I've been thinking about the issues and possibilities, both negative and positive.
Simply put the biggest issue is that B.Basset can only safely be around experienced dog people until it is seen if his issues can be managed at all and my world includes many inexperienced dog people and non-dog people. From what I have seen using a muzzle appropriately would protect all involved...a long as when I ask him to wear it we don't end up with issues.
Using a muzzle appropriately would have prevented today's issues. If he had been wearing it when we were in a casual situation where my attention was not totally on him and those around him, would have meant that either he wouldn't have been in a position to be startled into nipping, or he wouldn't have been able to nip when startled. If he had been wearing a muzzle the human behaviour around him would be more cautious, less likely to startle him. If he hadn't been startled into being protective, he wouldn't have seen the need to react to protect me after. If he hadn't been startled, triggered to protect, controlled, triggered to remember his fears of punishment, would he have seen the mini poodle as an annoyance not a friend? Who knows but in any case he would have had to deal with them without nipping, possibly discovering that they weren't situations to be fearful of.
B.Basset is loving, bright and eager to please. Worth the effort perhaps.
He's got his head on my knee now, subdued, I see no sign that he no longer trusts me, or that he feels he's gained dominance with his behaviour. Rather the opposite he's quick to obey now.
It just occured to me that the fact he attacked the shoes to defend me not the legs might tells us a couple of things. If his behaviour with the lead snap and collar ring is defensive, as suggested in another post, he was being very specific about what he felt was dangerous, the shoes. Also he chose to attack not the vunerable human legs. Possibly a good sign? Was he defending not attacking?
So tomorrow we'll see how he is about wearing the muzzle he came with for nail clipping and ear cleaning. Its a heavy plastic wire cagey thing. I hate the thought of seeing him wear it, but before I give up on him its worth a try.
The thing is I'm not afraid of him, a little concerned that I'll get nipped again. I'm more afraid of the human commotion if I get this wrong.
I know some can't, shouldn't be saved, the kindest thing sometimes is to give them peace. Doing that can cause its own human commotion though.
Time will tell. Its back to bed for both B.Basset and I now.