is a once and done you will need to be consistant and persistant with her. It hurts like hell when they get your nose,I know, but realize that if you bend down she is going to jump so if her mouth doesn't get you her nails will .Everyone in the house needs to correct her the same way using the same word.If people use different words she will become confused and not listen to anything.Putting another toy in her mouth is a good way of redirecting her just be sure you aren't bending down:)
 

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Well I responded above but I just wanted to add that I think all of our bassets or any breed have various temperaments. Mine were all raised in the same environment and all 3 of them act differently to various things. Riley is highly social and loves everybody and all dogs. He has never even growled in his sleep. Daisy was aggressive with food or bones/treats only. Benson was my aggressor. He growled when moved or even nudged. It was almost like he was standing his ground. When my daughter in law tried to move Benson from the couch he snapped at her and he actually got down, followed her out of the room like he wanted to bite her. I couldn't believe it. I always thought that maybe he was a product of overbreeding...something with genetics. When he was mad about something, there wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to correct him. All of us have to judge the situation while its happening and we all have different ways of going about it. It isn't acceptable behavior but I don't think there is a right or wrong way to correct it as far as I am concerned.


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