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Hi All, as you know we have been in the Netherlands for a month but they have been with us for the past week or 2. Our 2 bassets have been showing aggression towards each other the last few days and we are extremely worried and scared.

Once the food is taken out the one basset's hair on her back is raised and they fight ... so bad this morning we had to sit on a basset each to keep them down and apart and calm.

We don't know what to do?? Please help!!!

Our babies have NEVER ever bitten each other or fought like this. Don't know if something went wrong in the kennels before they arrived and if the flight here were too traumatic. :-((((

It's very serious and scary.

Thanks so much,
S.
 

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This is what my husband wrote: maybe clearer - he's much better in English :-(

Hi
We have 2 Bassets. We have gotten both as pups. The female is 3 years and the male is 1.5 years (both sterilized). They have lived together in peace in our house for 1.5 years. All of a sudden the past couple days the female has started exhibiting what we think is food aggression. As soon as we touch the dogfood bag to start dishing their pellets for breakfast or dinner, the female's hair raises, she starts growling at the male and in a flash they're in a full scale dog fight. I have to mention that in this fight there is no clear attacker and no clear submitter (although it seems the female starts it). Once they start, they both fight and bite and snarl and growl and after pulling them off one another, they both struggle to get get to each other for a last bite. So pulling the female off alone will not help, even if she's the one that might have started it. We have to pull them both apart and pin them both to the ground (in a submissive manner) until they are calm enough to be let loose. They have drawn blood on more then one occasion. We haven't seen this behaviour any other time, just around feeding time and once or twice when we were getting them a doggie treat to snack on. Also, this behaviour will continue for maybe 5/10 miuntes after feeding too, when we will see the female's hair raised towards the male, during which time we will need to watch them or they'll get into a dog fight again. After a couple minutes the aggression/adrenaline/whatever fades and they will happily lie down together on the same cusion and sleep with their muzzles on one another's backs.

Something to note: we've relocated to another country, and they've been kennelled for a month, and they've now been with us again for one week after the whole kenneling/flight/travel to our new home in the new country. For the first 3 days after we fetched them, they exibited no aggression, but this behaviour started all of a sudden. Might it be something that happened at the kennel - the male might have eaten the female's food when they were fed unsupervised? Might it be stress related, due to the seperation/travelling/new environment?

Please help us, this is a terrible terrible thing to get up to every morning, and to get home to every night. This is becoming a BIG issue, because the dogs are learning fast that a fight is what's coming when food is being served, so they're both becoming agitated and expectant of a fight when we start the feeding process, and it's worsening... What could cause this, how can we handle and improve this?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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I'm no expert but it sounds like this big change in your life has affected them somehow (which is really no surprise, dogs are very reliant on routine and as soon as you change something, usually their behaviour shows it). I'm sure there will be better ideas than mine, but I think you should start by feeding them seprately for now.

Since touching the bag starts the aggression, i would seperate them just prior to getting their food out. Another thing i've learned from the good 'ole "Dog Whisperer" is that you (unknowlingly) might be projecting some anxiousness toward feeding time (because of their behaviour). What would they do if (while seperated) you prepared their food and placed it on the counter for a couple of minutes to give them time to relax a bit. Put their prepared food on the counter and don't make it a production. Do something else to make it seem like it's no big deal. Clean the counter for a couple of minutes, whatever...distract yourself so that it's not a big "FOOD IS HERE!!!" production.

This is just my suggestion. It's what I would do if I were in this situation. Not sure if it will work or not, but give it a try.

Good luck!
 

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This is what my husband wrote: maybe clearer - he's much better in English :-(

Something to note: we've relocated to another country, and they've been kennelled for a month, and they've now been with us again for one week after the whole kenneling/flight/travel to our new home in the new country. For the first 3 days after we fetched them, they exibited no aggression, but this behaviour started all of a sudden. Might it be something that happened at the kennel - the male might have eaten the female's food when they were fed unsupervised? Might it be stress related, due to the seperation/travelling/new environment?

Please help us, this is a terrible terrible thing to get up to every morning, and to get home to every night. This is becoming a BIG issue, because the dogs are learning fast that a fight is what's coming when food is being served, so they're both becoming agitated and expectant of a fight when we start the feeding process, and it's worsening... What could cause this, how can we handle and improve this?

Thanks for any advice.[/b]

It is likely something happened while kennelled but you will never know and it does no good speculation at the cause.

step I the dogs must be seperated and confinded from each other before the feeding process. You need to prevent the agression and in the first place, Rehersal as have be occuring only get worse over time you can accomplish this by puttinjg them in seperate rooms or crates. If using crates at this time I would adivise to start the crates be placed so niether dog can see the other as well. This way the female does not rehearse per prefight ritual infront of the male.

2. The details of working throught the problem are to extensive to go into detail in such a forum on good resourse on the subject Is
MINE! A GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS

a fair review of the book

3. There is nothing better than a hands on in person assesment of the situation by an outside behaviorist well versed in dealing with resource guarding issues/ See you are new to the country your vet may be able to refer someone to consult with.

4. Many of the the US Vet schools have a reemote behavioral consulting service. Keep in mind the result will only be as good as the info you provide hence the advantage of a skilled proffesional making the evaluation in person

PETFAX Behavior Consultation a remote consulting service for the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic


some random items also to consider.

1. Resource guarding usually involve more tha one resourse. That is a dog that guards it meals is likely to guard other food items as well like treats. and possibly toys etc, they also tend to be more touch sensitive as well.

2. Since the dogfood bag rustling is a cue for the the female to start her behavior Transfering the food into a diferent storage container like a plastic tub might help prevent the intial reaction in the female.

3. IF the dog will take treats form you in proximity to one another You sould consider changing there normal treat with a piece or two of kibble again from a container other than the dog food bag. This could be a a start of transfering the preferred behavior to meal times.

4. USe a NILIF program with the dogs. Not for controling behavior but rather doleing out the meal throughout the day so the do not need a sit dowm meal again avoiding the problem

5. There are many that just seperate dogs before meal time and as standard practice and do nothing to modify their behavior. This works ok but it can be a bit of lifestyle infringement. Working to modify their behavior may not be completely successfull and will require a lot of time and effort. only you can decide what is the best option for yourself.

6. the more extesive the injuries that occur in a fight the more difficult it is to modify the behavior. Mainly be cause the threat of injury prevent some remeadial work on modifing the behavior.

7. another resource that may be helpful FIGHT! A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE TREATMENT OF DOG-DOG AGGRESSION

a fair review of Fight!
 

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It is likely something happened while kennelled but you will never know and it does no good speculation at the cause.

step I the dogs must be seperated and confinded from each other before the feeding process. You need to prevent the agression and in the first place, Rehersal as have be occuring only get worse over time you can accomplish this by puttinjg them in seperate rooms or crates. If using crates at this time I would adivise to start the crates be placed so niether dog can see the other as well. This way the female does not rehearse per prefight ritual infront of the male.

2. The details of working throught the problem are to extensive to go into detail in such a forum on good resourse on the subject Is
MINE! A GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS

a fair review of the book

3. There is nothing better than a hands on in person assesment of the situation by an outside behaviorist well versed in dealing with resource guarding issues/ See you are new to the country your vet may be able to refer someone to consult with.

4. Many of the the US Vet schools have a reemote behavioral consulting service. Keep in mind the result will only be as good as the info you provide hence the advantage of a skilled proffesional making the evaluation in person

PETFAX Behavior Consultation a remote consulting service for the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic
some random items also to consider.

1. Resource guarding usually involve more tha one resourse. That is a dog that guards it meals is likely to guard other food items as well like treats. and possibly toys etc, they also tend to be more touch sensitive as well.

2. Since the dogfood bag rustling is a cue for the the female to start her behavior Transfering the food into a diferent storage container like a plastic tub might help prevent the intial reaction in the female.

3. IF the dog will take treats form you in proximity to one another You sould consider changing there normal treat with a piece or two of kibble again from a container other than the dog food bag. This could be a a start of transfering the preferred behavior to meal times.

4. USe a NILIF program with the dogs. Not for controling behavior but rather doleing out the meal throughout the day so the do not need a sit dowm meal again avoiding the problem

5. There are many that just seperate dogs before meal time and as standard practice and do nothing to modify their behavior. This works ok but it can be a bit of lifestyle infringement. Working to modify their behavior may not be completely successfull and will require a lot of time and effort. only you can decide what is the best option for yourself.

6. the more extesive the injuries that occur in a fight the more difficult it is to modify the behavior. Mainly be cause the threat of injury prevent some remeadial work on modifing the behavior.

7. another resource that may be helpful FIGHT! A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE TREATMENT OF DOG-DOG AGGRESSION

a fair review of Fight![/b]
Hi Mikey T, thanks for all the info!!

It turned for the worse last night...she bit him out of now where and for no reason so we luckily got an animal behaviourist out to the house...

She says that Lexie's all stressed out from being without us for a month and in the kennels and from the flight here. Her brain cannot handle this. Softie is still ok...but apparently the stress builds up more and more so we have to take her to the Vet now for calming pills. It's so sad ...i just want my loving Lex girl back...and Softie aswell...he just wants his mate back...he wants to play with her all the time and she cannot handle him aswell!

I will keep you updated.

Thanks again for all your help.
S.
 
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