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Hi All!

Sorry for all the questions!! (maybe a bit forward for a newbie to the site)

Wellington (our adopted boy)Growled at us last night when we wanted to pet him while he was chewing the toys we had given them earlier the evening (yes he took off Lexie's toy aswell)

He sometimes shows teeth (the bad way) when we want him off the couch or out of the house...

Any advise...think he has dominance issues...he used to hump everything in sight when we got him! :-(

We are thinking of getting an animal behaviourist out to our home.

Please help!


ps. Our girl is not like this at all!
 

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:blink:

Hi All!

Sorry for all the questions!! (maybe a bit forward for a newbie to the site)

Wellington (our adopted boy)Growled at us last night when we wanted to pet him while he was chewing the toys we had given them earlier the evening (yes he took off Lexie's toy aswell)

He sometimes shows teeth (the bad way) when we want him off the couch or out of the house...

Any advise...think he has dominance issues...he used to hump everything in sight when we got him! :-(

We are thinking of getting an animal behaviourist out to our home.

Please help!
ps. Our girl is not like this at all![/b]



We had the same problem during Christmas. I rescued a female basset this past August and we began to see signs around Christmas. First off, don't let the guys on the couch. About the toys, tell Wellington to sit.. and then command for the toy. You'll have to practice this.. He has to learn that you are the leader of your pack and not him.. It took about 3 weeks to get everything under control in my house. We still get growls, but I trained her to give her attention to me and she was and is rewarded with a small treat. Hopefully he'll learn to look at you for instruction. Getting a animal behaviorist is a great idea. Call your vet to suggest one. They can be expensive. A good book is
Who Moved My Bone? by Theresa Mancuso.
good luck

mary frances
 

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There are lots of good books that address this, but you need to start establishing yourself as the top dog in the household. To do this, don't let them sleep with you, and don't even let them on the furniture with you. Every day spend a few minutes running through some obedience training. Some trainers suggest not letting the dog go through a doorway before you, feeding the aggressive dog last, etc. If you have access to a dog behaviorist, definitely take advantage of that. Hopefully order can be restored soon. But you'll probably never be able to let them sleep with you, etc. (I have two dogs. Stomps was a rescue that I got when he was 3-5 years old. Lightning was just a pup when I got him and has no interest in being top dog. But Stomps would get extremely aggressive with Lightning, so I had to institute the no-bed, no-lap rule. Lightning can get on my lap anytime, but never Stomps. It's hard to say no, but believe me, it works and it's for the best.) Welcome to the site and I hope this helps.
 

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I adopted a 1.5 year old male Basset but didn't know he had that problem. He turned out to be very agressive - to the point of biting. If he got hold of something he wanted, he would never let it go. He'd growl and if you persued it, he would attack. I had a behavioralist in, had him put on meds, took him to obedience school, I tried everything but finally had to give him up to someone who had no small animals or kids in the house. So far, it's working out. He would treat my cats like prey and try to kill them. It was awful. And the worst part was that I loved him to pieces! When he was good, he was my baby. It broke my heart to have to part with him, but it did work out for the best. I agree with all the advice you've gotten on this site and I also think you should consider the behavioralist. They can evaluate the situation and give you some very good advice. I now have a Basset puppy and he's the sweetest thing. But I still miss Homer. :(
 

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Poor Homer who, if not dead, is on his fifth or sixth or whatever home, and is a tragic example of what can befall a dog when behavioral problems are not effectively or responsibly addressed. :( Addressing Wellington's behavior immediately and consistently will go a long way toward preventing him from suffering Homer's fate. :(

At a minimum, it sounds like Wellington is displaying "resource guarding" behavior. A behaviorist will help you modify this conduct and identify additional issues, if present. Until the behaviorist can make a visit, it would be a good idea to remove objects that Wellington guards, like new toys, bones, etc. As suggested earlier in this thread, you'll also want to prohibit him from getting up on the couch, bed, etc.

Here are some additional discussions of resource guarding and methods for dealing with this behavior.

Mine! The Resource Guarding Dog--a description of Jean Donaldson's method for addressing this problem
Guarding and Showing Aggression over Resources, Sarah Wilson

Another resource is the agbeh (Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs) email list.
Here in the Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs group, with approximately 560 experienced dog trainers from around the world, we discuss how to modify the behavior of dogs which sometimes exhibit aggressive behaviors toward dogs and/or toward people. Oftentimes aggressive behaviors arise from dogs' fears or anxieties. Harsh training and physical punishments may make the problems worse. Trainers and dog-behavior consultants give suggestions for safe home management and on using positive-reinforcement for teaching new skills. Only "dog-friendly" recommendations are permitted. No physical punishment-based methods are advocated here. In addition, detail information is provided about desensitization and counter conditioning.[/b]
 

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Poor Homer who, if not dead, is on his fifth or sixth or whatever home, and is a tragic example of what can befall a dog when behavioral problems are not effectively or responsibly addressed. sad.gif Addressing Wellington's behavior immediately and consistently will go a long way toward preventing him from suffering Homer's fate. sad.gif


I did everything humanly possible for Homer. He's not dead and is living in a home where he appears to be doing well . I loved him to pieces and spent a bundle on a behavioralist, obedience classes (twice), read books recommended here, including the "Mine" book, purchased all kinds of equipment that was recommended, training CD's, etc. I did this for over two years and if there was anything I could have done but didn't, it was not intentional. I don't know what happened to him before I got him at 1.5 years of age, but the behavioralist said that he was an abused dog.
 

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Hi guys, firstly i must thank you sooo much for all your advise!!!

we are definetely getting the behaviourist in...we love him too much to let him go...

I must post a descent photo of the boy, so that you can try judging how old he is...we don't have the foggiest idea...we judge him to be about 4yrs...and he was definetely abused.

I once brought my hand down too quickly to rub his tummy and he cringed as if I was going to beat him or something...I was sooo upset!

and the reason he was taken from his original owners was because he was found (after he escaped) on the highway twice and he was hit by a car once - the poor thing!!!

when we got him he was sooo thin and full of ticks, but when he got in the car with us he immediately crawled into my arm and was sooo loving...

sorry for going on like this...

it just upsets me- the aggression - hes actually a very soft hearted little bear...he only listens if you speak softly and gently to him.

the funny thing is ... our other basset doesnt do most of the things i've read about here...such as the counter surfing ....while Wellie is a league champion!!!

:)

anyhooo...just wanted to thank you

oh yes...we don't allow them on the couches anymore...he doesnt easily abandon his couch without a growl...so hopefully we are on the right track!

keep well and have a lovely day!
simone.
 

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The last time Homer was mentioned, it was known that he had been passed to at least two more homes; it wasn't currently known where he was; and it was hoped things were working out for him. Glad to hear the story has again changed. :)
 

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Simone, it's good to hear that you're committed to working with Wellington. :)

We rescued a dog who behaved aggressively from time to time. We worked with a behaviorist and to set up a management system that incorporated many of the suggestions that have been made on this thread, and he lived successfully with us and our other dogs and cats for all of his fifteen years. :)

Several others on this forum also have experience with this issue and have found ways to handle it. Good luck! :)
 

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Simone, it's good to hear that you're committed to working with Wellington. :)

We rescued a dog who behaved aggressively from time to time. We worked with a behaviorist and to set up a management system that incorporated many of the suggestions that have been made on this thread, and he lived successfully with us and our other dogs and cats for all of his fifteen years. :)

Several others on this forum also have experience with this issue and have found ways to handle it. Good luck! :)[/b]
Thanks for the encouragement Betsy!!! He just laps up all the attention possible - shame!!! but you are right we need to sort this out before we have children - I want to trust both of them with our kids.
 

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When I got a rescue dog who had been ill treated, I made the mistake of giving her lots of pampering and attention, thinking that she would realize that she was in a loving home and had nothing else to fear. This backfired on me big time!!!!

She was quiet and lovable for the first couple of weeks until she got the 'lay of the land' then all hell broke loose. Acting very similar to Wellie only a lot worse. What I thought she would see as kindness, she interpreted as weakness.

I had over compensated her because of her past life, and instead of helping her, I was in fact adding to her problems. Visiting a properly qualified behaviourist was the only route I could take, as I knew I couldn't deal with this myself, and now she is a very different dog. Yes she still bears scars from her past life, but these I can live with. :)
 

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I'm just catching up on this thread. In September I offered to foster a little basset named Lena. Her story was she came from Georgia out of an abusive situation. She made it to New Jeresy and was adopted out to a family in Conn. Lena was returned to the shelter with the excuse that she did not get along with the husband. I picked Lena up from rescue and we knew she was probably abused by a man, who had also shot her with BBs that remain under her skin. About a week after she came to me her nose started to peel ,she ate funny and drank water weird along with a weird bark,and her breath could knock a horse down at 20 paces. My Vet wanted a biopsy of her nose and when she got to look in her mouth the Vet discovered raw spots and ulcerations all through her mouth. She was either given or had gotten something caustic. The Vet said these mouth sores were not fresh so she probably had this when I got her. The thing with this little dog(28lbs) is she hates men,no,I mean SHE REALLY hates men. She bonded to me so I can stop her attacks but if I were not in the room with her and a man walks in she can and will back him into a corner then go after him. If the man is sitting on the floor at her level she doesn't have the same issues as she does if he is standing. She will play get in his lap, she is not upset about him being there at all. If he stands up she advances snarling ,growling,coming towards him. At this point the kennel I use will no longer board her and my husband doesn't want anything to do with her since going after him quite a few times. This leaves me no one to help me work with her. I called a trainer the rescue suggested and nothing came from that. My only option at this point is to have the rescue place her in another foster home for a 2nd evaluation except there are few foster homes which are only women. This is a troubling case since she is so sweet with me . This thread left it open for me to vent ,it has been very frustrating.I'm afraid in the end she could lose her life.
 

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I'm afraid in the end she could lose her life.[/b]
Sorry you find yourself in such a difficult situation--my thoughts are with you. :( Sometimes dogs are so damaged, that's the kindest and most responsible course of action. Far more humane (and responsible) than passing them off endlessly, where they might injure an unsuspecting person, or where they might end up in the wrong hands, being used as bait for fighting dogs or otherwise abused or neglected. :(
 

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I totally agree with you Betsy. It frustrates me even more to think if life was fair I could get one minute alone with her abuser in a locked room. :ph34r: It is my own fault , I wanted her. I had no idea how mentally damaged she was but then neither did the rescue since no one else had her besides me. If nothing else she knows how it feels to be treated nice and have someone to play with,Vinny,loves her to bits even though she beats up on him sometimes. I'm hoping she can form another bond with a woman and get another chance but I also know she is dangerous to men and that may not happen. I also don't want to see her put in a kennel and stuck there till someone remembers she is there but I may not have control over that. I know not every dog can be saved if the abuse has been bad enough. It just makes my heart heavy.
 

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Hi,

I have 3 boys. Rosco who was my "first born" who is 1 now, Lemmy my middle child a rescue we think is 3-5, Stewie my baby a rescue we got at about 5-7 months. Rosco was the "only child" for about 5 months before Mr. lemmy came to live with us, all was fine no guarding, no growling, nothing, all was sooo perfect, a 3rd would be great right? Wrong. About 2 weeks after Stewie became a permanent fixture Rosco decided to take up the lovely habit of resource guarding. Not food agression you could go up to his bowl, touch him, take the bowl with no response. If he had an item he decided was worth guarding, he guarded...I mean snarling, snapping, deep, angry barking. It seemed he definitely would have bit if we weren't quicker than he was at that point. It was hard to figure out what to do, since he didn't always guard the same items. When we did get the item from Rosco he would take out his frustration on Stewie, very scary! I was in a panick! I read many, many books, I highly recommend any by Brenda Aloff and Jan Fennell. It only took about 2 weeks to "rehabilitate" Rosco. I would tether him to a doorknob so that he would stay in one place and get him to guard an object, I would then tell him to "leave it" or "drop it" or tell him "that's mine" depending on the object he was guarding, when he complied he would get a FANTASTIC treat!!! Leave it and drop it commands allowed me to make the reward getting that particular object back, it I said that's mine, he NEVER got that item back. Every day 3 times a day we went through this process until I could walk up to him and he would drop the item without a command. I did learn early on not to engage in a chase or tug competition for the item. I would calmly walk up to him (heart pounding because he was pretty scary) and grasp the item still in his mouth, if he pulled I did not pull back just remained where I was and kept a firm grip on the item (VERY HARD not to pull back), eventually I would win the battle of wills and he would drop the item. If he looked like he was about to lead me on a merry chase the puppy game, I would turn my head away and yawn to signify that I was not a threat, once he accepted me being close while he had the item, I would then grasp the item and give a command. I also made sure my other 2 boys were safely out of the vicinity of any redirected aggression. I am happy with the results and am no longer afraid of my boy!!! Every now and again when I need a piece of trash that he has picked up on our walks I get a dirty look and very rarely do I get a growl, but with a dirty look of my own we are back onto neutral territory.

My one mistake with this is that I was the only one who ever trained him, so if my husband tries it, he gets the whole show and calls me in for back-up, I have also seen him give the show to my best friend...so beware have other people do some training with you.

I also called it a show, because as it turns out it is all just VERY LOUD and LOOKS TERRIBLE, but one time I needed to get in between Stewie and Rosco before the clash of the titans began, and what I assumed would be a horrid bite turned out to be NOTHING, no marks on my skin, no pain, nothing just an open mouth on my arm. Is that because he knew it was me, or because it was all show? Who can tell?

Hope this helps, I know it helped me.
 
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