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it is likely his snapping behavior has been rewarded in the past that is by snaping he stops the man handling by the collar which he does not like.

Is he touch sensitive. i.e does he prefer not to be touched, petted etc.?
Touch sensitivity can further exaserbate problem with ear cleaning and toe nail cutting. Also keep in mind tough sensitive is often associated with resource guarding as well ie defending toys, food , people so you will want to be on the look out for this as well

As for the muzzle most definately You are going to need it to ensure safety when engaged in behavior mod program outline below I have never had a problem with a dog acepting a soft muzzle however I would be prepared to use desenitizing tecniques if the dog showed signs of fear or aggression when approach
I would suggest a desentiving type approach. Start by touching the collar fallowed by a reward/treat in situations that you are not or would not attempt to control the dog by the collar. Slowing progressing to situation more clossing resempling those in which he has snap previously. The idea is to creat a new association with touching or grabing the collar and that is one of getting food rather than one of being yanked around.

an intermediatecontrol device that could be helpful is a training tab i.e a short leash 6"-16" long or so. With bassets I reccommend the shorter variety you don't want the tab dragging and getting caught on something

I think his old owner may have thought it cute and encouraged it.
it is possible but a more likely explaination again is by biting the lead it is not able to be use to administer a "correction" a reaction to again prevent the infliction of of pain on the part of the dog. That said what the cause of the behavior is not important.

If the braided toy is only allowed when suppervise you might be able to increase interest through flavor enhancement

My concerns all center around his tendency to nip
while it can be disconcerting that fact you classify his behavior AS NIPPING is actual a good thing. He is inhibting his bite which at his age is not something that can be effectiviely taught. If the dog was inflicting puncture wounds or other serious injury the prognoses would not be nearly as bright. One main reason is that the fear of a serious bite limits what an how you can train,.

Keep in mind with desenitization training you will need to also incude as many other people as posible including complete strangers when you are extremely confident of a positive reaction from the dog. Dogs are poor generalizer and very good disciminators. If you are the only one involved in the desenitization training then the dog will learn it has no reason to fear you touching the collar but will still be fearful of anyone else doing so. It will take many repetition with many different people before the behavior is ever generalized to all people and even then you can never be sure.

That is the reason there needs to be full disclosure to any potential adopter about past history, and training on how to continue with any desenitization training. Having acquired a biter not a nipper from a breed rescue that was not fully disclosed I personal know how unpleasant an undisclosed serious behavior problem can be. . Couple that with their attempt to deal with the precurse to aggression ie growling with punishment, they actual created a very dangerious dog that now bit first and asked question latter. It took me over two year before the dog would once again growl as a warning. This is a problem when one emphysis surpression of a behavior over changing the dogs emotional response. That is while it is possible to surpress the growling it did not changes the unerlying fear by eliminating an import cue to understanding its emotional state it was left with only very limited choice of responses with bitting near the top of the list. It will never be one that I would trust with stranger though, Keep in mind at least some portion of most aggressive behaivior are genetic and not really amendable to behavior modification, what that is in any case no one knows but what it does mean is not every case is solveable. and management is the only feasable solution.


This booklet provides a step-by-step dog training program of desensitizing and classical counter-conditioning.

Desensitization & Counter Conditioning

Helping a dog accept human handling
. When a dog is fearful, reactive, worried, concerned, nervous, anxious about someone fussing about its neck and/or about its body, it will attempt to fight back in the only manner it knows.

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Food's okay but can be ignored
I think you will notice a big change as the weight comes down,

good luck.

When using the muzzle it is a good idea to practice putting it on and off at time whem it is not being used for control line toe nail clipping , ear cleaning or a trip to the vet. That way the muzzle does not become conditioned as a predessor of bad things to come, Also when it come to using the muzzle it is unlikely to stop the dog from being able to nip but will prevent the dog from opening it mouth wide enough to do serious harm. With toe nail clip here with the bite is a two person process, and she is actual excited about it. The muzzle goes on and is accompanied by rapid fire feed of highly valued hot dog piece, only time she gets them while the second is free to clip the nails without much of a struggle.

I have never before worked with a dog where I needed a muzzle. I would never have thought to use it as a part of a desensitizing process but it makes alot of sense
I had no problem just putting the muzzle on with out desensitization there is no need to go slower than you need to just be prepared if you meet resistance to step back and go slow.

FWIW a size five worked best but she is a relatively small female with a short muzzle,

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