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Hi everyone, this is the first time that i have joined a group like this, so im not entirly sure what im doing... but here goes, my name is laura and i have a 2 year old basset called jessie, shes red and white and in my eyes is beautiful! She is generally a joy to be around but is a terrible theif!! ive been told this is common to the breed? she has stollen and eaten things like mobile phones out of hand bags, glasses and check books, and most recently she had developed a taste for lip gloss! she seems to know that it is wrong, by the look on her face when caught! but its almost like shes addicted and cant help herself! dose anyone else have experiences like this or is it just my crazy basset??:D
 

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she seems to know that it is wrong, by the look on her face when caught! but its almost like shes addicted and cant help herself!
The reason is because it is not true. There is little evidence that dogs have a "moral" compass and know right from wrong, what they do know is what works. That said the Look is not one of guilt but one of appeasement, that is it is a reaction to your action upon finding her. BTW this has been scientifically proven in a number of studies

See; What Really Prompts The Dog's 'Guilty Look'
Horowitz was able to show that the human tendency to attribute a “guilty look” to a dog was not due to whether the dog was indeed guilty. Instead, people see ‘guilt’ in a dog’s body language when they believe the dog has done something it shouldn’t have – even if the dog is in fact completely innocent of any offense
...Whether the dogs' demeanor included elements of the "guilty look" had little to do with whether the dogs had actually eaten the forbidden treat or not. Dogs looked most “guilty” if they were admonished by their owners for eating the treat. In fact, dogs that had been obedient and had not eaten the treat, but were scolded by their (misinformed) owners, looked more “guilty” than those that had, in fact, eaten the treat. Thus the dog’s guilty look is a response to the owner’s behavior, and not necessarily indicative of any appreciation of its own misdeeds.
link to actual study Disambiguating the “guilty look”: Salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour
The results revealed no difference in behaviours associated with the guilty look. By contrast, more such behaviours were seen in trials when owners scolded their dogs. The effect of scolding was more pronounced when the dogs were obedient, not disobedient. These results indicate that a better description of the so-called guilty look is that it is a response to owner cues, rather than that it shows an appreciation of a misdeed.

but is a terrible theif!! ive been told this is common to the breed?
all scent hounds not just bassets tend to be more prone to this then other breeds in general. It also appears much more so than other breeds they are always hungry and generaly become obese if allowed to free feed.

An old vet of my espoused the following theory on why this is. Basically it has been purposely bred into the breeds, Think about it, what dog is more likely to be a determined hunter of a potential meal the one easily sated or the one that is always hungry. So theivery and lack of self control when it comes to food could very well be a result of breeding for hunting traits.
 
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