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I am the very proud Mama to a new Basset. Grizwald is a rescue who is believed to be about 4 years old. After a two week trial period where we checked to see how he would react with our two cats, we decided to keep him.

There were some questions about his health (false positive heartworm test) but he is all clear now, and we really love him.

We are trying to figure him out and it has been years since I have had a dog (and never a Basset).

The only concerns we have so far would be some aggression that he just began to show over rawhide chew toys. Three times now there has been an incident.

First, I was trying to get a piece of rawhide from him before he swallowed it, and he nipped at me.

Second, he rather aggressively tried to bite my husband this weekend while my husband was trying to get him (and his bone) off of the bed.

Third, shortly after this incident, I tried to see if he would react the same way towards me and he nearly bit me when I tried to pick up the bone.

We have removed all toys and bones from the house (he did not like anything but the rawhide anyway.)

I am pretty sure he was abused by a male in the past, he is very very scared of men, especially older ones, but seems to be doing very well with my husband.

We were warned by the foster mama that he was food aggressive towards her other dogs (she has a lot in her house at the moment) but I have not noticed anything other than some majorly fast eating.

Any thoughts?

I really love this stinky hound dog and want everything to work out!
 

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I am very new to the guarding thing and still working on it with my basset puppy, so I am sure others will weigh in with some very good advice...especially Mike. He's a wonderful wealth of info. My puppy Molly went through puppy kindergarten and her trainer addressed the guarding behavior Molly was exhibiting. She told me that I need to offer a trade with Molly when I need to get something from her that she shouldn't have. She likes to pick up rocks and potentially harmful things outside and growls when I try to take them, to the point that I fear she will bite. I offer her a treat or a toy of high value (treats work better though) and she usually drops the thing she shouldn't have. Now, I take it a step further. She likes to bring sticks into the house and she makes a royal mess with them, so I don't like them indoors. I trade her for them, but then after a short time (short enough that she won't forget she wants the stick) I give it back to her. This way she doesn't think that all I do is take things from her, which could make her guard them even more aggressively. That's my two cents, as I have never had the guarding issue with a dog before. Good luck in working through this :)

And finally, welcome to the forum and life with a basset. In the 2 months that I have had Molly (my 1st basset), I have fallen head over heels for the breed. I will never NOT have one, if I can help it :)
 

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Try hand feeding. Pick up the food bowl put some food in it then sit on the floor and only offer the food in your hand it will keep him from woofing it down . You may need to contact a trainer to help you with this if he doesn't come around.Good Luck
 

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A great book on resource guarding is Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs by Jean Donaldson. I also agree with hand feeding and finding a good positive trainer.
 

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I noticed that you are in Houston. There is a great resource for pet owners in Texas: PawsitivelyTexas.com - A Social Network for Dog & Cat Owners, Advocates, and Animal Rescues - Join Us! also they are on facebook (I can't access at work to grab the link though). Thanks so much for rescuing your new basset. Sounds like you are willing to be patient and work through any issues.

If you end up needing a trainer, I would ask the rescue for who they recommend. If you were in Dallas I could recommend one or two but I don't know anything about the ones in Houston.

Personally I recommend going through a small (6 dogs or so) adult obedience class if you're able to get a good recommendation for a trainer. I think it will help you learn to deal with a lot of issues that may come up. Also the generally accepted training practices have changed a lot over the past few years.
 

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I am pretty sure he was abused by a male in the past, he is very very scared of men, especially older ones, but seems to be doing very well with my husband.
This is rarely the case most incidendent of fearful behavior are the result of a lack of socialization during the imprinting period in which dogs and all animals are more accepting of new experiences. This is general the 6-16 week old period give or take a few weeks, A lack of exposure to men during this period often results in a life long fear of men in general but the dog can learn to discriminate that some men like your husband are ok.

see Was Your Dog Abused?

All the referenence given on Resource guarding are excellent. As is the case with most resource guarder it is not limitied to a single domain or item, So you will need to work on all of them, Dogs are poor generalizers to food bowl exercise while excellent at reducing guaring from humans at the dog bowl do nothing to help in reguard to guarding against other dogs or say a ray hide in the bedroom. Just another reason to recommend Mine! and for a fair review of the book click here
Anal retentive to a fault (and I mean that as a compliment in this context), Donaldson does an excellent job of breaking down forms of resource guarding behavior into detailed, progressive increments. In order to teach a dog to accept having its mouth opened, for example, she lists 60 separate steps - beginning with touching the dog's rump for a single second. It takes 27 steps before one even touches the dog's head.
Clearly, this is not a book for someone who wants a quick fix to their problem. It requires a food-motivated dog and an extremely dedicated and talented owner with the patience and perseverance to apply the technique.
Although the book is decorated with oddly cutesy clipart, it appears to be written more for the dog trainer than the owner himself. Donaldson repeatedly refers to the dog's owner as a third party, implying that the owner is not the target audience of the book. Similarly, her writing style maintains a quasi-academic aloofness. This is unfortunate, because a more approachable writing style and tone geared more towards the owner himself would make the book more welcoming for the reader who really would benefit from reading it.
It also need to be pointed out that resouces guarding is not an abnormal behavior. In fact it is a normal adaptive behavior for a dog. A wild dog on the streets survival is hindered if it can not maintain control of valued resources. Unfortunately this "normal" behaviaor is not acceptable when living in the company of humans so it must be taugh a more appropriate response. Trading as mentioned above is one way to accomplish this.


Also of note many if not most resource guarder have touch sensitivities. That is they do not like to be touched in general or at least some portion of their body. So you need to be on the look out for this as well. How successful train is most often related to the severity of dog action in regards to guarding. A dog that simply bark, grows and/or snaps but does not inflict any physical damage is in general going to have a more successful out come than a biter will simply because the risks involved in training limit what one can do.

WAS YOUR DOG ABUSED?
 
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