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Discussion Starter #1
I've never had a full basset before, just lots of hounds and a basset/beagle cross. My current foster is all basset. B. Basset can get his ears in his mouth. I've seen him do this several times in the 2 weeks he's been with me. The first time I assumed he was cleaning them, but now I'm not so sure. I'm wondering if it is either that he worries them when stressed, or if it goes with the ear irritation the vet found on Thursday we are treating, or all three.

B. Basset is bright, sensitive, spoiled. He's having some challenges adjusting to not being "KING" and big scary monster who is in control. He is doing well with the consistancy of rules and discipline but I can see when even with lots of love and praise it starts to challenge his self-control and he needs some time alone in his crate to sleep or take out his frustrations on a chewy of some sort.

The behaviour I'm puzzled about is this:
He takes one ear in his mouth and then lies on his side sucking the ear in like a piece of spagetti, then he chews on it gently like he is massaging it and after about a minute he drops it sometimes grabbing the other and flipping sides. He always lies with the ear he has in his mouth under him. The ears are thoroughly soggy when he is done, but usually are normal looking when they dry. Today he has a band of stuck down fur in the middle of one ear so I'm guessing he's been at this activity today.

I can handle his ears but have been progressing slowly with seeing how tolerant he is as he came with instructions to muzzle him for ear cleaning. He is not struggling when the twice daily drops are administered. I can just fold the ear back over his head, count to 10 and put 2-3 drops in, then do the ear massage and on to the next.

:confused:
 

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I hope his ear infection clears up well. With Bassets having such big heavy ears, they can be prone to ear infections because warmth and moisture can get trapped inside so when my two are laying down, I often flip back their ears to let air circulate in them.

Is your Basset just a baby and needs something to comfort him causing him to suck his ears? Maybe he'd love lots of soft toys to play with like my two have... or maybe another Basset to play with because being pack animals they love the company of other Bassets.!
 

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Yogi used to do that quite often when he was a puppy but he hasn't done that for years. He would grab one ear and suck it for awhile and then do the other ear but I don't think he even did it every day. I actually thought it was kind of cute but never encouraged it as I really didn't want it to become a habit like some dogs get into with tail chasing. I forgot how old is your foster?
Maybe when he gets into the "ear" mode you could give him something to distract him, like a bone or toy that he really likes.
 

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Bella sucked her ears as a pup. It disappeared on it's own, and other than slimy ears, really didn't present a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone! Sounds like I don't need to fuss about it, which is good.

B. is 5. Late last year he was turned over to a breed rescue for aggression (towards his male sibling and owners).

I've had some spats between B. and the mini poodle I am also fostering. They both would rather fight over who's closest to me than be friends. Our male cat is making friends and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Pifphil (the cat) is big but I think he'd lose to B. and I'm pretty sure that B. although soft mouthed when first making his point is not sufficiently under control not to follow through if he is pushed.

B. has a few toys he doesn't seem to care for and a rawhide chewy he's defended excessively once so I'm hesitant to encourage toys until I have a better handle on his self control issues. He prefers his ears and feet, my socks, the leads as chew toys.

I have also always flipped my dogs ears back when they are at rest to allow the air in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The video is too cute! and that is exactly what B. is doing to his ears. He'll also do it to my socks I discovered last night. Maybe he needs a rag toy made of my socks that are in need of replacing.
 

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really didn't want it to become a habit like some dogs get into with tail chasing
The problem they cvan both be more than a habit but rather a manifestation of a disease. CCD (Canine Compulsion Disorder) that is OCD in humans. It is not something that gets better overtime quite the contrary it gets worse. You should discuss the possibilities with your vet



[url=http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100106193316.htm]
Canine Compulsive Disorder Gene Identified in Dogs

A canine chromosome 7 locus that confers a high risk of compulsive disorder susceptibility has been identified through a collaboration between the Behavior Service at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Program in Medical Genetics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The findings are published in the January 2010 edition of Molecular Psychiatry.
Canine compulsive disorder (CCD) in dogs
Some dogs like to chase their tails. Others like to lick the carpet or their paws for an hours at a time. Others chew their legs, attack their food bowls, or try to eat rocks. These and other strange, out-of-context canine behaviors might appear to have little in common – but they're actually all signs of the same syndrome. They're symptoms of what experts call canine compulsive disorder, or CCD.
Compulsive Behavior in Dogs

A lot depends on the degree and the harm the behavior causes the dog, but you also have to keep in mind that it is easier to treat the earlier the intervention.
 

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Lightning used to do this to his ears as a pup, but only when he was sitting on my bed. It was more of a game. When I got Stomps I had to stop letting them sleep with me, so Lightning stopped grabbing his ears (Stomps NEVER would have let Lightning grab his--Stomps'--ears). Then a year or two after I stopped letting the dogs sleep with me, for some reason I had Lightning in my room on my bed--Stomps must have been at the vet or something--and Lightning started grabbing his ears again! He would swing his head from side to side until an ear would slap his mouth. It was so funny. But then when he had to go back to sleeping in "his" room he stopped.
 
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