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Help, We are new bassett hound world and need help. My family and our 3 cats just adopted a 6yr bassett hound from the humane soceity and now we need some advice. Meg, is a great dog, she just has 1 fault that concerns us. She counter surfs and when she gets what she is looking for she gets VERY aggressive. No biting, but barking and snapping. The first time it happened we thought it was hunger, the next time it happened it was right after she ate dinner. We have now cleared our counter and learned a trick of rewarding up. Are there any other ideas on stopping the behavior? What do you do when you have an adult bassett barking and snapping at you? Thanks for the help, everything else about the dog is great. Very good with the kids and cats, but I have to stop that aggressive behavior she has.
 

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Hello, my Basset can also occasionally get agressive but for other reasons, mainly when he has been asleep in the evening and its time to go out to the toilet, when he was younger there was an incident where we had been out for a walk and he found something he wanted to eat (junk) so I tried to take it off him and it escalated into barks growls and teeth showing, very unpleasant.
Our method of dealing with it that has worked is to ignore the sillyness and roll him onto his back and hold him there so show we are boss basically and top dog in the pack, we have done this all his life and will continue.

Had she been abused or not feed properly before you had her do you know?
 

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This is an instant cure !!!!
Place a tray on top of something tall and narrow(canister-large tin can)-load the tray with anything noisey, but not lethal (empty cans, plastic mixing bowls, light aluminum pots, etc)--tie a piece of food to the tray with a short piece of string.
The idea is that as the dog grabs the food, THE SKY FALLS ON FIDO"S LITTLE HEAD !!!!!!!!!!!! You didn't do it, so that food must be dangerous !! lots of fun to watch from the otherside of the room. Do NOT BABY OR PITY THE DOG -- he made a mistake and paid for it.
 

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Wow that last suggestion was pretty neat. My dogs as of right now are not counter surfers-our counters are too high, and they don't have the best ups. They will stick their nose on the coffee table and receive a quick "No" to which they will run off.

~Heather
 

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When we took Ruby to puppy kindergarten the trainer said to not keep food on the counter and to use the same technique when dealing with a dog that jumps on people.

Firmly (but NOT shouting) give a big NO! and lightly place your foot on the toes of the back feet. Don't go full out and step on the dog but a light foot to theirs. We did that once with Ruby and just used the NO instead.

Then there's the 3 pennies in a can trick......

Janice
 

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Then there's the 3 pennies in a can trick......

Janice[/b]
The old "pennies in a can"... one of the cheapest and most effective training aids out there! :) We used it very successfully with Moe for a variety of behavioral issues. B)
 

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The old "pennies in a can"... one of the cheapest and most effective training aids out there! :) We used it very successfully with Moe for a variety of behavioral issues. B)[/b]

it is best described as a destractant stimulus. Hey what is that, It now allows you the time an opportunity to train and reward the correct behavior. It is not a punishment or adversive for most dogs.


Bobby trapping may work with the preopperative word may. Many dogs learn it is just a one time thing and quickly are back on the counter or whatever. Presistence even in the face of an adversive, provide there is the opportunity for a sizable reward, is reinforced through natural selection. To work effectively the dog must not associate the booby trap with your presence. It is also best to reset the trap(s) just after they are tripped so when the dog attempts again, and one that has been reward before for such action certainly will, they go off again. The dog must come to thing the trap are alway there and therefore will avoid the food. Booby traps are most effect in instances in which the behavior has not occured yet. In such cases just one time may be effective in discouraging a dog. However in cases where the dog has learned that persistence pays off then it is less likely to be effective

see on Punishment
In nature, animals face aversive situations frequently, possibly more often than they have the opportunity for reinforcement. It is often pointed out that animals learn quickly to avoid aversive stimuli, and that aversives tend to generalize more than reinforcements - likely true.

But, having said that, and even accepting the likelihood that it is true, animals do come equipped with a certain level of built-in resistance to the influence of aversive stimuli. A pup that is punished for nipping at a momma's nipple too hard does not abandon the nipple. The pup might be a bit tentative while nursing for a bit, but gets over it, and there is usually less nipping at the teat that feeds it. I watched a coyote pup fall into a cold spring and come out whining and shivering. However, the pup was soon back trying to catch the minnows that attracted it there in the first place.

Over a wild animal's life, it meets lots of aversives in the process of trying to earn a living and find a mate, and do all of the other things that that wild animal normally do. Trainers did not invent aversives. It just so happens that when we, or another organism, applies an aversive, we call it punishment.[/b]
However that said I don't think any of the advice answered your real question and that is how do deal with the "aggression" the dog has with stolen food. First off this is quite common and again part of natural selection. A dog that can retrain food is more likely to survive than on that is not. Just because the behavior is natural and normal does not make it acceptable in a pet. There are some things to combat the problem.

1. limit access to stolen food. Really a no brainer but it works like this. Every time the dog retains food by being aggressive, the aggression is rewarded and is more likely to occur again. If the aggression is not reward and the food is still taken away what has the dog learned? Aggression doesn't work so don't bother, possible but not likely. What generally happen is the dog learn it needs to be even more aggfressive to retain the food. So in the end it is a vicious self rewarding cycle. The first step is to break the cycle. If the dog does steal an item and it is not a matter of life or death for him it is general better to let him have it than to confront him

2. Step two is tio teach the dog to trade at first swapping a low value item like a toy for a high value item like food. At first it is ok to let the dog see/smell/know what you have in exchange but you want to fad that rather quickly. You do not want a trade predicated on what you have. Just that you alway have something better. Was that is strong you can start working on exchanging high value items for low. How? well the dog does not know the value of the item we are exchanging and has a history of exchangefor higher value he will assume the same is the case this time. So go ahead and do the swap. the dog may be a bit confussed at the out come of the exchange intially but if you give the dog back the high value item know you are build on a two for one. again it is to his advantage to swap a high value item for a low. With lots of this kind of reinforcement you can occasionally when need not return the high value item and the dog will still readly exchange. You can also put the exchange on a verbal cue like give or out

the following links are the best for dealing with resource guarding especially food

Resource Guarding Prevention Exercises

MINE! A GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS

a fair review of the the Jean Donaldson book above can be found byclicking here
Donaldson presents resource guarding as a normal, adaptive behavior and rejects notions that resource guarders are not "nice" dogs or are "dominant aggressive". Instead, she focuses on a behaviorist approach to conceptualizing and remediating such behavior.

In a nutshell, this primarily involves classically counter-conditioning a "conditioned emotional response" where an owner's approach is associated with high-value food treats, rather than representing a threat of loss or punishment. Initially this is done in the presence of little provocation, but incremental advances proceed until the dog can happily be approached when in the presence of whatever he formerly guarded most fiercely.

Anal retentive to a fault (and I mean that as a compliment in this context), Donaldson does an excellent job of breaking down forms of resource guarding behavior into detailed, progressive increments. In order to teach a dog to accept having its mouth opened, for example, she lists 60 separate steps - beginning with touching the dog's rump for a single second. It takes 27 steps before one even touches the dog's head.

Clearly, this is not a book for someone who wants a quick fix to their problem. It requires a food-motivated dog and an extremely dedicated and talented owner with the patience and perseverance to apply the technique.[/b]

There are caveates of course. When dealing with aggression it is general best to bring in a professional that can actual show you the techniques to use and just as important critique and help yo better apply then when you try. Also any training need to eventually include all members aof the family when they are capable. Dogs are very good at discriminating. If only one person does all the training it is like the dog will only trade with that one person.

other resources

agbeh yahoo group
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.

petfax by Tufts Behavior Clinic

find a board certified Veterinary Behavorist

Public Directory of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists:


Association of Companion Animal Behavioral Specialists - find a councelor


Given the nature of the problem it may not be necessary to consult with a "certified behaviorist" there are trainers and "uncertified behaviorist out there that could do just as well for you keep this in mind however in look for someone to consult with.

an interview with Nicholas Dodman in Bark Magazine
Bark: What is an animal behaviorist? What qualifies someone to be called a behaviorist?

Dodman: ...Having said that, the fact is, if you happen to have a dog that you trained yourself at home and you think you are pretty good at it, and you believe you have a gift, as some people do; there is nothing to stop you from proclaiming yourself to be a pet therapist, trainer or behaviorist. So the qualifications range from a non-professional-schooled person right the way up to a Ph.D. or DVM-board certified, so there is a tremendous range of people who call themselves behaviorists. I know some dog trainers who go out of their way to avoid being termed behaviorist, so if you ask, "Are you a behaviorist?" they say "no I am not a behaviorist, I am a trainer."[/b]
 

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Pennies in a can, stepping on toes, etc all teach Fido that you don't want that activity and I should do it when the boss is watching ---- small mouse traps under some newspaper will teach Fido that the sofa is not a safe place to lie down.
Try the boobie trap on the counter ---- even older rescued bassets have learned immediately and they do not forget!!!
 

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small mouse traps under some newspaper will teach Fido that the sofa is not a safe place to lie down.
Try the boobie trap on the counter ---- even older rescued bassets have learned immediately and they do not forget!!![/b]

Only problem with that is the newspaper then becomes the predictor of the booby-trap been there done that. Scat mat (gives a shock when touched) on the counter just stoppted feet on the counter instead feet on cabinet and reach over with the neck.
Never fpund booby-traps to be effective. Keep in mind if you are going to use anytype of punishment it is best to be to strong than to weak


just another approach Technique Challenge: Counter Surfing again it is not likely to be very effect with a dog that already has had strong self reinforcement for counter surfing. The previous reinforcement will make the dog more persistent.
 
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