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We adopted a 4 year old Basset in June. He's a very sweet and loving dog. However, some destruction and aggression issues have popped up. In terms of destruction, Arthur is beginning in recent weeks to eat toys and other objects. He likes crayons, anything wood, and wrestler toys. Arthur has also started marking in the house, including peeing on a bag of potatoes and next to my husband and I's bed.

Aggression, though, is the bigger issue. Whenever we want him to move off of somewhere (i.e. a bed or the couch), he shows his teeth and growls. He also does this if we try to get him back inside before we have to leave to go to work or wherever. It has come down to him ttrying to bite us. When it's real bad, he barks real loudly and has occasionally lunged at us as well. He does not, thank goodness, try to bite our son. Th most he doespecially at hmm is growls.

So any suggestions on what to do? We love this dog and will do whatever it takes to make it work. I try to take a few times each day to throw his toys and chase him around the house. And when it's not the middle of our cold Kansas winter, my husband will take him for at least one walk. A part of me wonders if things have gotten worse because he misses his walks that help spell the high amount of energy he has. I look forward to all suggestions!
 

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Experts will be along soon. Good luck.

Had to read your post twice.... couldn't figure out why you had potatoes next to your bed :)
 

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I think eating/chewing items such as crayons, wooden objects, and toys is just normal. The best way to deal with it is to just keep those items out of his reach and make sure he has access to things that you want him to chew, like his own toys.
 

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It has come down to him ttrying to bite us. When it's real bad, he barks real loudly and has occasionally lunged at us as well.
the dog is quicker than you are if the intent was to bite he would have done so. iN most of cases like this it comes doun to the dog not liking to be physically manipulated. You neet to train the dog to be able to move him when need be with out getting in to a physiical confrontation see How Much Does Your Dog's Cooperation Weigh?

on easy way to be able to move a dog is by training the dog to touch your hand with its nose.

You need to build a lot of rep but the dog will move to touch your hand in anticipation of a treat you can use this to move the dog great distances. or with precision.
 

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If I might just make one suggestion - AVOID!! Anywhere you don't want him to resource guard, which is what he's doing, keep him away from. Hounds are pack animals, and as such, built into his psyche is the need to defend anything and anywhere he sees as 'his' from all incomers. This needs to be curbed obviously because what has happened with him is he's never been taught this isn't acceptable behaviour. To know his place. And this is probably part of, if not all, why he was out of a home - it's all too easy to spoil a Basset puppy, and what's left is a hooligan, who is now out of control. He's starting to do all this because he now feels he's settled with you - feet under the table so to speak, and it's time to move the goalposts with you.:( Wrong buddie.

But whatever you do, don't push this - if he manages to get where you don't want him (which is a situation that has to be worked at), then rather than physically try to pull him off, which usually only escalates the situation, bribe him. Whatever he does like - most Bassets will go for food, of some kind!! And yes, cheese, or cooked liver, whatever.

And yes, being off his normal exercise level will leave him with excess energy with no outlet - get your husband to wrap up and get out there for a good walk. Out in Canada, only the worst blizzard would keep us in. :D

ps Yes, those potatoes beside the bed LOL!
 

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So a treat could equal cheese?
any food, some of course depending on the dog are more powerfull motivators than others. I dog that will not work for food is general overfed or highly stressed this goes doubly for basset hound.

TRAINING DOGS WITH FOOD

not all reward need to be treats but it must be somthing the dog desires and not what you think it should want.
list of reinforcers
 

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bribe him
one has to do what works but in this case using a food to illicit a behavior is better called a lure. When training this is often done to get a desired response. But one has to be carefull not to do this too often or the precessence of food becomes an important cue to the dog and it will not work unless it is pressent. In such a senario I would lure the dog off, give the treat. sairect him back on the furnuture to lure him off again. treat and direct him back on the furniture, this time perform the same movement but without food in the hand,. If the dog gets off jack pot ie multiple rewards, and repeat/. if the dog does not move at the lure back and try again, you want to create a patern so the dog will be anticipating whan it need to do. This is hou you get the behavior without a lure. ie fade a lure. It won't work if you train only when there is a problem you need to create training situations and practice in short intense bursts. Ideally 10-20 reward in no more than 2 minutes.
 

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I also adopted a 4 year old male basset in May. We had a lot of problems with the growling and showing teeth in the beginning if he was asked to do something he didn't want to do. My trainer suggested spraying him with Bitter Apple spray when he did it. That worked for us. Of course, you can't walk around with a spray bottle all the time, but if I knew I was going into a situation where he would growl--like moving from my spot on the couch--then I had it ready.

Elliot was so bad at first that my husband wanted me to return him to the pound. After many tears he agreed to try the trainers suggestion--I'm so glad it worked. Mine is not a chewer, so I don't have any help there. Good luck!

BTW, Elliot is not treat or food motivated either, unless it is something really good like chicken or bacon. I thought I had the only non-food hound around! When we were in obedience classes it was just a joke, as there was nothing to reward him with other than a big hug. He would respond to that--if he was in the mood. We had a lot of "flat basset" going on!
 

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Bitter apples is a spray that is used on surfaces as a deterrent for chewing such as furniture, so any so called trainer that suggested spraying a dog with it - where it's face - wouldn't get any future business from me or recommendation, barbaric.
Have the most docile, friendly tolerant pair of dogs, but thought years ago 'where have I gone wrong', as they objected by snarling when I attempted to remove them from my bed? Was really shocked, then I thought, 'what the h**l are they doing on our bed anyway :eek:, neither were they that good at being physically moved, & again I'm thinking 'what am I doing' shouldn't have to move them, they can move themselves! Since then I've realised that there are some characteristics (whether it's a dog or anyone else for that matter) that I just accept & don't get involved with. They don't (I lie, they spent 18 months on & off my husbands bed when & after he had chemo) go on our beds, bedrooms are up stairs & they almost never do stairs. If they need to move so perhaps I can sit on the sofa rather than the floor, I call them to the kitchen or call them for a biscuit. It's not that I've given in it's just that I accept there are a few areas of behaviour that I will go with & not push them. Can't remember the last time we had a face off, they grumble a bit when lifted into the bath, no problem lifting them in or out of the car, they will happily allow me to poke & prod any part of their anatomy, present paws with embeded thorns for removal, have even been known to sleep in one of their baskets, but they don't get access to my bed. Unless I'm sleeping on the floor with them when they are ill!
To the original poster, your boy needs a good walk every day what ever the weather, Bassets are hounds, when mature they can go for hours. Exercise his brain, by training him positively with rewards, ten mins a day is good way to mentally tire him, work with him. Personally I wouldn't want to come in either if I knew that the rest of my pack were just about to leave me alone.
 

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Bitter apples is a spray that is used on surfaces as a deterrent for chewing such as furniture, so any so called trainer that suggested spraying a dog with it - where it's face - wouldn't get any future business from me or recommendation, barbaric.
Bitter Apple is also used to spray directly on dogs to keep them from chewing themselves, and from licking hot spots. There is nothing in it harmful to the dog. It is just bitter. I love my trainer. She has years of experience with hounds and owns two bassets herself so she knows the challenges of the breed. Her advice literally kept Elliot from being sent back to the pound as my husband was adamant we weren't keeping the dog. After a few weeks of using the spray he no longer growled at us.

Of course it's not the right solution for every dog. No solution is. Mine doesn't care for treats, so it's hard to reward him. I was just sharing what worked for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think the trying to remain calm is something I definitely need to impart. It used to be he would growl at me if I even came to bed at night and he was laying there. We used to tell him to get off if he growled at all, but that just seemed to make him more aggresive. So now when I come in there, if he growls, I just tell him to calm down and make it clear to him that I'm not there to make him get up necessarily.

I don't mind Arthur up on the furniture and beds; however, I do want him to know that when it is nighttime that he needs to either go lay somewhere in the living room (couch or recliner) or in with our 7 year old son as Arthur actually likes to sleep in the closet where there are blankets on the floor. And the closet seems like a really comfortable place for him as well because I usually find him there most mornings.

Is it weird, too, that he goes nuts when my husband or I put our socks and shoes on when we have to go to work? I'm to the point where I either make sure he's in another room or that he's outside before I put my shoes on in the morning. He growls and barks and shows his teeth. I'm not really sure what to make of it...
 

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Again, without actually seeing the dog and his body language it's impossible to say. A couple of things come immediately to mind - either he associates putting on shoes/socks with going out for fun and is in "play" mode (you may not think so, but many play behaviors mimic aggressive ones), or he associates it with negative things (people leaving, being put in a crate, resisting, high-tension/aggressive situation/possible punishment). But it could be lots of other things as well, we have no way of knowing what is going on in his mind.
 

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Bitter Apple is also used to spray directly on dogs to keep them from chewing themselves, and from licking hot spots.
highly depends on the, I have a pack that thinks it is a condiment. And they are not alone, ASPCA will not recommend adding bittering agent to Antifreeze because there is no evidence it is actually an effective deterent.

Spraying with water or other substance for most dogs is a disruptive stimuli tha is it stop them for a moment but has little effect on overall behavior, for some it can be a punishment and other a reward, there is no single methodolgy that work with every dog.

Is it weird, too, that he goes nuts when my husband or I put our socks and shoes on when we have to go to work?
no sock fetish aand bassets go hand and hand


[quot]He growls and barks and shows his teeth[/quote]

my quess is he is playing but withpout seeing the entire behavior and behaiors before hand it is impossible to know for certain.

seeIs Your Dog’s Rough Play Appropriate?

if you are looking for an outlet for you dog to burn of some excess mental and physical energy I would suggest that indoors the best game is tug of War

Dog owners have been admonished for decades to never play tug of war with their dogs because of the risk of it increasing aggression and/or dominance in the dog. Even many dog resource people such as breeders, trainers and veterinarians caution against this game. This is partly a failure to discriminate between agonistic behavior (conflict resolution & defensive aggression) and predatory behavior. Also, many people have issues about witnessing intensity. Intensity is not aggression, however.

Played with rules, tug-of-war is a tremendous predatory energy burner and good exercise for both dog and owner. It serves as a barometer of the kind of control you have over the dog, most importantly over his jaws. The game doesn't make the dog a predator: he already is one.
The game is an outlet. It’s intense, increases dog focus and confidence and plugs into something very deep inside them. The big payoff is in lowered incidence of behavior problems due to understimulation and a potent motivator for snappy obedience. There is a maxim in training: control the games, control the dog. It's also extremely efficient in terms of space and time requirements.


http://www.4pawsu.com/tugofwardog.htmTO TUG OR NOT TO TUG: SERIOUSLY, THAT'S STILL A QUESTION?
In 2002, a study was done to determine whether or not playing tug increased the incidence of aggressive or "dominant" behaviors. The researchers concluded that tug games had no negative effects on the relationship between the dog and human.
As a matter of fact, tug of war is not only an excellent reward in dog training, but it is a valuable exercise in teaching dogs self-control. Tug games are used to reward canine competitors of many sports including agility, flyball and protection sports.
 

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I think the trying to remain calm is something I definitely need to impart. It used to be he would growl at me if I even came to bed at night and he was laying there. We used to tell him to get off if he growled at all, but that just seemed to make him more aggresive. So now when I come in there, if he growls, I just tell him to calm down and make it clear to him that I'm not there to make him get up necessarily.
There are those that will tell you that by not making the dog get off the furniture/bed when it growls wil cause it to growl more because it learns it is effective. Actual is is quite possible true but these same people fail or neglect to tell you by forcefully removing the dog for many dog cause them to ramp up their efforts to prevent being removed. So What I am going to do is tell you how to get rid of the growling once the rest of the behavior and situation is under control.

When you approach the dog when you get near to where he usually growls toss a small treat to him. Over time keep moving this distance closer and closer. if he does growl no treat but do not remove him as well unless it when he ussual gets moved and you should have an off command or some there mens of moving him other than phsyical force before you start on removing the growling.

Keep in mind dogs are great discriminator so if only you follow this protocol the do will eventual not growl at you but continue to do so with others. Which is why it is important to get all family members involved.
 
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