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Hello hello... I am a "dad" to Bozza the Basset.

I apologise in advance that my first post is a negative one, but as a dad to a little boy (human one this time) and with another on the way I have a Bitey Basset situation that needs resolving asap.

Some points to note,
1. We take bozza for walks every day
2. Bozza came from a nice farm environment in Wales (UK)
3. 99.5% of the time he is a lovely, cute, adorable basset

So, we have a little boy, just over two years old. He is very mild mannered.

For two years Bozza was fine with the little one but over the past few months when he has gone near where Bozza is laying on the couch (yes, we let Bozza on the couch) he has started to growl, show teeth and eventually (when we try to move Bozza away from the situation or remove our son from the situation) he has actually bitten us and become very very aggressive (multiple, serious, skin breaking, bites, not just one nip).

This, combined with the fact that he has a growing reputation for biting and being very aggressive with us (the two owners/parents, he has been very aggressive to us in the past but we manage this by recognising the situations and de-escalating them) means that we are edging towards the realms of wanting to give bozza away.

Given we have another baby on the way this is really important BUT, I want to try absolutely everything before we get to the re-homing stage though as Bozza is part of the family and all that.

So... Don't hold back... what do people suggest?

Things I am doing...
-Walking him even more
- Signing up to get pro help in the form of dog obedience/training although, we were advised when we got him (from the few trainers we approached) that they would not take on Basset's.
- taking him to the vets for a full check up to make sure nowt is wrong

Any help is really, I mean really really appreciated.

Thanks

BozzaBasset
 

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At least you recognize the problem and are willing to do everything in order to solve the problem. I don't really have any help for you but I think taking him to the vet is a good start. I sounds like resource guarding to me too. Again, I don't have any firsthand experience with it but you'll find a lot of help from this forum. Good luck with everything!

Signing up to get pro help in the form of dog obedience/training although, we were advised when we got him (from the few trainers we approached) that they would not take on Basset's.
Why wouldn't they take a basset on?! That's a little strange...
 

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Cheers for the help so far... I am off to Google "resource guarding".

Re the obedience training... the two people we spoke to said that Bassets are untrainable (we are UK based so our dog trainers maybe lack the perseverance of USA based ones?)
 

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the two people we spoke to said that Bassets are untrainable
Lol! Bassets aren't untrainable at all. You just have to be more stubborn than they are. Using treats are the best way because bassets are very food driven. Very food driven. Oh well. The trainers' loss because they would have learned a lot from working with your guy. Oh well! Sorry to have hijacked this thread. I'm done.

Isn't Google great though? I love it. If Mikey T doesn't respond to this thread then I would PM him because he has a bunch of links to resource guarding on tap and can give them to you. Once again good luck!
 

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Mikey will probably check in tomorrow, I'm sure he will have lots of advice for you. Resource guarding is at least part of the problem, but the fact that he is biting hard enough to do damage makes it difficult to work with him safely, especially if children are involved.
FWIW, any "trainer" who thinks that Bassets are untrainable is only demonstrating their incompetence and is best avoided. Bassets are quite trainable once you understand their mentality. Find an instructor who understands and enjoys working with "non-obedience" breeds, preferably with hounds which are a law unto themselves.
 

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Lol! Bassets aren't untrainable at all. You just have to be more stubborn than they are. Using treats are the best way because bassets are very food driven. Very food driven. Oh well. The trainers' loss because they would have learned a lot from working with your guy. Oh well! Sorry to have hijacked this thread. I'm done.

Isn't Google great though? I love it. If Mikey T doesn't respond to this thread then I would PM him because he has a bunch of links to resource guarding on tap and can give them to you. Once again good luck!
very true!! can't believe the trainers won't work w/bassets-- maybe SophieB can comment about this since she is also in the UK... here in the US, they are viewed as a very mild-mannered breed, and trainable, i believe.

Can certainly understand why you are concerned, Bozza's dad, esp w/the two young children. We will keep our ears crossed and hope things work out w/Bozza. Glad you are looking into other resources re: what to do...

(Worm here: ummmm, hafta brag here... Google is great!! my auntie Kim works there and i got to visit couple months ago... umm. ok, i guess i got to sit in the car while my person had lunch there. they should take me out next time..! hmmph

also guess what?? 2 weeks ago (i forgot to post here), i went to puppy playgroup. turns out Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg (sp?) and his doggie were there too... and there was one paparazzi following them, apparently. but they didn't take a picture of ME! made me jealous, why don't i get my own paparazzi too?

anyway, my person didn't know what to say and it was very awkward. so we didn't say anything and just pretended we don't know who they are.... and i just played and barked at his doggie, as usual)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone for the kind words and advice... look forward to reading more. I read some previous posts and bought the Resource Guarding book recommended here.

My wife, having read the above, has asked me to point out that she feels it is a jealousy thing. It seems to happen when she switches her attention from Bozza to Baby 1.0.

Anyway... look forward to reading more advice...
 

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How old is Bozza and how old is your son? While you're trying to find a trainer, etc., I would start working on some things to try to change the course of this trend. First, does Bozza know any commands? Even if it is just sit, make him sit before he can do anything--get his food, go outside, get a pet. You can reward him with treats if he is a food hound to make him sit (but drop the treat on the ground, don't have Bozza take it from your hand--that could get ugly). Whatever commands he knows, go through them a few times a day with him. If your son is old enough, have him put Bozza through this as well. I would absolutely stop allowing Bozza on the couch when any of you are on there. If Bozza sleeps in bed with you, stop that as well. I went through this with my dog Stomps. It broke my heart not to let him sit in my lap, but it was the only way I could keep the peace in the house. A dog with a biting problem requires drastic measures. Otherwise you will have to give him up, and who is going to take a dog that bites? So the best of luck to you. And kudos for trying to work through it. (And I must add that the "trainers" who said bassets are untrainable are idiots.)
 

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I read some previous posts and bought the Resource Guarding book recommended here.
That's great I won't bother repeating.


My wife, having read the above, has asked me to point out that she feels it is a jealousy thing. It seems to happen when she switches her attention from Bozza to Baby 1.0.
never a good idea to attribute human emotions and motivations to dogs. This is not to say dogs do not have emotions quite the contrary but atributing human emotions to them gets more in the way than helps. see Applied Behavior Analysis
A boyfriend-dog conflict - Case Notes

let us say for example it is jealousy how do you stop the behavior even if you know the cause, does it make any difference? In general it is best to focus on the specific behavior and causes. Keep notes when the behavior occurs, exact circumstances whose present or abscent etc. Also keep in mind obedience trainers are not behaviorist. Very few trainers are equipt to deal with behavioral issues. you are better of looking for a behaviors and I would Highly recommed the suggest vonny has made of APBC.

Bassets are quite trainable once you understand their mentality. Find an instructor who understands and enjoys working with "non-obedience" breeds, preferably with hounds which are a law unto themselves.
Hard to Train
and one of the suposedly impossible to train dogs in action
Mariah

She is a rescue basset with many of the problems you are dealing with. We found out a year after adopting her that she would have been put down if we had not adopted her. It is unlikely however if she found herself in your household that she would still be alive. This is not because I am some miracle worker with troubled basset far from it but that fact there are no small children in our household. The presence of children necessatates much larger margin of safety that is unlikely to be achieved one need to keep that in mind all the time when working through behavioral issues in which the dog can do physical harm to another.



The question I have for you and that has not been answered is this.
he has started to growl, show teeth and eventually (when we try to move Bozza away from the situation or remove our son from the situation) he has actually bitten us and become very very aggressive (multiple, serious, skin breaking, bites, not just one nip).
how did you try and move him? what happen of instead of moving the dog everyone else moves.
Keep in mind the most important thing is evryones safety. So avoiding confrontation is usually better than esculating it. I believe it was Ray Coppinger that said you don't want to get into dominance contest with a dog unless you are prepared to fight to the death because the dogs is. A bit over the top but not far from the truth.

If you are trying to physical remove the dog. ie grabing the collar etc you need to train a reliable none physcal method of moving the dog.

given that most people learn better form vissual I suggest the following youtube series.




You neet to train this first on object he does not guard. If you are unwilling to leave the dog when he growls the other option is to not let him on furniture in the first place. And at no time can the childern and the dog be left unsupervised. You need a safe place for the dog to avoid the todler as well.


Todlers no matter how well behavior are generally scary to most dogs. Most have no or very littly early socialization with them. The do not mover or act human like to the dogs and are highly unpredictable. Most dogs try and avoid them.

Dogs and Toddlers
Tips for Preventing Problems Between Your Dog and Toddler

One of the best ways to protect your child from your dog and vice versa is to use baby gates to keep them separate
keep in mind this may be the cause of the dogs growing in the first place fear of the toddler. Not necessairly because of anything that happened between the dog and child simply because a toddler is more allien than human to most dogs. and therefore an unknowm and scary to them.

There is no guarantee that any of this will prevent a serious injury caused by the dog, Only you and a behaviorist that has time to evaluate the dog by actually seeing it in it normal evironment can make a adequate assessment of the risk involved. If it is decide the dog is too risky to remain in your household please do not simply pass it on to another. unless they clearly understand the reason you can no longer keep it. Most rescues etc will not take on the risk of aknown biter. THe safety of your family and quest comes first. and you need to make any hard decission going forward with that in mind.
 

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Wow! Quite literally... wow, that is some amazing advice Mikey.

I am part way through the book that you recommended on another thread and also trying to take in everything mentioned in your post.

I should have added, our son is about 17 months.

With regards to how we tried to move him, I guess I did not explain this properly.

Our son was approaching the couch, Bozza growled and snapped at him. My wifes reaction was to grab the dog and put herself between them (she is far braver than me :)). He "soft bit" her.

I have only just learned about the muted bite thing, via the book that MikeyT recommended - a bite is bad i know, but the fact he soft bites is a huge relief.

We know that we escalated the situation by grabbing the dog, but, felt there was no option as our son was not going to move away and could have been bitten had we not intervened.

Stopping bozza from getting on the couch in the first place is my favourite option but I fear it is going to be a long old struggle to put in place.

If it was just he and I, I could spend a few days training this out of him (couch hogging), but it is not possible with family etc etc around. (e.g. he used to pull on the lead all the time, but since I gave him some serious one to one walking/lead management, he no longer does this unless an exceptionally smelly tree, flower, post, other dog, food litter (etc etc) crosses his schnozzle.

Appreciate all the help everyone is giving and sorry for the slow replies on my part.

ps, doubled his walks pretty much all week and it seem to have helped (i.e. Bozza is so knackered he cannot even be arsed to look up to see where Son is.

pps, in response to earlier Q, Bozza is 3, son is 17months ish.
 

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We adopted Simone at a year old, she was allowed on furniture previously. This probably sounds crazy but worked for us. I bought vinyl carpet runner, cut it to size for my furniture, and put it spike side up on the cushions. Looks funny but it works and it is easy to just slide it under the furniture when not in use.
 
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