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Discussion Starter #1
I have only had Molly for a little over two weeks and I don't know a lot about her background. For the most part she is really sweet, and she is learning to get along with my first dog, Chloe, who is a Corgi/Basset mix. She however, has a habit of growling if you try to move her when she does not want to be moved. Last night my son went to pick her up from the recliner so he could sit down and hold her in his lap. She growled and snapped at him. He did not back away, but told her "no" and continued to sit down with her and hold her. Was this the correct response? How should I handle it when she growls? I sometimes have young children in my home and this worries me.
 

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First thing I ask is are you sure she is medically okay and not growling or nipping out of pain? If you can rule that out, from what I've read, your son did the correct thing; you should not back down because Molly will connect growling and biting with getting her way. I would keep her away from children and work with her constantly. Figure out something that will always make her growl (let's say taking her off a favorite bed), and take her off the bed multiple times a day. If she growls, use whatever sound you do to tell her that isn't okay (I use "hey" in a strong, high-pitched voice to snap Callahan out of his mindset) and move her where you want. If you are worried about her nipping, wear thick pants and use your legs to herd her off the object and into submission. If she's growling at Chloe, make them sit side by side and give her the sound if she growls. If you think it is aggression with Chloe as in Molly trying to be alpha, spin Molly around so that her hind faces Chloe so that you are putting her in a submissive position to let her know you decide who's alpha in your household (alpha being you). If her growling and nipping continues or gets worse, I suggest reading up on aggression issues and seeking professional help. The last thing you want to do is let aggression go and develop into something worse than the occasional growl or nip--especially if children are around.

The above info comes from my reading of training books, so it certainly shouldn't be taken as the final word. Callahan has never shown aggression of any sort other than when another dog attempts to mount him. He doesn't like that at all and makes it known vocally, which is perfectly normal. Well, a few months ago, I forgot to add his Metamucil to his food (he needs more fiber in his diet), and when I bent down and lightly pushed his head aside to spread the fiber in his food, he started growling. I was surprised but quickly said "Hey!," pushed his body away from the food, and made him sit outside the kitchen for a minute before releasing him to eat again. As soon as he got a good tasty mouthful, I used my hand to restrain him from getting to the food again. Not a peep! He just looked at me with those "What the heck man?" eyes. For the following week, I did the same thing every breakfast and dinner, either pushing his head away from the food with my hand or holding his head up so he couldn't get to the food. He hasn't growled since. I don't know if it will be as easy for you, but I hope this helps some.
 

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Not a behavior expert (one will come along) but the only experience I have with growling and snapping is if you wake Jake outta a deep sleep he will react by snapping and growling. All other times he is as docile as can be.

We have dealt with this by petting him and sorta waking him before moving him to make room for yourself. It has been pretty successful. In Jake's case, I think it is just jarring him from a deep sleep so we "kinda'" forewarn him.

Was Molly snoozing when your son tried to move her? If so, I would recommend a "nudge" before moving in. If not, listen to the behavior folks here. My gut tells me you reacted appropriately and let her know it was not the right behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you all. She was sleeping when my son tried to move her. My gut told me that I should not let her "get her way" by that behavior and should let her know that its "not ok". I was wondering if part of it was just that bassets so love their comfort they are grumpy when disturbed.
 

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Like I said, in my personal experience, when Jake is asleep we need to give him a "prod" to sorta wake him before relocating him. He a Deep sleeper. Once we prod him, then he is usually OK.

Abby, also sleeps like she is dead, but doesn't react like Jake. You can do Anything to that girl.

Again, my suggestion, if the dog is asleep try petting or speaking to it (or both) before and abrupt move. Sorta a "heads up". If the bad behavior continues after doing that, then I would look into modifying the dogs behavior.

Personally, I don't react well if you Jar me out of a deep sleep, so I get where Jake is coming from!
 

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She was sleeping when my son tried to move her
hence the saying let sleeping dog lie

alpha in your household (alpha being you).
1. dogs do not for packs
2. the myth of pack hierarchy in dogs is being proven false every day

Why Won't Dominance Die?
Many leading animal behaviourists are concerned that the “dominance” model of pet dog behaviour continues to survive, despite the accumulating evidence that it is at best unhelpful and at worst highly detrimental.
It is easy to see why trainers and owners alike are fond of the concepts of “pack” and “dominance” in relation to pet dogs. A pack means we’re all part of the same gang. “Dominance” explains our respective positions in that pack. We live in a pack with our pet dogs and they either dominate us or we dominate them. To be at the top of the pack with total dominance would make you the “alpha”, with all the esteem that entails, therefore dogs will strive for dominance unless you beat them to it. It’s a neat explanation.
Except that none of it actually bears scientific scrutiny

Dominance in domestic dogs useful construct or bad​
habit?


... it is commonly suggested that a desire ‘to be dominant’ actually
drives behavior, especially aggression, in the domestic dog. By contrast, many recent studies of wolf packs have questioned whether there is any direct correspondence between dominance within a relationship and agonistic behavior, and in contrast to wolves, hierarchical social structures have little relationship with reproductive behavior in feral dog packs. Nor do the exchanges of aggressive and submissive behavior in feral dogs, originally published by S. K. Pal and coworkers, fit the pattern predicted from wolf behavior, especially the submissive behavior observed between members of different packs.
In the present study of a freely interacting group of neutered male domestic dogs, pairwise relationships were evident, but no overall hierarchy could be detected. Since there seems to be little empirical basis for wolf-type dominance hierarchies in dogs, the authors have examined alternative constructs.

Non Linear dogs


Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals​

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
AVSAB is concerned with the recent re-emergence of dominance theory and forcing dogs and other animals into submission as a means of preventing and correcting behavior problems. For decades, some traditional animal training has relied on
dominance theory and has assumed that animals misbehave primarily because they are striving for higher rank. This idea often leads trainers to believe that force or coercion must be used to modify these undesirable behaviors.

In the last several decades, our understanding of dominance theory and of the behavior of domesticated animals and their wild counterparts has grown considerably, leading to updated views. To understand how and whether to apply
dominance theory to behavior in animals, it’s imperative that one first has a basic understanding of the principles.

Definition of Dominance
Dominance is defined as a relationship between individual animals that is established by force/aggression and submission, to determine who has priority access to multiple resources such as food, preferred resting spots, and mates
(Bernstein 1981; Drews 1993). A dominance/submissive relationship does not exist until one individual consistently submits or defers. In such relationships, priority access exists primarily when the more dominant individual is present to guard the resource.

...Applying Dominance Theory to Human- Animal Interactions Can Pose Problems
Even in the relatively few cases where aggression is related to rank, applying animal social theory and mimicking how animals would respond can pose a problem. First, it can cause one to use punishment, which may suppress aggression without addressing the underlying cause. Because fear and anxiety are common
causes of aggression and other behavior problems, including those that mimic resource guarding, the use of punishment can directly exacerbate the problem by increasing the animal’s fear or anxiety (AVSAB 2007).

Second, it fails to recognize that with wild animals, dominance-submissive relationships are reinforced through warning postures and ritualistic dominance and
submissive displays. If the relationship is stable, then the submissive animal defers
automatically to the dominant individual.

...

The AVSAB recommends that veterinarians not refer clients to trainers or behavior
consultants who coach and advocate dominance hierarchy theory and the subsequent
confrontational training that follows from it.

 

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She was sleeping when my son tried to move her. My gut told me that I should not let her "get her way" by that behavior
How would you react if your husband pushed you out of bed onto the floor ever time he go in?:

see
He Just wants to say Hi?
Aggression or appropriate response to rudeness? Far too many dogs suffer because handlers & trainers don't know the difference between the two

growling in doggie lanquage rough equivelent to shouting in human language. It is not alway appropirate. on very rare occassion does it ever esculated to what can be truely termed aggression

Dogs Use Non-Aggressive Fighting to Resolve Conflicts
The motivations and emotions are clearly very different in these two examples. In the first case, the dog intended to do harm and did, but in the second case, the dog was likely just communicating his displeasure. Using the same word to describe two completely different scenarios can affect how we think about and respond to a wide variety of dog-dog interactions.
Perhaps a more useful term to describe growling at a potential bone thief or the interaction between Denny and Meadow is “agonistic behavior.” Ethologists, who often use this term when studying nonhuman animals, define agonistic behaviors as those that occur between individuals of a particular species in conf lict situations. Examples of agonistic behaviors in dogs include threats like muzzle-puckering and growling; submissive behaviors like crouching, lowering the head and tucking the tail; offensive behaviors like lunging and snapping; defensive behaviors like retracting the commissure (lips) while showing the teeth; and attacking behaviors like biting. With the exception of biting that results in punctures or tears, none of these behaviors necessarily indicates intent to do harm. They simply reveal emotion (e.g., anger or fear), communicate intention (e.g., to maintain control of a resource or to avoid an interaction) or function as a normal part of play fighting (e.g., growling, snapping or inhibited biting). To determine if an interaction meets the criteria for “agonistic behavior,” an observer must focus on an objective description of the communicative patterns displayed rather than automatically jumping to judgments associated with the use of the term “aggression.”
 

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Non of my post so far however address the problem. how to get the dog off furniture ect in a non-confrontational way.

For examble if every time your boss wanted you to move He did so by grabing the back fo your collar and dragging you it would not take to long before you start to get upset by such treatmeant and start to react to it. If however he ask nicely you would be inclined to comply. Not any different for dog. Teach the dog the off command

the follow youtube series does a good job expaining this.







 

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they are grumpy when disturbed
Such dogs usually do not make good candidates for sleeping on the same bed as humans because a human is going to move and disturb the dog when sleeping.
Using management techniques is another way to solve the problem a dog that is not on the bed or furniture never need to be moved off of it.
 

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My Molly was grumpy like that when she was a puppy. She's better about it now. When she's REALLY comfortable on the sofa (as in, she's claimed her spot and a blanket), she gives a little growl if she thinks she's being moved. Otherwise, she is happy to share the sofa.

Now, we have a big sofa with enough room for a basset (or 2) and a person. Usually my evenings consists of Molly on the dog bed and Winston on the sofa with me. If he's settled in to sleep and I even come near the sofa, the growling starts. Sometimes he mouths my foot if I lay down with him (he still has plenty of room to sleep - he's just being greedy). He is a work in progress.

I think most of us have a similar story to yours. In fact, the breeder that I got Molly and Winston from asked me if mine growl when they are disturbed (ie. woken up), as their dog mom does that too. Guess it runs in the family...LOL.

I let them know that I won't tolerate nipping and I ignore the growls. I claim the sofa and let them deal with it. I am not pushing Winston off, just sitting next to him. Little dude needs to learn to share ;)
 

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Hi I seen your post and thought I would give my opinion. my basset lily, when she is sleeping and any of the kids (teens) try to move her she will also growl deeply, sounding like an engine each time they prod her.
I am the only person in the house who can go up to her while she is in a human spot, whether sleeping or not and move her. I just say something like " C'mon girl" and pick her up. When she bares her teeth, wrinkling her snout, we say she "just smiling" or doing the "Demon face thing". She just snorts and gives in. My friend's male basset also does this. I think it's just their nature.
 

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If Monty is really tired and doesn't want to get off the couch he'll sometimes growl. I know he's just being grumpy because he's tired. It's usually when we are trying to get him out for his late night pee so we just remove him from the sofa ignoring the growl so that he doesn't think he can get away with it. He's the sweetest guy but can be a total diva so it's important that he doesn't get to think it's acceptable.
 
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