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I have an issue with our 8-month-old basset dog; when I try to do something he doesn't like, such as not letting him lick his wound after surgery or carrying him up and down stairs, whipping his feet, etc., he gets aggressive. It started out as a few playful bites to show me he didn't enjoy it, but now I'm actually terrified of him. "The weakest chain of the family," said a family member who considers himself a dog expert. I'm at a loss as to how to change this behaviour. He doesn't appear to have an issue with any other member of my family, therefore I'm worried the issue is with me. I like our basset and don't mind a few scratches... but every time he snaps at me, my heart breaks.
 

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Sad to say, this youngster may well have been allowed to get away with things he didn't like, as a puppy but now he's 8 months, he's 'fighting back'. You may have pushed him too far so he's now gone to fear biting. The good news is he's not like this with others so I'm afraid this is you. Why, for eg. is he needing to be carried up and down stairs. Many don't like being up off the ground. Is whipping his feet meaning clipping his nails? When he shows he's not liking things, avoid where possible. The secret is to make them think what you want, was their idea all along and never push them into something they clearly don't like.. As for licking wounds - use a collar so he can't lick at wounds ...... eg


I'm ashamed to say that our first hound, who I learnt on, would react on occasion, although it never got to biting other than the one time when I had a bitch in season in a crate in the room and he got ontop of the crate ..... I had to get him off before he collapsed the crate on her and yes, he bit me. Never again did I have a bitch in season anywhere near the others.

Can you get others to deal with him for a while so you can back off? How much experience with Bassets does your family member have. He may believe he is a dog expert, but dealing with Bassets can be a lot different to how he'd react with another breed. Is there a breeder (his) around who you can talk to ..... it would be better to be able to see how he's reacting to you.
 

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you do realize if he meant you harm you would be bit not simply snapped at. Was It Just a Little Bite or More? Evaluating Bite Levels in Dogs
Level 1 (pre-bite): the dog snaps or air bites but makes no contact with the person. Now people tend to say, “The dog tried to bite me but I moved away.” I say, “Give me a break.” Humans have sloth-like reactions compared to the speed of a biting dog and dogs have pretty good aim when trying to grab things. If the dog actually meant to bite (rather than just give you a warning), you would have the holes to prove it. Owners should take this air snap as a sign that someone wasn’t paying attention to their dog’s earlier signs of displeasure or fear. Owners should get help before this sort of pre-bite behavior progresses to an actual bite. Avoid punishing these warning signs or the dog may progress to biting without warning. Instead, learn the signs of fear and anxiety that the dog probably showed prior to this situation and learn to spot the common inappropriate human actions that may have contributed to the snap.
there are probably multiple things occurring here. 1. you are poor at reading dog body language and as such push the to further escalate to protect himself form harm, painful handling etc. 2.
I'm actually terrified of him
Which the dog knows as well. This will make the dog more anxious because fearful human/animal are less rational; and more emotional making them less predictable and more likely to become physical. SO you need to become better at reading dog body language.


steps to a better relationship with the dog
1. education on reading dog body language


2. avoid situations that lead to conflict. Why is it up to you to do the things he does not like when there are other family members he does not have the same reaction ?
the next is you really need professional behaviorist to accurately assess what is going on betweeen you and the dog,

3. Seek professional evaluation from an animal behaviorist of yourz and the dog's relationship

3. engage in activities that can build trust like Feeding the dog.


4. work on dog handling skills
 
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