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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know, I've have Homer for a little over 2 years now. He was given to me by an acquaintance who's inlaws didn't want him anymore, as they were splitting up. I believe he had a couple of different homes, although he was only 1 1/2 years old. I already had two Lab mixes and didn't need another dog, but I had lost my Basset when he was 11 a couple of years back and missed him terribly. When I saw Homer, I couldn't resist. He has been a handful since day one. I had a behavioralist come in because he was growling and wild. She said his aggression was out of fear and that someone must have abused him. I had him in obedience school twice and he does a few commands. He goes after my cats all the time so I have to keep them out of his way when he's out of his crate. He does get along with the other dogs though. He has a BIG problem with resourse guarding and growls at people he doesn't know. I have been atttacked by him three times in the 2.5 years I've had him. This would happen when I would take away something he wanted and perhaps stole, or as in the other evening when he wanted one of the cheese and crackers near me and I said "no". He went completely nuts! Growling, trying to bite, etc. I had to have someone pull him off me! Then he is very sheepish for days on end, knowing he was very bad. On top of all this, I love him to pieces and he can be very loving and sweet. My heart if breaking because I don't know what to do! I can't give him up to anyone for fear he will harm someone. I don't want to put down a perfectly healthy, beautiful Basset. What to do?? I was given the name of someone who does indivicual training, and I'm thinking of calling him. I wonder though if after all this time he can actually help. :(

If anyone has any experience with this behavior in a Basset, please let me know. I'm so depressed at what has happened and don't know what to do.
 

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You will have to manage him 24/7, or put him down.

I know this sounds harsh, but I speak from experience. My husband's late wife's dachshund could be vicious but my husband couldn't even think of putting the dog down because it had been her dog. We managed him until he died at the age of 17 a couple of years ago. IT WAS VERY VERY HARD.. He was never allowed out in public without a leash and muzzle, he was crated when we had visitors, etc. That being said, we were taking a chance that I was never fully comfortable with.


Good luck with this, my heart really goes out to you.
 

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Consulting an animal behaviorist--I assume that's what the individual trainer does whom you mentioned--really is by far the best option at this point. I haven't had any experience with a Basset like this. A professional trainer is the person to consult. Good luck with it--It sounds very hard.
 

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I'm not an expert or anything, but I don't tolerate a dog with an aggressive attitude. If its affect is making you unhappy, I'd rectify the situation any way necessary.
 

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This is a difficult situation. Calling in a behaviorist is a good move, but it doesn't mean there's going to be an easy fix. If a dog is hard-wired for aggression, it won't be trained out of him. And some abuse cannot be erased. Good luck, and please keep us posted.
 

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I had a similar situation as Murraysmom. My German Shepherd was not at all agressive to us but to everyone else. We got him as a young pup, 2 weeks before my Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I did not have the time or mind set to socialize him. All my time was for my Mom. This just made him protective of his home, his things and us. We had to supervise him 24/7. Never letting him near company or a child. It was very difficult. I felt guilty because we failed him by not socializing him when it was crucial. So we wouldn't put him down. He lived to be 9 years old. It was so hard to live with a dog like that. It's like having a loaded gun and never knowing when it will go off. I think if you can't supervise him you have to put him down. Maybe some others will share their thoughts or experience on this. Good Luck to you.
 

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Sorry about the trouble with Homer. I think he has crossed a boundry actually attacking you for your food. Resource guarding is bad enough but I think this is definately a big step up from that.

I don't think a trainer is the answer. It sounds like you need the help of a PROPERLY QUALIFIED animal behaviourist. I would contact your nearest veterinary college or university and enquire about this, or even your vet could recommend someone qualified with experience.

When I had the behaviour problems with my westie, I phoned the veterinary university and saw a behaviourist who was a vet, she then done a 3year study of wolves in their natural habitat, and finally she taught this subject at university, and believe it or not ,she was cheaper than others who had little or no proper qualifications.

Sorry to rant on, but I know how fond you are of Homer and if you haven't already then I would take him to an expert. :)
 

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i agree with sadeyes about the *trained* animal behaviorist. you might also want to join AGBEH, a yahoo group for people with aggressive dogs. i'll post the link to the group later today.

you also want to make sure it's fear aggression and not aggression --- they're two very different things.

Yogi has fear aggression, but he has never bitten anyone nor shown the least inclination to bite. instead, he growls and puffs up and tries to get away to hide. he also has some other stuff going on --- he's very, very noise sensitive, so much so that a car backfiring a block away will send him running to the front door to hide.

one thing you really want to do first is learn how to manage the situation. true, i'm not sure how you would manage a situation when he believes the cheese and crackers on the plate are his and not yours (!), but it sounds like that's the kind of thing you need to figure out.

dogs like this sometimes have other stuff going on --- with Yogi, i know he wasn't properly socialized before i got him, but he's also a very sensitive dog, which is true of many dogs with fear aggression. he's not a dominant fellow at all and definitely has some kind of sound thing going on and some issues with anxiety. a lot of exercise really seems to help with him. i also have clear rules laid out, even though i'm actually a very lax disciplinarian ::blush::

i consulted an animal behaviorist and he ended up wanting to work on Biscuit, not Yogi. :rolleyes: Biscuit was showing off for him --- running through the room trailing socks like a flag, flinging them about, looking exceedingly charming, doing his usual --- and the behaviorist seemed to think Biscuit needed to just sit like a good dog without making a peep. haha! so i ended up going it alone with Yogi. there are still problems but, in general, he's just a big gentle giant and lovebunny. his fear has really lessened, but it's still there somewhat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all so much for all your suggestions. I spoke with a woman I know who has been to visit and has met Homer and really loves him. She does agility with her Golden. She and her husband even purchased an RV to drive to competitions. She is very knowledgeable about dogs, behavior, and training. She also has many friends who are doing the agility thing and have rescue places for various breeds and people who foster, she being one as well. She is going to ask around and see if she can find a good home for Homer. She strongly feels that there is someone out there who will love Homer to pieces and take good care of him. I told her everything about him, most of which she already knew, and she will be sharing this information with everyone as well. We agree that he needs someone without cats or children, as well as someone who will be stern with him. I am the type who loves a cuddly, warm dog that is not hyper or demanding. I had a Basset who I rescued years ago that was just like that. He passed on about 4 years ago at age 12 and I missed him terribly. He was my first Basset and I just assumed that they were all layed back like him.

This is breaking my heart something awful. I am so attached to Homer and love him so much and this is going to be so difficult, but after thinking that my only option was to put him down, this is a lot more bearable.

When I'm hound-less, I will be missing this board very much. I think it would be too painful to hear about all these wonderful, beautiful Bassets and not have one of my own. You guys are really great.
 

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If you are going to follow this course, please be sure that whoever takes him agrees to return him to you if it doesn't work out, and lets you monitor the situation. A dog like this can end up in horrible circumstances if the person who takes him realizes they can't handle him after all. Peace.
 

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Not much to say to you except that you need a big hug!! Tough tough situation. I agree though that agression for food, and bearing of teeth with growling would scare me. I know the responsibility that you feel towards Homer though. Hopefully this woman will find the perfect person for him. I also agree that the statement "if it doesn't work out"....should be said.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I heard from my friend in NJ who offered to find Homer a home and the woman that does her hair and lives nearby her also takes in rescues and has two dogs and a couple of cats. When my friend was here to visit this spring, she fell in love with Homer (likes the bad boys!) and was telling this woman and she said she always wanted a Basset Hound. So, she called her to say I was going to give him up and told her why and listed all his problems, etc. This woman was all excited and said she'd love to have Homer. I said I would like to speak to her myself because I have some reservations. She has a new husband, who supposedly is an animal person too, and a teenage son who live at home. In addition, her mother lives with her, which is of concern to me. I worry about his aggression and his resource guarding and I just don't want anyone in her family to be harmed. What happened with me was scary, but extremely rare - still, knowing it could happen has me worried and I want to feel confident that she understands all the risks. She said her cats stay upstairs and are not a problem. She also only works a few days a week and is home most of the time. She also walks 1-2 miles a day and wants to take Homer with her. So, I hope to speak to her tonight and will let you know what happens. I am still walking around with stinging eyes and a major headache.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, I heard from Karen, the woman who wants Homer. I had a HUGE list of all his "minuses" because I wanted to be totally honest with her. My friend Pat was in the room and heard every word I had to say to her, so I have a witness!! Pat said she was positive that she wouldn't take him after hearing all that. But after I told her EVERYTHING, she still wants him - badly!! I am extremely concerned because she has two very small rescue dogs and a couple of cats. I told her that he is very dangerous around small animals, but she feels she can handle it <_< She thinks that most of Homer's problems stem from lack of exercise and she plans to give him plenty of that. She lives a couple of blocks from the beach (Jersey shore) and takes her dogs walking on the beach. Wow - Homer's never walked in beach sand before! She said she also has a fenced in yard for him to run around in and is home most times, which I certainly wasn't. After all was said and done, I couldn't discourage her so I will be meeting her half way between NJ and NY. She will be with Debbie, sil to Pat, who set all this up. She will be coming with her RV, probably a week from this Sunday. I am going to be sure first that Debbie agrees to take Homer in if things don't work out and keep him there till she can get him another home. I can't take him back. I'm an emotional wreck about this as it is and the thought of having to go through this again is very depressing. Besides, my plan is to get another dog - a CALM one, because Sarah is 14 and I don't want BJ to end up alone.
 

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Just read your posts and wanted to wish you the very best with Homer. A very very tough decision you are making, but hopefully Homer will find a wonderful forever home with someone who will be able to hankde him and his problems. Do let us know how things go.
 

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I know how hard this is for you and in no way do I want to add to that but, I feel for Homer's and your sake that I should voice some reservations that I have, and hopefully find that I am just being my usual cynical self :) .

This lady in NJ, wants to adopt Homer, in spite of the fact that she knows he is aggressive to cats(she has TWO cats) she knows he is also aggressive to other small animals (she has TWO small rescue dogs) She is also aware that he attacked you and had to be pulled off, because he wanted YOUR food.(Her mother lives with her whom I would presume to be elderly and therefore vulnerable and I would guess could be at risk) and not only has she agreed to take him but is extremely keen to do so as she has always wanted a basset, and seems to think without even meeting the dog, that his long-standing aggression problems, can be cured by giving him more exercise.

It begs the question... if she is so keen to have a basset that she is more than willing to take one that seems to be a very bad and possibly dangerous mix for her family, then why did she not apply to Tri-state basset rescue for one? They say on their website, that they have 30-60bassets in at any one time and I'm sure with her credentials she would not have to wait that long, and get one that would be a far better mix for her situation. Hope you can understand why I am a bit sceptical.

Can I say that if the friend who set this up is more of a casual aquaintance,than a long standing friend, then I would thoroughly check this woman out myself before I parted with my dog. I would want the address of her vet, and the name of the rescue of which she is affilliated and I would make enquiries.

I really hope that everything works out with Homer and that at the end of the day you both have peace about the whole situation :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I truly appreciate your concern, however, the person who set this up is the sister-in-law of my housemate and I've know her for years. She is a true dog lover and feels that this may be a good match. A lot of Homer's problems are that he is crated much of the time since I have a full time job and there is just not enough time to exercise him properly. Afterall, he came to me at 1 1/2 years old and is only a little over 3 1/2 now. He is a hyper dog by nature and needs to burn off energy. The woman who wants him is home much of the time and will be exercising him a lot. She really feels that she can handle him just fine. I did get 100% assurance from the sil that if this is not working, she will take Homer in and care for him until she can find another home for him. When she visited us this past spring, she was so good with him. He behaved so well, for the most part. She feels that she is much firmer than I am and when she told him something he actually listened! I think I have been a real push-over for him and he needs someone who will be firm with him. I'm meeting them half way on Sunday and will make the exchange :( . I am including his crate and bedding and all his toys and stuff. I want him to feel at home. I've typed up all the information about his behavior and what he likes and doesn't like. I will also include a bag of his food.
 

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Thanks for filling me in, and it's good to know that you have a connection with the people through your friends SIL. Please come back and let us know how he is doing. Hope it all works out. :)
 
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