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Discussion Starter #1
We have decided to put Henrietta for adoption after 6 years, 6 wonderful years. She needs to be the only dog in a family.

We have been dealing with Henrietta food aggession or dominance over Winston for 3 years now. She doesn't act like that towards human, other dogs or children, only to Winston. Everytime she gets mad or the "switch" is turned on, she will bite him.
And it keeps escalating, from grawling, then snapping, then trips to vets for Winston. It just not fair for Winston that is sooo submissive. He never attacks back, he just stood there try to defend himself but to submissive to actually defend himself. We have tried so hard to introduce Winston to his normal life (he was abused before, he was afraid with other dogs and mens generally). We actually have made a progress with him and now this thing happens.

3 Years ago, we tried to consult with a trainer. She taught us lots of "management" part and how to understand better. We separate them when feeding time, we pet henri first and feed her first.
We did learn a lot but it doesn't enough. We cannot tell when she will attack Winston, it just happens out of the blue, but mostly over food.

Over the weekend, she actualy attacked Winston again after she finished drinking water (Winston stood not far from her, like usual).
Thank goodness I was there, I can grab her by her legs and push her away from Winston before she can do any damage. My husband tried to take her outside to calm her down, and she actually snapped at my hubby arm for the first time.

About a month ago, I consulted with 2 animal behaviourist. None of them can guarantee to solve this problem. Reading between the lines from our conversation, seems like they try to tell me, either I have to let this madness happen once in a while or I have to give her up.

I have lost my trust in Henrietta. I still love her sooo much. I cried the whole night last night until I fell asleep. This is the hardest decision ever.
It is for the best for Winston, Henrietta and us. I hope I made the right decision. :cry: :cry: :cry:
 
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I feel for you and your family. That is really a tough decision. It is bad that she is showing agression to Winston but to snap at your Husband is more reason not to trust her. It seems like she will snap for any reason and you not seeing the warning signs makes it scary. It is not fair for Winston to live in fear or you or your Husband to fear this dog. I guess a rescue group would have to determine if she is adoptable. I would contact them ASAP. You are doing the responsible thing, the right thing for all of you. I know you love her but you can't trust her. That must be so hard to live with a dog you don't trust. Hopefully you will find a rescue group that is willing to take her. Giving her to another person is like giving someone a loaded gun. You don't know when she will go off. The rescue I assume puts the dogs throught a series of behavior tests. Good Luck to you.
 

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What worked for us

We have had a similar problem, which is now happily under control thanks to the PetSafe Lemon Bark Collar. It is not only for barking! Button was being very jealous and aggressive towards our 6 month old Boxer and basically making his life miserable. I had originally bought the collar to get Captain to stop barking when out in the yard, but I started putting in on Button during "problem hours" of the day. Whenever he started to bark at Captain, the lemon water discharged and it wasn't long before he put two and two together! We don't even have to use it now. Also, in regard to your husband almost being bit. I find that any time I tried to force Button away from the scene of the confrontation that he became more agitated. The collar has completely done a 360 on this dog and now we have very little problem. Your problem sounds more serious, cause your other dog is passive, but before you send her to a certain fate, you may want to try it. The Foster Smith catalog has it, but you can probably get it a a pet store. I feel for you, and know what you are going through. I love all my dogs, and could never give any of them up, so I had to find a solution for the problem, Good luck to you.
 

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One more thing

Sorry, I wanted to add this: At the height of our problems, which mostly revolved around food, we would feed the aggressor first, and then take him directly outside to do business while the other two non-agressives ate. The key is to keep their feeding totally separate. When meals are over, take all bowls and put them out of sight. We would even have fights over empty food bowls being sniffed and licked! Have two water bowls, and have a "safe room" for the more passive dog with his own water. It just all depends on how much coddling you have time and patience for, but I would try the lemon collar. It doesnt hurt them, doesnt even get near their eyes. It works on a growl, too. It will def. get her attention! Sorry about the "flood" of info, but since we went through this not a month ago, I thought I'd share my experience.

Hope things get better . . . . .
 

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Lina, I feel so sorry for you right now. :cry: What a tough decision! You have recieved some good advice on here, which may help.
But whatever you decide to do, it's YOUR decision. Only you know what's best for the harmony and well being of your family, including the canines. I'm sure everyone on here will support whatever you decide to do. Take care, and keep us posted.

Sandy
 

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I don't know that's it's ethical to ask someone else to take on an unpredictably aggressive dog.

It sounds like the ethical options are for her to remain in her current home, under strict management, separated at all times from the other dogs in the home (which can be done--I've had to do it), or euthanasia. :cry:
 

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I totally understand where you care coming from, as we have just been through this ourselves and had to give up our maddie as her and atticus was not getting along. neither dog were happy and it made for a stressful househould, we had to do what was best for everyone, it was a hard discision, i felt very guilty doing this to Maddie, but felt we didn't have much of a choice ( we did have a happy ending to our maddie went back to her original house so she didn't have to go to yet another new family(although she did spend sometime at the rescue before her origianal family contacted them)
we hope the best for you and your family and know this descion will not be made lightly and no one else is in your shoes what worked for them might not work for you, you have to do what is best for your family and dogs. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't get me wrong. Henrietta is really good around people, children, cats even. The problem is: whenever she is at home, with Winston, trying to get our attention, or Winston plus food, both of these are really bad combination. Other than that, she is perfect.

She needs to be the only dog in a family. She doesn't like to share attention or food with Winston.

Definately I will mention all this to the rescue lady, so she can make her judgement.
 

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You will also need to tell the rescue that she went after your husband. :cry:
 

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:?: Have you considered placing Winston? If Henrietta is fine except for Winston, ssems to me that keeping her whom you've had longer and placing the dog you've had for only half as long might be a solution that has the best chance of working.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Barbara,
I would rather die to give my Winston away. I can't even think of that as a possibility. Also Winston is SO attach to me, he only feels secure around me and my hubby. I can't do that.

I hate the idea of giving henrietta away too. I got an reply back from the rescue lady and hopefully she will call me later today and discuss her behaviour. The main concern here is, her age and her aggression, it might take longer to give her up.

Meanwhile, me and my hubby have to find a different solution during feeding time. I am still a bit worried when it comes to feeding time. I think I have to overcome this negative energy cause I believe the dogs can sense it and it's not helping.

We will try to keep her as long as we can (until we can find a foster home). BUT if we can find a good home for her, I'll let her go. This is the worse thing I've ever done. :cry:
 

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.......This is the worse thing I've ever done. .........


:( No, it may be the Hardest thing you've ever done but it isn't the worst. In fact it may be the kindest and most responsible thing you can do for both dogs. Hennrieta might get the chance to be the only doggie "child" and wont feel the stress of competing for food or attention. She also wont be sensing the displeasure and anxiety of her owners. Winston can live a more secure comfortable life without fear of being bullied. It could be win/win for everybody. Take it easy on yourself. It sounds like you are thinking clearly and trying to do what is best for all concerned.
 

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Unfortunately, it sounds as if the problem has been allowed to escalate to the point where the dog is now a potential threat to human safety. I'd be surprised if a basset rescue would knowingly expose itself to this type of liability, especially when there are so many sweet, non-aggressive bassets that are also homeless. :cry:
 
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I became friends with a man who lived near the house we rented while we built this house. He had an adorable male Basset. They soon discovered he would "guard" things. After him & his wife had a baby, they realized they couldn't keep him. He would growl and snap at anyone who tried to take "his" things from him. He called me and wanted to get my opinion on surrending him to a shelter. I suggested he call the local rescue but they probably wouldn't take a dog with these issues. He did and they declined to take the dog. As Betsy said, they told him they wouldn't assume such a risk and they had so many friendly dogs that needed homes they couldn't even consider taking him. When I moved from that house, they still had him but kept him gated away from the baby. It was so hard for them. I understand your love for her but it's a huge risk to take keeping her in the house. I wish you luck in your decision.
 

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I'm sorry you're faced with this, but it's imperative you tell the rescue that Henrietta bit your husband. Otherwise, you're esentially skirting your responsibilities and leaving them to someone else.

I've been in the situation of unknowingly adopting a dog which bit from a rescue which hadn't been told the entre history of the dog. This happened a bit over ten years ago, before I found Cyberhound and had access to all the good information here about aggression and what to do.

The pup was extremely aggressive and domineering, making even Biscuit miserable --- which is saying a lot, given Biscuit was a dominant dog and jolly to the extreme, and loooved having other dogs around.

From the moment the pup arrived in my house, he was aggressive. He growled at me about everything, from making him come in at night to walking too close to Biscuit.

After two-three months, he bit me. I immediately told the rescue, who told me they couldn't take him back and I should put him down because it was apparent to the rescuer this wasn't the first time he'd bitten.

Which I did --- I took him to the rescue's vet to have him put to sleep.

Even this many years later, I have a little nuggest of anger and disbelief that the original owners sloughed their responsibility off on the rescue and on me. In essence, I ended up having to do what they didn't have the courage to do, which was put down a dog who'd likely been a dominant dog left to go too long without training and possibly taken from his litter too young to have learned biting is an absolute no-no.

Please don't do that. It might make things easier in the short-term, but it's the wrong thing to do.
 

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Actually-while I agree it is your responsibility to inform any future adoptive owners of her aggression- it seems to me your dog has a particular problem 'sharing' her life with other dogs. Bassets are not the great slobs people think they are and sometimes they are better in single dog house holds.
She snapped at your husband as he as was removing her from a stressful situation, right? Well Opus snapped at my husband once too, when he was trying to remove him from the bedroom. And Lina, I hear lots of evidence of bassets growling or 'grumbling' at owners on this site for moving them or asking them to get off the couch, and no one is suggesting they destroy or put those dogs to sleep.
For me, it was no more bedroom for Opus, and no more snapping either. Not all dogs are suited to sharing. You say there is no evidence that Henrietta would be aggressive in a single dog houesehold, right? I had a mutt years ago that could not tolerate other dogs-but as soon as he lived alone, ie with me, he was darling right up until the day he died of cancer. He was sixteen, and I had him for eight problem free years. After him I had a Dobermann that the breeders though might be aggressive, but after extensive training- albeit with a police handler- he was a perfect dog too- he was so placid I could leave him outside a horse box for five hours at a time at a busy show minding the tack- until the horrible day he was killed by a horse at eight years old.
Don't give up, find Henrietta a good home with people that do not own another dog and I am sure she will flourish-but be sure to let them know of her issues first.
 

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Another suggestion is for her to have a complete physical and blood work, including a full thyroid panel, as aggression is sometimes related to thyroid dysfunction. If the rescue were to agree to take her, they would likely do this anyway, and this way they won't be out the added expense.
 

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Originally posted by opus
Don't give up, find Henrietta a good home with people that do not own another dog and I am sure she will flourish-but be sure to let them know of her issues first.
While it would be heartwarming if that were to work out, I fear it's a bit optimistic. Most potential basset owners are attracted in large part to the breed's easy-going temperament. While many people are willing to work on issues like housetraining or puppy uppity-ness, few are up to the challenge of reforming an older, aggressive dog with a long history. :(
 

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I don't think "snapped at my husband when he tried to put her out" puts a dog in the catagory to be put down.
I hope you tell who ever the circumstances,
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Opus and Ec, thank you for your support and concern.

I am going to tell the rescue lady about this "snapping" incident, believe me. I am not that type of person who keep such thing a secret.

Henrietta snapped at my husband caused he pulled her away and used his body as a shield which is not a smart thing to do but it is our natural reaction when we see two dogs fighting. It doesn't mean she deserved to be "put down." I know her well enough to say: she can be a great dog for a right family.

I've been thinking for the past 3 days now. I can't even concentrate at work. I just realized there might be a connection between her anxiety and her aggression towards Winston. What do you think?
Then I called my neighbor who her dog is on a medication called: Clomicalm. This is an anti-anxiety medication for dogs and supposed to relax and calm them down.
I don't know.....I have to call my vet first thing tomorrow morning. This is a far better solution than giving her away.

I have done some research on the internet. Some guy posted that it helped his dog to relax without changing his playful behaviour and the dog stop being aggressive.
 
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