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My Wife Nora and I have decided to adopt a hound. In this case he is a six year old male who is coming from a none too caring household. He is currently in a foster home, getting caught up on shots and getting neutered next week. We are adopting for two primary reasons. First, we would like to do well by a hound in need, and second, we would love to have a companion for Lollypop, our 5 1/2 year old hound. Lucas, the hound in question, is painfully shy. We visited him for the first time on Sunday, as we would like to try and start to familiarize him with us and we with him. He seems to get along well with other dogs as there are two large male hounds in Lucas' foster home, and he seemed fine with Lollypop and she him (at least on neutral territory). He is evidently very mistrusting of people, especially males. His foster parents have had him 6 weeks, and it took them a few days before he accepted them. My question is multi-fold for anyone with patience.

What will be the best way to acclimate a mistrusting and shy hound to a new environment?
How will we deal with what is sure to be a Jealous Lollypop, who, up until now has been an only girl.
Lollypop up until now has been extremely well behaved, no chewing, no running away, no counter surfing or stealing food, almost innocent in a way. Will a new hound teach her bad tricks? Apparently Lucas is a food stealer, naughty boy that he is.
How best to get Lucas to trust people? Is it really only patience and time? Are there any specific training or behavior techniques to accommodate this?

Any advise to these questions and/or others I haven't even listed would be very appreciated. Nora and I are a bit nervous about having another hound, but we are willing to do the work, and while the household dynamic will surely change, we are hopeful it will be for the better for all involved.
 

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What will be the best way to acclimate a mistrusting and shy hound to a new environment?
How will we deal with what is sure to be a Jealous Lollypop, who, up until now has been an only girl.
Lollypop up until now has been extremely well behaved, no chewing, no running away, no counter surfing or stealing food, almost innocent in a way. Will a new hound teach her bad tricks? Apparently Lucas is a food stealer, naughty boy that he is.
How best to get Lucas to trust people? Is it really only patience and time? Are there any specific training or behavior techniques to accommodate this?

Any advise to these questions and/or others I haven't even listed would be very appreciated. Nora and I are a bit nervous about having another hound, but we are willing to do the work, and while the household dynamic will surely change, we are hopeful it will be for the better for all involved.
1. Above all don't force this situation - let him dictate things - come to you. Set up his bed area and get him into a routine... where his food bowl goes down and where the water bowl is going to be. And take him out for walks around the neighbourhood, so he knows where his new home is in relation to the local area.
2. Don't anticipate jealousy. This isn't a dog emotion - dogs are opportunists and will want what's available but this isn't jealousy.
3. He may well lead your bitch into unwanted behaviour. It will be up to you to make sure YOU are the leaders, not him, or her for that matter. And it's up to you to control the possibility of getting into food especially. Avoid - always better than correction!! Feed them separated for now too - food can be a trigger for fights. Food down in the same place, and order so they know what to expect.
4. Going back to sorting out his fear, don't overload him with situations he clearly can't cope with - with shy Bassets it's too easy to put them into a situation where they feel the only way to protect themselves is to go to fear biting. If you see him being worried about anything, find another way round that situation, or back off!! Again for me, with Bassets it's a lot about making them think what you want, is their idea all along. Not for nothing are you owned BY Bassets, not own them.

Above all, let him find his feet, setting boundaries because once he does, he'll take advantage, big time!! This is where people with Bassets who reach puberty, suddenly have a monster on their hands. I know your hound is older, but it's all too easy to over-indulge them because they are soooooo appealing. Finding out as much as you can about his past should help you understand why he's doing what, and when.

Good luck and above all, enjoy........ this should all be 'fun'

Incidentally I so wish he didn't have to be castrated. I have found this isn't a breed who really needs to have this surgery - I've had a couple we had to castrate (prostate problems) as older boys and I bitterly regretted it. They went very 'soft', lost all their previous zip, tended to put on weight unless continually watched, and grew thicker coats. The only for sure with castration is no puppies which provided they are properly kept, and not able to escape (and I seriously doubt any male Basset would be automatically able to mate - we only had one who helped himself!!), there should be no unwanted litters. The rest is training!!! Not castration. I would try to avoid having this done at least for now. He's going to have enough to cope with being moved to another new home, without recovery from surgery. :(
 

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If he's nervous really really wouldn't castrate him, what do you think it's going to achieve? Our elder boy was insecure, castration was the very worst thing I could have allowed my self to be talked into by vet & breeder, there's not a day that's passes I don't regret it - would never do it again unless medically needed. Please at least allow him time to settle with your family. Castration 'could', make his fear, nerves, stress so much worse.
 

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Thank you all for such thoughtful replies. fWIW I just e-mailed the New England Basset Hound Rescue and the foster mother asking why he needs to be neutered now. I'm inclined to agree about NOT neutering, especially since he's been through so much recently AND as you pointed out, will have the additional angst of acclimating to his new forever home. Thanks again for your replies! I'll let you know what NEBHR says in response to my email.
 

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Per NEBHR FYI. Too bad.

We have to have him fixed by law to adopt him out. He has to get neutered or you can't take him. It is our policy so no dog is being bred. Johnna and the vet would wait if they thought he couldn't handle it. It is a fast procedure so he will not be under anistesia long.
 

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Sadly I thought that might happen, all charities & rescues here in the UK insist that all dogs are neutered shortly after rehoming or even before, some (most) won't even allow them to go to a home where another dog is entire. Ridiculous, stupid & for a nervous dog criminal. Best wishes hope he settles with you or more importantly you with him :), love the name, his namesake is using his cousin Otto as a pillow in my avatar!!

PS, if I did ever had to neuter a dog again - God forbid - would find someone to do a vasectomy!!
 

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Per NEBHR FYI. Too bad.

We have to have him fixed by law to adopt him out. He has to get neutered or you can't take him. It is our policy so no dog is being bred. Johnna and the vet would wait if they thought he couldn't handle it. It is a fast procedure so he will not be under anistesia long.
Me too anticipated you'd be hit with this. And again although I can understand where they are coming from to a point, this is NOT a Breed that needs castration because it's gentle enough already!! More important is to make sure the home they are going to has adequate fencing and the people are RESPONSIBLE.

I home check for a Shelter that wants all other household pets, nothing to do with them, neutered too. I'll work for them, but won't adopt from them BECAUSE OF THIS. My bitch is spayed because I felt it better to have her done than not (cancer risk plus we had an elderly entire male in the home who didn't need to be anywhere near a bitch in season, even at the opposite end of the property) but my male Basset remains entire, and will do so for as long as he lives, medical need apart.

I suppose at least he's not a baby puppy (some UK Shelters will castrate at weeks old) but if nothing else, I'd still have them have the surgery done, keep him for a week or so to recover, and then send him home. Your decision!

ps I'd remonstrate with these people re castration and the Basset.
 

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Maybe ask if they will do a vasectomy instead of a neuter? Neutering has been shown to increase fearful behaviors. If it's a cost issue offer to pay the difference. I can't see why they should object, if preventing him from reproducing is the issue.
 

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Thanks Mikey T,

We've been to Tufts before with Lollypop. While it has a great reputation, if not THE best, it also comes with a price tag commensurate with its renown. If a vasectomy is better for our soon to be adopted hounds demeanor I'd be all for it but, alas, affordability is an issue. Thanks for the recommended reading, we'll read up on shyness!
 

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Well, Lucas was neutered on Monday. While they had him under they discovered really bad teeth so they decided to pull 22 of them out. TWENTY TWO! Poor sweet hound. Will he be able to eat kibble? Which, I suspect was NOT what he was used to eating. If he had been eating kibble all his life wouldn't his teeth be a bit healthier? Are we doomed to feed him soft food from here on out? I feel really badly for this poor hound and I feel bad that we are going to add to his discomfort, albeit hopefully shortly, by re-homing him (ours). He has grown attached to his foster parents, who by the way, have looked after him very well I'm pleased to say. I'll post pictures of him when we officially adopt him.
 

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Pepper has no teeth at all and she eats kibble just fine. Some dogs just have bad teeth, she gets the same food and care as our other dogs but at age two she had her first dental and lost teeth and at age six she lost the last of them. He'll probably need soft food for a couple of weeks while his mouth heals and then he should be fine.
 

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6 Year old rescur hound update

we picked up Lucas two weeks ago this thursday. I wanted to let things suss themsevles out before posting how things are going, so here goes. well, so far so good, I think. He is a darling hound and has taken to us well. Lollypop on the other hand is not so keen on this development. while I understand jealouisy is not a canine emotion, it is hard to view it in any other way. She mopes, avoids the couch where she used to lie with us (as Lucas now occupies her space) even though there is plenty of space for her too. meals were challenging at first, but we have established a routine and they both seem to be adjusting to this well, so fewer growls and jocularity. Lollypop jealously guards the bed, her last bastion of Mom and Dad space of her own. she has taken to sleeping with us every night, rather than her preferred spot on the couch, where Lucas now sleeps, so perhaps its more avoidance of Lucas than it is her desire to be with us. Things are slowly getting better as a detente of sorts has seemed to be reached. Such is the current status of the hounds fledgling relationship.

one curious thing of note and worry is Lucas' reactions to my wife Nora. While he has taken to me nicely and accepts all my advances, rubs, kisses etc, Nora is not as lucky. He intermittantly displays displeasure when she tries to hug him or kiss him. He growls at her, but he wont growl at me. Nora has decided to allow him to approach her, not the other way around. We hope this will sort itself out over time too.

so all in all, not too bad an acclimatization, but there are a few disapointments for all involved so far. I guess thats to be expected.

What in your opinion would be the best way to get Lollypop to accept him more readily and Lucas to accept Nora more readily??
 

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we picked up Lucas two weeks ago this thursday. I wanted to let things suss themsevles out before posting how things are going, so here goes. well, so far so good, I think. He is a darling hound and has taken to us well. Lollypop on the other hand is not so keen on this development. while I understand jealouisy is not a canine emotion, it is hard to view it in any other way. She mopes, avoids the couch where she used to lie with us (as Lucas now occupies her space) even though there is plenty of space for her too. meals were challenging at first, but we have established a routine and they both seem to be adjusting to this well, so fewer growls and jocularity. Lollypop jealously guards the bed, her last bastion of Mom and Dad space of her own. she has taken to sleeping with us every night, rather than her preferred spot on the couch, where Lucas now sleeps, so perhaps its more avoidance of Lucas than it is her desire to be with us. Things are slowly getting better as a detente of sorts has seemed to be reached. Such is the current status of the hounds fledgling relationship.

one curious thing of note and worry is Lucas' reactions to my wife Nora. While he has taken to me nicely and accepts all my advances, rubs, kisses etc, Nora is not as lucky. He intermittantly displays displeasure when she tries to hug him or kiss him. He growls at her, but he wont growl at me. Nora has decided to allow him to approach her, not the other way around. We hope this will sort itself out over time too.

so all in all, not too bad an acclimatization, but there are a few disapointments for all involved so far. I guess thats to be expected.

What in your opinion would be the best way to get Lollypop to accept him more readily and Lucas to accept Nora more readily??
Glad to read the update and, the growling at your wife apart, all seems to be going as expected really. If you get that kind of growling response, just don't do it. He's clearly still settling in (I though it was men he didn't liike!! - just goes to show how you can think one thing, and the dog then acts in quite the opposite way - witness the BOOK I sent into quarantine kennels for our 7 when we came back from Canada..... none of it really applied!). And over time, you'll learn what he will accept, and what he won't, in which case you just don't go there. He's showing he's still uneasy so tell Nora not to take it personally but not to force this either.;)

Place guarding, this is typically hound. In a pack they will need to defend what they see as 'theirs' be it food or a place. Bottom line - it all belongs to you, but don't force a head-on confrontation or you'll get nowhere.

As for him accepting Lollypop and more importantly the other way round, as I said before bitches rule and so, always remembering it should be you who calls the shots, right now it's going to be a situation where they have to work it out between them. This cannot be forced. And fact is much as I'm sure you'd like to see them snuggle up together eventually, this may not be going to happen and the best you may have to settle for is a mutual respect each for the other, with respect for you first. :p He's bound to have loads of 'baggage' going on (and with Bassets, like elephants, they don't forget so his past experiences will feature largely) - to say nothing of the castration which will mean he's having a hormone adjustment going on. Poor boy! Just to add with that, castration only prevents puppies. Nothing else.

I'd say so far, so good!! And I hope you will be able to persevere because the last thing he needs is to have to be moved again. :(
 

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displeasure when she tries to hug him or kiss him

tis is actual a normal dog reaction most dogs do not like to be hugged

ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- 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. Aside from true sexual mounting, (which is indeed a rare occurrence with most dogs since, in America at least, most pet owners have their pets spayed or neutered, and even a fertile bitch's estrus occurs only two times a year), the great majority of mounting is dominance-seeking behavior. Placing a head or paws on top of another dog are also often assertions of dominance, which, if not accept submissively by the other dog, can turn into ritualized aggression. There are other common canine expressions of dominance that resemble aspects of a human hug, such as leaning, where an assertive or dominating dog will lean on another dog to make it move.
(An important and frequent exception to all of the above, however, is when dogs, especially puppies, are playing or play fighting. In these cases, the gestures still ultimately mean the same, but you can think of "playing" as being "rehearsal" or "pretend practice" for later when a dog may need to understand and use these communicative gestures in a real situation.)
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."

Place guarding, this is typically hound. In a pack they will need to defend what they see as 'theirs' be it food or a place. Bottom line - it all belongs to you, but don't force a head-on confrontation or you'll get nowhere.

agreed train the off command so you can move the dogs without physical force
I think this video series is pretty good place to start
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL55DEBFAB9049103E
 
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