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I'm new here and need help our darling 6 month old basset is biting us and being aggressive.There are only a few situations where she isnt biting us and when we can pet her and thats when shes sleeping or chewing on her toys.If we try to ignore her or tell her no she just comes right after us and if you walk away she bites us on our ankels.She will jump up and try biting us anywhere she can get a hold of.We don't know what to do.We have a kennel and put her in there when she's really biting and not stopping,but we don't want to keep her in the kennel long.We love her and just want her to stop biting us all the time.We got her when she was about 7 weeks old and she was so sweet she would lay her head down on my shoulder and fall asleep in my arms.Now I don't really trust her by my face or our teenagers.I must add that we almost lost her, she had lepto when she was 11 weeks old.We had to take her to a 24 hr vet hospital to save her.She was there for a week with iv antibiotics and pulled through.It cost a fortune but we couldn't just let her die like our local vet was suggesting we do.I don't know if her past illness has anything to do with her aggressive behavior or not.All I know is we need help.Thank you,Lori
 

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I can't believe a 6 month Basset is 'biting' as in biting as they aren't aggressive, or none of ours have been! Our two we got together have always played like pups do and kind of 'bite' each other in play and have done it to us in play but never 'aggressively'.

I don't have time to reply fully now as I'm on my way out but others will reply and may think like me that 7 wks was a wee bit too young for pup to leave her siblings and mum where they learn to socialise with each other and puppies often 'bite' in play but it's harmless and part of learning!

Mikey will be along soon and help you. Your pup ight be lacking in company and she might be trying to attract your attention to play with her and her mouth or paws (or a bit of barking) is the easiest way to let you know. Does she have lots of toys to play with?

Look at my two at 10 weeks old, they do some 'biting' of each other, but it's being playful and if you had another Basset they'd do this in play:
 

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I got Annie when she was 6 weeks old...from an animal rescue group. She did the usual puppy biting and nipping. It seemed crazy and aggressive to me at the time, probably because as a puppy their teeth are sharp as razors. But this is the activity she would have been displaying with her siblings if she was still with them at the time. Now, at 6 yrs old, there isn't an aggressive bone in her body. She will play and jump and tug on toys, but nothing ever out of aggression.
 

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Although I think she is just trying to get someone to play with her I don't doubt people could be getting hurt by this play behavior.Ok Mikey do your thing and help this person
 

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I'm interested to see what Mikey says here too (he is always so helpful). Molly, who is 6 months tomorrow, is nipping as well. It's not aggression, but simply play. I don't appreciate it, however, and am trying to discourage it. I won't play as long as she is biting and will only play when she stops. She's stubborn though and persists. It gets to be quite aggravating.
 

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Just to join in this topic again.... we have never had a 'single/lone' Basset and always had two or three in our house living together and they have always played together, even at different ages, but we also play with them too and often roll around the floor with them and they love it!

Just looking back at a couple of old clips of our two... and in playing together, there is always some sort of 'biting' going on but neither of them yelps so I guess they don't hurt each other... and they can only use their mouth or paws to do anything with, unlike us!

Here they are at 5 months, sharing/playing with a tuggy toy but still 'play-biting' at times!

Similarly here they are at 9 months, playing together in the snow and still 'play-biting' each other. I really think that if you had two pups they would do the same to each other and not to you and a single pup probably gets bored and needs some stimulation, just as we'd be bored on our own!

 

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A puppy needs to learn bite inhabition. If you are nipped make a loud noise to startle the pup.I usually growl "NO" in as deep a voice as I can muster.After a few times of this they usually do not bite as hard as they did. I have always raised single puppies unless I have a litter and this has worked for me. You can also try squirting her with water when she nips. Growling "NO" at the same time.
 

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Perhaps you should have her evaluated by a behaviorist or trainer to determine exactly what she is doing and why she is doing it. Dogs bite or nip for several different reasons, and there are different ways to handle the problem once the cause is determined.

We got our Moe from a shelter where he had been abandoned with his sister, tied to a gate in July of '99. I had always wanted a Basset and I fell in love with his beautiful face when I saw him while looking for a Dachshund for my daughter. He was from a BYB (we found this out later) and had many issues that I won't go into, but the most serious one was that he was a biter. He bit me and my son, mostly. We both had large bruises on our arms and legs. I couldn't touch Moe without him using his teeth on me. Sometimes he was scary aggressive. I was concerned for myself and my family but I was also worried becasue fall was coming. During the schoolyear I watched five children for an hour or so till the bus came to pick them up - I was worried for them, too. The shelter we got Moe from offered free training to help new adoptees and thier families overcome issues they might be having with thier new dogs. The trainer evaluated Moe and determined that he was attempting to dominate us. She showed us how to deal with his problem. It took time, a few months, for the worst of it to stop. We continued to work with him for a long time after that (he also had a problem with bite inhibition). Eventually he became a wonderful, loving, sweet hound. He was worth every bit of trouble we went through.

We had several tricks we used to keep Moe from biting that helped. They were so easy that I taught my bus-kids how to do them too. I bought bitter-apple spray and would spray it in his direction (but not into his face). I had coke cans with pennies in them in every room. If Moe did something he shouldn't (or even looked like he was on the verge) we tossed it near him. The racket startled him, distracting him from his mischief. He also loved attention and hated to be ignored. If he was naughty, I would say "NO, MOE!" loudly and turn my back on him. He hated this. He'd nudge my legs and whine (it was very hard to be tough). It's important to use a deep firm tone of voice when training. Tug-of-war games or anything remotely resembling them were banned completely. These game over-excited him and he'd use his mouth on people. We learned clicker-training. It's so easy that my seven year old son taught Moe tricks with it. He taught the bus-kids how to do it, too. Training Moe became a favorite before-school game for all of them. The bitter-apple spray worked so well that when it was gone we had only to show Moe the bottle to make him stop. We had that bottle for a year or more before I chucked it out. The coke cans were eventually emptied of thier pennies and put in the recycle bin.

The evaluation it the important part of taking care of your dog's biting problem. You must know the "why" before you can learn the "how".

Terry
 

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Our Frodo is 6 months old now. He is well socialized (we have his mom among other bassets)- but he is teething and so does tend to chew more- He doesn't bite us but will jump up to try and get our attention and sometimes that involves a nip as his mouth is trying to "catch" us since he has no hands to grab... I think it is most likely normal puppy behavior you are experiencing- but maybe she did miss some of the earlier socialization and has not learned her manners yet. Regardless a puppy training class would help- get her socialized more and help you teach her how not to bite- she's still a baby is some ways and learning how to interact with the world.
 

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Perhaps you should have her evaluated by a behaviorist or trainer to determine exactly what she is doing and why she is doing it
in general the most practical advise. The problem with anty diagnose that relies on the observation of the owner is it is natural biaed observation and therefore it will result in a biased diagnose and solution that is only as good as the observation. getting and expert objective observation is important.

A puppy needs to learn bite inhabition. If you are nipped make a loud noise to startle the pup.I usually growl "NO" in as deep a voice as I can muster.After a few times of this they usually do not bite as hard as they did.
Alway good advice especial with younger puppies but by the age if six months it may be too late to teach this. This is one of the most critical things however owners have a responsibility to teach there dogs. All dogs at some time or anouther will feel the need to bite. Bite inibition is the difference between a damaging bite and a potentially euthanized dog and no damage. Teaching bite inihibition is literally a life saver for dogs.

Bite Inhibition how to teach it


In the link Above it gives a chart of assessment of bite injuries what if any injuries has the dog caused? This is the biggest indicator of success in treatment. Not because a dog that does not cause injury is easier to modify behavior because it is not. It is because with a dog that does cause injuries one can simply not train for all circumstances because of the risks, which means in the end that if you decided to keep a dog capable and inclination to cause injuries that there are going to be some situtation that you will just have to manage.


I can't believe a 6 month Basset is 'biting' as in biting as they aren't aggressive, or none of ours have been!
Generalizing breed traits to an indvidual especially when it comes to biting is not a good idea. ther are plenty of ill tempered bassets out their capable of causing a great deal of damage.


The question is whether the dogs behavior is simply because of its age, adolescence and biological process like teething which tend to make dogs this age more mouthy to begin with, Without actual observing a number of such interaction between the dog and the owners family it is not possible to tell which makes Terry advice all the more appropreate.




Some thing unrealted that can help. Exercise and mental stimulation, Is the puppy getting enough of these. Many people assume basset and more so basset puppies are couch potatoes which is far from the truth. With out enough mental and physical stimulation the will developed a whole host of behavioral problems including distructive behaviors.


Let us deal with some of the problems individually.
If we try to ignore her or tell her no she just comes right after us and if you walk away she bites us on our ankels
Ignoring behavior works through a process called extinction. That is behaviors that are not reward tend to end. So people assume it is a simple and easy to end problem behaviors by this method It is not. Especial with behavior that often this type of biting is associated with. which fall under the general catagory of "attention seeking behavior". What it means is that these behavior have been reward with attion in the past. Keep in mind often what we humans think as punishment the dogs veiw as a reward. Ie dogs jump up greet we push the dog down or knee it in the chest etc that interaction is attention for the dog and many dogs will view it as a reward" When discussing reward and punishment what is important is how the dog reacts to it. If a action is truely punishment the dog will engage in the behavior that resulted in it less if not then it is not punishing for the dog.

Lets get back to extinction. Simply ignoring a behavior for which the dog has been rewarded in the past is not going to result in the dog easily giving up the behavior. What occurs is called and extinctition burst in which the behavior gets worse much worse before it stops. The following is the most common analogy to explain. You get into an elevator and push a button for the floor you want. Nothing happens, what do you do. Get out and take the stairs? No you push the button again harder, longer, faster, different pattern. Try a different button. but not give up. You may give up that time. But next time you Face the choice of elevators or stairs you will chose the elevator again. Same thing happens with the dog. You need to be prepared for this when using this technique because if you Resort to your previous actions that are actual reward for the dog all you have done is teach the dog simply to be more more persistant. So simply ignoring a behavior and expecting to end a behavior is extremely difficult to accoplish and not one I would recommend on its own. But it is apporiate as part of a more comprehensive plan.

The problem with looking at any problem behavior as something you simply want to stop is it does not address why the behavior is occung in the first place. In most cases these behaviors are attention seeking behaviors. The atttention the dog desires does not end even if you are succesfull in ending the behavior. What end up happening more often than not is that the dog learns, picks-up and even more obnoxious behavior. Rather than thinging about what you don't want to do focus on training the dog an appropriate behavior. Ie sitting still when you walk by as opposed to bitting ankles etc.

see Puppy Biting - Have Patience

Biting Pant Legs & Ankles

Puppy Adolscence - or Demon Spawn

Stopping Negative Behavior Positively

We have a kennel and put her in there when she's really biting and not stopping,but we don't want to keep her in the kennel long
A time out does not need be a prolonged period of time to be effective. What it need to be is consitently applied. by all memebers of the household. The idea of using punishment However can be dificult for humans and I quessing that it true in your case as well. Keep in mind it takes consistence inorder for dogs to learn, If hehavior a always results in consequence c then quiglif if the dog does not like consequence c behavior a stops. However as what happens most times is Behavior A results in consequence c sometimes consequence b at other with hussbad it is consequence x and teeager#1 consequence y the dogs responce is not going to be consistent either. So in the regard if you have trouble with using time-out ie punishing the dog the don't Only reward the dog. just make that reward soamething the dog does not want. Don't Punished the dog with crate confinement but instead rewards the dog with 5 minutes of alone time in his crate, It may seem like splitting hairs semanticaly but in reality it is a different approach

You won the Prize

and for the clearest analogy see Insights Into Puppy Mouthing
I must say I have a different take on the notion of negative punishments. To begin with I don't call them that and think the semantics of them is a problem because of the attitude it creates. I do not want to take anything away from the dog as a punishment so that they will decrease the chance of the behavior happening. I Reward the dog. Just not with the Reward they would prefer...
If my attitude remains that I am having a great time and even better if I am acting like I think that the Undesired Reward is what the dog wants I am not setting up a conflict. But I am motivating the dog to reexamine its choices. I am encouraging the dog to try and educate me as to the best thing to do. And when the dog figures out that biting and nipping me is the stupidest way to get me to play they will look for a better way. And when they think that the reward I offer is not worth the effort it weakens the probability of that behavior continuing to be offered.
If a good friend wants to get you to go golfing every weekend and you hate golf you could tell them how boring it is and keep debating the point forever.
Or you could enthusiastically head to the course wearing the most outrageous outfit you can put together at Goodwill. Hit the ball in the opposite direction because it is so much fun watching everyone's expression (besides you were never much of a conformist) Talk constantly. Hug them and scream with joy at every stroke they make and express your amazement at their skills. Then tell them what a wonderful time you have golfing with them and can't wait to do it again. I bet your friend won't be available for another round for months.

 

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Which brings ust to another Point You mention teenagers. The nature of how most males of this are ineract with puppies they actual encourage biting through play, this is also the case with younger childern as well . So the dog has recieved reinforcement for biting with more play. Hence the use of bitting to get you to play.

Tug-of-war games or anything remotely resembling them were banned completely. These game over-excited him and he'd use his mouth on people
Rather than aviod such games IMHO it is best to engage in such games but with rules. It goes along way into teaching the dog self control even when exited, but you have to be able to walk before you can run. So if the dog is not able to control itself in less stimulating situations it is often best not exepect the dog to control itself in more stimulating environment.[/quote]

seeTug of War
No topic engenders such a wide range of conflicting advice than whether or not it is advisable to play physical-contact games with dogs, e.g., play-fighting, tag and tug o' war. Some breeders and trainers are vehemently opposed to these games, feeling they make the dog uncontrollable and more aggressive. Other breeders and trainers, however, feel frequent games make for a better companion. Certainly, there are pros and cons of doing almost anything with a dog and this includes roughhousing. Without a doubt, misguided and/or inadequately informed owners can very quickly turn a good dog bad by allowing contact games to get out of control. On the other hand, a thinking owner can derive so many benefits from properly playing doggy games.
..

So, why not just stop playing these games altogether? Well, a good class instructor quickly learns to anticipate a lot about dog behavior and a whole lot
more about human nature. Firstly that dogs, especially adolescent dogs, are going to attempt to play this way with people anyway. In fact, much of a dog's waking existence and certainly most of his playtime focus on mouthing (and/or biting) objects both inert and alive. Consequently, it makes sense to take time to teach the critter rules. And secondly, that many owners, especially men and children and extra-especially boys (ranging in age from two to fifty-two years old), are going to play these games with dogs anyway. And so, it similarly make sense to teach owners how to be better canine coaches, so they may correctly referee Rover and reap the many benefits these games have to offer.​
To Tug or Not? Seriously that is still a Question?

I bought bitter-apple spray and would spray it in his direction (but not into his face). I had coke cans with pennies in them in every room. If Moe did something he shouldn't (or even looked like he was on the verge) we tossed it near him. The racket startled him, distracting him from his mischief. He also loved attention and hated to be ignored. If he was naughty, I would say "NO, MOE!" loudly and turn my back on him.

It is often thought tha No!. shaker cans and spray bottles are punishment for dogs. While they could be for some dogs in most cases they are not. It is not usually the case that they reduce the icindence of a problem behavior. It does not mean they are not usefull. What they are is more appropriateely called a disruptive stimulus. That is they interupt the problem behavior giving you the oppurtunity to train a more a ppropriate behavior like giveing the dog an appropriate toy to chew. It has been shown that using this interuption and retraining technique is more effective long term than punishment at ending problem behaviors.​


It is rare that a dog has a single problem behavior. again many problem behaviors like inappropriate biting can fit in the lack of self control catagory. This is one catagory of behaviors that i do find that dogs generalize. That is teaching self control in one area helps in others as well. Hear are some links and video in helping to teach the dog self control​




Crate Games for Self-Control & Motivation DVD​






The Over Stimulated Dog
Limbic over-rides cognitive. When an animal is in a state of adrenalin arousal from fear, defense, excitement or just plain sensory overload, he not only doesn't listen, he can't hear you. It does no good to repeat "sit sit sit" to a dog who is on emotional overload. He isn't thinking, he is simply reacting to the stimuli around him. He must tune-in and re-connect with you before he will be able to hear what you have to say. You must be able to get his attention first, before you tell him what you would like him to do.

This is where the disruptive stimuli come in helpful​


So for the bottom line
How to Handle an Out-of-Control Dog

1. consider seeking professional help I would recommend looking for a cerfied animal behaviorsist or a veterinary behaviorist those there numbers are quite small.​

2. Determ the bite damage caused by the dog and use that to determine the potential for rehabilitation.​

3. Stop rewarding the inapropriate behavior. Immeadeate ignore the behavior, walk away, Stop the behavior temporarily if necesary with a disruptive stimuli shaker can, loud noise, squirt bottle etc. then train a more appropriate behavior, chew appropriate chew toy.​

4. work on lowering arrousal and increasing self control through exercises in linked articles.​

5. Take time to reward appropriate behavior. This is often the most difficult. It is easy to ignore the apporpriate behavior but is the most important part. For Many a NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) protocol is a good way to become more consistent in rewarding appropriate behavior.​



5. besure the dog has enough physical and mental outlets. Excersise and interactive toy that can be use for chewing instead hof humans. ie buster cubes, stuffed kongs etc.​

6. teach the dog to play more appropriately​

7. use punisment like time-outs consistently but delievered in a pleasant non- confrontational manner​
 
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