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Bassets CAN be aggressive

Last summer, my wife and I adopted a 1-1/2 year old Basset from a local shelter. In the three weeks that he was in our home, he bit my wife (lightly, through clothes) and me twice in a similar fashion. Strong verbal disapproval (a sharp "NO!") failed to stop him on any of the occasions, instead he clamped down and held on. Finally, he attacked one of our smaller dogs and then me in a most brutal way, giving me 19 puncture wounds on both arms and hands and damage to my left pinky that has required medical attention for the past six months and now requires me to travel to Boston (6 hours away) for treatment (surgery is likely at this point). As it turned out, the dog was brought in to the shelter we adopted him from due to aggression issues. After he attacked me, the shelter confiscated the dog for euthanasia as required by law, but instead of euthanizing him, removed him to another state where he supposedly has been adopted out again. Ladies and gentlemen, I know that we love our dogs dearly (my family has 4 Doxies that we cherish), but we need to be responsible and understand that ANY breed of dog can be aggressive for any number of reasons. Since my brutal attack, the most frequent response from others is "a basset? I can't believe that one of them would hurt someone". Well, I'm living proof that bassets can and will attack in a most savage way, as any dog will. Furthermore, I will NEVER, NEVER, EVER again adopt ANY dog from ANY shelter or rescue group ANYWHERE. The dog that bit me was placed into the adoption program at the local shelter despite aggression issues and, after his attack on me, was then shipped illegally across state lines for adoption to another unwary family (the dog had been declared a "Dangerous Dog" under state law). And I have learned that "breed-specific rescue organizations" sometimes act as ways of hiding (and even adopting out) dangerous, aggressive dogs. So my advice is to be ultra-careful.
 

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There are good, responsible shelters and rescue groups and not-so-good ones, unfortunately. And there are many people who think that "every dog can be saved".

The responsible ones will NOT adopt out a dog with a history of aggression (unless there was a good reason for it AND the dog can be considered safe in an average home).
 

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Yes indeed, my family currently has two dogs that were adopted from a breed-specific rescue group (Dachshund Rescue of North America) and we love them dearly. But, after my most traumatic experience with our Basset, I will not personally adopt another rescue or shelter dog. No one can ever really know the background of a "rescued" animal nor can we trust those who run ANY shelter to truly be forthcoming with us. The organization that took in the dog that savagely attacked me is called Tri-State Basset Rescue, based in NJ or PA (one can't really tell). Anyone who has adopted a 1-2 year old male Basset from them in the past 6 months or so should be very inquisitive as to where it came from, especially if his name is "Brutus". Tri-State has been most uncooperative in helping to resolve this situation, refusing to speak with me or with law enforcement or court officials about the matter. Meanwhile, they claim to have adopted out a dog that has caused very serious injury.

The medical and legal ramifications of this incident have been overwhelming for our family. I truly fear that a child could be killed by this dog, especially since he was originally turned into the local shelter (where we adopted him) for aggression towards a young child. I doubt that any of this information was passed along to "Brutus's" adopters in PA or NJ or wherever he went. Of course, maybe Tri-State has already euthanized him, and is using the adoption story as a cover.
 

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Perhaps we need some legislation (Federal or State) requiring Shelters and Rescues to provide a true history of the animals they have up for adoption (sworn to as a legal statement), including contact info for previous owners. I doubt that Tri-State Basset would have ever found a legitimate adopter for Brutus if his true history had been disclosed.
 

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Perhaps we need some legislation (Federal or State) requiring Shelters and Rescues to provide a true history of the animals they have up for adoption (sworn to as a legal statement), including contact info for previous owners. I doubt that Tri-State Basset would have ever found a legitimate adopter for Brutus if his true history had been disclosed.
Quite frankly, I don't think any law would help in most situations. Because I volunteer with a rescue, I work closely with our local shelter. For one thing, most previous owners wouldn't allow their personal information turned over to a stranger (I know I wouldn't want that). Plus, many people don't tell the truth about the dogs they are turning over, and some refuse to say anything at all. We can try and gauge their temperament the best we can, but dogs aren't comfortable in shelter environments and often don't show their true personality.

For example, I pulled a basset mix from the shelter as a foster. He seemed very sweet, let everyone handle him, etc. After he settled in to my home for about a month, he began displaying inappropriate aggression towards strangers (never my husband or I). I refused to adopt him out, because I feel that is an unacceptable risk He was easily managed by my husband and I, so I decided to keep him.

Just so you know, many shelters never would have let that dog out alive, let alone put it up for adoption again, particularly with the circumstances that you recounted here. As someone above said, there are good rescues and shelters just as there are bad ones.
 

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What I am proposing would require them to give the information under penalty of law. Perhaps shelters and rescue groups are prone to not share info due to a fear of lawsuits in cases like mine. If the previous owners stated at the time of giving him up that they gave him to the shelter because he was dangerous, then the shelter should be liable for the damage that was done as a result of them adopting him to my family, not the individual who originally owned him. I agree that a decent shelter would not have adopted him out. But how do you know which are which? Somebody in PA or NJ (according to Tri-State Basset) had a very dangerous dog placed in their household. I wonder where he may wind up next? So the lack of paper trail creates more victims.
 

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While it is understandable that you have a once bitten twice shy attitude towards rescue dogs the fact is we don't know how any dog is going to turn out. Saying we should never adopt from shelters or rescues is like saying we should never adopt children. You do take a chance and there are bad experiences but you could have just as bad experience buying a puppy. You can't gaurantes 100% what a dog will turn out like anymore than you can gaurantee 100% that your biological children will not go wrong.

I realize you are speaking from you own experience, I just hate the idea of all rescued dogs being painted with the same brush. We have three rescue dogs and sometimes I look at them and think how close they came to being euthanized and how much they bring to our lives.
 

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What I am proposing would require them to give the information under penalty of law. Perhaps shelters and rescue groups are prone to not share info due to a fear of lawsuits in cases like mine. If the previous owners stated at the time of giving him up that they gave him to the shelter because he was dangerous, then the shelter should be liable for the damage that was done as a result of them adopting him to my family, not the individual who originally owned him. I agree that a decent shelter would not have adopted him out. But how do you know which are which? Somebody in PA or NJ (according to Tri-State Basset) had a very dangerous dog placed in their household. I wonder where he may wind up next? So the lack of paper trail creates more victims.
It would really be hard to apply some penalty to those who lie when they turn their dogs in. Unless there is some tangible evidence, like a documented bite history, you couldn't prove that the owners turning the dog in were lying. Plus, if people were being forced to give information that they didn't want to provide, they could just give fake info, or they could just set the dog loose and let animal control or some citizen pick it up. Either way, you wouldn't get the information that you are wanting.

Unfortunately, many dogs at shelters (not so much at rescues) are an unknown when it comes to temperament. I doubt that the shelter knew he was an aggressive dog before they adopted it to you, that is too big of a legal liability for an organization to take. It is the reason that I kept my foster, Moe.

No rescue/shelter in my area would keep pertinent information from an adopter. In fact, we are very open with all of our dogs backgrounds (to the extent that we know them) and their quirks, because we want the adoption to stick.

Also, it is not uncommon for breed specific rescues to take dogs that have a bite history and try to rehabilitate them. Some shelters will let dogs involved in bite cases go to rescue. Many breed specific rescues have foster homes who love their breed and are capable of working with those who have issues
 

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Fred LOVES fetch! She'll play ALL day long, as long as we'll throw and if we stop she moves on to the next willing human. It's not chasing it's fetching.
 

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I love the distraction Fredsmom. I know what the guy is feeling .I fostered a little female all of 25 lbs,knew she came from down south ,had been adopted to a family in Conn. was given back because she had issues with men,I was told "she doesn't like men," but was more like, "she hated men with a passion",and leary of everyone. When I say issues I mean she could corner a man faster than you could blink,I would put myself between her and the guy and get her to back off.She went after my husband several times. We knew someone had shot her with buckshot,let her, or forced her to drink bleach,she had sores in her mouth from it and could hardly eat,so she had been very mistreated,but she bonded with me.This was not a dog that was going to be placed easily and probably should not have been placed at all. I did find her a home with a woman, but, I think she was being passed around from shelter to rescue and no one wanted to do the deed.She was a dangerous dog,no doubt.
 

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I was wondering if agression in bassets is common. I have a one year old basset named Colonel. I love him so much and hes usually a good boy. Sometimes he'll be stubborn and run away from me when im trying to get him inside :lol: regular basset behaviors.

Though sometimes he'll randomly attack me and my friends. It used to be a a playful attack but lately it's been getting awfully aggressive. But it seems he only does it at random. Me and my friends try and get him to play with us but he won't. He'll only attack at random. Does anyone else's basset do this?
 

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I was wondering if agression in bassets is common. I have a one year old basset named Colonel. I love him so much and hes usually a good boy. Sometimes he'll be stubborn and run away from me when im trying to get him inside :lol: regular basset behaviors.

Though sometimes he'll randomly attack me and my friends. It used to be a a playful attack but lately it's been getting awfully aggressive. But it seems he only does it at random. Me and my friends try and get him to play with us but he won't. He'll only attack at random. Does anyone else's basset do this?
Hi
We/I have an non neutered male basset that turned one year old in December and YES has bouts of random aggression. It can be when on the flow or even on the couch. Been to vet, they suggested training, waiting for a return call from the location. Just wondered if anyone has other ideas or suggestions on how you deal with. I hate to give him up but fear he wI’ll really do some damage. He has bitten all of us and drawn blood.thank you
 
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