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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to forum.

I have a question that I hope someone could helkp me with.

Has anyone ever had a aggresive Basset Hound?

When Elvis doesn't want to do something that my wife and me want him to do, there's a pretty good chance that he will literally try to maul us.
I know it sounds crazy but let's say I want to put him in his cage, or he runs out and we grab him collar so he doesn't run away and then try to get him back in the house, or if he's on the bed and I try to pick him up to get him off. If he wants to come down no problem I pick him up and put him down, BUT if he doesn't it's like WWIII he attacks and not just a growl or even a snap, but lunging repeated attacks until I manhandle him off the bed or in the house.

The funny thing is is about 95% of the time he is the most lovable dog I know but I've never had a dog bite me. (My own dog)

Let me explain how we ended up with a bassetl. My ast dog was a rottie mix about 125 lbs, and while he was very protective and snapped at a couple people (and needed a tranquillizer when I brought him to the vet), BUT I could grab him collar drag him in the house, throw him in his cage, Never did he bite me.

So for our latest dog my wife and I wanted a nice mellow lovable FRIENDLY dog, and we both love the basset breed.

I realize they are stibborn and can be a real pain at times, but I can overlook all of that. But when I came home Sunday from food shopping and saw my wife's arms swollen and bleeding, I can't take more of that.
Her wrist looked broken it was so swollen, thankfully it wasn't.

So has anyone else known a basset that would snap on it's owners?

He's about 14 months he's been doing this sparatically since about 9 months.

He's fixed.

He's about 65 lbs.
 

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my basset is about 4 months and he tends to growl and snap if something is being done he doesnt like aka cleaning his ears....he is going to private dog obedience lessens because i feel it is my fault that he feels he is lead dog with all the spoiling I do. It sounds like your basset feels that he is the leader also. Maybe some behavior modifications will help your guy too. Woody is a sweetheart himself so I have been promised this will help..and my trainer is someone good with bassets since she owns 2 of them herself.

Good luck with him

Woody and his mom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, Yep I'm starting training this weekend. It's my last option before Elvis has to leave. (I hope it works out, I must be a horrible dog trainer because I know we babied him WAY TOO MUCH).

I was getting scared because everwhere I read it said Bassets Don't Bite... So I was thinking "great I have the only Psycho Basset out there..."

I'll keep you posted.

Any other advice is appreciated.
 

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that he feels he is lead dog with all the spoiling I do. It sounds like your basset feels that he is the leader also. Maybe some behavior modifications will help your guy too.
there is no indication contrary to popular myths subscribed to and repopularized my TV personalities. that dogs seek or even care about status. Humans yest and when humans describe dogs as "status seeking" it appear to be a projection of human beliefs on a dogs interaction when in fact that are much less convoluted and straight forward reasons that have nothing to do with status seeking see


Dominance in domestic dogs—useful construct or bad habit?

Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Vol. 4, Issue 3.

The term "dominance" is widely used in the academic and popular literature on the behavior of domestic dogs, especially in the context of aggression. Although dominance is correctly a property of relationships, it has been erroneously used to describe a supposed trait of individual dogs, even though there is little evidence that such a trait exists. When used correctly to describe a relationship between 2 individuals, it tends to be misapplied as a motivation for social interactions, rather than simply a quality of that relationship. Hence, it is commonly suggested that a desire 'to be dominant' actually drives behavior, especially aggression, in the domestic dog. By contrast, many recent studies of wolf packs have questioned whether there is any direct correspondence between dominance within a relationship and agonistic behavior, and in contrast to wolves, hierarchical social structures have little relationship with reproductive behavior in feral dog packs. Nor do the exchanges of aggressive and submissive behavior in feral dogs, originally published by S. K. Pal and coworkers, fit the pattern predicted from wolf behavior, especially the submissive behavior observed between members of different packs. In the present study of a freely interacting group of neutered male domestic dogs, pairwise relationships were evident, but no overall hierarchy could be detected. Since there seems to be little empirical basis for wolf-type dominance hierarchies in dogs[/url]

Myth 10: Dogs live in a dominance hierarchy, with the Alpha dog at the top as the absolute leader.

The final strange thing about this myth is that no one has ever yet been able to find a real dominance hierarchy within a group of dogs, no matter how hard they looked or what kind of statistics they applied. The whole idea is utter nonsense.
y Won't Dominance Die?

ny leading animal behaviourists are concerned that the “dominance” model of pet dog behaviour continues to survive, despite the accumulating evidence that it is at best unhelpful and at worst highly detrimental.
The problem is this type of belief changes the relationship and how you react to the dog will be more conforntational if you believe the dog can never win. A dogs natural reaction based in genetics and enviorment is to fight or flight. For those dog that back down all is fine for those that don't however you get a escallating conflict and reaction as note in the first post. I got a run but will be back later with more ideas and suggestion on improving the situation.
 

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Hi Ogilvy, I'm sorry about what happened to your wife's arm.
I too have problem with my basset. Carlos is 8 months old now, I adopted him 1.5 months ago. Like Elvis, he also bites hands and sometimes can be very aggressive and jumps on people. His previous owner dumped him because of this. But most of the time he's a very sweet and affectionate dog. What I've done so far is I pin him down on the floor when he's having his tantrum and say NO firmly until he gives up. This only works temporarily.
I live in Indonesia, in an area where obedience trainers are not available. So if you guys have suggestion on how to handle my dog please, please let me know.
Thanks!
 

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He might have resource guarding and body handling issues. A lot of bassets are sensitive and need gentle training. Try teaching him to get down off the bed instead of you forcing him off and also training him to go where he needs to be so you can eliminate the collar dragging. Collar dragging is an easy solution for us, but your basset might be seeing it as an aggressive act towards him. Even though you might not mean it to be. There is a lot of good books and info about resource guarding. Maybe he is also lacking in confidence. Doing more training with him will give him better confidence. Maybe he needs more exercise as well. Playing "brain games" is also a good way to help build confidence with him. When you look for training ideas and resource guarding info, make sure it is positive reinforcement based.
 

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Well as I have said before, I have yet to see an aggressive Basset... and three generations of my family have had Bassets, many older rehomes between us all and we have always had two or three together, occasionally four when we temporarily fostered or looked after friends' Bassets and never once have I seen any aggression whatsoever in any of them, not even when we have introduced a new Basset to the others.

Maybe because myself, my husband and two children are laid-back, it rubs off onto our Bassets and we have never used a cage and our hounds have several beds in the kitchen, hall and lounge and they aren't allowed on stairs as it's not good for their little front legs, especially with all that weight going downwards. I think Mikey usually has some good advice!
 

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There are definitely aggressive,biting bassets,as any dog can be given the right situations.Sometimes without realizing it we contribute to the problem.We don't deal with it when it first starts usually when they become "teenagers" and or starting to become sexually mature,or when they are puppies and we think growling is cute. Occasionally, genitics can be responsible for the temperment of a dog. It isn't something that goes away it just gets worse.Then when it progresses to the Monster stage and people are now getting bitten it is the dog that has to pay the price. Pardon me and I don't mean this to be smart but the Rotti should not have had to tranquilized to be taken to the vet and never "thrown" in his crate. You may not have actually ment thrown but it sounded like roughness anyway. What happened to the Rotti,just curious. Dogs are not people as much as we love them and care about them and for them, they need disipline, and I don't mean harsh.They need to know what is expected of them which is now what you are doing by going to training. The training is for you more than the dog. Think like a dog ,the more you spoil them and don't require them to respond to a command like"NO" you increase the problems they will give you. Just like kids in that manner, let them get away with enough disrespect and you'll be trying to fix what you contributed to.I get a lot out of watching Ceasar Milan,he thinks like a dog ,he teaches them in a way they understand. Anyway,I digress, I know Mikey will not agree with what I'm saying and that is ok . I know I'm not directly answering your problem, but, there are mean ,nasty ,aggressive, bassets out there and I'm afraid we are making alot of them what they are. Maybe I am just seeing this in a bad light,so I 'm sorry for coming on so strong.
 

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If it were my dog I'd give him a reality check. Perhaps try crate training him and not giving him the luxury of sleeping where ever he wants. What he is doing is working for him so in dog world, he's just going to keep doing it. He knows if he doesn't want to, he can escalate his behavior until eventually you leave him alone.

Have you tried to bribe him with treats when you want him to move rather than dragging him? He's probably very food motivated and would gladly relocate for a treat. Plus you won't end up with a bite. When he does what you want the rest of the time are you making a nice big deal out of it? Don't forget to reward good behavior and not just notice the bad behavior.

It is hard not to baby your pup and I've been guilty of the same thing. I actually had a lab bite my daughter because he learned he could do whatever he wanted and would snap if displeased. So, try a strict routine with crate, positive bribes, and reinforcement for awhile. Lord knows it might take a basset quite a while, even with perfect consistancy, to accept the new routine.

BTW I'm a new basset owner so this is me guessing at a solution for you. Not a seasoned pro here by any stretch but hoping to try and help.

Good luck!
 

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Oh and another thought. Where did you get him? Any possibility that he had a rough start to life or even possibly some inbreeding? I hear that accidental inbreeding shows up first with abnormal aggressive behavior.
 

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I know I'm not directly answering your problem, but, there are mean ,nasty ,aggressive, bassets out there and I'm afraid we are making alot of them what they are.

No disagreement there both by not takeing into account temperment when breeding but more important how we train bassets.


Dogs are not people as much as we love them and care about them and for them, they need disipline, and I don't mean harsh.They need to know what is expected of them which is now what you are doing by going to training. The training is for you more than the dog. Think like a dog ,the more you spoil them and don't require them to respond to a command like"NO" you increase the problems they will give you. Just like kids in that manner, let them get away with enough disrespect and you'll be trying to fix what you contributed to.[quote]

the only disagreement is "NO" which is much misunderstood. First of keep in mind verbal lanquage cues are very low on most dogs learning it takes an exaustive amount of training for a dog to truely understand a verbal only cue physical cues and situational cues they pick-up much more quickly. Most people use both at the same time and assume the dog is responind to the verbal cue when that is not the case at all, I like the following article as a concrete example of this

the Sit Test
The purpose of the "Sit Test" is to provide an objective assessment of performance-reliability for basic obedience commands. Why? So that instead of reprimanding the dog for "misbehaving," the trainer steps back and reflects on the real reasons for the dog's "disobedience," i.e., lack of proofing and reliability training prior to pattern training. Many trainers have an inflated view of their dog's reliability because during practice, performance reliability is assessed by subjective means. The trainer tends to remember the good and forget the bad. Moreover, following an objective assessment of reliability during obedience trials, failed exercises are frequently dismissed as bad luck
For some reason most people misunderstand the dogs understanding of the word "no" some how magically they expect dogs to understand the meaning of the word without training it. And even then no is a very nebulous term not easily defined or understood. It is a rare dogs that asigns any meaning to the word. The word as used in training is not punishment and it is not a cue or a command. It is nothing more than a loud noise that acts as a disruptive stimuli. No different than clapping hand or any loud startling noise. THe dog temperarorly stops what it is doing which now give you the opurtunity to train a more appropiate behavior, The secret to a well ,ammered and behaved dog is not to focus on what the dog is doing wrong, but rather work on training an appropriate behaivor in that situation. Don't attempt to punish the dog for jumping up on greetings it doesn't work because most misunderstand that the soposed adversive punishment, steping on toes, knee in the chest etc actual rewards the behavior with the attention the dogs seek. A much better approach is to ignore the dog until four feet are on the floor and reward the dog for that and maintaining that position. Using positive reinforvement to modified behavior does not mean being permisive or allowing inappropriate behavior. The two are unrelated just as it is possible to puniosh the dog and be permisive at the same time.



I get a lot out of watching Ceasar Milan,he thinks like a dog ,he teaches them in a way they understand.
Given that his explaination of dog packs, pack mentality etc is contrary to all scientific evidence that is not hardly the case. He is basically clueless as to a rational reason for why what he does works. Given the fact that it is a massive failure for most others that try his methodology and it is the only "dog training" show that requires a disclaimer of not to try the techniques on your one speak volumes . TV dog trainers like Victoria Spillwell acomplish the same results without a need for such disclaimers, a much safer and preferred route.

I an not the only one that feels this way, as it is the prevailing sentiment by experts in the animal behaviorism field.

Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in
Behavior Modification of Animals

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior​

AVSAB is concerned with the recent re-emergence of dominance theory and forcing dogs and other animals into submission as a means of preventing and correcting behavior problems. For decades, some traditional animal training has relied on dominance theory and has assumed that animals misbehave primarily because they are striving for higher rank. This idea often leads trainers to believe that force or coercion must be used to modify these undesirable behaviors. In the last several decades, our understanding of dominance theory and of the behavior of domesticated animals and their wild counterparts has grown considerably, leading to updated views. To understand how and whether to apply dominance theory to behavior in animals, it’s imperative that one first has a basic understanding of the principles.​

...The majority of behaviors owners want to modify, such as excessive vocalization, unruly greetings, and failure to come when called, are not related to valued resources and may not even involve aggression. Rather, these behaviors occur because they have been inadvertently rewarded and because alternate appropriate behaviors have not been trained​

instead. Consequently, what owners really want is not to gain dominance, but to obtain the ability to influence their pets to perform behaviors willingly —which is one accepted definition of leadership


The Use of Punishment for Behavior Modification in Animals


American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
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


AVSAB recommends that training should focus on reinforcing desired behaviors, removing the reinforcer for inappropriate behaviors, and addressing the emotional state and environmental conditions driving the undesirable behavior. This approach promotes a better understanding of the pet’s behavior and better awareness of how humans may have inadvertently contributed to the development of the undesirable behavior.

...If punishment is suggested as part of a complete behavior modification plan, owners should not begin using it until they have ensured that the person helping them is able to articulate the major adverse effects of punishment, judge when these effects are occurring over the short term and long term, and can explain how they will reverse the adverse effects if they occur.
...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.




for the standard disclaimers the best way to deal with any aggressive behavior is to get an inhome consultation with either a "certified" animal behaviorist or a Board certified "veterinary behaviorist" these are the only ones with demonstratable ability an knowledge. Any one can call themselves a behaviors or a trainer even without any training.




for non us residents
International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants however the standard for inclusion do not exist​

for those that cost and or distance makes an in home consultation impossible many vet school have a remote consulting service such as Pet Fax but they are not nearly as effective.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks so much for all the advice !


Ok started training today. I think it's going to work out, but I have to be consistent. Elvis seems to be acting a little better with some basic correction, now it's our job to keep consistent with the training. The trainer thinks Elvis will gain confidence with training so hopefully we can train that behavior out of him, or at least not put us in the position for him to act that way. I can't wait to have my Elvis back the way he used to be, he's about 14 months now, I have training for 6 weeks then the trainer said it takes around 6 months of consistency after that to really reinforce the training so by age two he should be much better, then I have 10-12 years with him (hopefully).


Let me answer a few questions that were asked.
When I said "throw my last dog in the crate" I didn't "throw him" anywhere he weighed like 125-130 lbs. But 99% of the time I'd just say "go in your bed" and he'd just go in the crate. If he got out of the house I'd grab his collar and pull him back in, that's all I meant.
He died about 3 years ago at age 13.


I bought Elvis from a breeder, (My first pure bred dog that I actually bought). My wife and I met him at 3 weeks old and picked him up on his 8 week birthday. I met both parents and they seems pretty stable, I met the mother twice and the father once on pick-up day. I see his lines there was no inbreeding.

Thanks again for the advice, I do crate him at times I may have to crate him at night instead of sleeping on my bed, but he loves to sleep with us. Ill have to play that by ear, see how the training goes.
 

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Aww, well good luck! Glad you have some hope now:) I can't imagine not sleeping with my pups either. I know it will be hard. But, in the long run hopefully it will be worth the sacrifices as most good things are.
 

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Thank you for explaining about your Rotti,assumption and visualization are hard to overcome sometimes. Thanks for agreeing a little Mikey I know that is about as good as we get but it is better than nothing. We do disagree about the "NO"which is the first word I teach my dogs,occasionally, it takes the place of "STOP" but the dogs get it even if the scientist disagree. When I say "NO" I don't have to yell just sound firm and growling. For me,it is the first thing they learn, they get praise as well. I will always disagree about the pack mentality,even in training the dog is learning to follow you.I don't always have to roll a puppy but I will if the situation requires something a little more of a physical restraint. Again I doubt the scientist are consistantly dealing with litters of puppies and following them through to adulthood. I do agree that some situations as they describe are best delt with as they describe, but, I go with what I know works for me,old school, maybe,but I paddled my kids too and they do not seem traumatized and they did not grow up to be violent. After all that I still have a dog with a healthy state of mind that can show or blend into a family without all this biting nonsense people have grown to put up with.
 

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he runs out and we grab him collar so he doesn't run away and then try to get him back in the house, or if he's on the bed and I try to pick him up to get him off. If he wants to come down no problem I pick him up and put him down, BUT if he doesn't it's like WWIII he attacks and not just a growl or even a snap, but lunging repeated attacks until I manhandle him off the bed or in the house.
Please read the following articles written from the dogs point of view
He Just Wants To Say "Hi!"
Aggression or appropriate response to rudeness? Far too many dogs suffer because handlers & trainers don't know the difference between the two

AGGRESSION: A Case History with Harry T

WEhen the dog acts aggrtesively when it collar is touched it so not a resilt of defeience. NO the dog does not associate it behavior or lack of behavior ie not responding to a cue with your touching the collar. It only knows what happens when you do and he is physically hauled around by it. This is never pleasant for the dog. ANd like many humans would many dogs grow to resent it. and will act accordingly to prevent it. Just as you would not appreciate a boss theat ever time wanted you to move graps you by the collar to direct you neither do most dogs. Just as most bosses do not need to resort to physical means to get a humans cooperation good dog trainers do not need to do so as well.

for an article on the difference between training so called "smart dog" vs training a basset hound see Hard to Train ?

Something in addition to obedience training to change the relationship between you and the dog. Stop feeding the dog meals. Take the kibble that would normally used to feed the dog meals and use at as a reward, not a bribe for appropriate behavior. not jumping when greating, coming when called, sitting when requested. walking by the counter without jumping up on it. You will be rewarding appropriate behavior much more consitently so you getting that behavior on a much more consistent basis and it will take a lot less time than six months.

Desensitive the dog to collar touches. Chances are the dog is only sensitive to coloar touch in particular context, often dogs can tell by your demeanor, why you approach on what to expect so in other context in which a collar touch did not result in being physically moved it will not react. Start off in the situation in wich the dog does not react to having the collar touched. Touch collar give the dog a treat, repeat. over time replace the touch of the collar with a collar grab. Over time do so in casses that more resemble cases in which the dog would behave inappropriately. ontil the dog accepts touching grabing the collar in situations it would go nut in previously. This goes for other physical contact as well ie picking up etc.

He's about 65 lb
See How Much Does Your Dog's Cooperation Weigh?
Physical struggles aren't the point in relationship based training.
 

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When I compare the three cases of aggressiveness as it relates to bassets presented here there seems to me a common thread. That is an adversarial relationship between owner and dog. THis is not created by the dog but rather how the owner reacts to the dog. In most cases it is the result of inappropriately applying pack hieracrchy and dominance theory ,ie "never let the dog win" as a reason for physical confronting the dog and forcing compliance. This often result in the dog viewing the owner as unstable, not trustworthy in certain situation so it does what is inheireted and learned response to the situation to defend itself for the threat. Further and stronger confrontration via the human results in the dog esculating its behavior as well. A never ending cycle the only ends with someone dead. One does not need to physically coerce a dog to get compliance. Dogs do what works for them If compliance is in there best interest as viewed by the dog they will comply.

for those that are wondering A little background I am the owner of a basset that bites. A rescue that I learned a year after adopting that if I had not taken would have been put down. Shw was a truely dangerious dog. Through punishment specifically a lip pinch. She had her growl surpressed. This did nothing to change the underlying emotional state of fear she has when it comes to stangers. but it did cause her to bite first and ask questions later, not warning biting was her first reaction. I have first hand knowledge of the damage punishment can have when applied to aggressive dogs. It took two years of training before she would reliable growl and display other warnings as well.

for those interest the video's below are of this dog

grand prix

p3
 

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the one thing all biters have in common is not why they bite, their genetic make up, medical nuerological problems, or how they were raised. All biter lack Bite Inhibition. This can be taught to each and every dog. However in the case of biters it is general to late. As such training is only effective upto approamately 20 weeks of age.
Bite inhibition how to teach it
Rather than "No bite," I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. Does this mean that the pup will forever be mouthing you? No, not at all. Actually, regardless of the method used, puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months.
So why should you teach bite inhibition? Because dogs have one defense: their teeth. Every dog can bite. If frightened enough or in pain or threatened, your dog *will* bite. That doesn't in any way make him a "bad" dog. It makes him a dog. It's your responsibility, therefore, to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile. If you teach your dog bite inhibition that training will carry over even if he is later in a position where he feels forced to bite.
It is one of the important roles puppy socialization classes can play in developing a well adjusted adult dog. Dogs learn thes behavior from littermates but it requires time. Justifiably humans seperates dog from the litter behfore bite inhibition is complete in order for the dogs to bond better with humans. THis requires us humand to finish the training. When we don't and the dog feels the need to bite injuries occur whereas a dog with bite inhibition does not cause real damage. The importance of such teaching in a puppy can not be over emphysised such simply training could same thousands of dogs each year.
 

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You know,Mikey,I do read your posts,I don't ignore what you have to say because you say important things dog owners need to know and especially dog owners with the aggressive issues.A lot of what you say makes perfect sense to me even though it may seem otherwise at times. I definately agree punishing or using physical force on a dog is ,in my mine,cruelty,there are other ways to get them to comply or listen. Personality I would rather deal with puppies under 14 weeks of age.I can mold them so that my puppy owners get a well adjusted puppy. It is a good thing you were willing to work with your girl and she is one lucky dog.I'm glad you are here to help people understand their dogs.
 
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